HIT's Honorary Degrees

Prof. David Harel

David Harel

HIT bestows an Honorary Degree upon Prof. David Harel, in recognition of his inspirational scientific leadership in the field of mathematics and computer science, and his unwavering commitment to advancing higher education and scientific research in Israel. His multidisciplinary worldview is evident in all his endeavors, and in his ability to communicate science to the public-at-large, with clarity and simplicity.

Prof. David Harel’s illustrious academic career spans almost five decades, from his B.Sc studies at Bar-Ilan University, his M.Sc at Tel Aviv University, and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he obtained in record time of one year and eight months. In 1980, he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he is a professor until now. Over the years, he served as Chair of his department and subsequently as Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science there.

Harel’s groundbreaking research is multi-faceted. From topics in theoretical computer science, via visual languages and software and systems engineering, all the way to the layout of diagrams, the modeling and analysis of biological systems, the synthesis and communication of smell, prosody analysis, and more.

In addition to his countless publications, papers and books, Prof. David Harel has consulted to industry, including to the Lavi fighter aircraft program at the Israel Aircraft Industries. He also invested a great deal of effort into scientific education, designing high school curricula, publishing expository material and delivering lecture series and television programs on Israel’s major media channels.

His extensive body of work has earned Prof. Harel numerous prestigious awards, including ACM’s Software Systems Award, the Israel Prize in Computer Science and the Emet Prize.

Harel’s current appointment as the President of the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities attests to the great respect in which he is held by his fellow academicians and scientists. He is also a member of several Academies worldwide, including the US National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europaea, and the UK’s Royal Society.

Academic research is not Prof. Harel’s only interest. He has composed Jewish liturgical music, has practiced choir singing and is an amateur photographer.

As a higher technology institution that is inspired by Prof. David Harel’s boundless academic achievements, myriad accomplishments in theoretical and applied science, and a unique multidisciplinary perspective, HIT sees in him a model for emulation by future generations of scientists and researchers who, following in his footsteps, can make the world a better place.