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History of faculty

5minút, 22sekúnd

The tradition of university education in Košice began in 1657 with the founding of the university “Academia Cassoviensis” by Bishop Benedikt Kisdy. The Golden Bull, granted on August 6, 1660 by the Roman Emperor Leopold I, ensured the university similar privileges as universities in Vienna, Prague and other European cities. The university in its changed form, first as the Royal Academy, later as the Law Academy, lasted until 1921. In its modern form, the University of Košice was founded in 1959 as the second university in Slovakia. It meant an important contribution to the development of educational and scientific research activities in Košice. The university was named after the scientist, poet, linguist, ethnographer and archaeologist Pavol Jozef Šafárik (1795 – 1861). At the time of its establishment, it comprised the Faculty of Medicine and Philosophy. Gradually, other faculties were established in Košice and Prešov: Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Pedagogy, Greek Catholic Theological Faculty and Orthodox Theological Faculty. P.J. Šafárik University was divided into two universities on January 1, 1997: P.J. Šafárik University in Košice and Prešov University in Prešov. Today, UPJŠ in Košice comprises 5 faculties: Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Public Administration and Faculty of Arts.

The Faculty of Science was officially founded on February 8, 1963 by a governmental resolution no. 17/1963. The education started with 54 students already in September 1962, when the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Comenius University, with the approval of the superior authorities, relocated part of its first year students to Košice. They were enrolled in the programme of teaching combination: mathematics-physics, physics-chemistry, and biology-chemistry. The faculty’s first dean, Professor Vladimír Hajko, was particularly contributed to the founding of the faculty. He built a solid organizational foundation of the faculty and outlined the main directions for its further development, which are still relevant today. Existing higher education institutions participated significantly in the establishment of the faculty, primarily the Technical University in Košice and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of P. J. Šafárik in Košice. Their welcoming approach, the help of the Ministry of Education and the extraordinary efforts of the first dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Vladimír Hajko, made it possible to build first four departments at the newly established faculty – biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

prof. Vladimír Hajko – the first dean of the Faculty of Science

(October 3, 1920 – July 24, 2011)

Thanks to his managerial talent, an interesting model of the creation of the faculty began to be implemented. The management of VŠT agreed to the temporary transfer of its Department of Physics to the newly established Faculty of Natural Sciences of UPJŠ. Until September 1, 1967, this department provided teaching not only at PF UPJŠ but also at all faculties of VŠT. During that time, the building of physics workplaces under the leadership of prof. Hajka and Prof. Szaba so vigorously that on 1 September 1967 it was possible to return part of the department to VŠT again, while 3 new departments were created at PF (Department of Nuclear Physics – Prof. Dubinský, Department of Theoretical Physics and Geophysics – Prof. Kolbenheyer, Department of Experimental Physics – Prof. Hajko ). During the following years, the Department of Physics Didactics was built within the Department of Experimental Physics, and the Department of Biophysics was established within the Department of Nuclear Physics.

A similar model was also adopted in the development of biology, when the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Arts of UPJŠ jointly provided the teaching of biological subjects at both faculties of UPJŠ from 1 September 1963 under the leadership of prof. Praslička, who also managed to build biological workplaces in the course of 5 years, so that already in In 1968, other independent departments could be created, in addition to the premises at Moyzesová 11, new premises were acquired for the Department of Botany and Genetics and the Department of Ecological and Systematic Zoology at Mánesová 23. The research orientation of biology was influenced by cooperation with the Biological Institute of the Slovak Republic, thanks to which the specialized radiobiological laboratory PF was created , which was successfully built by the Ahlers at the Department of Animal and Human Physiology.

The construction of chemistry departments would be difficult to implement without the support of the Faculty of Metallurgy TU in KE under the leadership of prof. Matherny and KCH LF UPJŠ under the leadership of MUDr. Barna. In the difficult beginnings, both departments provided the necessary personnel, material and spatial assistance to the nascent Department of Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which already in In 1965, personnel were prepared for the creation of the Department of Organic Chemistry and the Department of Inorganic Chemistry. Thanks to its personalities, the development of chemistry progressed dynamically even in the following decades of the last century. In addition to the Department of Physical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry, the Department of Biochemistry, founded by prof. Podhradsky.

Also the Department of Mathematics PF since September 1963 under the leadership of prof. Palaja relied mainly on the help of KM VŠT teachers in KE and external teachers from other universities in the former Czechoslovakia (UJEP in Brno, UK Bratislava, VŠD in Žilina, …). The arrival of Prof. Jucovič from PdF UPJŠ in 1970 allowed for creating two mathematics departments, as a basis for the standard structure of mathematics workplaces consisting mainly of the Department of Mathematical Analysis and the Department of Geometry and Algebra. From the bosom of mathematics workplaces, computer science also began to be built with the personal contribution of prof. Bukovsky, who first founded the Department of Theoretical Cybernetics and Mathematical Informatics at the Department of Mathematical Analysis, which gradually in 1986 could create a separate department. In 2002, it was transformed into the current Institute of Informatics.

Geography is the youngest scientific community at the faculty established under the management of prof. Feher who, as the faculty dean, accepted the plan by prof. Koštialik and doc. Hochmuth to develop geography research and education at the Faculty since 1998. The Institute of Geography gradually accredited teaching studies, single-field bachelor’s and master’s studies, and finally the doctoral study. Since 2012, the focus turned to geoinformation science and applications of remote sensing in geography under leasdership of prof. Hofierka. The Institute became scientifically and educationally comparable with other Institutes of the faculty and the leader in Slovak geography from various aspects.

Deans of the Faculty of Science since 1963

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