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Developing efficient methods and finding the optimal solutions

Miklós Krész, research group leader at InnoRenew CoE; Main area(s) of research/activities: Industrial optimisation, network analysis, data science

  • Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

I was growing up in a tiny East-Hungarian town Gyula. It is a historical site, with the unique medieval castle built of brick, and a popular tourist destination. Now I live with my family in Koper.

  • What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?

I studied Mathematics and Computer Science. Actually I decided to pursue my university studies in Szeged, as I did not want to move to Budapest and that time Szeged was the most significant “university city” in Hungary. It was also clear that I would study something related to mathematics, but I was interested in the practical applications. At the University of Szeged engineering study was not available, but they had a prestigious joint degree program of applied mathematics and computer science.

  • How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

Both in the working and human environment numerous processes are going on and generally we would like to control them in an optimal way. In order to determine the optimum we need a quantitative model. Our task is to develop quantitative models for these processes and to develop efficient methods finding the optimal solutions with respect to the model.

  • What does your typical working day look like?

It is hard to identify a “typical working day”, but typically I have quite many meetings related to ongoing projects and projects to be developed. Since most of these meetings are online and between the meetings I am working at my computer, generally speaking most of the time I am sitting at my desk.

  • What makes you excited about your work?

Understanding other fields, developing  realistic models for their problems and providing solutions are all quite fascinating tasks for me.

  • And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

Actually it is the same what makes me excited 😊 It is nice to understand and learn other fields, but to develop a “common language” is quite time consuming.

  • Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

I believe that John von Neumann was the most relevant scientist of the XXth century. Probably it is not well known that he was born and growing up in Budapest, The computers we are using have “Von-Neumann architecture” and several modern technologies like robotics are using game theory initiated by him. On the other hand he had fundamental results in mathematics and physics as well, thus his achievements proved that revolutionary  practical innovations are based on excellent theoretical mindset.

  • Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

The movie “Casablanca” is more than 80 years old, but I am sure it will be influential in the next 80 years as well. And of course, the director of the movie, Michael Curtiz is Hungarian … 😊

  • What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

I was watching a classical Hungarian movie “Flowers of Reverie”. The premiere of this movie was in my childhood, but that time I have missed it. Recently I learned that it is available in the streaming platform of the National Film Institute.

  • Describe your very first impression of Slovenia.

I went to a conference in Ljubljana in 2004 and immediately fell in love with the city.  I remember I had a feeling that one day I would live there. However, I visited the Slovenian coast first time in 2006 as an Erasmus lecturer and realized that it would be my place one day … 😊

  • What do you like about Slovenia and what do you miss most from your homeland?

I like the wonderful nature and I like that the country is similar and different from my homeland at the same time – just like the food which is sometimes very similar, but the spice is different. I miss my family and my friends from my homeland.

  • Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

For more than 15 years the centre, the old town and the coast of Izola is my favourite place…

  • What makes you enthusiastic?

In the work developing solution models for practical problems which have the “mathematical beauty”. In the personal life so many things…

  • Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

I have experienced many times that if you know what you want to achieve and you do about it, the opportunity will come your way. Just remember what was my first thought about Slovenia …

  • What does the charm of wood mean to you?

Relaxing in a traditional wooden house, like sitting in a wooden guesthouse and having a drink…