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PR- 304-12
August 22, 2012


First Full-Time Students at New Tech Campus Will Start Classes in January 2013; Applications Due October 1, 2012

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Cornell University today announced that applications for admission are being accepted for the "beta" class of computer science students at Cornell NYC Tech, the new world-class applied sciences campus in New York City. This first class of full-time students will begin in January 2013, pursuing a one-year Cornell Master of Engineering degree in computer science. Applications for the small and highly selective beta class are due on October 1, 2012. The program will be housed at the temporary campus location in Chelsea, in space donated by Google. In 2017, the campus will move to its permanent home on Roosevelt Island. Information about the program and the application procedure for prospective students is available online at

"If you are an engineer who wants to live in the best city of the world, the new capital of engineering talent, and the rising star of the technology industry, Cornell NYC Tech offers an exciting new opportunity," said Mayor Bloomberg. "There's simply no better place to further your education and launch your career than New York City. Getting in won't be easy, but if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

 "We're calling this the 'beta' class because these students will help shape the future of this new educational institution," said Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of the tech campus.  "Candidates for the beta class must be future tech leaders, with not only the highest academic credentials but also strong entrepreneurial interests, leadership skills and a passion for community engagement."

"This masters program combines Cornell's longstanding strength in computer science with deep entrepreneurial, real-world experience and engagement," said Joe Halpern, chair of Cornell's Computer Science Department.

"The Mayor's Applied Sciences NYC initiative was created with the long-term future of New York City in mind, and its impact will be felt for generations, with new campuses being built in the coming decade," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. "But today's news shows that the initiative is having an impact right now, attracting students to live and work in New York City starting in just a few months."
"Today's announcement is yet another major milestone in the City's groundbreaking initiative to dramatically increase applied science and engineering talent here in New York City," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. "Before long, this 'beta' class at Cornell NYC Tech will begin developing cutting-edge technologies and new spin-off companies that will strengthen the City's economy and ensure that we continue to establish ourselves as a global hub of innovation for the future."

"The launch of the new tech campus is causing tremendous excitement in New York City's tech community," said Thatcher Bell, managing director at DFJ Gotham Ventures, a venture capital firm in New York City. "Technologists across the city are eager to collaborate with denizens of the new campus and opportunities abound for engineering and science graduates."

The new tech campus 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 will 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.

Applications are being accepted for a one-year (two-semester) Cornell Master of Engineering in computer science degree program. The program is particularly suited to students with a strong undergraduate education in computer science or a closely related field, who seek advanced credentials for employment in industry or for deeper technological expertise to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. The program is intensive, and requires a substantial project co-supervised by a faculty member and an industry mentor, with a written report rather than a formal research thesis.

Courses will be conducted on Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays used for interdisciplinary workshops (e.g., design and technology, social entrepreneurship, leadership skills, etc.). Additional events (e.g., hackathons) will be scheduled throughout the year.  In addition to the formal curriculum, the program will provide numerous opportunities for engagement with industry, practitioners, and community members; each student will work closely with a mentor from a company, nonprofit or early stage investor in addition to having an academic advisor.

Following the launch of the "beta" degree program,  additional one-year Cornell professional master degree programs are planned in the fields of electrical and computer engineering, information science, and operations research and information engineering, as well as an accelerated and tech-oriented one-year MBA. Planning is also underway for an innovative new two-year Master of Science dual degree offered by Cornell and its academic partner, the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.  This new program will be a centerpiece of the campus, combining depth in information technology fields with domain 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, of technical excellence with a focus on collaborative projects, industry mentors, and entrepreneurship/business related coursework. 

The launch of the application process for the beta class is another major milestone for the campus, a new world-class graduate education and research campus being created by Cornell University and its academic partner, the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, after being chosen as the winner of New York City's Applied Sciences competition last December. The tech campus is rapidly rolling out new academic programs, recruiting star faculty, developing a distinctive new model of tech entrepreneurship, and designing its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island. 

The announcement today is part of the City's groundbreaking Applied Sciences NYC initiative, which was designed to capitalize on the considerable growth presently occurring within the science, technology and research fields in New York, and builds on the Bloomberg Administration's record of creating a better diversified and more competitive economy for the future. In the technology sector, employment in New York grew by nearly 30 percent between 2005 and 2010, with total employment now at nearly 120,000. In 2009, New York surpassed Massachusetts as the number two recipient of Venture Capital tech funding. And according to recent Venture Capital data, between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012 the number of deals in New York City is up nearly 43 percent. In fact, earlier this year, the Center for an Urban Future released a comprehensive study - NY Tech City - praised the City's enormous growth in technology, adding that between 2007 and 2011, of the seven leading technology regions in the U.S., the only one to see an increase in the number of VC deals was New York.

In July of 2011, New York City Economic Development Corporation issued the Request for Proposals seeking a university, institution or consortium to develop and operate a new or expanded campus in the City in exchange for City capital, access to City-owned land - at the Navy Hospital Campus at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Goldwater Hospital Campus on Roosevelt Island, or on Governors Island - and the full support and partnership of the Bloomberg Administration. In October, the City received seven responses from 17 world-class institutions from around the globe. In December of 2011, the Cornell and Technion partnership was selected by the City as the first winner of the competition and was provided with land on Roosevelt Island and $100 million in City capital to build the $2 billion, 2 million square foot tech campus. When completed, the new Roosevelt Island campus will house up to 2,000 full-time, graduate engineering students. Earlier this year, the City created two additional partnerships in the initiative: an NYU-led consortium to create the Center for Urban Science and Progress in Downtown Brooklyn, and another with Columbia University to create an Institute for Data Sciences.  Collectively, these institutions will ultimately more than double the number of full-time graduate engineering students enrolled in leading New York City Master's and Ph.D. programs.


Marc La Vorgna/Julie Wood   (212) 788-2958

Jeremy Soffin (Cornell NYC Tech)   (646) 200-5318


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