Global Connectedness,  Global Education,  Sustainability

Global High Tech Hubs, Applied Sciences and Net-Zero Energy Buildings

By The Editors

At this time, it only offers a beta class (a one-year Masters of Engineering degree in Computer Science from Cornell University), with a handful of students housed in space donated by Google – in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.  In the next few years, it will be a major global research and academic program that will confer graduate degrees and engage in research in the Applied Sciences – on Roosevelt Island, a 52-hectare sliver of land in the East River between Manhattan and Queens.

We’re talking about Cornell NYC Tech and the launch of an innovative curriculum that leaves behind the traditional highly academic approach to learning and moves towards coursework based on an interdisciplinary mix of business and technology with an additional strong component, i.e., real-world experience.

According to the Cornell NYC Tech website “Students at Cornell Tech learn and work together with faculty, practitioners, and mentors, at our campus in Google’s Chelsea building, immersed in a culture that encourages entrepreneurial effort and a physical design that encourages collaboration and sharing.”

Entrepreneurs are an integral component of the classroom experience and participate by discussing the risks and failures associated with building a start-up.

A partnership between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, a world leader in technology commercialization, adds to the global, entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary graduate curriculum. The plan is to offer Cornell/Technion dual master’s degrees,

The campus will be centered on interdisciplinary application domains or “hubs”, rather than traditional colleges, schools and departments. The first three hubs will be called Connective Media, Healthier Life and Built Environment

Construction on Roosevelt Island will begin in 2014. In 2017, Cornell Tech will move to its permanent address on Roosevelt Island.  Its first academic building will be a net-zero energy building – a building with zero-net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. Net-zero energy will be achieved mostly through a rooftop solar canopy.

The tech plaza, with the first academic building and proposed solar canopy in the background. Cornell Chronicle.
The tech plaza, with the first academic building and proposed solar canopy in the background. Cornell Chronicle.

In the words of Daniel Huttenlocker, Dean of Cornell Tech, “Just as Cornell Tech will be pioneering new approaches to graduate research and education, our campus won’t look like any other university campus that exists today.  We are determined to innovate in every aspect of the development, from the way that students, faculty, researchers, industry and the community are intermingled, to the sustainability of our buildings and their iconic architecture.”

One Comment

  • Nisha Hudda

    I find this post quite interesting because of the fact that I believe that the traditional learning environment should be changed. It is very nice that Google is donating to the education in this country and contributing its own ideology into the work environment. I believe that when there are a more hands on education and more interaction with faculty and mentors than there is more of a “realistic” approach. My opinion in the traditional learning environment is that we as students learn to be “book smart” but when we need to apply the education that we have learned in a more realistic approach it is a bit difficult. I find this new program being a step to being a solution for this problem. In terms of the environmental factors that are being in effect there is the fact that the building will be a net-zero energy building, which means it will have no energy consumption, which is quite astounding. It is so surprising how much the world has used science to go ahead with a better lifestyle. I believe that if this works out for this building than more buildings should be made like this to have a better environment and use fewer resources.

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