A great honor: The only Israeli PhD student to win the prestigious Apple PhD fellowship this year

September 15, 2020
Photo by Naomi Zeidman

Yahav Bechavod is a PhD student at the School of Computer Science and Engineering in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the only Israeli PhD student to win the prestigious Apple PhD fellowship for 2020. The fellowship is awarded this year for the first time to leading PhD students in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence. “’Apple’ is excited to amplify cutting-edge machine learning research worldwide, covering a wide range of topics including health, on device and private machine learning, human centered design, and more. The selected Apple Scholars are advancing the field of machine learning and AI to push the boundaries of what’s possible, and Apple is committed to supporting the academic research community and their invaluable contributions to the world. Each recipient will receive support for their research and academic travel for two years, internship opportunities, and a two-year mentorship with an Apple researcher in their field.” says the official statement by Apple.

Among other recipients of the coveted fellowship are PhD students from all over the world – from Stanford to Cambridge, from ETH Zurich to Peking University. In addition to Yahav, a total of 11 other students have won the prestigious fellowship, 8 of which from US universities.

Yahav, 32, a native of Jerusalem, started his academic course directly after finishing his military service in the IDF’s intelligence corps, studying a BA in Mathematics and Computer science. He attained his MA in Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude) in 2018. Yahav has many hobbies: He is an amateur basketball player, a history enthusiast, and often blogs about matters of the hour, policy, and sports. Yahav’s academic research spans several topics, among which are Algorithmic Fairness, Data Privacy and Learning Theory. “I am excited to be included in the list with such wonderful young researchers. The fellowship enables me to focus on my academic research toward my PhD with peace of mind., and opens the gate for research collaboration with Apple’s strong research division”, Yahav said this week.