The Golden Age of Yugoslavia: Music, Technology and Culture of the 20th Century

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CER 10

Development of Computer Science and the First Computers in Yugoslavia

Computer science, the discipline that studies computers and data processing, has seen tremendous development over the past few decades. While the US and Western Europe were pioneers in the development of computer technology, Yugoslavia was not far behind. This blog will focus on the development of computer science and the first computers in Yugoslavia, highlighting key moments and individuals who contributed to this process.

The Beginning of the Computer Era

The development of computer science in Yugoslavia can be traced back to the early 1950s. After World War II, Yugoslavia, like many other countries, recognized the importance of computer technology for industrial and scientific progress. The first steps were modest but laid the foundation for future innovations.

The First Computers

CER-10: The first Yugoslav digital computer was the CER-10, developed at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute in Belgrade. Work on this computer began in 1959 and was completed in 1961. The CER-10 (Cifarski Elektronski Računar) was a transistor computer, making it one of the most advanced computers of its time in Eastern Europe. It was used for various scientific and industrial calculations.

CER-20 and CER-22: The success of the CER-10 spurred further computer development. The CER-20 and CER-22 were upgraded versions of their predecessor, with higher speed and better performance. These computers were used in many industrial sectors and educational institutions across Yugoslavia.

Key Institutions and Figures

Mihajlo Pupin Institute: This institution was a key center for computer development in Yugoslavia. In addition to developing the CER computers, the institute was also responsible for research and development in electronics and automation.

Vinča: The Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences also played an important role in the development of computer science. In addition to research in nuclear physics, Vinča was a place where many computer technologies were developed.

Rajko Tomović: One of the pioneers in the field of computer science and computing in Yugoslavia was Rajko Tomović. His work in biomedical engineering and robotics left a lasting impact on the scientific community.

Software Development and Applications

In addition to hardware development, Yugoslavia also worked on software development. The first software applications were simple but allowed for the development of more complex systems in the future. Software was developed for industrial, military, and educational purposes.

Education and Knowledge Dissemination

Educational institutions played a crucial role in spreading knowledge about computer science. Universities in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, and other cities began to introduce courses in computer science and computing. Additionally, many experts were educated abroad, bringing back new knowledge and technologies.

Impact on Society

The development of computer science and computer technologies had a significant impact on society. Industry became more efficient, education was modernized, and scientific research became more precise and faster. Despite facing many challenges, Yugoslav scientists and engineers managed to lay the foundation for the further development of computer science in the region.


The development of computer science and the first computers in Yugoslavia was crucial for the technological advancement of the country. Although the initial steps were modest, Yugoslav experts demonstrated that they could keep pace with global trends and contribute to the worldwide development of computing. Their work remains an inspiration for future generations of engineers and scientists.

The development of computer science in Yugoslavia is a story of innovation, perseverance, and vision. It is a story that reminds us of the importance of science and technology in modern society, as well as the ability of people to overcome challenges and create something new and valuable.

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