- Troy, NY USA


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....
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.

Directed by Professor Jim Hendler the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA) is a campus-wide institute that supports data-centric, interdisciplinary activities.

What is Data Exploration? This web site and accompanying video from EMPAC give a great example of how Rensselaer is exploring the interaction of data and perceptualization to let scientists and engineers gain key insights into their own data and systems.


In The Media

  • Scientists Explore Properties Of Wonder Material Phosphorene - See more at: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/155904/20160505/scientists-explore-properties-of-wonder-material-phosphorene.htm#sthash.3XBTj2xl.dpuf

    May 19, 2016 -

    In a collaborative and multidisciplinary study, scientists develop methods to explore phosphorene and its properties. Phosphorene, discovered in 2014, is related to the two-dimensional graphene and has been established to have numerous photonic applications. The majority of these properties, however, is its capacity for anisotropic electron conduction. This means that its electron conduction property changes depending on the crystal orientation.

  • Rensselaer Lally School of Management Receives Prestigious Accreditation

    May 19, 2016 -

    This week’s Capital Region Business Beat by Time Warner Cable News Albany highlights how the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lally School of Management continues to develop strong business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.

  • The brainiest of lakes

    May 6, 2016 -

    In 1791, Thomas Jefferson describes Lake George as "the most beautiful water I ever saw." Today, scientists are using gee-whiz technology to make it the smartest lake on the planet.

  • Rensselaer Startup Wins New York Business Plan Competition

    May 2, 2016 -

    Dual:Lock, a startup from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, wins this year's New York Business Plan Competition, known as one of the largest student business plan competitions in the northeast.

  • Fear Not, AI May Be Our New Best Partners in Creative Solutions – A Conversation with Dr. James Hendler

    April 7, 2016 -

    Statements about AI and risk, like those given by Elon Musk and Bill Gates, aren’t new, but they still resound with serious potential threats to the entirety of the human race. Some AI researchers have since come forward to challenge the substantive reality of these claims. In this episode, I interview a self-proclaimed “old timer” in the field of AI who tells us we might be too preemptive about our concerns of AI that will threaten our existence; instead, he suggests that our attention might be better  honed in thinking about how humans and AI can work together in the present and near future.

  • Totally Wired: State Grant Helps Jefferson Project Complete Web of Lake Sensors

    February 23, 2016 -

    A $500,000 grant from New York State will enable the Jefferson Project to add ten more sensors to a system that is designed to give scientists a remarkably detailed understanding of the lake, an understanding that will help advocates and policy makers preserve its clarity and purity.

  • Jefferson Project to expand research gathering

    February 22, 2016 -

    This year, researchers will have a more complete understanding of Lake George than ever before.

    The remaining 21 sensor platforms that have yet to be deployed as part of The Jefferson Project at Lake George are scheduled to take their places in and around the lake by the end of this year. So far, 20 have been deployed, mostly in the southern basin and the Narrows. This year, data-collecting and transmitting sensors will be deployed in and around the northern end of the lake.

    The sensor network, made of four types of sensor platforms, collects massive amounts of information from the lake, its tributaries and wetlands, and sends data to supercomputers for analyses.

    “We’ll try to complete that picture. We have about half the picture now,” said Jefferson Project Director Rick Relyea.

  • State funding pushes Lake George research project to finish

    February 10, 2016 -

    The state is kicking in a half-million dollars to complete the Jefferson Project, a multimillion dollar environmental research effort aimed at making Lake George the most measured and best understood body of water on the planet.

    On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomoannounced that the project, launched in 2013 by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM and the conservation group Fund for Lake George, will get funding through the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.

    "We are very grateful for state funding," said Rick Relyea, project director at RPI. "This pushes the project to the finish line."

  • Top 100 Science Stories of 2015 - #59 A Wider, Groovier Milky Way Galaxy

    January 8, 2016 -

    The starry disk that is our galaxy may extend at least 50 percent farther from its apparent edge than we thought. Instead of being flat, the Milky Way appears grooved like a vinyl record, upping its width to at least 150,000 light-years, researchers now say.

  • Jefferson Project Makes Waves With a 'Smart' Lake

    October 21, 2015 -

    Over a few short years, the Internet of things has morphed from a fascinating concept into reality. It is rapidly redefining a wide array of industries and delivering greater insights into science and research. 

    At New York's Lake George, a 32-mile-long lake located in the Adirondack Mountains, more than 60 researchers are now turning to sensors and connected systems to better understand environmental threats—including road salt, agricultural contaminants, invasive species and the growth of algae—so that they can better protect the lake and its water.

  • Jefferson Project's Newest Research Vessel: The Minne Ha Ha

    October 6, 2015 -

    Every day, every hour or so, the Minne Ha Ha departs the Steel Pier, its chirping steam whistles, calliope licks  and  the  bright  foam  of  its paddle wheel infusing the air with a holiday sweetness. Who knew that it’s actually a research vessel?

  • Improved lighting helps people suffering Alzheimer's disease

    September 30, 2015 -

    Benita Zahn visits Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center to speak with Professor Mariana Figueiro about a new study utilizing tailored lighting to benefit individuals with Alzheimer’s.

  • High-Tech Lights to Help Baby Sleep, or Students Stay Alert

    September 14, 2015 -

    “Lighting is really not about a fixture in the ceiling anymore,” said Mariana Figueiro, who leads light and health research at the Lighting Research Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “It’s about delivering individualized light treatments to people.”

  • Frogs mount speedy defence against pesticide threat

    August 18, 2015 -

    This is the first-known example of a vertebrate species developing pesticide resistance through a process called phenotypic plasticity, in which the expression of some genes changes in response to environmental pressure. It does not involve changes to the genes themselves, which often take many generations to evolve.

    The frogs' speedy response raises hope for amphibian species, of which one-third are threatened or extinct, says Rick Relyea, an ecologist at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and the team's leader.

  • Jefferson Project update offered at Fund for Lake George annual meeting

    August 17, 2015 -

    This year at the Fund for Lake George annual meeting at the Sagamore resort, a crowd of roughly 170 caught glimpses of the computer modeling being done from a deep level of research that is helping shape a science-based treatment for the lake.

  • Albany researchers' laser test holds promise for earlier Alzheimer's diagnosis

    August 17, 2015 -

    NY CAP Research Alliance funding to UAlbany and Albany Med scientists yeilds new method for earlier diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. 

  • Engineering A New Chemical Communication System Into Bacteria

    August 10, 2015 -

    Previously, synthetic biologists had only engineered synthetic quorum-sensing systems in gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli. But gram-positive bacteria are heavily used in the biotech industry to synthesize enzymes. So Cynthia H.

  • High-tech fishing project needs public’s help collecting information

    July 31, 2015 -

    From minnows to deep-water whoppers, researchers are conducting the first comprehensive fish survey in more than 30 years as part of a multi-million dollar effort to determine the lake’s health.

    "We’re trying to find out who’s here, where they are, how many there are and if so, how and why they’re changing,” said Rick Relyea, Jefferson Project director.

  • Five questions for Rick Relyea

    July 31, 2015 -

    A variety of instruments have been deployed that collect all kinds of data that give scientists and researchers a “real-time” view of what’s happening in the lake as it happens. This allows them to monitor where potentially harmful impacts like road salt, nutrient runoff, contaminants and invasive species are coming from, and what the consequences might be if their presence increases.

  • IBM Pushes Deep Learning with a Watson Upgrade

    July 31, 2015 -

    “A key challenge for modern AI is putting back together a field that has almost splintered among these methodologies,” says James Hendler, director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for Data Exploration and Applications in Troy, New York.

  • A Robot Passed the Self-Awareness Test and This Is How It Did It

    July 20, 2015 -

    When talking about robots and self-awareness, I think most people would just freak out, but there are some people who would be extremely excited and interested about these things. But I don’t think freaking out would be the case here, even though a robot just passed the first self-awareness test ever.

  • Lake George Jefferson Project provides model for waters elsewhere

    July 14, 2015 -

    Cyber-infrastructure, above and beneath the waves, is giving researchers a high-tech look at factors impacting Lake George water quality. The Jefferson Project is a long-term collaboration between IBM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and The Fund for Lake George that has cost more than $10 million just to ramp up.

  • IBM Makes Lake George World's Smartest Lake

    July 14, 2015 -

    When you think of the Internet of Things, you probably don't think of lakes. But IBM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Fund for Lake George are using IoT technology to make New York's Lake George a "smart lake." 

  • On New York’s Lake George, researchers fire up a state-of-the-art observatory

    July 13, 2015 -

    Academic researchers and computer giant IBM are aiming to make Lake George, a 52-kilometer-long body of water in New York state, one of the smartest lakes in the world. Late last month, scientists formally began to capture data from the first of 40 sensing platforms that will give researchers a detailed glimpse into lake behaviors such as water circulation and temperature. The information will be fed into computer models that the researchers say could help managers protect Lake George from threats such as invasive species, excessive nutrients, road salt, and pollution.

    The effort, known as the Jefferson Project, involves more than 60 scientists from theRensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York; the FUND for Lake George, a regional conservation group; and IBM research labs in Brazil, Ireland, Texas, and New York. The researchers are using Lake George as a test bed for an array of sophisticated “smart” sensors that will monitor 25 different variables, including biological characteristics and water chemistry and quality. The sensors will not only report data back to laboratories, often in real time, but be able to respond to changes in the lake environment. “Our sensors can look at other sensors around [them] and say, ‘I’m seeing something a little unusual, are you seeing it too?’” says RPI’s Rick Relyea, director of the Jefferson Project. “If so, the sensor can make the decision to sample more frequently or sample in a particular depth of water more. They have a great deal of intelligence.”

    The data the sensors collect will be fed to an IBM supercomputer that will help researchers develop five different computer models that will enable one of the Jefferson Project’s main goals: visualizing Lake George’s behavior. For example, using high-resolution weather forecasting technology developed by IBM, researchers will be able to see how runoff from big storms moves through the 600-square-kilometer Lake George watershed. Other models will allow researchers to examine the impact of the use of road salt on water quality, see how water circulates throughout the lake, and visualize lake food webs.

    The Jefferson Project isn’t the only effort to harness new technologies to wire up and study lakes. The U.S. National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network is using similar approaches to study the impact of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on aquatic ecosystems. Internationally, the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON), a grassroots network of ecologists, IT experts, and engineers, also uses new technologies to study how lakes respond to environmental change.

    This Jefferson Project isn’t the first time IBM has experimented with instrumenting a body of water, says Harry Kolar, an IBM researcher and an adjunct professor of physics at Arizona State University, Tempe. The company has helped develop many of the technologies being used at Lake George by participating in other projects, including the River and Estuary Observatory Network, an observatory system tracking the Hudson River at Denning’s Point in Beacon, New York. In 2009, IBM also launched a joint project with Ireland’s Marine Institute to monitor water quality and marine life in Ireland’s Galway Bay.

    What makes the Jefferson Project different, Kolar says, is not only the smart sensors and the high frequency with which they will collect data, but how the data will be used to help inform the models. And Paul Hanson, a limnologist at the University of Wisconsin (UW), Madison, says that although the Jefferson Project is similar to other lake-monitoring projects, “they’re doing it on steroids. More variables, more frequency, and with better integration [with] models.”

    Overall, researchers plan to equip the lake with 40 sensor-carrying platforms, some on land and some in the water; they have deployed 14 thus far. The platforms come in four “flavors”: vertical profilers that send instruments into the lake’s depths to monitor things such as water temperature, chlorophyll, and dissolved organic matter; weather stations that measure humidity, barometric pressure, and wind velocity; tributary stations that study water entering the lake; and acoustic Doppler profilers, underwater sensors that measure lake currents.

    Kevin Rose, a postdoctoral associate at UW Madison, who is active in GLEON, says IBM’s involvement makes the Jefferson Project stand out. “Private-public partnerships are going to be a hallmark of how more research is done in the future and this is a great model to see that in action,” he says.

    The ultimate test of the Jefferson Project’s value, Hanson says, will be whether local and regional officials are able to use the information to better manage and protect the body of water known as “the Queen of American Lakes.”And project director Relyea says they are aiming high. “Ultimately,” he adds, “our goal is to make this project a blueprint for understanding lakes” that can be replicated elsewhere.

    The project, which is expected to run for at least 3 years, is jointly funded by the three groups; leaders say it has a total budget “in the millions,” including direct spending and in-kind contributions. Researchers expect the Jefferson Project to have all of its systems fully integrated by the end of 2016.

  • LED Matrix Headlight System Aims To Revolutionize Night Driving

    July 7, 2015 -

    Jessica Bloustein Marshall of WAMC Northeast Public Radio visited the Lighting Research Center’s adaptive matrix headlight test site last Monday evening to interview John Bullough, LRC Director of Transportation and Safety Lighting Programs.

  • RPI Lighting Experts Study Safer European Headlight Technology

    June 21, 2015 -

    The disconcerting and often dangerous sensation of being blinded by an oncoming driver who failed to turn down high-beam headlights may become a thing of the past, if European headlight technology can pass muster in the U.S. Some testing on the lights is being done at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where senior researcher John Bullough is examining the so-called "matrix lights" on an Audi A7 luxury sedan.

  • Local developers, businesses contribute to Internet of Things revolution

    June 19, 2015 -

    Cars that drive themselves, phones that find empty parking meters, and wind turbines that talk to one another.

    These are all possibilities in the near future under what is known as the Internet of Things.

    So what is the Internet of Things?

    It doesn't have so much to do with the Internet that we know, which we typically use to search for news, connect with friends and shop online.

  • To sleep, perchance

    May 22, 2015 -

    Screens before bedtime harm sleep. The effect is biggest for teenagers. Mariana Figueiro and her colleagues at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, studied people aged 15 to 17. Melatonin levels were 23% lower after an hour of looking at a screen. After two hours, they were 38% lower.

  • Albany-area primary care doctors try medical scribes

    May 18, 2015 -

    When Leslie Palmer went to see her longtime primary care physician, Dr. Paul Barbarotto, earlier this month, there was an extra person in the room ...

  • Babbage: LEDtime

    May 15, 2015 -

    The latest light & health study by Rensselaer Professor Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center is presented in this audio piece that was featured on the homepage of Economist.com

  • Science by robot: Outfitting the world’s “smartest” lake

    April 20, 2015 -

    Over 30 years ago, Rensselaer established its field station at a donated property in the town of Bolton Landing. (The space was previously a lodge, and it still provides a place to sleep for visiting students and scientists.) This station has served as a base for long-term monitoring of Lake George, as well as other research in the area—including monitoring a number of Adirondack lakes following the acid rain regulations passed in 1990. Now, it is home to the Jefferson Project. And with IBM's technological and financial support, researchers are getting ready to take advantage of a whole new approach to studying Lake George: Big Data.

  • Neuromorphic Processors Leading a New Double Life

    April 16, 2015 -

    A team of researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute led by Christopher Carothers, Director of the institute’s Center for Computational Innovations described for The Platform how True North is finding a new life as a lightweight snap-in on each node that can take in sensor data from the many components that are prone to failure inside, say for example, an 50,000 dense-node supercomputer (like this one coming online in 2018 at Argonne National Lab) and alert administrators (and the scheduler) of potential failures This can minimize downtime and more important, allow for the scheduler to route around where the possible failures lie, thus shutting down only part of a system versus an entire rack.

  • Innovative lighting illuminates the future of cars

    April 16, 2015 -

    "We can take for granted that LED headlights and signal lights are going to be bright enough and use a lot less power," says John D. Bullough, senior research scientist at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. "So now the focus is on performance..."

  • OLED researchers working to make flat, futuristic lighting a reality

    April 10, 2015 -

    A new program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center seeks to make OLED lighting more practical to manufacture -- and more affordable for consumers.

  • EMPAC: Where the Arts and Sciences Cross-Pollinate

    April 6, 2015 -

    It’s a place you might expect to find in Tokyo, or Stockholm, or New York City. Instead it’s here in the Capital Region, in Troy. 

  • Zealots Help Sway Popular Opinions

    April 6, 2015 -

    Boleslaw Szymanski, a computer scientist at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, said that the team's findings could provide some general guidance for how companies could better manage their brands.

  • Interview with EMPAC Artist in Residence Rosa Barba

    April 1, 2015 -

    Italian filmmaker and sculptor Rosa Barba (currently based in Berlin) and New York video and performance artist Joan Jonas have crossed paths at exhibitions around the world and have followed each other’s work for years. This conversation began in November 2014 when the two rode a train together from New York City to MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • EMPAC Shrugs Popularity to Promote Creative Liberty in Troy, N.Y.

    March 30, 2015 -

    On Saturday evening, chilly and foggy here, a small group of people stood at the edge of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus and gazed up at the looming facade of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

  • Mathematicians solve 60-year-old problem

    March 25, 2015 -

    A team of researchers, led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Yuri Lvov, has found an elegant explanation for the long-standing Fermi-Pasta-Ulam (FPU) problem, first proposed in 1953, investigated with one of the world's first digital computers, and now considered the foundation of experimental mathematics.

  • Rensselaer Pairs Business Students with Researchers to Aid Commercialization

    March 25, 2015 -

    Graduate-level business students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are working with science and engineering faculty to assist researchers in the commercialization process.


  • Troy Record: Five Questions for Christopher Nelson

    March 18, 2015 -

    Christopher Nelson of Clifton Park: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate is one of the first 18 people in the country to receive a Professional Engineer (PE) in Software certification.

  • Children Learn Cursive by Teaching Robots

    March 18, 2015 -

    "One of the breakthrough technologies we're seeing in robotics is an increasing ability for robots to be trained, rather than programmed, by humans thanks to new sensor- and machine-learning technology," Hendler pointed out.

  • VIDEO: Milky Way Galaxy Is MUCH Bigger Than We Thought

    March 17, 2015 -

    The Milky Way Galaxy was thought to be about 100,000 light years across, but it may be more like 150,000 light years. Matt Sampson has the details on why that's the case.

  • Ripples in the Milky Way

    March 16, 2015 -

    When you think of our Milky Way Galaxy, you might imagine a smooth disk with spiral arms embedded in it, like swirls in a peppermint. But a second look at observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) suggests that our galaxy’s disk is actually corrugated.

  • The Milky Way May Be More Enormous Than We Ever Imagined

    March 12, 2015 -

    How big is the Milky Way? Way bigger than we thought, it seems.

  • Developing infrastructure for data sharing around the world

    March 11, 2015 -

    "Impact is a primary focus for RDA," said Fran Berman, chair of RDA/U.S. "In only two years, RDA has begun fulfilling its mission to build the social and technical bridges that enable the open sharing of data."

  • The Milky Way May Be 50 Percent Bigger Than Thought

    March 11, 2015 -

    A ring-like filament of stars wrapping around the Milky Way may actually belong to the galaxy itself, rippling above and below the relatively flat galactic plane. If so, that would expand the size of the known galaxy by 50 percent and raise intriguing questions about what caused the waves of stars.

  • Researchers developing more efficient solar panel using photosynthesis as model

    March 9, 2015 -

    K.V. Lakshmi, an associate professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Solar Energy is leading a team of 14 scientists working to unlock the secret of how plants use sunlight to split water molecules and release electricity. 


  • Lucy Raven

    March 6, 2015 -

    Lucy Raven is an artist living in New York. Her site-specific installation Tales of Love and Fear—which consists of a custom-built rig of rotating platforms, a stereoscopic photograph split between two projectors, and sound based on field recordings made in India—was commissioned by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and will be presented there on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8 PM.

  • The Art of Experience - EMPAC at RPI

    March 6, 2015 -

    Technology and art have always been intertwined. ... At the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC for short) on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Insittute (RPI) campus, scientists and artists are collaborating, in the state-of-the-art facility, to address some of these interfaces in a direct and sconscious way.

  • Human-Centric Lighting: The Real Work Begins

    March 6, 2015 -

    Professor Robert Karlicek described methods for integrating “non-invasive” sensors into lighting systems to produce light optimized for a given activity — hands-free because the sensor’s system autonomously categorizes the human activity. 

  • Black Enterprise Announces 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America

    March 4, 2015 -

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute alumna Alicia Boler-Davis, who received a master's degree in Engineering Science in 1998, is featured in the on the cover of the new issue of Black Enterprise magazine. The February 2015 issue of Black Enterprise features a cover story chronicling the 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America. The final 50, chosen from thousands of women in positions of leadership across industries across America, overseeing budgets totaling billions of dollars.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute begins seed fund for researchers

    March 4, 2015 -

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has created a seed fund to support multidisciplinary research at the private university.

  • Finally: Sunlight in the Office Cubicle

    March 3, 2015 -

    Rensselaer Professor Russ Leslie, Associate Director of the Lighting Research Center, speaks with The Wall Street Journal about daylighting in office buildings.

  • Let there be light: Helping people through dark days

    February 23, 2015 -

    The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York is developing a system that could transform people's homes and lives by regulating the amount of light to which they are exposed. At its heart is a device known as a Daysimeter, which was developed by a team led by Professors Mark Rea and Mariana Figueiro.

  • Screen time can mess with the body's 'clock'

    February 10, 2015 -

    For a good night’s sleep, here is some expert advice: Turn off, turn in and drop off. Anyone who does the opposite — say, turning on an iPad or other similar electronic reader in bed — may have a harder time both dropping off to sleep and shaking that groggy feeling the next morning. That’s the conclusion of a new study. Lighting scientist Mariana Figueiro calls the study thorough.

  • Rensselaer alum Mark Aramli to appear in ABC television show "Shark Tank"

    February 3, 2015 -

    A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from the Lally School of Management will appear on the ABC television show "Shark Tank" Tuesday night to pitch investors on his climate control system for beds.

    Mark Aramli, who graduated from Rensselaer in 2000 with a master's in business administration, will pitch the investors who make up the panel of sharks on his BedJet technology, which allows consumers to control the temperature of their bedding instantly and remotely.

  • New England Patriots’ Matt Patricia '09 is the brains behind the defense

    February 2, 2015 -

    That guy on the Patriots’ sideline, with the backwards cap and the bushy board that he oils up to produce “that lumberjack smell,” is not the bus mechanic.

    Neither does he deal with the preparation of the footballs, although he’s the one guy who understands how that works.

    Matt Patricia, in fact, could be an engineer on a nuclear submarine right now. He played center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

  • Overreaction or justified caution? New Yorkers question city's storm response

    January 28, 2015 -

    José Holguín-Veras, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said the response had been “on the cautious side”, but said that while putting the city effectively under house arrest might sound extreme, it was part of a calculation of risk. “What is worse: being cautious, or being quote-unquote optimistic and praying nothing bad will happen?” he said.

  • Swedish school sheds light on dark days of winter

    January 27, 2015 -

    “If you accumulate that delay over the winter you become out of sync, like jet lag basically,” says Dr Mariana Figueiro, of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in New York. “So it’s very important to get that signal in the morning to reset your biological clock.”

  • How Pink Is Your Floyd? The Rise of the Smartbulb

    January 27, 2015 -

    Nadarajah Narendran, professor and director of research at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., agreed. “If you want the additional convenience that can come with the new LEDs, you need to be ready not just with your money but with your time,” he said.

  • Physical Chemistry: Hydrophobic Interactions in Context

    January 14, 2015 -

    A perspective piece by Dean Shekhar Garde appears in Jan. 15 issue of the journal Nature. In this "News and Views" article, Garde provides a commentary on the physical chemistry of hydrophobic interactions in proteins interactions and assembly.

  • Study: Clams in Lake George transported by boat anchor sediment

    January 13, 2015 -

    Researchers have pried open some information on how Asian clams move around Lake George.

    At the December Lake George Park Commission meeting, the Darrin Fresh Water Institute’s Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer and Jeremy Farrell reported findings from their research on the aquatic invasive species first spotted by Farrell in August 2010 off Lake Avenue Beach in the village.

  • A clearer view

    January 6, 2015 -

    ... in Bolton Landing, Rick Relyea sat in comfortable new conference room at RPI's Darrin Freshwater Institute, using a massive video screen to demonstrate what is called the "data visualization laboratory."

    Here is where lake, stream and weather data drawn from a network of up to 40 sensors, once crunched in massive computers, will be turned into graphic displays to explain how the 32-mile lake behaves and how it might change if some troubling trends continue. Surface sensors are connected to the lab via cellphone signal.

  • Rensselaer Alumni and Ecovative Founders Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre Make Forbes.com 30 Under 30 List

    January 6, 2015 -

    If you want to change the world, being under 30 is now an advantage. Recently, Forbes.com released their fourth annual 30 Under 30 list for 2015. The list showcasing 20 categories and 600 millennials includes Rensselaer alumni and Ecovative co-founders Eben Bayer '07 and Gavin McIntyre.  

    Founded in 2008 by Bayer and fellow Rensselaer graduate, Gavin McIntyre `07, Ecovative is now the global leader in using mushroom-based materials to create high-performing, cost-competitive alternatives to products like styrene and urea-formaldehyde. The company is based in Green Island, N.Y. 

  • Region lands $500K for biomed effort

    December 19, 2014 -

    The NY Cap Research Alliance is one of 93 projects in the Albany region receiving a share of $60 million through a state funding competition. The alliance won $500,000 last week to create a capital investment program for biomedical researchers at area colleges and health care organizations.

  • How I Became a NASA Engineer Despite My Disability

    December 11, 2014 -

    "I entered college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a computer science major but decided on mechanical engineering since I liked to work with my hands. I had two internships that helped shape my career. The first was with Benét Laboratories, a research and development company known for manufacturing cannons and mortars, located in Watervliet, New York. The most memorable projects I worked on involved testing the safety and efficacy of the cannons the company manufactured."

  • Who Made That Flavor? Maybe A Genetically Altered Microbe

    December 11, 2014 -

    Take, for instance, chemical compounds called antioxidants. Health-conscious consumers are snapping them up because there's some evidence that these substances repair damaged cells in our body, reducing the risk of cancer and heart problems.

  • If colleges were 'Hunger Games' districts

    December 11, 2014 -

    District 6: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The transportation district, District 6, provides hovercrafts, high-speed trains and cargo trains to all of Panem, though, “ironically, the citizens here have little love for travel.” Like this district, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. specializes in science and engineering. Students can choose from majors like mechanical engineering, where they’ll learn through hands-on experience in design, production and operation of machinery and tools.

  • New AAAS Fellows Recognized for Their Contributions to Advancing Science

    December 11, 2014 -

    Francine Berman, a professor in the computer science department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was elected a AAAS Fellow "for distinguished contributions to the field of computer science and community leadership in data cyber-infrastructure, digital data preservation, and high performance computing." A former chair of the AAAS section representing Information, Computing, and Communication, Berman was delighted to learn that she has been elected a AAAS Fellow.

  • Bright idea aims to minimize hospital-acquired infections

    December 11, 2014 -

    “Individuals can go into a hospital and end up even more sick than when they enter,” said Colleen Costello, a young biomedical engineer, who realized the magnitude of this problem when her grandmother contracted MRSA during a hospital stay. Her company, Vital Vio, is trying to tackle the issue by creating bacteria-killing lights.

  • What is 4chan and where did it come from?

    November 13, 2014 -

    "Generally the rules are as light as they can keep them," said Jim Hendler, a computer science professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York ... The site's "random" board gets the most notoriety, but it's just a "small part of a much larger entity," Hendler said. "Despite the infamy, it really does some positive things. It creates community," he said, adding that 4chan remains very much user-focused in the most basic sense of the term. The site "wanted to stay most true to the notion that you could be anonymous, you could talk about whatever you wanted, that you could control the conversation."

  • Private effort aims to wire Lake George into world’s ‘smartest lake’

    November 7, 2014 -

    The project aims to instrument New York’s Lake George with five vertical profilers, 12 tributary stream monitors, eight acoustic Doppler current profilers and 11 weather stations by 2015. Organizers say the effort will make it the world’s “smartest lake.”

    “IBM, as part of their Smarter Planet effort to use cutting-edge tech, is using Lake George as a proving ground for their sensors,” said Rick Relyea, scientific lead of the Jefferson Project at RPI. “So we do have sensors from YSI (deployed), but on top of that, IBM uses its own computer boards to make them smarter.”

  • ScienceLives Interview with Francine Berman

    November 7, 2014 -

    Francine Berman is a professor of computer ccience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She serves on a broad spectrum of national and international leadership groups and committees, including the newly-established Research Data Alliance, which involves more than 120 U.S. and international participants, and enables researchers around the world to share and collaboratively use scientific data to speed up innovation. She also serves as a member of the National Science Foundation's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Advisory Committee.

  • Winter Road Salt – the Next Acid Rain? – May Threaten Adirondack “Queen of American Lakes”

    November 4, 2014 -

    Lake George is waiting, her future in question.  For the first time in the history of the 32-mile-long lake – a gift from long-ago glaciers that once covered the land, then melted – our actions may have imperiled her health.

  • Artificial Pancreas Clinical Trial Enabled by NIH Grant

    November 4, 2014 -

    An artificial pancreas, the ultimate cure for type 1 diabetes, will be tested in clinical trials as a result of a $1 million National Institutes of Health Grant awarded to Dr. B. Wayne Bequette of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to fund research concerning his closed-loop artificial pancreas developed along with colleagues at Stanford University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Virginia. Frequent insulin injections and blood samples may be a thing of the past for recipients of the device.

  • Jefferson Project Ensures Long Term Health of Lake George

    October 28, 2014 -

    A more than decade long, multi-million dollar partnership formed to ensure the long-term health of Lake George is already making progress, barely a year after getting started. Matt Hunter has a closer look at the Jefferson Project.

  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Turing and Enigma

    October 27, 2014 -

    Jim Hendler, professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, has taught a course on Turing. He called Turing's work in the 1940s "stunning." "He revolutionized cryptography, the modern field of computer science, [and] the subfield of artificial intelligence," Hendler said. "A lot of the math with those things goes right back to Turing."

  • Collaboration + Data = Ability to Answer Environmental Science's Big Questions in 2034

    October 23, 2014 -

    Biology professor Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer participated in an open call from The Science Coaltion for leading scientists to predict what their field will look like in 2034:

  • RPI graduate makes homecoming appearance from space

    October 13, 2014 -

    Astronaut and RPI Reid Wiseman wasn't exactly 'home' for the school's homecoming celebrations on Friday. Wiseman took part in a video call with the campus from his current home on the International Space Station, where he has been since May. When asked if he was hoping to become an astronaut when he was a freshman and RPI, he told students his biggest concern then was passing calculus.

  • Astronaut Reid Wiseman calls RPI from the International Space Station

    October 13, 2014 -

    During Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s reunion weekend Oct. 10, alumni from all classes gathered in the Concert Hall of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) to await one of their own via video call. Their classmate arrived onscreen a little early, not quite connected, and he milled around his workspace, silently getting ready.

  • RPI grads get visit that's 'out of this world'

    October 13, 2014 -

    RPI alums got a visit from space on Friday.

    Reid Wiseman, a NASA astronaut and 1997 graduate is stationed at the International Space Station.

    He took part in a special conversation with some of his fellow alumni.

    Wiseman shared with his peers what it's like to be living in space and how his time at RPI propelled him towards his ultimate career goal -- space travel.

  • Astronaut Reid Wiseman urges RPI community to dream big

    October 13, 2014 -

    Reid Wiseman may not be able to do a backflip on Earth, but at about 250 miles out in space, the astronaut said he's much more agile.

    The Class of 1997 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate showed off his newfound acrobatic skills on Friday via video chat with alumni and students as part of the college's Reunion and Homecoming Weekend festivities.

  • RPI celebrates 100 years of chemical engineering

    October 12, 2014 -

    One century ago now, the students and faculty helped shape the young field of chemical engineering, using their talents to advance technologies and find new ways to use a range of chemicals ... “The story of chemical engineering at Rensselaer is the story of a major success,” RPI Dean of Engineering Shekhar Garde said. “When you think about chemical engineering, you think about traditional refining and chemical plants and so on, but over the past 100 years, it has evolved into modern discipline.”

  • Chemical engineering hits century mark at RPI

    October 12, 2014 -

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute celebrated 100 years of teaching chemical engineering on Thursday with demonstrations by students and faculty on research and discoveries ... Shekhar Garde, dean of the school of engineering at RPI, said the public may perceive chemical engineering to involve mostly oil refineries and chemical plants, but in reality, it involves cutting-edge engineering at the molecular level, involving everything from computer chips to drug development. Chemical engineers are even looking at developing circuitry in cells that could target disease.

  • LED Lights Shine In Nobel Prize; Now How About Your Home?

    October 9, 2014 -

    So the Nobel makes it official. LEDs are great for the planet and your wallet. But there's another problem: Which LEDs should you buy? "Oh golly, that's a really tough question to answer these days with all of the different kinds of bulbs on the market," says Bob Karlicek, director of the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Karlicek says there are two things to look for.

  • UCSB professor who helped create blue LEDs shares Nobel Prize

    October 8, 2014 -

    While other researchers abandoned gallium nitride and tried less persnickety materials, the Japanese researchers pressed on. “They felt like the oddballs, talking about something nobody else was working on, so they were really out on their own there,” said Christian Wetzel, a physicist at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “It took some character to not do what others were doing but keep [going] despite all the frustration.”

  • How Blue LEDs Changed the World

    October 8, 2014 -

    Blue LEDs, in combination with red and green LEDs (which had been discovered previously), make it possible to produce white light. This kind of lighting is much more energy efficient and has a longer life span than conventional incandescent lights, said Christian Wetzel, a physicist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York ... Car lighting is another application where LEDs are making inroads. LEDs used to be used only for daytime running lights, but now many new cars have LED headlights for nighttime use, Wetzel said.

  • LED there be light: 3 share Nobel for blue diode

    October 8, 2014 -

    For illuminating schools, homes and offices, "it's quite possible this will change everything. All the light sources could easily become blue-LED-based light sources," said Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Nadarajah Narendran, director of research at the center, estimated the share of illumination by LED lights in homes, offices, streets and industries is approaching 10 percent in the United States.

  • RPI shows off promise of robots as aides

    September 30, 2014 -

    RPI has robots designed for industrial use. Whalen approached experts there with a question: Could they help me in some way? Thus was born an idea inching closer to reality: converting a fixed industrial robot one would find in a factory into an affordable, mobile, in-home aide for the elderly and others, including those with paralysis of multiple limbs. The result was on display Monday in the Low Center for Industrial Innovations on the RPI campus. 

  • RPI faculty, students building cost-effective robot

    September 30, 2014 -

    RPI faculty and students are working to build a cost-effective robotic caregiver. Robotic caregivers can offer assistance to the elderly and physically disabled individuals, but many cost $400,000 and are not affordable. But now faculty and students at RPI are hoping to make them less expensive. The team has started down a path of industrial assembly line designed robotics. They believe they have found the answer in Jamster: a dual-arm mobile assistive robot.

  • STEM gives an 'arm' and a 'leg' to those who really need it

    September 30, 2014 -

    Robots can do all sorts of things. They work on assembly lines helping build cars and also on high tech jobs. “The robots stay away from humans or humans stay away from robots because robots can hurt humans.

  • RPI Showcases Helper Robots

    September 30, 2014 -

    RPI students are getting involved as well. "We're building projects to help people. Other research I've done, it stayed in the lab, so it's amazing to me that I can take people's feedback and then use my technical expertise to design and help people and it's just a really satisfying line of work,” RPI senior Andrew Cunningham said.

  • A big assist from Jamster

    September 30, 2014 -

    Individuals who've suffered spinal cord injuries and older people who aren't as mobile as they once were are among those who one day might benefit from the work being done by a team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Professors John Wen and

  • The New Polytechnic: Preparing to Lead in the Digital Economy

    September 22, 2014 -

    By Shirley Ann Jackson | In the “New Polytechnic,” universities must collaborate more effectively with businesses and governments to link the capabilities of advanced information technologies, communications, and networking – to the life sciences, and the physical, materials, environmental, social, cognitive, and computational sciences. We also must prepare the next generation to succeed and lead in this new world. Students need to acquire new skills for this digitally interconnected environment, including the ability to “translate” between and among disciplines and sectors.

  • Despite Growing Data, Infrastructure Stands Still

    September 16, 2014 -

    By FRANCINE BERMAN | Data increasingly drives innovation in virtually every area of inquiry. Whether the data helps to reveal the existence of the “God particle,” the discovery of a new planet, the behavior of crowds, or the spread of disease, it is key to discovery and innovation. Data is also a national priority around the world. In the United States, White House initiatives are focusing on public access to research data, big data, and government open data.

  • RPI biotechnology center celebrates first decade

    September 12, 2014 -

    TROY >> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s $100 million Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, now 10 years old, began as a vision shared by RPI President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson in her 1999 inaugural address.

  • Decade of growth in RPI biotech unit

    September 10, 2014 -

    It was 15 years ago that newly inauguratedRensselaer Polytechnic Institute PresidentShirley Ann Jackson called for the creation of a biotechnology institute that would draw on multiple disciplines to produce breakthroughs in health and medicine.

    Rensselaer's Center for Biotechnology andInterdisciplinary Studies, which opened its doors five years later, will celebrate its 10th anniversary Wednesday.

  • How Human Should We Make Robots?

    September 5, 2014 -

    And while Baxter is primarily used for manufacturing purposes, its cost-effective platform could have other applications as well. Students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are using Baxter as an assistive device for paraplegics and other disabled people. Their goal is to have Baxter pick up and move things around through a device that can be controlled by a person’s breath.

  • Nothing to hide, everything to fear

    September 5, 2014 -

    The notion of demonstrating compliance, rather than merely achieving it, has become increasingly important to companies, says Jim Hendler, a professor in the computer science department of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Hendler, an adviser to TrustLayers, works with IBM on commercial applications for Watson. “We want to show that we’re using data lawfully,” he says, “not just show that we’ve locked it down the way regulators want us to lock it down.”

  • Will Innovative Advancements in Robotics Come at the Expense of Job Creation?

    September 5, 2014 -

    Jim Hendler, an architect of the evolution of the World Wide Web and professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, wrote: “The notion of work as a necessity for life cannot be sustained if the great bulk of manufacturing and such moves to machines—but humans will adapt by finding new models of payment as they did in the industrial revolution (after much upheaval).” 

  • RPI supercomputer 43rd fastest, new report says

    September 5, 2014 -

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s newest supercomputer, named AMOS for Advanced Multiprocessing Optimized System, ranked 43rd fastest in the world in the latest TOP500 list of supercomputers.

  • Arts Center at Ground Zero Shelves Gehry Design

    September 4, 2014 -

    The board of the performing arts center planned for ground zero has scuttled the design for the building by Frank Gehry, the project’s original architect, and will instead select a design from a field of three finalists ... Center officials say they have been studying successful institutions — including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center and the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, N.Y. — to refine their own plans. 

  • Blue light from electronics disturbs sleep, especially for teenagers

    September 2, 2014 -

    “It is known that teenagers have trouble falling asleep early, and every teenager goes through that,” said light researcher Mariana Figueiro of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. Figueiro investigates how light affects human health, and her recent research focused on finding out which electronics emit blue light intense enough to affect sleep.

  • 11 things I wish I knew before going to college

    August 25, 2014 -

    A recent NBCNews.com and TODAY.com blog offers readers (and new college students) eleven tips on how to navigate the first-year college experience. Two Rensselaer graduates shared some insight on topics related to meeting new people, balancing college life with classwork, getting to know faculty, finding interests, and enjoying the overall college experience.  

  • New Report Result Of 30 Years Of Research On Lake George

    August 18, 2014 -

    Researchers and advocates for Lake George have released a report that comes as a result of more than three decades of monitoring on the Adirondack lake.

    The Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute Darrin Fresh Water Institute and the FUND for Lake George have released The State of the Lake: Thirty Years of Water Quality Monitoring on Lake George.

    The report says the 32-mile lake known for its clear waters was in “remarkably good condition,” but it also outlined several areas of concern that pose a threat to water quality.

  • Massive smart light lab tests tech to slash emissions

    August 15, 2014 -

    Fitting street lamps with complex sensors – and hooking them up to a larger network that controls the city will have implications far outside of lighting, says Robert Karlicek, director of the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

  • Cutting Emissions with Light? Copenhagen Adopts Smart Street Lamps

    August 15, 2014 -

    Robert Karlicek, the director of the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, told New Scientist that these lamps could even help monitor cit

  • Top 5 Reasons to Apply to a Research University

    August 15, 2014 -

    As collaboration and networking with experts increases, students at research universities are prepared for success in their professional lives. In addition to the training students receive when conducting research, “they have opportunities to co-author papers as undergraduates and to attend professional conferences,” says Karen Long, director of undergraduate admissions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.  Research universities encourage students to apply their classroom education to real-world projects, which establishes work experience and skills.

  • The hunt for electric bacteria to power tiny devices

    August 15, 2014 -

    Only in the last few years have scientists truly began to understand their lives and complexity, conjuring visions of a future where these bacteria could, in theory, be used as a small and strange form of power or nanowiring.

  • Five Questions for David Brond

    July 29, 2014 -

    David Brond: Was named Vice President for Strategic Communications and External Relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in April 2014. He is a re-transplant to the Capital Region, having met his wife, a graduate of Shenendehowa High School, when both worked for General Electric in Schenectady some 30 years ago.


  • Academic Minute: Carlos Varela's Improved Autopilot Technology

    July 25, 2014 -

    “We have computers that can beat the best human Jeopardy! players, and yet we rely on these relatively weak autopilot systems to safeguard hundreds of people on each flight. Why don’t we add more intelligence to autopilot systems?”

    Carlos Varela, an associate professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute, asked this question in a recent Science Daily article.

    His research aims to improve auto-pilot technology such that errors are caught before they become large scale aviation disasters.

  • TRANSFER Bill Aims To Boost Hi-Tech Upstate

    July 24, 2014 -

    U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has hopped on the bandwagon to broaden New York’s mark on advanced technology. She appeared at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this morning stumping for new legislation to cement high-tech innovation and industry in the Capital Region ... RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson says the region is at the beginning of a new era, with global implications. RPI "Now this new era is generating changes in all areas of our lives, including celebrating the important resurgence of manufacturing, which then opens new opportunities for entrepreneurship."

  • Gillibrand wants to help college research thrive

    July 24, 2014 -

    U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Monday to announce a new bill to help local college research thrive in the business world ... “This new era is generating changes in all areas of our lives, including accelerating the important resurgence of manufacturing, which then opens new opportunities for entrepreneurship,” college president Shirley Ann Jackson said Monday.

  • Gillibrand wants to fill venture capital void

    July 24, 2014 -

    Gillibrand spoke at a manufacturing lab at RPI's Low Center for Industrial Innovation along with RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson, who supports the bill. "We are positioning our students and New York state companies to tap the entrepreneurial opportunities that are emerging from advances in manufacturing," Jackson said. "New products, processes and ventures are likely to come from our efforts. However, moving promising ideas from the lab to the marketplace is challenging, and requires a broad range of supports, particularly at the earliest stages."

  • Watson may study new field: humans

    July 24, 2014 -

    Watson is entering his sophomore year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and as the supercomputer’s role continues to evolve,Watson may never graduate. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York was the first university to receive a Watson system, made famous by beating “Jeopardy” champions in 2011. IBM Corp. sent a modified Watson system to Rensselaer in January 2013.

  • Scientists use 3D printed tissue to study cells

    July 24, 2014 -

    Scientist Guohao Dai, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the U.S, has won the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his research into making replicated human tissues using 3D printing.

  • Baxter the robot brings his gentle touch to novel jobs

    July 24, 2014 -

    But Baxter is now stepping out of the factory and into quirkier projects. The robot isn't opening peanut butter jars for kicks, but at the behest of David Whalen, who was left quadriplegic as a young man following a skiing accident in 1981. Whalen is working with John Wen of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, to turn Baxter into a mobile assistive robot.

  • The search begins: Young scientists compete to see who can tell the best science tale

    July 23, 2014 -

    TROY — A large stage, four curious judges and 10 contestants with only three minutes to perform.

    It may sound like “American Idol,” but this contest is for young scientists, and it’s right here at RPI’s EMPAC Theater.

    It’s called FameLab, and it’s a competition where scientists must communicate intricate topics in layman’s terms in three minutes’ time in front of a panel of judges. No slides or charts are allowed, and the stories must be interesting and hold the attention of everyday folk.

  • Virtual reality Beijing speeds language class

    July 23, 2014 -

    A video game that helps university students learn Mandarin by taking an entire class on a virtual adventure to the Summer Palace in Beijing is to be launched next year.

    The game, which was created by Lee Sheldon, a former Star Trek producer, is to be offered as a three-month course to students at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Professor Sheldon said that the concepts of the game could easily be applied to language classes in Britain.

  • Download: Shekhar Garde

    July 21, 2014 -

    Shekhar Garde is an Indian-born chemical engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He studies the role of water in the creation of life and is a pioneer in animating molecular dynamics, producing a 3-D Imax film called “Molecules to the Max.”

  • RPI President George Low’s role in moon walk recalled

    July 21, 2014 -

    TROY >> Forty-five years ago – July 20, 1969 – when man first landed on the moon, former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute president George M. Low had a hand in planning the giant step for mankind.

    Low joined the National Aeronautics Space Administration soon after its formation in 1958, and was chairman of Manned Lunar Landing Task Group, which investigated technical and planning requirements for the mission and provided technical background for President John F. Kennedy’s decision to promise a manned moon landing by the end of the 1960s.

  • Rensselaer Graduate Russell A. Davidson Elected 2016 American Institute of Architects President

    July 18, 2014 -

    Chicago – June 28, 2014 – Delegates to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention in Chicago elected Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, (AIA Westchester Hudson Valley) to serve as the 2015 AIA first vice president/president-elect and 2016 AIA president. William J. Bates, AIA, and Francis M. Pitts, FAIA, will each serve as vice president from 2015 through 2016; John A. Padilla, AIA, as the Institute’s Secretary from 2015 through 2016.

  • Are Multiplayer Games the Future of Education?

    July 15, 2014 -

    It was just supposed to be a quick trip to Beijing, a touristy group thing to take in the sights. It wasn't supposed to go down like this. There wasn't supposed to be a lost manuscript; the travelers weren't supposed to turn on each other. The only good, if any, to be found in this godforsaken quest, this unholy mission, was that by the end of it, they would all know how to speak Mandarin.

  • RPI Grad and Astronaut Reid Wiseman Checks In From Outer Space

    July 9, 2014 -

    Reid Wiseman is an RPI graduate, and is currently aboard the International Space Station for Expedition 40. He spoke to Time Warner Cable News about his time on the ISS so far, the photos that are making him a Twitter celebrity, and watching the World Cup from space. 

  • Forget Turing, the Lovelace Test Has a Better Shot at Spotting AI

    July 9, 2014 -

    When a chatbot called Eugene Goostman passed Alan Turing’s famous measure of machine intelligence in June by posing as a Ukrainian teenager with questionable language skills, the world went nuts for about an hour before realizing that the bot, far from having achieved human-level intelligence, was actually pretty dumb.

    Clearly, something is amiss here. If the Turing Test can be fooled by common trickery, it’s time to consider we need a new standard. Enter the Lovelace Test.

  • Getting to the bottom of the problems: Data from sonar survey helps identify threats to Lake George

    July 7, 2014 -

    Lake George

    To understand forces that are slowly clouding Lake George's legendary clear waters, a unique 3-D map is being made of the lake and surrounding mountain streams that feed it.

    The map is the first step in the multimillion-dollar Jefferson Project, which was announced last fall between IBM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Fund for Lake George to make the lake the most "wired" on the planet.

  • How Artificial Intelligence Could Change Your Business

    July 3, 2014 -

    The scale of information growth – driven by the pace of information change – has reached the point where humans simply cannot handle it without the aid of intelligent computers, said Dr. Jim Hendler, director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Application (IDEA), who leads the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute project to explore new uses and directions for AI technology.

  • An Algorithm Is A Curator At The Sept. 11 Museum

    July 1, 2014 -

    Sept. 11, 2001, means many things — and conflicting things — to each of us. Charged emotions, and debates over a history that's still so recent, made it really hard to design theNational September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan. It was so difficult, in fact, that museum curators decided to try something quite new. They decided to hand off major curatorial duties to a computer algorithm.

    Mary Anne Staniszewski, an art historian at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, rejects that idea. "No, it's not objective because an algorithm did it."

  • Mapping gives unprecedented view of Lake George

    June 30, 2014 -

    LAKE GEORGE — The first phase of the Jefferson Project at Lake George is wrapping up, laying the groundwork for scientists to develop an unprecedented understanding of the ecology of the famed Adirondack lake.

    The bottom of the lake has been precisely mapped for the first time, the initial step in a three-year, multi-million dollar scientific research effort aimed at safeguarding the lake's ecosystem and protect the qualities that make it a major tourist destination.

  • Lake George to have high-tech monitoring

    June 27, 2014 -

    BOLTON LANDING >> Some of the most sophisticated technology in our universe is helping save one of the most beautiful lakes on the planet.

    Crews from Portsmouth, N.H.-based Substructure Inc. have finished mapping the bottom of Lake George and its surrounding watershed, setting the stage for a high-tech monitoring system designed to counteract forces that threaten its water quality such as road salt, stormwater runoff and invasive species.

  • Bacteria-killing light fixtures developed at Troy-based Vital Vio

    June 25, 2014 -

    TROY >> Two engineers have found major success by tackling the largest healthcare issue worldwide.

    The two recent Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduates took the school’s motto, “Why not change the world?” to heart, creating a product that will save lives across the globe.

    Colleen Costello and James Peterson, the founders of Vital Vio, have created a lighting fixture that kills bacteria.

  • RPI researchers design robots to do the right thing

    June 25, 2014 -

    It's the stuff of countless songs and stories — knowing that something you want to do is wrong, doing it anyway and then regretting the choice.

  • Study says RPI offers best return on investment for upstate New York grads

    June 18, 2014 -

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers the strongest return on financial investment of any college in upstate New York.

    So says PayScale, a compensation-data firm headquartered in Seattle.

  • Rensselaer, Tufts, Navy explore robotic technology

    June 16, 2014 -

    Tufts University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Navy are partnering on a research project with a goal to develop robots that can think for themselves, making moral judgments and performing tasks according to how they weigh right, wrong, and the gray in between.

  • Astronaut Vine video from space goes viral

    June 10, 2014 -

    The sun never sets in a new video taken by a space traveler aboard the International Space Station (ISS). 

    The space station orbits around the Earth once every 92 minutes in its journey around our planet. 

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman recorded the first Vine video from space, filming the Earth during one entire orbit. The 92 minutes are compressed to a mere six seconds.

  • RPI grads trading places in space

    May 14, 2014 -

    Two RPI grads are trading places high above the Earth.

    Veteran Astronaut Rick Mastracchio is returning from his eighth spacewalk Tuesday after six months on the International Space Station.

    In two weeks, Astronaut Reid Wiseman will head up there for his first spaceflight.

  • 2 RPI grads linked to International Space Station

    May 14, 2014 -

    TROY, N.Y. — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is boasting about two of its graduates in space.

    RPI notes that as Rick Mastracchio returns to Earth from the International Space Station, another graduate is preparing to go to the station later this month.

  • RPI alumni to trade places on space station

    May 14, 2014 -

    TROY >>One Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate returns to Earth from the International Space Station today, May 13 while another is completing final preparations to travel to the ISS at the end of the month.

    Astronaut Rick Mastracchio ’87 left the International Space Station Monday night after a six-month mission and arrives back on Earth today, Tuesday, May 13.

  • RPI graduate to visit International Space Station

    May 12, 2014 -

    TROY, N.Y. -- For the second time in seven months, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate is going to space.

    Commander Reid Wiseman graduated from RPI in 1997, received his masters from John Hopkins University, then flew fighter jets for the Air Force in combat. As if that wasn't enough on his resume, he’ll now be going into space.

  • HPC Speeds Desalination Effort

    May 8, 2014 -

    According to new research from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a hybrid material, called graphene oxide frameworks, or GOFs, could provide a big advantage over the inefficient desalination processes currently in use.

    Water is trying to avoid being in contact with graphene, so you can design it in such a way that you’re forcing the water not to be close to one layer but also not to be close to the other,” Meunier said. “This effect creates channels, which direct water through the system very quickly.”"

  • On second thought: Philosophy may not be the most obviously remunerative college major, but supporters say it prepares students to succeed in many fields

    April 30, 2014 -

    When Selmer Bringsjord told his mother he wasn't going to use his philosophy major to become an attorney, she was perplexed.

    "She came down to visit at Penn. And we were in the hotel room and I said 'Mom, I'm not going to do that,' and she said, 'Well, what are you going to do with a degree in philosophy? I'm not even sure what that is.' So I said, 'Well, mom I'm going to get a Ph.D. in philosophy,' and she said, 'I still don't understand. What do you do with a Ph.D. in philosophy?'"

  • RPI’s 10th annual GameFest features exhibitions, presentations of new, student-developed video games

    April 28, 2014 -

    Troy >> Those interested in playing new, regionally-made video games can attend the 10th annual GameFest at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s EMPAC today until 6 p.m.

    About 30 games will be presented to judges who are from locally-based Vicarious Visions, a video game development firm.

  • Gamers playing to win at RPI

    April 28, 2014 -


  • Annual GameFest event at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    April 25, 2014 -

    Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Professor Marc Destefano talks about the 10th annual GameFest with reporter Jennifer Lee. 

  • Troy students get 'out of this world' lesson from RPI grad

    April 21, 2014 -

    TROY - Rick Mastracchio is a 1987 RPI grad who is currently living on the International Space Station.

    On Friday, he answered questions from students here on Earth.

  • RPI Students Chat With Astronaut In Orbit

    April 21, 2014 -

    Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from RPI in 1987, spoke Friday with students at his alma mater. He was floating miles above the Earth.

    "RPI, I hear you loud and clear! Welcome to the International Space Station," said Mastracchio.

    Using Skype, Mastracchio also communicated with students from the University of Connecticut where he earned his bachelor’s degree, and with students from the university of Houston-Clear Lake where he earned a master’s in physical science.

  • RPI's paper a weekly again

    April 16, 2014 -

    The Rensselaer Polytechnic is back on a weekly printing schedule and making a profit, a staff member said.

  • Robotics team wins awards at first competition

    April 16, 2014 -

    CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- New to Cambridge Central School this year, the CCS Robotics Team 5236 took home the Rookie Inspiration Award. CCS students placed in the top 15 teams for "offensive power rating" in the FIRST Robotics Competition regionals at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in March.

    Thirty-eight teams of students and 38 robots competed in the regionals. Team 5236 was the first rookie team to pass inspection and placed second in in autonomous scoring, which sent them along to the semifinal matches of the competition.