About The Cooper Union
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art was founded in 1859 by inventor and philanthropist Peter Cooper. The Cooper Union encompasses three schools for art, architecture, and engineering, with each school focusing heavily on detailed project and portfolio work, and each school maintaining low acceptance rates for admissions. Through its history, The Cooper Union has seen speeches delivered by civil rights activists, historians, writers, Presidents, and has proudly service as a beacon in the community. Presently, the Cooper Union maintained a strong community between students, professors, and alumni, with all three groups coming together for a variety of events both in and outside of the school. The school had been historically free until 2014, when it began charging tuition, but the will and determination of the students has not faltered, and students continue to take in all Cooper has to offer, and fulfill Peter Cooper's wishes.
About The Great Hall
As one of the most iconic venues in New York City, the Great Hall in Cooper’s Foundation Building has served as a symbol of the community, and has an extraordinary history. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln proudly delivered his ‘right makes might’ speech in a school that was founded on the same principles he aimed to deliver. The Great Hall has since seen six other sitting Presidents deliver iconic speeches, and has also hosted a variety of events within the school itself. Students in the school put on the annual Culture Show, freshmen are introduced to Cooper Union within the Great Hall, and it used for seminars on art, architecture, engineering, and more. The history and grandiose of the Great Hall is highly appreciated and recognized, making the Great Hall one of the most interesting and unique places in New York City.
Meet The Team
Nina Tandon
Nina Tandon is CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, the world's first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. She is the co-author of Super Cells: Building with Biology, a book that explores the new frontier of biotech. She is a TED Senior Fellow, Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Cooper Union and a former Staff Associate Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Columbia University. She has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union, a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, and an MBA from Columbia University. Her PhD research focused on studying electrical signaling in the context of tissue engineering, and has worked with cardiac, skin, bone, and neural tissue.
Anish Malladi
Anish Malladi is a visionary first, and a realist later. That’s how he likes to put it, anyway. He majors in mechanical engineering at the Cooper Union, but cares just as much about international relations as he does about cars. As a part of his career in Model UN, he trained many young students in the art of diplomacy. He loves photography and travelling to new and beautiful places ‐ capturing all the unique moments that he can. He attributes that to his time spent living in London, India and New York. Often, you will find him either curled up with a good book, or playing around with his camera. He has a dream of being someone who is known for making the world a better place, and lining up with that, his biggest hope for TEDxCooperUnion is to make a difference in the way people think about unity, making them hope for a better world that they can help create.
Brenda So
Brenda is from Hong Kong and is currently a Junior Electrical Engineer at Cooper. She enjoys all things electrical, from HAM radios to competitive programming. Brenda believes that women are as capable as men in STEM fields, and aims to encourage women to take leadership roles at a young age. She is currently the president of the student chapter of Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers at the Cooper Union, and is working towards expanding the outreach program in the chapter. She is also an active participant in Cooper's Toastmasters chapter, where she is a regular speaker. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys cycling around New York City and dancing.
Helena Zhu
Helena Zhu is an international undergraduate student from Guangzhou, China. Pursuing a degree in civil engineering at The Cooper Union, Helena is motivated by the idea of engineering as a profession for the greater good. Meanwhile, she developed an interest in humanitarian relief and global development, as she continues to seek opportunities to unite her STEM education with social work. As part of this effort, Helena initiated a fundraising campaign for a clean water project in Mozambique with charity: water. She devoted the past summer to mathematical research in Madrid, Spain, then a volunteer mission with NGO Emergency Response Centre International in search and rescue for refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos. Helena is captain of the school's hip hop dance team, and enjoys drawing, singing and traveling.
Ross Kaplan
Ross Kaplan is from Long Island, New York. As a junior studying Electrical Engineering at The Cooper Union, Ross is active in The Cooper Union’s Association for Computing Machinery and Institute of Electrical Electronic Engineers chapters. Ross has attended many hackathons and codecons as a software developer combining his knowledge of software and hardware to solve complex problems. He is working on a personal project with the goal of connecting people around the world. Over the past summer, he worked at Rubenstein Technology as a full-stack developer. He is also an active member in Cooper Union's Debate Club. In his spare time, Ross enjoys playing the trumpet, traveling, and reading.
Anushree Sreedhar
Anushree Sreedhar is a junior studying chemical engineering at The Cooper Union. While studying technical aspects at engineering school, she strongly values innovation and creativity to build solutions to the worlds existing problems. To explore innovation, Anushree participated in a program called Invention Factory. She also became a teaching assistant for Makerspace, a high school summer STEM program in which she guided groups of students to innovate, code, and 3D print their ideas to bring them to life. Anushree enjoys watching TED videos in her spare time, as they inspire her to explore different areas and learn about new technologies every day. In the future, she looks forward to contributing to product development and innovation to further optimize quality of life.
Ashmera A. Mohamed
Ashmera was born and raised in Guyana and moved to NYC at the age of 10. She recently completed her Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering this past May at The Cooper Union and has returned to complete her Masters in the same field. This past year she co-founded Cooper's chapter of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers and is extremely passionate about using the club as a platform to promote professional development and cultural exchange among students. Ashmera also loves to expand her skill set! In the past she has participated in Invention Factory and more recently she built an autonomous robot with two of her friends for a Mechanical Engineering elective. In her free time she practices henna designs for the body, candles, and cards; she pens her thoughts in the form of poetry and short stories; and she is constantly learning about new places, people, and topics!
Robert Godkin
Robert is from Brooklyn, New York, and is studying Chemical Engineering at Cooper. Robert is the current president of our school’s Chemist’s Club, and is an active member within the AIChE chapter, and is working on forming stronger bonds between students studying Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and relevant sciences. He writes for the school newspaper, The Cooper Pioneer, and is part of the Men’s Varsity Tennis team. If you visit Cooper, you'll probably find him giving tours to prospective students, or lounging in the Chemistry labs. Robert has always been involved in the community, both at home and at school, and has volunteered at local summer camps and worked with Youth Team Tennis groups to get everyone physically active and involved with sports. He enjoys playing classical guitar, practicing photography, and occasionally performing slam poetry at local events.
Yen-Chia Feng
Yen-Chia was born and raised in Taiwan. She moved to NYC to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at The Cooper Union and is currently a junior. She is a member of the mechanical engineering honor society Pi Tau Sigma and the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. Yen-Chia works as a resident assistant at The Cooper Union Residential Hall and as a teaching assistant for the physics department at The Cooper Union. During the summer of 2016, Yen-Chia researched nanotechnology and environmental science at TU Dresden in Germany. She also works on an independent study on nonlinear dynamic systems and computational fluids with Professor Philip A. Yecko at The Cooper Union. In her free time, Yen-Chia enjoys reading, cooking, walking around the city, and going to concerts and plays. She is curious, passionate and always eager to learn.