Cornell’s new graduate school of applied sciences is expected to fuel major growth in the New York City tech sector.
To help fuel that growth, Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife just donated $133 million to the school, Ariel Kaminer of The New York Times reports.
The new school, Cornell NYC Tech, is the result of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s contest to a create a new science school. It beat out top-notch schools like Columbia, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford to open up a new graduate school focused on computer science.
But it’s not a typical university computer science program. In every class session, entrepreneurs come in to discuss the risks and failures associated with building a startup. Students must also work with mentors to design and make new products.
Two students, for example, are working with a Google engineer on developing open-source software that predicts how severe weather events will be.
In addition to traditional technical courses, the program requires students to take business classes.
The school will eventually offer eight information technology degrees, with three of them being dual master’s degrees from Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology based on hubs, rather than departments. The three hubs will be: “connective media” for designing mobile tech, “healthier life” for health care and personal technology, and “built environment” for computing for the physical world.
Similar to that of a startup, the school doesn’t have any offices. Instead, professors and students have desks with low dividers. If necessary, they can reserve a conference room.
“We’re trying to separate personal space from private space, to create an environment with constant interaction,” Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher tells The New York Times. “Believe it or not, this is a very important piece of the culture we’re trying to create.”
The 12-acre campus on Roosevelt Island isn’t expected to be completed until 2037, with the first building opening in 2017.
So for now, the school is temporarily housed inside Google’s New York headquarters. In January, the school enrolled eight students into its beta class to earn a master’s degree in computer science.
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