Cusp In The Media

A Different Kind of Impact Factor

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Applied science is taking off in New York, and physics skills are in demand.

Conference rooms aren’t usually the main attraction at a meeting, but the ceiling-high windows on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center offer one of the most spectacular views of downtown Manhattan that I’ve seen. It was the perfect backdrop for a panel discussion at the Gotham-Metro Condensed Matter Physics meeting held here in mid-November: the face of science in New York is changing, and graduate students and postdocs, most of them doing basic research, wanted to know about it.

In the past year, New York City has contributed seed money, land, and space to Cornell and New York University to build research centers where students can learn to work on problems with direct impact on urban life. These academic powerhouses hope to attract scientists, engineers, and computer geniuses, as well as the next generation of tech savvy companies, to New York, putting the city on the US technology map along with Boston and Silicon Valley.

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