- Troy, NY USA

Front

We increasingly live in a data-driven, web-enabled, supercomputer-powered, globally interconnected world, and this poses significant new challenges to scientists and engineers throughout all of their disciplines. Attacking these problems will require significant new technologies for sensing the environment, collecting and analyzing this data, using it to simulate engineered, biological and social systems, and applying these results to provide effectors, physical or cyber, that can help solve critical global challenges. The Rensselaer IDEA will enable research across this campus to access such technologies via the development of critical computational methodologies including data-intensive supercomputing, large-scale agent-based simulation, and cognitive computing technologies. more....
Future Technology Podcase

We live in an increasingly data-driven, supercomputer powered, globally interconnected world. That poses significant challenges for scientists and engineers across every discipline. According to Prof. James Hendler, solving these problems will require new technologies that will be used to collect and analyze data, perform simulations, and then use the results in solving these problems.

Prof. Hendler shares information about the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in general and their Institute for Data Exploration & Application (I.D.E.A.). He also informs us why every University needs a required data analytics course for all students, regardless of major.

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/user/futuretechpodcast/prof-james-hendler-direc...

The Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications and the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences are excited to announce a joint Distinguished Speaker Series on Ethics and Policy of Big Data, AI and other Emerging Technologies
Our first speaker will be:
February 7, 2018 -- Jeanna Matthews, Clarkson University - Algorithms, Platforms and our Social Context

Troy, N.Y. — A team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been selected by Amazon to receive sponsorship for competing in the inaugural $2.5 million Amazon Alexa Prize competition. The 2016-2017 competition focuses on the challenge of building a socialbot that can converse coherently and engagingly with users. In October 2016 Amazon received over 100 applications from leading universities across 22 countries, and selected 12 teams based on “the potential scientific contribution to the field, the technical merit of the approach, the novelty of the idea, and the team’s ability to execute against their plan.” Each of the 12 sponsored teams will receive a $100,000 stipend, Alexa-enabled devices, free Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support their development efforts, and support from the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) team. The RPI team, “Wise Macaw,” (previously named BAKA bot) is aimed at building a chatbot that can leverage “storytelling technologies” to engage in long-term social interactions with users. In a statement, the team explained its project as follows: “Our motivation stems from companionship as a fundamental human desire.

James Hendler, Director of the Rensselaer IDEA

James Hendler, director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA), has been appointed to the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. The committee provides scientific and technical advice to the Under Secretary for Science and Technology and senior department leadership on matters related to the expansion of technological capabilities across the homeland security enterprise. - See more at: Rensselaer News Page.

We are pleased to announce that Kristin Bennet has been appointed the Associate Director of The Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications. A leader in both data analytics and education in data science, She will be helping to make sure the Rensselaer IDEA maximized its impact both on and beyond campus. See this news article for more information about Dr. Bennett and her new role at Rensselaer.

News

In The Media

  • The Milky Way galaxy may be much bigger than we thought

    May 25, 2018 -

    It's no secret that the Milky Way is big, but new research shows that it may be much bigger than we ever imagined.

    The research, described May 7 in the journal "Astronomy & Astrophysics," indicates that our spiral galaxy's vast rotating disk of stars spans at least 170,000 light-years, and possibly up to 200,000 light-years.

  • Smart Lake, Healthy Ecosystem: The Jefferson Project at Lake George

    April 6, 2018 -

    The Jefferson Project was begun by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY three years ago. The team has gradually transformed Lake George into what is arguably the world’s smartest lake, equipped with a tremendous range of sensors and equipment that collect more data points every week than researchers had been able to gather in the 30 years prior to the project’s beginning. Project leader Rick Relyea corresponded with EM about the endeavor.

  • How One University Wants to Teach Students to Use Data

    April 6, 2018 -

    Data is an increasingly pervasive force in American life, with the power to shape perception and policy. And so it makes a certain amount of sense that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently adopted a new "data dexterity" requirement for its students, starting in fall 2019.

  • RPI Adds New 'Data Dexterity' Requirement

    March 27, 2018 -

    TROY, N.Y. (AP) — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be requiring all of its students to be able to use diverse datasets to solve complex problems.

    RPI says its "data dexterity" requirement will ensure that all students graduating for the school in Troy, New York are prepared for an increasingly data-driven world.

  • Improving a plastic-degrading enzyme for better PET recycling

    March 5, 2018 -

    Stabilizing a bacterial enzyme by strategically decorating it with sugars could help it to recycle one of the most widely used plastics and ultimately keep that plastic out of the landfill (Biochemistry 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01189).

  • The Andromeda Galaxy Is Not Nearly as Big as We Thought

    February 21, 2018 -

    The closest galaxy to our own is the majestic Andromeda galaxy, a collection of a trillion stars located a “mere” 2 million light years away. New research suggests that, contrary to previous estimates, this galaxy isn’t much bigger than the Milky Way, and is practically our twin. This means our galaxy won’t be completely devoured when the two galaxies collide in five billion years.

  • Turning to beet juice and beer to address road salt danger

    February 2, 2018 -

    Experiments at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute aquatic lab in Troy, New York, have found that higher salt concentrations reduced growth rates in rainbow trout and decreased the abundance of zooplankton — tiny animals or larvae that are critical to the aquatic food chain and play a role in keeping lakes and streams clean.

    Other studies have shown that salinization of lakes and streams reduces the numbers of fish and amphibians, kills off plants, and alters the diversity of these freshwater ecosystems.

    “At high road salt concentrations, you can see reductions in growth, reduction in the diversity of species within a system and you can also see effects on reproduction of certain species,” said William Hintz, of Rensselaer Polytechnic.

  • Inner Workings: Smart-sensor network keeps close eye on lake ecosystem

    February 2, 2018 -

    New York’s Lake George may be the most high-tech lake in the world. By year’s end, a network of 41 sensor platforms will monitor the 32-mile long body of water. Its tributary stations and vertical profilers measure the chemical and physical properties of water at varying depths. Acoustic sensors measure the direction and speed of currents in three dimensions. What’s known as the Jefferson Project, named after US President Thomas Jefferson who once marveled at the lake during a visit, is run by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. Started three years ago, the project is already collecting more data points in one week than Rensselaer researchers collected at the lake over the past three decades, says project leader Rick Relyea.

  • NPR's The Academic Minute

    January 19, 2018 -

    From circadian rhythms to corporate financing reporting, Rensselaer research was featured all week on NPR's Academic Minute on WAMC.

  • A Greener, More Healthful Place to Work

    January 12, 2018 -

    Good light also helps keep office workers alert and healthy, said Mariana Figueiro, the director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    Too many offices are like floodlit caves, illuminated from above to cast light on the work surface of the desk, Dr. Figueiro said. We also need light from the side striking the back of the eye – preferably from a natural source like a window – to entrain our body’s internal circadian clock.

     

  • Can road salt and other pollutants disrupt our circadian rhythms?

    January 12, 2018 -

    Every winter, local governments across the United States apply millions of tons of road salt to keep streets navigable during snow and ice storms. Runoff from melting snow carries road salt into streams and lakes, and causes many bodies of water to have extraordinarily high salinity.

    At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, my colleague Rick Relyea and his lab are working to quantify how increases in salinity affect ecosystems. Not surprisingly, they have found that high salinity has negative impacts on many species. They have also discovered that some species have the ability to cope with these increases in salinity.

  • WalletHub’s Eight Financial Predictions for 2018

    January 3, 2018 -

    WalletHub surveyed top economics experts, analyzed big-bank projections and Federal Reserve forecasts, and produced a list of financial predictions for 2018.

  • RPI Students Ask: Would People Want Nuclear Detectors For Their Homes?

    January 3, 2018 -

    Rensselaer students and one of the fall 2017 Rensselaer Change the World Challenge winning teams, Christopher Lore ’18, Geology, and Madison Wyatt ’18, Applied Math and Physics, examine the market viability of small nuclear detectors.

  • Experts Answer Finance-in-Business Questions

    January 2, 2018 -

    This Times Union Women@Work article features Gina O'Connor, associate dean and professor at the Rensselaer Lally School of Management, and other local experts who answer five of the most-commonly asked questions about starting new businesses.

  • The Remarkable Career of Shirley Ann Jackson

    December 21, 2017 - Shirley Ann Jackson worked to help bring about more diversity at MIT, where she was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate. She then applied her mix of vision and pragmatism in the lab, in Washington, and at the helm of a major research university.
  • Table of Experts: Succession Planning

    December 21, 2017 -

    Recently, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lally School of Management Dean Thomas Begley talked with local area experts about business succession planning in family-owned firms.

  • Despite a Small Staff, Tissue Engineering Lab Has a Broad Research Focus

    December 11, 2017 -

    Despite its size, Dr. Mariah Hahn’s lab at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is an important part of the broader tissue-engineering research community. The lab has two main goals: creating disease models to more effectively screen potential therapeutics before they are tested in small animals and designing better materials to help organs and tissues repair themselves following injury or scarring.

  • The Jefferson Papers - Changing forests, insecticides, and wetland ecosystems

    November 9, 2017 -

    The Jefferson Project at Lake George is conducting research into how human activities may affect the lake, which include attached wetlands and the surrounding watershed. Here, we summarize research on the combined effects of changing forests and a commonly applied insecticide on wetland ecosystems, which was published recently in the journal Environmental Pollution.

  • The Jefferson Papers - Forests, Road Salt and Wetlands Ecosystem Research Published

    November 9, 2017 -

    The Jefferson Project at Lake George is conducting research into how human activities may affect the lake. Here, we summarize research on the effects of road salt and changing forest composition on wetland ecosystems, which was published recently in the journal Freshwater Science .

  • RPI Business Analytics Program Ranked Among Top Three in Nation

    November 7, 2017 -

    The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Master of Business Analytics program was ranked among the three best in the United States by the TFE Times.

  • Picture of the Day: Can environmental toxins disrupt the biological clock?

    November 7, 2017 -

    Can environmental toxins disrupt circadian rhythms -- the biological clock whose disturbance is linked to chronic inflammation and a host of human disorders? Research showing a link between circadian disruption and plankton that have adapted to road salt pollution puts the question squarely on the table. The research builds on recent findings from the Jefferson Project at Lake George, showing that a common species of zooplankton, Daphnia pulex (shown here), can evolve tolerance to moderate levels of road salt in as little as two and a half months. That research produced five populations of Daphnia adapted to salt concentrations ranging from the current concentration of 15 milligrams-per-liter of chloride in Lake George to concentrations of 1,000 milligrams-per-liter, as found in highly contaminated lakes in North America.

  • WE’RE POURING MILLIONS OF TONS OF SALT ON ROADS EACH WINTER. HERE’S WHY THAT’S A PROBLEM.

    November 7, 2017 -

    Despite the ever-greater use, road salt’s effects on streams, lakes and groundwater have been largely ignored until recently. As recently as 2014, when biologist Rick Relyea began studying the effects of salt-laden runoff at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “the world of science didn’t pay very much attention to the impacts of road salt on water,” he says. “Now we’re paying much more attention.”

  • Ask the Experts: Credit Cards for Students with No Credit

    October 26, 2017 -

    Rensselaer Lally School of Management finance expert and assistant professor of banking and corporate finance, Brian Clark, discusses credit cards for students with no credit in this "Ask the Experts" piece on WalletHub.

  • Ask the Experts: Climbing the Credit Score Range

    October 26, 2017 -

    Rensselaer Lally School of Management finance expert and assistant professor of banking and corporate finance, Brian Clark, discusses key information about credit score range in this "Ask the Experts" piece on WalletHub.

  • The scientific swerve: Changing your research focus

    October 10, 2017 -

    Many scientists alter their research focus, at least slightly, over their career, according to studies by Boleslaw Szymanski, a computer science professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Szymanski’s group followed the work of more than 14,000 scientists from 1976 to 2009, using data from American Physical Society journals. The results showed that most researchers tend to stay in their field, but that those who don’t progress along a related path. In describing their findings, Szymanski and colleagues use an analogy inspired by Isaac Newton’s reflection on his own research: They describe a scientific career as a walk along the beach, moving from one interesting shell (in this case a research topic) to another. 

    These findings support a similar analysis that Szymanski’s group performed on data from journals and from U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) grants in computer science. In this field, scientists tend to shift research focus roughly every 10 years. Some make once-in-a-career moves to substantially different areas. The field itself changes with technological advances, Szymanski says, so even researchers who stay in one area at least change methods over time. 

  • Hackers converge on RPI campus

    July 6, 2017 -

    Hundreds of students spent their weekend hacking away, competing in the third annual HackRPI marathon. The 24-hour, two-day event drew about 300 students from a wide range of schools to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus. The campus’ Darrin Communications Center served as the central hub — and temporary home — for avid student hackers focused on creating projects in areas of technology that address hardware, web, data, mobile, video game and virtual reality, and the humanitarian fields, among others.

  • Alexa, What's The Future Of AI?

    July 6, 2017 -

    Once upon a time, we dreamed of artificial intelligence in outer space, in a sci-fi future, far from home. Now, we’re talking with computers in our kitchens.  Asking them anything. “Alexa, what’s the Inaugural Oath?” “How big is a blue whale?” “What’s the square root of seven trillion forty two?” Does this ambient, ask-it-anything-anytime AI give us superpowers? Make us great? Make us lazy? And what comes next? This hour On Point,  talking with Alexa, and humans, about the AI future. — Tom Ashbrook

  • The Internet of Things Needs a Code of Ethics

    July 6, 2017 -

    In October, when malware called Mirai took over poorly secured webcams and DVRs, and used them to disrupt internet access across the United States, I wondered who was responsible. Not who actually coded the malware, or who unleashed it on an essential piece of the internet’s infrastructure—instead, I wanted to know if anybody could be held legally responsible. Could the unsecure devices’ manufacturers be liable for the damage their products?

    Right now, in this early stage of connected devices’ slow invasion into our daily lives, there’s no clear answer to that question. That’s because there’s no real legal framework that would hold manufacturers responsible for critical failures that harm others. As is often the case, the technology has developed far faster than policies and regulations.

    But it’s not just the legal system that’s out of touch with the new, connected reality. The Internet of Things, as it’s called, is also lacking a critical ethical framework, argues Francine Berman, a computer-science professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a longtime expert on computer infrastructure. Together with Vint Cerf, an engineer considered one of the fathers of the internet, Berman wrote an article in the journal Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery about the need for an ethical system.

  • One room seeks all the answers at RPI

    June 1, 2017 -

    Imagine being in a room to ask questions of one of the world's most powerful computers. An artificial intelligence containing more information than the largest library, it can recognize you, hear you, see what you are pointing at, and even notice if you might be perplexed or inattentive. It knows all of your earlier work and might even anticipate your questions.

Events