November 13, 2012

Cornell Professor Named Associate Dean of Tech Campus

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Cornell’s New York City tech campus has named Prof. Rajit Manohar, electrical and computer engineering, its associate dean for academic affairs.

While serving as dean, Manohar will divide his time between teaching at the tech campus and teaching at the Ithaca campus, according to a University press release. He will teach a course called “Physical Computing,” which will provide an introduction to creating smart systems, or devices that can analyze a situation and function in a reactive manner.

CornellNYC Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher said Manohar’s previous experience as a researcher and an instructor will serve as an asset in his new position at the tech campus.

“Rajit exemplifies the kind of faculty that we are hiring as we build CornellNYC Tech, combining research excellence, innovative teaching and a strong entrepreneurial spirit,” Huttenlocher said in the press release.

Prof. Lance Collins, mechanical and aerospace engineering, dean of the College of Engineering, echoed Huttenlocher’s sentiments, saying that Manohar’s experiences will in particular be an asset the entrepreneurial goals of CornellNYC Tech.

“As associate dean for research and graduate education, Rajit has been actively promoting the college’s entrepreneurial activity, but his new appointment at Cornell Tech will elevate his impact to a whole new level,” Collins said in the press release.

After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, Manohar came to Cornell in 1998. At the University, he conducts research on asynchronous design, or systems that use timing mechanisms controlled by computers. He also served as Cornell’s associate dean for research and graduate students until June 2012.

Throughout his career, Manohar has been recognized for his research and academic contributions. Among other honors, he has received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, which honors faculty researchers; seven teaching awards; and five awards for papers he has written, according to the press release.

He was also named by MIT Technology Review as one of the top 35 young innovators under the age of 35 for his work on designing low-power microprocessors.

Manohar has been a key player in the development of the tech campus, serving as co-chair of the Academic Planning Committee for CornellNYC Tech. He said he is optimistic about the scope of effects of his future work at the tech campus.

“What students learn at Cornell, real technology and science and engineering … is something they don’t always realize how much impact they might be able to have, because they don’t see the problems people are facing,” Manohar told The Sun in August. “The tech campus is a place that will be able to have a much closer relationship with real issues that people are facing. It’s a much bigger opportunity to go out and do things that’ll change the world.”

Original Author: Kerry Close