Cornell Tech

I took a ferry up the East River yesterday evening to attend a dinner celebrating the official opening of Cornell Tech which happens this morning.

Situated on Roosevelt Island, underneath the Queensboro Bridge, Cornell Tech is a graduate school of engineering and business that is focused on the technologies and industries of the 21st Century. While the campus is officially opening today, Cornell Tech has been operating as a graduate school for something like four or five years now, in the Google building in Chelsea.

It is the result of an RFP process that Mike Bloomberg’s administration put out seeking a new school of engineering in NYC.

Last night the former mayor spoke about all of that and reminded us, as he always does, why NYC is the greatest place in the world.

With the opening of Cornell Tech, the city continues to feel the impact of Mike’s twelve years of leadership.

He put NYC on solid footing and helped to point it in the right direction. We are all grateful for that.

Speaking of leadership, Cornell Tech is led by Dean Dan Huttenlocher. Dan is a fantastic technologist, educator, and community member.

If Cornell Tech is a gift that the Bloomberg administration gave NYC, Dan is a gift that Cornell gave NYC.

Dan’s leadership in the NYC tech community has already been felt and as he said last night, “the best is yet to come.”

The synergies between engineering schools and technology communities are well understood and well documented.

NYC has some great engineering schools, like NYU’s Tandon where I am on the Board, Columbia’s School Of Engineering, and at the various CUNY schools. The addition of a world class institution like Cornell Tech will only make things better. It ups the competition between these schools for students, faculty, and research grants. And that makes everyone better.

Today is a big day for the NYC tech community. We welcome the Cornell Tech campus to NYC and celebrate all the good things that will come of this. And I am certain that there will be many.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    very impressive.the island has an interesting history;…wouldn’t it be a great experiment if Cornell Tech could introduce an official crypto currency for all transactions on the island (tethered to the USD). i would call it the Roo, or perhaps the Nellie.

    1. josephcohen

      I’m pretty excited about Roosevelt Island a sort of experimental “city within a city”

      1. jason wright

        i would love to see it happen. a Crypto Isle in the heart of NYC. an experimental virtual nation state right there in the citadel of fiat capital. there would be no better place to seed change.Zug in Switzerland is now issuing blockchain ‘passports’ to its residents, and allowing bitcoin to be used in transactions. if only Bloomberg could leverage his immense goodwill and network to start a similar experiment on Roosevelt. there are people with power. there are people with vision. there are few with would be throwing down the gauntlet to naysayers like Jamie Dimon.

    2. RooseveltIslander

      Roosevelt Island is a very special place with an interesting history. It’s a small town in the middle of the East River under the Queensboro Bridge between Manhattan and Queens.It was developed as a middle income and lower income community. Cornell Tech is one factor that is bringing many changes to Roosevelt Island.I publish a hyperlocal news site about Roosevelt Island and have been following very closely the development of Cornell Tech.…Fred, I saw you yesterday talking with Dan Doctoroff and Jessica Lappin. Wanted to say hello but got interrupted and when I turned around, you were gone.What do you think of the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island campus? I recall that you originally thought the location was not convenient for the NYC Tech community. Did the ferry change your mind?

  2. William Mougayar

    And Cornell has had a great lead in blockchain technology at the academic level, so this will even be more beneficial for NYC, reference the excellent IC3 initiative

    1. jason wright

      have you seen the Economist’s latest Global Liveability Ranking?

      1. William Mougayar

        No, what about it?

        1. jason wright

          Best places to live. What’s Canada’s secret sauce?

          1. William Mougayar

            Moderation in everything. Certainly not the weather 😉

  3. Mike Zamansky

    Lots of great education options but we shouldn’t forget the fine non-engineering schools that offer great CS like Columbia College, NYU (Courant), and programs like what I’m working on at Hunter College.While many budding tech students should go to engineering schools and will be well served by doing so, many would be better served with a BA in CS and even more by earning a strong minor in CS combined with another liberal arts major.

    1. fredwilson

      great points Mike

    2. awaldstein

      See my comment below on Black Mountain College.And this if interested.The liberal arts…So much a believer in this

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      My son is taking a leave of absence from university right now. He was at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) but was feeling like his creative side was not being engaged. He is in the process of exploring where he might transfer to (many NYC schools on his list right now) so that he can still study engineering but also be able to have more liberal arts options.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        Carnegie Mellon have a fantastic degree in CS and art. – BCSA…The son of a friend of mine is on the program and loves it. It would have been hard for him to have explored his interests otherwise.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          My son applied to Carnegie Mellon but didn’t get in.

          1. Pete Griffiths

            That’s the problem with these unusual degree programs that cater for kids with these ‘dual’ interests. They get lots of talented kids applying and are highly selective. And of course, no application progress is perfectly rational. Far from it.Sorry to hear he was disappointed in that application. But he may be relieved to know that according to my son’s friend who is in the program – it is a terrifyingly rigorous program with an enormous workload. 🙂

          2. Susan Rubinsky

            It’s not a problem. He was accepted to a lot of programs and had many offers. IIT is pretty rigorous too.

          3. Pete Griffiths

            I don’t mean for him. I meant that there aren’t enough of these programs to cater for the young people who are interested in more than one thing. There just aren’t that many places you can combine interests in a proper program. One of my sons had the same issue. He was interested in a business program but he was also interested in CS and foreign languages and cultures. There are very few such programs. He was lucky.

          4. Susan Rubinsky

            So true. My son is studying civil engineering but is also interested in architecture, visual art (he’s an amazing artist), and sociology.

          5. Pete Griffiths

            makes total sensebut very tough to find a program to meet his needs

          6. Susan Rubinsky

            Indeed. But he will find his way.

          7. LE

            Children need to find something that not only interests them but that also is in demand. And more importantly that they can earn a living from.

          8. Susan Rubinsky

            I studied poetry writing and ceramic sculpture in college and it’s been my greatest strength. I have more out of box thinking than most people because of it. My best hires when I worked in tech were liberal arts majors.

          9. LE

            Everybody is different. I did photography in high school and college and made money from it and it helped greatly with my first business. Entirely self taught. Enjoyed it as well. Had an eye for it. 2nd nature. Good enough to get paid for it almost and literally immediately. That’s with having to do darkroom work.The question you have to ask is if you had that strength because you took the courses or if you had it innately and would have had the same out of the box thinking and creativity. You know there are great filmmakers that have never gone to film school, right? And great writers as well. Self taught musicians and so on.I took the standard liberal arts courses that are required of anyone in high school. Not much after that in college though. One thing I can absolutely do is think out of the box and have done very well with that and also different types of creative thinking (not talking about photography either). The things that others think are wacky? It works for me and always has.While it’s possible that your best hires were liberal arts majors because of what they learned in liberal arts courses, it’s also possible that they would have been good if they had not done so.In other words they were guided into liberal arts by a love for it or by whatever their parents thought they should do and/or counselors suggested.

          10. sigmaalgebra

            On that I hate to agree with you, but I’m partially tempted: If my startup needs to hire, say, for Web site development, maybe a background in liberal arts will be better than one in academic computer science.If they are good at following lectures and reading, then I can give them the high points of the important stuff in computer science in practice in an hour. No joke. For what they learned in liberal arts about reading, critical reading, insightful reading, communicating with others, writing to communicate clearly, with maybe calculus and freshman physics as examples of technical writing, I can’t teach in an hour.Why the communications stuff? Bluntly, that’s the form of the work product! E.g., between good code and good documentation of the code, for the business I want both but the first is the more important.An old joke about software goes, without documentation, when the code is written only the programmer and God understand it. Six months later, only God.For more, for computer application design work, need to think that through clearly, and it is not as simplistic as coding, and then need to write down the results of the work so that others can understand it. Then there is the important communications in the work groups that must be effective.But if I hire liberal arts majors, then maybe I’ll have to be sure they don’t have some bitter contempt for computing. Hmm ….

          11. jason wright

            their loss i’m sure.

          12. Susan Rubinsky

            Carnegie Mellon is extremely competitive. We knew it was a “Reach” school. It was the only Reach school my son didn’t get into. All is good.

          13. sigmaalgebra

            Gee, one of my Ph.D. dissertation advisers was for a time President at CMU!Yes, I’ve heard that the CS program at CMU is highly competitive, a real hell, but from what else I’ve seen about their CS faculty I’m unimpressed!For hell years, I’ve seen some of that: It’s easy to teach a course that way; just go about three times faster than usual! E.g., Harvard long did that with their Math 55. The main course I had that tried to be some hell year, I totally blew away all the other students and at times intimidated the prof, a world-class guy in the field. But for me, the course was easy. Why? Due to a lot of independent study, I already knew nearly all the course at the beginning. So, the course was not really about learning: The course went too fast for the other students, actually really good students, to learn much, and I already knew the stuff. Bummer. Flunk-out, hell year, filtering courses, prove yourself worthy, hazing — bummer. Waste for all concerned.

          14. LE

            But for me, the course was easy. Why? Due to a lot of independent study, I already knew nearly all the course at the beginning.Most people will not read your comment to see the above or they might think that it doesn’t apply to their kids. And besides many of those kids are more interested in current experiences than in their future. So I will highlight it in my comment.

          15. sigmaalgebra

            Big, long build up, and really fast fall down.Last night just before sleep, was watching the beginning of an Inspector Clouseau movie with one of my favorite parts. To execute a business deal, a French gangster needs to impress another gangster. So, the suggestion is to “eliminate Clouseau”. Then the exchange goes:”We’ll have every cop in France down on our necks.””Not if we do it smart.””Can you do it smart?””Yes.””Then do it.” So, in front of the head gangster, the lieutenant to do the work brings in several killers saying”You may not have met any of these men, but each of them has worked for you at some times in the past. Needless to say, they are all specialists, the best in France.””And you expect them to take care of Clouseau?””Oh no, they are contracted to eliminate Mr. Chong.”And in walks the imposing Mr. Chong.”And who is Mr. Chong”?”Mr. Chong comes recommended by Hong Kong. Gentlemen, full fill your contract …”Then Mr. Chong quickly, effortlessly wipes out all the specialists. So, it looks like Mr. Chong will be able to eliminate Clouseau.Next we see Mr. Chong, grim, running, jumping, crashing open metal lined doors, tearing off bolt locks with just his finger tips, entering Clouseau’s apartment, and getting ready to eliminate Clouseau.Meanwhile in the apartment Clouseau gets a stick to do his usual stay in practice battle with his housekeeper,happens to see Mr. Chong from behind, assumes it is his housekeeper, quietly comes up behind Chong, takes a big swing with the stick, and hits Chong on the back of the head. Chong stumbles forward, steps on a wooden pin, falls, lands on a cart with wheels, rolls quickly to the porch, falls over the side, falls about 30′ down, crashes through a glass skylight, falls about 12′, crashes through the floor, and, thus, is dead two or three floors below.So, Mr. Chong gets a really big buildup but then, with sudden and great surprise, dies really fast from something quite simple.So, big, long build up, and really fast fall down.Or some really good US families have children, for each of them, for 18 years,big, long build up, work really hard to give them the very best educations and other advantages, lots of time, money, and effort, lots of discipline, lots of nose to the grindstone, ear to the ground, shoulder to the wheel, AP Calculus, AP Physics, Honors English, a Science Fair project in each of grades 7-12, in their spare time star on the basketball and tennis teams, help at a Habitat for Humanity project, and each summer take correspondence courses, work on a road crew, tutor math in a poor neighborhood, gets the best SAT tutoring, usually sleeps only 4 hours a night, and, the letter arrives: They’ve been accepted to CMU!!!!So, the whole family loads up the top of the line SUV and drives to CMU for Freshman Day or some such. They enjoy being in that honored, selected group of families.Then the CMU CS faculty gets their turn. Apparently rubbing their hands with glee over the new forms of sadistic torture, destruction, and degradation their fiendish, degenerate academic minds have concocted, they destroy the naive, gullible freshmen at a rate of several a week. CRASH.And all for no good reason.E.g., in that course I mentioned I did well in, any reasonably talented math student is perfectly capable of learning that material, but if teach the course about three times faster than people can absorb it, then will eliminate most of the class by the midterm exam. And actually they were all quite good students. Bummer. I’d learned the material on my own, well, but not that darned fast. I’d learned the material, first, from a stack of some of the best books and then applied the material in several different fields, worked on issues of numerical stability several ways, wrote corresponding software, etc. So, I’d covered material over and over and over from different directions, in different contexts, etc. That helps in learning. The course didn’t give the students anywhere near as much contact with the material I had while learning it.And the CMU CS department is perfectly capable of doing the same, that is, give courses that go too darned fast. Flunk out, filter courses commonly spring up in academics.Students and their families need to be aware of such things. E.g., on a campus visit during the application process, get with some of the present students, hopefully over pizza (I’d also recommend beer except we’re talking 17 yearolds or younger), and see what is really there.The core question is, are the courses really teaching or just filtering? Next question, what if anything is the material good for?For the practical parts of CS, do the profs know system administration (installation, configuration, monitoring, security, performance, etc.) of Windows Server, SQL Server, Linux, and a high end server farm complete with the Cisco or other LAN and the connection(s) to the Internet backbone? Generally no because mostly universities don’t want them spending time on such things.For the research end, gotta tell you, the CS departments need a lot of math but in grad school the profs rarely took the right math courses. E.g., one CMU prof, famous, in AI, tries to do math, writes what he regards as math, but doesn’t know how to write math. He just doesn’t know. Math majors typically learn as a junior or senior, and learning does commonly require a decently good mathematician and teacher to correct some of the student’s papers. Just on his sloppy math, even just the really just nonsense notation, I’d never pass one of his journal papers.E.g., a CMU CS grad student attacked a problem, apparently got told to study some particular topics in statistics, did that, and ended up giving a lecture at Google claiming that there were four obstacles to solving that problem. Well, if just read some of the seemingly appropriate statistics books, then, sure, there are four problems with no solutions in the book and with a lot of warnings that there are big, fundamental obstacles. WRONG! Quite good solutions exist for all four! The books were not really wrong: They in effect said that can’t drive the family SUV 200 MPH. That’s right. But for the problem the grad student had, didn’t need to drive the SUV 200 MPH. He in effect was asking for more than he needed.Broadly academics realizes that their faculty can slack off, go dumb and/or useless, etc. and, thus, is highly concerned about quality. Their main way to get quality is to insist on peer reviewed publications. Well, in CS, that’s kind of a low bar. On the one hand, some of the CS profs try to achieve the standard of “fundamental understanding of computing”, but few such questions have been posed and few of those have been answered. Then, on the other hand, to have something to publish, the profs can go for anything new, e.g., at times AI, where long, and likely still, there was/is next to nothing in reasonably solid research. Gee, right, I remember some of that AI stuff, the Rete Network, right, from CMU — hopefully not one of their best days.For families and students, the CMU CS department has no right to make CS, the parts worth teaching so far, challenging. Sorry ’bout that.Essentially deliberately hurting some of the best students from some of the best families is a big bummer. The families should watch out for that; it’s a big danger that in a few weeks can destroy nearly all those 18 years of effort.Here are two broad ways for students to defend themselves:First, get ahead. E.g., in that course I took, that the prof wanted to make a competition, but when his starting gun went off, I was already about 1″ from the finish line. So, starting as early as the eighth grade, get ahead. For that AP stuff, try to avoid that since (A) the time I read the AP calculus materials I concluded that the authors didn’t know calculus well (same for Khan Academy) and (B) the AP stuff is too close to make-work, busy-work, junk-think, nonsense. E.g., to learn calculus, get 3-4 good college freshman calculus books. I learned from Johnson andKiokemeister, then also used at Harvard. Thomas has long been respected for engineering students. I taught from Protter and Morrey, and it was beautifully done, math correct and easy to read and learn from. For more, call the math departments of some high end research universities and see what books they are using. Pick one book as the main one, learn from that one, and use the other books for alternate explanations. The Protter and Morrey book I taught from is a bit too easy, so use it for a first book and then take a second pass through a more serious book.Second, ASAP do and publish some peer-reviewed research. E.g., hopefully have some published before the first year of grad school, although there’s no law against publishing while in high school. E.g., when I published, no one asked for my academic credentials. In academics, some published papers or even one good published paper are fire proof body armor.How to publish? Go for engineering, that is, start with a practical problem. So, are not tying to solve some problem in pure math 300 years old or some problem way out on the fringes of the analytic, algebraic topology of the locally Euclidean metization of infinitely differentiable Riemannian manifolds (an old joke).The main criteria for publishing are new, correct, and significant.So, if start with a practical problem, then have a good shot at the work being new. Can get the significant part not from some astounding contribution to pure science but from the practical significance — did I mention engineering? For correct, get a math solution where can nail down the core work at all four corners with correct theorems and proofs.Maybe, get E. Cinlar’s Introduction to Stochastic Processes, pick a problem in computer, network, or server farm performance, monitoring, reliability, or security, and use some of what is in Cinlar’s book as a model and the basis of a solution. Not many CS people have a good understanding of what is in Cinlar’s book. Cinlar is a serious guy and a darned good mathematician, e.g., was long at Princeton. Just a wild guess — YMMV, and use good judgment.Of course, in the end, for the student, this is about a career, that is, making money. So, a CS prof is someone who teaches students how to have a good career in computing that they are trying to have by being a college prof and not making money enough to buy a house.So, in the end, the student needs a good career. Then have to look, ask, etc. for some solid evidence of just how a CMU four years of hell CS major will lead to a good career. There will want some solid examples, a lot of really solid examples.Sure, often success requires hard work, but hard work alone, with suffering, hazing, pain, degradation, etc. are poor paths to success.

    4. Pete Griffiths

      This raises an interesting point about when kids are applying to college because whilst some of them are already deeply committed to CS (or other engineering disciplines) others aren’t so clear. For such kids I think it is a big advantage to go to a school where they apply to the college not the school. E.g Stanford. Then they can test the water and if they like it – they jump in. But they don’t have to transfer. The daughter of a very close friend is applying to college right now and this point is bearing heavily on her decision where to apply.

      1. Mike Zamansky

        One of the things I’ve discovered since I’ve moved to Hunter College is that high schools are not doing a good job communicating the difference between engineering and liberal arts schools / programs.I think that since many schools have robotics programs like FIRST as their big STEM component, guidance counselors and teachers associate CS with programs like FIRST which are really engineering programs.When I go around to talk about my program at Hunter, most of the talk is really to educate the kids about the CS landscape and possibilities in general rather than a hard sell for what I’m doing.

        1. PhilipSugar

          I think one of the hard things is it has become more and more driven to make a choice earlier and earlier. I love FIRST. Is it right for everyone?? No. But let’s discuss

          1. Mike Zamansky

            This is one of the problems with eliminating all large high schools and only having small ones – no budget for a varied elective program.Kids end up having to decide on their future no later than 8th grade.

          2. PhilipSugar

            We completely agree.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            > Kids end up having to decide on their future no later than 8th grade.That might seem so, but actually the students have lots of ways around whatever nonsense K-12 dumps on the students. Broadly, most of the ways are not to go through the K-12 system but around it.For the “8th grade”: Well, I remember some of that! The easiest part to remember is the girls — they were pretty beyond belief! After that, it’s easy to remember that they didn’t want to talk to me!After that the easiest to remember is at the end of 8th grade arithmetic; the teacher took me aside one on one and fervently, trying hard to do her job responsibly, told me that my grade was D, that I shouldn’t take any more math, ever, and that I didn’t have to because there was a course in high school arithmetic I could take.I told Dad, who had a better background in education than 95% of the teachers in K-12. He just smiled and told me to continue on in math.So, the 9th grade was algebra I. Okay. Fun stuff. Since a was a goof off in class and had given up on taking homework seriously, I learned the material on the tests — open book with plenty of time. So, about each two weeks, he gave a test, and on the test I learned the previous 2 weeks of the material just from the book.Sometimes class was fun: When I did pay attention, the material was really easy. Then somehow on the right side of the room next to a wall were several of the girls, just gorgeous, really pretty, really sweet, beyond gorgeous, I still remember them, but really sad from being confused about the material! Sometimes I would blurt out a simple explanation.Dad gave me some crucial tutoring in algebra I, in about 30 seconds, maybe it was 15 seconds.At the end, I got As and was sent to a math tournament!Then I continued in math with mostly ignoring the class time (nap time!) and teaching myself from the book. That took me through 750+ Math SAT scores, honors in math in college (group representation theory for the quantum mechanics of molecular spectroscopy), 800 GRE math, a nice career in applied math and computing near DC for national security, saving FedEx from going out of business twice, and a Ph.D. in applied math (stochastic optimal control), and some peer-reviewed publications in optimization and mathematical statistics.So, the 8th grade didn’t stop me at all!Anyone with some okay talent for math and a little guidance can go as far as they want in math, and no K-12, college, grad school, or job can stop them.So, what happened in the 8th grade? Well, first, the 8th grade arithmetic teacher thought that she was teaching math. Nope. She was teaching mostly just manual skills at simple arithmetic. Second, that teacher had no real understanding of math at all. Third, she missed what I was doing: Like a lot of boys in the 8th grade, my manual dexterity, handwriting quality, and clerical abilities all just sucked. So, in something conceptually dirt simple I learned in about 90 seconds, say, multiplying two 4 digits numbers, my columns didn’t line up, my own handwriting was too hard to read even for me, and my results for the operation were too frequently wrong. And since I’d given up on trying in academics, I didn’t care or try very hard.But manual dexterity had nothing to do talent or interest in math!The situation continued: The teachers were terrible gossips, and in each grade I was in effect graded before I even got there. But the standardized tests said I was one of the best math students in the school (high end school, intended to be quite good, by far the best in town).My reputation as a bad student continued to the day the guidance counselor read me my SAT scores. The first one, not so good, the Verbal SAT, the teacher said, “That’s very good!”. No, it wasn’t that good, but she was surprised it wasn’t much worse and was trying to be positive. Then she saw my Math SAT score, hesitated, looked confused, was shaken, even afraid, and said “There must be some mistake.” She believed that from the gossip she already knew about what the score should be! Finally she had to swallow her pride, junk the gossip, and accept what the paper actually said in black and white: In the graduating class of about 180 students, on the Math SAT, 1-2-3 were all close together, the student voted “Most Intellectual,” went to MIT, was 3. I was 2. Student 1 went to Purdue.I tell this story to push back against stuff likeKids end up having to decide on their future no later than 8th grade.Garbage. Destructive garbage. Typical K-12, incompetent, uninformed, misinformed, dangerous, destructive garbage.Apparently, flatly, for any student with high ability, K-12 has not even a weak little hollow hint of a tiny clue about that ability. By analogy, the K-12 teachers are like house painters evaluating a young Michelangelo. K-12 teachers should stop that stuff, stop saying destructive things about topics they know too little about.K-12 teachers should quit hurting students.

          4. Pete Griffiths

            Compare and contrast with the UK.In my final 2 years of high school I took only 3 subjects: Pure Math, Applied Math and Physics. That’s it.Quite normal in the UK. Specialize even earlier!

          5. PhilipSugar

            Understand. See my comment below.

        2. Pete Griffiths

          Mine is a small sample but from what little experience I have had with my kids and those of friends, I don’t think most high schools know the difference.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            From Mike Zamansky is> One of the things I’ve discovered since I’ve moved to Hunter College is that high schools are not doing a good job communicating the difference between engineering and liberal arts schools / programs.> Mine is a small sample but from what little experience I have had with my kids and those of friends, I don’t think most high schools know the difference.Year by year, high schools (HS) remain mostly the same and change more slowly than the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.The HS appear to be in their own world separated from the rest of academics, the job market, the economy, what’s good for the students, etc.It’s easy to list changes that would help; it’s tough to thing of a feasible way to get these changes in place.Maybe a key is just to exploit the Internet: I.e., mostly we’re talking about just information, and the Internet can pass out information by the terabytes per second. So, have some people post some good advice and let the parents and students read and use it.At times I’ve posted some pointed and frank remarks on education, K-Ph.D. and on the job here at AVC.

    5. sigmaalgebra

      What fraction of employers believe that?

  4. Rob Underwood

    Fred, Thank you for your leadership on this.I wanted to also acknowledge the hard work of our mutual friend Diane Levitt, who leads K12 education for Cornell Tech.Long before Cornell Tech had its own permanent physical space, Diane, and by extension Cornell Tech, have been an important leader in the effort to expand CS into schools, both in NYC and nationally.

    1. fredwilson


  5. Tom Labus

    This is great!!!Stanford on the East River!!Plus a ferry

    1. fredwilson

      hopefully not Stanford

      1. Douglas Crets

        oh, there are parts of Stanford that are amazing. D School.

      2. JamesHRH

        Can you unpack this?

        1. fredwilson

          I don’t want to go public with my critique. I’d be happy to share it privately

          1. JamesHRH

            My oldest is a sophomore, seems like something I should hear.I will shoot you an email.

        2. PhilipSugar

          I will there are many schools…..Stanford, Wharton (my school), MIT, Harvard, Yale, etc. where there is group think. We can call it whatever, but it is group think. And it causes certain behaviors, maybe bad, maybe good, but not diverse.

          1. JamesHRH

            Its likely because of their status as ‘destination’ schools.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            E.g., at Stanford, what is the “group think” of, say, profs, in basically pure/applied math (in no particular order), H. Royden, K. Chung, D. Luenberger, P. Diaconis, B. Efron, and D. Knuth?At MIT, what would be the “group think” of profs D. Bertsekas, T. Magnanti, M. Athans?

      3. sigmaalgebra

        I was on the Stanford campus once. Didn’t see R. Witherspoon! Gave a paper on AI (upchuck!).I like Stanford because of profs, in basically pure/applied math (in no particular order), H. Royden, K. Chung, D. Luenberger, P. Diaconis, B. Efron, and D. Knuth. That’s a world class collection. Berkeley, Chicago, MIT, Harvard, CMU, Cornell, Brown, Columbia, Courant, even Princeton have a tough time matching that collection.Sure, now or in the past, also in pure/applied math (in no particular order),Berkeley, M. Loeve, L. Breiman, D. Brillinger, G. Dantzig;Princeton, E. Cinlar, J. Tukey, H. Huhn, A. Tucker;CMU, S. Shreve;MIT, D. Bertsekas, T. Magnanti, M. Athans;Brown, J. Hale, P. Falb, U. Grenander, H. Kushner, W. Fleming;Cornell, E. Dynkin, G. Nemhauser;Chicago, P. Halmos, P. Billingsley;Columbia, I. Karatzas;Courant, J. Schwartz, H. McKean, R. Courant, F. John.

  6. Pointsandfigures

    Great development. Seeing similar things here in Chicago with UChicago, UIllinois. Great universities in proximity to a tech community create the chance for something good to happen that will push our standard of living forward. Or, we get a new photo app that’s cool : )

  7. JLM

    .Bravo, NYC and Bloomie. Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  8. awaldstein

    So good.A suggestion.I think NYC is the perfect place to unlock a rethought version of the Black Mountain College idea, where at the top line arts and tech and city planning and the humanity of change is core.Ed Dorn meets Charles Olson meets Merce Cunningham meets Phil Glass meets Buckminster Fuller meets Keith Haring meets Lou Reed meets the furturists in block chain and autonomous transport and retail and public spaces.This is distinctly NY.I felt good even writing this.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      wow, yes.

    2. josephcohen

      Completely agree. Where do we start?

      1. awaldstein

        A conversation even over a glass of wine.That is where the things that change the word always start.

        1. Pete Griffiths

          Depends on the wine.

          1. awaldstein

            Ha!No one ever has been disappointed by my choice!

    3. Pete Griffiths

      You’ve been dropping acid again haven’t you. 🙂

      1. awaldstein

        Hardly ;)Though i am one of the few on this string that actually know what and where the Psychedelicatessen was.

    4. fredwilson

      I feel great reading it. Maybe you can help make it

      1. awaldstein

        I’m a product of this approach to education in many ways and many of the passions that make my life rich stem from that.I’ve been thinking about it on and off all day.

    5. PhilipSugar

      I could just not agree more.My son’s day today:Going to school at one of the best liberal arts schools, but one where the history is that is was the prep school for the Naval Academy.Playing Chess with a Russian Master.Programming in Lego FIRST League with an EV3Shooting at the range where he is known as “the boy”Talking to one of the top five robotics professors (my brother)And having dinner with my 85 year old Dad.Now I do not believe that I need to feel guilty about this. I do not feel I should try and enforce regulations to limit his abilities or have others get ahead because they are not as “privileged”BUTI do believe it is my moral responsibility that if another child shows the drive and desire but not the financial or parental capabilities, that I will treat that child as mine.ANDI need to seek those children out. Not that every child has that. No, many don’t. But for those that do and those that I find, then I need to step up.

  9. Pete Griffiths

    Pretty great. Congrats to everyone in NYC.

  10. TheNewJerusalem

    “NYC is the greatest place in the world” I literally shook my head in dread at that thought that a Jew wrote that. Ugh. A Jew. Really?The greatest place in the world for Jews is eretz yisrael (the land of Israel). That is not my opinion. That is what our great sages (actual rabbis according to Jewish law) have to repeatedly proclaimed.Seeing as “NYC is the greatest place in the world” why not call New York the new Jerusalem while you are at it, build the Third Temple there, and appoint a Messiah?https://judaism.stackexchan…”Furthermore, there is a Reform view that the shul or synagogue is a modern Temple; hence, “Temple” appears in numerous congregation names in Reform Judaism. Indeed, the re-designation of the synagogue as “temple” was one of the hallmarks of early Reform in 19th century Germany, when Berlin was declared the new Jerusalem…”In the late 19th century and early 20th century Bismark’s Germany was a place where Jews were safe a secure…. or so it seemed.The USA has served as a safe haven for Jews. But do not forget the vicious anti-Jewish sentiment that was popular throughout much of the USA in the period between World War I and World War II. Study the history of Jewish persecutions… and you will see we are warmly welcomed into a country and they eventually massacred, forced to convert to another religion, or at least banished.Just because it is warm and sunny one day, does not mean that rainstorms will never again return. Unless they emigrate en masse, Jews in New York will eventually be massacred, forced to convert to another religion, or at least forced into exile.

  11. sachmo

    Cooper Union Fred? It’s about a 5 min walk from USV.

    1. Mike Zamansky

      Interesting thing about Cooper and bear in mind that this is purely anecdotal but while my more engineering inclined students seem to have a great experience at Cooper Union, far more of my former students than I’d expect with more of a pure computer science bent had a really bad time there.

  12. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT!The Elephant in the room.BitCoin (BTC) has major supporters and investors on this blog.JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says bitcoin is a ‘fraud’ that will eventually blow up.It’s worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed,” (JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon )He did separate the technology of the Blockchain which he considers a legitimate use verses the speculating of cryptocurrencies. Also said he was using the term BTC to cover all related cryptocurrencies.…If any response can be made it would be via the key principals on this blog.We have always stated that the lack of fundamentals prevented us from benefiting from the low initial entry.DISCLOSURE: NO CRYPTOCURRENY BETS(SAD WE KNOW SINCE WE HAVE BEEN AWARE OF BTC SINCE 2011.)

    1. jason wright

      this is JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon? the same JP Morgan that had to pay a $13 billion fine for its part in the whole mortgage fraud debacle. what a nerve.

      1. creative group

        Jason wright:that is what we thought but there have been the banking consortium that uses Blockchain and have created an alternative technology based upon the Blockchain technology.…Just surprised CNBC didn’t empanel opposing viewpoints.Traditional traders still look at Cryptocurrency as speculating because there are no fundamentals to guide/

  13. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT!Humanoid robot YuMi conducts the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra.

  14. sigmaalgebra

    Metric 1: Of the seminars, what is the ratio of (A) number talks by professors and students with solutions looking for problems and (B) number of talks by people in engineering in business with problems looking for solutions?Metric 2: What fraction of graduates get jobs in engineering in business right out of Cornell Tech?Metric 3: Same for Metric 2 but for Ph.D. graduates.Metric 4: Fraction of Ph.D. graduates who get venture funding within 1 year of graduation.Metric 5: Fraction of students who get venture funding within 1 year of graduation.Metric 6: Fraction of students who get venture funding before graduation.Broad theme: Is the school professional and/or clinical like law and medicine or just academic, i.e., with physics envy?Big question: MDs and JDs are professional with certification, legal liability, licensing, etc. What about graduates of Cornell Tech?Big question: Who will pay for the research?Mostly to be competitive in research and getting research grants from the usual sources, the professor has to follow the usual paths which are a long way from business or technology in business. E.g., generally for a professor, any contact with business is regarded as a waste of time and black mark to a tenure and promotion committee. Really, nearly all the research funding is from Congress, and they are interested in the STEM fields essentially only for US national security; for business or technology, they can’t compete.Curious question: A student at Cornell Tech writes a Ph.D. dissertation with good, original research for a powerful, valuable solution to an important problem in engineering in business. Will that dissertation be sufficient for venture funding? Where in business will that research help them get a job?Curious question: What fraction of Cornell Tech professors of computer science are good at system administration of Windows Server and SQL Server?

  15. ShanaC

    This is going to be interesting for Cornell. I wonder how the upstate vs downstate thing will work out.

  16. LordanJevy

    Cornell Tech is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to innovating the way people learn in the 21st century. For decades the model of higher education hasn’t changed, which is the main reason we see the “skills gap” grow year after year.For programs in cities like NY, the key differentiator is the ability to collaborate with industry due to its close proximity and accessibility. I know the CT curriculum has prioritized applied learning, which is exactly what students need most. The challenge is continually managing industry relationships so there’s always a fresh source of content and challenges.Another main challenge frankly is driving this same value to schools in more remote regions. A lot of programs have started facilitating these connections on a remote basis, which is something we support as well.Experiential learning is the future frankly because it’s the only way we’re going to keep education up-to-speed with the fast-paced changes in industry.If anyone is interested in learning more about experiential or “Project-Based Learning,” take a look at this article we recently published! We explore the need for industry collaboration, the expectations when it comes to these types of projects, and how to ensure success for all parties.http://www.capstonesource.c…- Jordan LevyExecutive Director, CapSourceForbes 30 Under 30 – Education

  17. sigmaalgebra

    Okay, I looked at the Web site of Cornell Tech at I saw:(1) Board of OverseersLooks terrific. There’s a big role for people from QUALCOMM, i.e., the company A. Viterbi built or helped build, could serve as a good example of a guy with a good academic background, who did some good research, and, likely at least in part from his research, did really well in business.With that Board, the school is very well connected.(2) Physical Plant ArchitectureIt looks like the architects they hired did really well for themselves!I’m unsure of the real value for the real objectives of such spectacular architecture. But, at least, the architecture can be a show of strong financial support.Or in trying to date the pretty girl, one guy shows up in a rusty Kia and takes her for dinner to a guy doing poorly trying to compete with McDonald’s, and the other guy shows up in a Mercedes S-class coupe with the 6 liter, 12 cylinder engine with twin turbo chargers, with inter-cooling, and takes her to the Escoffier Room in Trump Tower (if there is such!). Uh, all other things equal, the second guy has a better chance!(3) Academic InertiaThe Web site makes fully clear that in the crucial ways Cornell Tech is just the same as Cornell, that is, Cornell Tech is in NYC and not Ithaca and has fewer programs than Ithaca but otherwise is basically the same school, requirements, degrees, etc.So, for Cornell Tech being a big change in some of the long standing fundamentals of graduate education and academic research, nope!So, really, what’s intended to be significantly different for Cornell Tech is some vague, but possibly in the end significant, serendipitous synergy from chance meetings in the inspiring environment of the astounding architecture?Also there are hints and suggestions that somehow being in NYC instead of Ithaca and, thus, closer to more technology businesses, will lead to some better expertise available to the businesses, business problems to stimulate or guide some of the research, etc. Maybe such things will be significant.(4) Research FundingIn the end there is the top line — the revenue, that is, funding, in particular for the time, effort, etc. of the research.In the US, for the STEM fields, that funding has mostly been voted by Congress for US national security and has long been the basic power source that kept the US STEM fields going and, really, from the university overhead cut, much of the rest of the campus including the English and Art departments, the string quartet series, the campus lawn and garden work, and the central quadrangle with its fancy fountain!Possible connections between STEM fields and business had been ignored down to laughed at in business, the research, academics more generally, and the funding sources.So, in the end, for the major source of funding, it would take some really big checks from Mike Bloomberg, Eric Schmidt, Verizon, the guys at QUALCOMM, etc. to make up for what Congress has been providing.And to get the Congress money is competitive, highly competitive, and to win should concentrate on the essentials where all that tries to be different about Cornell Tech is just extra work, another load to carry or pull, and, thus, a handicap.(5) Connections with PracticeYes, Cornell Tech tries to have some connections with practice.So, maybe at a high level, some CEOs could meet with some Cornell Tech professors to talk about engineering problems the CEO has.At a low level, some students may be able to learn more about what is involved in current business high end production computing, on-line, off-line, e.g., maybe at Citi Bank, Travelers, Goldman Sachs, Optimum Online, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. BGP (border gateway protocol) anyone?But, somehow I just don’t see many CEOs getting directly interested in engineering problems or meeting with faculty, and somehow I don’t see a professor, not even a professor of practice, doing well teaching what the larger computing operations are doing in managing and doing software development and designing and administering their server farms and networks. Uh, the people who do that work now spend full time at it! E.g., by analogy, I don’t see a cooking school helping students do well really understanding the work at Campbell’s, Progresso, Sara Lee, etc.E.g., in my first year as a B-school prof, the computing was awful; they knew that and wanted better computing; but they had zero idea how to do that. The campus computer science department didn’t know, either. The campus central computing facility was wildly out of date, that is, had not gone shopping or done buying in many years.Well, in grad school, while working off campus to earn money enough to support my wife and I through our Ph.D.s, I’d happened to be part of an effort for some up to date computing, soon did the system administration, was technical lead on much more, etc. So, really, as it happened, I was the only person on campus able to make the basic decisions on what to do. So, I led the effort and was successful.Uh, academics, even in computer science, can have one heck of a struggle keeping up on high end practical computing such as, necessarily, a lot of their computing graduates will need on their jobs.E.g., when I was in grad school, a high end computer science pure research guy got a summer grant to work on some old IBM mainframes. He asked me, with some resignation, “I guess you know JCL?”. Yes, that was a four letter word with just three letters I’d long since wrestled to the ground! He was very much in for a painful summer! Uh, the people writing him his check just assumed, sure, naturally, a high end CS prof, of course, would know all about JCL. Nope! That misunderstanding, gap between research and practice, remains!Net, the connections in engineering between research academics and business will be difficult to have significantly successful. And, even when successful, the Congressional funding won’t support the profs involved, and academics won’t give the profs involved credit in promotion and tenure.So such work will need another funding source and a prof willing, in the words of that prof to struggle with JCL above, “to commit academic suicide”. Yup — for a research university prof to do much on practical computing risks academic suicide.Sure, a prof of “practice,” and Cornell Tech has some, could do such work, but it would be tough there on Roosevelt Island to keep up with what is going on in, say, the NASDAQ server farm in Trumbull, CT, Citi, Google, Facebook, etc.(6) Current ResearchI looked at the research directions of the faculty. Yawn! The work supposed to be connected with practice was too far away. That is, the profs were trying to build theories too big that had real applications too few. For any impact in any respect, they need to focus on both the research directions and the intended applications.The work intended to be fundamental was next to silly and trivial, make-work.Or, there has long been good fundamental work in STEM fields in NYS, e.g., at Cornell in Ithaca, Courant, Columbia. I’m not seeing that at Cornell Tech. Short term, Cornell Tech will have to hire some senior people and pay big bucks.(7) RealityI’m guessing at what is really going on, e.g., as in the standard advice “Always look for the hidden agenda.”.What I’m guessing I’m seeing is (A) posturing, prestige, for the leaders involved, (B) high level political correctness, (C) a big image before the public.I can guess too soon Manhattan CEOs and the best research profs in Ithaca will both do the same thing — laugh at Cornell Tech.Then, I feel sorry for the students.Bottom LineSure, some of my work and research should in principle in places make contact with Cornell Tech. Okay. But from looking at the Cornell Tech Web site today, I got for myself some good news: There’s essentially no chance Cornell Tech will in any way equal or duplicate my research!In particular, for trying to duplicate or equal my research, it would be much better to be in Ithaca or at Princeton or Stanford than at Cornell Tech!Ah, good to know! My technological barrier to entry is holding! A nice day for me!

  18. Sudha Lakshmi

    As a proud Cornell alum, I hope this is the start of a great (greater?) partnership between USV and Cornell tech transfer – they’ve seeded some amazing technology. 🙂