FAR’s Armenian National Science and Education Fund Program (ANSEF) was initiated 11 years ago to support the growth of scientific research in Armenia. During this time, 260 scientific teams and individuals have been awarded ANSEF grants and more than 1,000 scientists have been involved in the program. This year FAR is pleased to welcome its youngest ever ANSEF grantee, 20-year-old Hayk Ishkhanyan. I spent a few minutes talking with Hayk at FAR’s Yerevan office shortly after the announcement of the 2011 winners.
Hayk was born in Yerevan in 1990. “Immediately after my birth, the electricity went out,” joked the young scientist, referencing Armenia’s dark and cold decade. In 2005, after graduating from the Physical and Mathematical Specialized School of Yerevan State University at the age of 15, Hayk entered Yerevan State University’s Department of Physics. After his first year he transferred to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), a leading physics university.
Since his third year at MIPT, Hayk has diligently pursued his research under the mentorship of renowned Russian physicist Vladimir Krainov. He has already published 12 articles in the world’s leading scientific journals and international conference proceedings. The Russian journal “Pereplyot” deemed him one of the most promising young scientists in Russia today. Just few days ago, Hayk was awarded the Bronze Pin from the International Scientific Academy’s Russia Section, an award granted to scientists 35 years old and under. At the end of last year, Hayk was admitted to the Institute for Physical Research at the National Academy of Science of Armenia, where he will earn his doctorate.
Hayk’s ANSEF grant proposal is entitled “Cold Atom Association in Degenerate Quantum Gases via Stirap.” His group consists of four young scientists. Members are currently working at leading scientific centers outside of Armenia and they communicate electronically with one other.
“Sometimes it seems as if science is nearly dead in Armenia,” Hayk said. “But in fact, there are many good scientists in my country. Also, after completing their study at foreign universities, many young people return to Armenia, and through their networks remain involved in serious scientific work.”
He also praised the Armenian Association for Academic Partnership and Support, which helps young scientists in Armenia to keep abreast of academic opportunities. Along with science, Hayk loves literature and music. As a child, he used to recite poems. During his student years in Moscow he sang in the student choir and often went on tour.