My name is Prof. Rachel Ben-Eliahu-Zahari and I am the Head of the Software Engineering Department at The Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem. I would like to present the field of software engineering in brief and the Software Engineering Department for which I am responsible.
Software engineering is an innovative, recognized and esteemed profession. Software today has a central role in improving quality of life and making the State of Israel’s economy more efficient. It is a very creative and ambitious profession that influences many important fields of development and breeds an abundance of business ideas.
The never-ending development of technology frequently creates new challenges in the field of software engineering. In our daily life – in managing our bank account, our savings and investments, in academic studies, in the military, in managing our telephone conversations, in finding information essential to us – we are becoming more and more dependent on the efficient and proper functioning of complex software systems. As a result, the need for software engineers who fully understand the complexity and risks in the software development process is increasing.
There are indeed cycles in the growth of high-tech industry but, looking several years ahead, there is no doubt that growth is expected in the demand for software engineers. Software is incorporated into every system at the forefront of technology – from the movie industry to space exploration. There is an enormous potential in the field – software enables us to perform wonders using relatively inexpensive means – all you need is a computer, which today costs relatively little. Understanding of the software development process in theory that accompanies it provides the engineer with the tools to become integrated into a great many fields of high-tech industry.
Writing software is a creative process. With the use of one software language, millions of different programs can be produced. Furthermore, software engineering provides a broad and sufficient basis to continue on to many other fields such as business administration and law.
Software engineering is different from computer sciences. While in computer sciences the focus is primarily on the development of software by a single person, the emphasis in software engineering is on the development of software in large systems that demand cooperation among many people, which is the most common situation in industry. Software engineering prepares the engineer to develop large-scale software in an understandable and formal manner.
The level of studies at the Software Engineering Department of The Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem is very high. The studies are not easy, but the training received is professional and intense. It is no wonder that most of our graduates have become integrated into elite and leading technological industries and are even studying for master’s degrees in universities in various fields.
Beyond the comprehensive training in customary subjects and software engineering, the study program at The Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem also includes a Communications Study Division. This division includes courses in digital communications and signal processing in addition to courses in computer communications and a microprocessor laboratory. This study division is unique to the College in that does not exist at other institutions. The study program at the College also provides graduates with the tools to manage software teams, since it includes courses in economics, business management and the design of large software projects.
In order to apply the professional engineering knowledge obtained during studies, students in the fourth year execute a comprehensive industrial model project. The project is accompanied by an academic mentor and industrial mentor. During the last two years, for example, all students execute a project outside of the College at various elite technological firms such as Intel, NDS, Cimatron, Mango, DSP and Israel Aircraft Industries. During the project, the student is required to prove his or her ability to contend with various tasks from analyzing and characterizing requirements through product design and construction of a prototype. In addition, we encourage students to use national standards in the development of software-rich systems. Training to contend with the taking of decisions in real industrial conditions is also emphasized, which also includes technological and managerial aspects (time, costs and quality).
No less important is the experiential aspect: it’s fun to study with us. The Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem is an engineering college. Cooperation between the various departments of the College makes it possible to recruit a professional and skilled teaching staff and to develop advanced libraries for use by all the departments. At the College in general, and in our department in particular, the personal touch is afforded to each student. And of course – this is an opportunity to the live and work in Jerusalem – a very special, interesting and challenging city.
We would be happy to see you among our students during the coming academic year. You are invited to write us if you have any questions or comments.
Best of luck and success,
Prof. Rachel Ben-Eliahu-Zahari
Head of the Software Engineering Department