ORIE Has a Key Role in CornellNYC Tech
Cornell has won a worldwide competition to open an applied science and technology campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. ORIE intends to be part of the campus from its very beginning.
CornellNYC Tech will open this fall, in collaboration with the Technion, in space provided by Google while the new campus is built.
The winning proposal incorporates academic programs that take a problem-driven approach, strongly resembling the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree offered through the Graduate School by ORIE and other units in Cornell's College of Engineering and Faculty of Computing and Information Science. Through the graduate Field of Operations Research (OR), ORIE plans to offer an M.Eng. degree at Cornell NYC Tech, and is already recruiting senior faculty to serve there. The Ph.D. program in OR will span the two campuses, with students taking courses and interacting with faculty on both campuses.
The new campus will emphasize technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. It is organized around 'hubs', initially comprising Connective Media, Healthier Life and the Built Environment. These hubs will draw on multiple disciplines, including Operations Research, pulling research innovations into the service of applied problems. Faculty will work on research problems arising in the hubs, but will be members of existing departments, such as ORIE, that span the Ithaca and New York City campuses.
The winning proposal explicitly referred to the M.Eng. program as a model for the new campus to employ. ORIE's Cornell Financial Engineering Manhattan, which is home to the third semester of ORIE's M.Eng. in Financial Engineering, was held up as one example of a Cornell program component that successfully operates in New York City.
ORIE is one of four Cornell departments hoping to offer Masters level degree programs at CornellNYC Tech in 2013. After receiving overwhelming support from the OR faculty, a formal proposal for the degree has worked its way through the campus approval process and will be submitted to the Trustees before New York State is asked to approve it.
Like the Ithaca-based M.Eng., ORIE's one-year CornellNYC Tech M.Eng. degree will be project-based, with an entrepreneurial and industrial focus. "The establishment of the NYC Tech campus enables both geographical and programmatic expansion of the existing ORIE M.Eng. into application areas that are specifically aligned with the mission of the new campus," according to M.Eng. Director Kathryn Caggiano. "The ORIE M.Eng. program is no stranger to innovation and change. We are excited to be one of the first degree programs offered at NYC Tech and are particularly enthusiastic about the opportunities for cross disciplinary engagement this will present to our students," she said.
Pending approvals, the new ORIE program is likely to start in Fall 2013. Although it will be closely patterned on the current Ithaca program, it will focus on concentrations most relevant to the technology sector and to the new campus. By appealing to an applicant pool with a different professional focus, the NYC Tech M.Eng. is not expected to substantially impact total Ithaca enrollment, according to Caggiano.
Once the M.Eng. program is underway, a two year Master of Science program - with more explicit connection with the hubs and more of a research focus - may be instituted jointly with the Technion, according to ORIE's David Shmoys, co-chair of Cornell's Academic Planning Committee for CornellNYC Tech. It will also be possible for ORIE Ph.D. students to transition to New York after course work in Ithaca (possibly interspersed with internships in New York), so they can participate in research with faculty based at CornellNYC Tech that has potential connection to the entrepreneurial mission of the new campus.
With respect to program specifics, much depends on the interests and backgrounds of the faculty currently sought for the new campus, according to Shmoys. He reports considerable interest by senior professionals in the CornellNYC Tech position openings that have been announced.
Several working groups report to the Academic Program Committee, including one associated with each of the three hubs. ORIE's Shane Henderson heads a working group that is currently developing a two-year MS degree, to be jointly offered with the Technion, in the Healthier Life hub.
"As researchers and teachers of a broadly applicable set of methodological tools, ORIE is well-positioned to contribute to the success of what New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls a 'game-changing' applied sciences and technology campus," said Shmoys.