Meet Our Faculty: Prof. Avinatan Hassidim

Meet Prof. Avinatan Hassidim, 37,of the Department of Computer Science at Bar-Ilan University, head of the Google Research Group in Israel, and one of The Marker's "40 under 40" list of promising young superstars of 2018. A graduate of the IDF's elite Talpiot training program for recruits with top scores in math and physics, Avinatan served in the IDF's top secret and prestigious Intelligence Corps crack cybersecurity unit known as "8200," and received the Israeli Chief of Staff Award given to some 25 outstanding officers each year. He joined Bar-Ilan’s faculty in 2010, after completing a post-doc at MIT and serving as a consultant at Microsoft in the US.

At BIU, Hassidim’s research focuses on market design, which he explains, "combines several cool properties: theoretical analysis (algorithms and proofs) with experiments and data; tools from the fields of Game Theory, Economics and Psychology; and a real-world impact." Avinatan spearheaded the development of an algorithm for placement of Israeli MDs in hospital internships (a more efficient alternative to the lottery method) and for a matching system for admittance to Israeli clinical psychology programs. Currently, he is designing a system for placing Israeli law grads in firms according to their specialty areas.

Hassidim, who completed his PhD in Quantum Computing at Hebrew University at the age of 27, says BIU’s Computer Science Department is one of Israel's best with international renown in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cyber and other fields. "BIU probably has the most collaborative computer science department in Israel. Our researchers work closely together and we also have strong ties with other departments." "I was amazed to see how supportive the departmental staff is, and how open the university is to requests made by my team and others." Passionate about his field, Avinatan says "I want my students to love research – to go to sleep thinking about what they want to explore, so they'll wake up with novel ideas and solutions."

In his lead position at the R&D center of Google Israel, he works with a team of 50 researchers, to advance novel research in AI and, specifically, in machine learning, with practical and often life-saving applications. A notable example: the group designed an early warning system on the Google search engine to alert residents and tourists of impending floods in India.

For more information about BIU's Department of Computer Science click here