About the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment
|It's the only institute of higher education in Israel which offers university degree in Agricultural Sciences|
|October 27, 2019|
The Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment is the only institute of higher education in Israel which offers university degree in Agricultural Sciences. As one of the world's leading faculties of sustainable agriculture, food sciences and environmental conservation, the Faculty offers academic programs leading to B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Agriculture, B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Nutrition and a degree in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine by the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine.
The Smith's Faculty of Agriculture aims to help the local and global societies to eliminate hunger and malnutrition while preserving our natural resources. As the only college of Agriculture in Israel, we are committed to train and educate the next generation of world-class experts in agricultural sciences.
The challenges we need to meet are enormous - The world’s population is expected to increase to ~10 billion by 2050. In order to continue the current food demand ("business as usual"), the global agricultural sector will have to increase the food supply by ~70%. This must be done under an uncertain climate change scenario knowing that the available land for farming is decreasing, water resources are declining, and that the majority of the population will be based in cities. To meet these challenges, we at the Smith's Faculty of Agriculture promote advance teaching and research programs.
Agroinformatics is a new and unique teaching program which provides undergraduate students with theoretical and practical knowledge of modern computational approaches. It is an interdisciplinary field of knowledge that combines the world of agriculture, food and the environment with the world of mathematics, computer science, physics and engineering. Today, modern technology makes it possible to obtain data from sensors located in the field, from macro- and micro-level imaging, genome analysis and more. The only way to use this information effectively is by developing new ways for storage and organization, processing and analyzing. For that we use mathematical algorithms, models, computer software, statistical tools and mechanical learning. By doing so we have the opportunity to connect millions of pieces of information to a complete picture which allows you to identify and learn patterns even before they are visible and shown. At a later stage, this knowledge enables the development of new technologies and advanced agricultural practices, which can provide food security to the growing population while keeping the environment and natural resources safe.
The Agroinformatics program is open for students who wish to expand their knowledge in modern computational approaches and to acquire both theoretical and practical capabilities in the field. The program provides its' graduates a variety of computational abilities. Starting from a strong mathematical background which is combined with basic and advanced programming skills, on to knowledge in writing models and performing simulations followed up by statistical tests, and the capability of analyzing “Big Data” such as bioinformatics, image processing, remote sensing, precision agriculture, and mechanical learning. Graduates of the Agroinformatics program have a significant advantage, both in their integration process within the employment market and in obtaining opportunities for studying advanced degrees in leading institutions both in Israel and abroad.
One of the Faculty's exciting initiatives, is the student entrepreneurial club FaculTech. Today, our community is home to over 850 students and alumni. Together with the HUJI Innovate Center of the Hebrew University, the AgFood Venture Creation Studio program was inaugurated. Several interdisciplinary teams worked for several months in this program. One of the teams matured into the award winning Kinoko startup for food of tomorrow, based on mushrooms and lentils.
The Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment's research activity is focused under four central research themes:
For more information:
• Nutrigenomics and Functional Food – biochemistry and microbiology of food; the chemistry and physics of the production process and food preservation; nutritional values and physiology from the single cell level to the whole organism; functional foods and probiotics; nutrition and metabolistic diseases.