Just a few years after Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition to the great Northwest, another intrepid American set out on a journey through challenging terrain at the government’s behest. In 1808, John Randel Jr., a young surveyor, was charged with mapping Manhattan Island and laying out the street grid that, for 200 years, has shaped and spurred the growth of New York City.

Dorian Warren
Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Then-Senator Barack Obama at the ServiceNation Presidential Candidates Forum, held on Sept. 11, 2008. Image credit: Eileen Barroso/Columbia University.


Sharyn O’Halloran
George Blumenthal Professor and Professor of International and Public Affairs

Graduate students Kelly Remole (left), Heather McKellar, and Cate Jensen (not pictured) developed Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach to introduce New York City schoolchildren to brain science.

Kelley Remole’11, PhD, still has fond memories of the day a local scientist visited her middle school classroom. “It was the first time I had a met a scientist and I thought it was really cool. I was already interested in science, but I would say she made the idea of science as a profession more real in my head.”

When Kenneth T. Jackson began teaching his course, "The History of the City of New York," 37 years ago, he decided to take his students out of the classroom to grasp the full impact of the urban environment. He first thought of daylight walking tours, but the streets were too crowded. So he settled on a nighttime bike ride with 10 to 15 students, the better to see New York in all its glory.



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