Russian tech company Yandex announced that it was expanding its one-year intensive data science program, Y-DATA, which debuted at Tel Aviv University last year, and will introduce the learning experience at Ben-Gurion University in of the Negev this coming academic year.
The program, aimed at graduates with advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees and members of elite IDF technology units, is meant to provide its students with the necessary skills to work with various applications of machine learning models.
Yandex, based in Moscow with 17 offices worldwide, builds products and services powered by machine learning. The company operates its Yandex.Taxi service in Gush Dan and other regions in Israel under the global brand Yango, and is currently testing autonomous vehicles in Tel Aviv.
The company brought its Data School to Israel last year to “enhance the Israeli tech community and the global AI system.”
“Israel is known throughout the world for its unmatched ability to develop some of the most sophisticated platforms in the industry,” the company said in a statement. “Y-DATA program will help ensure that the next generation of rising Israeli AI stars will have the ability, knowledge and skillsets needed to further build upon this legacy while also providing them with a network and framework to engage in research that they are passionate about.”
After a selective admissions process including an online exam and interview, accepted students spend two 14-week semesters attending “hands-on” lectures and research seminars by data experts and completing independent assignments. During the second semester, students gain practical experience in an industry project to conclude the 250-hour curriculum.
“There’s nothing like working on a real problem with experts in the field,” said Nir Aviv, software engineer at Fiverr and graduate of the Y-DATA program is the testimonials section. “I feel that the classes prepared me well for this kind of hands-on data science work. In particular, the variety of lecturers from tech and academia is definitely an advantage of the program.”
The courses, taught in English, include Supervised and Unsupervised Learning, Deep Learning, Big Data, and Reinforcement Learning, each course spanning between three and seven weeks.
Classes for the upcoming academic year will begin in October at Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University, and the applications close this month.