Monthly Archives: October 2012

RPI sees little effect from Hurricane

Institute cancels campus operations Monday, continues as normal Tuesday

Over the weekend, the RPI community was notified via RPIAlert that Hurricane Sandy could become a threat to the area. As a result, all classes and non-essential operations were canceled after noon on Monday. But, as of Tuesday, October 30, operations were set to continue as usual. Read more...

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Staff Editorial: RPI provides communication to campus during hurricane

This past Monday saw the arrival of Hurricane Sandy to the Capital Region. Whilst cities along the coast were bombarded with heavy rain and strong winds, Troy faced relatively mild weather. Even with the lack of hurricane gusts and falling trees, the Institute leadership deemed it necessary to cancel classes after 12 pm on Monday in case weather turned very poor and students were stuck outside or away from safe places. We at The Poly would like to commend the Institute for its constant communication and concern for student, faculty and staff. Read more...

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Zombie mob overruns downtown Troy

At first, the entire zombie mob was completely awkward. There were a couple people whose makeup was fantastic, while there were others who just dabbed some blood on their faces and called themselves zombies. Either was fine really—a convincing performance is still necessary, however. Read more...

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President talks revised Plan at Fall Town Hall

Discussions involved Rensselaer’s connection

President Shirley Ann Jackson held her annual Fall Town Hall Meeting this past Wednesday, October 24. The meeting was held in the theater of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Preforming Arts Center, and featured Jackson speaking on many developments and achievements in the institute over the past year. Read more...

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Editorial Notebooks

Friends bestow stress relief

If you’re an RPI student (or maybe even a faculty or staff member), stress isn’t exactly a foreign concept to you. Dealing with that stress, though, is something that a lot of us have problems with. Now, some people try to stave off stress by drinking or inflicting some form of self-harm. While I’m not going to say I’ve done either of those, I’m going to say those are bad ways of going about it. I’ve found recently that talking to people about your problems is more efficient. Also, your liver will thank you later. Read more...

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OSSFest comes to DCC, informs attendees

The concept of open source is probably a notion that is unique to Computer Science. In fact, most people simply see it as a means to get free stuff. As a friend so aptly put it, “I have to buy all my engineering textbooks, but you have that open source thing going for you where the author probably put it on his website for you to download for free.” Run by the computer science honors society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the Open Source Software Festival, known as OSSFest, is an attempt to both share the power of community-based software to address the needs of the Institute, and to debunk much of the misconceptions about open source. The festival took place in the Darrin Communications Center with the main events split between a poster session featuring projects by the Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software and talks on the nature and power of open source software. Read more...

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PSS: hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife

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Editor provides housing advice

It’s gotten to the point of the year where if you are thinking of living off-campus next year, you need to start looking for houses. Depending on how many people you are looking to get an apartment (or a house) with, the time you have left to find a place could be short. Read more...

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UPE competition challenges programmers

This past Sunday, over forty RPI computer science students arrived at Lally Hall to compete in the semi-annual programming competition, put together by RPI’s chapter of the computer science honor society Upsilon Pi Epsilon. The only qualification to enter as a contestant was to be a student currently enrolled at RPI, so non-computer science majors were welcome to participate as well. Read more...

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Top Hat

Senate FFA Committee plans projects

This week’s Top Hat is written by the Chair of the Senate’s Finance, Facilities and Administration Committee—Russell Brown. Brown is a very experienced member of the Senate, starting with his involvement in his freshman year, and was also the 146th Grand Marshal. He will talk about what his committee has been up to and how you can get involved. Read more...

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Science fiction anthology provokes thought, entertains

The Tomorrow Project Anthology is an eye-opening display of possible futures. With a little extrapolation and imagination, this short collection presents applications and consequences of developing technologies—and it is not always a comfortable feeling. Read more...

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Derby

University of Vermont to host Union E-Board

In addition to travel plans, Jon Stack ’13 describes recent budget approvals, fish tank

Hello, RPI, and happy Halloween! If you are planning on celebrating tonight, please do so safely. While it appears that the worst of Hurricane Sandy has passed (at least it looks like it will have at the time of writing this article), please continue to monitor the weather and listen to any updates that the Institute might provide. Read more...

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Rebecca haunts EMPAC in Shadow Play showing

As part of its new film series Shadow Play, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center screened Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca. Known for being Hitchcock’s first film (and his only film to win an Academy Award), Rebecca features Sir Laurence Olivier as Maxim de Winter and Joan Fontaine as the main character. It is based off the book of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. Read more...

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My View

Facebook interactions deemed lacking in actual social value

I am probably the least qualified person to make this statement, but we are really bad at being social. I don’t even mean we’re bad at this because we go to a technical institute. I mean we’re bad at this like it took a socially awkward programmer who only had one real friend to figure out what it was that we actually wanted to know about each other and to show us how to get that information. It just boggles the mind that for a group of people, actually an entire nation worth of people, who have both the time and energy to be social, we’re just bad at finding ways to interact with each other. This is, of course, ignoring for a quick moment how Facebook is a conspiracy to figure out how much information is necessary to represent a person digitally. Read more...

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Cloud Atlas melds differing stories into cohesive whole

Oftentimes, film buffs complain that nothing truly daring or original is ever put out by Hollywood anymore. These complaints are often unfounded, and can fairly be attributed as grumbling by a very niche group of moviegoers. That doesn’t mean that those movies that are different, the rare ones, can’t be a breath of fresh air for everyone. Read more...

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Letters to the Editor

Alpha Phi, RSE pancake breakfast proves successful

The members of Alpha Phi and the Rensselaer Society of Engineers would like to thank everybody who helped to make our first ever Family Weekend Pancake Breakfast for Breast Cancer a tremendous success! Whether you came to the breakfast, bought a raffle ticket, or helped in any other way, we are extremely grateful to you! With the support of the RPI community and their families, we were able to raise over $1,700 for the Making Strides for Breast Cancer initiative, part of the American Cancer Society. Our members and I were blown away by the number of people who came to the breakfast, as well as the number of student who brought their families along. We estimate we had nearly 300 people attend the Pancake Breakfast, held in the RSE Living Room on Saturday, October 20, during of Family Weekend. The event would not have been possible without some extra helping hands. Thanks to Sodexo who generously donated milk and orange juice for the event, The Brown Bag who allowed us to use their coffee maker, the RPI men’s hockey team who all signed a jersey that was raffled off, and the American Cancer Society who donated two gift cards that were also raffled off. The brothers and sisters of RSE and Alpha Phi are all very appreciative for the support these organizations offered. Special thanks are also due to the RPI Union and class dean Louis Trzepacz, who were fully behind this event since its inception. Lastly, I would like to personally thank my brothers of RSE and the sisters of Alpha Phi who were the lifeblood making this event possible. A small team can plan, but it took the collective efforts of our two houses to make a vision a reality; you guys are the best! If you weren’t able to be part of the fun and enjoy some of our awesome chocolate chip or banana pancakes this year, look for this event next Family Weekend. By making this an annual tradition, we hope you will join us in fighting to eradicate the pain and suffering caused by breast cancer and to eventually find a cure to this disease. Read more...

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My View

Health Center responds to past Notebook

I was reading the October 10 edition of The Rensselaer Polytechnic and noted that the Student Health Center had been critiqued on the editorial page. Specifically, the news editor who wrote the article “Sickly Students Suffer” presented two primary concerns: the Health Center not providing excuses for illnesses that have already passed (or all illnesses), and the Health Center scheduling patients by appointments rather than on a walk-in basis. The news editor offered some additional suggestions regarding improvements to the Student Health Center. I would like to use this space to respond to these concerns and suggestions. Read more...

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Senators talk off-campus RAD program

Institute considers dropping RAD due to lack of profit, Senate looks for feedback

On Monday, the Student Senate held their weekly open general body meeting. After reports from committees and other constituent groups, the Senate moved to the main discussion on the usefulness of off-campus Rensselaer Advantage Dollars. Finance, Facilities, and Administration Chair Russell Brown ’14 began with a brief presentation with background information. Read more...

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Staff Editorial: Parents weekend a success

From October 19–21, hundreds of students and parents were able to bond at various events across campus during RPI’s annual Family Weekend. In our opinion, it was a complete success. Despite having to coordinate events held by organizations like Sheer Idiocy and the four a cappella groups in buildings across campus from each other, we at the Poly commend the organization of the weekend. Read more...

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Speakers Forum hosts Winklevoss twins

Facebook. Social networking. These are terms that were not so common a decade ago. In today’s world, social networks are everywhere. New ones are popping up every day. But among this digital crowd, Facebook has a peculiar story. For those of you who are not caught up on the history of this iconic social network, here is some background, sparing unnecessary details. Read more...

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