About the School

A Message From The Dean

Welcome to Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). As students here, you are among the select few to join our community for an education that will empower you to become the next leaders in the fields of engineering and applied science. You are becoming part of a vibrant, intellectually challenging school with a distinguished history of transformational breakthroughs that have impacted the world.

As we prepare to celebrate the 150 th anniversary of our School’s founding in 1864, we are inspired by the pathbreaking legacy of our academic forebears, upon which our School continues to build. Our first dean, Charles Frederick Chandler, set the benchmark. A pioneering crusader, he was also president of New York City’s Metropolitan Board of Health, overseeing purity of food and drugs, ensuring the safety of milk, providing free vaccinations, conveying clean water into the city, and establishing building codes. Bringing engineering solutions to societal needs continues to be a hallmark of Columbia Engineering.

Many influential leaders made their marks at Columbia Engineering. Our alumni trailblazers include William Barclay Parsons, 1882 (New York City subway system); Michael Pupin, 1883 (long-distance telephony); Edwin Armstrong, 1913 (FM radio); Joseph Engelberger, 1949 (father of robotics); Alvin C. Roth, 1971 (2012 Nobel laureate in economics); and Ursula Burns, 1982 (chairman and CEO of Xerox).

Today, the pace of translating technological innovations into real world impact has never been faster, and our faculty and students remain at the forefront, pushing the frontiers of knowledge and of technology. Ruben-Viele Professor Jingyue Ju’s revolutionary research is fundamental to reducing the cost of DNA sequencing on a chip (see cover illustration), while Professor James Im’s process for developing high-quality silicon film is playing a crucial role in producing the latest generation of flat-screens for electronic devices. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is growing bone grafts for facial reconstruction that match a patient’s original jawbone, while Professor Sal Stolfo has developed symbiote code that can prevent a malicious attack on such seemingly benign devices as printers and office telephones.

As we celebrate our sesquicentennial and continue to chart the School’s future, we have made it a priority to create more student and laboratory space in the Mudd Building and state-of-the-art labs in the Northwest Corner Building, with future plans to erect a new building in Manhattanville.

Columbia Engineering is an exciting and stimulating community and I encourage you to take full advantage of the exceptional opportunities for learning and advancement that await you here.

With best wishes for the academic year,

Mary C. Boyce
Dean of Engineering
Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor