Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Mathematical institute of the Academy, the Faculty of Mathematics of the Belgrade University, the Departments of mathematics and informatics of Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac Universities, and Mathematical Society of Serbia announce that the year 2018 will be celebrated as the
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Serbian mathematical community celebrate this year the 150 anniversary of birth of academician Mihailo Petrović Alas (1868-1943), one of the greatest Serbian scientists and the founder of the Serbian mathematical school. Mihailo Petrović was a distinguished professor of mathematics at Belgrade University, but also a fisherman, inventor, writer, philosopher, musician, and World traveler. He was a student of famous French mathematicians Henri Poincaré, Charles Hermite and Charles Émile Picard. Petrović had significant contributions in differential equations, complex and numerical analysis, geometry of polynomials and mathematical phenomenology. He also invented some analog computing machines and was the main cryptographer of the Serbian and Yugoslav Army until the Second World War.
One of the greatest and the most important achievements of professor Petrović was his founding of the Serbian mathematical school. As the years passed, this school was responsible for producing a number of good mathematicians not only in Serbia, but all around the World, who continued his works. Until the Second World War, all of the doctoral dissertations in mathematics obtained in the University of Belgrade were produced under his supervision.
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and associated Serbian institutions in mathematics are preparing this year many events to mark this jubilee and highlight the most important results and details from interesting and certainly unconventio nal life of Mihailo Petrović: exhibitions in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac, the publication of books on his life and work and several scientific meetings. In modern society there is more public interest than ever in mathematics and in what it means to be a mathematician. So one additional goal of the organizers will be to use this festivity to explain not only to specialists but to the general public also, how mathematics in Serbia has evolved from the late XIX century when Petrović appeared on the mathematical scene till today and what are the most important achievements of Petrović's mathematical descendants.