Arman Atoyan: Mathematics helps think quickly - Mediamax.am

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Arman Atoyan: Mathematics helps think quickly


Arman Atoyan
Arman Atoyan

Photo: Mediamax

Arman Atoyan
Arman Atoyan

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Arman Atoyan
Arman Atoyan

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Arman Atoyan
Arman Atoyan

Photo: Mediamax


Mathematics is the driving force of love, justice, and progress. Mediamax and Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) are joining efforts to present MathArt project. It tells about the talents developing Mathematics in Armenia, and their work. 

 

Mathematics is of key value in modern world and we hope that MathArt will help attract Armenian youngsters into that particular science. 

 

When you see a picture of a cello-playing girl come to life in a smartphone and seconds later the girl is playing Bach’s music, you forget your whereabouts, time seems to stop and you don’t even notice how you have been immersed in virtual reality for a couple of minutes now.

 

Photo: Mediamax

 

This virtual miracle takes place in an app named ARLOOPA. Director of X-Tech, co-founder of ARLOOPA, a mathematician by profession, Arman Atoyan first shows ARLOOPA’s “worlds”, then talks about his past - how he chose mathematics, and afterwards proceeds telling about the future- technological Armenia. 

 

One crucial point

 

I can’t say I was very talented in math, but I’ve loved it since childhood. In school, I always tried to outdo everyone in class and studied the topics we had not learned yet. 

 

By graduation time, the decision to become a programmer had already been made and I was studying for entrance exams. I was thinking about the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, but there was a possibility that it could be a paid education. I stood before a choice and finally decided to apply to the Faculty of Mathematics because the chance of studying tuition-free was higher. Eventually, I got 36 points and was going to study for free, whereas at the Faculty of Applied Mathematics the required score was 37. 

 

Mathematics is directly connected with logic and thinking and I think it helped me a lot afterwards.

 

The rewards of theoretical mathematics

 

The Faculty of Mathematics laid an important foundation for my future activity. My job today is not programming but rather doing business, creating and coming up with new products. However, I believe the mathematical background helps me a lot.

 

Arman Atoyan Arman Atoyan

Photo: Mediamax

 

Admission to the Faculty of Mathematics is easy, but graduating from it is hard. It requires persistence. At the university, our professors used to say: “It is difficult for you now but it will be easy afterwards, because we are teaching you the ability to handle complicated problems.” These skills help us both in programming, in business and in life. Math gives people an analytical mind, which also helps them think faster. 

 

The results of flexible and analytical thinking are evident in everyday work. Maybe at that moment you are not even thinking as a mathematician but subconsciously you are able to analyze several actions in advance, see consequent problems and their solutions.

 

Pupils at school or students facing the task of choosing a major at university should understand that there are many opportunities in natural sciences in Armenia if they are willing to live here. It would be a good thing if parents could guide children who want to study mathematics, physics or applied mathematics, because the demand for these disciplines will grow in the coming years.

 

Mathematics and technological flights

 

Our company started as a web programming studio. During 10 years of existence, we thought we should differ and always be a couple of steps ahead of others in creating something. We are often told that our creations come a few years too early and people don’t need them yet. In most cases, it is indeed so. ARLOOPA, as a separate brand and a product, was created in 2014, and it is only now that it’s spreading massively.

 

Photo: Mediamax

 

We have arrived at the conclusion that being innovative is the only way to win. Companies that stopped coming up with innovations– have died. The most famous example is Nokia. Being a real monopolist at the time, it died simply because it stopped following innovations.

 

We follow everything that is new and is being developed in Japan or in the Silicon Valley, we don’t fall behind and we can do it too. This is the principle of our work. It’s a serious driving force when people realize that they have created something not local. Out general model was to perceive the company as an innovation lab and we always tried to create an innovative product. 

 

Unlike many innovation companies, we have taken a somewhat different approach and became our own investors. On the one hand, we provided services and on the other one- funded the ideas we liked. They were not always the best or successful ones of course. We had failures too but there were successful cases as well.

 

I think there is a mathematical logic here and we try not to operate in a standard way like others. During these years, we have learned not to be afraid. We believe that there isn’t a problem we can’t solve in our sphere and this is one of the strongest sides of our team. 

 

Armenia - an innovation “lab”

 

Armenia has a brilliant mathematical school and foundation, but the future logical chain lacks some parts. People in technology don’t do it because of their education mostly. It happens after graduation by learning during the work process. They learn what they are interested in. If this whole chain works properly, we will have serious results. In countries with well-developed innovation economy, this chain functions completely. 

 

Arman Atoyan Arman Atoyan

Photo: Mediamax

 

In Armenia, all the spheres function separately and are disconnected from each other. Today the university prepares specialists who can’t find a job after graduation and are forced to take additional courses. Although I should say there are certain changes taking place today. The state that spends money to prepare specialists doesn’t think whether these expenses will turn into taxes or not, i.e. will those specialists work and pay taxes later?

 

For a long time we have had a classical definition of mathematics - theoretical and applied. Machine learning and data science have gained more attention lately. I also know that this year the Faculty of Mathematics of the Yerevan State University is going to launch a new bachelor’s program on machine learning and data science. There is a huge demand for these programs worldwide and they should be taught at universities so that we have good qualified specialists. 

 

We are also trying to be part of this project: we are negotiating with the YSU on creating a virtual and a full-fledged lab.

 

Unfortunately, all the parts of the chain are developing separately today, like islands. In order for Armenia to develop technologically, the whole process should work. The whole ecosystem cannot be considered innovative with only 10 companies. 

 

Take Israel for example: IT is integrated in every sphere there - agriculture, science, military industry, which leads to innovations in all spheres.

 

We are trying to introduce innovations into different spheres, make them practical. If Armenian students studying for example at the Art Academy apply these technologies, their works will cease being ordinary, they will be technologically more equipped and when the students attend international exhibitions, they will surprise others. 

 

Arman Atoyan Arman Atoyan

Photo: Mediamax

 

If you teach children something using technologies, for example hold a phone above the book and show them a physics or chemistry experiment, it catches their interest, studying becomes innovative with the use of technologies and the learning process turns to be more interesting. I think this is the solution. Armenia should try to use technologies existing in the country. One Virtual Reality headset can replace a physics or an entire chemistry laboratory, if there is no possibility of physically creating that laboratory.

 

Children who learn geography using maps on classroom walls fall back for 30 years. If they only could learn geography using VR headsets, they would be able to travel in virtual reality and their world outlook, the perception of geography would have changed.

 

The thing is that in order for the country to become innovative, technologies should be used in everyday life and in different areas.

 

We have to realize that we shouldn’t invest into today’s rapid results. We should set long-term goals. 

 

FAST Foundation is the general partner of the project 


Mari Taryan



Photos: Emin Aristakesyan




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