Life at the INI

Walking to the SkyAs you walk towards Carnegie Mellon's campus, you will certainly notice the 100-foot sculpture that towers over the students who play Frisbee below it. You may also notice a small group of onlookers staring up as the seven figures who march towards the clouds. Two of these onlookers will be holding hands, and one will be arching his back to see the furthest of the seven sky-bound travelers.

Not far from Jonathan Borofsky's Walking to the Sky are Scaife Hall, Newell-Simon Hall, Posner Hall, and Hamburg Hall, which house the College of Engineering, the School of Computer Science, the Tepper School of Business, and the Heinz College. However, six blocks from the iconic sculpture is a campus where all of these schools come together to offer unique graduate degrees that combine technology, economics, management, and policy: Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute (INI).

Situated just off of South Craig St., the INI is at the center of off-campus university life, as it is located between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. The INI building is surrounded by bookshops, craft stores, boutiques, university facilities, and apartment buildings. Multicultural restaurants are scattered down and around S. Craig St., interrupted by delis, coffee shops, and vegetarian cafés. You are likely to find INI students walking towards Lu Lu’s Noodle Shop & YumWok Pan Asian Diner to share plates of Thai curry, pan-fried noodles, and fried rice. You may see students at Crêpes Parisiennes, deliberating over a range of savory and sweet crêpes. And before exams, you will probably sit next to some of these students at Kiva Han, an independent coffee shop, which offers peace and Wi-Fi.

When students venture away from campus, they do not have to go far. A few blocks from the INI sits the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Museum of Art, which are next to Carnegie Music Hall and the Carnegie Library's Main Branch. It is a short walk into Oakland, the hub of the University of Pittsburgh and its nightlife, and it is also a short trip to Squirrel Hill and Shadyside. These areas, along with the South Side, the Strip District, and the Waterfront provide a rich off-campus life for all INI students.

You may also find INI students scattered around Carnegie Mellon's campus, whether sleeping in an Energy Pod at the Hunt Library, buying books at the Carnegie Mellon University Store, eating at the University Center, reading on The Cut by the tennis courts, or visiting the food trucks by Gesling Field. But as you make your way back past campus, the three onlookers standing below the sculpture will still be there, gazing up at the figures who are always climbing towards the sky.