Data policy program boosts high school students

This spring, more than 100 underserved high schoolers in New York, Florida and Michigan participated in an expanded online data policy and analysis program, in which they explored pressing policy issues such as income inequality, racial justice and climate change through economic and sociological lenses.

The program – developed by eCornell, the School of Continuing Education (SCE) and the nonprofit National Education Equity Lab (NEEL) – was led by Maria Fitzpatrick and Matthew Hall, both professors in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, in the College of Human Ecology. In examining important issues – including education equity and COVID-19 – students sought to determine how big data is being used to address policy problems in the United States and across the globe.

Students had the opportunity to learn directly from Cornell faculty via virtual office hours, lab sessions and one-on-one facetime.

“Maria Fitzpatrick and Matthew Hall have been forces of nature in providing transformational opportunities to students who need it most,” said Leslie Cornfeld, NEEL’s founder and CEO.

During a closing ceremony May 26, Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff praised the high school scholars for their achievements, saying he was proud of Cornell’s leadership in this effort with the Equity Lab as it reflects Cornell’s commitment to equity, access and opportunity.

Fitzpatrick called the program “one of the best teaching experiences of my career.”

Last summer, eCornell and NEEL piloted a high school program with Donna Haeger, professor of practice in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, based on Haeger’s popular on-campus spreadsheet modeling courses. To expand the collaboration, this spring eCornell and SCE worked with NEEL to offer a three-credit online undergraduate course, Big Data for Big Policy Problems (PAM 270).

Many of the 16 schools participating in the high school program signed on to provide supervising teachers, who coached and helped all students with time management. NEEL provided a Chromebook to any student without access to a laptop.

“Cornell University’s leadership is a national model for what selective universities can accomplish in the education justice space,” Cornfeld said.

“With this expansion, Cornell has powerfully demonstrated their commitment to racial and economic justice. They’re not just talking the talk. That commitment should make current and future students, as well as alumni, proud of their alma mater.”

One such future student is Melanie Lantigua, a high school student from the Bronx who successfully completed the course and will be attending Cornell this fall as a first-generation student.

“I hope Cornell continues to offer opportunities like this to scholars in underserved high schools across the nation,” Lantigua said during the ceremony. “We need opportunities like this to show colleges – and ourselves – what we can do.”

Jamie Bonan ’18 is a content marketing specialist at eCornell.

Online program offers skills for digital transformation

Rapid advances in digital technologies have the potential to transform how every industry, business and organization operates. To help technology leaders prepare, Cornell has developed a Digital Transformation certificate program.

In this program, participants will learn how to find and produce new and streamlined disruptive business ideas through digital auditing and a rapid ideation process, as well as pitch ideas and develop plans to rigorously test and evaluate each opportunity to ensure market suitability.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for business leaders and entrepreneurs to build new ventures and transform industries and organizations enabled by these technologies,” said faculty author Karan Girotra, professor of operations technology, information and management at Cornell Tech and at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

“Digital technologies lend themselves to rapid iteration, low-cost development and experimentation, and businesses need to learn a new way to build products enabled by these technologies. It’s a key skill set for any digital era builder.”

This program consists of seven two-week courses, including:

  • Preparing for Digital Transformation;
  • Rapid Ideation;
  • Generating Opportunities for Digital Disruption;
  • Developing and Pitching Ideas;
  • Value Creation and the Business Model Canvas;
  • Prototypes and Pilots; and
  • Experimentation Planning.

Participants who complete the program will receive a Digital Transformation Certificate from Cornell Tech and 70 professional development hours. Visit the eCornell website for more information.

Why Python is the programming language to learn

Python is arguably today’s most popular and fastest-growing programming language. Boasting a 27% year over year growth rate, Python has quickly become the preferred language of programmers, serving trending applications such as machine learning and data science.

Why is Python so high in demand compared to other languages? Unlike C++ or Java, there’s less complex syntax to navigate or compiling issues to resolve. Python uses English keywords, and as a result is simple, readable, and maintainable. It’s easily integrated with other programming languages, and supports functional and structure programming, as well as Object Oriented Programing (OOP). Not to mention there is a thriving ecosystem: open source libraries, frameworks and expert community make any problem a temporary one.

Also working in Python’s favor is the versatility of the language. Sometimes dubbed the “Swiss-Army Knife” of programming, Python isn’t tied to just one discipline, but can support many, including data analysis, web applications, gaming and automation. Many of today’s major tech platforms are powered by Python: Instagram, YouTube, Dropbox, Spotify, Reddit, Pinterest and Instacart, to name a few. Netflix’s ability to predict what content a user is interested in is based on Python. 21% of Facebook’s infrastructure is Python. Some of the very earliest Google engineers are quoted as having the motto, “Python where we can, C++ where we must.” 

Given today’s exponentially increasing trend toward smart devices, connectivity and artificial intelligence, the need for Python experts is also exploding. In 2018, LinkedIn reported a shortage of more than 150,000 professionals in the areas of data science, software development and machine learning. Today, demand continues to outweigh the supply, resulting in Python developers becoming one of the highest paid technology jobs available. Additionally, for entrepreneurs and others seeking to learn programming, Python remains the optimal skill to obtain. With a simple, easy-to-understand structure and broad applications, it is considered the best and most versatile beginner language.

Becoming proficient in Python is enabling many professionals to further develop their careers — or launch them. Recognized as one of the most essential languages to master, and with the added benefit of compatibility with existing languages, Python is the skill every programmer or analyst shouldn’t hesitate to add to their resume. 

If you’re interested in mastering Python, check out eCornell’s Python Programming certificate program, which teaches the core principles of Python and how to apply them.

Certificate program aims to build technology leaders

Technology professionals must be adept at data analysis and problem-solving, but they also need interpersonal and professional skills to manage teams successfully.

To address this gap, Cornell is offering a new Technology Leadership certificate program. Participants will be able to analyze their leadership attributes and decision-making styles; strengthen essential communication, motivation and influencing skills; and ultimately prepare for future growth and success in managing technical and project teams.

“Leadership development happens through learning, practice and reflection,” said faculty author Erica Dawson, professor of practice in the College of Engineering. “The evolution from technology professional to technology leader takes time. This program gives professionals the tools and structure to succeed.”

The program will be useful to both emerging and experienced technology leaders, as well as managers and directors of web services, software development and IT teams. Early to mid-career technology professionals interested in moving to a leadership role, chief technology officers, business leaders who work with technology professionals and graduate students transitioning from academia to industry will also find value in this certificate program, which is available online through eCornell.

The Technology Leadership certificate program consists of six two-week courses:

  • Strengths-Based Technology Leadership
  • Values-Based Technology Leadership
  • Decision-Making Skills for Technology Leaders
  • Collaborative Communication for Technology Leaders
  • Courageous Communication for Technology Leaders
  • Influence and Motivation for Technology Leaders

Upon completion of the program, participants earn a Technology Leadership Certificate from Cornell Engineering, and 60 professional development hours. Visit the eCornell website for more information on this program.

Certificate program teaches Python to working professionals

Python has become the preferred language of many computer programmers, supporting popular applications including software development, machine learning and data science. Featuring code that is simple to read, Python is a versatile language with a thriving support ecosystem and a broad open-source library.

“Python is often referred to as the ‘Swiss Army knife’ of programming,” said Walker White, program author and Stephen H. Weiss Provost’s Teaching Fellow in Computing and Information Science. “It is versatile and compatible with other languages, and therefore isn’t tied to one discipline.”

Learning a new skill can be challenging, and real-time feedback is essential to developing competence and preventing mistakes. To enable this, Cornell has created a Software Development in Python certificate program featuring innovative learning tools that are seamlessly integrated into the virtual classroom environment. These tools allow students to code and test Python expressions with immediate results. A built-in auto-grading system eliminates the need for manual assessments, making the learning process more efficient.

Ideal for all levels of programmers, the courses enable participants to master the foundational concepts of programming in Python. Participants will learn to apply Python-based solutions to real-world business problems, and professionally test and verify their own code.

Powered by eCornell, this program consists of six two-week courses:

  • Python Fundamentals
  • User-Defined Functions in Python
  • Developing a Currency Converter
  • Establishing the Control Flow
  • Mastering Data Structures
  • Auditing Datasets

Upon completion, participants will receive a Software Development in Python certificate. Visit the eCornell website for more information on this program.

Bailey Karfelt

This holiday season, give the gift that keeps on giving

Looking for a great gift idea? Consider giving a gift that will stand the test of time.

The Wine Lover
This holiday season, focus on something everyone can agree on—wine. If you love wine and want to take your appreciation to the next level, you’ll benefit from this hands-on course offered by Cornell University. Take a journey through the winemaking process from grape to glass, learning how to taste and evaluate wine with guidance from world-renowned Cornell hospitality experts. Learn more

 

The Beer Enthusiast
With so many beer options out there, how will you decide? It’s a question restaurants and enthusiasts alike are asking. Discover the answer with the Beer Appreciation certificate program at Cornell! This program provides an end-to-end understanding of beer production, tasting, and selection for making educated decisions on your choice beverage. From ingredients and process to sensory analysis, you will expand your knowledge and appreciation of beers.

 

The Entrepreneur
Have a great idea? Master the skills needed to get it off the ground with Cornell’s new Entrepreneurship certificate program. Designed for both entrepreneurs and new investors, this program guides you from assessing your concept’s viability, to navigating the pitch process, securing the right kind of funding and maintaining key relationships. Don’t wait; turn your side hustle into your main gig!

 

The Techie
Python is one of today’s fastest-growing and in-demand programming languages. The Software Development in Python certificate program follows a rigorous, real-world approach to developing proficiency in Python programming and software development. Don’t hesitate to add this skill to your resume!

 

The Health Guru
Striving to be the healthiest version of yourself? Earn a Nutrition and Healthy Living certificate to get an in-depth, contemporary scientific look at nutrition, exercise, weight loss and disease prevention. You’ll come away with a holistic view of how biochemical pathways work together with physiological systems and behavior to determine nutritional health and overall wellness.

 

Certificate program combines tech, financial services

Financial institutions are increasingly using new technologies to deploy existing resources to deliver transaction, payment and asset-management services.

To capitalize on these rapidly expanding innovations in financial technology, Cornell has established a new FinTech Certificate Program. Participants will not only identify key advances in the fintech landscape, but also analyze opportunities in financial technology and blockchain.

“Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley are … leading the charge into fintech with blockchain technology and machine learning,” said program author Ari Juels, the Weill Family Foundation and Joan and Sanford I. Weill Professor at Cornell Tech. “Those working in financial services should take heed.”

“Advances in technology have revolutionized the way the financial sector does business, and, by extension, how we all do business,” said Drew Pascarella, associate dean for MBA programs and senior lecturer of finance at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. “It is imperative that everyone within the financial services ecosystem understands these key trends.”

Financial services professionals, consultants, software companies who sell to financial services and others in the banking and financial sectors will find value in this certificate program, available online through eCornell.

The FinTech Certificate program consists of four two-week courses, including:

  • FinTech Disruptions;
  • Trends in FinTech;
  • Cryptocurrencies and Ledgers;
  • Cryptography Essentials.

After completion of the four courses, participants will earn a fintech certificate from Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and 40 professional development hours.

– Kristi Gaylord

Cornell’s new certificate program boosts presentation skills to further career growth

The ability to present on any subject, in any place, to any audience is an invaluable asset for every professional. According a Forbes report on a new survey, seventy percent of Americans who give presentations agree that strong presentation skills are critical to their success at work. Yet twenty percent of survey respondents said they would do almost anything to avoid giving a presentation.

Today’s accomplished working professionals lead through their ability to communicate information and emotion effectively, even in the most intimidating circumstances. Cornell’s new Executive Presence certificate program will help learners conquer performance anxiety, refine public speaking skills, and build confidence, with the end goal of maximizing speaker-listener connection and furthering career growth.

“Executive Presence is not magic,” says faculty author David Feldshuh, Professor of Performing and Media Arts, Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s a skillset that learners can master with practice and experience.”

The course teaches the learner how to use breathing, visual focus, voice, and gesture to deliver authentic and engaging presentations in a wide variety of settings, from formal speeches to personal interviews. Through the use of video feedback, self-coaching questions, rubric self-analysis, and expert real-time coaching, students learn to diminish restrictive presentation habits, including performance anxiety and mannerisms, and work to become more responsive and expressive. They gain increased insight by watching others present, and understand more fully the importance of effective body language and vocal variety.

“It’s not about achieving perfection or competing with someone else,” says Dr. Feldshuh. “In this class, you compete with yourself. The core skills, analytical tools, and transformative training exercises are intended to position the learner for a lifetime of development. A fundamental learning goal is for learners to know themselves as presenters, and become experts in self-coaching to ensure continued improvement after the course is completed.”

Aspiring leaders, managers, senior leaders and executives, CEOs, actors and performers, and anyone who wants to strengthen his or her ability to connect with others while speaking will find value in this certificate program, which is available online through eCornell.

Upon successful completion of the Executive Presence certificate program, which consists of a single, 15-week course, learners earn an Executive Presence Certificate from Cornell College of Arts and Sciences, and 60 professional development hours.