Kyalami Schools are celebrating our Global Achievers. If you would like to feature, please share a short profile and photographs by clicking on the link below. Please use “Global Achiever” as the subject.

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Brandon Panos loves learning, optimizing, and solving problems. He started his academic journey in pure mathematics and physics. He was approached to complete a master’s in theoretical condensed matter field theory, where he studied a long-standing problem called the Kondo problem. After two years, he derived both a numeric and an analytical solution for the forward scattering longitudinal component of the spin-1/2 Kondo cloud in an idealized setting.

At the end of his master’s, as machine learning was becoming mainstream, Brandon decided not to miss the bus. He applied for a composite Ph.D. at the University of Geneva, focusing on the analysis of big data from several NASA satellites. Graduating summa cum laude, he learned a lot about ML, managed to successfully predict solar flares with a novel dataset, and received invitations to speak at several distinguished universities.

Brandon then completed a postdoc at the University of Geneva and another one at the University of Bern, before being employed as a professor at FHNW in Switzerland, where he specializes in explainable AI. He currently resides in Zurich with his wife. In his free time, Brandon enjoys surfing (whenever he’s not in a landlocked country), playing chess, skiing, and indulging in sci-fi literature, particularly the works of Asimov.

Samantha Cox (Beaulieu College class of 2019)

Samantha Cox (Beaulieu College class of 2019), is about to graduate with a BA from Stellenbosch University. One of her majors is Chinese. She entered an essay competition offered by the Confucius Institute and sponsored by the Chinese Embassy. Sam won the Ambassador’s award that came with a lovely cash prize. Her winning essay was on China’s poverty alleviation policy and how it could apply to South Africa. Sam also won the language proficiency prize, the Naspers Scholarship award. She will be continuing her Chinese studies next year with an Honours programme, and then hopefully going to China to do a Masters degree. We are exceptionally proud of her!

Beaulieu College is incredibly proud of Zandi Alcock for qualifying as one of 20 riders worldwide to compete in the FEI World Jumping Challenge in Bulgaria.