Freshman Innovation and Technology Forum: Frank Fernandez

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Frank Fernandez

Frank Fernandez has led some of the most innovative organizations in America. He was the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central R&D organization for the Department of Defense and the same agency that developed the basic technologies behind the Internet and GPS. At DARPA Dr. Fernandez was a trailblazer in biological warfare defense, information security, precision strikes and robotics. He has also served as President and Chairman of Areté Associates, an applied-research firm he founded. Before retiring, he served as Distinguished Research Professor in Systems Engineering and Technology Management at the Stevens Institute of Technology and creator and director of Institute Technology Initiatives. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science in Applied Mechanics from the Stevens Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology.


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.