Ivan Kirev (Department of Mathematics) – Technical University of Munich

I am Ivan Kirev, an MSci Mathematics student at Imperial College London, and I am happy to have participated in the International Research Opportunities Programme at the Technical University of Munich during the summer of 2022.

Research Project Description

The topic of my project was ‘’Probabilistic road user state estimation for underdetermined traffic systems applied by Hidden-Markov Model (HMM) states”.  It was part of the Institute of Automotive Technology, however, it was mostly of mathematical contents. Firstly, I was given a tour around the Department of Mechanical Engineering where I was shown some of the fascinating and intriguing work done at the department. Since my project did not require a lab, I was mostly working from home or on campus from my laptop. Furthermore, I had weekly meetings with my supervisor to discuss the progress of the task.

The research project was mainly concerned with traffic estimation based on traffic counter systems implemented at certain urban road networks. I was provided with real-world data from counters in different cities to work with. While I have done quite a few projects during my studying at Imperial College, my work this summer has provided me with a lot of new experiences, as, unlike my thus far courseworks, I was facing a real-life problem of traffic modelling with an actual application. It was new for me to be dealing with such an open problem and I found it quite interesting and exciting.

Intercultural Experiences

In terms of social activities, the program was quite comprehensive. In the first week we had a lot of collaborative exercises and games with the other participants in the program. The group was of around 30 students mostly from American and Canadian universities. We were given a 3-day guided tour around Munich and the TUM campus where we saw the main attractions around the city. In addition, we had cultural lectures which provided us with some basic knowledge about the German culture and lifestyle. Introductory lectures in German were also available if anyone was interested.

After the first week there were multiple events including visits to beer gardens and some tours outside Munich such as a day trip to Regensburg, a day trip to lake Herrenchiemsee, as well as some hikes in the Alpes. These trips were an opportunity to explore Bavaria and to get to know some of the other students from the TUM PREP program, who are all very bright and interesting people studying in some of the top universities in America. Furthermore, I had the chance to meet a few friends from my high school who study in Munich and whom I had not seen for a few years.

Results Gained from the Program

In the two months of the program, I am glad to say that I gained unique research experience, which will be extremely helpful for my career prospects, and made a lot of new contacts. I enjoyed my time in Munich very much and would recommend the program to anyone interested.