October 23, 2017

NSF – FAST International Workshop Held in Yerevan

The workshop brought together more than 200 researchers in data science and related disciplines.

On 18 – 21 October 2017, Yerevan hosted the international workshop “Machine Learning for Discovery Sciences” jointly organized by the NSF (US National Science Foundation) and FAST (Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology).

The workshop was the premier scientific event in the region in terms of its international reach and the high standing of the participants in attendance.

The workshop brought together more than two hundred researchers in data science and related disciplines with the aim of creating a platform for establishing sustainable international cooperation and pushing forward new developments in science.

The workshop aimed to foster cooperation between young researchers and doctorate students, and leading world-renowned specialists,  striving to become a platform that will further expand cooperation.

Key speakers at the opening ceremony were Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Karen Karapetyan, Co-Founder of FAST Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Co-Chairs of the workshop Dr. Aram Galstyan, and Dr. Naira Hovakimyan.

Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan welcomed the participants and noted that science and the economy are strongly intertwined phenomena that should drive each other forward.

“In the 21st century, the globalization of processes and the use of communication technologies are fundamental requirements for progress. I believe that FAST and its partners can take the role of an integrator, maintaining connections between the best scientific and technological centers of the world,” said Armenia’s Prime Minister.

“FAST wants to create an ecosystem that will drive scientific advancement and technological innovation in Armenia and beyond. We aspire for Armenia to be a country full of big ideas, a nation which has a global impact,” FAST CEO Dr. Armen Orujyan said.

FAST co-founder Noubar Afeyan noted that the foundation’s main objectives include not only establishing ties and building up cooperation, but also creating the mentality of Armenia relying on its unique character.

“We need to stop limiting ourselves to thinking about being rational and start doing things that might, perhaps, seem irrational. What looks unreasonable today is likely to be wise tomorrow. We need to take giant leaps in science instead of taking gradual steps,” said Afeyan.

“I would like to see that in the future, we’ll be talking about this workshop against the background of some revolutionary global innovation or some scientific breakthrough, and mentioning that we met each other and come up with this idea during an NSF – FAST workshop,” Naira Hovakimyan, General Co-Chair of the NSF-FAST workshop, said.

“The recent advances in machine learning are transforming the way we do science. It’s not only in the realm of computer science, but in biomedical and health sciences, social sciences, material science, quantum chemistry, and so on,” said General Co-Chair of NSF – FAST workshop Aram Galstyan.

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