University of Pretoria’s Physicist Awarded Esteemed Award
By Phindiwe Nkosi
Posted on 30 January 2009
GOING PLACES: Claudia Zander, the recipient of the S2A3 Bronze Medal
Physics is her life, her passion and her career thats Claudia Zander - the Physics graduate from the University of Pretoria who obtained the acclaimed Southern African Association for the Advancement of Science (S2A3) Bronze Medal for her Masters dissertation.
This recognized award, sponsored by the non-profit organization S2A3, attempts to praise and promote local science students at Masters level. Zander obtained it for her dissertation entitled Information measures, entanglement and quantum evolution, that she obtained last year under the supervision of Prof Angel Plastino.
“I believe that one is born a physicist – it’s an innate characteristic that stems from within. It is in you and you can’t do anything about it, but pursue it. Being under the mentorship and supervision of Prof Plastino is one of the main contributing factors that led to me getting this award. He has a subtle, but effective way of pushing his students,” says Zander.
According to Zander, a lot more can still be done in the country to promote science within the education system. She attributes the negative stigmatization of physics and the lack of learners therein to the way it is presented at school level.
“There are very few young physicists. The problem stems from the way science is presented at schools. When I talk to learners, I tend to find that they have a negative image of science from the onset and this is wrong. It does not have to be that way because this is a fun field with endless possibilities,” continues Zander.
In conclusion, Zander hopes that her achievement will encourage the youth to consider a career in the sciences – a career which she describes as one that has limitless “international appeal”.