Bogoljub Marinkovich, Yugoslavia

Mathematics Advisor to the Minister for Education

This award was presented by Professor Peter Taylor, President of WFNMC, at a special ceremony at the Arhimedes premises in Belgrade on Tuesday 12 August 2003.

[Bogoljab Marinkovich]

Professors Marinkovic and Taylor after the presentation.


During his lengthy career in mathematics education, Bogoljub Marinkovich has served as teacher, educator of teachers, and curriculum developer. He is currently Counsellor for Mathematics at the Ministry of Education, where he is responsible for the advancement of teaching mathematics in the schools. His work has resulted in significant reforms in the study of mathematics. He initiated, and has for twenty-five years, been Chair of a continuing seminar for advanced training of teachers.

Beginning in 1967, he became involved in competitions in primary and secondary schools. Since then, he has maintained a continued involvement in competitions at all levels, including the International Mathematical Olympiad.

He was founder of Arhimedes, the National Mathematics Competition in Serbia, a comprehensive program aimed at identifying bright young students and then training them for potential IMO competitions and for university studies.

As an extension of the activity, in 1998 the Arhimedes organization brought the Tournament of the Towns to Serbia.

He has lectured internationally on the training of teachers, is the editor of two popular mathematical journals, and has authored more than six hundred publications,

[Bogoljab Marinkovich]

Earlier in the day while visiting the special mathematics school in Belgrade, Professor Nikolay Konstantinov (Moscow) centre, with Professors Taylor and Marinkovic.

Further Citation from Bogoljub Marinkovic's colleagues, read at the presentation function in Belgrade



Dear guests

We are thankful to you for giving the prestigious Paul Erdös award to our Bogoljub Marinkovic.

I am expressing the opinion of his colleagues: you have awarded him for his professional, missionary, passionate and devoted work through many years standing and his results are great chapters of history of mathematical education in our country.

Professor Marinkovic has been devotedly working on improvement of mathematical education at primary and secondary schools in Serbia and former Yugoslavia for many decades (programmes for teaching, didactic-methodical actions, reduction of the gap between proclaimed and everyday teaching practice).

In 1967, he took part in establishing the national contest for primary school pupils and he was the President and member of the contest committee at all contest levels for many years. He has written thousands of mathematical problems, many of which were used for the first time in our mathematical practice.

Professor Marinkovic was the founder of the Young Mathematics Club and he has been leading it successfully for 30 years. “Arhimedes” has become a specialised centre for education and science. In this centre young people as well as old are dealing with mathematics and computer science – the youngest ones who are making their first but important steps in the world of mathematics, older primary school pupils, secondary school pupils, students, teachers, experts of all kinds and academics.

On Professor Marinkovik’s initiative, and under his leadership, Arhimedes has been successfully organizing Mathematical Tournament of the primary and secondary schools in Serbia (54 tournaments have been organised so far, with 2748 teams including 12 184 contestants participating in these tournaments).

Professor Marinkovic succeeded in making Belgrade a part of International Mathematical Tournament of Towns.

He enabled the work of the Olympiad group in Arhimedes which means that our best young mathematicians, potential candidates for our country’s teams, are specially prepared for international mathematical contests.

He founded Arhimedes Mathematical Schools (regular, summer, winter) which are held every year. In these schools 32 300 classes for 30 300 pupils have been held by now. There, pupils are instructed in mathematical matters which are not offered by regular school practice and they show that mathematics can be exciting, unpredictable, elegant and wonderful.

Professor Marinkovic was initiator, and for the first 7 years editor, of Mathematical Magazine, the first popular science mathematical magazine for primary school pupils in Yugoslavia. Later on he started two mathematical journals in Arhimedes (Mathematical Almanac and Arhimedes) and he developed a rich publishing activity which published hundreds of titles of reference literature for students and teachers (magazines, thematic brochures for young mathematicians, collections of mathematical problems and tests, didactic materials, books of history of Serbian mathematics, collections of posters and postcards of great mathematicians).

His contribution to the development and organisation of education for teachers and professors of mathematics and computer science is very important.

Bogoljub himself held hundreds of lectures, designed and wrote a large number of professional works and science-popular add-ins which were published as separate publications or in magazines, radio and TV stations.

He gave his personal library, which consisted of 7500 books, to Arhimedes and formed an impressive specialised library containing 25 000 books and thousands of magazines, mostly foreign. The library is available not only to members and co-workers of the club, but to other pupils and teachers asking for advice and material for their lectures, seminars and professional work as well.

The list of his merits is much longer. Bogoljub Marinkovic has created a great and valuable piece of work which cannot be compared to anything else here.

For us, members and his co-workers of Arhimedes, he is the very soul of everything that happens in the club.

His colleague Dragana Davidovic describes him as follows:

”Professor Marinkovic is everywhere, where you would expect him and where you would not! On the phone – organising. In front of the computer or behind a pile of books – preparing reports and mathematical problems. At his desk, wondering, with a pen in his hand. Camera and video camera always in use. Sharing justice with his red pen. In the post office – sending a pile of letters to inform us, or to remind us. In front of the microphone telling the results. Announcing the success of the members of Arhimedes to journalists. He never rests: his working day lasts about 20 hours!”

Professor N.H. Rozov (MGU Moscow) says: “… The surprising thing is that during all those years the entire work of the Arhimedes club was organized and directed by one man only, who was able to gather an excellent team of enthusiastic colleagues.”

By awarding Bogoljub Marinkovic with the Paul Erdös prize, the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions gives acknowledgement to a great man for his great results. And now the list of winners is longer for one more great name.