Monthly Archives: November 2014

North Hall and E-Complex to close

On Friday, November 14, students living in North Hall and E-Complex were informed that the two residence halls would be closing after the end of the spring semester. Graduating seniors living in North or E-Complex will be able to stay in their residence hall through Commencement, but the residence halls will be closed effective May 31. According to Dean of Residence Life Todd Schill, “The eventuality of re-opening will be dependent upon the Institute’s Long Range Facilities Master Plan.” Read more...

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Staff Editorial: Downtown Troy revitalized

The past few years have seen a marked improvement in downtown Troy. With renovations to the Troy Riverfront Park a few years ago, a variety of events have been held, drawing people from Troy and its surrounding areas. Read more...

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Fraternity does good for brothers and sisters

Early morning classes here at RPI do not always leave students time to eat breakfast. Fortunately, Sigma Phi Epsilon has been selling warm and tasty $2 bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches every Friday morning to hungry students. All of the money raised is being donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters, the national philanthropic and service learning partner of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Read more...

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Football keeps Dutchmen’s Shoes for second season

On November 15, Rensselaer faced off against Union College for the annual Dutchman’s Shoes Trophy Game. RPI has faced the Dutchmen 112 times, making the rivalry the oldest within the State of New York. Read more...

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RPI hosts first Hackathon

Over the past weekend, over 500 students had the opportunity to experiment with new technologies and create a wide variety of projects at RPI’s inaugural 24-hour college hackathon, HackRPI. Hackathons, which are a portmanteau of hack and marathon, are highly-popular events where participants have a predefined period of time to create a project from start to finish and present it for the chance to win prizes. RPI joins several universities across the country that host hackathons, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, Rutgers University, and the University of Michigan. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

Stress relief for finals

Sleep, exercise, and relaxation keys to survival

Thanksgiving and winter break can’t come soon enough. With finals coming up, stress and tensions will be running high. Stress can have a huge impact on grades and overall health. When feeling stressed during a test, for example, I often make small errors that I usually wouldn’t make. Health-wise, stress can cause me to have nasty headaches or migraines, which reduce my ability to focus, study, and do well on assignments. That, in turn, causes me to become more stressed. Thankfully, RPI offers a plethora of services to help you relax, ace finals, and break the vicious stress cycle. Read more...

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Sustainable student events, present and future

The Student Sustainability Task Force has continued to work on making RPI greener this semester. As you may have seen in last week’s Polytechnic top article, SSTF Chair Elizabeth Anderson ’14 presented the Green Revolving Fund to the Student Senate. Project head Dan Sze ’18 has formed a team of interested students working on the GRF proposal and can be contacted at Our goal through this project is to get a solid proposal for the inner workings of the GRF and three proposals for potential first projects. Students working on the project will gain experience with writing proposals, researching how RPI’s infrastructure works and how it might be improved to increase sustainability, and be part of a very big and important project. Read more...

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Men’s basketball strong in home debut

RPI men’s basketball played their first games of the season this past weekend at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Saturday and versus Berkeley College on Sunday. New Head Coach Mark Gilbride started off well, leading his team to a 1-1 record after the opening weekend. Read more...

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First probe to land on a comet powers down

The European Space Agency made history last Wednesday when Philae, named after an island in the Nile, became the first space probe to land on a comet. Philae’s landing took place 311 million miles from Earth; its exact position on the comet, however, is unknown. Launched on March 2, 2004, the probe’s mission is to take pictures of the comet’s surface, determine the comet’s composition, and analyze the comet’s magnetic environment. The comet is comprised of compounds frozen in time from the formation of the solar system. Philae’s mother ship, the Rosetta spacecraft, will examine the comet from a distance as it heads deeper into the solar system. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

EDM, universal religion

EDM’s cultural influence compared to rock and roll

Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, is a phrase almost inescapable in today’s pop culture. More of a buzz word than an actual definition or description, many people use this phrase to embody the recent surge of electronic music, especially in the USA. But what does it actually mean? Electronic music in general has expanded and changed so much in recent years that it is almost impossible to nail down an exact definition. Is electronic music characterized by the club-centered, 4/4, drum machine, sub-genre known as house music? Or is it the bass-heavy, sound-stretching, heavy hitting music known as dubstep? The beauty of electronic music is that there is no definite answer to this question. There are a myriad of genres in today’s ever-changing electronic music scene, making it impossible to define or categorize them completely. Two different people with separate music tastes could both be hooked on electronic music but listen to completely different styles of music. One could enjoy the more ambient feels of downbeat and trance music, while the other could love the chest-pounding of club music, such as house and trap. Read more...

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EMPAC film makes big waves

Last Thursday, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center hosted directors Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ernst Karel, and Verena Paravel of the Sensory Ethnography Lab as they presented their newest film, Leviathan. The film takes place on a fishing vessel, and while I was expecting an exposé on the fishing industry, instead, I got a very pure, abstract look at how the fishing boat operates. Read more...

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Men’s Hockey splits weekend of ECAC games

Engineers take Princeton 3-1 Friday, fall to Quinnipiac Saturday at home

The Engineers faced off against two conference foes this past weekend as Princeton University and Quinnipiac University traveled to Troy. Friday, RPI took on the Tigers of Princeton at the Houston Field House in front of a crowd of 2,836 fans. The puck dropped for the first period at 7 pm after the Rusty Pipes a cappella group sang the “Star Spangled Banner.” Read more...

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New club food policy announced; S&W budget approved

President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 met with two clubs, Statler & Waldorf and Humans vs. Zombies, then reviewed the new club management system, followed by an update on the food policy discussion from previous weeks. Read more...

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Top Hat

Senate petition website prototype presented

Happy Wednesday, RPI. Thanksgiving Break is fast approaching, and with it, a final lull in classes before the semester’s last sprint. Remember to keep studying and get ahead in preparation for your last exams and even finals, but don’t be afraid to give yourself a break! Read more...

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A fresh round of StartUps to pitch ideas

On December 3, four local startups will bring their businesses before an audience in Revolution Hall at Brown’s Brew Pub in downtown Troy. This is part of the StartUp Tech Valley series, co-sponsored by RPI’s own Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. These meet-ups are held monthly for startups from the local community with the goal of providing a place for individuals to launch their venture to the public, learn from seasoned entrepreneurs, and obtain feedback about their product/service from potential customers. Each month, a new line-up is chosen. In addition, there is a job postings board for those in search of a job or companies in search of new employees. All community members are invited to attend; the event begins at 5:30pm with presentations beginning at 6:30. This month’s line-up is as follows: Read more...

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Athlete of the Week:

Mark Miller

This week’s athlete of the week is junior forward Mark Miller of men’s hockey. In a 3-1 win over Princeton University, Miller scored goals in the first and third period to help the Engineers achieve victory.
His first goal gave RPI a 1-0 lead 8:45 into the first period, which was assisted by freshman forward Drew Melanson and senior defender Curtis Leonard. His second goal came midway through the third period when sophomore forward Riley Bourbonnais found him open on the right wing. He struck an emphatic one-timer into the back of the Tigers net to put Rensselaer up 3-0.
Next up for Miller and the Engineers is a trip to the University of New Hampshire on November 25. Read more...

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New J-Board members approved, Senate survey discussed

Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 opened this week’s senate meeting with the Judicial Board appointments. Following the appointments, two presentations were shown and discussed. Then the meeting followed with committee and constituent reports and concluded with the Grand Marshal report. Read more...

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Club food policy revisited, revised again Senate petition website prototype presented

Hey RPI!

Many wonderful things happened over the weekend. First, my congratulations go out to the RPI players for their amazing performance of Dracula by Steven Dietz, an adaptation of the classic novel by Bram Stoker. I could not make opening night, but I was able to attend on Sunday and I was blown away! I have read Dracula and I can say that Steven Dietz found an incredible new way to tell the story and the cast, set, and costumes were very impressive. I highly recommend that, if you have not had the chance to see it yet, you make some time this weekend to do so. The last two showings are Friday November 21 and Saturday November 22 at 8 pm each night. Come see the artsy and creative side of these engineers and scientists; I promise they won’t disappoint. Read more...

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Piano performance impresses reviewer

Attendees of Bach and Beyond were treated to an unusual selection of traditional piano compositions written by J.S. Bach and modern, experimental pieces performed by Professor of New Media and Music Michael Century in Studio 2 of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center on Thursday, November 6 at 7:30 pm. This performance was part of a series of annual performances by Century. The back of the program explained the theme through quotes from Giorgio Agamben’s What is Contemporary? and T.S. Eliot; an alternative title for the performance is Bach, our Contemporary. Bach is contemporary with all composers and performers due to the timelessness of his pieces; through his masterful compositions, he exists outside the era in which he lived. Read more...

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Swimming and diving sweeps Hartwick in home meet

On Sunday, both the RPI men’s and women’s swimming teams hosted Hartwick College. The men defeated the Hawks by a final tally of 163-131. The women crushed their opponents 193-99, in what was their first victory in over 10 years against Hartwick. Read more...

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