Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems

Babbage: LEDtime

The latest light & health study by Rensselaer Professor Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center is presented in this audio piece that was featured on the homepage of Economist.com

Screen time can mess with the body's 'clock'

For a good night’s sleep, here is some expert advice: Turn off, turn in and drop off. Anyone who does the opposite — say, turning on an iPad or other similar electronic reader in bed — may have a harder time both dropping off to sleep and shaking that groggy feeling the next morning. That’s the conclusion of a new study. Lighting scientist Mariana Figueiro calls the study thorough. She also finds its results unsurprising. Her research has shown that spending even two hours on an iPad before bedtime can cut down the brain’s release of melatonin.

Overreaction or justified caution? New Yorkers question city's storm response

José Holguín-Veras, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said the response had been “on the cautious side”, but said that while putting the city effectively under house arrest might sound extreme, it was part of a calculation of risk. “What is worse: being cautious, or being quote-unquote optimistic and praying nothing bad will happen?” he said.

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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.