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A Lever Long EnoughA History of Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science Since 1864$
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Robert McCaughey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166881

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166881.001.0001

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Missing the Boat 1945–1964

Missing the Boat 1945–1964

(p.116) 5 Missing the Boat 1945–1964
A Lever Long Enough

Robert McCaughey

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews developments at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) during the years 1945–1964. It first considers the leadership vacuum at SEAS in the immediate postwar era as well as its problem with space constraints before turning to the appointment of John R. Dunning as the school's eighth dean. It then examines the controversy surrounding the TRIGA Mark II nuclear reactor installed at SEAS, along with Henry Krumb's $16 million donation to the school. It also discusses the reconstitution of the SEAS faculty; the issue over departmental rankings and the institutional rankings derived from them; and how Columbia forfeited its early prominence in the field of computers and computer science to more nimble competitors such as MIT, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon. Finally, it looks at SEAS's postwar students.

Keywords:   engineering, Columbia University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, John R. Dunning, TRIGA Mark II, nuclear reactor, Henry Krumb, faculty, computer science, engineering students

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