Computational Science and Engineering

Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices

A paper published in Nature Communications by Sufei Shi, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, increases our understanding of how light interacts with atomically thin semiconductors and creates unique excitonic complex particles, multiple electrons, and holes strongly bound together. These particles possess a new quantum degree of freedom, called “valley spin.” The “valley spin” is similar to the spin of electrons, which has been extensively used in information storage such as hard drives and is also a promising candidate for quantum computing.

Schenectady company using modern STEM to take diapers back in time

SCHENECTADY - A Schenectady company is hoping to use STEM to take new parents back in time. Their vision is to go back to an age of cloth diapers. They say they have a better product than Pampers and Huggies. It's just going to take a little more engineering to get more babies into Tidy Tots.

The company is bold enough to say their cloth diapers are cleaner.

It's a three-piece design -- a cover, a booster and the liner. All are held onto your beautiful and waste-producing infant by a series of 22 snaps. The only problem is manufacturing them.

Glenn Saunders with the RPI Center for Automation Technology systems is working with Tidy Tots to semi-automate the process of installing those snaps. Hopefully, A $50,000 grant from not-for-profit FuzeHub pays for all of RPI's work.

Virtual learning: using AI, immersion to teach Chinese

To learn Chinese in this room, talk to the floating panda head. The Mandarin-speaking avatar zips around a 360-degree restaurant scene in an artificial intelligence-driven instruction program that looks like a giant video game. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students testing the technology move inside the 12-foot-high, wrap-around projection to order virtual bean curd from the panda waiter, chat with Beijing market sellers and practice tai chi by mirroring moves of a watchful mentor.

Students Get Immersive AI Boost to Learn Mandarin

Imagine the process of going into a restaurant and ordering food. Simultaneously, you could be glancing through the menu while also listening to and speaking with the waiter or your companions. When you're in a place where people are speaking a different language, the complexity of those activities increases multifold. A project taking place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hopes to understand how the use of an immersive environment and artificial intelligence can help students practice foreign language skills and increase their confidence when speaking. The researchers are using simulated experiences to test out their ideas.

'The Jefferson Project' aims to solve water problem in Syracuse

In 2013, the FUND for Lake George came together with IBM and RPI to create a sophisticated network of sensors designed to keep what Thomas Jefferson dubbed as the most beautiful water he ever saw, well, beautiful.

“The Jefferson Project is really a springboard to the future as to what we need to understand about this lake in order to protect it," said Eric Siy, FUND executive director.

The project tests the lake’s water quality using over 50 platforms and more than 500 sensors.

“We’re collecting thousands of data points every day," said Rick Relyea, RPI director.

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit www.rpi.edu.