- 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....

On September 4th, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern time, there will be a joint seminar on "Big Data and Healthcare Analytics" which will feature speakers from both Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The content will be streamed live, and available after the event, from RPI's media website . Talks Include

  1. Radiology Informatics: Tools now and into the future. David Mendelson. MSSM
  2. Medical Imaging: Big Data and New Methods. Ge Wang, RPI
  3. Big data in critical care medicine: challenges and opportunities.   Kusum Mathews, MSSM and Dorit Nevo, RPI
  4. An epidemiologist’s interpretation of World Trade Center data. William Holden, MSSM
  5. Personal Health and Data. Deborah McGuinness, RPI
  6. Clinical informatics and computer science: perfect together Joseph Kannry, MSSM with responses by Kristin Bennett, RPI, Bulent Yener, RPI, Lucy Zhang, RPI

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.

President Jackson has announced the appointment of Professor James Hendler as director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA).

Hendler, senior constellation chair and former department head, has assumed responsibility for leveraging the wealth of data science, high performance computing, predictive analytics, data visualization, and cognitive computing research being done at Rensselaer. The Rensselaer IDEA will be the hub for these and other multidisciplinary data-related programs and projects on campus, which range from health care, to business analytics, to smart buildings, to cybersecurity, according to President Jackson’s announcement.


In The Media

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 25 Years Old, the World Wide Web’s Potential Still Untapped

    March 17, 2014 -

    James Hendler is the director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications in Troy, New York ... Hendler pointed out that even 25 years after its invention, only a fraction of the web’s potential has been realized. “Here is this force that has really changed society in so many different ways. We understand sort of the mathematics of the computer network underneath and the engineering of that but we really don’t understand the social impact.  There’s more and more research that’s starting to study what are those different effects? How do they affect society?

  • The Gurus Speak

    March 12, 2014 -

    Here we highlight the predictions of some of the people most deeply involved in shaping our digital present ... Jim Hendler, a professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, wrote, “Three forces will continue to interact, weaving a braid that will be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary.

  • Times Higher Education podcast: Shirley Ann Jackson and John Kolb interview

    February 19, 2014 -

    Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and John Kolb, vice-president for information services and technology and chief information officer at the same institution, discuss the university’s plans for the future.

  • Google Likely Acquired Artificial Intelligence Startup To Improve Image Search

    February 12, 2014 -

    “Rumour is that Google is getting very good at identifying individuals in photos, but they are holding off from rolling out that technology,” said Jim Hendler, an artificial intelligence researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, whom we spoke with recently. “From what I understand, Google is going after contextual image recognition, such as identifying whether a photo is of a social setting, if it was taken outdoors, indoors, etc.,” Hendler told us.

  • Why Free Government Data Remains A Tough Sell

    February 7, 2014 -
    But Francine Berman, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer science professor, said making government data more accessible addresses only part of the open data challenge. Berman chairs the US Research Data Alliance and directs the Center for a Digital Society. She raised concerns about the future of the data economy. In particular, she worries about the risks of data blackouts -- when data feeds become unavailable, as happened during the recent government shutdown -- and the long-term sustainability of research data as business and funding models evolve.
  • Mining Internet for chunks of gold

    December 17, 2013 -

    "Computer searches currently have certain limitations. If you want to use Google, for example, you have to come up with intelligent keywords, you can only search in your own language and your search may return thousands of documents," said Ji. "A computer that could understand natural language could overcome those limitations, and our goal is to build that computer."

  • Remember When That Watson Supercomputer Won Jeopardy? Here's What's Going On With It Lately

    December 12, 2013 -
    IBM is constantly looking to find new applications for Watson. To this end, in November of 2012, IBM donated a Watson system to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to enable new leading-edge research and afford faculty and students an opportunity to find new uses for Watson and deepen the systems’ cognitive capabilities.  The firsthand experience of working on the system will also better position students as future leaders in the areas of Big Data, analytics, and cognitive computing.
  • What Facebook Wants With Artificial Intelligence

    December 12, 2013 -

    Precisely what LeCun will do at Facebook remains to be seen. James Hendler, the director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications, wrote to me in an e-mail that Facebook needs “to better understand its content, and to do it at the massive scale.” In a phone call this afternoon, LeCun told me that “the big challenge is how to build tunable systems that can draw inferences and do real reasoning.”