Office of the Vice President for Research

Signature Research Thrusts

  • ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND SMART SYSTEMS

    In Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems, we explore renewable technologies, energy efficiency, and the understanding of global environmental change to preserve the bio-diversity of the planet.

  • BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE LIFE SCIENCES

    In Biotechnology and the Life Sciences, we are creating new routes to drug discovery and development, and understanding the fundamental mechanisms of disease, from Alzheimer’s and diabetes to cancer.

  • MEDIA, ARTS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

    Research in Media, Arts, Science, and Technology facilitates new approaches to networking, advanced visualization, sensor design, haptics, and multiscale modeling and simulation, which are supported by the core capabilities of EMPAC.

  • COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

    Enabled by the capabilities of the CCI, Rensselaer has developed important programs in Computational Science and Engineering focused on high performance computing, big data, and data analytics, which supports research and innovation across a broad front.

  • NANOTECHNOLOGY AND ADVANCED MATERIALS

    Our excellence in Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials builds from the fundamental understanding—experimental, theoretical, and computational - of the underlying atomic and molecular properties of a wide range of nanostructured materials. We now are developing robust, affordable, and sustainable methods for manufacturing new functional hybrid materials, and the hierarchical systems and products based upon them.

In the News

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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

  • 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.