Person: Cofman, Judita
Judita Cofman was the first person to be awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Novi Sad. She worked on finite geometry and mathematical education. The second half of her career was as a school teacher in London.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Her name in the official register of births is Judit Zoffmann, but she always used the Serbian form of Judita Cofman.
- There were no Hungarian secondary schools in Vrsac so Cofman attended a Serbian High School.
- In this first year there were 66 students studying mathematics in the Faculty of Philosophy at Novi Sad, one of them being Cofman.
- As Cofman progressed at Novi Sad, the younger students came to rely on her help since their professors were living and teaching in Belgrade and only travelled to Novi Sad to carry out their teaching duties there.
- The only person who was able to answer at any moment a variety of questions by curious students was Judita Cofman.
- There she taught Cofman who excelled in her studies and graduated with an outstanding degree in 1958.
- Following her graduation, Cofman taught at Zrenjanin High School.
- Cofman taught there for two years before returning to the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad in 1960 when she was appointed as an assistant to Mileva Prvanovic.
- Cofman, advised by Prvanovic, was studying for a Ph.D. in finite geometries.
- He had returned to La Sapienza in Rome in 1960 and he advised Cofman on her research into finite non-desarguesian planes.
- Cofman returned to Novi Sad in 1963 and submitted her Ph.D. thesis entitled Finite non-desarguesian planes generated by quadrangles.
- Following the award of her Ph.D., Cofman spent the year 1964-65 at the University of Frankfurt am Main financed by an Alexander von Humboldt scholarship.
- During these years that Cofman worked at Imperial College, London, she returned to Novi Sad every Christmas and delivered lectures at the university.
- Cofman spent 1970 as a visiting professor funded by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche at the University of Perugia in Italy.
- Cofman gave the lecture On automorphism groups of finite geometries and it was published in the Proceedings of the conference which was published in 1971 by the Istituto di Matematica, Università degli Studi di Perugia.
- At this stage in her career, Cofman made a major change of direction when she became a school teacher and her research interests moved from finite geometries to mathematical education.
- In 1993 Cofman left high school teaching and returned to universities when she was appointed as professor of didactics of mathematics at the University of Erlangen, Nürnberg.
- In the last decade of her professional career, Judita Cofman published three books for young mathematicians, where she presented various mathematical problems and tasks, experiences in their solving, as well as an outstanding methodical approach to solving non-standard mathematical problems.
Born 4 June 1936, Vrsac, Vojvodina, Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Died 19 December 2001, Debrecen, Hungary.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Serbia, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive