Last Thursday, June 6, 2022, a celebratory toast was held to honor Reichman University’s outstanding researchers and lecturers. The event was hosted by Provost Prof. Varda Liberman, and was attended by the university's president, Prof. Rafi Melnick, and its vice president and CEO, Dr. Ayelet Ben Ezer.
Prof. Liberman opened the event by saying: “The ideal academic is one who excels in groundbreaking research, but who is also an inspiring lecturer who disseminates their knowledge to students and contributes to the community, both on and off campus.”
Prof. Melnick: “This toast has been our tradition for several years. Researchers and lecturers from various fields meet, present their work and research, and exchange views, and I am happy to take part in this special forum.”
Dr. Ben-Ezer: “The fascinating topics you are researching and teaching are a testimony to Reichman University’s impressive academic prowess.”
Later in the day, the university’s two outstanding researchers received their awards and certificates at the honorary doctorate conferment ceremony held at Radzyner Square on campus. The awards were presented by Prof. Liberman, who said, “The two outstanding researchers who were chosen for their groundbreaking research are also outstanding lecturers, and their research contributes far beyond the academic framework within which they operate.”
The university’s outstanding researchers for this year are:
Prof. Ruth Feldman of the Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology, whose research deals with the identification of the neural networks, biological processes, and behavioral patterns that allow humans to build close relationships, express empathy, and foster cooperation from infancy to adulthood. Her research has gained recognition in Israel and around the world, and, among other achievements, she was the recipient of the prestigious EMET Prize.
But beyond that, her worldview is that science should serve the community. Her research topics, which include parenting, touch, love, empathy, depression and trauma, are relevant to all. She was the first to study “kangaroo care” for preterm infants, and tracked its effects for 20 years. Her findings changed procedures in NICUs and improved care for millions of preterm babies. She developed a home-based intervention for mothers suffering from postpartum depression, and built a dialogue-focused intervention for Jewish and Arab adolescents. Her work constitutes an innovative approach focusing on early bonding as the basis for brain development and the human ability to love, empathize and cooperate.
Prof. Ariel Shamir of the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science and former dean of the school, who researches the fields of computer graphics and machine learning, with an emphasis on the visual and abstract understanding of the world and the building of digital tools for creativity and modeling. The problems he deals with are related to the analysis and semantic understanding of the visual world, as well as the automatic or semi-automatic creation of images, films and three-dimensional objects.
Much of Prof. Shamir’s research is about trying to enable computers to understand not only images and movies taken with cameras, but also abstract content, illustrations and art. Such research could help future artificial intelligence to better understand and perhaps better communicate with humans, for example by creating “intelligent” digital tools that may help us all be more creative.
This year’s outstanding researchers from each school are:
Dr. Yaniv Roznai of the Harry Radzyner Law School; Prof. Boaz Ganor of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy; Prof. Asaf Manela of the Arison School of Business; Dr. Ohad Fried of the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science; Dr. Hadas Erel of the Sammy Ofer School of Communications; Dr. Oren Levintal of the Tiomkin School of Economics; Prof. Yair Tauman of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship; Prof. Boaz Ben-David of the Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology; and Dr. Asaf Tzachor of the School of Sustainability.
The outstanding researchers from each school will receive their awards and certificates at ceremonies to take place at their respective schools.
This year’s outstanding lecturers from each school are:
Dr. Ronit Levine-Schnur of the Harry Radzyner Law School; Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy; Prof. Eyal Biyalogorsky of the Arison School of Business; Prof. Elette Boyle of the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science; Dr. Keren Tzur-Eyal of the Sammy Ofer School of Communications; Prof. Nava Levit-Binnun of the Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology; Dr. Nadav Levy of the Tiomkin School of Economics; Dr. Shiri Zemah Shamir of the School of Sustainability, and Dr. Galia Einav of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship.
The outstanding lecturers from each school will receive their awards and certificates at ceremonies to take place at their respective schools.