January 20, 2021Read more
László Hajdu, assistant researcher at the InnoRenew CoE, main area of research: network science and optimization
- Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?
I spent my childhood in Szarvas (Deer), a small town in Hungary with a river, arboretum and lots of wood, obviously. It is a bit flat compared to Slovenia, but it was nice. Now I live in Slovenia at the seaside in the small town of Koper.
- What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?
I studied computer science at the University of Szeged. The motivation is funny because, originally, I wanted to be a musician and learn jazz, but my parents said that first I should learn something less risky and then I can go with the music. I remember that I was super grumpy about it, but somewhere on the way, between artificial intelligence and a logic exam, I began to love it, and I didn’t mind being a geek anymore, so I ended up as computer scientist.
- How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?
I like to describe my field as the science of problems. Okay, maybe science of solving problems sounds better. We could imagine that we have a set of problems, and we have the methodology to classify them along complexity and use different methodologies in order to have a solution. Ah, okay, if you have read this far, I must admit, we are developing Skynet and Terminators from wood.
- What does your typical working day look like?
Well, it is well known that a computer scientist is an organism that converts caffeine into code, so it starts with a coffee. Then it really depends on the day. I would say it’s a mixture of meetings, writing papers, thinking, coding and of course coffee, and I prefer the last three.
- What makes you excited about your work?
When you are working on a problem, and after a lot of thinking, you solve it. It can really make you excited about your work. I just like it. And of course, when it has an impact and people are really using it, otherwise it is just useless. My supervisor would disagree with me, but, fortunately, he is not here now 😊
- And what is the biggest challenge at your work?
To fill out this questionnaire. You’re welcome.
- Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?
All of the computer scientists who proved that P=NP or the opposite. Putting jokes aside, this is a tough question because there are so many great scientists and scientific achievements in many different areas. If I really must choose, I would maybe say Stephen Cook.
- Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.
H. P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle, Irvin D. Yalom, Tool, Animal As Leaders, Paul Gilbert, The Smiths, Lamb of God, Moon, Gattaca and many others, it depends on the day.
- What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?
Former question, the barking of my dog and the monitor.
- Describe your very first impression of Slovenia.
First time that I visited Koper and Slovenia was in 2016 due to a conference. I am trying to remember the first impression, but in my age it’s not that easy anymore. Hmm … what I can say is that it was hot, humid but at the same time nice. It seems nice enough that I moved here, so I probably liked it.
- What do you like about Slovenia and what do you miss most from your homeland?
I like the seaside, hills, Oli burger after midnight and the fact that everything is so close. If you want, you can easily go to Italy, Austria, Germany, Croatia, so I think the position of the country is just perfect. What do I miss? My old colleagues, friends, some healthy Hungarian food: lángos, túró rudi, sztrapacska, and, no, I am not a big fan of goulash – I am sorry.
- Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?
Maybe the Moon Bay in Strunjan, or the small villages around Koper – Pomjan, Marezige, Črni Kal, etc.
- What makes you enthusiastic?
That I almost finished the interview.
- Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.
- What does the charm of wood mean to you?
If there would be a movie about materials, wood would be the good guy, like Keanu Reeves who saves the dog at the end, and other materials, like plastic or aluminium, would get just evil roles. And I like the smell of the pine.