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.
(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.
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.
second Israeli named to the list is Dr. Ariel Procaccia, an assistant professor
in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University in
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
associate editor of the Journal of AI Research and Autonomous Agents and
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.”
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.”