How Three Universities Are Keeping Up With Changes in Engineering

Deans at City College of New York, Columbia, and NYU share what they are doing

3 min read
Photo of Google CIO Ben Fried, Dean Jelena Kovačević of NYU Tandon, Dean Gilda Barabino of the City College of New York Grove School of Engineering, and Dean Mary Cunningham Boyce of Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
From left: Google CIO Ben Fried, Dean Jelena Kovačević of NYU Tandon, Dean Gilda Barabino of the City College of New York Grove School of Engineering, and Dean Mary Cunningham Boyce of Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Photo: ABNY

THE INSTITUTEThe world of technology is constantly changing, and schools need to follow suit to prepare future engineers. And university students are becoming more concerned about addressing the needs of society and are demanding a more well-rounded education.

That’s what the deans of three New York City engineering universities had to say during the Changing Face of Engineering panel hosted by the Association for a Better New York and Google on 11 March at the company’s New York office. Google CIO Ben Fried moderated the panel.

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Self-Driving Cars Work Better With Smart Roads

Intelligent infrastructure makes autonomous driving safer and less expensive

9 min read
A photograph shows a single car headed toward the viewer on the rightmost lane of a three-lane road that is bounded by grassy parkways, one side of which is planted with trees. In the foreground a black vertical pole is topped by a crossbeam bearing various instruments. 

This test unit, in a suburb of Shanghai, detects and tracks traffic merging from a side road onto a major road, using a camera, a lidar, a radar, a communication unit, and a computer.

Shaoshan Liu

Enormous efforts have been made in the past two decades to create a car that can use sensors and artificial intelligence to model its environment and plot a safe driving path. Yet even today the technology works well only in areas like campuses, which have limited roads to map and minimal traffic to master. It still can’t manage busy, unfamiliar, or unpredictable roads. For now, at least, there is only so much sensory power and intelligence that can go into a car.

To solve this problem, we must turn it around: We must put more of the smarts into the infrastructure—we must make the road smart.

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