Sam Pitroda receives Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, from NYU-Poly; says technology is a great social leveler

sam patroda Sam Pitroda receives Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, from NYU Poly; says technology is a great social levelerNEW YORK: Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) President Jerry M. Hultin, the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff celebrated the academic journey of nearly one thousand undergraduate and graduate students at the 157th NYU-Poly commencement held on May 18th, 2012 at the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center.

NYU-Poly graduates were challenged to solve the problems of the world by combining their unparalleled education in engineering, science and technology with hard work and discipline. Sharing from personal experience, Mr. Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, urged the class of 2012 to recognize technology as the key to social change and inclusive growth, not only economic prosperity.  Mr. Pitroda grew up in the small village of Titlagarh in the southeastern Indian state of Orissa without electricity, running water or access to education and went on to earn two masters degrees and revolutionize India’s telecommunications infrastructure in the 1980s.

Highlights from Mr. Pitroda’s keynote speech, as well as remarks from The Honorable Jerry M. Hultin, President of NYU–Poly; and Moshe Caplan, BS, Computer Science, Class of 2012 Valedictorian, are below:

Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister of India – How do we use connectivity to address the challenges of the 21st century? India has been growing at a rate of 8-9% and everywhere, I see technology as the key driver. To me, technology is a great social leveler. Technology is the key in the 21st century. The challenge of today is inclusive growth, access and equity. We need affordable, scalable, and sustainable solutions… My advice to you is that hard work and discipline is the key to your success. There is no shortcut.

The Honorable Jerry M. Hultin, President of NYU-Poly – In every area that we’re shining, you’re providing the sheen. It’s a daunting world. McKinsey & Company says the world will not sustain itself unless we all become far more efficient in producing food, oil and fluids. More than 3 billion people will enter the middle class. What better time to graduate from NYU-Poly. You’ve got a world calling out for solutions. You will create the solutions and jobs that will make 9 billion people on earth a happy time. We’re counting on you one by one.

Moshe Caplan, BS, Computer Science, Class of 2012 Valedictorian, NYU-Poly – At NYU-Poly, we’re taught that failure is a time to reestablish and improve your idea. NYU-Poly has brought us together to create solutions to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Mr. Pitroda also received a Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, and joins a distinguished list of past honorary degree recipients including Dr. Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy. Jinhui Zhao, BS, Chemical & Biological Sciences, received the Outstanding Graduate Award and Professor Evgeny Vulfson was honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award.

The ceremony concluded with a surprise piano performance by President Hultin who said, “Engineers rock and this is rock-in,” as enthusiastic students clapped and ended their term at NYU-Poly.

For additional photos, please visit:  NYU-Poly Commencement 2012

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