Today in Ontario, Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, announced $20 million CDN in federal funding to expand the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) into five new locations across Africa by 2015, including Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal.
AIMS was founded by TED Prize winner Neil Turok, the director of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario. Turok founded AIMS in his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa, to help bring postgraduate mathematical science instruction to Africa — and help talented students across the continent access higher education without having to go abroad. This past June, 53 students from 17 African countries graduated with the AIMS Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Sciences. As Neil Turok said in his TED Prize acceptance talk, “the next Einstein may be found in Africa.”
Supported by the Perimeter Institute’s Global Outreach program, the Canadian government’s $20 million CDN will seed five new AIMS centers across Africa. The government funding will go a long way toward AIMS’ eventual goal of 15 new AIMS centers by 2020, via the Next Einstein Initiative, the project kickstarted by Turok’s 2008 TED Prize win.
The video above comes from the presentation today at Perimeter Institute, with Canada’s PM, Stephen Harper, Perimeter Institute director Neil Turok and special guest Dr. Stephen Hawking.