The Faculty of Data and Decision Sciences
This is the new name of the Technion Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management. The Faculty is being renamed following changes in the research focus and the curriculum
The Faculty of Data and Decision Sciences is the new name of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The change went into effect January 1, 2023. According to Faculty Dean, Professor Rann Smorodinsky, “Over the past two decades, the Faculty has changed its research focus and curriculum, and as a result, the former name no longer reflects most of the staff, students, and alumni. The new name accurately represents the change that has occurred in the Faculty’s DNA and will help us attract outstanding students and young academic staff, as well as in building collaborations with relevant industries.”
There are presently 51 staff members and more than 1,000 students in the Faculty, studying in three undergraduate engineering programs – Data and Information Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management, and IT Engineering. The Faculty offers several excellence programs, including “Alonim” and “Bareket” in the IDF Academic Reserve track.
Technion President Professor Uri Sivan commented: “One of the technological challenges that Israel must prepare for is the data revolution – a revolution that is transforming work processes and decision-making processes in every sphere: industry, finance, security, and many others. The Technion, spearheaded by the newly named Faculty of Data and Decision Sciences, is preparing to address this challenge."
The Faculty was established as a separate academic unit in 1958. In its initial years, activity was focused on industrial engineering, operations research, economics, statistics, psychology and sociology. Since then, the Faculty has undergone numerous changes as new staff members, who were active in other fields, joined and introduced new disciplines such as probability, information systems, game theory, marketing and finance, databases and AI, computational learning, and, most recently, cognition. In 1984, the Information Systems Engineering program was initiated in collaboration with the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science, and seven years ago, the Data Science and Engineering program was launched – the first of its kind in the Israeli academic landscape.
In those decades, the Israeli economy also underwent extensive changes: the agricultural arcadia was replaced by the Start-Up Nation, and the service sector also grew dramatically. All over the world, two major revolutions erupted – the information systems revolution and the fourth industrial revolution – connecting management and data, computing, and industry. These developments, taken together, form the backdrop for the change of the Faculty’s name. Dean Prof. Smorodinsky emphasized that the names and contents of the study tracks will remain unchanged, and that the Faculty will continue to support its historical field of study, Industrial Engineering and Management.