Milstein students visit Cornell Tech for summer updates, alumni talks

 Milstein advisory council members
 Tapan Parikh with summer faculty
Students in the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity visited Cornell Tech Nov. 22 to meet with the Milstein Program Advisory Council and learn more about their summer curriculum.

The day began with a lunch and a panel featuring Cornell faculty and staff, as well as advisory council members, including chair Michael Milstein. Greg Morrisett, the new dean and vice provost of Cornell Tech, led the panel, where each member talked about their background, their vision for the program and answered student questions on a variety of topics.

Chukwudumebi Joshua Obi ’23 was able to connect with alumnus Josh Wolfe ‘99, cofounder and managing partner of Lux Capital, and he asked him why he wanted to be a board member. “I found out that he was inspired by Michael Milstein's vision for the program and the chance to meet the students and learn about their interests,” Obi said.

After lunch, students learned about the studio “Sprint” process and then attended sprint presentations at the Bloomberg Center. Teams of three to six graduate students with different backgrounds and skills (MBA candidates, computer scientists, designers, etc.) presented their projects and received feedback.

 Milstein students stand in front of Cornell Tech buildings in NYC
Students also learned about the summer program from Tapan Parikh, faculty director of the Milstein Program for the Cornell Tech campus and associate professor at Cornell Tech in Information Science. During their first summer in 2020, Parikh said Milstein students will participate in workshops that will integrate theory, methods, technologies and applications, building toward capstone projects. The second summer, students will focus on group projects with community partner organizations in NYC or work with area-based researchers or companies, he said.

The 2020 workshops will include:

  • “Revolutionary Technologies,” a course on the social implications of technology that will use readings, film and speculative design activities.
  •  “CRAFT @ Large,” which will allow students to design interactive sound-based installations at the Maker Lab.
  •  “Listen Here,” where students will learn about oral history theory and practice contributing to a real-world community archive.

During that first summer, students will also engage in a speaker series, a community night, the RevTech Film Night and visit local museums, events and activities.

After learning more about their curriculum, students had dinner and met members of Open Doors, a Roosevelt Island arts and justice initiative that supports the creativity and leadership of people who have been harmed by gun violence. Through their art, the performers shared stories about their experiences living on Roosevelt Island, how their lives changed after surviving a shooting, and how they are grateful for a second chance at life. Many students found the performances extremely powerful and moving. During the summer, students will have the opportunity to collaborate with Open Doors poets and performers on an aural history project.

“I was interested to hear about the history of Roosevelt Island and the personal stories of some of the Open Doors poets,” said Andrew Gao ’22. “It’s good to keep in mind that we are joining a community when we are here during the summers, and we are excited to work with the Open Doors poets on projects.”

 Milstein students with advisory council members
Students with members of the Milstein Program advisory council, as well as faculty leaders of the program.

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		 A Milstein student shakes hands with a poet from the Open Doors project