Women on the rise in Efi Arazi School of Computer Science

Ilana Sivan, USA, 2nd year Computer Science student (photo credit: JENNY SCHWEBER)
Ilana Sivan, USA, 2nd year Computer Science student
(photo credit: JENNY SCHWEBER)

IDC Herzliya is proud to note that it has a high percentage of female students studying at the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science. And among those studying at the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science, the proportion of female students has risen from an already high 30 percent in the 2019-2020 year to an unprecedented 37 percent in the 2020-2021 year. 


Prof. Anat Bremler-Barr, Deputy Dean of the Efi Arazi School, said the rise in the number of women at the school can be attributed to two main factors. Firstly, it reflects a general trend around the world, with increasing numbers of women studying the computer sciences, attracted at least in part by the availability of well-paid jobs in the field. And secondly, it reflects a determined push by the Efi Arazi School and IDC Herzliya in general to encourage more female students to enroll in computer science. "Events are held annually that are targeted towards encouraging women to join the school, and an active recruitment program continues throughout the year," Bremler-Barr said. "In addition, 30 percent of faculty members are women, a significantly higher percentage than in other universities, which helps attract more female students."

Ilana Sivan, a second-year Computer Science student originally from Boston, said the innovative and welcoming environment at IDC Herzliya is very encouraging to women. She said students are encouraged to take risks and think out of the box, and the open atmosphere is only enhanced by the wide variety of people from all over the world studying at IDC.

"Women are generally not encouraged to pursue STEM subjects at school, and if they find those subjects difficult, they are not encouraged to try harder but rather to change directions altogether," Sivan said. "Thus there is more of a risk associated with studying computer science." However, she said that at IDC, the faculty encourage the students to try new ideas and forge new partnerships,  and make them feel part of the community regardless of their gender or their place of origin.  

In addition, small class sizes that enable students to receive personal attention,  and having faculty members who are recognized as being at the top of their field adds to the pull. As well as Prof. Bremler-Barr, some of the leading female faculty members are: Prof. Yael Moses, whose research focuses on  computer vision and its applications; Prof. Tami Tamir, the former Dean of the Efi Arazi School, who researches algorithms and algorithmic game theory; Prof. Elette Boyle, head of the school's international program, who studies theoretical computer science with a focus on cryptography; and Dr. Reut Levi, who researches sublinear algorithms and local computation algorithms.

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