|Technion Computer Engineering Center (TCE)
|Ruth Boneh, director, Technion Computer Engineering Center (TCE)
Attending the inaugural conference of TCE in May 2011, Ruth Boneh, who was then post silicon verification operations manager at Intel Israel, was very impressed with what she found at Technion. “I saw immediately that there was something wonderful happening here, and I thought that I could be a part of it,” says Boneh. Indeed, she is now the center’s director.
Computer Science and Electrical Engineering are two of the Technion’s leading faculties. With TCE, they aim to take a national and international leadership role in cutting-edge research and development and operate as a focal point for academic and industrial collaboration. Importantly, TCE strives to educate the next generation of world-class leaders in Computer Engineering.
“Lately, the academic founders of TCE realized that the two separate disciplines of electrical engineering and computer science are more intertwined,” Boneh says. “The implementation mechanisms used are no longer distinct.”
The founders of TCE, the deans of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering along with TCE academic head, Prof. Assaf Schuster, understand that the academic world must stay in synch with the industry. “TCE intends to work in areas for which the industry is ready but academia is on a different page - such as man-machine interface or computer security,” Boneh explains.
“I bring my experience of over 20 years in the high-tech industry, along with my business approach, but I’ve also been following closely what’s happening in academia. At TCE, we create a safe and risk-free environment in which industry can develop. There is a novel ecosystem waiting to evolve. Our innovative approach - there’s nothing else like it in the world - facilitates an unprecedented platform for industrial-academic collaboration.”
“There is a novel ecosystem waiting to evolve. Our innovative approach facilitates an unprecedented platform for industrial-academic collaboration.”
Boneh underscores that Technion co-locates two leading departments and also has connections to industry. “Any company I approach, all I have to do is find the Technion graduate and he/she is always willing to cooperate,” she says. “TCE will also serve those talented and experienced people who want to come back to Israel but don’t have a research platform to support them. At TCE, they won’t have to choose between the two leading departments, but rather can join both.”
TCE strives to bridge the industry-academia gap by encouraging faculty to contribute knowledge to applied research and by hosting part- and full-time industry visitors for research collaboration. In five years from now, Boneh says she sees the center as “thriving, lively, and much frequented by guests. It will be very popular with people coming in from their positions in high-tech companies, one day a week, while maintaining their place of work in the industry. So there will be constant give and take. This will make TCE a huge success.”
One recent guest of TCE was Akamai Technologies Co-founder and Chief Scientist, Tom Leighton. Akamai is the world’s largest distributed computing platform; it delivers and accelerates web content. Leighton is a professor of applied mathematics at MIT where he acted as mentor to Technion alumnus and 9/11 hero, the late Daniel Lewin. Lewin, whose original ideas were made in a theoretical context, co-founded Akamai and served as its Chief Technology Officer until his tragic death, aged 31, stabbed while resisting the hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11.
Leighton, addressing a Technion audience in March 2012 said, “It’s a pleasure to be here today and a greater pleasure to talk about Danny. Danny is a great role model for us all, but especially to students at Technion.” Speaking of the Israeli high-tech community, and having just acquired an Israeli company, Cotendo, Leighton noted that Israel “is a great place for us to grow.”
June 2012 - The 2nd Annual International TCE Conference on Networking, Cloud and Beyond September 2012 -the 1st TCE Summer School on Cyber Security.