Industrial Mathematics in Bulgaria. A personal view.

My name is Stanislav Harizanov and I’m currently employed at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences – Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (IICT-BAS) (full part) and Institute of Mathematics and Informatics (IMI-BAS) (part-time position). I received a PhD in Mathematics from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany in 2011 under the guidance of Prof. Peter Oswald. Then, I spent 2 years as a PostDoc in Kaiserslautern, Germany on a joint program between Technical University of Kaiserslautern and Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM). There, in the group of Prof. Gabriele Steidl, I was introduced to Image Processing, which became my main scientific field. I returned to Bulgaria in 2014. My research, theoretical in nature, is industry-driven and motivated by the infrastructure of IICT-BAS, which includes:

  • Supercomputer system Avitohol, ranked 388th in November 2015 and 546th in June 2016 among the supercomputers worldwide;
  • Industrial Computed Tomography (CT) system, Nikon XT H 225;
  • 3D printing and advanced visualization system.


The main goal is to increase the accuracy and improve the reliability of the digital 3D volume reconstruction of industrial CT data, which allows for meaningful numerical simulations of the material (macro) characteristics using the microstructure of the scanned specimen. The latter is essential for the purposes of Virtual Material Design – a modern research direction, enabling time reduction for creating and developing materials with preset characteristics. I’m also interested in virtual anthropology – a new interdisciplinary field, which is developing in a world scale, and combines elements from various sciences as diverse as anthropology, medicine, statistics, information and communication technologies, scientific visualization, and industrial design. Together with my colleagues Ivan Georgiev, Yavor Vutov, and Ivan Lirkov we model, develop, and implement innovative parallel algorithms for image denoising and image segmentation. Our mathematical models are based on energy minimization techniques, in which important physical characteristics of the scanned object (mass preservation, connectivity, etc.) are incorporated as constraints. Some examples of various industrial applications of the CT system Nikon XT H 225 are shown on the figures:

Both the institutes IICT-BAS and IMI-BAS are ECMI members. Our group enthusiastically participates in every available ECMI initiative and we are constantly looking for collaboration with industrial partners or other research groups. Thus, I haven’t missed a European Study Group with Industry (ESGI) in Bulgaria, since I came back. Furthermore, we believe that educating young people and involving them in the research process is very important. Because of that, I was an instructor at the ECMI Modelling Week. After the end of the event, with part of the group (Jaume de Dios Pont from University of California Los Angeles & Autonomous University of Barcelona, Sebastian Stahl from Chalmers University of Technology, and Dennis Wenzel from Dresden University of Technology) we continued to work on the project. Dennis gave a talk at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Bulgarian Section of SIAM and a proceedings paper of the four of us, entitled “Noise removal and feature extraction of 2D CT radiographic images” is now accepted for publication in the conference volume “Advanced Computing in Industrial Mathematics”, Studies in Computational Intelligence, Springer. This is the first paper for all three of the students and a great end of our small collaboration, which is a nice illustration of the ECMI idea. Currently, Jaume pursues a B.Sc. in Mathematics in USA. He is a promising young physicist and mathematician and I wish him a successful academic career. Sebastian received an M.Sc. in Computational Science and now works with creating simulations (model-in-the-loop-simulations) and writes code for embedded systems in MATLAB/Simulink for a company in the automotive industry. Dennis is
finishing his M.Sc. in Industrial Mathematics and is seriously considering Poisson image denoising (the main topic of the ECMI MW project) as a PhD research direction. I hope we will work together in the future, again. Apart from my participation in the ECMI MW, I and Ivan Georgiev regularly give talks/projects at the graduate seminars “Mathematical Modelling” and “Industrial Mathematics” of Prof. Stefka Dimova and Assist. Prof. Tihomir Ivanov at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia University. I have also proposed two summer projects for high school students regarding image denoising and image segmentation for the XVII Summer Research School in Mathematics and Informatics.

For further questions, comments, or possible collaboration, please send me
an email at:

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