UKZN student’s maths app adds up

DURBAN – A new maths app has been downloaded more than 1000 times since it was launched last week Wednesday.

Open Omnia, a web-based programme and an app which aims to assist students who struggle with maths, was created by a former University of KwaZulu-Natal computer science student, Lloyd Gordon.

According to Gordon, 26, the app has been downloaded in South Africa and several over countries including Namibia, the US, UK and Egypt.

Pietermaritzburg-born Gordon, who graduated in 2017, said it took him over two years to create the app.

He said his personal battle with maths at school motivated him to create an app to make the subject easier for students to understand.

“I used to really struggle with maths in high school. I worked very hard to try to understand maths because I could not afford a tutor and needed extra explanations for some equations,” said Gordon.

Open Omnia aims to help students who struggle with maths to better understand the subject by breaking down the formulas and providing step-by-step illustrations for maths equations.

Gordon said the app could be used by high school and university students.

He said he was grateful for funding from UKZN InQubate.

He was also appreciative of the assistance of Ithala Bank after he entered his prototype app into the Ithala Development Finance Corporation’s Inkunzi’isematholeni Youth in Business Competition in 2017 and came second, winning R50000.

Explaining the importance of maths, Wits University lecturer Aaron Koopman said that when the maths syllabus became more challenging in high school, many pupils were tempted to ditch the subject and choose maths literacy instead.

However, Koopman said maths helped to develop persistence as you applied and discarded solutions while trying to make sense of a problem.

“Companies are increasingly looking for graduates with powerful thinking and trouble-shooting capacity – the competencies developed and nurtured through maths.”

The app is now available at https://openomnia.com/ or can be downloaded at Google Play Store.

THE MERCURY 

108850698 - UKZN student’s maths app adds up

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