Prof. Orlin Stoytchev on Teaching Students How to Solve Problems 

July 14, 2023 Greti Georgieva
Prof. Orlin Stoytchev on Teaching Students How to Solve Problems 

Prof. Orlin Stoytchev teaches Linear Algebra, Mechanics and Thermodynamics, and Electromagnetism at AUBG. He is interested in the intricate connection between mathematics and physics and how the two subjects influence the development of each other. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics from Virginia Tech University and worked at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for a while.

Listen to the interview with Professor Stoytchev to hear more about why everyone can be good at mathematics, the skills it teaches, and future physics projects. 

“You have to get the knowledge and the skills to be able to tackle any problem in your future lives, in your future professional lives.”  


Physics at AUBG 

Prof. Orlin Stoytchev has been teaching at AUBG since 1997. When he first came to the university, there were no departments, but three divisions. He became part of the science division, which included natural sciences, mathematics and computer science.  

Currently, he is in the Department of Mathematics and Science and teaches a variety of subjects. With the gradual progress of the Physics major he also adds more advanced courses, such as Quantum Physics. 

Prof. Stoytchev is also the professor who developed the AUBG science laboratory and continues to enrich it with new equipment – both ordered and made by himself. 

“In a couple of months we will receive nice piece of equipment, so-called Mach–Zehnder interferometer, which we will use for different experiments in wave optics and also hopefully for holography.” 

Labs and Watermelons 

Prof. Stoytchev decided to add empirical exercises to the material after he saw the interest that his students have in the practical experiments.  

Everything started in 1995 when the first Physics professor at AUBG measured with his students the gravitational acceleration by dropping a watermelon from the roof of Main Building and having his students take the time of the fall with stopwatches. 

Later on, Prof. Stoytchev also had to come up with ways to show empirically the theory even with a not so elaborate setup. 

“It was a lot of improvisation, a lot of my personal effort bringing different metal beans, rails. I had to, for example, bring some aluminum and metal rails, four meters long, which I had to put on the public bus from Sofia to transport them here, so that I can organize some kind of experiment in mechanics.” 

Piece of advice 

Prof. Stoytchev’s piece of advice to every student, no matter their major, is to find a job that they find interesting. 

“Of course, it is good to have a well-paying job, but I think that it is at least equally as important to do something that is interesting to you. That’s, I think, the most important way.”