Armenian Mathematical Union

The Armenian Mathematical Union

The Armenian Mathematical Union was founded in 1991 but there were societies in Armenia dealing with mathematics before that date. There was an informal Union of Young Mathematicians that organised meetings at which members reported on their research and even organised conferences, the first being in 1982 on 'Modern problems of mathematical physics'. Then there was enthusiasm for setting up a more formal mathematics society in a similar format to that in many other countries. Before looking at the founding of the Union, however, let us say a little about university mathematics in Armenia.

Yerevan State University was the first university to be founded in Armenia. It was founded on 16 May 1919 and it established the Department of Physics and Mathematics in the Faculty of Social Sciences in 1924. In 1933 a Physico-mathematical Faculty was set up but in 1959 this was split into two faculties, namely a Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics and a Faculty of Physics. A separate Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Informatics was set up in 1972.

When it came to founding a mathematical society, there were a number of problems which the Armenian mathematicians felt made their situation a little different to that in many other countries. Some mathematicians working in Armenia had received their education outside the country. Others had been trained in Armenia but held positions in other countries. These situations, of course, are also present in many other countries. However, there were also mathematicians who were not born in Armenia, were not educated in Armenia and were not working in the country yet, because of having an Armenian background, were keen to contribute to the development of mathematics in Armenia. For that reason they decided to set up a 'union' rather than a 'society'.

The main aims of the Union are given in [1] which we now give in a slightly modified form:-

The main objective pursued by the Union is to promote the development and dissemination of mathematical knowledge in the Republic of Armenia. The founders saw that the main tool to achieve this goal was in joining up the efforts of professional mathematicians in the Republic and foreign experts who were either connected to Armenia by their origin, or expressed interest in supporting mathematics in the country. No less important was the integration of the Armenian specialists into the international family of mathematicians. As a first step to achieving this goal the Armenian Mathematical Union joined the International Mathematical Union. The Armenian Mathematical Union established various committees, the most important of which was the Education Committee which looked at ways to improve the mathematics curricula, teaching methods and quality of textbooks used in the educational establishments of the country. An important activity of the Armenian Mathematical Union is the regular organising general meetings, which confer awards on Armenian mathematicians and on eminent specialists from abroad, and contribute to the expansion of horizons and mutual understanding of Armenian scientists. The Armenian Mathematical Union periodically organizes thematic and general conferences.
Let us first note that the founding of the Union in 1991 was at a particularly difficult time given the political situation. In 1988 there had been large scale demonstrations and strikes in Armenia. In March 1990 Lithuania declared independence and the break-up of the Soviet Union had begun. In the midst of this breaking up of the Soviet Union, the Armenian Mathematical Union held its first Congress on 18 May 1991. The Union met in the Great Hall of Yerevan State University and almost every mathematician working in Armenia was present. The Congress accepted the proposed Statutes for the Armenian Mathematical Union and, following the procedure laid down in the statutes, elected the Council and the Executive Committee. Alexandr Talalyan, the dean of the Department of Mathematics of Yerevan State University, was elected as the first president. Let us give some details of his life and work.

Alexandr Andraniki Talalyan (born 22 September, 1928; died 9 August, 2016) studied for his Candidate's Degree at the Steklov Mathematical Institute and was awarded the degree in 1956 for his thesis On the convergence of orthogonal series. From 1956 he worked at the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia. In 1958 he became a docent in the Department of Mathematics at Yerevan State University and in 1965 he was promoted to professor. He was awarded a doctorate (equivalent to a D.Sc.) from the Steklov Mathematical Institute in 1962 for his thesis Representation of measurable functions by series. He served as Dean of the Department of Mathematics of Yerevan State University from 1970 to 1973. In 1971 he was also made Head of the Division of Real Analysis in the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences. He served again as Dean of the Department of Mathematics of Yerevan State University, this time from 1988 to 1991. He was Director of the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences from 1991 to 1996. Talalyan worked mainly on Fourier analysis and MathSciNet list over 60 papers that he published on this and related topics.

At this first Congress of the Armenian Mathematical Union the following were elected to the Council:

Sergey Antonyan, Samvel Apresyan, Norayr Arakelian, Victor Arzumanian, Bagrat Batikyan, Gegham Gevorgyan, Samvel Dalalyan, Norayr Yengibaryan, Vanik Zakaryan, Alexandr Talalyan, Sargis Hakobyan, Hrachik Hayrapetyan, Tigran Harutyunyan, Felix Harutyunyan, Haik Ghazaryan, Valeriy Martirosyan, Vardan Martirosyan, Yuri Movsisyan, Karen Yagjyan, Vladimir Yavryan, Boris Nahapetyan, Romen Shahbaghyan, Faizo Shamoyan, Shvayts Sahakyan, Sokrat Simonyan, Ashot Vagharshakyan, Victor Ohanyan.

On 24 May 1991, the Armenian Mathematical Union elected the Executive Committee from among those elected to the Council. Boris Nahapetyan and Gegham Gevorgyan were elected as Vice-Presidents, with Victor Arzumanian (Secretary), Norayr Yengibaryan, Haik Ghazaryan, Vardan Martirosyan, Romen Shahbaghyan, and Victor Ohanyan (Treasurer).

The Armenian Mathematical Union was officially registered by the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Armenia on 10 July 1991. The Union joined the International Mathematical Union in 1993.

Presidents are elected at Congresses and below we give a list of the years of these Congresses and the name of the President elected:

1991: Alexandr Talalyan

1994: Norayr Arakelian

1997: Ruben Ambartzumian

2001: Norayr Yengibaryan

2004: Hrachik Hayrapetyan

2008: Hrachik Hayrapetyan

2011: Tigran Harutunyan

2014: Tigran Harutunyan

2017: Yuri Movsisyan

The 2017 Congress of the Armenian Mathematical Union took place at the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics of Yerevan State University on 31 May. The Congress was chaired by Gegham Gevorgyan, the Vice-rector on Scientific Policy and International Cooperation of Yerevan State University. The election of the new president took place and a new board was elected which was composed of 40 members of whom 16 members are foreign citizens. Yuri Movsisyan, the Chair of Algebra and Geometry of the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics of Yerevan State University, was elected President for the next three years. The former President, Tigran Harutyunyan, reported to the Congress on the activities organised by the Union in the previous three years. Yuri Movsisyan made a speech in which he said: "It is no coincidence that our graduates show excellent results at the European and American universities. We need to strengthen our scientific cooperation promoting young professionals on the international arena." He outlined the future plans for the Union and noted that Armenia is going to organise an international conference dedicated to the 120th anniversary of one of the most prominent mathematicians of Armenian origin, namely Emil Artin, in 2018. The Armenian Mathematical Union will also announce a special annual award for the best work of young mathematicians.

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