Helmholtz & Israel Student Exchange Program 2022

IDSI and HIDA are happy to begin the second round of the student exchange program.

Get to know data science top talent (doctoral researchers and postdocs) from Helmholtz leading research centers and work with them on your projects in our exchange program. We are happy to partner with the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy, for the second year.


Yaron Orenstein,  a Senior Lecturer from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, have participated at the first round of the program.

I had the privilege of hosting Dr. Stephan Sinn through the HIDA-IDSI internship program. Stephan brought up the idea of applying machine-learning methods to his unique dataset SupraBank. We started in June with virtual weekly meetings and made quick progress. It was evident that a physical visit of Stephan to Israel would further advance the project. Stephan was brave enough to visit Israel during the high delta wave. In his physical visit, we met twice a week to advance the research further. In the end, we already had a plan for a manuscript, and joint grants to submit based on the results he produced and discussions we had during his visit. Stephan enjoyed sitting with my students, chatting with them, and interacting to learn new skills in machine learning to apply to his unique dataset.

We tackled a machine-learning problem from a field that was completely new to me – chemoinformatics – and made profound advancements by a collaborative effort of computationalists and experimentalists. This was a superb experience that introduced me to a whole new field as well as new collaborators, and future joint grants and papers are expected!

The major difficulties involved the pandemic-associated restrictions and limitations – working virtually in the beginning, and getting the official forms for Stephan to enter Israel during the high delta wave in August

Credit: Yaron Orenstein

Arnon Hershkovitz, Senior Lecturer at Tel Aviv University’s School of Education, also participated at the program, and worked with Robin, remotely.

I’ve been researching the intersection of learning, teaching, and technology, mostly using Learning Analytics and other methodologies. In the context of the Helmholtz collaboration, I’ve been studying creativity in young children’s acquisition of programming, doing so via the analysis of log files of an online learning environment for programming for kids.

I’ve been working remotely with a Ph.D. student from Munich School for Data Science (MUDS) who got a large dataset from me and have been analyzing it using various methods (mostly, using R). Working with him has been a great pleasure, with some challenges that were mostly a result of him taking this project in addition to his own research, as well as of the non-overlapping schedules of us both; I guess that if it would have been possible for him to come to Israel – working close to each other would have been much better.

We plan on publishing the findings from this project in a journal, I hope this will be indeed realized.

Call for Hosts – is now closed Yaron and Stephan3 BGU