Teach Me How to Startup

A Few More Details Emerge About CornellNYC’s Inaugural Instructors [UPDATED]

This thing is finally taking shape, kinda.
cornell A Few More Details Emerge About CornellNYCs Inaugural Instructors [UPDATED]

Artist’s rendering. (Image: Cornell University)

CornellNYC is starting to come together. Applications are now being accepted; the infant school has a home with Google until the Roosevelt Island campus is complete. Now the Cornell Daily Sun reports that the debut roster is growing, announcing one name who’ll be doing splitting his time between Ithaca and New York and a semester-long visitor from San Diego.

That faculty lounge is starting to fill up! Provided the faculty lounge is actually David Karp’s sidecar.

Joining UCLA poachee Deborah Estrin (for the first semester, anyway) will be a Cornell professor of electrical and computer engineering, Rajit Manohar, and a University of California at San Diego professor of computer science engineering, Serge Belongie.

UPDATED: An earlier version of this article suggested that Professors Manohar and Belongie were new, full-time hires. We’ve updated the relevant portions of the article to make their positions more clear. Betabeat regrets the error. 

Good news for all you Big Apple big data types: Professor Belongie will be teaching “Modern Analytics,”  which sounds like it’ll help make the campus fertile ground for hunting new talent. According to the Sun: “His class arose in response to the growing number of high tech companies looking to hire data scientists.”

Professor Belongie’s comments to the Sun make us wonder–not for the first time–how closely tied the final product will be to the commercial world:

“I felt that had Stanford won, in some sense it would suggest that Stanford would be bringing some of the Silicon Valley-style approach to New York, because that’s where Stanford has excelled traditionally; they’re such an integral part of the culture in Silicon Valley,” Belongie said. “The idea that a different university won, one that’s actually from New York State, presents a really neat opportunity to create something brand new instead of a copy of something that exists somewhere else.”

His point is well taken, but one wonders whether he’s ever heard the expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Professor Manohar, on the other hand–who’s agreed to an intense-sounding half time in New York and half time in Ithaca–will be teaching something a little more hands-on IRL. In “Physical Computing,” students will learn to build tech that interacts with the environment. Think smart grids and smart homes. Maybe that manufacturing revival isn’t just a product of our fevered imagination, after all.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com