Ronen Kagan (department honoree of 2009) and Liran Gavish have raised an initial investment for GBooking from the Russian company Yandex.

The company is now facing the first recruiting round of a a few millions of dollars. As published in The Marker:



Published in The Marker on March 3rd 2010, as part of an article titled "The Arab Sector - Bungling and Opportunity"

Obstacle Course/Guy Grimland

Rima Marih (23), a Druze from Daliat Al Carmel, is working these days at Agam Mehalev. The company implements the Orot LeTaasuka program in Israel, and is co-managed by an Israeli company (Mertens Hoffman) and a Dutch company (Tinguely). The program's main objective is to assist its participants, who receive income support benefit, in joining the workforce.

Marih develops the software that runs the program. After passing her high school finals successfully, she has taken a year off and contemplated what to study. "I have consulted my father and he recommended that I study computers. I have enrolled in the University of Haifa and in the Technion, and have been accepted in both," she says. "Eventually I decided to study management information systems and human resources in the University of Haifa. I earned my bachelor's degree in 2009. During my job quest I heard from friends that voluntary association Tsofen is leading a course designed to train Arab engineers. I graduated from the course in August 2009 and have attended two job interviews. One was in Tel Aviv, and the other one was in Nazareth, where I have been accepted. I started working in October. The company implements and develops information systems that assist unemployed people in finding jobs."

Does racism play a role in hiring Arab engineers in high tech companies? "I do not know if there is racism. The problem is that female Arab students graduate and wind up taking jobs as computer teachers, or as secretaries or clerks. If you aim high you reach high."



Stories about faculty members

A Palmtop for the Museum - an article by "The University of Haifa news" from March 2007 about a development in which Dr. Tsvi Kuflik and Dr. Pnina Soffer have partaken

A "wise" personal guide for the museum in your very hand The device, operating on artificial intelligence technology, will guide, ask questions and provide information on each and every exhibit. By the time the tour ends it will also learn what you find interesting and what you don't.

The future is already here, this time walking hand in hand with the field of culture and arts: a cooperation between the university and the Italian research institute ITC-irst has brought on the development of a "wise" museum guide, that, using the new technology of artificial intelligence, will know how to match your museum visit to your personal preferences, how to locate you in the museum, what you find interesting, which details to provide you with, and also will provide you with presentations and videos regarding the exhibits, as well as allowing you to communicate with your friends who are in another showroom. The cooperation between the University of Haifa Caesarea Rotchild Institute and ITC-irst institute of Trento has been signed three years ago and its objective has been the creation of technology to be put in use for cultural needs. In the first demonstration of this innovative development held in the Hecht museum in the university the new interactive guide has been showcased. This is a palmtop that accompanies the visitor during their stay in the museum. Not only does it teach, but it studies the visitor, too.

The guide has been developed by an interdisciplinary research group: Dr. Tsvi Kuflik and Dr. Pnina Soffer from the Department of Information Systems, Dr. Yaakov Kahanov, Dr. Nadav Kashtan and Ms. Shahar Katz from the Department of Maritime Civilizations, Ms. Julia Sheidin from the Department of Mathematics, Dr. Dina Goren-Bar from the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences and Dr. Larry Manevitz, Mr. Ariel Gurfinkel and Mr. Sadek Jbara from the Department of Computer Sciences. As soon as the visitor approaches a certain exhibit, the computer recognizes the exhibit and presents them with a few relevant questions about it, from which the visitor can choose the ones they wish to receive information about. The technological guide can also provide videos that "bring to life" the inanimate exhibits, all by the choices and preferences of the user.

During the tour, according to the visitor's choices, the guide will study their preferences, so that along the way, it will know the information to display or spare.

Eventually, each visitor will have had experienced a different visit: they will be presented with different details, pick the exhibits they wish to receive more information about and focus on exhibits they find more interesting, all thanks to the artificial intelligence of the new guide.

The cooperation agreement between the two institutes has been prolonged for three and a half more years. The province of Trento has donated 600 thousand Euros for the continuance of the relationship, a sum to be mostly invested in continuing research in the University of Haifa Caesarea Rotchild Institute. The Italian government has transferred 1.5 million Euros for a new project that the researchers of both institutes are now working on, also in the field of portable technological innovations and their use for cultural needs.



Dr. Mor Peleg wins the New Investigator Award of the American Medical Informatics Association