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Vol 4 (2018): Astronomy & Astrophysics (CAUCASUS)
Published: 2018-03-14

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                                                                                                     Our brief history

Our small university, in which 1,500 students are enrolled, is 26 years old. Initially, in 1990, Samtskhe-Javaketi State University was established as a branch of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. This establishment introduced and strengthened Tbilisi University traditions in Akhaltsikhe. From the beginning, we decided to pursue a scientific direction. The co-existence of learning and scientific development helped us to gain prominence in the region, which was a challenge during the economic, political, and social hardships of 1990s. From the outset, the local Georgian and non-Georgian population trusted us. Many collegiate, national, and international conferences were held at our University. Thus the University became the foundation of scientific intelligence of South Georgia.

The Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory was the only serious research institution in Samtskhe-Javakheti. It was known in scientific circles for its important scientific work. The University made close scientific contacts with the Observatory from the very first days of its existence.

Observatory staff started their pedagogical careers at our University. Academician Evgeni Kharadze, who led the Observatory from the date of its establishment, managed these relations and scientific contacts. At the same time, he was the rector of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in 1959-1966. So, academic and scientific activities were very familiar to him.

In 1992, Evgeni Kharadze and George Tchoghoshvili supported the establishment of the Faculty of Mathematics and Astronomy at the Akhaltsikhe branch of Tbilisi State University. At the time, Revaz Chigladze was the head of the department.

Evkgeni Kharadze often visited the branch. Several times, he was a chairman of the State Examination Commission, where our graduates passed their final exams.

Professors Revaz Chigladze, Raguli Inasaridz , Lorand Sigua, Khvedri Inasaridze, Rolan Kiladze , Victor Japiashvil and others helped to promote close scientific and educational contacts between Astrophysical Observatory and the University. They worked in Akhaltsikhe and Abastumani. The geographical proximity of these two locations strengthened future research activities. Our university graduates Bidzina Kapanadze, Marekh Ivanidze and Diana Ivanidze defended their doctoral dissertations .

In 2014, Samtskhe-Javakheti State University was formed on base of the branch and the State Teaching University. Our doctoral program in astronomy was accredited, which was an important incentive, especially for the staff members who have done a lot of scientific work and have had many years of experience in astronomy, but could not manage to get their doctoral degrees due to the absence of the Doctoral Degree Defense Council. Among them are Givi Kimeridze, Eduard Janiashvili, Roman Ivanidze, Maia Sikharulidze, and others. In addition to our University professors, the Samtskhe-Javakheti Doctoral Council in Astronomy includes Javakhishvili and Ilia State University professors and researchers at the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory. Samtskhe-Javakheti State University is the only university in Georgia that offers educational programs in astronomy at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral levels.

Scientists of the traditional Georgian Astronomical School have not had the opportunity to hold international scientific conferences in Georgia for many years. Samtskhe-Javakheti State University hosted an international conference on October 7-9, 2015. Conference organizers and participants decided to print the conference proceedings. Other scientists responded to this publication and expressed their desire to include their works in the publication. Our organization eagerly shared the relevant work, and today we have a collection of scientific works.

We want to thank all the authors, the organizational and editorial members of the group, the faculty of engineering, agricultural and natural sciences - Dean: Professor Giorgi Meskhi, Vice Rector Professor Maka Kachkachishvili-Beridze, Senior specialist Manana Ioseliani and especially, Editor Professor Revaz Chighladze, for their hard work.

Samtskhe-Javakheti State University Rector, Professor M. Beridze