Our wide-ranging community | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Our wide-ranging community

The borough we call home attracts some of the planet’s most forward-thinking people and companies, and at NYU Tandon we’re happy to partner with them to grow Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle into an expansive Innovation Coastline. But to us, community means far more than just a specific geographic locale. We’re a dynamic part of the city, the nation, and the world, and we believe that when we forge partnerships between academia, government, and private enterprise, great things happen.

Students working in Rlab; photo credit: Kreg Holt Photography

A driven community

Cars and trucks are the stars at the New York International Auto Show, but — thanks to a first-ever tech talk event co-hosted by NYU Tandon and co-sponsored by C2SMART (Connected Cities with Smart Transportation), our Tier 1 University Transportation Center — bikes, scooters, autonomous car-sharing, and the future of smart-cities mobility shared the spotlight this year.

The inaugural event, which featured C2SMART professors Joseph Chow and Kaan Ozbay, went beyond traditional four-wheeled conveyances to explore apps, data streams from vehicles and other sources, and corollary technologies that, combined with self-driving vehicles, electrification infrastructure, and emerging social trends, promise to change how we commute and travel.

auto show panel
Joseph Chow (far right) moderated a panel on disruptive technologies that are redefining urban mobility at the New York International Auto Show. Photo credit: A.J. Sanon

A healthier community

As physicians strive to better diagnose conditions, predict disease progression, and formulate treatment plans, there are still many medical mysteries yet to be solved. Advances in imaging techniques and improvements in how those images can be visualized and interpreted are proving to be key, and Tandon is making contributions in that arena. Our faculty members work hand-in-hand with clinicians to apply research from their labs directly to patients. For one important example, look to Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair Ivan Selesnick, an expert in digital signal processing. He and his colleagues are developing new algorithms to improve biomedical technologies like near magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), digital x-ray imaging, electrocardiography, and electroencephalography and are applying them to clinical projects with the potential to benefit the lives of countless patients.

A better-connected community

Our sixth annual Brooklyn 5G Summit came at a linchpin moment: The deployment of 5G networks is set to more than triple by the end of 2019, and researchers at NYU WIRELESS, a research center at the forefront of recent advancements in mobile communications, are now exploring the next frontier — the fundamental research and applications that will usher in 6G and the promise of data transmission speeds 1,000 times greater than 5G.

A more sustainable, robust community

This year Tandon helped create the Institute of Design and Construction (IDC) Innovation Hub, chaired by Professor of Urban and Civil Engineering Michael Horodniceanu, an internationally prominent transportation and construction executive who previously served as President of New York’s MTA Capital Construction, America’s largest transportation construction program. (Among the projects he oversaw in that capacity were the $12-billion East Side Access project, the $4.5 billion Second Avenue Subway, the $2.4 billion Number 7 Line Extension, and the $1.4 billion Fulton Street Transit Center.)

Now, Horodniceanu and the IDC, whose members include major industry leaders, are playing an instrumental role in creating vibrant and sustainable communities where people want to live and work — while grooming a new generation of engineers to take on emerging challenges facing the construction industry.

An immersive community

Last year NYU Tandon staked out territory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a hotspot on Brooklyn’s Innovation Coastline, to accelerate its commitment to cultivating new research, startups, and talent in emerging media technologies. RLab, the nation’s first city-funded center for research, entrepreneurship, and education in augmented and virtual reality, spatial computing, and related technologies, is at the heart of New York City’s drive to be a global technology leader and create hundreds of new jobs.

Launched with the help of a $5.6 million investment by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the RLab advances cutting-edge emerging media technologies and new business models, and offers myriad opportunities for faculty and students at NYU Tandon and participating universities including Columbia, The City University of New York, and The New School. Led by Justin Hendrix, adjunct professor of integrated and digital media at NYU Tandon and executive director of the NYC Media Lab, the RLab is also home to the RLab Accelerator, a collaboration with investment firm Super Ventures.

A quieter community

The Sounds of New York City (SONYC) is a first-of-its-kind project addressing urban noise pollution, and its researchers have launched a citizen science initiative to train artificial intelligence (AI) technology to understand exactly which sounds are contributing to unhealthy levels of noise in New York City. SONYC—a National Science Foundation-funded collaboration based at NYU Tandon’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) — leverages big data and technology to more effectively monitor, analyze, and mitigate noise pollution.

The citizen science initiative, recently launched in the Zooniverse citizen science web portal, enlists the help of volunteers to identify and label individual sound sources — such as a jackhammer or an ice cream truck — in 10-second anonymized urban sound recordings transmitted from acoustic sensors positioned in high- noise environments in the city, and machine listening models are now learning to recognize these sounds on their own. The results will provide city enforcement officials with a more accurate picture of noise — and its causes — over time, and ultimately, the SONYC team aims to empower city agencies to implement strong, targeted data-driven noise mitigation interventions.

Teachers building sensors
NYC teachers build sensors while they learn about the science of sounds as part of the SONYC program.

A safer community

NYU researchers have shown, for the first time, a causal link between print news media coverage of U.S. gun control policy in the wake of mass shooting events and increases in firearm acquisition, particularly in states with the least restrictive gun laws. The study, led by Professor Maurizio Porfiri, was rooted in a data science-driven approach that reveals causal relationships, rather than mere correlations. Featured on the cover of Nature Human Behaviour, it is the first-ever study to quantify the influence of news media stories on firearm prevalence and to empirically examine — and confirm — the link between news stories specifically about gun policy and increased acquisition of firearms.

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