School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science

Best Third Year Mathematics student in 2016, Mr Warren Naidoo has graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours degree.

Beating all Obstacles to Pursue a Dream and Passion

A young Chatsworth man dispelled what many people claimed was a ‘waste of time’ career choice. Mr Warren Naidoo was proud to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

It has been Naidoo’s dream to become an astronomer. After matriculating at Asoka Secondary School in Chatsworth, Naidoo was awarded the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bursary through the Astrophysics, Cosmology and Research Unit (ACRU) to pursue a BSc degree at UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES).

‘Many people told me that my chosen field is a waste of time and there will be no jobs, but I can now say that they were wrong.’ said Naidoo.

Through perseverance Naidoo received the prestigious 2016 G I Bateman award for being the best third-year Mathematics student. In 2017, Naidoo graduated with a BSc degree cum laude.

‘My passion and childhood dream to one day become a scientist is what motivated me to pursue my Honours degree in Applied Mathematics. I have always been deeply fascinated by astrophysics and astronomy related fields as well as mathematics and its applications to describe everything we see around us,’ said Naidoo.

‘Studying towards my honours has been really enjoyable as I got to learn many interesting things like Einstein’s theory of general relativity which has always captivated my curiosity. It has also been truly satisfying as it symbolises a major step towards the ultimate goal of getting my PhD,’ said Naidoo.

In addition to Naidoo graduating summa cum laude with a BSc Honours, he received the top honours award for Applied Mathematics in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

Currently Naidoo is doing his Master of Science (MSc) degree in Cosmology which involves cutting-edge scientific research. His future plans are to pursue a PhD and ultimately continue with research as an academic at a university or research institution.

Naidoo’s secret to his success, ‘Is determination and to never give up on your dreams to do what you are passionate about.’ He thanked his supervisor, Professor Kavilan Moodley, for guiding him through the academic journey.

Naidoo still finds time to indulge in some of his hobbies which include sketching, playing music, solving puzzles and reading.

His proud father, Mr S Naidoo said, ‘I am truly proud of my son Warren. He has truly become an inspiration to many other young people in our community. Many students come to Warren for advice and it is evident that these students gain confidence that they can reach their goals in life.  I know he will make all his dreams come true and continue to make us proud and amazed.’

‘Warren has achieved outstanding results in his honours degree, including his research project in Cosmology. He has already made significant advances during his master’s degree working on the UKZN flagship project, HIRAX. He will publish a paper shortly on his results, and has a very promising research career ahead of him,’ said Professor Kavilan Moodley.

Words: Leena Rajpal