Afolabi Olukunle 


If you would have told me 4 months ago that I would be programming Mathematica, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m no pro by any means, but here’s my story. 

My dream career choice was to become a Structural Engineer. Being a secondary school boy, making things has always been on my mind. As things would have it when I got to senior secondary school 2, my brother brought a set of computers home. Whenever he is working on his system, I love the things he does with it and I started creating interest in learning how to use the computer to do basic things – what a shift that brings a change of mind. Before I knew it, I was in love with computing already and it was on my mind is to become a computer scientist and engineer. 

When I graduated from secondary school, I wrote JAMB (as it was called then) with the hope of getting an admission to study Computer Science and Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. Unfortunately, I was not admitted that year. Then I started thinking ‘now I can use computer to do basic things, what other skills would I need as a computer science and Engineering student’. At this time, I registered for a diploma course on web design (front-end) and I was doing fine with it all because of the kind of passion I had for it even though I always had to walk a long distance before I get to the institute I was learning. I could remember coding a wapka website from a ‘Nokia 2626 phone’ then.  

The second year I wrote JAMB, hoping to be admitted into the Computer Science and Engineering department to further my career. As situation would have it this time again, I was not given admission to study my desired course but rather got admitted to study Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. I started pondering over it if I should honor the admission or not. Then I came to a conclusion “I will honor the admission and at the same time continue a self-development based on the foundation I already had in web development.” Then I was studying Agricultural and Environmental Engineering but at the back of my mind I wanted to become a full-stack web developer.  

During the years of my study, I learnt PHP, MySQL and JavaScript. It was during this same period that I developed interest in programming and I learnt Java and towards my final year, I learnt Python too. But then, there is always a part of me that wants to make use of all this knowledge to do something like ‘make something’. Then in my fourth year in school I started having interest in automation and Machine Learning.  

There was this opportunity brought to us in one of the organizations I joined on campus named; IOBE (International Organization for Business and Engineering) to learn the program Mathematica with Loss of Generality.  Sincerely what got my attention was that of all the programming languages I knew, I haven’t heard about Mathematica. This made me to do some research about the language and then I noticed its use for Machine learning. Immediately I developed interest in it and I submitted my letter of interest to the facilitator. Fortunately, I was selected. Loss of Generality which I discovered is an Irish registered non-profit organization.  I am the realization of LoG’s mission to provide access to the most Advanced Computational Education to Any Teacher, Any Student, Any Where. 

LoG has an existing team in Nigeria and I am training with Muhammad, who has engaged with LoG for more than 18 months.  What I see in LoG is their encouragement to develop various skills and to pass them forward.  I have been in training for some months now in Introductory Wolfram Programming Language – Mathematica, Calculus and Trigonometry, and has recently offered me the opportunity to be a part of the team of which I really appreciate and hope to give in my best as we progress. What an opportunity! What could be better than training, working on things you’re passionate about and earning? I see this as a dream come true. I value this opportunity so much as it is completely in line with my passion and interest. 

As said by LoG “Usually by the end of the first year of training, students can write simple codes, test and, over time, develop their own Modules. Throughout the training process students engage with Professors, as they work collaboratively and with structured guidance, to build creative Educational Modules. Within 18 months from commencement, students work independently to build Modules with Professors and take a leadership role in specific facets of Module Development. The goal is to provide students with a highly sought-after skill-set that they can market virtually, regardless of geography. Students acquire a professional skill-set that permits them to work from any geographic location.” I look forward to this.