IEEE cites 2 Hebrew U. grads among 10 rising stars in artificial intelligence

Dr. Aviv Zohar and Dr. Ariel Procaccia among those listed on "AI's 10 to Watch" Biennial list.

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August 13, 2013 17:19
2 minute read.
Dr. Aviv Zohar.

Hebrew University's Dr. Aviv Zohar 370. (photo credit: Courtesy The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Two graduates of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – one of them currently a senior lecturer there – have just been named among “AI’s 10 to Watch” by IEEE Intelligent Systems magazine.

Published biennially, the list chooses 10 researchers who are rising stars in the field.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that studies and develops intelligent machines and software. First coined as a term way back in 1955 – before computers – AI is defined as the study and design of intelligent agents, which are systems that recognize where they are and make moves to maximize their chances of success.

Dr. Aviv Zohar is a senior lecturer at Hebrew University’s Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering. He earned his PhD in computer science from the Hebrew University and from 2010 to 2012 was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Lab. A Golda Meir Fellow, he received an award of excellence from the Knesset and the committee of university heads, a Leibniz scholarship during his PhD studies and a scholarship from the Wolf Foundation during his MSc studies.

Zohar’s research interests include multi-agent systems, algorithmic game theory, networks and social computing.

He investigates systems in which numerous computer programs operate in a shared environment and uses game theory to explore ways of getting programs to act not only in their own interest but also that of the entire system.

Today, Zohar is a senior lecturer at the university’s Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering.

The second Israeli named to the list is Dr. Ariel Procaccia, an assistant professor in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

After obtaining a PhD in computer science from the Hebrew University, he was a postdoc at Microsoft and Harvard. He is a recipient of the Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award, a Rothschild postdoctoral fellowship, an inaugural Yahoo Academic Career Enhancement Award, and a TARK best-paper award. He is currently the editor of SIGecom Exchanges and an associate editor of the Journal of AI Research and Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems.

The Hebrew University is the only Israeli institution whose faculty or alumni appear on the list. Other institutions include Brown University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

IEEE Intelligent Systems editor Daniel Zeng wrote: “Despite being relatively junior in their career, each one has made impressive research contributions and had an impact in the literature – and in some cases, in real-world applications as well.”

IEEE Intelligent Systems is a bimonthly publication of the IEEE Computer Society, the world’s leading computing membership organization and the trusted information and career-development source for a global workforce of technology leaders.

“The group nominated this year was particularly strong,” added Zeng. “In the end, the top 10 surfaced with unanimous support from the advisory and editorial boards.”

Prof. Jeffrey Rosenschein, who supervised the doctoral dissertations of both researchers, said: “Aviv and Ariel’s impressive achievement attests to the worldclass level of artificial intelligence studies at the Hebrew University, as well as our deep commitment to attracting the best minds and moving the field of artificial intelligence forward. I’m proud to have had the privilege of mentoring both in their doctoral studies, and we are fortunate to have such a high caliber of students who bring honor to us all.”


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