After my military service, I wasn’t sure what to study. I knew that I was interested in computer science and information systems, but nothing specific in particular. Because I didn’t have the grades to begin studying information systems, I went to an open day during which I attended a lecture at the faculty. The speaker was Carmel Domshlak, and something in his talk captivated me and made me decide to study at the faculty. It’s important to note that at that time, I wasn’t sure whether to try to improve my psychometric score or to begin studying. In the end, I chose the faculty on the basis that if I should gain good grades, I would be able to transfer to the information systems degree program based on my academic achievement. I’m proud to say that I got the necessary grades to be able to switch to computer science or information systems, but I decided to stay in the faculty, and I consider that to be one of the best and most important decisions I’ve ever made.
I completed a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management (information systems engineering track), and began a master’s degree in information management engineering, during which I transferred to a direct doctoral track in data science. As someone who was always interested in data science, I truly believe that this is the best place to be. I learned the core subjects from experts in the field, whether economics, project management, machine learning, or databases.
When I think about the tools I have received during my studies at the faculty, the first thing that comes to mind is the ability to learn, alongside the diverse range of knowledge and tools gained from other areas of study, such as economics, psychology, and more. These tools, and others, proved to be extremely useful when I took advanced courses alongside students with a stronger mathematical background, such as those from electrical engineering or computer science programs. I was able to make up for my relative lack of knowledge, and even surpass those other students, despite the fact that the basic mathematics courses in the industrial engineering and management program are at a lower level than those provided in those other faculties.
In addition, the faculty and the Technion provided me with special student experiences. For example, during the first year of my studies I participated in a program called ConnecTech, in which we hosted students from MIT and were hosted by them in turn. This was a remarkable experience, seeing how students from one of the leading academic institutions in the world learn and act, and in particular, to experience the unique atmosphere of MIT in Boston.
During my first year of study, I had an internship at a startup company in Tel Aviv. After around a month, the company offered me a job requiring three full days’ work a week in Tel Aviv; or in other words, that I put my studies aside. This issue came up during a casual conversation with one of the faculty members, following which he sent me an email offering me an alternative arrangement, in which I would start work as a research assistant. We have worked together ever since, including now that I am in the final stages of my doctorate. I should point out that not every faculty member is like this, but from my experiences as both a student and a research/teaching assistant, I can attest that the attention given to students is remarkable.
The teaching infrastructure at the Technion is of an extremely high standard. From the first semesters in which I was studying subjects outside the faculty, I could appreciate the high Technion standards, from the various learning platforms such as the MathNet, to the unprecedented availability of faculty members (especially teaching assistants). I was particularly impressed by the fact that friends of mine who were studying at other Israeli universities would watch Technion lectures online at home, instead of attending their university courses.
Today, now that I have been a teaching assistant for several years and have got to see how things work “behind the scenes,” I’m proud to be a member of the Technion teaching staff, and particularly in our faculty.
Alongside my studies, I also enjoyed an excellent social life here, and gained good friends for life. I think that the idea that there is no social life at the Technion is a myth. It’s amazing to see the development that the faculty has undergone, and the number of social events organized by the faculty’s student union. To tell the truth, I’m slightly jealous…
In addition, I was also able to combine various other activities with my studies. As a (semi-professional) basketball player, I played on the Technion student team during my undergraduate studies, and last year I joined the local workplace league. The Technion allows people who participate in various specialized activities (mine was basketball, but there are many others) to gain academic credits for them and be excused from certain obligations (such as some of the mandatory subject studies), and thus encourages extracurricular activity.
Today, I am a doctoral student at the faculty, and also work as a teaching assistant and lecturer. This summer, I am participating in a three-month internship at IBM. After my doctorate, I plan to complete a post-doc at a good academic institution, and hope to be able to return in the future as a member of faculty.
If I was asked whether I would repeat my decision to study hear, I would answer, “Absolutely!” Only, this time I would make it earlier. I should point out that if I started over today, I would want to begin in the data science and engineering track, which didn’t exist back then.