Visiting Professor, Uzy Smilansky gives an overview of his work on the applications of computer-based methods in archaeology, which has increased exponentially during the past years. It went hand in hand with similar growth in the availability of relevant hardware and dedicated software, and with the intensification of the interaction between computer scientists and archaeologists. A recording of the lecture can be viewed here.
Working with archeologists
Professor Smilansky reviews examples of successful results, and discuss the prospects, challenges, and the possible pitfalls, based on his personal experience in working with archaeologists over the last two decades.
Professor Smilansky is Emeritus Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Visiting Professor of Archaeology at the Archaeology Institute at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and David Parkin Visiting Professor at the University of Bath. He is an expert in Mathematical Physics and Computational Archaeology and Member of the German National Academy of Science (Leopoldina).
David Parkin Visiting Professorships are awarded on an annual basis to help to support an outstanding academic with a permanent position at a non-UK university to spend a period of time up to 12 months, as a Visiting Professor at the University. As part of the award, the Visiting Professor is invited to present the University’s annual David Parkin Lecture.
Professor Smilansky was a Professor of Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science between 1974 and 2007 when he retired, but continues serving as an Emeritus. In 2010 he also became a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
After completing his Masters in the Hebrew University in 1963, he joined the Israeli Army and was released in 1966 as a Lieutenant. He received his PhD in experimental and theoretical Nuclear Physics in the Weizmann Institute, and graduated in 1969. After two years as a post-doctoral fellow in the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, he returned to the Weizmann Institute, first as a Senior Research Associate and then promoted to tenured Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor in 1979. Until his retirement in 2007, he served as the Head of the Nuclear Physics department (1981-84), the first incumbent of the Wolfgang Gentner Chair for Physics, Director of the Minerva Centre for Physics of Complex Systems, and of the Einstein Centre of Theoretical Physics. He was a member of various national and international review and prize committees, and on the editorial board of Journal of Physics A.
In 1985 he joined the then small group which started the study of quantum chaos. In 2002 he started the activity in computerized archaeology at the Weizmann Institute, and after 8 years he transferred the research to the Archaeology institute in the Hebrew University.
He spent sabbatical years in Berkeley (1977-78), Oxford (1984-85), Bristol (1990-91), and twice as the Benjamin Meaker Professor during (2005-06) and a shorter period in 2018. After retiring in 2007 he was appointed a Professorial Research Fellow in Cardiff University (2007- 2013).
Professor Smilansky is a member of the German National Academy of Science (Leopoldina) and is a recipient of the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz). He was also awarded the L. Meitner - A. von Humboldt Research Award, and several Israeli prizes.