Computer science powers the work of many disciplines. If a molecular biologist needs to match up millions of pairs of genes, or a humanist wants to mine databases to understand the evolution of English prose, computers make it possible. Princeton’s computer science department, part of the University’s renowned engineering school, is distinguished by its deep expertise in both the theoretical foundations of computing and the many applications of computing in modern life.
Teaching and Learning
NANYUKI, Kenya — Princeton University graduate student Tyler Coverdale and Ryan O'Connell of the Class of 2017 clap as they walk around the tall bushes surrounding the sprawling experiment site. Not in applause, or for self-motivation — but to alert any buffalo, elephants or other animals that might be foraging for food or seeking shade from the intense equatorial sun. This is the nature of working at the Mpala Research Centre, a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional field laboratory that sits on a 50,000-acre reserve and ranch in Laikipia County in central Kenya.
Inspired by the desire to help broaden boundaries for vision-impaired people, three Princeton University students created an armband device that allows a wearer without the ability to see to interpret color. The project emerged from a new class offered for the first time this spring, "Transformations in Engineering and the Arts," and lived up to the name of the course.
Digital technology has become essential for personal communication, getting the news, banking, shopping, and countless routine transactions. As our reliance on technological devices grows, however, pressing questions emerge: How do we define privacy online? Who has access to our data—and how will they use it? How do we prevent cyber attacks?
In his four decades on the Princeton faculty, Ted Taylor earned the admiration of his students and colleagues for his cheerful nature and commitment to rigorous research. Even in retirement, he has continued to support and shape new generations of scientists by establishing the Edward and Virginia Taylor Professorship in Bioorganic Chemistry and the Edward C. Taylor Fellowships for third-year graduate students in chemistry. The fellowships allow Princeton to fund students for three years—a rarity in higher education—freeing them from the need to tie their research interests to grant support.
Humanists traditionally have spent long hours in archives poring through books, letters, and ephemera, laboriously piecing together information. Today, digital technology has streamlined and galvanized this process. Now scholars can not only quickly access and preserve different kinds of information but also identify connections among their discoveries, creating new data for scholars around the world.
Princeton’s scientists are conducting research with real-world impact, pursuing solutions that can improve human health, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, safeguard the environment, and help unravel the mysteries of the universe.
Since it opened in 1948, Firestone Library has played a central role in the lives of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members, and visiting scholars. Now, a major renovation is infusing Firestone Library with new life. With the support of alumni and friends, the University is creating a more open and welcoming building that supports contemporary approaches to scholarship while honoring Firestone’s historic character.
Soledad Mendoza ’16 is the first in her family to attend college. Jia Ning Cheng ’17 traveled halfway around the world to study here. Garrett Gosse ’16 has four college-bound siblings; his family’s resources must stretch to accommodate them all.