The Approach Blog

The Approach Blog

We are featuring the lastest posts from The Approach, our blog about the innovative ideas, creative endeavors, and research discoveries of students and faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  

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August 23, 2017
[The Jefferson Project at Lake George is conducting ongoing research into how human activities may be affecting the lake and surrounding wetlands. This guest blog by Aaron Stoler, a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Jefferson Project Director Rick Relyea, summarizes recent research published as a featured article in the journal Freshwater Science. The [...]
Jefferson Project – Changing forests, road salt, and wetland ecosystems
August 23, 2017
[We hope you enjoy this letter of appreciation and advice which graduating Rensselaer senior Christina Akirtava wrote to her "RPI Family."] My father always told me “Don’t be ordinary, be extraordinary.” With these words in mind, I tried to make every day at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute count. Of course there were days I enjoyed with [...]
Commencement 2017: “Make Every Day Count”
April 5, 2017
[The Jefferson Project at Lake George is conducting ongoing research into how human activities may be affecting the lake. This guest blog by Bill Hintz, a post-doctoral research associate in the lab of Jefferson Project Director Rick Relyea, summarizes recent research published in the journal Ecological Applications. The Jefferson Project is a collaboration between Rensselaer, [...]
Jefferson Project – Salt, Lake Food Webs, and “Trophic Cascade”
February 24, 2017
[The Jefferson Project at Lake George is conducting ongoing research into how human activities may be affecting the lake. This guest blog by Bill Hintz, a post-doctoral research associate in the lab of Jefferson Project Director Rick Relyea, summarizes recent research published in the journal Environmental Pollution. The Jefferson Project is a collaboration between Rensselaer, [...]
Jefferson Project – Road Salt and Developing Trout
February 2, 2017
Could the same approach that mapped the Internet be used to identify tumor cells? Bulent Yener, who has devoted more than a decade of research to the idea, recently reviewed how his work and that of other researchers contributed to biomedical research in “Cell-Graphs: Image-Driven Modeling of Structure-Function Relationships,” published in the January edition of [...]
January 20, 2017
(In this guest post, Devin Jones, a graduate student in the lab of Rensselaer biologist and Jefferson Project at Lake George Director Rick Relyea, discusses research results recently published in the journal Environmental Pollution. The research tests the effects of road salt and road salt alternatives alone and in combination with natural stressors on vernal [...]
Jefferson Project – Road Salt Stress on Vernal Pools
December 14, 2016
(In this guest post, Aaron Stoler, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Rensselaer biologist and Jefferson Project at Lake George Director Rick Relyea, discusses how the Relyea lab investigates the impact of stressors on stream communities. This research is part of the Jefferson Project – a collaboration between Rensselaer, IBM Research, and The FUND [...]
Jefferson Project – Stream Lab
December 1, 2016
(For some 2016 is the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web (more about the veracity of that milestone below). In this post, Rensselaer professor James Hendler answers some questions about the evolution of the web in its first 25 years, and what we can expect in the next quarter century. Hendler, one of the [...]
A Quarter Century of the World Wide Web
November 22, 2016
(In this guest post, Aaron Stoler, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Rensselaer biologist and Jefferson Project at Lake George director Rick Relyea, discusses research results recently published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The research tests the effects of road salt alone and in combination with a common insecticide on wetland communities. [...]
Jefferson Project – Road Salt Stress on Wetland Communities
November 1, 2016
Zooplankton, the smallest animals in the food chain, are critical to the ecology of lakes like Lake George. But studying them in the wild – by measuring biomass, species composition, behavior, and diet – is a challenge. How do you track a borderline microscopic animal in the vast volume of water (an estimated 550 billion [...]
Jefferson Project — Nature By Numbers
October 21, 2016
This summer, on July 4, all eyes were up in space as Juno successfully entered into orbit around Jupiter, where it was scheduled to perform measurements and transmit the data back to Earth. The environment there has very high levels of radiation, and thus the instruments on Jupiter were designed to withstand these radiation levels, [...]
Addressing Complex Global Challenges Through Multidisciplinary Collaboration: School of Engineering Reflects on NASA Juno Mission and Role of Research Center in the Modern Rensselaer Experience
October 17, 2016
(In this post, Rensselaer graduate student Salles Viana Gomes de Magalhães talks about his First Place Overall Award in the 2016 TripAdvisor programming challenge, held September 17. Graduate and undergraduate students from 18 select universities in the United States and Canada were invited to compete in the event, with cash prizes awarded to top two [...]
The Winning Algorithm
September 27, 2016
[Curt Breneman, dean of the School of Science, recently sat down with News Channel 13 reporter Benita Zhan for a report on the safety of personal care products. The topic has been in the news as Congress considers legislation that would authorize Food and Drug Administration oversight of cosmetics, against a backdrop of recent accounts [...]
“All Natural”? It’s Still Chemical.
September 1, 2016
(The challenge: Create a mechanism that makes it possible for instructors to track students and for student to earn credit for their attendance or participation in activities like theatrical events, concerts, exhibitions, or lectures, regardless of whether they are on or off campus. The answer: “Venue,” an attendance validation app and web platform being developed [...]
Venue — An open source digital attendance tracker
July 28, 2016
In this Approach blog post, the news team spoke with Rensselaer Lally School of Management Associate Professor Qiang Wu’13 about the value of experiential learning, development, and community in research and the classroom. Q: What drew you to becoming an empirical researcher? How has this driven the discovery process in your research and teaching in [...]
Going beyond theory: A conversation with Rensselaer Lally Associate Professor Qiang Wu
July 11, 2016
(Sherese Morgan, an enthusiastic undergraduate from Yonkers, NY with interests in the field of environmental science, contributed this guest post on her summer research with the Jefferson Project at Lake George. In her junior year, Sherese started working in the laboratory of Rensselaer professor and Jefferson Project director Rick Relyea. Recently, she was awarded a School [...]
Jefferson Project – An Exploration of the Hudson Led to Rensselaer
June 28, 2016
(In this post, Robert Linhardt, the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. ’59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering at Rensselaer, answers questions about a Perspective he co-authored in the June edition of Nature Biotechnology with a team including Janet Woodcock, the Director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug [...]
Drug Safety: How a Crisis Propelled Change
June 3, 2016
(The RPI ChemE Car team (pictured above) and Ian Gaudette, a Chemical Engineering student and the interim president of the team, wrote this post about a challenge (and their on-the-fly solution) they ran into at their first showing in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Northeast Regional Conference competition. The competition “engages college students [...]
RPI ChemE Car and Engineering in a Pinch
May 19, 2016
    (This guest posts is part of a series about research related to the Rensselaer IDEA — the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications — a campus-wide institute dedicated to helping researchers navigate the increasingly data-driven landscape of scientific enquiry. In this post, Bryan Chu, who will earn his doctorate in mechanical engineering in [...]
IDEA – A Semantic Handbook for Additive Manufacturing
May 5, 2016
(This is the first in a series of guest posts about research related to the Rensselaer IDEA — the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications — a campus-wide institute dedicated to helping researchers navigate the increasingly data-driven landscape of scientific enquiry. In this post, Lindsay Poirier, a doctoral candidate and research assistant in the Department [...]
IDEA – Building a Digital Infrastructure to Make Sense of Environmental Health