Cornell Tech welcomes its first class of students

Provided/Cornell NYC Tech
A timeline of key milestones at Cornell NYC Tech.


NEW YORK -- Many months of planning have brought Cornell NYC Tech to perhaps its most significant milestone yet: the arrival of its first class of students.

On Jan. 21, Cornell Tech began instruction for its "beta" class of eight full-time students pursuing a one-year Cornell Master of Engineering degree in computer science.

The small, highly selective class comprises students with a wide range of technical experience and backgrounds who share an entrepreneurial spirit and outstanding academic credentials, said Cornell Tech officials.

The program is being housed at Cornell Tech's temporary campus in the Chelsea neighborhood, in space donated by Google. In 2017, the campus will move to its permanent home on Roosevelt Island. Planning for groundbreaking on the new site is under way.

"We couldn't be more excited with the level of talent that has been attracted to Cornell Tech to launch this innovative new program in the heart of New York City," said Dan Huttenlocher, dean of Cornell Tech. "Our beta class will help shape the campus moving forward, and this group has the entrepreneurial spirit and technical talent to go out and make a difference in the world."

"It's hard to believe that just more than a year after being chosen to create this campus, we are already welcoming our first class of students," said Cornell Tech Vice President Cathy Dove. "Our temporary campus in Chelsea is already buzzing with activity, even as we continue working with our future neighbors on Roosevelt Island on the development of our permanent campus."

Cornell Tech is offering a distinctive model of graduate tech education that fuses educational excellence with real-world commercial applications and technology entrepreneurship, rooted in the latest academic research. Students, faculty and industry experts will learn and work together to launch ideas and create new ventures that have global impact.

The campus aims to attract the best and brightest in technology, immerse them in an entrepreneurial culture with deep ties to the local business community, and spur the creation of new companies and new industries in New York City.

"When fully built, Cornell Tech will ultimately revolutionize New York City's economy for the long term," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose Applied Sciences NYC initiative designated Cornell in December 2011 to build and operate the new campus. "But the school is also having an immediate impact, attracting the next generation of talented engineers and boosting the city's growing reputation as a world-renowned hub of the technology sector."

Academic courses will be conducted Monday through Thursday, with Fridays used for a practicum on Entrepreneurial Life that includes interactive workshops and activities. In addition to the formal curriculum, the program will provide opportunities for engagement with industry, practitioners and community members. Each student, in addition to having an academic adviser, will undertake a master's project working closely with a mentor from a company, nonprofit or an early-stage investor.

Further down the road, one-year Cornell professional master's degree programs will be offered in the fields of electrical and computer engineering, information science, operations research and information engineering, as well as a tech-oriented one-year MBA.

Planning is also under way for an innovative, two-year Master of Science dual degree offered by Cornell and its academic partner, the Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology. This new program will combine information technology with expertise in one of the three interdisciplinary focal areas or "hubs": connective media, healthier life or the built environment.

All degrees will reflect the mission of the campus: technical excellence with a focus on collaborative projects, industry mentors, and entrepreneurship and business.

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