The renaissance of New York City is in full swing. Business and tourism zoom as crime plummets.
As reported in the March 29, 1995 Spectator, IEOR majors will be able to minor in economics. Minoring across disciplines expands beyond department-specific programs to the whole school. The April 17, 1996 Spectator reports that SEAS students majoring in one department will be able to minor in another SEAS department.
Students gain increasing access to e-mail and the internet via public terminals and Rohm Data Phones in their rooms, as reported in the April 26, 1995 Spectator.
Shown is an early example of the SEAS homepage, from the Spring 1996 Engineering News. Newsweek magazine proclaimed 1995 as “The Year of the Internet.”
1996—Students working with Prof. Christian Meyer on glasscrete, a decorative combination of concrete and recycled glass that can be used on buildings and other structures, as shown in the Fall 1996 Engineering News.
The Oct. 10, 1996 Spectator reported on the dedication of the Botwinick Multimedia Learning Laboratory, used for the Gateway course.
Whereas SEAS undergraduates generally took courses exclusively in the College their first two years, only coming to SEAS to begin their majors in the junior year, this begins to change. The Gateway laboratory course in computerization and technology, introduced in Nov. 1994, is required of all first year students and as of Fall 1997 entering undergraduates are required to take at least one “preprofessional course” in their first two years. Initially, seven “preprof” courses are offered. Two of these courses were first introduced in 1996-1997: Introduction to Electrical Engineering, by Prof. Tsividis (shown, left). Physics of the Human Body, by Prof. Herman (shown, right).
SEAS is officially renamed “The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science” in recognition of a generous gift from the Fu Foundation. This is celebrated on Oct. 22, 1997, as reported in the Spectator the following day. APAM Prof. C.K. (John) Chu and Dean Zvi Galil are instrumental in cultivating this donation. This gift is used to build up the School’s efforts in computer science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, and electrical engineering.
SEAS students’ new Society for Automotive Engineers constructs a car to race against entries from 110 other colleges at a competition organized by the Formula Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE), as reported in the March 31, 1998 Spectator. This is expected to be an annual activity.
1998—Prof. Horst Stormer shares the Nobel Prize in Physics with two colleagues “for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations.”
SEAS students enter Solar Splash, the world’s first inter-collegiate solar/electric boat regatta, with entry “Bubbles” placing second overall, as reported in the Fall 1998 Engineering News.
1998—The first of several major research centers in materials, nanoscience and energy, the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the Environmental Science Institute (EMSI), open, followed in later years by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) and the Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC).
1999—For the first time, the average SAT score of first-year undergraduates is higher in SEAS than in Columbia College.
2000—After a decade of growth, the population of New York City reaches 8 million for the first time, a sign of the City’s rebirth. After reaching a peak of 7.89 million in 1950, the population of New York City declined to 7.07 million in 1980, signaling to many a declining quality of life in the City. Growth continues after 2000, with the population reaching 8.41 million in 2013. The population of the five boroughs is shown (in millions), with Brooklyn (green), Queens (orange), Manhattan (blue), the Bronx (red), and Staten Island (purple).
January 1, 2000—The Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) begins, assisted by a grant from the Whitaker Foundation, with Prof. Van C. Mow as founding chair. In 2004, the ASME establishes the annual Van C. Mow Medal to honor a person who earned their doctorate ten to twenty years earlier for contributions to bioengineering through research, education, professional development, leadership, mentorship, and service.
2000—The New York Yankees win their 101st* World Series championship, including their fourth in five years, as they defeat the New York Mets. This was the first “Subway Series” (intra-New York City World Series) since 1956, when the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, as Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history.
*In base 5; 26th in base 10.
2000—Dean Zvi Galil places the Materials Science and Engineering Program of the Henry Krumb School of Mines within the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, thereby creating a department with interacting applied physics, applied mathematics, and materials science and engineering programs.
September 11, 2001 changes New York City and the world.
2002—Dr. Michael Massimino (BS’84) (shown) took a Columbia Engineering School flag on his first space shuttle flight (STS-109). On his second (STS-125), in 2009, he took a gray Columbia Engineering T-shirt covered with the signatures of as many Engineering School students and faculty as could fit. Fellow astronaut Gregory H. Johnson MS’85 pilots the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2008 and again in 2011, its last mission and the penultimate mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle program.
2003—The Earth and Environmental Engineering (EEE) Department, the newest department in SEAS, is founded, with Prof. Nickolas Themelis as founding chair. This is part of a reorganization of the Henry Krumb School of Mines, which is now composed of the EEE department and the materials science and engineering program in APAM.