The University of Rijeka is the fundamental educational and research institution in the western part of Croatia. Founded in 1973 following a long-standing tradition of higher education institutions and activities, the University of Rijeka has 16 constituents: an academy of applied arts, ten faculties and four university departments, with over 161 study programmes. University of Rijeka has 16 500 students, over 1700 employees and almost 1000 researchers. To ensure better working conditions and strong impetus for development, the new Campus has been built.
The University of Rijeka is the first university in Croatia to have signed “The European Charter for Researchers” and “The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”, thereby accepting the European Commission’s initiative aiming to increase employability and promote research careers as vital elements in the strategy of economy growth, employment, and setting up the European Research Area. In addition, the University of Rijeka was the first to sign the European Commission’s Charter for participation in the “Group for Human Resources Strategy Implementation”. By signing the above-mentioned charters, we have committed ourselves to implementing these documents at the University of Rijeka, which is one of the strategic goals set in the University of Rijeka strategies for 2007–2013 and 2014-2020.
The University of Rijeka was the first Croatian University to set a development strategy. It focuses on excellence, quality assurance, life-long learning, active collaboration with the local community & economy and active inclusion into the EHEA & ERA. Since 2019 UNIRI is the member of the E+ European Universities Initiative: Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE).
Currently, University of Rijeka participates in a significant number of researches, infrastructural and cooperative projects, mainly Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, European Regional and Development fund and European Social Fund projects.
The Department of Mathematics in Rijeka was founded in 1960 as a department on the Faculty of Educational Sciences (since 1998 the Faculty of Philosophy), which was to become in 1973 one of the four founding faculties of the University of Rijeka. The Department of Mathematics, as a separate institution and a modern university department, was established on April 1, 2008. It is situated in a new building on the University Campus with a lot of office, classroom and laboratory space, well equipped with computer and other equipment. There are 29 researchers, professors and assistants, constituting three research groups: the algebra and number theory group, discrete mathematics group, and mathematical analysis group.
The Department of Mathematics organizes and conducts studies in its field and participates in the organization and implementation of study programs at other scientific and teaching components of the University. In addition to activities in the field of science and teaching, the Department has been very active in popularization and educational activities and participates in projects and numerous events aimed at bringing science, especially mathematics, closer to citizens, children and youth. Although the primary activity of the Department is not working with youth and popularizing mathematics, the Department organizes and implements more than 50 different activities with the aim of popularizing and educating mathematics annually.
Vedrana Mikulić Crnković was born in 1979 in Rijeka, where she finished elementary school and high school. In 1998 she obtained a master’s degree in mathematics and informatics at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka, and in 2009 a PhD in mathematics at the University of Zagreb. She is an associate professor and head of the Division of Discrete Mathematics at the Department of Mathematics, University of Rijeka.
She has been teaching more then 20 courses at the Department of Mathematics, the Faculty of Teacher Education in Rijeka, Faculty of Civil Engineering in Rijeka and Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Education, University of Mostar and has led 24 final and graduate theses. She received two awards for special contribution to e-learning at the University of Rijeka in 2010 and 2011. In 2020, she received funding from the University of Rijeka for the development of online course (Compute-based Math) which is held as an elective course for students of the YUFE network.
Her scientific interest is in the field of combinatorics, discrete mathematics and coding theory. She has collaborated on several scientific projects, published 18 scientific papers and presented in 14 international scientific conferences. She is currently an associate on the project Combinatorial Objects and Codes funded by the Croatian Science Foundation, co-leader of the HR-SLO bilateral project Codes, their conservators and related incidence structures and project leader of the Permutation Group as designs, geometric designs and finite geometry funded by the University in Rijeka and a mentor to two doctoral students. In 2009 she received the award of the Foundation of the University of Rijeka for the field of technical and natural sciences in the category of research novices / assistants in the academic year 2008/2009.
In addition to scientific and teaching activity, she is very active in science promotion. She is the author of numerous popular lectures and workshops (more than 35 different activities), organized numerous popularization activities (Science Festival 2013-2020, Mathematics Evenings 2014-2020, Exhibition Imaginary – Magical Mathematics in Rijeka 2016,…), led several projects aimed at popularizing science, mathematics and mathematical studies (Imaginary – magical mathematics 2016, Imaginary – magical mathematical projections 2018, MathEscape – virtual mathematical escape room 2019, Mathematical Circus 2020 …) and has actively participated in many activities and projects aimed at popularizing science (Mini Makers Fair Trieste, Science Picnic, May Month of Mathematics in Belgrade, European Researchers’ Night Rijeka, International Day of Mathematics, project Imaginary instituta Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, Rijeka – EPK2020, ESOF2020 Science in the City Festival). In 2020, she received the The Elsevier Mathematical Sciences Sponsorship Fund 2020 award for the design and implementation of popularization and educational activities.
She is also active in professional work and has held several professional lectures for teachers, published 6 professional papers, organized several professional conferences (Rijeka Mathematical Meetings), exhibited at several professional conferences and participated in EU projects (ESF project STEMp 2015-2016, ESF project OPTILIFE 2018-2021, Horizon 2020 project YUFERING). She is the leader of the Erasmus + project (Key Activity 2 – Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practice): InAMath – Interdisciplinary Approach to Mathematical Education.
Bojan Crnković is employed as an associate professor at the Department of Mathematics, University of Rijeka. He is the author of 17 scientific articles in the field of applied mathematics. He has presented at numerous scientific conferences and participated in several scientific and professional projects. In addition to scientific work, he has almost 20 years of experience in designing and conducting classes for students of teacher education, but also for students of technical studies in courses dealing with the application of mathematics. He is the author of numerous lectures and workshops aimed at popularisation of mathematics and has participated in the design and organisation of a number of popularization projects and activities.
Ivona Traunkar has been a teaching assistant in the Department of Mathematics University of Rijeka since 2013. The area of her scientific research is discrete mathematics. She has published one scientific paper and presented at 3 scientific conferences. She is the author of numerous popular lectures and workshops aimed at science promotion and has participated in the design and organisation of a number of popularizations activities and projects.