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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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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]
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 [...]

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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]

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 [...]
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 [...]

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 [...]
April 5, 2016
(In this guest post, one of a series on monitoring and experimentation in the Jefferson Project at Lake George, Matt Schuler, a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of project director Rick Relyea, explains how researchers survey macro-invertebrates in Lake George, their importance in the food web, and how this effort fits into the overall strategy [...]
February 17, 2016
(In this guest post, one of a series on monitoring and experimentation in the Jefferson Project at Lake George, Bill Hintz, a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of project director Rick Relyea, explains how researchers survey the fish of Lake George, and how that effort fits into the overall strategy of the project.) A thorough [...]
January 14, 2016
Undergraduate J.J. Hu collects a leaf bag, which is used to determine rate of decomposition. (In this guest post, one of a series on monitoring and experimentation in the Jefferson Project at Lake George, Aaron Stoler, a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of project director Rick Relyea, explains why and how researchers monitor tributaries to [...]
December 10, 2015
(In this guest post, Brian Mattes, a senior research specialist in the laboratory of Rick Relyea, Rensselaer professor and director of the Jefferson Project at Lake George, explains how experiments help us make sense of observational data gathered by the Jefferson Project’s observational platform.) A lot of what’s been written about the Jefferson Project at [...]
November 18, 2015
When we need to consider information as a group, most of us turn to a computer projector and a mouse. The world may be round, but our only digital option for exploring it in a meeting is on a flat screen. Surpassing that limitation – by creating new computer interfaces that allow people to intuitively [...]
November 18, 2015
You’re in a meeting making a plan. Everyone is taking notes, but the conversation roams, going from one item, and one speaker, to another, and as the hour comes to a close, it’s hard to remember who said what and which assignments were doled out to whom. Some of the questions that came up went [...]