The School of Computer and Cyber Sciences at Augusta University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore opportunities for collaboration in graduate education and research.
Both institutions have agreed to explore faculty and student exchanges, joint research projects, student access to respective graduate courses and a joint doctoral degree program.
“Augusta University continues to build on a strong academic program in cybersecurity, and we are honored to be working with world-renowned Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to align our interests,” said Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD.
“Our provost, Dr. Neil J. MacKinnon, and I always encourage collaborations and partnerships that will provide an outstanding educational opportunity to our students, and we feel confident that this partnership will set our SCCS students up for even greater success in a field that is increasing in demand.”
The idea for a partnership with BGU stemmed from a 2020 visit to Augusta by the Deputy Consul General of Israel in Atlanta, Alex Gandler. During his trip to Augusta, Gandler visited the Georgia Cyber Center, meeting with Keel, MacKinnon and Dr. Alexander Schwarzmann, dean of the SCCS, and expressed interest in a partnership.
“Our faculty include internationally recognized researchers and young faculty who have earned grants from the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation,” said Schwarzmann.
“Ben-Gurion University is world-renowned in the areas of computer science and cybersecurity, and I know this partnership will enhance the education and professional opportunities for our students and promote collaborative research.”
Partnership is not new to Schwarzmann and Dr. Shlomi Dolev, head of the BGU Negev Hi-Tech Faculty Startup Accelerator and a Rita Altura Trust Chair Professor in Computer Science. The two have known each other and have collaborated on projects for many years. Dolev is currently serving as a faculty associate on Schwarzmann’s National Science Foundation grant dealing with the integrity and security of electronic systems used for voter check-in in official elections.
Along with the previous collaborations between Schwarzmann and Dolev, SCCS Assistant Professor Nisha Panwar is a former PhD student of Dolev’s.
“This partnership will be very beneficial for both of our institutes, the students and the faculty,” Dolev said.
“Computer and cyber sciences, particularly cybersecurity, are highly sought after and competitive fields, and we are always looking for ways to help our students and faculty succeed. We want to make sure we equip our students for more than just graduation; We want them to succeed when they join the workforce and in life in general. I am looking forward to being able to work with Alex Schwarzmann and Augusta University toward this common goal.”
About Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is one of Israel’s leading research universities and among the world leaders in many fields, with approximately 20,000 students and 1,000 faculty members between the institution’s 10 colleges and schools.
The university’s computer science department was recently ranked one of the top-10 programs in the world by the Emerging Group, a consulting agency specializing in university rankings and employability research.
The university has three main campuses — the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva, the research campus at Sde Boker and the Eilat Campus — and is home to national and multi-disciplinary research institutes including the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, the National Institute of Solar Energy, the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, and the Heksherim Research Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture.