The history of the FACULTY OF MATHEMATICS AND INFORMATICS dates back to the autumn of 1961 when the Higher Teacher Training Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences was founded in Plovdiv to offer programs in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. During the first ten years, the Mathematics program witnessed sustainable development and in 1970 it grew into a self-contained university faculty. It was then that two faculties were set up at the Institute: Faculty of Mathematics and Faculty of Natural Science (providing programs in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology). Two years later, the Institute was to become the *Paisii Hilendarski* University of Plovdiv, and in 1990 the Faculty of Mathematics was conferred the name of Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (FMI).

The full-time mathematics lecturers who welcomed the first students of Mathematics were not many: Assoc. Prof. Yordan Duychev - the first FMI lecturer to have an academic rank, Prof. Georgi Paskalev (then Senior Asst. Prof.) and Assoc. Prof. Trifon Nakov (then Asst. Prof.). They lectured and led seminars in numerous and varied subjects. It was Prof. Paksalev who made a special contribution to the development of Mathematics at University of Plovdiv and the professional development of a number of young lecturers. It was then that a number of assistant professors were recruited: Todor Zhelyazkov (who later became the first lecturer to receive an academic rank at the Faculty, the first Doctor of Science and the first Full Professor at the Faculty), Georgi Markov, Stoil Mihovski, Yordan Zhechev, Iliya Iliev, Stefan Genchev, and Atanas Geshev.

Due to understaffing, some of the best students held seminars as demonstrators. Thus a tradition was born that is still alive today: the very best students are invited to teach seminars.

The contribution by experts from Sofia and from abroad is undisputed and highly appreciated. Sofia University and the Institute of Mathematics at the Bulgarian Academy of Science seconded in Plovdiv as part-time lecturers a number of their elite lecturers. Other universities from Sofia followed suit. The liaisons still exist and it is hardly possible to list the names of all lecturers from Sofia who have taught at our Faculty during all these years. During the first years, outstanding mathematicians from the Soviet Union and Hungary were invited, too.

Degree programmes