Category Archives: News

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Interview with Stamatina Gregory, Associate Dean of Art

Anamika Singh (Art ‘17)

The Cooper Pioneer recently conversed with Stamatina Gregory, the newly appointed Associate Dean of Art, via email.

The Cooper Pioneer: What was your first experience with Cooper Union?

Stamatina Gregory: It was somewhat mythic. I attended a small parochial high school for girls in Brooklyn, and the claim to fame by the very inspirational art teacher there was that one of his students had gotten into the Cooper Union. Right then, as an aspiring painter, I decided to apply. But by the time I was a senior, though I was very interested in contemporary art, I had begun to identify as a reader and writer, rather than as a maker. So I studied art history and German literature at NYU, near Cooper–but also far away from it—so it’s interesting to be here in a very different role.

TCP: Can explain your role as Associate Dean and the responsibilities that come with this position?

SG: My role is extraordinarily varied within the school—I’m already involved in many different initiatives in programs, assessment, and development. I work closely with the Dean on day-to-day operations of the school, on developing new graduate programs, and I’ll also be working on accreditation, which is a cyclical and ongoing process. At some point I anticipate teaching also, and I’m really looking forward to that.

TCP: You have extensive experience with a variety of colleges and universities. How do you believe these experiences will influence your coming time at Cooper Union? What drew you to the Cooper Union?

SG: In the past, it’s been wonderful to work with a really diverse student body at CUNY, working to reach students primarily interested in things outside of art, as well as having both abundant resources and savvy students in the Ivy League. But Cooper is the best of all worlds: an extraordinary and diverse student body and a faculty of artists making some of the most critically important work today. I’m always interested in digging under the surface of the art world as part of my practice, and that inevitably leads to the foundations of how we construct artists in our society–through pedagogy.

TCP: With the new policy of tuition being instated next year, what changes do you see occurring in the School of Art?

SG: Change might be less tangible to me than to someone who has spent much of their career here. There are changes tied both to tuition and to the ongoing effort to avoid it, and that is the development of excellent graduate programs, which is positive. Even having been here only a short while, -remaining an active place for social critique and institutional critique – a longer process rather than the short reactions generated by crisis. [sic]

TCP: What are some visions you have as you assume this position?

SG: I would love to see more interdisciplinarity. Truly exciting projects are being forged between architects, artists and engineers out there in the world, and it would be good to find some platforms and initiatives for that to happen meaningfully here. And of course, I want to continue the school’s engagement with important institutions and practices outside its walls.

TCP: How has interaction with the faculty and student body been so far?

SG: On the whole, excellent. Although, more than any other place I have been, Cooper unfolds slowly: it seems like a very tight and complicated family, with memories and histories and loves that run deep.

TCP: Do you have a personal motto or mantra that you apply to your professional career?

SG: I love the idea of a personal mantra, because it seems so stable and soothing. But we work in a world in which beliefs and assumptions can and must be subject to change, and that includes how I approach my work. One question I continually ask myself in my work is: so what? What is it about this project or job or conversation that is meaningful now, and what is at stake? It’s both a place to end, and a place to start. ◊

Photo Credit: Vincent Wai Him Hui (Arch ‘15)

Concrete Confessional

Matthew Lee (ME ‘15)

            

On October 12th, Cooper Union was paid a visit by the world famous graffiti artist Banksy. As part of his one month show around New York City called “Better Out Than In”,  Banksy’s piece was set up inside one of the large concrete blocks right between 41 Cooper Square and the First Ukrainian Assembly of God Church . This “Concrete Confessional” depicts a priest inside the concrete block, and appears to be based off of a 1950’s photograph by Berni Schoenfield. However, within a day the piece was altered with a white beard and medallion, making the priest resemble Peter Cooper. Inside another concrete block, located directly next to the Banksy piece, is a depiction of Jamshed Barucha, Cooper Union’s President. Free Cooper Union claimed the credit for this work, called “Cooper Confessional”, criticizing President Barucha for deviating from the mission statement of the school providing full-tuition merit scholarships to all of its students. The concrete blocks have since been moved around, leaving the portrait of the president exposed to the sidewalk. Banksy’s original work is nowhere to be found. ◊

Photo Credit: Free Cooper Union

Interview with Christopher Chamberlin, Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Chae Jeong (ChE ‘16)

The Cooper Pioneer interviewed Mr. Christopher Chamberlain regarding his responsibilities as the Director of Residence Life and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, his new position.

The Cooper Pioneer: How did you hear of the Cooper Union and what brought you here?

Mr. Christopher Chamberlain: I used to work as the Director of Operational Services for a public college in New Jersey and I wanted a change. A friend of mine had previously worked at Cooper as the Director of Residence Life and he highly recommended working here and when the position opened up here, I applied. I was and remain incredibly impressed with the Cooper Union’s ideals.

TCP: How many years have you been at Cooper Union?

CC: 3

TCP: Can you explain your role as Director of Residence Life?

CC: As the Director of Residence Life, I’m responsible for the overall operation of the student residence at 29 3rd Ave. My responsibilities include ensuring that we maximize our occupancy to provide the most housing opportunities to our students as well as overall program direction. As a team with the other professional staffs in the office, David Robbins and Marilyn Whitesides, the Residence Life works to ensure that the student residence is something more than just a “dorm”. We try to engage the students through programs and social events to get them to know each other, to network personally and professionally, and finally to grow as young adults. Since we generally only provide housing to first year students, we also try to prepare the students for the realities of living on their own in New York City.

TCP: What was your most memorable moment as Director of Residence Life?

CC: For the most, the memorable moment is always move-in day each year. The day that students move into the residence hall for the first time is always such an exciting time and truly marks, for most students, their official entry into our community and into adulthood.

TCP: Can you explain your role as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: As the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, I work very closely with Dean Baker in providing leadership for the department. I still oversee Residence Life, but I also manage the student health records, immunization requirements, medical leaves of absence, ADA disability accommodation requests, student counseling referrals, interface with the student government, code of conduct and student judiciary. I also work with the Center for Career Development and all the other areas within Student Affairs.

TCP: How do you feel about your new responsibilities as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: I’m really excited about this opportunity. I think that we have a strong team in place to make some really positive impacts throughout the campus. I’m really honored that Dean Baker asked me to serve in this capacity and I’m very grateful for all of the support that I’ve received from him and from the campus community in general.

TCP: What were some thoughts you had as you received this new position?

CC: I’m excited to be a part of this exciting time here at Cooper. Dean Baker has a wealth of experience and knowledge about Cooper Union that is unparalleled and really positions us to have a significant positive impact on the lives of our students. I have a strong background in both operations and student affairs and I’m excited to have an opportunity to work in a unique position that allows me to blend them both together.

TCP: What are some visions you have as you assume this new position?

CC: The offices within Student Affairs already produce great work and are staffed by extremely talented professionals. As I assume this new role, I hope to work with our staff to evaluate our current programs to higher levels. Even though we already do great things, we can always improve and raise our bar even higher. I look forward to forging a stronger partnerships with our colleagues around the campus, including Alumni and Development and all of the academic schools and programs.

TCP: How do you think that experiences from your role as Director of Residence Life will influence your role as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: My time as the Director of Residence Life really laid the framework for me to be successful in this new position. I have been able to interact with all of the key players as the Director of Residence Life and now as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. I’m able to capitalize on those established relationships and really forge collegial bonds and work on behalf of the students.

TCP: Do you have any advice for students?

CC: I would tell the students to make the most of their time at Cooper and to build strong bonds with each other and their faculty. The Office of Student Affairs has a wealth of resources and I encourage students to take full advantage of all of the services that we have to offer them. Our job is to equip our students with the necessary tools to be successful both personally and professionally, and I encourage students to hold us to our charge. ◊

Photos by Jenna Lee (ME’15)

Interview with Stephen P. Baker, Dean of Student Affairs

Matthew Lee (ME ‘15)

This past Tuesday, the Cooper Pioneer (TCP) sat down with Dean Baker (DB) to discuss his new role as Dean of Student affairs.

TCP: How many years have you been at Cooper?

DB: This is the start of my 48th academic year.

TCP: Please describe how you were informed of your new position as Dean of Student Affairs?

DB: During the process after Dean Lemiesz, the administration talked to about assuming the responsibilities. It was very recent.

TCP: Were you previously aware you may be chosen? Have you ever asked for the position?

DB: No.

TCP: A lot of us at Cooper have many things to manage. What do you specifically do to stay sane while running both the athletics program as Dean of Athletics, and acting as Dean of Student Affairs? Any time management tips?

DB: The most important ingredient is the dedication and the relationship with the students, the second thing is the commitment to the school, and the third thing is that as a Cooper Union person you don’t rely so much on sleep. I think the passion that all of us have, the initiatives that we all want to take, the creative juices we all have all blends together. There’s 24 hours in a day, and some people know how to manage their time better than other. At Cooper Union you have the time to not only focus but you have the time to be creative, and that’s unlike any other school in the word and I think that’s the blend of it. There’s always time to do things.

TCP: With your added responsibilities do you feel you have less time for anything else in the day?

DB: I make time. I’m thinking about the students, I’m thinking about the school. If I commute 5 hours a day, I’m thinking about who I’m going to see; the person I feel sorry for is the first person I see because I might be thinking about something else for 2 hours while driving in. I plan my day, but I also have to be flexible. It adds another dimension to the students and myself sharing something that’s going to make this place better.

TCP: How do you like the role so far?

DB: I’m enjoying every minute of it because I think there’s a level of energy – everyone is wishing me well and encouraging me – and there’s an energy of the incoming students that is just remarkable.

TCP: Any interesting stories?

DB: Look at what happened at Cape Cod. You look at everything we introduce: are we professors? coaches? administrators? friends? What goes on up there, the dynamic of what goes on up there […] I think everybody felt they were more committed to what they were doing and more committed to helping me and helping us. I saw something I hadn’t seen since I was a little kid up in Cape Cod:

One squirrel is up in a tree. The squirrel is out at the end of the tree. Now their food is free – they’re not going to the supermarket, but they have to get it seasonal. So one of them instead of taking individual acorns, this squirrel got creative and started shaking the branch. And then the nuts would fall down to the ground. So that to me is a Cooper Union story, in the sense that the Cooper Union person realizes where he/she is: they have to be efficient, then they have to take those nuts and bury them and prepare for exams or the future. The other squirrels going around picking up nuts from the ground. The Cooper Union squirrel is taking care of business.

TCP: The email we all received stated you “will take on the leadership responsibility for Student Services in the interim.” Do you know if the administration is actively searching for a permanent dean?

DB: I think that the position is gonna be now called Student Affairs. I think what they are pursuing is having me fill that administrative position. The first thing we did was to elevate Chris Chamberlin to the Associate Dean position. And I don’t think there’s too many people walking around with 3 Dean titles and I don’t want to be greedy.

TCP: They built you this office in 3C [in the dorms]. How was that move?

DB: The move was to save money in 30 Cooper: they are condensing six floors to four. So we were selected to come over here. Financial Aid is being put in with Admissions, which most schools do. So that’s going to free up some floors. So they asked us – Career Services, Athletics – to come over here in the dorms to have one office. They’re going next door with the residential offices, and they put me over here in 3C. But originally [former] Dean Lemiesz selected this place for me, she selected this spot. This move was taking place before she left. Now we have to figure out the office space, figure out how public it’s going to be, how private it’s going to be, so students will have access and [so that] it’s not geographically ugly over at 30 Cooper Square. We’re going to be amongst the students.

I was originally in the Foundation Building. When they renovated in ‘72 I went to the Engineering Building. From the engineering I went to the Hewitt Building for about 20 years. From the Hewitt Building I went to 30 Cooper Square. So this is the 5th place we’ve been to.

TCP: What is next for the future of Cooper?

DB: It’s going to be a transition that has never be experience before at Cooper Union. I am extremely optimistic in the school’s ability and the student’s ability to improve the product, to raise the interest, and also to keep the level of intensity, creativity, and excellence that we always have. I think that we want to encourage the excellence of the students and continue to maintain the integrity of the institution.

I think I’m known for saving money and raising money. That’s one of my major functions. Also we raise awareness and raise integrity of the things we get associated with. With the changes that are going to affect incoming students, it’s incumbent for us to maintain that integrity. I just found out we are the Number One rated school for Regional Colleges (North) in US News. That’s definitely because of my new promotion!

Photos by Jenna Lee (ME’15)

Dean interview, featured image

Interview with Dr. Dahlberg, Dean of Engineering

Saimon Sharif (ChE ‘15) & Caroline Yu (EE ‘15)

Editor’s Note: An unedited version of this interview was incorrectly published in-print. The interview below is the edited version.

This past Wednesday, the Cooper Pioneer (TCP) interviewed the new Dean of Engineering, Dr. Teresa Dahlberg (TD).

TCP: Do you mind giving some background on your education and past job experiences?

TD: Sure! I received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and worked for IBM as a hardware and software development engineer for 10 years. I later received an M.S. and PhD in computer engineering and then moved to a faculty position. I’ve been a faculty member in electrical and computer engineering in a college of engineering. In the last dozen years, I’ve been in a computer science department in a college of computing and informatics.

TCP: What prompted you to move into an administrative role from a teaching role?

TD: I’ve actually been in administrative roles for a number of years.  I’ve been at UNC Charlotte – a teaching and research university.  So, in addition to teaching classes, I had to build a funded research program.  In so doing, I started a wireless networking research lab and founded a research center called the Diversity in Information Technology Institute.  In the latter, our focus was on enhancing computing education as well as attracting a larger and broader group of people to the discipline.  I’ve managed lots of projects, having been a principal investigator for over $20 million in grants.  I was also associate dean of a computing and informatics college with oversight for the undergraduate programs in the college.  We had about 1400 students – including over 1000 undergraduates.  I also founded a consortium called the STARS Computing Corps, which is now a non-profit company.  We developed a service-learning program that engages college students in building the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) K-12 pipeline, as a way to strengthen the leadership skills of college students majoring in engineering and computing.  Over eight years, 50 colleges and universities in the country have adopted our program and participated in the consortium.  Since I’ve done a lot of teaching, curriculum development, project management and research, a dean’s position seemed like the next challenge.

TCP: Why did you choose to pursue electrical and specifically computer engineering?

TD: I started out as a music therapy major.  I was encouraged by my high school piano teacher to pursue music. I didn’t want to do performance, so I focused on music therapy.  In the 1980s this was a new field, using music and peoples’ interactions with music in therapy. I was this music therapy major, but I loved and missed math.  I ended up being the girl in my dorm that helped everyone with their math problems even though I didn’t have any math courses.  After the first year I wanted to change majors.  A friend’s father said, “Why don’t you try engineering? It’s math-based.” So it was a leap of faith. I changed my major. I’ve taken lots of risks in my life – like coming here. I look at the options and then I go with my gut. When I entered engineering, I took the typical survey class that goes through all the different kinds of engineering majors.  Electrical seemed to be the one I least understood because it was more abstract, but it seemed more mathematical. It, again, was a leap of faith. I became more interested in computer engineering a few years later when it was introduced as a new undergraduate program while I was still an undergraduate.

TCP: Do you enjoy teaching, conducting research, or managing the most?

TD: I’ve enjoyed them all at different points in my career. One of the things I love about being a professor – and I’m always telling students to think about the professoriate as a career – you can evolve your focus and change what you do over time. I like doing something when I feel like I’m at the edge of confidence. I want to feel challenged and a little bit scared: “Oh I have to learn this. I have to figure out how to do it.” Once I get really good at something it gets a little bit boring. When I was in product development, it was fun for 5 years – brand new environment. I was intimidated by more experienced people. After a few years it was “I could do this” then it was “I could do this in my sleep.” I loved teaching and it was all consuming in the early years.  When you’re teaching you’re helping develop another person.  I loved starting up my programs in wireless networking and in computing education research.  When you’re doing research, you’re doing the work yourself; then you’re building a team and building bridges between people to do larger projects.  As a manager you’re helping to facilitate other people.  You’re putting the vision and the team together.

TCP: What attracted you to Cooper Union?

TD: A search firm contacted me and convinced me to apply.  I became intrigued during the first interview with the search committee.  There was something special about The Cooper Union.  It’s a close and intimate atmosphere.  The students are very high-achievers and are nice people.  I like the focus solely on engineering, art and architecture in culturally rich New York City.  I saw unique opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations on and off campus.  I read the papers, and my colleagues were sending me links asking “Are you crazy?!”  I’m very much an optimist.  I just don’t let problems deter me.  I thought “Well, there’s a challenge.”  It’s a high risk – high reward position.  They could close engineering and I’m out of a job.  But if we succeed, the decisions we’re making over the next year or two will set the course of the institution for the next 100 years.  I feel optimistic that we can make it clear to the outside world how amazing this place is.  The reward will be having been a part of the rejuvenation of this unique institution.

TCP: What has surprised you the most since coming to Cooper?

TD: The closeness of faculty-student collaborations. When I talk to faculty, even the faculty that are frustrated, when they start talking about their students, they become passionate.  The students are wicked smart but, again, very nice people. The students really seem to enjoy the intellectual environment.

TCP: What are your main goals as the new Dean of Engineering?

TD: Since arriving I’ve continued to discover hidden gems. The Cooper Union has much more to offer than is visible to the outside world.  I’m very much in learning and listening mode but a key goal is to identify and promote special attributes of The Cooper Union, especially to incoming students as well as to companies and graduate and professional schools.  I also want to work with faculty and students to not only maintain, but to enhance our academic excellence, for example by insuring that our curriculum is responsive to the New York City job market and to the global need for engineering to address important societal problems.

TCP: How do you like living in NYC? Is this your first time living here?

TD: Yes it’s my first time living here. I love it. It’s very different for me. I’ve always lived in suburban neighborhoods. I left my big house in Charlotte. I left my car. I’m very close to the college. I’m on foot – living in an apartment – and I love it! It’s a completely different lifestyle. There are so many things going on in the city.  I think it’ll be a long time before it wears off.

TCP: What are some of your hobbies?

TD: I work a lot, and I spent a lot of time with my daughter, Kristen, who’s 15, our dog Clyde, and my husband Brian.  I have a 22 year old son, Nathan, but he’s on his own in graduate school.  I like to run, lift weights, listen to music, and read.  These are my stress relieving activities.

TCP: Where do you think Cooper Union’s engineering school stands in terms of academic competitiveness with other engineering schools?

TD: I think that the engineering school’s curriculum is highly competitive. In particular, it’s very rigorous. It seems to be highly project oriented, which I think is great. There are a lot of opportunities for unique experiential learning – like Invention Factory, internships, research experiences – lots of competitions. There are rich experiences for the students. If we look at the national and regional landscape for engineering – what is needed for the 21st century engineer, I think we can use some tweaks. New York City has set this aggressive goal to be the East Coast Silicon Valley, and there are a lot of startups and technology. Even though we’re small and there are lots of big players in the city, I think we have an opportunity to create a niche and a unique contribution.  When we look back ten years from now, when NYC reaches it’s goal, Cooper Union should be remembered as a player in that.

TCP: What advice do you have for Cooper students or faculty?

TD: The advice I have for Cooper Union students is to stay optimistic. This is a great place to be. It’s going to continue to be a great place. I think students come here knowing they have to do well in class, and I’m told students take a lot of course credits. That’s terrific. You should also have fun – I have to remind myself of that too. We tend to be all Type A people. Work all the time. Set the goal. Reach the goal. It also matters to do fun things. Look at your educational experience as not only what happens inside the classroom, but also what happens outside of the classroom. I mean out of the classroom in a number of ways. First, competitions and research experiences, going to lectures and seminars. Those you should do. But also, it’s great that we’re here in this city with art and architecture. So go to lectures and performances and art exhibits and things that stretch your comfort zone because that’s what’s unique about being at this institution. My advice for faculty is to stay positive, and work with me to transform The Cooper Union.

Photos by Jenna Lee (ME’15)

April 23, 2013: The Day Cooper Charged Tuition

Joseph Colonel (EE ‘15) & Marcus Michelen (BSE’14)

At 6:05 AM on April 23rd 2013, members of the Cooper Community received a campus-notice email from Mark Epstein, Chairman of the Cooper Union Board of Trustees. The email was an invitation to an event at noon the same day, hosted by the Board of Trustees. According to the email, the event would “announce the decisions the Board reached on the future course of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.” The 61-word email closed with a requirement: “No signs or banners please.”

At the event itself, a lone podium stood before a packed Great Hall. At about ten minutes past noon, Mark Epstein walked in, and took his place behind the podium. He quietly read a written statement from the Board of Trustees: “The Board of Trustees voted last week to reduce the full-tuition scholarship to 50% for all undergraduates admitted to The Cooper Union beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2014.”

He continued for approximately 15 more minutes, finishing the written statement that was subsequently emailed to the Cooper Community at 12:23 PM. Epstein then opened the floor for questions. However, instead of receiving questions verbally, Epstein insisted on receiving questions in writing. Men and women with large index cards walked around the Great Hall offering the cards to those who wanted to ask questions.

In order for one to ask a question, he or she needed to raise his or her hand, receive an index card, write down the question and give the card back to the carriers. The carrier would then give the index card to Epstein, who would put the card into a pile of questions to answer. As Epstein attempted to answer many of the questions, he ignored duplicates and questions he deemed antagonistic, as more questions came in.

A few of the questions along with Epstein’s answers are reproduced below:

Cooper Community: “To avoid the consideration of charging tuition, how many millions of dollars would The Cooper Union need?”

Mark Epstein: “We would probably need a minimum of at least 300 to 400 million dollars.”

CC: [Question unknown]

ME: “No, you are not getting a swimming pool.”

CC: “What will stop an inflation [related] increase of the 50% [tuition].”

ME: “If you all would donate to this school, that will stop.”

CC: “This format of asking questions is insulting.”

ME: “Maybe so. Being yelled at, like the last meeting, was offensive so we’re trying to keep it civil.”

According to student Natalia Maliga, a walk-out was planned on Facebook, beginning a little after 2 PM. Beginning outside of the foundation building, the student-protestors entered 41 Cooper Square at approximately 3:30. The students walk up the Grand Staircase and stopped at the top the stairs, just outside of Frankie’s lounge, chanting “Free as air and water!”

The group of students then began screaming and banging on the floor and walls of the school, attempting to get the attention of complacent engineers scattered throughout the building. The student-protestors went up to the 8th floor, calling for a unified school the entire way.

The movement walked back down to the 4th floor and stopped in front of Frankie’s lounge, releasing another collective scream, reported to have been heard in the Rose Auditorium. The protesting continued outside of the foundation building for quite some time afterwards.

Near the end of the night, starting at 7:30 PM, a candle-light vigil with a small bonfire was held outside of the foundation building. Students of all three schools sat and stood around the fire sharing memories of their experiences at Cooper. The vigil ended when police peacefully asked the students to put out the bonfire. A student poured out the fire with sand from a fellow student’s show.

Guido Interview

Marcus Michelen (BSE ‘14)

At some point in the semester, a schedule for the upcoming semester is released. We usually don’t think much of it; we figure out what classes we want to take, put them into a Google calendar or Excel Spreadsheet and hope the gods of Registration and Datatel are kind to us. Last week, I sat down with Professor Vito Guido, the man who makes the engineering schedule each semester to get insight into his process. He gave the Pioneer the following statement:

Each semester, in the Fall and in the Spring, I send an email to the seven department chairs in the engineering school. So let’s say for this particular Spring semester, for registration for the Fall: back in late January, early February I started requesting to have the information back by February 14th so I could start making the schedule, because invariably there are going to be changes made in the schedule and we would like to have them completed as soon as possible before registration.

So what do I include in that email? A request from the department chairs saying what courses are going to be offered in the fall semesters; who’s going to teach those courses; what special requirements they have. When we were in 51 Astor Place, not all the rooms were smart classrooms. Here they all are, so that’s not a problem.

If it’s an adjunct, I need to know what special hours they need, because they work in industry. So maybe they can’t be here during the day. If they teach somewhere else, they have to make sure their schedules mesh with our hours here. So those are the kinds of requirements I get from the department chairs.

Then I look at an overall master schedule, which I work on, to try to make sure that you’re not going to have any conflicts. You don’t want, say, a senior ChemE course conflicting with a graduate level ChemE course, because there may be some seniors in ChemE that want to take graduate courses. So we have to try to make sure that doesn’t happen.

It’s not always 100% foolproof.

The other thing is, in this building we have to be conscious of how many students are registering for classes because not every classroom has the same number of seats. So that’s another thing I request from the department chairs: what are their estimates of how many students should be in a class. If it’s a junior level required class, say, in EE, they’ll know more or less how many students they’ll have. If it’s an elective, they may give me a range because then, when you’re making the schedule, you also have to pair the time with an available room. On the fifth floor, 502 and 503 have 30 student limits, but 504 505 and 506 have 40 student limits. So it may be silly to put a class that may only have 12 in a room that can accommodate 40 students, and vice-versa. So that’s another thing we have to look at.

It’s like a big puzzle, putting all the pieces together. One of the major issues is Humanities. I also have to fit them into the schedule. I basically assign rooms in 41 Cooper Square. Foundation building [assignments] are under architecture [direction] and some are under art. Occasionally we switch back and forth, but I try to keep most of the engineering classes in this building, 41 Cooper Square.

It’s a thing that evolves. For the Fall Semester, it evolves over the Summer. When they assign freshmen to a section in August, things may change. An adjunct may say, “Oh, I can’t teach anymore” so we have to get a different adjunct and find if his hour mesh with where the course is already in place. So that’s why it keeps evolving.

For the math classes, basically all the freshmen and sophomores take the same classes. For math electives, professors will usually indicate to me to make sure that it fits in the EE schedule, because they have some required math courses in their curriculum. And if those spots where we put it fit in for other students to take them, then that’s it. Sometimes professor Agrawal will say to may, “well I have some students that want to take this but it conflicts, can we see if we can find another time?” We try to do that. Sometimes we’ll put it at 8 in the morning, from 8 to 10 or 8 to 9, so there’s never any conflicts because there are really no scheduled classes
at 8 o’clock.