New Dean of SEAS Addresses New Students (and potential engineering majors)

From a diverse set of studies to great resources like the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID), SEAS Dean Jeffrey Brock gave students from the Class of 2023 an overview of what they could expect if they pursue Engineering. 

“You’re super-charged with new kinds of ideas, new things to do, and new ways that you want to go forward with your life,” Brock said. “At the Engineering School, we’re building an ecosystem where you can realize those ideas.”

In many ways, Brock said, he’s undergoing a similar experience of discovery. Last year, he returned to Yale as faculty in the math department and as Yale’s first dean of science. And this summer, he was appointed dean of SEAS. He joked that this is all a way to make up for the fourth year of Yale that he missed while an undergraduate here, having transferred to Yale as a sophomore.

He emphasized that Yale students, even after they’ve committed to a major, can still get a very broad education. In his case, Brock received his B.A. degree in math, which allowed him to pursue English, music and other subjects. 

“You don’t have to overspecialize - you can still do excellent work within your major and have a broad experience intellectually,” he said.

Undergraduate research has become much more common at Yale in recent years, he said, and a great way to gain first-hand knowledge of a particular subject. 

“Coming to college is not all about just learning the next calculus formula,” he said. “You’re actually at the frontier of discovery and you can make research an integral part of your undergraduate experience.”

Will Sussman ‘21 also addressed the students, specifically about the many students clubs they can join in SEAS. Taking part in student clubs and undergraduate research, he said, is a great way to build things and make new friends.

“You’re all here at a great time - this is the golden age of engineering at Yale,” he said. “There’s an explosion of research and growth - in faculty, course offerings, the number and size of clubs.”