Situated where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers converge to become the Ohio River, Pittsburgh is aptly known as the “City of Bridges” with over 440 bridges uniting the diverse valleys, hillsides, and river plains that comprise the Appalachian city.
An urban link between the Atlantic coast and the Midwest, Pittsburgh is home to 68 colleges and universities, including the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Fred Rogers, Gene Kelly, Art Blakey, Vanessa German, August Wilson, Phillip Glass, Andy Warhol, Willa Cather, Jonas Salk, and Rachel Carson are among the innumerable remarkable individuals who have at one time called Pittsburgh home over the past century.
Pittsburgh has much to recommend it. Among its many attractions, it is one of the largest urban forests in the United States, home to the National Aviary and a number of internationally renowned museums, the city boasts its own unique dialect with a ‘yinz’ to rival ‘y’all’ and has a food culture that earned it the title of “Food City of the Year” in 2019.
An "Innovation Hub"
Pittsburgh has a long history of innovation. The movie theater, polio vaccine, banana split, drive-in gas station, baseball stadium, and emoji all trace their origins to the City of Bridges. Beginning in the 19th century, industrialists including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon earned Pittsburgh the moniker “Steel City”. Contemporaneously, H.J. Heinz brought the city his “57 varieties” and George Westinghouse introduced Nikola Tesla and the alternating current. The 20th century saw the ascent of Pittsburgh’s medical and academic industries, but also the crash of the steel age. Today, as one of the largest college cities in the country, attracting and educating exceptionally talented individuals, Pittsburgh is making a name for itself in AI, robotics, education, machine translation, and software engineering. Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Uber all have outposts in the city. Duolingo, Carnegie Speech, and Petuum are among over 800 successful Pittsburgh startups to have emerged in the last decade.
The University of Pittsburgh
The conference will take place at the University of Pittsburgh in the Oakland neighborhood. The University was founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy and acquired its current name in 1908. Over 28,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attend the University. The leafy urban campus is comprised of a number of historic buildings, most iconic of which is the Cathedral of Learning, a 42-story Gothic Revival tower commissioned in 1921. Amongst the building’s over 2,000 rooms are a four-story high vaulted hall and thirty Nationality Rooms that celebrate America’s history of immigration.