Rensselaer Announces Institute for Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Computing

Posted June 21, 2022

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson today announced the launch of the Rensselaer Institute for Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Computing (DAIC).

The goal of the Institute is to become the primary academic center in the country for advancing new computational paradigms, including those that are a hybrid of conventional, neuromorphic, and quantum computing — combining bits, neurons, and qubits, which will make it possible to solve problems that current computing systems cannot. The new institute will allow Rensselaer to innovate using quantum computing and edge computing for networks and cyber-physical systems, and hacker-proof quantum communications.

“We live and work in a world where data is growing at an extraordinary pace, and being able to understand it, and leverage its innovative powers, using advancements in artificial intelligence and hybrid computing, has been one of the significant issues facing government, industry, and academia,” said Rensselaer President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. “Now is the time to create a center that can undergird the diverse work at Rensselaer, and link key disciplines, to harness their power, and to solve problems across disciplines, geographies, and generations. The new Rensselaer Institute for Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Computing will enable solutions to enormously complex and challenging problems in science, engineering, technology, and human behavior.”

The Institute for Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Computing will be built upon the strength Rensselaer has already developed in areas such as data science and data analytics, quantum and neuromorphic computing, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled high-performance computing, and AI-driven gamification in immersive virtual reality and augmented reality environments.

DAIC will be a multidisciplinary Institute and vibrant hub for world-class research and associated graduate education at Rensselaer, offering graduate degrees and certificates in emerging fields related to data, artificial intelligence, and computing.

James Hendler, Ph.D., has been named founding Director of the Institute for Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Computing. Dr. Hendler is the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer. In addition, he is the director of the Rensselaer-IBM Artificial Intelligence Research Collaboration.

“There is a tremendous need in industry, government, and academia for students who understand not just the emerging future of computing, but also the application of the recent technologies to the hardest problems in engineering, science, business, and government,” said Dr. Hendler. Further, the students must understand the ethical and policy implications of the use of AI and data in decision-making systems. This new interdisciplinary program will make sure we are educating Ph.D. students who understand the new computing paradigms.”

The Institute for Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Computing will focus on a new scalable software and computational ecosystem — from Internet of Things (IoT) edge to cloud computing, new computational paradigms, and extended reality environments —with broad-ranging applications. Application thrusts will include the future of computing, complex connected dynamic systems, AI for human and planet health, and information provenance.

The research will have revolutionary implications in addressing challenges facing national and global security; energy, water, and food; climate; human health; and economy and prosperity.

The Institute will integrate research and foster collaborations across numerous centers and schools at Rensselaer including the Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), the Center for Modeling, Simulation, & Imaging in Medicine (CeMSIM), the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment (CITE), the Center for Materials, Devices, and Integrated Systems (cMDIS), the Center for Future Energy Systems (CFES), the Institute for Energy, the Built Environment, and Smart Systems (EBESS), the Center for Engineering and Precision Medicine (CEPM), Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA), the Center for Mobility with Vertical Lift (MOVE), the Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technologies (CRAFT), the Rensselaer Astrobiology Research and Education Center (RARE), the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA), and the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).