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First Armenian-German Research Summit Spurs Academic Exchange

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On July 31-August 2, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Zaven and Sonia Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE), in collaboration with the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and FAST – Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology hosted the First Armenian-German Research Summit on Intelligent and Data-Driven Systems (IDDS 2023). At the helm was Dr. Nelson Baloian, distinguished CSE associate visiting professor and associate professor at the Department of Computer Science of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile, leading the summit into a productive intellectual exchange among the attendees. 

The three-day summit assembled recent CSE alumni from Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Data Science programs, Ph.D. students supervised by Dr. Gregor Schiele, a Computer Science professor at UDE, and various researchers from Armenia and abroad. They shared innovative insights into various topics in the dynamic field of data science. Beyond the planned 17 talks and research presentations, the summit served as a hub for exchanges and interactions, creating new opportunities for networking and potential collaborations. 

AUA Dean of CSE, Dr. Aram Hajian, inaugurated the summit with opening remarks. In turn, Dr. Nelson Baloian captivated the audience with his project on Interpretable Regression using a Dempster Shafer Classifier, shedding light on its applications. Pursuant to the level of interest demonstrated by both participants and speakers, Dr. Baloian emphasized the importance of continuing to foster collaborative research and highlighted the significant contribution of the summit in this regard. He noted: “In this event, we could bring together students and high-quality researchers and expose them to the challenges that this activity poses. We hope they will get inspiration from what they saw and maybe consider research as a career alternative.” 

Sergio Peñafiel, an external expert and professor at the Computer Science Department of the Universidad de Chile, gave a presentation on Predicting Pathologic Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Treatment in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Using Interpretable Classification. Reflecting on the summit, he remarked: “During the summit, it was truly remarkable to have presentations from recently graduated students to researchers and professors with extensive trajectories, all sharing the same event. This provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the current trends in various topics and to encourage students to engage in research and consider applying for postgraduate studies.”

In turn, Dr. Gregor Schiele viewed the summit as a great collaborative platform for building bonds among fellow Ph.D. researchers. He noted: “Armenia is a hidden science gem, and our Armenian friends and colleagues once again delivered an impressive scientific venue with excellent talks and lively discussions. I am especially excited about the large number of young researchers and students who participated and presented their works. There is a lot of passion there, and I am looking forward to our future collaboration on novel research both in basic and applied research directions.”

The intellectual discussions and research topics heard at the summit mark the beginning of strong collaborative ties among the attendees and their sustained research productivity in the pursuit of new knowledge and innovation. 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.

Media Coverage:

[Hetq] Armenian, German Researchers Attend Data Science Summit in Yerevan