Meet the first South African woman to ever earn a PhD in Mathematics

Mamokgethi Phakeng (formerly Setati) is full professor and Vice Principal of Research and Innovation at Unisa.
She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is a B2 NRF-rated scientist which indicates that she has considerable international recognition,she has been invited as a speaker and visiting professor at international conferences and universities in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Senegal, South Korea, UK and USA.
She has won several awards for her research and community work, the latest being the 2013 CEO magazine award for being the most influential woman in education and training in South Africa and the 2011 NSTF award for being the most outstanding Senior Black Female Researcher over the last 5 to 10 years in recognition of her innovative, quality research on teaching and learning mathematics in multilingual classrooms.
Prof Phakeng was elected as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in November 2007; an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society in May 2009 and an honorary life member of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) in July 2009. In 2008 she became the first South African black woman researcher to be appointed to co-chair a study commissioned by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction.
The study is entitled “mathematics and language diversity” and it is currently in its final stages of publishing an edited volume.

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