Carnegie Mellon University
April 23, 2012

News Brief: CMU Part of New York University Center for Urban Science and Progress


Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with New York University (NYU), the Polytechnic Institute of New York (NYU-Poly), the University of Toronto, City University of New York, the University of Warwick, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, IBM and CISCO, among many others, will be part of the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), a second program that is part of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's plans to build strong ties with leading research universities around the nation and the world.
Mayor Bloomberg, with leaders from the various partner organizations, announced the historic agreement among the city, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), and a consortium of world-class academic institutions and private technology companies today at a press conference in Brooklyn. Led by NYU and NYU-Poly, CUSP will focus on research and developing technologies for the critical challenges facing existing cities, including infrastructure, tech integration, energy efficiency, transportation congestion, public safety, and public health. The consortium will grant academic degrees in engineering and/or sciences.
For Carnegie Mellon, CUSP is predominantly a research collaboration that will provide a test bed for CMU faculty to develop research for deployment of smart cities technology. Carnegie Mellon brings strength in intelligent transportation systems and smart infrastructure research to the program, which involves faculty from many colleges and schools on campus. Vice President for Research Richard McCullough has led the partnership discussions for Carnegie Mellon, and James Garrett, Thomas Lord Professor and head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has been involved in the discussions of the technical content of the proposal.
"Carnegie Mellon is pleased to bring its pioneering work in intelligent transportation systems and infrastructure research to this partnership. Carnegie Mellon is using state-of-the-art computing and communication technologies to advance the safety and efficiency of transportation systems, as well as a number of other urban issues. We applaud Mayor Bloomberg's continued efforts and we congratulate all the partners who worked to get this done," said Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon.
The consortium proposes taking the MTA building at 370 Jay Street, an underused, run-down building in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, and renovating it into a major hub for research. A projected completion date of 2017 is being targeted, although CUSP will immediately begin operations in space in Brooklyn.
Steven E. Koonin, a former undersecretary in the Department of Energy and provost of the California Institute of Technology, will be CUSP's inaugural director.
In December, Mayor Bloomberg announced that Cornell and Technion universities would develop a technology campus on Roosevelt Island. Today's announcement is the next milestone in Bloomberg's Applied Science NYC initiative, which seeks to increase New York City's capacity for applied sciences and dramatically transform the city's economy. Bloomberg said CUSP was selected through this highly competitive process "due to its unique and bold vision to provide solutions for the world's growing cities."

Meanwhile, Carnegie Mellon and Steiner Studios continue to pursue the prospects for a digital media project at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. The program will be valuable for Carnegie Mellon faculty and students and to Pittsburgh's and Pennsylvania's efforts to build their film and digital media industries by deepening connections to the New York entertainment cluster.

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