Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, NYU-Poly Student Council President Kevin Sukhoo, NYU-Poly President Jerry M. Hultin
On Monday the Polytechnic Institute of NYU community, including President Jerry M. Hultin, Provost Dianne Rekow, faculty, staff, and special guest Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, welcomed the Class of 2014 and new graduate students to an academic experience that will prepare them for unprecedented changes in technology and society. President Hultin described the upcoming era as “some of the most exciting and challenging years on earth.”
“We will encourage and help you learn to be innovative, inventive, and entrepreneurial — the philosophy we call i-squared-e,” he said. “Our faculty will teach you to understand and use science, mathematics, technology, and engineering to meet the needs of the 21st century. You will invent new sources of power and new ways to reduce our power demand. You will find ways to cool the planet. You will help tame the cost of healthcare in the United States and invent new ways to deliver quality healthcare to people in villages and towns across Africa, South America, India, and China. You will use massive data, increase bandwidth, build faster chips, and protect privacy.” (Download President Hultin's full remarks.)
Keynote speaker John Seabrook, author of Flash of Genius and Other True Stories of Invention, said that the technology available today could “bring about a new age of inventors.” He said that “never before have inventors and innovators had as many tools to create with.” Among them is a rapid prototyping machine that a team of MIT students used to turn schematics for a wheel that can transform regular bicycles into hybrid bikes into a product called The Copenhagen Wheel. Conception to market — it’s set to go on sale in June 2011 — will take just two years thanks to the machine. “Imagine what happens when that prototyping machine becomes as common as an ink jet printer,” Mr. Seabrook asked. (Download Mr. Seabrook's full remarks.)
While students, faculty, administrators, and alumni enjoyed the ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott, construction workers across the street were hard at work on Project 2010, the first effort of NYU-Poly’s i2e Campus Transformation. “The changes happening on campus are indicative of bigger changes at NYU-Poly,” said Provost Rekow. She referenced the Institute’s affiliation with New York University, which is expected to turn NYU-Poly into a school of NYU in three to five years, as well as the i2e approach to learning. Her message to the estimated 540 new undergraduate and 1,050 graduate students starting this year: “You’re going to learn a lot and you’re going to make a difference.”
Borough President Markowitz welcomed the students to Brooklyn, which like NYU-Poly, the fourth most ethnically and racially diverse college in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report, is known for its diversity. “Brooklyn is one of the most diverse cities in the country,” he said. The borough’s 2.6 million residents represent over 100 ethnic groups and speak 136 languages. Borough President Markowitz also highlighted neighborhoods like Williamsburg, with venues and restaurants that rival Manhattan hotspots, and other reasons that Brooklyn will be an exhilarating place to live during their time at NYU-Poly. He urged them “to stay in Brooklyn” after they graduate.
Following the Convocation in Brooklyn, the class of 2014 joined President Hultin and other NYU-Poly administrators at Radio City Music Hall for New York University’s Presidential Welcome. It was the first time that NYU-Poly was part of the annual ceremony where President John Sexton welcomed first-year students from NYU’s ten undergraduate colleges. It was also the first time that an NYU-Poly student participated in the Presidential Welcome processional. Student Council President Kevin Sukhoo carried the NYU-Poly banner to the stage where it joined the other colleges' banners. NYU Tisch alum Kristen Johnston ’89 (BFA, Drama) of the television series Third Rock from the Sun was a special guest at the event, which included “The Reality Show: NYU,” a comical, informative look at college life in New York City. NYU students have written, performed, and produced the annual musical review since 2006.