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Cornell University’s New Tech Campus Opens in NYC

Cornell University, an Ivy League School, has a beautiful main campus high above Cayuga’s waters in the upstate New York town of Ithaca. The Cornell School of Law was founded in 1887 and is located adjacent to the main campus. However, when it came time to establish a medical school in 1898, the University chose the Upper East Side of Manhattan as the site, initiating ongoing partnerships with the Sloane Kettering Institute and New York Presbyterian Hospital. Now known as Weill Cornell Medicine, it is one of the most selective medical schools in the world, accepting only 106 students from 6,183 applicants in 2015.

Cornell made a similar decision in 2011 when it announced a plan to build its new graduate technology campus, Cornell Tech, on Roosevelt Island, situated in the East River between Manhattan and Queens in New York City. Cornell Tech is a partnership between Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

New York City has been seeking parity with Silicon Valley in high tech development and production capacity but has suffered from a shortage of local engineers with relevant expertise. Among other things, Cornell Tech will remedy this shortage. The Cornell Tech project is part of the Applied Sciences NYC initiative and was the first University to obtain approval and funding from the City. Other projects have included Columbia University’s plan to build a new science center in West Harlem; Carnegie Mellon University’s proposal for a campus on land the City offered on the site of the former Brooklyn Navy Yard; and a consortium led by New York University to construct a research facility in downtown Brooklyn.

Cornell Tech has been operating on a small scale since 2014 at a temporary site, Google’s landmark building at 111 Eighth Avenue in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. The new Cornell Tech campus on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island is an innovative, sustainable academic campus comprised of academic space, executive education facilities, housing for faculty, students, and staff, and publicly accessible open space. The campus is being built in phases, with the first phase opening this summer. Overall, more than two million square feet of new space will be located in the school’s architecturally innovative buildings.

Creative design and progressive engineering at Cornell Tech have pushed the frontiers of state-of-the-art sustainability. With all buildings having Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification and built according to Net Zero and Passive House principles, the campus is one of the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient in the world. With views across the East River to nearby midtown Manhattan, 2.5 acres of open space, expansive green lawns, pedestrian paths, and several outdoor classrooms, the campus encourages recreation and healthy living.

The three buildings to open this summer are the Corporate Co-Location building, formally known as The Bridge, the Bloomberg Center, and the House at Cornell Tech.

Connecting industry with the school’s curriculum and research is a key Cornell Tech objective. In The Bridge at Cornell Tech, established technology companies and start-ups are integrated within student academic facilities to enable students to experience technology R&D first hand.

The Bloomberg Center is a “classroom” building that embodies Cornell Tech’s commitment to collaboration and innovation. Flexible space facilitates easy communication, allowing students to work independently with faculty or in teams.

The House at Cornell Tech is a residential building with 350 units for students, staff, and faculty. The first high-rise residential building in the world built according to energy-efficient Passive House principles, it will be, at 270 feet, the tallest building on campus.

Scheduled for completion in 2019, the Verizon Executive Education Center will provide a second venue for synergy between the Cornell Tech academic community and the technology industry. The Center will host conferences, seminars, and meetings and, in general, serve as a place for technology and academia to consider common issues and plan joint projects.

Cornell Tech offers master’s degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Operations Research & Information Engineering, as well as a master’s degree in Technology Law (LLM) for attorneys. The school offers dual master’s degrees in Technology & Health and Connective Media (the interface between digital technology and humans).

PhD students at Cornell Tech in New York City pursue the same degree programs as those in Ithaca. They follow the same application process, belong to the same PhD programs, pursue the same graduate specialties, and have the same course and research requirements. They graduate with PhD degrees from Cornell University.

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