DSI Updates – March 2021


Upcoming Calls

VATAT call for PhD and Postdoc scholarships

The call for the VATAT scholarships for outstanding Postdoc students and VATAT scholarship for outstanding Data Science doctoral students in their first or second year was circulated. Details will be provided from the departments and in a separate email to the DSI members. 

DSI additional call for PhD scholarships

We are happy to share that this year the DSI will also grant scholarships for outstanding Data Science doctoral students in their first or second year, intended exclusively for the DSI members’ students. Details will come later in a separate email to the DSI members. 


As part of the partnership between the Israel Data Science Initiative (IDSI) and the Helmholtz Information and Data Science Academy (HIDA) we recently circulated a call for the student exchange program. We are happy to share that we had two applications from BIU DSI members. We’ll keep updated with additional relevant HIDA programs and calls.  


EUMAS 2021 Call for Papers: The 18th European Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (EUMAS ’21) is organized by Ariel Rosenfeld (Bar-Ilan) and Nimrod Talmon (BGU) and will be held (virtually) at June 28-29, 2021; the deadline for submissions is March 14, 2021. See details here: https://biu-ai.com/EUMAS21/


  • R: There is an active community of R users with over 80 members. If you use R in your research and interested in being part of the community, please send an email to Dr. Yogev Kivity – yogev.kivity@biu.ac.il
  • Oracle POC: As part of a POC with Oracle Cloud Platform they have offered us free credits to use their platform till the end of March. Platform includes a wide range of possible server configurations including strong GPUs. If interested please send an email to oren.glickman@biu.ac.il.
  • Google’s TensorFlow Research Cloud (TFRC) program enables researchers to apply for access to a cluster of more than 1,000 Cloud TPUs. For more information and application see – https://www.tensorflow.org/tfrc


All relevant events are posted on the DSI website.

Workshop: State-of-the-Art Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Workshop on State-of-the-Art NLP will be held on Thursday May 27th, 2021 at Bar-Ilan University for research faculty and research students in the social sciences and humanities who wish to use up-to-date Natural Language Processing methods in their research domains. 

For more details see: 

Learning Club – Machine Learning Talk Series

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

Upcoming talk by Roi Livni (Department of Electrical Engineering at Tel Aviv University) 

When: Time: Sunday April 14th, 2021 12:00 PM – 13:00 PM.


DS Course List

We would like to remind you that we (the DSI) maintain a list of data science courses that are given at BIU, which can be easily explored by different category types. The interactive list is available on our website: 

New Courses

How can we analyze and share data without jeopardizing privacy?

Dr. Or Sheffet from the Faculty of Engineering will be teaching a course on Differential Privacy. 

The course studies the theory underlying differential privacy its connections to a vast array of research areas: statistics, learning theory, cryptography, computational complexity, convex geometry, mechanism design, and more.

Eng. 83908: Mon, 17:00-19:00, Online (Zoom).

Faculty Credit Program (Google) 

Google offers a faculty credit program providing cloud credit to students. Faculty members can apply specifying the course details and will issue individual coupons (typically of $50) that students can redeem and apply to their accounts.. These coupons are instrumentless so there is no credit card needed when using these credits. If during the course a student runs out of credits,  one can always issue them more. For more information please see receiving and redeeming coupons.

Open Positions

M.A., Ph.D. and Postdoc positions

  • Prof. Sharon Gannot is looking for PhD students and/or Postdoctoral trainees with a strong background in statistical signal processing and machine learning. Experience in audio signal processing and high programming skills will be considered as an advantage. Suitable for advanced Computer Science or Engineering students. Details:: gannotsh@gmail.com
  • Tomer Kalisky’s single cell genomics lab is seeking M.Sc. and Ph.D. students. The group studies single-cell genomics in development, regeneration, and cancer using computational data analysis and machine learning algorithms. Qualifications: a strong background in engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science, or computational biology. Excellent undergraduate students are also encouraged to apply. Details: Tomer.kalisky@biu.ac.il.
  • Open PhD and MSc positions at the Neural Interfaces lab lead by Prof. Izhar Bar-Gad (Brain Research Center):
    • Identification of involuntary movements from video: In a joint project with Schneider children’s hospital they collected videos from Tourette syndrome patients displaying involuntary facial movements (motor tics).
      • Research definition: Unsupervised learning algorithms for identifying repeating behavioral motifs from the video.
      • Required background: Computer vision, Machine learning.
  • Identification of animal behavior from a kinematic time series: They record kinematic signals (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer) from animals during natural behavior. This information is consequently used to decode the behavior and link it to brain activity.
    • Research definition: Unsupervised learning algorithms for identifying repeating behavioral motifs from the kinematic signals.
    • Required background: Machine learning, Time series analysis.
  • For more details: Prof. Izhar Bar-Gad <Izhar.Bar-Gad@biu.ac.il>.

Student Positions

The Smart Transportation Center (BIU + Technoin) is running a project that requires implementing a text classification system for academic articles. They are looking for a student to work on the project on an hourly basis. Estimated 100 hours over the next 3-4 months (budget of 7,000 NIS). For context see Initial Report on Knowledge Gap Identification –  Big Data and Data Analytics Committee. Anyone interested can send an email to: oren.glickman@biu.ac.il



  • Google offers courses/training in our cloud programs for Students and Faculty for Career readiness. This will allow the students to build skills for Cloud in two areas: Cloud Engineer and  Data Analyst
    • Career readiness – information on the program and link for application – Link
    • Google Cloud Computing Foundations – Link
  • For questions regarding Google programs and offers feel free to contact Ofra Shaltiel, Public Sector Business Manager,  Google Cloud, Israel, EMEA. ofras@google.com 

Nvidia Deep Learning Institute (DLI) Ambassadors 

Nvidia Deep Learning Institute (DLI) is looking for PhD students/academic faculty members who wish to be Ambassadors – certified on Nvidia courses, and who may run Nvidia courses free of charge at the universities (note – these courses are usually paid courses). Up until now there were 6 ambassadors from 3 universities in Israel, and the desire is to expand the local ambassador numbers. Running these courses at the university can be a great benefit for students and faculty – where courses vary from Fundamentals of DL to areas like NLP, Video Analytics, and more. Courses usually run as 1 day seminars.

For more information on Nvidia DLI and the Ambassador program see these two links below:

2021 Internships with the Facebook Core Data Science team

Core Data Science (https://research.fb.com/teams/core-data-science/) at Facebook Research is accepting applications for an intern position with the team in Tel Aviv for the summer of 2021. For the Tel Aviv based internship they are looking for PhD students and postdocs with experience in ML, Statistics, or CS, including PhD students from other fields that have hands-on experience with those research areas. The internship program consists of 12-16 weeks of full-time paid work. The internships are planned for summer 2021, though there’s some flexibility.

Applications can be made via https://www.facebook.com/careers/jobs/360382118322817/

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

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