Kosovar Mathematical Society

The Kosovar Mathematical Society

The Kosovar Mathematical Society was founded on 22 August 2008 in Prishtina. The date of 2008 is highly significant in the history of Kosovo which lets us understand why the Society was founded at that time. Kosovo had been part of Serbia and Montenegro and both joined Yugoslavia when it was created following World War I. Kosovo was at this time an autonomous province of Serbia. The Yugoslav Mathematical Society was formed in Belgrade in 1937 and this served mathematicians in Yugoslavia until the break-up of that country. This was a complicated event and this is not the place to give details. Many parts of Yugoslavia declared independence in 1991-92 but Kosovo remained a part of Serbia and Montenegro. The Society of Mathematicians and Physicists of Serbia had been founded on 4 January 1948 and it had split into two societies, mathematics and physics, in 1981 and at that time the Mathematical Society of Serbia was founded. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 and this prompted the move to found the Kosovar Mathematical Society a few months later. The Society was founded by Qëndrim Gashi and he became the first President of the Kosovar Mathematical Society.

One of the first things that the new Society did was to organise the Kosovar Mathematical Olympiad. The report [1] gives details of the reception for the winners in May 2009:-

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, today met with the winners of the Mathematical Olympiad of Kosovo, which was held on Saturday and organized by the Kosovar Mathematical Society; under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo. The head of the Kosovar Mathematical Society, Qëndrim Gashi, thanked the Prime Minister for supporting the qualitative development of younger generations in the natural sciences, by encouraging the organization of the Mathematical Olympiad of Kosovo. Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi expressed the determination of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to continue investing in education, as one of the government's strategic priorities. Prime Minister Thaçi added that Government of the Republic of Kosovo will continually support the development of natural sciences and stated that younger generations, educated according to western standards, will be a strong base for Kosovo's economic development.
Let us say a little about the founder of the Society, Qëndrim Gashi (see [2]). He was born on 4 June 1984 and, while at secondary school, won First Prize in the Kosovo Mathematical Olympiad held in Shtimje, Kosovo in 1997. He studied at the University of Prishtina, making a study visit to Paris in 2001 funded by the World University Service, Austria. He was awarded his Diploma in Mathematics by the University of Prishtina in 2002. He then went to England where he studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, for an M.A. which he received in 2003. Then he went to the United States for his postgraduate studies and was awarded a Master's Degree from the University of Chicago in 2004. He taught mathematics courses to undergraduates at the University of Chicago from 2005 to 2008 while studying for his Ph.D. advised by Robert Edward Kottwitz, who had himself been a student of John Torrence Tate. Gashi was awarded a Ph.D. in 2008 for his thesis A Conjecture of Kottwitz and Rapoport for Split Groups. He became the first President of the Kosovar Mathematical Society in 2008, holding this position until 2012. From 2008 to 2010 he held fellowships, being at the Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in Bonn from September 2008 to July 2009, then at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, England, from July 2009 to December 2009, and finally at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, in Bures-sur-Yvette, France, from January 2010 to August 2010. After that he was an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Prishtina. He published research papers on representation theory, algebraic geometry, number theory and its combinatorial aspects. In addition to his university position, in 2011 he was appointed Foreign Affairs Advisor to the President of the Republic before becoming, successively, a member of the Board of Directors of the Pro Credit Kosovo Bank, the Kosovo-American Education Fund and the State Council on Quality.

The aim of the Kosovar Mathematical Society is to support mathematical research and the teaching of mathematics, both pure and applied, at all levels in Kosovo. We have already mentioned its support and organisation of the Kosovo Mathematical Olympiad. In fact Qëndrim Gashi, the Society's first President was also Chief Coordinator of the Kosovo Mathematical Olympiad in 2009-2012. To achieve its aims, the Society supports workshops, seminars and discussion groups. For example, it organises a weekly Mathematics Seminar at the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences of the University of Prishtina. It also encourages publications, purchases journals and books to support mathematicians in Kosovo, and also cooperates with different organisations outside Kosovo. For example, in 2012, the Society applied for corporate membership of the European Mathematical Society. The President of the Kosovar Mathematical Society addressed the Council of the European Mathematical Society making the case for membership and, after confirming that the Kosovar Mathematical Society was a non-governmental organisation, the Society was elected to membership of the European Mathematical Society in a secret ballot.

The second President of the Kosovar Mathematical Society was Qamil Haxhibeqiri who took over from Qëndrim Gashi in 2012. Qamil Haxhibeqiri was born in Gjakovë on 8 April 1949. He attended both elementary and secondary school in Gjakovë and began his university studies at the Higher Education Institution in Prishtina in 1967. This Higher Education Institution became the University of Prishtina in 1970. He graduated in 1971 and in that year began his postgraduate studies at the University of Zagreb. He was awarded a Master's Degree in 1974 and was appointed as an assistant at the University of Prishtina while continuing to undertake research for his doctorate at Zagreb advised by Sibe Mardesic. He was awarded the degree in 1981 for his thesis Shape fibrations for topological spaces. In it he studied the notion of a shape fibration between general topological spaces, as developed by Sibe Mardesic, giving two new characterisations of shape fibrations in terms of mappings between inverse systems. He was steadily promoted at Prishtina becoming a docent in 1982, an extraordinary professor in 1987 and a full professor in 1994. The Kosovo war broke out in March 1999 and, in May, Haxhibeqiri was arrested by the occupying Serbian forces. Sentenced to ten years in prison, he was held in various prisons until March 2001 when he, along with many others held by the Serbs, was released. At the University of Prishtina, Haxhibeqiri [3]:-

... lectured on topology, analytic geometry, linear algebra, metric spaces, etc. He has greatly impressed with the effectiveness of his teaching, his dedication to work, and his unmatched impartiality towards his colleagues. Students of all generations who have heard Haxhibeqiri lecture have a high opinion of his comprehensive engagement in teaching and the educational process. An important aspect of Haxhibeqiri's contribution to the scientific community has been his authorship of university textbooks (among which is the book "Topology" published in 1989).
Haxhibeqiri was a member of the Board of the Kosovar Mathematical Society from its foundation in 2008 and in 2012 he became its second President.

Finally we should mention the journal Bulletin of Mathematical Analysis and Applications which is published jointly by the Kosovar Mathematical Society and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Prishtina. It began publication in 2009. It publishes original papers in English, with a focus on functional analysis, abstract methods of mathematical analysis, and applied mathematical analysis. It is published twice per year.

In 2017, the Kosovar Mathematical Society elected a new President, Muhib Lohaj, Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University "Hasan Prishtina" in Prishtina.

List of References (3 books/articles)

Alphabetical list of Societies Chronological list of Societies
Main MacTutor index Biographies Index

JOC/EFR February 2018 School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland
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