If all the hopes and hype are warranted, a nondescript third-floor loft in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan offers a glimpse of the future, for New York City and for Cornell University. In truth, it doesn’t look like much ”” just cubicles and meeting rooms in space donated by Google. But looks deceive; here, with little fanfare, Cornell’s new graduate school of applied sciences is being rolled out.
The sparkling, sprawling new campus on Roosevelt Island filled with gee-whiz technology ”” still just ink on paper. The thousands of students and staff, the transformative effect on the city’s economy, the integration with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology ”” those all remain in the future, too.
But just 13 months after being awarded the prize in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s contest to create a new science school, Cornell NYC Tech got up and running. Eight students enrolled in January in what is being called the beta class, a one-year master’s program in computer science. And Cornell has made it clear that, in many ways, this is not the usual university program.