Mathematics and Informatics Competitions Scene in Bulgaria

Mathematics and Informatics competitions are among the best tools to identify and develop the intellectual abilities of young people in Bulgaria. The preparation for these events involves quite a number of secondary school students and teachers and increases the level of learning and teaching mathematics. The competitions also provide the (relatively rare) opportunity to focus the public attention on the role of mathematical and information sciences in the contemporary society.

Last (but not least) talented youngsters get encouraged to pursue career in science. This keeps up the health of mathematical and information sciences in the country and attracts ''fresh blood'' to other branches of science as well.

In the area of such competitions Bulgaria has long traditions. The National Mathematical Olympiad is now (beginning of 1997) 46 years old. The National Olympiad in Informatics started in 1985. Even before the beginning of these Olympiads, competitions on local and/or regional level were popular. Bulgaria is a cofounder and regular participant in the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) since its start in Romania in 1959. Bulgaria is also originator and the first host of the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) which was held in Pravetz, Bulgaria, in 1989. The work with talented secondary school students is boosted also by the regional competition called Balkan Mathematical Olympiad (BMO) which is regularly taking place since 1984.

The preparation for the competitions is held in groups and clubs, which exist not only in special math & science schools, but in many other schools as well. Usually students start to participate in competitions since the first year of the middle school (age 10 - 11). Students compete in problem solving. They receive 3 - 4 problems, which they should solve for 4 -- 4.5 hours. Recently, multiple choice tests are gradually getting place in Bulgaria.

The most important mathematical competitions on national level in Bulgaria are:

  • the National Mathematical Olympiad;
  • the National Informatics Olympiad;
  • the Winter Mathematical Competition;
  • the Spring Mathematical Competition.
  • the Tschernorizec Hrabar Competition.

    There are also many local competitions.

    The national Mathematics and Informatics competitions and the preparation for the international competitions are organized by the Ministry of Education and by the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians. The Ministry of Education provides the administrative base for the competitions. It is also responsible for significant part of the financial support of the competitions. The Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians (UBM) is responsible for the academic part. A special committee, dealing with the scientific organization of the competitions, has been founded at the UBM. The members of this committee are mainly form the Department of Mathematics at Sofia University and scientist from the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Science. This committee makes the problem selection for the above mentioned competitions, organizes the checking and marking of the students papers, organize seminars and workshops for teachers, who are leaders of math clubs, publishes materials for these seminars, etc.

    There are several Journals for secondary school teachers and students which help the preparation for the competitions. The best established among them are:

  • Mathematika;
  • Mathematika plus;
  • Mathematics and Informatics;
  • Mathematics and Informatics Quarterly (in English, published in Singapore.

    Return to the Home Page of Bulgarian Mathematics and Informatics Competitions.