Reflections on My Time at Hebrew University
Inmar Givoni, PhD – Toronto
I love Jerusalem, I went to a boarding school there for high school (IASA) and fell in love with the city. I knew the HUJI was one of the top institutions and particularly strong in computer science. I originally thought I’d do graduate work in neuroscience and had planned to do my undergrad and graduate degrees there, studying computer science and biology for my undergrad to later enroll in the prestigious direct PhD program in neuroscience.
Since there was a new specialist undergraduate program for computer science-life science I enrolled in that from 2002 – 2004. Bioinformatics was a rising interdisciplinary field, and attending the specialist program allowed more focus on the computational aspects that were more appealing to me. As part of my studies I got my first introduction to Machine Learning, and that made me switch gears. Rather than do graduate work in neuroscience, I decided I will focus on Machine Learning and AI, and build brains, rather than study them. Due to personal life choices, I ended up moving to Toronto after graduating and obtained my PhD degree from the University of Toronto, a city where I remain to this day.
I still remember the first Machine Learning class. It was a mandatory class for the CS-LS program and I walked in with no idea what it was about. It absolutely blew my mind. It was a combination of software engineering with deep principles of math – linear algebra, calculus, probability, optimization theory, and more. I loved how all these fields came together to build a new and exciting way of looking at solving hard problems that did not have a solution back then. I was hooked. Eventually that led me to completing a PhD in ML/AI and devoting my professional career to that.
- Inmar is currently a fiction writer, world traveler, adventurer, start up advisor, public speaker and women in tech mentor.