The Institute of Mathematics and Informatics (IMI) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) was created shortly after the end of WWII by the effort and high professionalism of a generation of Bulgarian mathematicians whom we now thankfully style the pivots of Bulgarian mathematics.
The date 27 October 1947 is rightly considered the birth date of the IMI. On this day the Executive Council (EC) of the BAS confirmed the plan of the scientific activity in 1947/1948. The section devoted to the mathematical sciences included the work of three commissions:
- Commission for Demographic Studies (Acad. K. Popov),
- Commission for Mathematical Studies of the Representative Method in Statistics (Academician N. Obreshkov),
- Commission for financial mathematical research of state bonds and external bonds guaranteed by the state (Acad. K Popov),
as well as detailed individual plans by the mathematicians Acad. Ivan Tzenov, Acad. Ljubomir Tchakalov, Acad. Nikola Obrechkoff and Acad. Kiril Popov. This was the beginning of the implementation of the idea, discussed by the EC of the BAS already in 1945 (Protocol #14/01.08.1945), to create a branch for Natural Science and Mathematics within the Academy and develop research institutes for individual areas of science, including an institute for mathematics.
Fully in line with the dynamics of the time and the development of research in mathematical sciences, the organisation changed its name several times. In 1949 the Mathematical Institute (MI) was established at the Physical and Mathematical branch of the Academy and Acad. L Tchakalov was appointed as its head (Dnevnik 490/24.03.1949). The MI was renamed Mathematical Institute with Computing Centre (MI with CC) in 1961, Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics with Computing Centre (IMM with CC) in 1972, and Institute of Mathematics (IM) in 1994. The current name, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, was adopted in 1995.
On 27 June 1951 the BAS Management Board approved the first Scientific Council of the Mathematics Institute, including:
Chairman: Acad. N Obrechkoff;
Secretary: Prof. B Petkanchin;
Members: Acad. L Tchakalov, Acad. K Popov, Acad. I Tzenov, Prof. L Iliev, Prof. Y Tagamlitzki, Prof. G Bradistilov, Prof. A Stoyanov, Assoc. Prof. A Mateev (the titles of the members of the Council refer to the time of its creation).
Since its inception in 1947, IMI has been the leading Bulgarian research and training center for highly qualified staff, pursuing a purposeful, long-term and consistent policy related to the main trends in the development of mathematics, informatics and information technologies. Several facts of our history are indicative of the successful realization of the mission of IMI:
- In 1961 the Mathematical Institute (the then name of IMI) established the first Bulgarian computing center.
- In the period 1962-1964 the first Bulgarian digital computerized machine Vitosha was created.
- In 1965 the first electronic calculator Elka 6521 was created.
- In 1966, the Mathematical Institute with Computing Center separated from the Central Institute of Computing (CIC).
- In 1977, the Institute of Mechanics and Biomechanics separated from the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics.
- Researchers from the Institute of Mathematics with Computing Center were the core of the Coordination Center for Informatics and Computing established in 1984 (now the Institute for Parallel Processing).
- Together with the St. St. Cyril and Methodius Foundation, the Evrika Foundation and the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians, in 2000 IMI founded the High School Student Institute of Mathematics and Informatics.
- In 2006 a National Center for Digitization of Scientific, Cultural and Historical Heritage was set up in IMI.
A major part of the IMI’s policy is the participation in Bulgarian educational programs on all levels, so that the stable development of the scientific potential in the areas of mathematics and computer science can be guaranteed. The activities in this domain are manifold: training MSc and PhD candidates, outstanding school students (including coaching of the national teams in mathematics, informatics and mathematical linguistics), re-qualification of school teachers, preparation of undergraduate and postgraduate students for scientific work by directly involving them in research.
The IMI recognition in Bulgaria is attested by its direct contacts and collaboration with several non-governmental research and cultural institutions such as the:
Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians International Foundation “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”
Democratic Traditions Foundation
International Foundation “Vasil Popov”
America for Bulgaria Foundation
American Foundation for Bulgaria
Bulgarian Association for Modeling and Simulation “BULSIM”
National Gallery of Fine Arts
National Library “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”
National History Museum
Archives State Agency
Federation of Scientific and Technical Unions
Union of the Bulgarian Community Centers
and many others.
How research is organized at IMI at present?
IMI research staff are divided into 10 departments and one temporary research unit. There are 75 scientific themes, distributed in:
- 16 projects funded by BAS;
- 19 projects funded by the National Research Fund;
- 40 projects funded by international programs.
- There are 16 permanent research seminars at the Institute.
IMI publishes or supports the publishing of four research and scientific journals.
The Institute has also a Library, which is considered by our numerous foreign visitors as one of the best mathematical libraries in South-East Europe.
Thanks to the high professionalism of its staff, IMI is integrated into the global scientific community and enjoys well-deserved repute. Each year the Institute welcomes over 200 renowned foreign scholars, organizes more than 15 scientific conferences, seminars and schools.