## “Mathematics Days in Sofia”

Section “Mathematics Education and History of Mathematics”

### Participants

#### Invited Section Speakers

**Toni Chehlarova**, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgaria

#### Contributors

**Dragomir Marchev**, Shumen University, Bulgaria**Emil Kolev**, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgaria**Maria Brauchle**, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgaria**Stanislav Harizanov**, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgaria

### Program and Abstracts

Today there exist many software packages/systems which effectively present and dynamically manipulate mathematical objects and problems. They help the students familiarize themselves with these objects and problems, and, more importantly, allow them to explore and discover their essential properties by experimenting and using their own intuition. In a certain sense, such systems bring the teaching and learning of mathematics closer to the teaching and learning of the other disciplines which rely on experimenting, not only on deduction.

The major goal of the competition “Mathematics with Computer” is to promote the use of such systems in the teaching and learning of mathematics. It demonstrates that the circle of problems considered at the school level can be enlarged considerably so that meaningful problems with practical flavor can also be included.

The participants of Mathematics Days in Sofia’2023 will have the opportunity to try a special issue of the competition. In the presentation, some competition problems, results, and organizational issues will be discussed.

The aim of this talk is to present the pan-European LOFAR project. Paying attention to the goals, the methods for solving them and the first results. Special attention is paid to the Bulgarian LOFAR-BG station and its benefits. This project is multidisciplinary, bringing together specialists from engineering, mathematical and physical sciences. The place of mathematical sciences is also indicated, namely in the processing of “big data” datasets. Last but not least, the participation of the University of Shumen in the LOFAR-BG consortium was commented on.

The development of technologies needs well-trained STEM professionals. The transition to quality STEM education requires a clear STEM school strategy with key elements such as instruction, professionalization of staff, connections, assessment, school leadership and culture, school infrastructure, and curriculum implementation. The STEM School Label is a platform that supports European schools in developing STEM school strategies. Several Bulgarian schools have already joined the platform. The report presents the steps and criteria required to obtain one of the three types of STEM school labels and some statistics related to the Bulgarian participant in the platform.

Bulgaria has always been among the pioneers regarding foundation and/or organization of International Mathematical Competitions. Together with Romania, those are the only two countries that have participated in all 63 editions of the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) so far. Up to the moment, Bulgarian students have won 56 IMO golds, 126 IMO silvers, and 115 IMO bronzes, while Bulgaria was twice an organizer – Sofia 1966 and Bourgas 1975.

This talk is devoted to the various stages of the Bulgarian IMO team selection and preparation, as well as the additional activities that the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians, the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, and the Leaders of the Bulgarian team became engaged with through the years. For example, Bulgaria was among the key initiators of the foundation of the Balkan Mathematical Olympiad in 1984 in order to prepare the Balkan teams for IMO, and (together with Romania and Greece) has not yet missed a single edition. The same with the Junior Balkan Mathematical Olympiad, the European Girls Mathematical Olympiad, etc. Furthermore, following the good example of IMO, Bulgaria was among the founders and the very first host of both the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI, Pravetz, 1989) and the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL, Borovetz, 2003).

One of the key factors for the traditionally solid results of the Bulgarian students is the active role of the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics (IMI-BAS), which provides a priceless bridge between high-school math competitions and academia, as well as between problems of Mathematical research and competitions. For more than 50 years, the Bulgarian IMO leader has always been an employee of IMI-BAS. Most of the authors of national competition problems and lecturers at training camps are renowned Bulgarian mathematicians. And vice versa, the last two Bulgarian IMO leaders are now the director of IMI-BAS, respectively the president of the Union of the Bulgarian Mathematicians. This special collaboration between IMI-BAS and the Bulgarian IMO team will be also analysed in detail in this talk.