NIRI would never miss an opportunity to help our young talents and this time was no exception. Novak and Bogdan Stanojević, the famous astrophysicists from Niš, visited our offices in order to tell us something more about their massive success, as well as their plans for the future.

The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art organized an award ceremony on 8th February in Niš with the goal of awarding exceptional students from all over the region for their success. Novak received a  brand new tablet from us – a small thank you for all of his hard word and contribution to science.

After a short chat with Novak and Bogdan about what motivates us as a company, the talented high-schoolers got a tour of our office space and were able to see first-hand what it’s like being the only machine learning company in Niš. And I grabbed an opportunity to ask them about their future plans and what they would like to do after high school.

What are your plans after you finish high school, what would you like to study?

Bogdan: We are interested in physics, particularly astrophysics. We haven’t decided yet if we would like to study in Serbia or abroad. There’s a lot of opportunities – we could finish a university here and then do our PhD abroad, for example.

Novak: I agree. We would have to think about our future and what to do after our studies, where we could find a job in this particular area of physics and whether or not that’s even possible in Serbia. The main question is, should we study what we’re passionate about or something that will pay off financially in the future?

What about a scholarship for studying abroad?

Novak: There’s always that possibility, sure.

Bogdan: The problem is that it’s very hard to get one. Our talented mathematicians and physicists often study at the Cambridge University, and they can get about 80% of the scholarship there, but that’s not enough to cover all the expenses, so we mostly have to finance ourselves.

You saw how a serious, high-tech company operates in Niš, what do you think about starting a company of your own one day?

Novak: Well, if we do something related to physics, first we would have to see what that company could focus on. With information technology that’s easy, with physics however…

Bogdan: It would definitely be a challenge!

Is it possible to be an astrophysicist in Serbia?

Novak: Maybe in Belgrade, since Belgrade is cooperating with an observatory in Paris. Besides that, there’s not much…

What do you think about NIRI and what we’re doing here?

Bogdan: I’m regretting the fact that I never focused on computer science, that’s for sure [laughs]!

Novak: I agree. The company seems great, and I love the idea of machine learning. This looks very interesting and promising.

Thank you for your time, and good luck with your future competitions.

Bogdan and Novak: Thank you!