9 October 2014 | 16:04

The young scholar Slav Petrov is bearer of the John Atanasoff award for 2014

The specialist in computer linguistics Dr. Slav Petrov is the 12th  prize-winner of the presidential award John Atanasoff, which is awarded for achievements in the sphere of information and communication technologies. At the ceremony held in the coat of arms hall at 2 Dondukov street the Head of State Rosen Plevneliev awarded the prize to the winner.

Dr. Slav Petrov has been head of a scientific and research group in the Google company since 2009. The promising Bulgarian scholar has attained a lot of achievements, among which the development of a detailed algorithm for grammatical analysis; he is also author of a grammar appendix to the Google translate system which has resulted in a lot more precise translations in more than 60 languages, including Bulgarian. “This award is not only for me, but for all IT specialists in Bulgaria and in the world, therefore it is important to maintain the tradition of the good Bulgarian education in information technologies,” Dr. Slav Petrov said after the Head of State handed him the John Atanasoff award. The bearer of the award will deliver a report tomorrow at 2 o’clock p.m. in the big hall of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

President Rosen Plevneliev also awarded two John Atanasoff diplomas for the practical application of scientific achievements and for the implementation of projects of high public significance. The bearers are the author of a lot of techniques and practical exercises, games among them, in the sphere of the flexible development of software – Stavros Stavru and Plamen Ivanov, who has been working in the sphere of topical problems and innovative developments for the management of IT services.

The student Encho Mishinev and his teacher Anton Shikov, and the student Kristian Krumov and his teacher Krasimir Asenov and Stefcho Nakov also received diplomas for their achievements in the sphere of mathematics and information technologies.

The President said that the bearers of the John Atanasoff awards “are remarkable young Bulgarians who work on the edge of the familiar and change the world we live in.”  “The Bulgarian researchers have the capacity to set the agenda in the sphere of information technologies in the region and in the world,” the Head of State said. The President pointed out that throughout the years the John Atanasoff awards have become a point of attraction for the young and succeeding Bulgarians, no matter where they work and live.

The Head of State highlighted the opportunities that the mechanisms of the European Union provide the young scholars with and paid special attention to the operational program Science and Education for Intelligent Growth that has just been launched. “I am grateful that the Bulgarian institutions showed that education and innovations are a clear priority and I hope that from now on with the help of this program we will live in a completely different Bulgaria in 2020,” the President said.

During the ceremony the Head of State also awarded Maria Tsvetkova - the winner of the competition for choosing a logo of the John Atanasoff awards. She is a lecturer in graphic design at the University of Limoges and the Ekran high school in Bordeaux, France. “Her conception of the logo is built on one of the basic contributions John Atanasoff has for the development of the contemporary computer – the introduction of the binary code,” the President said. He pointed out that almost 70 international projects took part in the competition for an original graphic symbol of the John Atanasoff awards. The best project proposals for logo are presented in an exhibition in the Betahaus building in Sofia.

The John Atanasoff award has been handed out since 2003 in order to encourage the talented Bulgarian scholars to offer developments that have a high potential for practical application.  For the first time this year all participants who have reached the final stage of the competition will have the opportunity to take part in mentor or probation programs and the bearers of the John Atanasoff awards – in a scientific project launched by an established team of specialists. Thus the young talents will have the chance to participate in the process of creating new knowledge in the academic circles and in applying innovative inventions in the real business practice and the everyday lives of people.