September 15, 2016

Cornell Tech Profs Launch Master’s Programs to ‘Integrate Law With Technology’

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Cornell Tech welcomed 10 new world-renowned professors and launched two new master’s programs — the master’s of law and master’s in operations research and information engineering — this fall, according to a Cornell Tech press release.

The professors span a variety of academic fields — computer science, law, electrical and computer engineering and information science — and hail from universities including Harvard Business School, Washington University at St. Louis and University of California, Berkeley, according to the release.

“We are very excited to welcome 10 new professors who are at the forefront of their fields and dedicated to the real world impact of fundamental research and education in digital technology,” said Dan Huttenlocher, Dean of Cornell Tech, in the release. “These new faculty members join an already outstanding team of professors teaching and conducting research at the forefront of some of the most relevant issues facing society today.”

Prof. Charles K. Whitehead, law, said his work focuses on the ways technology reshapes the boundaries of the institution. He explained that technology has had both positive and negative effects on the financial and capital markets, which, in turn, have resulted in a number of societal ramifications.

“It is a great opportunity to integrate law with technology, [resulting in] a new way of thinking about teaching law,” he said.

Whitehead added that being a part of Cornell Tech’s research team is a great chance to explore beyond one’s own field. He said he often finds himself talking everyday to people from a number of different studies, including computer science, marketing and finance, which he called an opportunity that “doesn’t exist in most law schools.”

Whitehead said he views the law program as a startup and looks forward to all the changes that will gradually happen at Cornell Tech.

“The program is strong, but there’s always room to rethink,” he said.

Prof. James Grimmelmann, law, works as a bridge between lawyers and technologists.

“I do a lot to help lawyers and technologists help each other,” he said. “Sometimes I go to computer scientists to understand how something works, [and take that information] to explain to lawyers.”

Grimmelmann called being a part of Cornell Tech “a dream position,” because he is able to work in law, while still interacting with people passionate about computer science.

Fostering an interdisciplinary environment, Cornell Tech’s new master’s programs will enable students to familiarize themselves with business applications and make sounder decisions in the technological world, according to the release.

“[Cornell Tech] is a remarkable place to be — it has all the energy of a startup, plus all of the excellences and resources of a great university,” Grimmelmann said.

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