Invention factory hopes to create entrepreneurs

Published: 24th June 2013 12:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2013 12:09 PM   |  A+A-


Interview with Alan N Wolf, Professor and Chair of Physics, and Acting Dean, Albert Nerken School of Engineering, Cooper Union, USA

Tell us about the physics programme at Cooper Union.

Physics is a ‘service’ department at Cooper — there are no physics majors in our engineering school. The physics programme consists of three required courses, starting in the second semester of the freshman year — mechanics, waves and electromagnetism, and optics and modern physics. There is a single required physics lab course that focuses exclusively on optics experiments. We also occasionally offer electives like general relativity or solid state physics that are far above the level of required courses.

What is Cooper doing to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship?

We’ve created a six week programme called Invention Factory. Students, ranging from freshman to seniors, will go from the initial conception of an invention, through numerous critiques by consumers, to produce working prototypes of their inventions. They will also be trained to write a Provisional Patent Application.  

What can one study at Cooper?

We offer a handful of programmes. At the undergraduate level, you can pursue degrees in architecture, fine arts and engineering. At the postgraduate level, you can study architecture and engineering. Applications for 2013 are closed. You can find admissions-related info at


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