Blavatnik prizes for Computer Science awarded to doctoral fellows

TAU hosts annual ceremony recognizing standout research in growing field

Sir Leonard Blavatnik; TAU PhD candidate Nave Frost, a 2022 Blavatnik Prize in Computer Science winner; and TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat. (photo credit: CHEN GALILI)
Sir Leonard Blavatnik; TAU PhD candidate Nave Frost, a 2022 Blavatnik Prize in Computer Science winner; and TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat.
(photo credit: CHEN GALILI)

The second annual Blavatnik Prizes for outstanding Israeli doctoral students in Computer Science were awarded on June 8 to four Ph.D. students in a ceremony at Tel Aviv University.

The Blavatnik Prizes, funded by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, were established to highlight outstanding research by Israeli Ph.D. candidates in computer science and emphasize the importance of doctoral studies in general. 

The 2022 recipients are Nave Frost of Tel Aviv University, Gal Yona of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Assaf Shocher of the Weizmann Institute of Science and Leshem Choshen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Honorable mention went to Hagai Rossman of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Elad Romanov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Gilad Yehudai of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Lior Rotem of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Among the ceremony attendees was British-American industrialist and philanthropist Sir Leonard Blavatnik (Len Blavatnik), for whom the Prizes are named. The Prize is among the latest programs backed by the longtime TAU benefactor and dedicated supporter of science, innovation and higher education in Israel. 

Prof. Sivan Toledo, Head of the Blavatnik School of Computer Science, Sir Leonard Blavatnik and TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat with the recipients. (Credit: Chen Galili)Prof. Sivan Toledo, Head of the Blavatnik School of Computer Science, Sir Leonard Blavatnik and TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat with the recipients. (Credit: Chen Galili)

The Prizes are conferred at TAU by the Blavatnik School of Computer Science at the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences and the School’s Blavatnik Computer Science Research Fund for high-impact areas that contribute to Israel’s economic prosperity. 

TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat: “Again and again, Sir Leonard Blavatnik has demonstrated his heartfelt commitment to nurturing the next generation of outstanding young scientists and creators – at TAU, in Israel and globally. We at Tel Aviv University are grateful for his support and friendship that is felt throughout the campus, and that is opening new avenues for excellence in crucial fields.”

Sir Leonard Blavatnik: “Israel is at the forefront of the ongoing computer science revolution that increasingly affects everyday lives around the world. As such, it is vital to amplify the academic achievement of emerging trailblazers, who are poised to become future leaders and innovators in academia and industry.”

 Prof. Sivan Toledo, Head of the Blavatnik School of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University: “Israeli Ph.D. fellows in computer science contribute immensely to research and teaching that move the field forward. Sir Leonard Blavatnik and his considerable contributions play an immeasurable role in propelling them to new frontiers. The Blavatnik Prizes celebrate the achievements of the best of these Ph.D. students, and the Blavatnik School of Computer Science is honored to award these prizes for the second time.”

A jury of computer science experts from Israeli universities, including TAU, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, select winners from a pool of doctoral students and recent Ph.D. recipients from all Israeli universities.  

Also, on June 8, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel were presented in a separate evening ceremony held at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. The Awards recognize the country’s most promising faculty-rank (academic staff) researchers in life sciences, physical sciences & engineering, and chemistry. The Blavatnik Family Foundation funds the Awards, which are co-administered by the New York Academy of Sciences and The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. To date, two outstanding TAU scientists, Prof. Oded Rechavi of the School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics and Prof. Yossi Yovel of the School of Zoology, have been Blavatnik Award laureates.