Cornell's planned engineering and technology campus in New York City just acquired some legitimate tech street cred. Her name is Dr. Deborah Estrin.
Dr. Estrin, a 52-year old UCLA professor of computer science and member of the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, became CornellNYC Tech’s first academic hire Thursday. She will be a professor of computer science at the applied-sciences campus currently under creation on New York's Roosevelt Island.
The daughter of native New Yorkers, Estrin will be coming back to her roots to apply the technological problem-solving ideas she’s been developing at UCLA in a fast-paced New York environment. Estrin’s focus is networked sensing, which involves using mobile and wireless networks to collect data.
“I’m a huge believer in the power of doing technology innovation in the context of real applications and real problems,” Estrin told Crain’s New York in an interview. "Doing that in the context of New York, with the range of urban problems, business opportunities, social movements and market movements--it's just a tremendous opportunity.”
Estrin plans to start with the school in January. Her appointment is just one of many recent announcements for the school. In May, Google announced it would offer CornellNYC Tech a facility free of charge until the $2 billion campus is constructed.
“Deborah was the perfect choice for CornellNYC Tech's first academic hire because her ability to translate cutting-edge research into real, practical solutions for everyday problems is exactly the work we want the tech campus to inspire," dean of the campus Dan Huttenlocher said in a statement. "We are looking for faculty members who have made an impact in the academic, commercial and societal realms, and she's a superstar in all three."