Technology enthusiast makes maths learning fun

2018-01-24 06:00


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A CELLPHONE app developed by a UKZN computer science student is to make high-quality maths education free and accessible to students from various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Open Omnia is a web-based program that assists students who struggle with maths to better understand the subject by breaking down the formulas and providing step-by-step illustrations for mathematical equations.

The creator and owner of Open Omnia, Lloyd Gordon from Pietermaritzburg, is working to extend the web-based programme to an app for smart phones and Tablets to enable greater accessibility to a larger group of people, thus benefiting more recipients.

Scheduled for launch in April, the web app is available at

A student can simply type in a mathematical problem and the service returns a step-by-step solution to the problem. This ensures students learn how to get to the answer. The program is available free thereby promoting inclusivity in line with government’s radical economic transformation agenda.

“My goal is to grow Open Omnia to the point that it is nationally recognised and for the program to help larger numbers of students,” said Gordon.

He was shortlisted from 198 entries to emerge as the first runner-up in the 2017 Inkunz’isematholeni Youth in Business competition.

The young innovator took home a R50 000 marketing voucher to help market his innovation.

Spearheaded by Ithala Development Finance Corporation, Inkunz’isematholeni attracts youths with innovative and sustainable business concepts and provides incubation and start-up in their journey to becoming seasoned entrepreneurs.

The 25-year-old is awaiting his final year academic results.

“I was most intrigued by the program and remember thinking this is exactly what I have been waiting for,” said Gordon.

Gordon counts Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and world’s largest online retailer, as his biggest inspiration.

When asked if he thinks there is enough support for young and aspiring entrepreneurs such as himself in South Africa, he said: “Definitely, but as young people we expect things to happen instantly. However, things take time and we just need to keep working while waiting for that big break.

“I am honoured and grateful to Ithala for believing in my invention and for the financial assistance. I am excited about what the future holds for Open Omnia.

“In the past, I heard a lot about how the provincial development agency has helped aspiring and existing entrepreneurs and am grateful to be given an opportunity to work with them.” - Supplied.


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