Join us: Prof. Edriss Titi on Enhancing Access to Higher Edu...

Join us: Prof. Edriss Titi on Enhancing Access to Higher Education for Arab Students

May 5, 2014 12:00am - 2:00pm

The Task Force and UJA-Federation of New York hosted a luncheon discussion on Enhancing access to higher education: National programs to remove barriers and strengthen inclusivity with Professor Edriss Titi, Chairman Irteka Scholarship Fund Steering Committee on May 5, 2014. 


In 2012 Israel's Council for Higher Education (CHE) launched a Six-Year Plan to enhance access to higher education for Arab citizens. Increasing successful integration of Arab students into higher education is widely recognized as necessary for closing socio-economic gaps, improving Arab participation in the advanced labor market, strengthening Israel's economic growth and promoting social cohesion. Currently, Arab students represent only 12% of the undergraduate population (less than half of the eligible age group), and far fewer study fields in high-demand.

Among the numerous programs included in the CHE's Six-Year Plan, the Irteka Scholarship Fund for Arab Undergraduate Students is the first-ever governmental scholarship fund designated for Arab students. Created in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, the Blaustein Foundation, Pears Foundation, Berman Foundation and Mifal Hapayis (Israel's national lottery) this fund removes a financial barrier for 650 students each year, encourages study in selected fields, and sends an important message to Arab students and their families. 

Professor Edriss Titi, Chairman of the Iretka Scholarship Fund's Steering Committee, discussed why Arab student integration into Israel's higher education institutions is a national priority, how the government is working to enhance accessibility, and what can be learned from the scholarship fund's first year in existence.

Speaker Bio 

Professor Edriss Titi, Chairman Irteka Scholarship Fund Steering Committee Edriss Titi isProfessor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His research in applied and computational mathematics lies at the interface between rigorous applied analysis and physical applications and is focused on the development of analytical and computational techniques for investigating nonlinear phenomena. Born in the old city of Acre in Israel, Prof. Titi studied at Acre's Terra Sancta School, later earning a BSc in mathematics magna cum laude in 1979 from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and an MSc in mathematics with distinction from the Technion in 1981. Five years later, he was awarded a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and spent the next several years as an instructor in the University of Chicago's Department of Mathematics. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Cornell University's Department of Mathematics and its Mathematical Sciences Research Institute; from 1991 to 1994, he was an Adjunct Associate Professor at Cornell's Center for Applied Mathematics. During much of that time, Prof. Titi also worked at the University of California, Irvine, in the Departments of Mathematics, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and by 1997, was promoted to the rank of full Professor in both departments, where he stayed until 2013. In 2003, he was appointed Professor in the Weizmann Institute's Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. Prof. Titi has served as a Visiting Collaborator and Consultant at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and he was the Orson Anderson Distinguished Visiting Scholar (1997-1998) at the Laboratory's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), and was the Stanislaw M. Ulam Distinguished Visiting Scholar (2002-2003) at the Laboratory's Center for Nonlinear Science (CNLS). He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, UK, and as a member of the Commission on Mathematical Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (2009). In 2010, he received the Humboldt Research Award for Senior Scientists, from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung/Foundation, Germany; and the Prize of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' Activity Group on Analysis of Partial Differential Equations. In 2012 he was selected a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM Fellow), and a Fellow of the Inaugural Class of the American Mathematical Society (AMS Fellow). In 2013 he received the Cincia sem Fronteiras - Science without Boundaries- Scholarship by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientfico (CNPq), Brazil.