Ismar Volić


Here are some of my recent and current research and teaching-related activities. Many of them took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina since I am from there and travel back frequently.


  • I was selected to be a Fulbright Specialist for a period of three years starting in 2020.

  • In 2020-21, I am supervising research projects on

      • topological data analysis and Unicef MICS surveys,

      • power index calculations in the Bosnian government,

      • combinatorial topology in game theory,

      • mathematics in political discourse,

      • political quantitative literacy in K-12 education.

  • I was a recipient of the 2017-2018 Fulbright U.S. Research Scholar grant. I used it to visit University of Sarajevo while on sabbatical during the spring 2018 semester. Here is an interview (in Bosnian) about my visit and some of the activities I was engaged in.

  • I am advising a doctoral student, Ivana Marić, at University of Sarajevo.

  • I advised a doctoral student, Franjo Šarčević, at University of Sarajevo. He defended his thesis in March 2020.

  • In recent years, I supervised independent research and honors theses on partial configuration spaces and r-immersions, Tverberg Conjecture and functor calculus, topological data analysis, Frobenius algebras and TQFTs, Khovanov homology and functor calculus, algebraic topology, Hochschild homology, differential geometry, advanced ODEs, math behind Google, knot theory, and cryptography.

Math and democracy


  • For the last few years, I have been a member of and actively involved with the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences (BHAAAS). I joined the Board of Directors of this organization, served as its treasurer from 2015 to 2019, and will be its president in 2021-22. I organized the 10th Annual Meeting of BHAAAS in October 2016 at Wellesley College.

  • I have been engaged in a number of STEM education initiatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina in recent years. Some of the talks I gave on this topic can be found on the talks page.

  • I am coorganizing the 12th Days of BHAAAS in Bosnia-Herzegovina taking place in Mostar, June 24-27, 2021 (originally scheduled for June '20 but postponed due to the pandemic).

  • I helped organize the panel discussion University Research and Development Perspectives at the University of Sarajevo in February 2021.

  • I coorganized the first 3-minute Ph.D. competition for Bosnian doctoral students in October 2020.

  • I was a member of the program commiittee for the Meditteranean Forum Data Science conference (MeFDATA2020) in October 2020.

  • I coorganized the 11th Days of BHAAAS in Bosnia-Herzegovina that took place in June 2019, in Sarajevo. I also organized a panel on STEM education in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the conference. Panelists included faculty from high schools and universities, parents, and representatives from NGOs and industry. Here is an article, and here and here are a couple of my appearances on Bosnian television (all in Bosnian), advertising the conference and the STEM panel, as well as discussing the education in Bosnia in general.

  • I coorganized the 10th Days of BHAAAS in Bosnia that took place in June 2018. This was one of the largest scientific meeting in the Balkans consisting of 27 symposia in a variety of disciplines, with 375 speakers from 24 countries. I was the chair of the Symposium on Applied Mathematics and delivered several lectures at the conference (here is an article, in Bosnian, about some of the talks, including mine, and here and here are a couple of my appearances on Bosnian television advertising the conference).

  • In March 2019, I participated in the Transfer of Knowledge program run by the Diaspora Sector of the Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees. I gave a number of lectures and talked to students about mentorship and opportunities in mathematics. If you are a Bosnian professional looking to share your expertise with people in Bosnia, I encourage you to apply to this program.

  • In spring 2018, I joined the Board of Directors of EDUS - Education For All. This wonderful organization provides assistance for education of children with developmental delays at preschool and elementary school level. Please consider supporting their important work.

  • In 2015, I started helping BOSANA Foundation from Sarajevo, Bosnia, and served as a mentor for one of its scholarship recipients. I urge you to check out all their wonderful work and support them in any way you can.

Other activities