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Scientists from World’s Top-ranking Universities to Work at INSAIT Institute in Sofia

Leading scientists from top-ranking universities and institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University (USA), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Max Planck Institute (Germany), and Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) are moving to work at the Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology (INSAIT), established in 2022 as an arm of the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. They were presented officially here on Friday by caretaker Minister of Education and Science Galin Tsokov, Sofia University Rector Georgi Valchev, the founder and scientific director of INSAIT, Prof Martin Vechev, and INSAIT Executive Director Borislav Petrov.

Prof Bernhard Haeupler, Dr Amir Abboud, and Dr Tomasz Kociumaka are among the world’s most renown scientists in the field of algorithms, the Ministry of Education and Science said in a press release. With them coming to Bulgaria, this country becomes one of the most competitive scientific centres in the world where significant scientific breakthroughs in the field can be expected in the coming months and years. Because of the significance of this event, among the attendees was Prof Robert Tarjan, winner of the A.M. Turing Award for computing.

Prof Tarjan said that what is happening at INSAIT attracts the attention at the international level, and these three scientists joining INSAIT is news all leading universities in the world would like to boast about. The big news from INSAIT are yet to come, he added.

Minister Tsokov said that when there is space and a dream for development, things happen. He congratulated INSAIT on its results and call on the institute to always seek ways to support young people.

The Sofia University Rector  congratulated INSAIT’s team for the energy with which they achieve success after success. “Big science is made with international teams, and by attracting these scientists, we show that we, too, are part of the world’s scientific community,” Valchev said.

Prof Vechev presented the researchers joining INSAIT, noting that each of them is 40 years old or under. “These are some of the biggest names in the world in their field and scientists who are equally in demand by scientific organizations as well as leading technological companies,” he added.

Prof Bernhard Haeupler, 40, teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and is chief researcher at ETH Zurich. He had over 100 articles in leading scientific forums and issues in the field of algorithms. To work at INSAIT, he gives up on his partial position at Google Research in Zurich, the Ministry of Education and Science said.

Dr Amir Abboud, 32, is a scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He has received the prestigious ERC grant and the Erdos Prize (2024) for outstanding achievements, becoming the youngest winner in that prize’s history. He has worked at IBM Research, USA.

Dr Tomasz Kociumaka, 33, is a researcher at Max Planck Institute. Author of over 100 articles in leading scientific forums and issues in the field of algorithms.