Dear Commons Community,
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a brief interview with the first faculty hire, Deborah Estrin, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, for the new CornellNYC Tech to open later this year. In terms of why she is leaving UCLA, Dr. Estrin indicated:
“From the start, I was intrigued by the notion of a tech campus in New York City. It appealed to me as a place for innovation on embedded networked sensing systems. But it’s like a Rorschach test. That’s what I’m interested in, so that’s what I read into the idea.
In April I was contacted by the folks at Cornell about my new job.
Cornell’s computer-science department is one of the absolute top in the world. So I, of course, know the folks there and have always had huge admiration and respect for them. The fact that the Weill Cornell Medical College is in New York City was also a draw. Working directly with clinical innovators is essential to pursuing the mobile-health work that I’ve been doing at UCLA and will do at CornellNYC Tech…
So much was right about this situation that it wasn’t a hard decision. The vision of the tech campus is simply irresistible for me. I was in transition, with the center that I developed at UCLA winding down as the funds run out, so the timing was right. And then, having the new campus in New York City—I mean it’s the city. It’s the city.
My parents were both at UCLA, but they were New Yorkers. My mother still has a lot of her Brighton Beach/Brooklyn accent intact. My father was from the Bronx, and they met at City College before the war.”
Welcome to New York, Dr. Estrin!