Math and science high school, Kyustendil, BULGARIA; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, GREECE; KULeuven, Leuven, BELGIUM
Assistant Professor in Computing
ADAPT Centre, DCU.
Favourite thing to do in science: Write programs
About Me: I love music, meetings with friends and technology
I am from Bulgaria where I lived until I finished high school. I studied mathematics, informatics and English in school and I was very passionate about technology and computers. I also studied guitar and I played in concerts in Bulgaria and in other countries of Europe.
I then went to study in the university in Greece. I learned how to program and I was very interested in Artificial Intelligence. Then I decided to go to Belgium to continue my education, and now – here, in Ireland.
My Work: I make computer systems to translate between languages. This task is called Machine Translation. We use statistical models as well as models based on artificial neural networks.
I work in Dublin City University as a post-doctoral researcher in Machine Translation. Machine Translation is the field of Artificial Intelligence that looks into making computers and computer programs translate between different languages. This is a very interesting topic for me and I love what I do because it involves a lot of new technologies and it requires me to learn more and more every day.
Before that I lived and studied in Belgium. I spent 6 years there learning about Artificial Intelligence and how to make systems that use logic to solve tasks. And before that I lived in Greece where I got to know computers and learned what I could do with them – how to solve tasks, how to help people in their every day routines, and so on.
My Typical Day: Emails, meetings, researching new problems, implementing solutions and writing papers.
When I go to the office, first thing that I do is to check my emails and respond to them. Usually, I have couple of meetings in a day which I go to and then continue with my duties. Because I work on different projects all the time I usually read a lot of articles so that I can learn about the work that has already been done on the subject. Then I write programs and run these programs to test whether they perform well.
I have lunch at around 13:00 and after that I continue with my schedule for the day. Sometimes, in order to keep my schedule organised, I write my tasks for the next day before I leave the office.
What I'd do with the money: go to schools and introduce machine translation
If I would win the price, I would use it to sponsor the travels and daily expenses of several students (5 or more) from different schools outside of Dublin to come and visit Dublin City University for a day (or half a day). In that day I would prepare activities for the students to get to know what we do in DCU and in ADAPT, how we approach new problems, i.e., what is research, how we write programs and how we make science.
I understand that it is hard to make a choice between many students… for that I will communicate with schools and ask for interested students to write an essay.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
hard working, smart, clumsy
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
What did you want to be after you left school?
a computer scientists
Were you ever in trouble at school?
What was your favourite subject at school?
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
an architect or a physicist
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. to have a long holiday in South America; 2. To have a nice team to work together on all projects; 3. Gretsch electromatic G5420T
Tell us a joke.
Two horses are grazing in a field. The one says to the other: "Yo mate, how is the grass at your side?" He gets no answer from the other horse. And then he asks again in a louder voice: "Yo mate, how is the grass at your side?" No answer again. And so once more, even louder: "Come on dude, tell me, how's the grass at your side?" "It's fine, why?!", says the other horse very angrily. Then the first one with excitement: "Wow, a talking horse!!!"