Armenia to the Wisconsin State Capitol

Armenia to the Wisconsin State Capitol


Computer science major, international student Hayk Arzumanyan presents at Research in the Rotunda

As the son of two scientists (his father is a surgeon; his mother a doctor), it perhaps comes as no surprise that University of Wisconsin-Superior senior Hayk Arzumanyan decided to pursue a STEM field himself.

Originally from Armenia, Arzumanyan enrolled at the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies at age 13. The center provides opportunities for Armenian youth to study their scientific field of choice.

“I selected the robot programming workshop, which was provided through a partnership with NASA,” he explained. “There, I made a radio-controlled robot. After this, I knew I enjoyed computer science and programming.”

Arzumanyan will graduate with a degree in computer science – and a minor in mathematics – in May. Before this, however, he had the chance to share some of his impressive knowledge with the world.

Arzumanyan presented his scientific research project – titled “Spatial Gesture Recognition with Machine Learning– on March 6, 2024, at Research in the Rotunda. Held at the Wisconsin State Capitol, this annual gathering showcases the work of UW undergraduates.

This year was a particularly noteworthy occasion, as it marked the 20th anniversary of the event.

Cutting Edge Project

Arzumanyan’s project, which was completed through URSCA (the UW-Superior Center for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity) included being paired with a faculty mentor.

Arzumanyan asked his former math and computer science professor, Sergei Bezroukov, Ph.D., to take on this role. Bezroukov wholeheartedly agreed.

The project involves artificial intelligence (AI), a topic we are all hearing so much about these days. Bezroukov explained its relevance.

“AI, in particular, machine learning (ML) is a hot topic today and is a huge employment market,” Bezroukov noted. “We emphasize the so-called edge processing of an AI algorithm, that is, working without any communication to a more powerful computing device. Such restriction is of interest for many applications that must meet a decision autonomously.”

Future applications of Arzumanyan’s research will undoubtedly help others.

“This research has applications in both virtual reality and advanced gaming,” Arzumanyan said. “Gesture recognition will help people with disabilities, such as those who use American Sign Language (ASL), as it recognizes specific patterns or gestures by using a microcontroller in real time.”

This project also highlighted the types of excellent hands-on learning opportunities available to UWS students.

“The project involved programming a specific microcontroller and developing a real battery-powered device for recognizing some human gestures,” said Bezroukov. “This way of developing a working device within such a project cannot be more hands-on and practical.”

Prior to Research in the Rotunda, Arzumanyan also shared his presentation at the WiSys Symposium in Oshkosh in August, and at UWS’ Research Fest in October.

After graduation, Arzumanyan plans to search for a career in his field.

“I want to enter either the software development market or the field of AI,” he said. “But I definitely want to be a computer scientist.”

With his talent and education, along with the fact that he is tri-lingual (speaking Armenian, English and Russian), Arzumanyan will undoubtedly have plenty of options.

“At this point, I’m open to any and all companies,” he said.

UW-Superior Experience

As an international student, Arzumanyan felt comfortable and welcomed at UW-Superior. In addition to his studies, he has been a member and president of the Marksmanship Club, and a member of the Math and Computer Science Club. He has also held a variety of on-campus jobs, including resident assistant, assistant hall manager and hall manager. Arzumanyan also worked for the ResNet Office since he first arrived on campus as a freshman.

“The staff and faculty at UWS are really welcoming,” he said. “I would recommend UWS to other international and domestic students. There are lots of scholarships available, too. And the university has a good, strong computer science program.”

He added with a chuckle, “It’s a great place, as long as people don’t mind the cold.”

A computer science major will put you at the forefront of creating that technology. Engage in this fast-growing field and learn the principles that will allow you to become a vital part of the future. No matter your intended role, a major in computer science at UW-Superior will give you the background you need for cutting-edge jobs or graduate study.