African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

In July 2015, the University of Chicago and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) signed a partnership to bring UChicago faculty members and scientists from Argonne National Laboratory to AIMS Centers. The partnership encourages UChicago faculty to collaborate with AIMS faculty in the development of new curriculum and experimental program content, and to explore joint research projects and future academic collaborations. The program is also designed to help UChicago faculty identify prospective students and invite them to apply to UChicago graduate programs. (Read the news article here.)

About AIMS

The AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative is a pan-African network that offers outstanding training in the mathematical sciences to African students. Its goal is to advance critical inquiry and creative thinking, and to develop well-rounded scientists who can contribute to expanding scientific knowledge and applications across the African continent and around the world.

AIMS institutes are extremely selective and all students are provided with full scholarships, which include travel, room and board. Graduates of AIMS have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in various fields in the United States and Europe. AIMS is currently located in six countries:South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Tanzania, and Rwanda. For more information, see

Academic Structure

The academic year at AIMS centers consists of three phases: the skills, review, and research phases, each subdivided into modular three-week blocks. Following the completion of these phases, the students carry out an individual research project lasting 10 weeks. The research phase ends with the students presenting the findings of their research project in a written report as well as orally in front of an examination committee. The academic year at AIMS ends with a graduation ceremony, at which successful students are granted the degree of Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences.

See this Curriculum Structure for more details


  •  Student cohorts are selected by an international selection committee that make a rigorous assessment of academic achievement and promise, as well as taking into account the language, gender, subject major, and nationality of each applicant.
  • Students accepted for the program hold, as a minimum, a four-year Bachelor’s or corresponding degree in mathematics or any science or engineering subject with a substantial mathematics component.
  • The small group setting and the residential nature of the AIMS program creates an intense learning environment that is supported by graduate student preceptors, high-quality computers, internet, and library resources.

Graduate Opportunities

The UChicago-AIMS faculty working group announces an opportunity for University of Chicago graduate students to serve as preceptors for the AIMS Master’s Program in Mathematical Sciences. The fellowship spans a period of a minimum of 5 months, but may be extended up to 10 months. Preceptors, or tutors, will be working with faculty and students at one of the six AIMS Centers (located in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Rwanda). All students have obtained bachelor’s degrees in mathematics or science from universities in Africa. Preceptors will assist with courses being taught by faculty in three-week modules, which span a variety of topics in the mathematical sciences (e.g. physics, statistics, financial mathematics, computer science, informatics or other related fields). Applicants should be enrolled in a PhD program and pursuing research in a field that uses mathematical methods. Applicants should also possess strong pedagogical and interpersonal skills.

Serving as a tutor for AIMS presents an intensive and exciting opportunity for UChicago graduate students to work closely with internationally-renowned faculty and interact with top-tier students from around the African continent. Faculty and graduate students who have participated in this program describe it as transformative, and credit it with invigorating their research agendas and enriching their pedagogical skills and commitments.

The tutors' responsibilities include:

  • Attending classes and supporting faculty
  • Leading tutorials that complement faculty-led lectures and discussions
  • Assisting students in the design, research, and writing of capstone essays
  • Working with AIMS staff to help manage IT, logistics, and administration of the center

Teaching is conducted in English (at AIMS Senegal courses may also be taught in French), but knowledge of another language (e.g. Arabic, Amharic, French, Wolof, etc.) may be useful. Tutors will receive a monthly stipend of the local equivalent of USD $1000.00. All tutors will live on-site, and the AIMS Centers provide a private room as well as board; each Center also offers 24-hour access to computers, internet, and library resources. Travel expenses between AIMS Centers and UChicago, as well as medical insurance for the duration of the stay, will be covered.

For additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact


  • Every year, approximately 25 faculty from leading local and international universities, including Nobel laureates and Fields medalists, volunteer to teach at each AIMS center, providing students with the latest knowledge in their own respective fields.
  • Faculty members teach a three-week course at AIMS in a topic selected for the Master’s program and helps students connect with the global scientific and mathematical community.
  • AIMS Lecturers work with graduate student tutors who provide general assistance with the academic program, including preparation of materials and group and personal tutorials.

Faculty Opportunities

The UChicago-AIMS faculty working group announces an opportunity for University of Chicago faculty and Argonne National Laboratory scientists to develop and teach three-week course modules for the AIMS Master’s Program in Mathematical Sciences. Potential course areas in the mathematical sciences include analytics, computer science, epidemiology, informatics, physics, and statistics, as well as related areas in scientific computation, development economics and environmental modeling. Faculty will be teaching students at one of the AIMS Centers (located in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Rwanda) who have obtained bachelor’s degrees in mathematics or science from universities in Africa.

The AIMS Master’s program is a 10-month course of study that consists of a skills phase, a review phase, and a research phase. Courses proposed for instruction by UChicago faculty should cover topics that fall under either the skills phase or the review phase.

Teaching is conducted in English (at the center in Senegal, some courses may also be taught in French). An individual course would consist of 30 hours contact time, spread across three weeks of class time.

Faculty members live on-site with meals provided, and the Centers provide 24-hour access to center computers, internet, and library resources. Expenses related to transportation and lodging will also be covered. It is possible (depending upon department) that faculty will receive teaching credit for taking part in the AIMS program.

To find out more about the design and content of the AIMS curriculum, contact


Faculty members and Master’s students are supported by advanced doctoral student preceptors, or tutors, who attend assigned classes, give tutorials, offer supplemental lectures, and work individually and in groups with students.