SKETCH, version of January 19, 2016.

A more complete, illustrated version, is written for the moment in Romanian – please allow your browser to translate in English.

The story of the Institute starts with the coming of Tiberiu Popoviciu to the University from Cluj-Napoca (the later “Babes-Bolyai” University), in 1946, when he was appointed as Professor of Number Theory.

In the following year, the mathematicians gathered around him formed the “Seminar on Numerical Analysis” (see here an old document which contains this statement).

As a result of the numerous and promising results of this Seminar, in 1951, the Romanian Academy founded the Mathematical Section of the Cluj-Napoca Branch of the Romanian Academy, formed by the members of this Seminar; the Section was located in the building from no. 37, Republicii St.

Due to the profound results obtained here (see the original list of the results obtained by the collaborators of the Section, between 1951-1957), the Romanian Academy transformed the Section into the “Institutul de Calcul” (an approximate translation would be Institute of Computing, i.e., numerical and electronic computing).

Apart of mathematical research, the Institute made intensive and cutting edge explorations in electronics. Three computers were built here from scratch:

  • in 1959, the relay computer, called MARICA (“Masina Automata cu Relee a Institutului de Calcul al Academiei”), which was an experimental computer;
  • between 1959-1963, the electronic computer DACICC-1 (“Dispozitiv Automat de Calcul al Institutului de Calcul Cluj”), which was the first computer in Romania containing transistors, the first containing ferrites for the internal memory (RAM), and the first one with a mathematical library (for sine, log, exp, etc);
  • between 1963-1968, the electronic computer DACICC-200 (“Dispozitiv Automat de Calcul al Institutului de Calcul Cluj”), which was the computer with the most advanced characteristics in Romania before seventies. It was the first computer in Romania having an Operating System and a compiler, and it allowed 200,000 arithmetical operations per second (this characteristic was added to its name). It is interesting to note that the communist regime decided not to made further original computers in our country, but to buy the license from France, and started to made the Felix computers; the first generation of these computer is known that performed a few hundred thousand arithmetical operations per seconds, so comparable to  DACICC-200.

Also, the Institute became one of the leaders in electronics in Romania obtaining here:

  • patents (e.g., regarding integrated circuits by diffusion)
  • ionic implanted chips, obtained with the first ionic implantation device from Romania
  • numerous contracts with other leaders in electronics (IPRS Baneasa, Bucharest, …)

The expertise in Numerical Analysis gained here lead to numerous contracts with the industry and agriculture from our country,  bringing consistent benefits (up to ten $million).

Most of the main technical institutes of Romania benefited of the training on computer programming organized by the Institute (a partial list is here).

Numerous highschools across the Romania sent pupils to see the computers made at the Institute and to learn Computer Science.

Due to international connections with different authors, the Institute had an updated library, containing numerous books and journals. The students and mathematicians from this benefited of this facility (see here a list of approvals for loaning books).

… (to be completed)

Institute history

Version obtained by automated translation

Corrected version to be posted soon

The history of computer science in Romania begins in the ’50s, with the construction of electronic computers in three centers: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara. Until the advent of electronic integrated circuits (which allowed the automated construction of computers in series in the late 1960s), the first models were unique, built on the basis of design and individual realization.

The CIFA-1 computer with electronic tubes was built in Bucharest in 1957.
In Cluj-Napoca , the experimental computer MARICA was built in 1959 at ICTP, with electromagnetic relays.
In 1961, the MECIPT-1 computer was built in Timișoara, with electronic tubes.

The following computers were built at the Computer Institute, the most performing at that time:
– DACICC-1 (1963), the first computer in Romania with transistors  and RAM  memory (made of ferrite);
– DACICC-200 (1968), the first computer in Romania with operating system and compiler , which was “the most powerful computer designed and created by Romanians.”

Author: Emil  Cătinaş
Version: November 30, 2018.

© Emil Cătinaş, “Tiberiu Popoviciu” Computing Institute

The above article is for your personal information only.
If you want an agreement for its republishing (either in whole or in part or in pictures), please send us an email at ecatinas [at] ictp.acad.ro
For reference / citation please use the format:
E. Cătinaş, History of Tiberiu Popoviciu Institute of Numerical Analysis: founding the Numerical Analysis in Romania, contributions to the founding of informatics in Romaniahttp://ictp.acad.ro/ro/istoric , accessed on [fill in]

Note :

  • the information presented is not in a final form, it is being developed;
  • the order (and importance) of some computer builders as well as their contributions may change / specify, as new elements appear in the documentation process on this subject.

History of the first computers in Romania with transistors, RAM, operating system, compiler. The foundation at ICTP of Numerical Analysis and of Informatics in Romania

The scientist Tiberiu Popoviciu:
– “is one of the greatest Romanian mathematicians”,
– “laid the foundations of numerical analysis in Romania”
– is one of the pioneers of Romanian computer science  (visionary scientist, under his leadership was built the first Romanian computer with transistors and with RAM ( DACICC-1 , 1963), and then the first computer in Romania with operating system and compiler ( DACICC-200 , 1968) – this was the most powerful computer designed and created by Romanians.

– created the bases of informatics (soft + hard) in Cluj-Napoca. In addition to training specialists in software and hardware (from scratch, at work), Popoviciu had decisive contributions to the founding of computer education: the founding of the Department of Computing Machines (computer science) at the Faculty of Mathematics (1962), the first course for students for the representation of real numbers in the computer, the establishment in Cluj-Napoca of the first computer science high school (1971, simultaneously with those in Bucharest, Iaşi and Timişoara).

The history of the “Tiberiu Popoviciu” Institute of Numerical Analysis is closely related to the mathematician whose name he bears.

Any history of computer science in Cluj-Napoca or Romania (either software or hardware) cannot begin without the achievements of the Computer Institute of academician Tiberiu Popoviciu .

The scientist Tiberiu Popoviciu was, in the opinion of the certified mathematicians, ” one of the greatest Romanian mathematicians “, [1]   ” without a doubt […] the first great mathematician given by Transylvania after Janos Bolyai ” [1] ; was one of the founders of computer science in Romania (certainly the founder of the IT industry in Cluj-Napoca) [2]   and was the one who ” laid the foundations of Numerical Analysis in the country ” [3] , his collaborators at the Institute, at the University Babeş-Bolyai and from the Technical University   forming Cluj School of Numerical Analysis and Approximation Theory , known abroad.

” Tiberiu Popoviciu remains in our mathematics [in the country] among the great analyst forces, as well as the mathematician who paved the way for large-scale numerical analysis research. „ [3 ′]

[1] C. Iacob, Academician Professor Tiberiu Popoviciu (1906-1975) . Gas. Mat., 80 (1975) no. 12, 451-453.

[2] V. Rus, Cluj Informatics Foundation . Cluj-Napoca, Blue Publishing House, 1997.

[3] M. Nicolescu, etc., Mathematical activity of professor Tiberiu Popoviciu – on the 50th anniversary of his birthday , Stud. Circle. Mat. (Cluj), 8 (1957) nos. 1-2, pp. 7-19.

[3 ′]  G. Şt. Andonie, Istoria matematicii în România , Ed. Ştiinţifică, Bucureşti, 1966, p. 184.

W. Breckner, Professor Tiberiu Popoviciu , http://www.cs.ubbcluj.ro/profesor-tiberiu-popoviciu/

1946: Tiberiu Popoviciu arrives in Cluj

In 1946, Tiberiu Popoviciu was appointed professor at the University of Cluj. Here he would spend the rest of his life, for almost thirty years.

1947: Seminar of Numerical Calculus and Approximation Theory

Having a large creative force, thorough knowledge in vast fields (it was estimated that he was aware of all the important results of mathematical analysis obtained up to von Mises ), Popoviciu soon managed to coagulate around him a strong team, forming in 1947 Seminar on Numerical Computing and Approximation Theory . The results of this team are remarkable, which convinces the Romanian Academy of the need to encourage and develop it.

In fact, in 1948, at only 42 years old , T. Popoviciu was elected a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy .

1951: Mathematics Section of the Cluj Branch of the Romanian Academy – the forerunner of the Institute

In July 1951, under the leadership of Tiberiu Popoviciu , the Mathematics Section of the Cluj Branch of the Romanian Academy was established, with its headquarters on Republicii Street at no. 37, and comprising a total of 9 famous mathematicians of Cluj: acad. Gheorghe Călugăreanu , prof. Dr. Doc. Dumitru V. Ionescu , acad. Theodor Angheluţă , acad. Dimitrie D. Stancu (right from the graduation of the faculty), prof. Dr.  Francisc Radó , prof. Dr.  Lascu Bal , prof. Dr. Doc. Elena Popoviciu and Dr. Dumitru Ripeanu .

As noted in the documents of the time, this Section “had, through its collaborators, a pioneering role in promoting a modern branch of mathematics, and in linking theoretical research to practice. It is on the one hand, the birth of the School of Numerical Analysis and Theory of Approximation , in Cluj, and on the other hand the first collaboration contracts concluded by Cluj mathematicians with productive enterprises (1953) ”. (see attached document)

The section had 9 members in 1952, and was structured in three groups, led by acad. Gh. Călugăreanu , prof. DV Ionescu and acad. Th. Little angel . From the beginning, in the first year, in addition to fundamental research in the field of numerical analysis and approximation theory, practical applications of mathematics in economic enterprises were targeted, even if the first contract was signed two years after the establishment of the department.

The first team considered the study of graphic methods of calculation and nomography, in order to solve the problem of gear correction, posed by the Institute of Machine Designs in Cluj (IPROM). The second team studied a problem of heat propagation, also posed by IPROM, and the third team was tasked with preparing a monograph on the numerical solution of linear systems. [14]

In 1953, the department had 4 research topics:  [15]

  1. Study of graphical calculation methods and nomography (responsible Lascu Bal );
  2. Study of heat propagation problems, in view of practical applications (responsible Dumitru Ripeanu );
  3. Numerical solving of systems of linear equations (responsible for Theodor Angheluţă );
  4. The study of the rest in the approximation formulas of the analysis (responsible Tiberiu Popoviciu ).

The first research topic was concluded in 1952 with an economic enterprise, The elaboration of a nomogram for the rapid appreciation of the stage of production in the manufacture of footwear  (with the Leather and Footwear Factory Cluj, 1952) and then the first contracts:

  • Elaboration of a useful table for the calculation of gears with gears (with the Institute of Machine Designs Cluj – IPROM Cluj, 1953)
  • Study on the thermal and voltage field in the walls of boiling tubes in modern steam boilers, with forced passage  (Institute of Machine Designs Cluj – IPROM Cluj, 1953).

[Problems studied by the teams of the Computer Institute from Cluj, at the request of some enterprises or research institutes from the country].

The Mathematics Department developed from one year to another, including other prominent members: prof. Dr. Doc. Ioan Muntean , Prof. Dr. Doc. Ioan Maruşciac , prof. Dr. Eugen Gergely , et al.

The members of the Section obtained remarkable results from the beginning, as it is recorded in a weather report. [16]

After 6 years, all the conditions were met for a new step in the development of the Section.

[14] E. Moldovan, Chronicle from the activity of the research institutes and teams of the Cluj Branch of the RPR Academy , Stud. Circle. St., 4 (1953) nos. 1-2, pp. 431-432.

[15] E. Moldovan, Chronicle from the activity of research institutes and teams of the Cluj Branch of the RPR Academy , Stud. Circle. St., 5 (1954) nos. 1-2, pp. 473-474.

[16] Papers of the Department of Mathematics and the Institute of Computing published between 1951-1965.

1957: Institute of Computing.
Vision: theory, practice and technique of calculation

In April 1957, the Mathematics Department was transformed into the Institute of Computing, in the same headquarters on Republicii Street no. 37. The institute was structured in 4 sections:

  1. Theoretical Research,
  2. Numerical and Graphic Computing Laboratory,
  3. Computing Machines,
  4. Applied Mechanics.

The name of the Institute was not chosen at random. Popoviciu was a visionary scientist and had in mind the increasingly vigorous development of numerical analysis in the body of classical mathematics. From here to modeling and numerical applications to concrete problems was only a step. The first electronic computers had just been built in the world in just a few countries. His ambition was from the beginning to include the theory of calculation (numerical), practice (through contracts with economic enterprises) and the construction of technical devices of calculation ( techniquecalculation). The last one aimed at the effective construction of some electronic computers, from scratch (with rudimentary materials and with a project drawn up at the Institute). To this end, he employed talented engineers and physicists at the Institute.

As the engineer Gheorghe Farkas , one of the “veterans” of the Institute (employed here from 1958 to 1968), recently confessed  , by entering an unknown territory, Popoviciu risked his future, leaving himself in the hands of talented young people, but without special experience, and which made them innovate. But it was worth it, because it succeeded.

1958: the first National Symposium of Cybernetics in Romania, organized at the Institute of Computing

Following the installation of communism in Romania, after the Second World War, cybernetics was considered a reactionary science 

” Cybernetics : the reactionary pseudoscience   invented by the international bourgeoisie to divert the attention of the proletariat from the class struggle.”

It is Popoviciu ‘s indisputable merit to have organized the first National Cybernetics Symposium in Cluj, at the Institute of Computing, in 1958. We appreciate that this was probably also possible due to the fact that the Soviet Union had produced its first computers for several years. electronic, and so the mentality about this discipline had changed.

1959: MARICA electromechanical computer

In 1959 a first computer was built, MARICA ( Automatic Relay Machine of the Computer Institute of the Academy ); it was just an experimental computer, being built under the coordination of mat. Manfred Rosman, by Iolanda Juhasz (Barabas), Gheorghe Farkas and Bruno Azzolla , based on electromagnetic relays for telephone exchanges.

1963: DACICC-1 electronic computer

The second computer, called DACICC-1 ( Automatic Computing Device of the Cluj Computing Institute ), built between 1959-1963 under the initial coordination of mat. Manfred Rosman and then Eng. Gheorghe Farkas , was a great success.

The team consisted of engineers Bruno Azzola , Mircea Bocu  and Iolanda Juhasz; technicians: Ecaterina (Catiţa) Oprean, Robert Kaiser, Arnold Balasz (to be completed).

The mathematician Liviu Negrescu has realized for this computer a library of mathematical functions (sin, cos, square root, etc.).

Through DACICC-1 , Romania was the 11th country in the world to manufacture an  electronic computer with transistors , as can be calculated in [17]  on pages 2-3.
At the same time, DACICC-1 was the first computer with transistors in Romania , the first with internal memory and ferrite registers .

It was the third electronic computer built in the country, but with advanced features (it performed 2000 assemblies per second). The first two ( CIFA-1 , the Computer of the Institute of Atomic Physics and MECIPT-1 , the Electronic Computing Machine of the Polytechnic Institute of Timisoara ) were with electronic tubes.

DACICC-1 was built using electronic tubes, transistors (for the logic part) and ferrites (for memory and some parts of the logic). It was a computer with an address (battery type machine), serial arithmetic-logic device, binary data represented in a fixed point. It represented the transition from the first to the second generation of computers.

Its characteristics were superior to the local computers of that time due to the internal memory made with ferrite rings, offering the advantages of random access compared to memories with magnetic drum, with sequential access.

DACICC-1 was an original product of the Institute of Computing, with its help being solved many practical problems for more than a decade (over 100 contracts – see the report in note [18] below).

[17] M. Drăgănescu, Realization of computers and computer networks in Romania (1953-1985) , Academica, 2001, November-December, pp. 43-45.

DACCIC-1 digital electronic computer (features)

1968: DACICC-200 electronic computer

The construction of electronic computers at the Institute did not stop here. The characteristics of DACICC-1 and the capacity of the members of the Institute became known throughout the country (in 1963 Popoviciu was also elected a full member of the Romanian Academy). A few years after the construction of DACICC-1 , the Central Institute for Agricultural Research commissioned the construction of a new computer. It was designed in 1966 and then made in 2 years of intense work, but successful. The DACICC-200 was the most powerful Romanian computer until the early 1970s : it could perform 200,000 arithmetic operations per second and was the first Romanian computer with an operating system and compiler, as well as other advanced features.

It was designed and made

  • for the hardware part:
    creation / overall concept / coordination : eng.  Mircea Bocu  and eng.  Gheorghe Farkas  (equally, in alphabetical order)
    team:
    eng. Bruno Azzola  (notable contributions, regarding the design of the hard core – “motherboard” ),
    Daniel Beloiu ,
    Iolanda Juhasz
    all in the creation / concept chapter different components
    and Mircea Pătru
    helped by the young graduates  Tudor Mureșan , Mihail Mușteanu , Dan Cigmăian , Petre Soreanu;
    technicians :
    Victor Mocanu, Levente Barthalis,? Barthalis, Ecaterina Oprean, Zoltan Pickety, Vasile Fülöp (to be completed)
    and
  • for the software part:
    major contributions
    Liviu Negrescu  (compiler),
    Werner Schuster (redesign / elaboration of operating system, design / elaboration of assembler),
    mat. Emil Muntean  (coordination)
    notable contributions
    Teodor Rus  (operating system design),
    Hannes Stein ,
    contributions:  Stela Laslău-Popescu, Ştefan Nițchi and Mircu Mitrov.

It was a second generation computer (being completely transistorized), but with some features specific to third generation computers – and more “revolutionary” for Romania in the ’60s: hard wired floating arithmetic (floating point numbers represented by 48 bits) , modular memory, with simultaneities such as overlap (overlapping over time the preparation of an instruction with the execution of the previous one) and functional simultaneity of memory blocks (found today especially in multiprocessor parallel computers), peripherals and [registers]. We note the attention paid both to the accuracy of the representation of real numbers in floating arithmetic (48 bits – IEEE 754 standard today it has 32 bits for ‘single precision’ and 64 bits for ‘double precision’), as well as the speed of execution of instructions (by hard cabling) – these details are essential even today for specialists in numerical analysis.

Some of its features were even comparable to those of the first licensed computers (floating point numbers represented by 48 bits, compared to 32 bits in IRIS). It is interesting to note that Felix C-256, the computer that was built after the purchase of the IRIS50 license from the French, performed, according to V. Baltac, ” several hundred thousand operations per second “; moreover, the Felix-M series of computers , manufactured between 1975-1981, performed, cf. Wikipedia, 250,000 op./sec.).

It was the most efficient computer built in the country during the ’50s and’ 60s, with a Romanian project and almost entirely local materials. Its final cost was 3,482,000 lei (the equivalent of $ 580,000, compared to the 1964 BNR exchange rate ).

In recognition of the achievements of the Institute team in this regard, Mircea Bocu , Gheorghe Farkas and Emil Muntean (along with several other pioneers of Romanian informatics in the country) were rewarded in 2003 by the Romanian presidency with the National Order of Faithful Service in rank of Knight .

1967/1968, 1969: ITC Cluj and CTCE Cluj are established from groups of the Institute

In 1967/68, the Institute for Computing Technology (ITC, initially called ICPUEC – Institute for Research and Design for Electronic Computing Equipment ) was established in Cluj , by transferring almost entirely from the Institute of the Computing Machines Section. A few other members of the Institute are transferred to form  the Cluj Electronic Computing Territorial Center – CTCE (established on February 1, 1969). Both institutions had as directors mathematicians / computer scientists trained at the Institute: Dr. Emil Muntean , respectively Dr. Vasile Peteanu .

The members of the Institute and their collaborators from the Faculty of Mathematics are trained as computer users, and teach the first computer science courses at the Faculty of Mathematics.

Some engineers trained at the Institute transfer to the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, and teach the first hardware courses.

The Computing Institute, through these computers and through the trained specialists, can therefore be considered as the cradle of Cluj informatics , as well as an important milestone in the history of Romanian and world informatics.

The first ion implanter in Romania

The institute is composed of the ion implantation team, with two brand engineers: Bruno Azzola (collective chief 1957-1974) and Radu Morar (collective chief 1974-1975). The rest of the team consists of eng. Tiberiu Kacsur, phys. Béla Bossányi , tehn. pr. Arnold  Balázs , tehn. pr. Zoltán  Tobiás , tehn. Florica  Sabău . and electr. Vasile  Fülöp .

Does this team build in 197? the first ion implanter in the country. Although the features are incipient (operating in the electrostatic field), this device will allow the study, design and construction of integrated circuits, Schottky power diodes and varicap diodes.

At the same time, the team built in 1975 an electron beam cannon with electrostatic deflection for vacuum evaporation.

As shown in the materials below, these devices will allow the realization of important contracts with IPRS Băneasa at the Institute.

Both the equipment and the devices will be taken over in 1975 by the Institute for Computing Technology , where the implant will be improved in 1976 (for electromagnetic field) becoming at that time comparable to those built internationally.

Design and construction of integrated circuits

Even if after 1968 the Institute did not build computers, brand specialists in electronics remained here, such as eng. Bruno Azzola and eng. Radu Morar . They have obtained exceptional results in the field, the first of them patenting three processes for electronic integrated circuits, by diffusion:

  • patent Procedure for obtaining integrated circuits by diffusion,  no. 55158/1969, file OSIM 61349,
  • patent Process and apparatus for obtaining electronic microcircuits by selective ion deposition , no. [], OSIM file no. 51432/1966 – [ref 1973 Report on the use of ion implantation] and
  • patent Procedure for obtaining integrated circuits by diffusion from polycrystalline structures doped by ion implantation , file OSIM 51193 / 24.10.1969 – [ref. 1971 research contract with IPRS].

The ion implantation device allowed the realization of important contracts with IPRS Băneasa and with the Institute of Atomic Physics Bucharest for:

  • improving the characteristics of Varicap diodes by ion implantation (more precisely, the application of ion implantation to the realization of Schottky power diodes );
  • the realization (by redesigning the ion implantation installation) of an evaporator by electronic bombardment with magnetic deflection, which served as a prototype for the realization of the production equipment at IPRS Băneasa.

According to a 1972 paper, the Institute had reached a world-class level of research in this field.
Informative note (ion implantation) 04.10.1972

Over 100 contracts with economic agents

By applying the theory to practical problems, numerous contracts have been concluded with economic enterprises. [18, annex] We mention the most important ones, as they appear in the Institute’s reports:

  • Calculation of arrows of active and protective conductors for the 110 Kv Suplac-Zalău overhead line;
  • Calculation of checkers and tools for helical oil pumps (contract with Cugir Mechanical Plants);
  • Obtaining the profile cutting procedures for Cargo Pr. 450B (contract with Galati Shipyard);
  • Preparation of the optimal transport plan for carved stone and chippings;
  • Calculations necessary to compensate the triangulation of the city of Cluj-Napoca (contract with the People’s Council of the city of Cluj-Napoca);
  • Study of the application of linear programming to the distribution of agricultural production tasks by agricultural areas (planning of harvesting, transport, storage and processing of sugar beet production throughout the country; contract with the Central Institute for Agricultural Research, Bucharest);
  • Methodology for optimizing bus and trolleybus schedules in Cluj-Napoca;
  • Analytical calculation of phases in porcelain masses.

As it is estimated, the concluded contracts brought to the Romanian economy benefits of over 10 million lei in foreign currency.

The DACICC-1 computer has been used at full capacity for more than 10 years.

[18] T. Popoviciu,  Contributions of the Computing Institute from Cluj to the application of mathematics in economics , Ses. St. Acad. RSR 1969-1970, 1971, pp. 305-320 .

It turns out that Popoviciu’s vision of an Institute that would integrate the theory of calculation (numerical analysis) with the practice of  calculation (through contracts with economic agents) and with the technique  of building computing devices was one that was fulfilled.

Practice / exchange of experience with students / specialists from the Polytechnic Institutes of Bucharest, Timisoara, Iasi and Cluj

Computer specialists from the great Polytechnic Institutes in the country (Bucharest, Timişoara, Iaşi and Cluj) came to the Institute to exchange experience.

Training and educating the young generation for mathematics and -the new direction- informatics

“The institute was also closely interested in the introduction of [electronic] machine programming methods and various branches of computer science in secondary education. For this purpose, the Computing Institute has special circles with students from different high schools in Cluj. ”
1971, T. Popoviciu, Achievements and research directions at Inst. Calculus from Cluj , pp. 5-6.

Students from many schools and high schools in Transylvania and beyond, came to practice at the Institute to see how a computer works, and what problems it can solve.

Tiberiu Popoviciu also has the merit of being the promoter of the establishment of the first computer science high school in Transylvania (at the same time as the establishment of those in Bucharest, Iași and Timișoara) which will later bear his name: “Tiberiu Popoviciu” Computer Science High School. Popoviciu ‘s contribution is recorded in the history of this high school; also here is worth mentioning the contribution of Dr. Emil Muntean and Dr. Vasile Peteanu .

We do not end the section on computer science in high school without noticing the contributions of the specialists trained at the Institute and then at ITC, in the elaboration of some of the first computer science textbooks in the country:

  • E. Muntean , The language of COBOL. Handbook for high school students for automatic data processing , National Council for Science and Technology, Bucharest, 1972.
  • E. Muntean , L. Negrescu , A. Prodan , T. Vușcan, Introduction to Informatics , Council of Economic-Social Organization, Bucharest, 1973.

In addition to developing these textbooks, the authors taught in high school in the early years, until the training of other computer science teachers.

The first books in Romania in certain applied fields of mathematics

As mentioned, Tiberiu Popoviciu is the author of the first monograph in Romania in the field of numerical analysis and approximation theory (1937).

The first books in the country were prepared and published at the Institute in the fields: nomography, numerical squaring, numerical solving of systems of linear equations:

  • L. Bal and F. Rado , Nomography lessons , Technical Publishing House , Bucharest, 1956
  • DV Ionescu , Numerical squaring , Technical Publishing House, Bucharest, 1957
  • B. Janko , Numerical Solving Systems of Linear Equations , RSR Academy Publishing House, Bucharest, 1961

source:  L. Bal – Information on the activity of the Institute between 1956-1968 , p. 7

As can be easily seen, the books were written following one of the current basic rules of numerical analysis: methods and algorithms are illustrated by concrete numerical examples.

List (partial) of books published before 1990

Cluj School of Numerical Analysis and Approximation Theory

During this time, what was later called the Cluj School of Numerical Analysis and Theory of Approximation was formed at the Institute . These are mathematicians who have learned the art of developing algorithms for solving numerical mathematics problems. An illustration was made of this School, by considering the genealogical tree resulting from the “doctoral supervisor – doctor” relationship, as well as other mathematicians employed at the Institute or their collaborators from Cluj. More than 400 specialists resulted.

Organization of international conferences, with the participation of world personalities

The fame of the results obtained in Cluj has crossed the borders of the country. The obtained results were presented in 8 international conferences organized at the Institute, and in numerous national conferences (in 1958 the first cybernetics conference in Romania was organized at the Institute). It is noteworthy the participation of some dignitaries in the field at that time. From the country we mention Ciprian Foiaş , Grigore Moisil , Miron Nicolescu , Constantin Corduneanu , Adolf Haimovici , etc. From abroad we note the participation in international colloquia (organized in 1960, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1970, 1973): Paul Erdős , Isaac J. Schoenberg , Sergei M. Nikolskii(Deputy Director of the Steklov Institute in Moscow ), Jean Dieudonné ,  Alexander M. Ostrowski , et al.

Establishment of specialized magazines

Several specialized journals have been published at the Institute.

  • In 1950, two years after the establishment of the Cluj Branch of the Romanian Academy, it founded the journal Studies and Scientific Research , comprising articles from all fields of research. Since 1954 the mathematical articles appear in series and then in dedicated journals:  Mathematical, Physical, Chemical and Technical Sciences Series (in 1954-1955), the journal Studies and Research in Mathematics and Physics (in 1956), and since 1957, in the same year with the Institute, Mathematics Studies and Research is established (Cluj) , edited right at the Institute, under the leadership of T. Popoviciu. It will appear until 1963.

Despite Popoviciu’s numerous insistences on allowing the Institute to publish a journal (after 1963), this was only possible in almost ten years, when, in 1972, two magazines were set up, with quite similar names.

The magazines of the Institute allowed, through international exchanges, the enrichment of the Institute’s library, thus obtaining books and specialized periodicals of first importance. The library has served to train and enrich the knowledge of many specialists, scholars or established.

Awards obtained at the Institute

The members of the Institute had won awards in recognition of their meritorious work:

T. Popoviciu had received the distinction of “Scientist Emeritus”, as well as other distinctions and medals.

“All good things come to year end”
(all good things come to an end)

Unfortunately, despite his outstanding work and dedication, fate no longer smiled on the Institute. Following some current whims, the communist regime issued decree no. 36/1975 by which he abolished the mathematics institutes of the Romanian Academy (from Bucharest, Iaşi and Cluj).

In Cluj, some of the Institute’s employees were distributed to the Institute for Computing Technology , the Territorial Center of Electronic Computing Cluj ,  the [Electronic] Computing Center of Babeş-Bolyai University, to the Technical University, or to other units. Soon, the Institute was re-established under the name of the Institute of Mathematics , with a small staff of 6 people, being passed under the tutelage of the Ministry of Education, at the Faculty of Mathematics of Babeş-Bolyai University.

The shock was so great that both personalities who ran the institutes in Bucharest and Cluj died shortly after, in the same year: M. Nicolescu in June and T. Popoviciu in October (in Iaşi, M. Haimovici had died in 1973).

Instead of an epilogue:
Most great mathematicians leave behind a mathematics school.
Popoviciu also left the foundations of a new industry: “IT industry in Cluj”

Popoviciu created a mathematical school –  the Cluj School of Numerical Analysis and Approximation Theory  – and laid the foundations of Numerical Analysis in the country.

On the other hand, at the Institute of Computing, in the ’50s and’ 60s, the foundations of what is today called “the IT industry in Cluj” were laid. specialists were trained at the Institute both for teaching software or hardware (then educating generations of students at Babeş-Bolyai University or at the Technical University) and for the research / development part (then developing hardware or software products at the Institute). for Computing Technology or at the Territorial Computing Center Cluj ).

1975-1990: survival period with 6 people

Thus, in 1975, only 6 mathematicians remained at the Institute to carry on the tradition, despite the vicissitudes that appeared: I. Păvăloiu , C. Mustăţa , D. Ripeanu , A. Nemeth , I. Şerb , Şt. Cobzaş . In time, some of them transferred to the Faculty of Mathematics, others coming instead ( M. Anisiu , V. Miheşan, A. Diaconu – since 1979, C. Iancu , D. Brădeanu – since 1978).

Directors during this period were acad. Petru T. Mocanu  (1975-1976) and then Prof. Árpád Pál  (1976-1990).

1990: return to the Romanian Academy

In 1990, by GD no. 103 / 13.04.1990, the Institute of Computing returns to the Romanian Academy, and begins a period of development, having until 2008 the director Prof. Dr. Ion Păvăloiu , and after that Dr. Emil Cătinaş .

Emphasis is placed on the modern features of scientific research, eagerly promoted by young researchers:

  • starting with 1997, the Institute connects via modem to the internet, being used in the communication and documentation activity;
  • in 2001 the web page of the magazine Rev. is established Anal. Numbers. Theora. Approx . ;
  • since 2004 the Institute has its own website, on which it posts all the main information, especially the annual reports ( we believe that it is the first Institute of the Romanian Academy Cluj Branch that has set up its website, and among the first in the country ).

During this period, numerous research grants were obtained at the Institute . Among them we mention the CEEX grant 06-11-96, in the period 2006-2008, amounting to almost $ 500,000. It allowed the renewal of the material base of the Institute, through the purchase of furniture and computer technology (to mention desktop computers, laptops, as well as a server worth over 15,000 Euros).

This is a period marked primarily by a sharp fluctuation generated by young people who, after training at the Institute as researchers and obtaining a doctorate, opt for more attractive job offers ( after 1990, a total of 8 young people , ie half from the number of 16 positions at the Institute in the 1990s). The healthy climate of the Institute, maintained both by the management of the Institute and its members, and by the Romanian Academy, made many other young people choose to stay at the Institute.

The second shot

Unfortunately, relatively recently, in 2003, the Institute faced a situation almost similar to that of 1975, being evacuated by the “Babeş-Bolyai” University from the building in which it operated for more than half a century. Currently, the Institute operates in two apartments on the 5th floor of a block of flats located on the outskirts of Cluj-Napoca.

Recent research results

The recent efforts of the Institute’s management have focused on managing the visibility on the Internet of both the Institute’s achievements and the journal currently published here. The name of the journal was changed to the Journal of Numerical Analysis and Approximation Theory , its content was digitized and set on a high-performance electronic system ( OJS system ). The same was done with the other two older magazines.

Researchers have been required Google Scholar account creation, Orcid, Publons / ResearcherID, ResearchGate being posted on the personal complicated articles written.

The Institute’s website has been rewritten and improved, posting on a new system ( WordPress ). A process of analysis of the Institute’s archive was started, with the elaboration of the list of publications of T. Popoviciu and of all the members of the Institute (former or current). It created a family tree to represent the school of Cluj complicated numerical analysis and Approximation Theory , founded in the 50s and 60s around the staff of the Institute.

Important results were obtained in Numerical Analysis, being published articles or ” surveys ” in journals with high impact factor: Advances in Water Resources , Water Resources Research (journals that appeared in some years on the first position in the category “Water Research”) , Numerische Mathematik , Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics ,  Physical Review E ,  Journal of Computational Physics , Mathematics of Computation ; the maximum of the impact factors is 5.1 , with two main authors from the Institute, in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The articles published in these journals have obtained both quantitative and especially qualitative satisfactory citations, as they are cited by ISI Highly Cited -archives authors (RP Agarwal 2016, PN Brown 2013, HF Walker 2013).

The average number of articles published each year in the main stream of journals by the Institute’s researchers is similar to that of some important institutions in the country.

The institute currently has an important collaboration protocol with the Forschungszentrum Jülich , which gives it access to supercomputers in Germany. The numerical results of the programs drawn up in Cluj for different models are thus validated at the highest standards (simulations are made for Monte Carlo type methods with grids of order 10 7 ).

Recently, young researchers have been hired who, in addition to their talent in mathematics, have outstanding programming skills, and who have brought a new breath to the Institute.

Books published at the Institute

In the period after 1990, 21 specialized books were published.

We note three published books reputable Street complicated in single ity ( t n Springer resp. Birkhauser / Springer) and one Romanian Academy Press (1987):

Complete list of books published after 1990:

The Institute’s library has been enriched with prestigious journals (through interacademic exchanges) and valuable books (through their review in the journal published at the Institute).

After 1990 the Institute resumed the organization of numerous colloquia in which well-known mathematicians participated; It is worth noting the conference that marked 50 years for the celebration of 1957 (organized in 2008) attended by personalities from the country and abroad.

Researchers have participated in important conferences in the country and abroad (including as an invited speaker ).

In the internal evaluations made by the Romanian Academy, the Institute obtained grades of “very good”.

Researchers at the Institute are members of editorial boards of specialized journals in the country and abroad, including listed ISI Reuters Thomson.

The Institute also has members of international organizations ( SIAM , GAMM , etc.) or who are involved in the effort of referencing published articles ( Mathematical Reviews , ZentralBlatt fur Mathematik ), or reviewing manuscripts submitted to various journals.

And in the period after 1990, awards and distinctions were obtained:

  • M. Nechita (2020), Sir George Jessel studentship , UCL (London);
  • CD Alecsa (2019), Diploma of Excellence, from the Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca Branch;
  • M. Nechita (2018), Sir George Jessel studentship , UCL (London);
  • M. Nechita (2018), Andrew Rosen prize for applied mathematics , UCL (London);
  • I. Boros (2017), Diploma of Excellence, from the Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca Branch;
  • M. Crăciun (2016), Diploma of Excellence Gh. Bariţiu of the Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca Branch ;
  • E. Cătinaş (2015), Diploma in Cultural Distinction of the Romanian Academy ;
  • C. Vamoş (2010), Diploma of Excellence, from the Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca Branch;
  • I. Păvăloiu (2010), Diploma of excellence for outstanding results in mathematics , from the Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca Branch;
  • I. Păvăloiu (2009), The Distinction of Excellence from the North University of Baia-Mare;
  • BUT. Gheorghiu (1990), “Simion Stoilow” Award of the Romanian Academy .

© Emil Cătinaş, “Tiberiu Popoviciu” Computing Institute

The above article is for your personal information only. If you want an agreement for its republishing (either in whole or in part), please send us an email at ecatinas [at] ictp.acad.ro

A preliminary version of this article was published in the Cluj Academic Days 2014.

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