Feeling excellent? Join us!
Prof. Alex Fish talks about the 700 Club, the Faculty’s excellence program, and stresses that this is not another program; it’s an actual club.
Exact measurements in quantum computers
A study inspired by Dr. Eli Cohen’s theory explores transitions between strong and weak measurements of trapped ions. Covered by Nature Physics, the study is yet another step on the path to realizing and improving quantum computers
Shir Hochold-Lieber - Exposing the mysteries of the human microbiom
Dr. Shir Hochold-Lieber develops a biochip for diagnosing, sensing, and treating the human microbiome. Her work awarded her a postdoctoral scholarship by the Israel Academy of Science.
The art of synchronization
Like many things in nature, humans also have a natural tendency to synchronize. But what happens when something prevents us from doing just that? Dr. Moti Fridman and doctoral student Shir Shahal researched musical synchronization at the university’s nanotechnology museum project and came back with surprising conclusions on the dynamics of human networks.
A view of the future
The SPRING consortium, powered by the EU’s Horizon2020 program, is developing a socially pertinent robot. Prof. Sharon Gannot, head of one of the project’s research teams, explains how to give robots human listening capabilities.
Total recall: Dr. Robert Giterman’s memory-on-chip could change the semiconductor market
After years of research, RAAAM is launching the smallest memory-on-chip demonstrated in CMOS tech. CEO Dr. Robert Giterman, Faculty graduate, explains why it is going to conquer the memory-on-chip market.
This was our students' year
No doubt, this was a challenging year for you, our students. COVID and all of its enforced limitations challenged us to find creative solutions so that we could continue teaching and sharing our knowledge in the best possible manner. Once the quarantine started, we shifted to remote learning and tutoring. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but we did our best: a special emergency faculty team was made available to help students with any problem – academic or personal – caused by the situation. Another team was responsible for technical support. Frontal tests were held only when there was no other option, and always according to the Ministry of Health’s regulations. We’re proud of you, our students, for managing these tough times and reaching spectacular achievements. Here are just a few of them:
This was our staff's year
Despite this year’s challenges, with stopping frontal teaching and the partial shift to working from home, our faculty members had no time to rest. Most of the courses were taught remotely, with lecturers constantly seeking new, creative solutions. Our faculty members continued to research –with a significant amount of effort put into battling COVID-19 – as well as publish and gain recognition in Israel and abroad. Here are the key points of this past year:
This was our Faculty’s year
The academic year coming to a close was definitely an out-of-the-ordinary one. COVID-19 forced us all to stay indoors and drove us to be creative and find quick solutions to allow the Faculty to keep operating – both in research and in working with students. This was not an easy task, and we had to learn as we went along. We are extremely proud of our faculty members and our students who, despite the complexity of the situation, managed to end this year successfully, continue their research, make great achievements and win global recognition and awards (yes, despite the quarantine), as well as look forward to the future and plan new tracks and programs.
We started the year with 732 bachelor’s students (202 of them freshmen), 136 master’s students, 86 PhD students, and 22 post-doctoral students. 30% of our students are women. “The statistics are favorable, and show that the number of women in pursuit of an engineering degree is on the rise,” said Dina Yamini, Head of the Faculty of Engineering, in an interview for Maariv in celebration of International Women’s Day.
New from the Faculty of Engineering: The Neuroengineering Track
During his post-doctoral studies at MIT, Dr. Shahar Alon met artist Neil Harbisson, the first person recognized by the British government as a human cyborg. Born completely colorblind, Harbisson had an antenna implanted in his skull, translating colors into sound. The antenna sends vibrations to his head, creating different notes for each color. It’s also connected to a chip for internet access, allowing him to sense colors from space via satellite, as well as receive emails, texts and phone calls directly into his head. “Harbisson demonstrates the future of humanity,” says Dr. Shahar Alon, head of the new neuroengineering track at Bar Ilan’s Faculty of Engineering. “Technology is headed towards optimal interfacing with the brain, receiving information in the best possible manner, and upgrading it. It could completely change the world of video games – say, playing a car racing game while wearing a helmet that detects whether you want to turn left or right – but also significantly improve the lives of people with various disabilities such as communication or neurological disorders. Clearly, the potential is enormous, and our goal is to improve the brain/machine interface and prepare for a future of greater convergence between humans and computers, even without drilling into our skulls”.
New from the Faculty of Engineering: The Quantum Engineering Program
This past December, the State of Israel signed off on an allocation of 1.25B ILS in favor of the national program for quantum science and technology. Set under the jurisdiction of TELEM (The National Infrastructure Forum for Research and Development), the program has set several goals, including developing human capital and research infrastructure, building a quantum computer in Israel, and forming international collaborations in the quantum field. We’re answering the call here at the Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan, and starting in the upcoming academic year we’ll be offering the Quantum Engineering program, leading us along with the rest of the world toward the Second Quantum Revolution. “These are brand new contents in local and even international terms. Only a few institutions in the world offer a BSc in quantum engineering,” says head of the program, Dr. Eli Cohen. “We decided to open this program after we’ve identified the growing interest, both in academia and the industry, in developing quantum technologies and utilizing them for computing, communication and encryption, as well as developing new and advanced sensors. Our goal is to train faculty graduates with a founded knowledge of engineering, but also physics, computer science and mathematics, with a strong emphasis on quantum science and technology.”
The final project of the Digital Design Principles (DDP) course was constructed and presented at the hackathon held at the Faculty lobby
When it comes to a constantly innovating faculty, even a final project comes with a twist. The final project for the Digital Design Principles (DDP) course reached its apex in a Hackathon held on the last day of June, at the faculty lobby. “We were inspired by a Hackathon we participated in several months prior, in December 2019, focusing on RISC-V and sponsored by Western Digital,” says Dr. Adam Teman, the course’s academic supervisor. “Most participating groups in that Hackathon, winners included, used the PulpEnIX platform developed in Bar-Ilan; a group of BSc students from Bar-Ilan won third place. It was a fun, successful event. People prepared for weeks, slept on the floor – not because someone made them, but because they enjoyed it. We saw how excited people were, and to add some spice to our course (which explored similar issues), we decided to hold an end-of-course Hackathon.”
Microsoft Q# Coding Contest – Summer 2020
Microsoft has set up a contest where you are required to solve quantum problems using the Q# programming language.
If you're interested in the world of quantum computing, you may wish to take part in the contest! Undergraduate students from Bar-Ilan University who are among the winners of the contest will receive a monetary prize of 500 NIS (subject to presenting their solution to us).
Please let us know if you plan to attend this event:
Dr. Itzick Cohen to Launch the Industrial Engineering and Information Systems Program
The program was approved by the University and was submitted for approval of the CHE. In addition, a new modeling and process mining lab is already accepting grad students
Dr. Itzick Cohen’s specialty in complex process analysis can be applied to the COVID-19 reality: “The world we live in is one of the processes, a series of interconnected actions performed in order to achieve a certain goal. Caring for a hospital patient, a business process, a complex development project, and even food prep in a restaurant kitchen - they’re all processes. Take the restaurant: If we can automatically identify the state of the situation based on information received from various sensors such as cameras or motion trackers, we can send diners automatic notifications when their dishes are about to arrive, handle possible delays, and even check and see whether or not the dish was prepared according to the recipe,” he explains. “This model can be applied to a variety of complex processes and is also relevant to pandemics. Information received from location sensors, medical inspections, complaints about symptoms, questionnaires filled in by the general public - all can help to analyze the pandemic’s progress, identify actions that lead to elevated infection rates, the conditions in which infection occurs and where the next outbreak would be. For example, a certain activity might only lead to infection under certain conditions of duration, environment, etc. If we could identify specific infection conditions, we could keep doing the activities but avoid one of the infection conditions, thereby decreasing it.”
Dr. Itamar Levi Battles Data Leakage from Electronic Components
The chip provides protection at a much lower cost – in terms of area, energy consumption and performance – than anything currently offered on the market
Credit purchases via cellphone, saving and processing private information on the server, a pacemaker based on a simple processor, a system of sensors and controllers connected to a factory network – all of these are examples of computer-based platforms with electronic processing. All of them carry sensitive, intimate information, and naturally, the need arises to secure the information they process. “My research focuses on how to design our electronic friends in a way we can trust them,” says Dr. Itamar Levi, who had joined the Computer Engineering program at the Faculty this past October. “In theory, it’s simple: patterns of secret-keeping systems (or any other cryptographic need) always rely on some grain of secretly-kept information, such as a secret key. The problem is that our systems are not theoretical: the very realization of the system in the physical world leads to secret data leakage, whether it is or isn’t being used – and that’s just one of many problems.”