In a press conference on the Beren Campus on Monday, Feb. 25, New York State Assemblymember Dan Quart (D-Manhattan) announced that he procured a $250,000 grant to expand the “computer science collaboration lab” on the ninth floor of Stanton Hall. The funding complements a grant from the Selma T. and Jacques H. Mitrani Foundation in January that allowed for the original creation of the space. The lab is expected to be completed by the end of the current semester.
The current plan for the lab consists of two rooms and will contain floor-to-ceiling writable glass walls, Arduino processors and a 3D printer, according to a YU press release. Stern College for Women (SCW) Computer Science Chair Prof. Alan Broder explained that the additional funding will enable the computer science department to double the space on the ninth floor by adding another classroom and a lounge area for students to work together.
Architect’s Rendering of the Collaboration Lab
“The lab is designed to reflect the facilities at leading NYC tech companies,” Broder told The Commentator. “We envision CS students … to be able to spend a good portion of their day in this flexible dedicated space taking classes, working in the lab on projects with other students, interacting with faculty and participating in collaborative events like hackathons.”
Quart was introduced at Monday’s event by Dr. Karen Bacon, The Mordechai D. Katz and Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who described the new lab as the next step for SCW Computer Science. Assemblymember Quart spoke about the importance of women in technology and the need for YU to work with New York to expand opportunities for SCW students. “An investment in Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women is an investment in the future,” Quart said. “There is no doubt in my mind these young women will emerge as the next generation of leaders in innovation and technology,” he added.
After Quart spoke, Riva Tropp (SCW ‘17), one of the first Computer Science graduates at SCW and a current employee at Google, explained that learning how to collaborate is extremely important for a job in the industry, and that the new lab will help facilitate this skill. Ilana Radinsky (SCW ‘19) thanked Quart for his support and described the vision for the lab of a space that will “help fuel the growing sense of community within the Stern Computer Science department and give students the space to collaborate with and learn from each other.”
To conclude the conference, Zoe Abboudi (SCW ‘20) taught Quart basic coding concepts and helped him print his first line of code. She described to The Commentator how “watching the assemblyman write his first lines of code, all the computer science majors in the room were reminded of their first introduction to the exciting world of programming.”
Photo Caption: Students and Professor Alan Broder gather around Assemblymember Dan Quart as he learns to code.
Photo Credit: YU News