Freshman Innovation and Technology Forum: Jennifer 8 Lee

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Jennifer 8 Lee

Former New York Times reporter Jennifer 8 Lee is the best-selling author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, a rollicking account of the world’s number-one fast food, Chinese cuisine. Her work has been featured on the Colbert Report and at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. In her nine years at the Times, she covered national politics, style, the Chinese economy, and local New York City metro news. She graduated from Harvard in 1999 with a degree in applied Mathematics and economics. Currently, she is an advisor for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is consulting for various technology and media companies and organizations, including


Students who are not enrolled in this course are asked to RSVP via email if they'd like attend.

About the Freshman Innovation and Technology Forum

When President Obama urged students last year to pursue “things that actually contribute to making things and making people’s lives better,” he specifically singled
out the study of science and engineering as crucial to America’s prosperity. A growing body of research indicates that economic growth depends more on technology and innovation than on almost any other factor. In the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, fostering the study of science and engineering takes on special urgency.

To encourage students to take a broader view of their studies, their future professions, and the frontiers of science and technology, NYU-Poly has created the Innovation and Technology Forum. A required course for all incoming freshmen at NYU-Poly, the Forum aims to inspire students to think like innovators.

The course comprises both large lectures and smaller break-out sessions, where students discuss the readings and work on in-class innovation challenges. Readings are based largely on case studies of famous innovators, and an invited lecture series exposes students to a variety of exciting, real-world fields, including venture capital, journalism, high-tech start-ups, and scientific research. Instead of writing term papers, students blog about the readings, the lectures, and each other's thoughts in a special online forum.  

Freshman year is an ideal time to start students thinking about what they want to get out of their education and what they want to contribute to the world. By the end of the course, students will have learned that i2e is not just a marketing slogan — that invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship have specific meanings and that understanding these meanings is crucial to students’ future success and satisfaction in a rapidly changing world.