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Cornell NYC Tech Update

Big Accomplishments, Bigger Ambitions.

Professor Deborah Estrin (right) with postdoc Emmanuel Dumont.

Networked: Professor Deborah Estrin (right) with postdoc Emmanuel Dumont. Photo by Jeff Weiner.

We begin the New Year here at Cornell Tech after a very exciting 2014. Over the course of the past year, we have grown into an active campus with new students, faculty, staff, and members of the tech community engaged in research, classes, conversations, and projects.

After starting with just seven students in the initial computer science master of engineering class, Cornell Tech now has more than 100 in its masters and PhD programs. In addition to a new group of computer science MEng students, we welcomed the inaugural class to the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program. The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech also welcomed its first class of students pursuing the new two-year MS in information systems with a concentration in connective media, which awards a dual degree from both institutions.

Our new MS in information systems with a concentration in healthier life, led by professor Deborah Estrin, will start in fall 2015. The program is designed to promote synergy between healthcare professionals and technologists. Students will learn to design new technologies tailored for the context of healthcare, to help reinvent the way we manage health and promote wellness. Focus areas will include mobile and wearable devices, privacy and security, user interaction and social media, machine learning, and advanced analytics. Applications opened in November

We were proud to announce our first-ever collaboration with AOL to form the Connected Experiences (ConnX) Laboratory. A multi-year, multimillion- dollar partnership, ConnX will be a global lab hosted by the Jacobs Institute in New York and the Technion in Israel. The AOL gift will support graduate students, PhDs, postdocs, full-time engineers and designers, faculty, and researchers as they develop technologies that transform the way we interact with our family members and in our communities. Professor Deborah Estrin and associate professor Mor Naaman co-founded the lab; fellow faculty Shiri Azenkot and Serge Belongie will join them, along with four colleagues at the Technion. Both AOL and Cornell Tech are committed to maintaining gender diversity at ConnX, and we have pledged to ensure that faculty at the lab remains 50 percent female.

Investor and entrepreneur David Tisch ’94, BA ’93, has joined us as the head of Startup Studio, working closely with our chief entrepreneurial officer, Greg Pass ’97. Startup Studio is the capstone of the experiential learning curriculum at Cornell Tech, where students complement their classroom work with deep, hands-on engagements with entrepreneurs, companies, nonprofits, early stage investors, and ultimately their own startup projects. Tisch is co-founder and chairman of Spring, a mobile marketplace application where customers can shop directly from a curated community of brands. He is also managing partner of BoxGroup, a seed-stage angel capital firm that has invested in more than 150 tech companies including Vine, GroupMe, Warby Parker, Harry’s DataMinr, SmartThings, and Behance. David is a cornerstone of the NYC tech community and we are thrilled to have him on board to provide our students with an unvarnished view of success and failure in early stage tech companies.

While we had a very active 2014, the next twelve months will see even more progress, especially with our physical campus on Roosevelt Island. We have already begun demolition of the old structures on the site, and in 2015 we will begin construction on the first academic buildings as part of Phase One, which will also include a corporate co-location center and a residence hall scheduled to open in fall 2017.

We have accomplished so much over the past few years at Cornell Tech, and we are excited as we look to the future.

— Dan Huttenlocher, Dean

For more on the progress of Cornell Tech, go to: or follow us on Twitter@cornell_tech.