NASA, Google, and some of the foremost authorities in science and technology have teamed up to create a new school, dubbed Singularity University, that is looking to solve “humanity’s grand challenges”. The university is named after the idea of the singularity – an extremely rapid period of technological progress. And damn if it doesn’t sound like the coolest school ever.
The roster behind Singularity University is beyond impressive: it was founded by Dr. Ray Kurzweil (author, technologist, and futurist), Dr. Peter Diamandis (XPRIZE), Pete Worden (Director of NASA Ames), Dr. Robert Richards (co-founder of the International Space University), Dr. Robert Richards (ISU President), Dr. Michael Simpson, and a number of sponsors including Google. And to run the school, Singularity brought on board Salim Ismail, the founder of Yahoo’s innovative Brickhouse team.
Modeled after the International Space University, the school is meant to expose some of world’s the most promising graduate students and professionals to a broad range of cutting-edge technologies and research with subjects including bioinformatics, networking, genetics, law, heath, and entrepreneurship (you can see a full listing of topics covered here).
The first three weeks of each session are devoted to forming a basic understanding in all of the fields, following by three weeks spent seeing how each of these fields can possibly intermingle (for example, you might study how 3D printers traditionally used in prototyping could be used to build organs out of stem cells). The final three weeks of study are spent applying the newly-learned knowlege to solving real-world problems.
Sessions will be held at the NASA Ames Research Campus, near Mountain View, California. Unfortunately, space will be extremely limited – the initial class will consist of around 30 students, with around 100 for the school’s second year. It won’t be cheap either: fees run around $25,000 per student, though there will be scholarships available. There will also be brief sessions available for students who are already in the workforce.