National Research Foundation Research Chair

Dear members and associates of the Institute of Systems Science (ISS),

Over 10 years ago I applied for a National Research Foundation (NRF) Research Chair.  It was approved but I was informed it could not be given as there was not enough funding. At the beginning of last year they contacted me and asked me to reapply.  I recently got the result and I now have a Tier 2 NRF SARChi Research Chair.  The title of the Chair is: Applying Mathematics to Human and Natural Systems.

Note the word applying and not applied which already has an established meaning in mathematics.  In my opinion, the reason that I got this chair my past research and very applied approach to applications in agriculture, ecology, mining, energy and other systems important to South African development.  If any of you are interested in helping these research efforts please contact me.

One of the most important aspects of the chair is educating PhD, masters and honours students.  Most have to be black South Africans and if any of you know of good postgraduates at any of these levels looking for funding please let me know.

Good postdocs are also needed but with an interest in the work we are doing.

Prof Kevin J. Duffy

10 February, 2021

New Year

Dear Members of the Institute of Systems Science (ISS),

I hope you are all well in this very difficult time.

Wishing you all a good end of the western year in whatever way you perceive to celebrate it.

As usual we have produced world class publications in terms of quality and quantity.  Each person has added their own mix of talents and I commend you all.  However, some do stand out.  Paul has a commanding list of postgraduate students from the previously disadvantages group of black South Africans. Andronikos has published an unbelievable number of papers in top journals, the majority of which  are in Q1 journals. Kostya has as usual also published significant quality papers.

In the Mendeley science-wide author databases of standardized citation for the 100,000 best scientist in the world over  their career there are 5 at DUT and we have 2 of those: Peter Leach and Miloslav Znojil.  For the same category but only including the year 2019 DUT has 7 persons and the two added names are from our Institute, Andronikos Paliathanasis and Kostiantyn (Kostya) Zloshchastiev.

Well done. These results are amazing for such a small group.   My only contribution might be that I see talent and keep out of its way.  This is not a humble perception as I see it as a talent, many people are good at getting in the way of others in their attempts to manage them.

Also, well done to all of you. You are definitely all shining in my eyes.  Again I believe I see talent in whatever form it takes, and I see you all as a talented bunch.

On this note please join me on complimenting Sam.  It has been a difficult and lonely year for her stuck in the office by herself.  She is the oil that keeps the ISS going.  Thanks a lot Sam.

Lastly, the message below still applies.   In particular, in the new year any debate on what Stewardship means to any of you would be appreciated.

Keep well,


27 December, 2020