Oct. 16, 2013

Cornell Tech welcomes four more faculty members

As the first fall class of graduate students begins at Cornell NYC Tech, the campus has also welcomed four additional professors.

“At Cornell Tech, we are looking for faculty members who bring the highest academic standards combined with entrepreneurial experience and spirit,” said Dan Huttenlocher, dean of Cornell Tech. “All four of these faculty are not only on the cutting edge of research but are actively translating their work into real, practical solutions for everyday life. I’m thrilled to welcome each of them to Cornell Tech.”

The professors will help shape the innovative research and teaching model already being developed by professors Deborah Estrin and Rajit Manohar and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer Greg Pass.

They are:

Serge Belongie, a specialist in computer vision and machine learning, came to Cornell Tech from the computer science and engineering department at the University of California, San Diego. Named one of the top 100 young tech innovators in the world by MIT Technology Review in 2004, Belongie is co-founder of Digital Persona Inc., a leading biometrics companies with global technology partnerships and more than 200 million users worldwide. He also co-founded Anchovi Labs, a photo album organization company that was acquired by Dropbox Inc. and Orpix Inc. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.

Mor Naaman, the first faculty member hired at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII) at Cornell Tech, is a social media expert and entrepreneur. Coming from Rutgers University, he will be splitting his time between Cornell Tech and his startup, Seen, which makes sense of the real-time Web by summarizing and organizing social media content. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, as well as research awards from Google, Yahoo and Nokia among others.

Rafael Pass, coming from Cornell’s Ithaca campus, works in cryptography, the study of securing communication and information. He is embarking on his own startup project to use cryptography to create privacy-preserving electronic services. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, the Air Force for Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the Microsoft Faculty Award.

Ramin Zabih, a leader in the field of computer vision, which enables computers to understand and analyze images, also comes from Cornell’s Ithaca campus. His work and research in computer vision is focused on how it can be used to improve health and medicine, and how physicians can use these new technologies. He will split his time between Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medical College, where he is on the staff of the radiology department. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers.

As with all Cornell faculty members at Cornell Tech, these faculty members will be actively engaged with the main campus in Ithaca through their appointments in academic departments in Computing and Information Science, Cornell Tech officials said.

Cornell Tech is rolling out new academic programs and making progress on construction of its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island, which will break ground early next year.