Fagueye NDIAYE

Country of birth: 
Country of studies: 
Country of residence: 

"My dream is that all girls embrace a mathematical, scientific or technological career"


2014 : Ph. D in Mathematics and its Applications.University Cheikh Dakar, Senegal.

Professional experience

  • Titular assistant professor and researcher
  • Assistant professor and researcher
  • Generally Inspector of Education and Formation
  • President of the National Mathematics Commission
  • Inspector of middle and secondary Teaching
  • Educational consultant in regional training center
  • Teaching in High Secondary School.

Honours and prizes

Godmother « Miss Maths -Miss Sciences », 2017 Edition.


 Your story with mathematics

Can you tell us something about your story? Why did you join the field of Mathematics? How did you discover your passion for mathematics? Or When have you decided to be a mathematician and why?

In elementary school, I was already passionate about mathematics precisely, in calculus and in problems resolving. I was at ease when I get exercises. It is in secondary school when I decided to be mathematician. Because for me, I thought only sciences have value in terms of knowledge. So, I was projecting to work in these domains of sciences: agronomy, telecommunication, aviation.

What fascinates you about Mathematics?

What fascinate me in about Mathematics, is to can resolve a practical problem of the live with mathematical tools. Also, I feel that I am in the right way when I resolve correctly a mathematical problem.

Did you have a role model that influenced your decision to become a mathematician? Or has anyone influenced your decision to become a mathematician and how? Family (father, mother, brother, sister, ..), teachers, friends, Other: specify. Has anyone supported you in your choice and during your career?

Agronomists engineers who came to our house had given me desire to become like them and my father encouraged me in this direction. But later, at university, I wanted to become a telecommunication engineer. My father had supported me and he had a lot confidence in me.

Were there any specific factors that helped you succeed?

The support of my family helped me succeed.

What challenges did you encounter on the way?

The main obstacle I encounter were jealousy and unhealthy practices of some colleagues. They act by malice or jealousy, while everyone should be able to do his research quietly. They do that to prevent from moving forward. Attitude that I did not understand because for me, each person has his destiny.

What is the funniest or most memorable thing that has happened to you while working in mathematics?

In 1998, I was assigned to another establishment of secondary school. When I entered a class of Terminal T1-T2, there were only boys. When they saw me, they said to me: "Mrs. we don't have English class; we have a mathematics class". I answered them: "Yes I know but, enter in class". They began to say, "Is she our Mathematical teacher now? We don't want a woman teaches us mathematics. We have never seen a woman teach mathematics." I pretend I did not hear them and started my class. That day, not only did they answer my questions, but they also asked me a lot of questions; they pretended not to understand but I knew it was to test. At the end of the class they do standing ovation for me because this is the first they see a woman teaching mathematics but they were very happy with my class.

Career and Family

Do you come from an academic family? How does your family regard your career choice? Is it hard to manage both career and private life? Do you have kids? Tell us about balancing family life with work life?

No, my father was technician superior agronomist and my mother a seamstress. My family regard my career choice with lot of happiness. But they pity sometimes for me, they say that I work tirelessly and I do not rest. For me it’s not hard to manage both career and private life, I’m organizing for that; I planning everything and I not privilege one activity on another if that is possible. I have three kids.

Women and Mathematics

What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome? Did you ever have the impression that it would be easier/harder if you were male? What kind of prejudices, if any, did you have to face? How did that make you feel? Were you able to overcome these? Do you have anything else that you’d like to tell us about?

The main obstacle I encounter was jealousy and bad practices of some people. They think that woman must not do high studies. I think that it would be easier if I was male because I will have enough times to do teach and research. Some people think that I’m too ambitious and I should not have a better status. The bottom line for me is to be on the right path, do conscientiously what I must do. My philosophy is that, in the life I must be generous, share knowledge acquired, help my neighbor so that he can succeed like me. Did you encounter any specific difficulties relating to the field of mathematics? I didn’t specifically, but when I have difficulties for understanding I do many researches for it and so my problem is resolved. In the host institution the difficulties are that some colleagues do bad practices to prevent you from moving forward. They acte by malice or  jealousy while everyone should be able to do his research quietly.

Tell us about the organizations for women mathematicians that you are a part of? How has this helped your career?

I’m treasurer of AWMA and Generally Secretary of SWMA. The main objective of these two associations is promotion of girls and women in mathematics. This encourage me to move forward, to interest more on research and I tell to me “yes I can”.

Do you consider it necessary to organize special programs like Girl’s Day promoting mathematics for girls in schools? What else, do you think, could further be done to support woman with mathematics as their career?

Yes I consider it. Give them support, scholarship and facilitate access to documents. Teaching mathematics, especially to non-mathematicians, can be a challenge. What is your strategy to catch and keep the attention of your audience? Yes it can be real challenge. The strategy to catch and keep attention of my audience is first to start with simple examples that are accessible to them before generalizing. This helps to demystify mathematics and motivate them.

How would you explain your research to a layman (non-specialist)?

By giving him an example in his environment.

Can you tell us about the applications of your research, if any?

The localization of schools, hospitals. In medical imagery and industry with identify form of a crack in a domain or a defect of material, etc.


What are your biggest achievements, and what your biggest failures?

My biggest achievements are to do extensive research in mathematics to better understand certain phenomena in life, and my biggest failures are to believe that all people have same projects for the success of the youngest.

Do you have a dream? Any particular problem you dream to solve now?

My dream is that all girls embrace a mathematical, scientific or technological career so all our countries are highly developed. A particular problem that I am dreaming solve now is that each person considers his neighbor as his own sister or brother, stop jealousy and quarrels. Like this, with all our hands united we could do wonders in the scientific field.

Which advice would you give to young girls who want to engage a career in mathematics?

Believe herself, be self confident and to perseverance in studies.