DSI Outstanding Publication Award Winners

Arie CattanComputer SciencePHDIdo DaganACL 2023From Key Points to Key Point Hierarchy: Structured and Expressive Opinion Summarization
Ariel AlexiInformation ScienceMSDr. Ariel Rosenfeld, Dr. Teddy LazebnikComputational EconomicsMicrofounded Tax Revenue Forecast Model with Heterogeneous Population and Genetic Algorithm Approach
Avi CaciularuComputer SciecnePHDProf. Ido Dagan, Prof. Jacob GoldbergerACL 2023Peek Across: Improving Multi-Document Modeling via Cross-Document Question-Answering
Avinoam BlumGraduate School of Business AdministrationPHDDr. Alon RavivFinance Research LettersThe effects of the financial crisis and Basel III on banks’ risk disclosure: A textual analysis
Aviv NavonEngineeringPHDProf. Gal Chechik, Dr. Ethan FetayaICML 2023Equivariant Architectures for Learning in Deep Weight Spaces
Aviv ShamsianEngineeringPHDProf. Gal Chechik, Dr. Ethan FetayaICML 2023Auxiliary Learning as an Asymmetric Bargaining Game
Bnaya GrossPhysicsPHDProf. Shlomo HavlinEPL (Europhysics Letters)Improving robustness of spatial networks via reinforced nodes
Danit Abukasis-ShifmanEngineeringMSDr Gonen Singer and Prof Izack CohenEngineering Applications of Artificial IntelligenceAn adaptive machine learning algorithm for the resource-constrained classification problem
Dr. Goutam ChoudhuryDepartment of Geography and EnvironmentPost-DocDr. Tom GorenESSD (Earth System Science Data)A first global height-resolved cloud condensation nuclei data set derived from spaceborne lidar measurements
Gideon FreundMathematicsMSProf. Sarit KrausICML 2023A Coupled Flow Approach to Imitation Learning
Idan AchituveFaculty of EngineeringPHDDr. Ethan Fetaya, Prof. Gal ChechikUAI 2023Guided Deep Kernel Learning
Itzik DavidThe School of Business AdministrationPHDProf. Roy GelbardSSRN (Social Science Research Network)Does Agile Methodology Fit All Characteristics of Software Projects?
Jonathan SvirskyEngineeringPHDDr. Ofir LindenbaumNeurIPS 2022Discovery of Single Independent Latent Variable
Miriam Shirel KarmonLife SciencesPHDProf. Erez LevanonJournal of Investigative DermatologyAltered RNA Editing in Atopic Dermatitis Highlights the Role of Double-Stranded RNA for Immune Surveillance
Natalie ShapiraComputer SciencePHDProf. Yoav GoldbergECIR 2023Evaluating Humorous Response Generation to Playful Shopping Requests
omer goldmanComputer SciencePHDProf. Reut TsarfatyTACLMorphology Without Borders: Clause-Level Morphology
Omri SuissaInformation SciencePHDProf. Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet, Dr. Avshalom ElmalechJournal on Computing and Cultural HeritageAround the GLOBE: Numerical Aggregation Question-Answering on Heterogeneous Genealogical Knowledge Graphs with Deep Neural Networks
Orel BabayoffGraduate School of Business AdministrationPHDProf. Onn ShehoryJournal of Medical SystemsImproving Hospital Outpatient Clinics Appointment Schedules by Prediction Models
Osnat DrienComputer SciencePHDDr. Yael AmsterdamerSIGMOD 2023Query-Guided Resolution in Uncertain Databases
Ron EliavComputer ScienceMSProf. Ido DaganCogSci 2023Query-Guided Resolution in Uncertain Databases
Roni Cohen-FultheimLife SciencesPHDErez LevanonFrontiers in EndocrinologyADAR1-dependent editing regulates human β cell transcriptome diversity during inflammation
Royi LachmyComputer SciencePost-DocProf. Reut TsarfatyTACLDraw Me a Flower: Processing and Grounding Abstraction in Natural Language
Sapir IsraeliMathematicsPHDProf. Yoram LouzounFrontiers in ImmunologyTrans-population graph-based coverage optimization of allogeneic cellular therapy
Shauli RavfogelComputer SciencePHDProf. Yoav GoldbergACL 2023Linear Guardedness and its Implications
Sunanda Biswas MukherjeeFaculty of MedicinePHDDr. Milana Frenkel-MorgensternFEBS Open BioSeasonal UV exposure and vitamin D: association with the dynamics of COVID-19 transmission in Europe
Valentina PyatkinComputer SciencePHDProf. Ido Dagan, Prof. Reut TsarfatyACL 2023ClarifyDelphi: Reinforced Clarification Questions with Defeasibility Rewards for Social and Moral Situations

DSI Outstanding Publication Award  

April, 2023 


The DSI at BIU would like to recognize and reward exceptional work in the area of data science that resulted in a significant contribution to the field. The award will be open to all students in the university who have recently published an academic publication in the field of data science in a top-tier peer-reviewed venue. This is a unique opportunity for BIU students to receive recognition for their hard work. 

The Outstanding Publication Awards will be provided in the form of a scholarship. The scholarships are intended to support and encourage students to continue their academic pursuits in data science.

The DSI has allocated a total of up to 50K NIS for scholarships of 1,000 to 4,000 NIS each. The applications will be reviewed by a panel of experts from the Data Science Institute, and the winners will be announced at the DSI retreat that will take place in June 2023. The total number of scholarships and the individual scholarship amounts will be determined based on the quality and significance of the publications. 

Eligibility Criteria and Limitations

  • The call is open to all BIU research students of DSI Members:
    • An applying student needs to be an active registered BIU student or PostDoc in the academic year of TASHPAG.
  • The call is open to any publication (e.g. journal or conference paper) in the field of data science in a top-tier peer-reviewed venue. The publication date (the date used for citation purposes) must be from the current academic year – i.e. Oct 1, 2022 – Sep 30, 2023. 
  • An applicant must be one of the authors of the publication.  
  • Students may submit multiple applications (each for a different publication), however, the total award per student is limited to 4,000 NIS.
  • In the case that a single publication has multiple eligible authors, these authors can apply separately, however, this co-authorship will be taken into account when the committee decides on the scholarship amount.

Submission Guidelines and Process

  • The application should be submitted by the student via the following form:
  • Submissions include:
    • Name of applicant, name of BIU advisor(s), publication reference and URL.  
  • Deadline for submission: June 11, 2023.
  • The awards will be announced at the DSI retreat that will take place in mid June 2023.

If you have published an academic paper in the area of data science, we strongly encourage you to apply for the DSI Outstanding Publication Awards. This is an excellent opportunity for you to gain recognition for your work, and we look forward to receiving your applications.

We wish you all the best of luck.


The Data Science Institute

For any questions contact: dsi@biu.ac.il

Data Science Institute manager at Bar-Ilan University

The Data Science Institute (DSI) at Bar Ilan University is an academic-research institute, whose mission is to promote scientific research in data science and the use of data science methods in all research fields in the academy and the industry. The institute works to integrate the use of data science in research in the various faculties and in the future aims to provide research and consulting services to the industry.

We are looking for an institute manager who will lead to the next stage in the expansion of the Institute’s activities in both academy and industry.

The DSI Manager will promote DS research across all university faculties, with emphasis on social and humanities, and will seek and promote industrial collaboration and research services for the industry.

As the DSI manager you will

  • Lead the DSI team (computing, admin, DS research personnel, academic)
  • Take part in the annual planning with the director/steering committee and be in charge of plan execution managerial and financial
  • Develop external connections and communication: seek and promote academic collaboration, including initiation and support for joint grant proposals, promote the DSI in the media and provide research services and support
  • Develop profitable services of consulting and research in the industry


  • Educational background: A master’s or doctoral degree in a field related to data science, e.g., computer science, statistics, math, etc.
  • Relevant work experience: Experience in a related field, such as data analysis, machine learning, etc.
  • Proven experience in team management.
  • Research and publication: Experience conducting and publishing research in the field of data science with business experience – desirable
  • Experienced in organizational change implementation – desirable

For DSI manager position you will need:

  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to manage a diverse team. Experience with project management and the ability to prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities effectively are also important.
  • A deep understanding of data science concepts and techniques, as well as experience with relevant tools and programming languages such as Python, R, SQL, and machine learning frameworks.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work collaboratively with other departments, faculty, and staff. The ability to communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders is also desirable.

Apply to: dsi-director.office@biu.ac.il

DSI Updates – March 2023


Welcome Onn Shehory

We are thrilled to announce that Professor Onn Shehory has taken over the role of Director of the Data Science Institute. Professor Shehory has an impressive track record of research in artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, and machine learning, and we are excited to see him bring his expertise to the Institute.

As Director, Professor Shehory will lead the Institute in its mission to advance the understanding and application of data science. His vision for the Institute is to continue building a strong research community that produces cutting-edge research in data science, fosters collaboration with industry partners, and trains the next generation of data scientists.

We would also like to take a moment to express our deep gratitude to Professor Ido Dagan for his significant contributions as Director. During his tenure, Professor Dagan has led the Institute to new heights and spearheaded initiatives that have had a lasting impact on the field of data science. We are immensely grateful for his leadership, dedication, and passion for data science.

With Professor Shehory at the helm, we are excited for the future of the Data Science Institute and the continued advancements in the field of data science. Please join us in welcoming Professor Shehory to his new role and in thanking Professor Dagan for his exceptional service to the Institute.

Welcome Yoel Shitrit

We would also like to welcome Yoel Shitrit who has recently joined the DSI and is responsible for managing the computing services offered by the Institute. Yoel has a rich IT background of over 25 years serving as technical leader and manager in multiple global and multinational companies. Yoel completed the CIO senior management course at the Technion and is studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Law (LL.B ) at College of Management.

Yoel will be working closely with BIU’s ICT Dept., the DSI members and the numerous users of the DSI cluster to improve the Institute’s offerings and services. 


Reminder: All past and upcoming events are posted on the DSI website.

Upcoming Events

DSI Dinner – March 13, 2023

We are glad to invite you to our annual dinner event that will take place on March 13, 2023 17:00-20:00 at BIU’s Brain Research Center hall. The event is open to all BIU researchers interested in data science including faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, BIU alumni and friends of the DSI. This will be an opportunity for us all to meet, learn about recent research activities and enjoy a dinner event. 

Agenda will include: short talks by 3 of the 2020 DSI grant recipients and a keynote talk by Prof. Dafna Shahaf from HUJI followed by a festive poster session and dinner. For full event details see: https://dsi.biu.ac.il/event/dsi-dinner-march-13-2023/

Call for Posters: We invite poster presentations on recent work in all areas of data science. We accept both published and unpublished work, provided that it represents recent and original work of interest to our audience. 


  1. Register in the following form  https://dsi.biu.ac.il/2023-dinner-registration
    (as we need to know the expected number of attendees in advance to properly plan the catering and other logistics)
  2. Register to the poster session: https://forms.gle/XXeusiWjWqesndah9 

Looking forward to seeing you all. 

Learning Club – Machine Learning Talk Series

The BIU Learning club is an ongoing seminar on machine learning that takes place on Sundays, featuring selected speakers from Israel and abroad.  

Upcoming talks:

Academic research on the cloud – Microsoft Event

You are invited to a special event hosted by Mictrosoft on tools for academic research on the cloud. The event will take place on 13.3.23 and is open for academic researchers. For further details and registration see here

Past Events


The 16th Bar-Ilan Symposium on Foundations of Artificial Intelligence, BISFAI 2023, took place during the first two days of February at Bar-Ilan University and was partially supported by the DSI. The program included a keynote talk by Prof. Gal Chechik on “Talk about images: Learn to reason about the perceived world” as well as many other talks by other DSI members.

IDSI Conference – January 2023

The Second International Israel Data Science Initiative Conference took place this last January in Ein-Gedi. Many speakers and participants from BIU attended the successful conference. The DSI provided financial support to attend the conference to 24 faculty members and students who presented their work at the event. Prof. Ido Dagan gave a keynote talk titled: “Beyond End-to-End:Regaining transparency and control through Task and Representation Decomposition”.

The DSI Member Retreat 2022

On 13-14 of June 2022, 50 faculty members from across BIU gathered in the Jerusalem hills at the Yearim Hotel for two packed-full days to meet and discuss data-science.  The DSI-member retreat offered an opportunity to get together and get a glimpse of the overall picture of the data-science scene at BIU.

We are looking forward to seeing you all again for this academic year’s retreat planned for June 2023 and that will be open to DSI faculty members and their graduate students. 

DSI Support 

Support for data science events

If you are a DSI member and are planning or organizing a data science event in TASHPAG and are seeking support – we may be able to. Please send any such request to dsi@biu.ac.il.

DSI Call for Travel Grants 2023

The DSI provides travel grants on a competitive basis to encourage the active participation of students in major scientific international events. Grants are provided for presenting a novel scientific paper in major conferences/workshops, primarily in the core DS areas.  Application is open for travel that will take place until the end of TASHPAG. Eligible BIU students are welcome to apply. For call details see: https://dsi.biu.ac.il/dsi-call-for-travel-grants-2023/.


DSI Storage

The DSI central storage solution provides disk space to the DSI cluster users. It provides an efficient solution for users home directories, lab directories, public data sets and temporary working data. If you or your lab require additional storage space please enquire at DSI Tech Support dsitech.support@biu.ac.il.

Oracle Research Grants

Oracle Israel is working with Bar-Ilan University in order to create a research community that brings about positive change in the world by advancing research through cloud computing through a program of direct support and community engagement. Direct Support is achieved through the provision of Oracle for Research grants. 

For more details see here


DSI Research Grants (TASHPAB)

In TASHPB, the Data Science Institute circulated a call to its members for data science projects.  

The competitive call received 20 submissions by 26 PIs from 13 Departments – demonstrating the broad and diverse reach of the DSI. 11 projects by 19 PIs were accepted and granted a total of 1,100,000₪ while generating many new collaborations. The full list of accepted grants is available on the DSI website

Congrats to the winners and we are looking forward to learning about their progress in upcoming DSI dinner events. 

Mentions in popular media

  • Ynet article on Asaf Peer’s research.
  • Walla article on Dr. Ayal Hendel’s European consortium project on applying genetic editing to cure sickle cell disease. 


  • PhD VATAT Scholarship winners, TASHPAB (3 out of 10 nationally granted scholarships):
    • Avi Caciularu (Computer Science)
    • Idan Achituve (Engineering)
    • Roni Cohen-Fultheim (Life Sciences)
  • DSI PhD Scholarship winners (TASHPAB):
    • Amit Gilboa (Engineering)
    • Omer Goldman (Computer Science)
    • Arie Cattan (Computer Science) 
  • This year’s Rector’s Prize for Scientific Innovation – 3 DSI members among winners:
    • Prof. Asaf Peer (Physics) 
    • Prof. Yuval Feldman  (Law)
    • Dr. Avi Shmidman (The Department for Literature of the Jewish People)
  • Sanhedrai Hillel (PhD student under supervision of Shlomo Havlin and Baruch Barzel) for winning this year’s VATAT’s data science post doctoral scholarship. 
  • Dr. Avi Shmidman for winning a ten million euro ERC Synergy grant to develop computational analysis that will enable full-text search of the entire corpus of medieval Hebrew manuscripts and revolutionize Jewish studies. 
  • Dr. Ayal Hendel for winning a 6 million euro European Consortium grant  on genetic editing.
  • Prof.  Onn Shehory on being named a Senior Member of IEEE
  • Prof. Simi Haber and Dr. Or Sheffet on winning the 2022 Artificial Intelligence Journal (AIJ) Prominent Paper Award for their joint 2015 paper – “Optimal social choice functions: A utilitarian view”. 
  • Ori Ernst, Ori Shapira, Michael Lepioshkin, Jacob Goldberger, and Ido Dagan for CoNLL 2021 Best Paper Award runner-up. Proposition-level Alignment: Task, Datasets and Supervised Baseline
  • Prof. Sharon Gannot for ICASSP best paper award

The Data Science Institute at Bar-Ilan University
For further information or to unsubscribe from future updates – dsi@biu.ac.il

DSI Call for Travel Grants 2023 (תשפ”ג)

The Data Science Institute at Bar-Ilan University

Call publication: January, 2023 


BIU DSI would like to enhance the visibility of data science research at BIU and to promote the education and career of young students. Therefore, we are opening this call to provide travel grants to encourage the active participation of students in top-tier scientific international events. Grants will be provided for authors of a novel scientific paper in major conferences primarily in the core DS areas. 

Call Details

Funding scope and duration

  • Limitations:
    • Up to 7K for a trip to the Americas/Far East/Australia
    • Up to 4K for EMEA 
  • The funds will be available for travel that will take place until the end of Aug 2023. 
  • The call will be continuously open until the budget is exhausted. Generally, the proposals will be evaluated on a “first come first served” basis. 
  • The DSI may decide at any point to end or freeze the call based on availability of funds.
  • Proposals will be evaluated by a committee assigned by the DSI.

Eligibility criteria

  • Venue must be a top-tier core data-science venue. Accepted venues include:
    • ML: NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, MLSP 
    • Vision: CVPR, ICCV, ECCV
    • Data Mining: KDD, CIKM, PKDD, ICDM 
    • Audio & Speech:  ICASSP, EUSIPCO, Interspeech, WASPAA, ASRU
    • Web: WWW, SIGIR, WSDM
    • Others: based on committee’s approval of similar prominence to those in the list
  • The call is open to all BIU research students of DSI Members:
    • An applying student needs to be an active registered BIU student or PostDoc.
    • A DSI Faculty Member must be an advisor of the applicant, and should support the application.
  • Up to 3 granted awards for applications supported by the same advisor
  • No more than one award per student. 
  • Grants are eligible only to authors of a main venue paper.
  • Budget limitations apply per paper/publication – in the case that there are multiple authors of the same paper. 

Submission Guidelines

  • The proposal should be submitted by a student, signed and supported by the advisor.
  • Response will be given within 3 weeks of submitting the request. If the travel grant is approved, a budget number will be provided for the Bar-Ilan travel application form, with the allocated amount.
  • Submit request as soon as possible after receiving the conference acceptance notice (and in any case up to 3 weeks before submitting the travel approval form to the Gizbarut, to allow inclusion of the respective budget item for the travel grant).

Each proposal should include the following information, using the attached template file:

  1. The publication details: Name of Venue, title of talk, abstract and names of co-authors 
  2. Abstract 
  3. Acceptance approval 
  4. Travel dates (travel must take place during 2023)
  5. Rough budget plan:
    1. Total Budget – itemized
    2. Indicate amount requested from DSI.
    3. List of other funding sources (if applicable).  
  6. Names and Signatures of applicant and advisor

The proposal should be submitted to the Bar-Ilan Data Science Institute dsi@biu.ac.il.    


  • Call open for continuous submission till the end of Aug 2023, for trips incurred in 2023. 
  • Process will follow the standard travel report process at BIU (including submitting the post-travel report for reimbursement).   

For any questions contact: dsi@biu.ac.il

Oracle for Research

Oracle Israel is working with Bar-Ilan University in order to create a research community that brings about positive change in the world by advancing research through cloud computing.

Oracle approaches this through a program of direct support and community engagement. Direct Support is achieved through the provision of Oracle for Research grants. 

The program provides the following benefits:

  • A simple and fast grant request process 
  • Provision of sufficient Credits in Oracle Cloud to run the research program. (The Credits can be used freely across all platform and infrastructure services e.g.  GPUs, HPC clusters including RDMA Networking,  Research friendly technology such as Oracle Autonomous Database)
  • End to end support by both local and global Oracle resources assisting with Cloud and Research related topics:
  • Collaborative marketing and signal boosting around published papers, media releases and services. 
  • Research institute / academic retains all IP rights. 
  • Open Data: Hosting and optimisation of large public and reference data sets. 
  • Open source tooling: Investments in tooling and automation to make these data sets more useful.
  • Connections: Building and supporting communities of practice to take these tools and data forwards to solve some real world issues.

Happy to start with you- please contact Noam Nudelman – IT BIU. <noam@biu.ac.il>

List of DSI grant winners – TASHPAB

The competitive call received 20 submissions by 26 PIs from 13 Departments – demonstrating the broad and diverse reach of the DSI. 11 projects by 19 PIs were accepted and granted a total of 1,100,000₪ while generating many new collaborations.

The list of accepted grants:

Prof. Yoram Louzoun (Math)Prediction with very high fraction of missing data
Prof. Onn Shehory (Business Administration)Prediction and optimization of patient appointment lengths
Prof. Dan T. Major (Chemistry)Modeling Molecules in 3D using SE(3) Equivariant Self-Supervision Interaction Potentials
Dr. Alon Bartal (Business Administration)Identifying Novel Risk Factors for Childbirth-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Analyzing Medical Records of Peripartum Women
Prof. Hillel Kugler (Engineering)Prof. Tomer Kalisky (Engineering)A toolset for predictive modeling of Gene Regulatory Networks in development and disease
Prof. Gur Yaari (Engineering)Dr. Ofir Lindenbaum (Engineering)Immune receptor sequence alignment using deep neural networks
Prof. Gil Ariel (Math)Dr. Emanuel A. Lazar (Math)Topological Data Analysis of Biological and Chemical Patterns
Prof. Michal Ben-Shachar (Linguistics)Dr. Yael Greenberg (Linguistics)Prof. Yoav Goldberg (Computer Science)Prediction, Expectation and Mirativity in Natural Language
Dr. Binyamin Knisbacher (Life Sciences)Prof. Shlomo Havlin (Physics)Studying heterogeneity in aging and cancer through single-cell gene expression networks
Dr. Amit Somech (Computer Science)Dr. Oren Glickman (Computer Science)Generating On-Demand Data Tables From Text
Prof. Simi Haber (Math)Prof. Reuven Cohen (Math)Reliability and flexibility of the power grid and other infrastructure networks
List of DSI grant winners – TASHPAB

Congrats to the winners and we are looking forward to learning about their progress in upcoming DSI dinner events. 

Open Position: Academic Computing Manager

We have an open position for an Academic Computing Manager.

The role includes working closely with BIU’s IT dept. to set up a shared computing cluster for the researcher’s at Bar-Ilan University requiring computational resources. The cluster will include high end GPU severs, shared storage, servers for CPU-based computing and more. As part of the role, the computing manager will also provide support and guidance to the users as well as setting up a billing scheme and mechanism.

Apple here.