Cornell NYC Tech Launches Connective Media Degree at its Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute

Cornell NYC Tech was joined by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and leading media companies today to launch the first degree program to be offered by the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII) at Cornell Tech.

The two-year masters degree in Connective Media is designed to train the entrepreneurial engineers and technologists desperately needed in the media sector. The Connective Media program will produce the next generation of tech talent to respond to, and drive, the digital transformation of publishing, advertising, news and information, and entertainment. Graduates of this dual degree program will receive a degree from Cornell University and from the Technion  Israel Institute of Technology. Corporate collaborators who will help shape the novel Connective Media hub include Hearst, Medium, Facebook, Betaworks, Tumblr, WordPress, and The New York Times.

Bloomberg and Gotsman

Prof. Craig Gotsman, Director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, addresses
the media while New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others look on

“The Connective Media program we are announcing today is the first of the dual degree programs to be offered at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell NYC Tech, the innovative collaboration between Cornell and the Technion,” said Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of Cornell NYC Tech. “This novel program addresses the huge need for more tech talent in the media-related businesses that play such an important role in New York City.”

“The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute is organized around hubs focused on key New York City industries, and there is no better place to start than in the media space,” said Craig Gotsman, Director of the JTCII. “We are aware of the critical need for deep tech talent to lead the digital transformation within the traditional and new media companies and are proud to be working with many of them in educating a new generation of tech professionals in this space. Thanks to the exposure to the entrepreneurial world that these professionals will also receive as part of their experience at JTCII, they will be in an excellent position to start their own ventures within this space.”

“New York City is the world’s media capital, but we can't take that position for granted because the way media is produced and consumed is changing dramatically,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Media creators and tech companies have a lot to gain from a strong, collaborative working relationship, and I am proud that Cornell and the Technion will be training the next generation of tech talent in New York City to work with the media industry. We will reap the benefits of that partnership in the form of job creation and global competitiveness.”

The JTCII – a key component of Cornell Tech – will offer a Master of Science degree in Information Systems, with a specialization in Connective Media. It is now accepting applications for a first class of students to begin studies in the fall of 2014.

The Connective Media program is aimed at meeting the growing need for technologists in media-related industries, to respond to, and to drive the digital transformation of publishing, advertising, news and information, and entertainment. The Connective Media degree combines technical, social science and media industry expertise in a broad interdisciplinary two-year program, with an immersive semester-long industry project and extensive engagement with digital media companies in New York City. The program will train a new generation of talent to develop technologies, applications and experiences that take advantage of the constant access to, and sharing of, online information in the digital and mobile world. Graduates of the program will be equipped to help lead the digital transformation of the city's and the nation's media industries, and will receive degrees from both Cornell and Technion.

The JTCII also announced a series of corporate collaborators who will help shape the Connective Media hub, including Hearst, Medium, Facebook, Betaworks, Tumblr, WordPress, and The New York Times. The collaborating companies will provide input and guidance this year to refine the curriculum for this novel new degree that combines technology expertise at the level of a software engineer, computer scientist or data scientist, with media industry expertise at the level of product manager, product designer, or editorial staff member. When the program launches next fall, companies in the Connective Media space will provide real-world projects, mentorship, and industry knowhow for students.

"As we re-imagine the media industry, one of our big obstacles is a shortage of skilled and experienced technologists who have deep technical expertise and also understand our industry," said Philip Wiser, Chief Technology Officer at Hearst Corporation. "That’s why we are excited to work with Cornell Tech on the new Connective Media program. The campus’ close collaboration with industry in tackling pressing problems ensures that students are prepared to have a powerful impact on our future."

JTCII recently hired its first full-time faculty member in the Connective Media hub, Mor Naaman. Professor Naaman exemplifies what the campus and Connective Media hub represent – he is an academic but also an entrepreneur. His startup, Seen (, helps make sense of the real-time Web by summarizing and organizing social media content. In his first year at Cornell Tech, Naaman will split time evenly between teaching and working on growing Seen.

This is another major milestone for Cornell Tech, which was created as part of the City’s Applied Sciences NYC initiative. The campus welcomed its first fall class last month to its temporary campus in space donated by Google at its headquarters in Chelsea. The Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech was announced over the summer and will welcome its first class in Summer 2014. Plans are moving forward for the permanent campus on Roosevelt Island, set to break ground next year and open in 2017. When completed, the Roosevelt Island campus will house approximately 2,000 full-time graduate students.


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