The name of the Society: Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians is a relatively recent one. The original Society was named the Sofia Physical and Mathematical Society when it was founded on 14 February 1898. The University of Sofia is the oldest establishment of higher education in Bulgaria and had been set up in Sofia in 1888. This followed the ending of Ottoman rule in Bulgaria in 1878, and Sofia being designated the Bulgarian capital in the following year.
The Physical and Mathematical Society was set up as a local Sofia Society by lecturers from the Department of Mathematics at the University, teachers from the two High Schools in Sofia, and the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Education. The first President of this Society was Emanuil Ivanov. The aims of the original Society are given in . These were:-
... to contribute towards the academic growth of its members and encourage them to pursue original research;
to monitor the progress of scientific literature in the areas of physics and mathematics;
to raise and discuss questions on education and point out means and methods for its improvement in general;
to develop the general and instructional Bulgarian terminology of these sciences;
to critically survey books and textbooks (especially Bulgarian ones) on physics and mathematics;
to offer moral and material support for the publication of independent research work and of good manuals and textbooks.
After the founding of the Society it opened sections in different Bulgarian towns and slowly moved from a local Sofia Society to a national Bulgarian one. It recognised this by changing its name to the Bulgarian Physical and Mathematical Society in 1938. Grozdev writes in :-
Initially, apart from the mathematicians, its membership included physicists, engineers, military servicemen, meteorologists, land-surveyors, school pupils and college students. For example the student section in the town of Stara Zagora had 120 members in 1939, while the one in the region of Rajkovo had 200 members in 1940.
The mathematicians and physicists in the Society worked together but by the beginning of the 1970s it became clear that there would be advantages in splitting the Society into two societies, one for mathematicians and computer scientists, and another for physicists. On 17 October 1971 the formal split occurred, with the Society of Bulgarian Mathematicians serving the mathematicians and computer scientists, while the Society of Bulgarian Physicists was also created at this time. Alipi Mateev was the first President of the Society of Bulgarian Mathematicians from its separate creation in 1971.
In April 1977 a Constituent Congress of the Society of Bulgarian Mathematicians was held which renamed the Society the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians. Grozdev writes :-
In the last 30 years the number of the sections of the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians has been growing swiftly, eventually reaching 71. With a fervour characteristic of the Renaissance the members of the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians recruit new sympathisers, broaden and diversify their activity. In 1998, the year of its centenary, the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians has about 5000 members - teachers in Mathematics and Computer science, University lecturers, scholars and specialists from all parts of the country.
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