Welcome From The Dean

DaphnaWelcome to the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Haifa. Our faculty is the largest of the six faculties at the University of Haifa, with more than 200 members of academic staff who are ably supported by a dedicated team of administrators and technicians. The faculty is home to more than 5,000 undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students who study a broad array of social science disciplines – many of them unique to the University of Haifa. Our academic staff include internationally recognized researchers who are advancing their fields in exciting new directions.

Under my leadership and aspiration for academic excellence at an international level, special emphasis is given to computational models in the social sciences (Computational Social Sciences). This vision is realized through dedicated workshops, the establishment of a Summer Institute in Computational Social Science (SICSS Poster Session) and interdisciplinary teaching created by a fruitful and interesting collaboration between members of the academic staff from different fields of knowledge. For this purpose, we developed the 9B hub for multidisciplinary academic research while establishing experimental units for statistical consulting, GIS, sophisticated online experiments, visualization, data mining and big data analysis as well as a CBS research room.

As you browse the faculty website, you will witness the many achievements of our talented faculty and students who inspire me every day anew. I am convinced that they will inspire you too – both in terms of their academic excellence and their passion to understand and improve the world around us.

Social science faculties, like other bodies that are dedicated to deconstructing our social reality, have been contending with difficult challenges all around the world in recent years. While we have gained access to new troves of data, there is a growing disjoint between our research and the world around us. The world is undergoing major upheavals alongside enormous political and social challenges. These shifts require that we develop new cross-disciplinary forms of thinking that focus on problems of magnitude beyond anything we had envisioned. These include the climate crisis and the environment, the covid-19 epidemic, social divisions, constantly evolving social media platforms, big data and artificial intelligence, declining public trust in democratic institutions, anxiety and existential isolation, the loss of individuality and privacy, global terrorism, and more. Insofar as they are concerned with dramatic social changes, all of these require the involvement of the social sciences, and research in these areas are taking place in some of the leading faculties in the world.

I invite you to browse our faculty website – where you will find discussions on deprivation, annexation, irrigation and segmentation. You will witness research on the brain, on psychological strain and perhaps also on political campaigns. As you wander through the website, you will grow acquainted with the research and teaching taking place in our hallways, and the vibrant and diverse student atmosphere. I encourage you all – researchers and promising students alike – to join us and be a part of a grand undertaking confronting today’s most pressing challenges through inquisitive learning and the development of new ideas.

Daphna Canetti