‘Hamilton’ producer among spring Milstein speakers

The Milstein Program in Technology & Humanity will bring a number of prominent thinkers to campus for public events and workshops this spring.

The Milstein Program, which welcomed its first group of students this past fall, offers undergraduates the combination of a liberal arts education in the College of Arts and Sciences with a summer program and courses at Cornell Tech in New York City. The aim is to cultivate innovative and creative leaders who are both tech-savvy and steeped in humanistic values.

Program director Amy Villarejo, professor of performing and media arts, said the goal of the spring events is “to stimulate conversation across the campus about technology, visionary thinking and education.”

The events are:

  • Design Thinking Workshop with Diane Levitt: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 4:30-7 p.m., Tatkon Center. Levitt is senior director of K-12 education at Cornell Tech. She coordinates Cornell Tech’s engagement with local computing education efforts, including the New York City Department of Education’s CS4All initiative.
  • “Smartfin” film and talk with Todd McGrain: Tuesday, April 16, noon to 1 p.m., Tatkon Center. McGrain is an artist and creative director for The Lost Bird Project, which raises awareness of environmental and social concerns through art. The Smartfin project attaches data-gathering fins to surfboards to monitor water characteristics – including salinity, pH and temperature – and gain insight into ocean ecosystems. McGrain has been a sculptor for more than 25 years and taught at Cornell for two decades. He is also currently artist-in-residence at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.
  • Oskar Eustis talk: Wednesday, April 24, 5-7 p.m. (location TBD). Eustis is the artistic director at The Public Theater in New York City. He has played key roles in the production and development of new plays, including the Tony-winning play “Angels in America,” and Tony-winning musicals “Hamilton” and “Fun Home.” Recently, he has also been involved in the outreach program Public Works, which invites members of diverse communities to participate in workshops and gain exposure to theater. Eustis is a professor of dramatic writing and arts and public policy at New York University and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College and Brown University. 
  • Mitchell Baker talk: Wednesday, May 1, 5-7 p.m., Gates Hall Auditorium/Atrium. Baker is the co-founder of The Mozilla Project and chairman of Mozilla Corp. and Mozilla Foundation, which works to support an open and innovative internet so that it can have the most positive impact on individuals and society. Mitchell is also a member of the advisory boards of the Oxford Internet Institute and the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Mozilla recently launched a competition to encourage professors and educators to develop effective curriculum to integrate ethics into computer science education for undergraduate students. Her talk is cosponsored by the Department of Science and Technology Studies.

Milstein Program students are accepted into the program either as incoming freshmen or in their first year. Current first-year students in the College of Arts and Sciences or from other colleges at Cornell wishing to transfer into the College of Arts and Sciences can apply to the Milstein Program by filling out the online application form by March 31. There will be an information session from 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Carol Tatkon Center, where students can learn more about the program. More information about applying is also available on the Milstein Program website.

For more information, email Maja Anderson or visit the Milstein Program events page.

Catherine Gorey is a communications assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Gillian Smith