Several Firsts for Archeology Department

First, a department team made first use of the Topcon Total Station in a prehistoric archeological dig in Israel. This sophisticated lazer-guided instrument simultaneously measures position and elevation more precisely than any tool up to now, thus enabling the location of items in three dimensions and their inclination in the layer, and sends the information directly to the computer. Distribution maps were plotted instantly. Second, it was the first excavation season at Bizat Ruhama, a unique site near the town of Sderot in the Negev that does not closely resemble any other in the Levant and that bears some similarity with only a few sites in Central Europe. Third, it was the first time that the department has carried out a dig with a Polish team, in this case from the University of Wroclaw. Directing the joint archeological team were Prof. Avraham Ronen, head of the University’s Zinman Institute of Archeology, and Dr. Jan Michal Burdukiewicz of Wroclaw. Having found “excellent preservation of faunal remains” during the excavation conducted this past February, the directors say they have “a good prospect” of finding organic remains and intend to continue this dig.

Haifa University Press Goes ‘Commercial’

Haifa University Press has signed an agreement with the Israeli book publisher Zmora-Bitan-Dvir for a joint venture that will make it Israel’s first academic-popular publisher, enabling its imprint to reach a wider audience of educated readers. The new venture is expected to impart a significant impetus to the Haifa University Press list. It will also do away with making the author contribute to the publishing costs of the book as is customary with Israeli academic publishers. Instead, authors will receive advances and royalties as is customary with commercial publishers. Chairman of the Press is Prof. Aharon Ben-Zeev, Dean of Research, and editor-in-chief is Dr. Yuval Steinitz of the Department of Philosophy.

Prizes and Awards

Several faculty members were the recipients of prestigious prizes and awards:

Second Minerva Center

The Minerva Center for Cognitive Processes and Human Performance is the second of these prestigious centers to be established at the University. The first was reported in the last issue of Focus. The new Center, underwritten with an endowment of DM4,000,000 and provided with a further DM242,000 for equipment and setting up the required infrastructure, will be a joint venture with the Technion although based at the University. Heading the Center’s list of principal researchers are four scholars from the University’s Institute of Information Processing and Decision-Making: Prof. Asher Koriat, Dr. Joel Norman, Dr. Ruth Kimchi, and Mr. Morris Goldsmith. They will be joined by two researchers from the Technion’s Industrial Engineering and Management Faculty. Well-known researchers from four institutes in Germany will be the Center’s partners in joint research on such topics as coping with cognitive overload, conceptual organization and visual cognition, transformation of visual information, motor behavior and acquiring motor dexterity, and memory in everyday activity.

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