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he Israel Data Science Initiative is the coordinating body for the Data Science Research Centers located in Israel’s research universities. Its executive council consists of the leaders of the research centers, the IDSI director, and observers from the Council of Higher Education (CHE). 

The establishment of the Data Science Research Centers in 2019, and of IDSI in 2020, resulted from the recommendations of a CHE task force led by Professor Yoav Benjamini (world renowned statistician and Israel Prize winner) which included the following members.

The task force produced a report (in Hebrew) which can be found here.

The task force identified the scope of Data Science, including both its core components as well as the fields that are related either by methodologies used or by important application domains.

The main activities of IDSI are related to Research, Education and Outreach to both government and industrial sectors. Each aspect is presented in separate pages on this site.

For Research, IDSI acts as a bridge between the local DS research centers and research organizations around the world which are focused on developing data science methodology and practice.

For Education, IDSI will facilitate the development of DS academic courses, with particular emphasis on collaboration among the universities, as well as promoting online courses for wider consumption.

For Outreach, the IDSI will work with governmental agencies, such as the Central Bureau of Statistics, in order to expand the access to survey and administrative data, and will work with industry both to provide a resource for DS expertise, as well as to facilitate training programs.

Another aspect of IDSI’s activities includes promoting the creation of, and access to, data repositories which comprise the basis for research in the social sciences.