Alex Popa

View my complete CV

Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of Bucharest

Senior Researcher (CS II)
National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics

Email: alexandru.popa "at" fmi "dot" unibuc "dot" ro

For an informal photo with me and my pets click here

I am actively looking for PhD students!

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD, please contact me.

Research interests

  • I am interested in overcoming the computational difficulty of various NP-hard optimization problems via approximation algorithms, fixed parameter algorithms or heuristics.
  • Previous employment

  • Associate Professor - University of Bucharest, Romania. 2016 - 2020
  • Assistant Professor - Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan. 2015 - 2016
  • Assistant Professor - Masaryk University, Czech Republic. 2013 - 2015
  • Postdoctoral Researcher - Aalto University, Finland. 2011 - 2013
  • Education

  • PhD - University of Bristol. 2008 - 2011
  • Bachelors - University of Bucharest. 2005 - 2008
  • Editorial board member

    The Computer Journal, Oxford Academic

    Program committee member

    IEEE CICS 2021, SOFSEM 2021, SOFSEM 2020, IWOCA 2019, ICCS 2018, SYNASC 2014, CONTENT 2013, FUTURE COMPUTING 2013, CONTENT 2012.

    Current PhD students

  • Adrian Miclaus, Maria Constantin, Tiberiu Sirbu.
  • Past PhD students

  • Ahmed Al Sahlani, University of Bucharest, PhD 2023
  • Camelia Obreja , University of Bucharest, PhD 2022
  • Radu-Stefan Mincu , University of Bucharest, PhD 2019
  • K Ashik Mathew, Aalto University, PhD 2015 (co-supervisor)
  • See CV for a detailed list of master and bachelors thesis supervised
  • Publications

  • See CV for the complete list or
  • Google Scholar Profile or
  • DBLP or
  • Research Gate
  • Popular science and motivational talks

  • Me doing stand-up comedy (in Romanian) for a Christmas charity event organized by my students in December 2020. Link here (starts from minute 2:45)
  • TEDx - "There are not bad countries, only bad people", 4 March 2016.
  • Computers are nothing without maths! from ScienceSLAM Helsinki, 13 December 2011.
  • Instant Scientific Talk Contest - Aalto University Science Day (random talk). Espoo, Finland, 20 September 2012.
  • Sisteme interactive from Famelab Final Romania, 17 May 2008.
  • Non-academic achievements and activities that make me very proud

  • I have travelled to North Korea and I wrote a book about this experience. You may buy the book here .
  • To whom it may concern, if North Korea seems adventurous, I have traveled to other places which are equally interesting, for example Iraq and Turkmenistan.
  • I love winter sports: both snowboarding and skiing (equally). Here is a photo of me snowboarding. And here is a photo of me skiing. I also enjoy skating and crosscountry skiing.
  • I love boats.
  • I am scuba diver. Currently I have the PADI Open Water certification. Here is a photo of me underwater.
  • I love riding motorcycles. So far I owned five motorcyles: Kawasaki KLE 500 (the photo is in Vir, CZ), Honda Deauville (photo in Budapest), Honda ST1300 Pan European (photo in Switzerland) a Peugeot Elyseo 125 and a Honda Forza 250. I did many long trips by motorbike: Bucharest - Erevan (and return), Bucharest - Brno (via Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Austria), Saarbruecken - Barcelona - Bucharest, and pretty much any country in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • I love fixing motorcyles and cars. Some of my achievements include fixing two non-running motorcycles, a Peugeot Elyseo and a Suzuki Burgman, and a Fiat Punto. I have many ongoing projects. If you have an old two wheels or four wheels junk that you want to get rid off, do not hesitate to contact me.
  • I love cars and especially old cars. I owned a SAAB 99 GL that I drove from Helsinki to Bucharest.
  • I like very much literature and poetry (both reading and writing). To view my poems (in Romanian) click here. Please e-mail me if you have any suggestions or critics regarding the poems.
  • I have published the essay O noua forma de libertate (joint work with Oana Gabroveanu) in Gheorghe Paun's magazine Curtea de la Arges .
  • I have published a poem in the collective volume Antologia vinovatelor placeri. Some of the co-authors of this volume are the artists Mircea Albulescu, Tudor Gheorghe and Dorel Visan.
  • Special mention at the International Poetry Contest in Romanian Language STARPRESS 2010 (5612 participants).
  • I have published several poems in Antologia scriitorilor romani din intreaga lume - STARPRESS 2011.
  • I have published eight poems in the collective volume Ce enigmatica esti, femeie... .
  • I am a self taught cook. Some of my achievements include: veprove koleno, pelmeni, sarmale, homemade sausages, mucenici.
  • I am also a self taught guitar player.
  • I also like horse riding although I did not do it since I was a teenager.
  • I have yellow belt at Judo.