The SCEs International Week

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine captured the attention of the students at SCE Shamoon College of Engineering this week, with fascinating lectures delivered by the planners of the Babi Yar memorial site and by a special guest from Greece

The Russian attack on Ukraine, among other things in Kyiv, made headlines in Israel in respect of the attack near the Babi Yar memorial site, the place where tens of thousands of Jews were murdered by the Nazis in WWII.   

The Architecture Department at SCE Shamoon College of Engineering sought to take advantage of the renewed interest in the topic in order to enable our students to meet some of the important figures who planned the site.

The Zoom gathering, which took place in an architecture studio and was open to the general public, hosted three guests: Nick Axel, the memorial site’s head of planning; Manuel Herz, architect of the new Synagogue at Babi Yar; and Robert Jan van Pelt, an historian who accompanied the project. 

The students and guest listeners had the rare opportunity to observe and understand the planning of one of the most important memorial sites in the world, and to receive an additional angle about what is taking place now in Ukraine.

Fake News on Social Media

Another guest of the College addressed an additional aspect of occurrences on European soil at this time - the spread of fake news on social media regarding Russian’s invasion of Ukraine. Dr. Fotios Spyropoulos, a lawyer and a criminologist specializing in cybercrime from the University of West Attica, visited the College for a series of lectures.  

Students in the Software Engineering department Communication Systems and Cyber track on the Ashdod campus were the first to hear Spyropoulos deliver a fascinating lecture about fake news and legislative measures taken to address this issue throughout the world. The lecture presented socio-technological aspects, as part of the students’ training as software engineers specializing in communication algorithms, social network analysis and contending with a range of cyber challenges.     

Dr. Spyropoulos went on to visit the Be’er Sheva campus, as part of the course Information Technology, Human Beings and Society, taught by Dr. Adi Katz in the M.Sc. Industrial Engineering & Management program. The students learned about different ways to prevent the spread of fake news, the challenges posed by new technologies - including artificial intelligence and machine learning - and about laws, punishment and legal approaches employed by different countries throughout the world in dealing with individuals who spread lies on the internet and on social media.  

In his fascinating and humoristic style, and through stories about a range of cases, Dr. Spyropoulos presented the tension that exists between the right to free expression on the one hand and the ramifications of spreading lies (in political, medical and other contexts) on the other hand. 

The Information Technology, Human Beings and Society course deals in the myriad effects of digital technologies on individuals, communities and humanity at large. Engineers developing advanced technologies must adopt a critical perspective and understand that new technologies bring with them not only solutions but also new problems and unexpected aspects. As part of the SCEs “Engineering a Better World” approach, engineers also bear responsibility for the ramifications of their technological inventions on the world.