Current country of residence: France
Young scientist and mathematician Arnak Dalalyan achieved professional success and recognition not only through his resolve and persistence but also thanks to his decision to move to France.
While studying in the mathematics department of the Yerevan State University, Arnak Dalalyan started to focus on the theory of relativity. After completing the third year of his studies, he went on to continue his education in France.
“The main factors in my decision were the tremendous things I was hearing about the French education system, particularly, in the field of exact sciences. I must say that I was not mistaken,” Arnak Dalalyan recalls.
Arnak Dalalyan received his master’s degree and PhD from Pierre and Marie Curie and Le Mans Universities in Paris. He went on to work in the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Tokyo University as well as an array of universities in Paris.
Currently, he is a professor at the Paris graduate school of economics, statistics and finance. He is also the author of numerous research papers and articles. Core elements of his doctoral theses were published in Annals of Statistice - the leading magazine in the field.
“The challenges were many and that is unavoidable. The process of overcoming them is what inspires you to continue moving forward. The key here is determination and perseverance. You must always believe in yourself and spare no effort in striving for more. Throughout my professional career, I was inspired and motivated by the support, care and confidence I received from people around me,” says Arnak Dalalyan.
According to him, France is an easy country for immigrant integration.
“I feel fully integrated here without ever losing touch with my Armenian identity. I am very grateful to France for everything it has done to help me become a scientist. On my part, I am trying to use the international platforms to promote both Armenia and France and always present them in a positive light. The thing I like most about France is that you can achieve a lot through hard work, knowledge and personal qualities without ever having to deal with nepotism. I am extremely impressed with the French education system,” the young scientist notes.
Arnak Dalalyan admitted that throughout his work and studies in France he was always in touch with Armenia. His first professional visit was within the experience sharing initiative organized by the UN International Organization for Migration.
“I conducted a series of lectures in YSU and the American University of Armenia. I was very impressed that even after two decades of human capital flight, we still have a smart and capable new generation,” says Arnak Dalalyan and notes that throughout his career of working in various countries, his desire has always been to bring his expertise to Armenia.
In the recent years, Arnak Dalalyan made a number of trips to Armenia to hold lectures in various universities, conduct master classes as well as share his experience and knowledge with the new crop of aspiring scientists.
“I am convinced that the Armenian universities are open to cooperating with our Western partners and are ready to accept any advice on how to make the system better. During one of my visits, I held a conference with the dean of the YSU mathematics department A. Sahakyan as well as the chair of the relativity theory department V. Ohanyan. The main topic of the discussion was the review and improvement of the curriculum for the relativity theory and statistics,” says Arnak Dalalyan.
At the same time, he notes with regret that there is one stark difference between the Armenian and European universities and it has to do with the perception of the lecturers. In Armenia, the lecturers are primarily viewed as educators and tutors whereas in Europe the lecturers are first and foremost researchers. Dalalyan is certain that Armenia is yet to fully acknowledge the vital role of the system of higher education in ensuring sustainable economic growth.
“I know many professionals who are willing to bring their expertise to Armenia but in order to make it work and have a lasting impact we must focus on a continues process and not one time events. Any similar initiative must be an integral part of an overall strategy – one that will have concrete goals and criteria. The purpose of experience sharing visits should not be limited to training a generation ready to continue their studies in Europe or the US. The time is ripe for our 27 year old country to have a world class educational and scientific platform,” concludes Arnak Dalalyan.