Monthly Archives: December 2014

2024 Plan: Looking back to look forward

Rensselaer and its constituent departments and organizations are taking the 190th anniversary of the founding of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to consider and celebrate their past and plan for their future. The Institute has a long, colorful history worth reflecting upon for inspiration for its future direction. From the start, Rensselaer was a leading institution in higher education, employing revolutionary learning methods. It has been central to many important advances in a multitude of fields, and continues to be a leader in research in the 21st century. With the 200th anniversary of Rensselaer’s founding upcoming and drawing upon the successes of The Rensselaer Plan, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced The 2024 Plan in 2012 as a road map to the continued future success of Rensselaer. Read more...

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Staff Editorial: End-of-semester preparations

Can you believe that the fall semester is almost over? The Poly’s staff wishes everyone the best of luck with all final exams, projects, and assignments, and we hope you have an enjoyable Winter Break! If you are struggling with exam preparation, please don’t hesitate to take advantage of the Advising & Learning Assistance Center and the Student Health Center’s Counseling Services. These services are available to ensure every student can perform as well as possible, and we think they are a great resource for all students. Read more...

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Big Hero 6 revamps the animated superhero

Following the latest wave of animated and superhero films comes the hybrid we’ve all dreamed of: Disney’s Big Hero 6. With the animated superhero genre eclipsed by Pixar’s The Incredibles, and with a robot starring as a main character, you can’t help but draw comparisons to another Pixar favorite, WALL-E. So, my question going into the film was, how does this film define itself? This is a question I can only answer by looking at the film as a whole. Read more...

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Women’s hockey defeats visiting RIT

The women’s ice hockey team took on the Tigers of Rochester Institute of Technology on Friday, November 28 at the Houston Field House. The struggling Engineers came into the game with a 1-10-2 record. Read more...

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Registrar releasing online wait list program

Continuing an experiment from the last three semesters, the Office of the Registrar is moving forward to further test a fully automated wait list for a limited selection of courses for registration for the Spring 2015 semester. On the Student Information System, students can now add themselves to an online wait list for closed sections of a few test courses. When a spot becomes available, they will have 48 hours to register for the class before they lose their reserved seat and the next wait listed student is notified. Read more...

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Editorial Corner

Poly’ s recent past recalled

EIC’s advice for future editors, hope for future paper

I’ve always been told to leave things better than when I found them. When I joined the senior board of The Polytechnic, we weren’t in a very good spot. As I explained in my previous Editorial Corner, the staff was small, and advertising money was lacking. But what I think was most significant was the alarming knowledge gap between the staff then, Fall 2013, and the staff of, say, Fall 2010. Read more...

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Newest Hunger Games leaves reviewer wanting more

While filled with fleshed out characters and absolutely enthralling plot points, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 falls victim to the “Part 1 of 2” problem that is all-too-common in today’s movie scene. An unnecessary split into two films hinders the movie’s ability to provide a full conclusive story. The audience is left with literally half of a movie, with no resolution or character growth at the end. Despite the unneeded split, however, the film does a wonderful job further pushing its fleshed out characters and unique plot elements. Read more...

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Women’s bball splits a pair

Defeats Sage, then loses close game against Keene

Women’s basketball held two home games during the past week. On Tuesday, November 24, RPI women’s basketball hosted The Sage Colleges in a neighbor college showdown. In the first half, the Engineers separated themselves from the Gators, taking a 12-point lead at the half. Then, in the second half the Engineers held their ground, answering every Gator rally with one of their own. The final score was Rensselaer 76, Sage 62. Read more...

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RPI working to Bio-engineer heparin in E. coli

The Bioengineered Heparin Project, led by Dr. Robert Linhardt, a professor here at RPI, is working to create a safe, controllable, and economically viable method of producing bioengineered heparin. Heparin is an endogenous, highly-sulfated glycosaminoglycan with the highest negative charge density of any known biological molecule, having an unclear biological function in humans. Pharmaceutically, it is used as an intravenous anticoagulant used in medical procedures, such as dialysis and surgeries, and as a coating on the inside of medical devices that contain blood, such as test tubes. Currently, the major sources of heparin are porcine intestine and bovine lung. It is difficult to control the quality of heparin obtained from these sources and this method of obtaining heparin is inefficient—only two doses can be extracted per animal. Worldwide demand is greater than 500 million doses per year. Heparin is one of the longest-used modern medicines still in widespread use, being used in the early development of modern surgery. The World Health Organization therefore lists heparin as one of the most important medicines needed to maintain a basic healthcare system, underlining the impact of success in this project having large global effects on medicine. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

RPI’s sustainablility future

Environmental club leader recounts past, offers

My final semester has gone by ridiculously fast. It has been a time of good-byes, a time of finishing things I started, and a time of giving a last push to making RPI more sustainable. This article is printed on the last day I shall be a club officer of either EcoLogic or the Student Sustainability Task Force; I have held a club officer position of at least one of those two environmental organizations almost four years. Read more...

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Dracula sinks teeth into RPI Playhouse

Fall play makes killing on the stage; entertains the audience with a chilling performance

On Saturday, November 22, I had the pleasure of watching the RPI Players perform Dracula. The play started out with Renfield (Christopher Urig), an inmate of an insane asylum, being fed a meal. Lucy (Jocelyn Griser ’16) and Mina (Taylor Turner ’16) were gossiping about men; Mina was engaged to Harker (Jeremy Feldman ’15) and Lucy was trying to figure out which of several men to choose from. Meanwhile, Harker was on a business visit to Count Dracula (Garrison Johnston ’18). Read more...

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Men’s basketball struggles

Loses crosstown matchup with Sage; falters early vs.

RPI men’s basketball fell against neighboring Sage Colleges last Tuesday night at East Campus Arena 77-65. After a tight first half in which neither side led by more than four points, the score at halftime was Gators 35, Engineers 33. This changed in the second half as Sage took control of the game quickly, going up by twelve with 12:35 remaining. A layup by junior forward Brian Hatcher put the Engineers within five with eight minutes to go. But RPI never came any closer. Fastbreak baskets by forward Melvin Ford and guard Jorrdan McCray put the Gators back up by 12 with 4:41 left, and the Engineers didn’t challenge the lead the rest of the way. Read more...

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GPA minimum change rejected by Senate

The Senate meeting on the first of December began with a presentation from the Academic Affairs Committee regarding progress the undergraduate research archive. Class of 2016 Senator Jessica Krajewski ’16 and project lead Elizabeth Anderson ’14 gave the presentation on behalf of the AAC. The project’s intention is to create a hub organizing the undergraduate student research done at RPI in both the past and present. Anderson stated that with this collection, students would see progress that has already been done, as well as the favored labs and professors for certain types of research. Krajewski reported that the Student Opinion Survey gave a positive response for this venture and some peer institutions have already incorporated similar ideas. Class of 2017 Senator Mason Cooper ’17 questioned which group within the administration would incorporate and host this archive. The duo clarified by stating that it could be housed under general undergraduate research, Folsom Library, or the vice president of research, based on the discretion of the administration. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

Editor’s ideas for staying occupied

Winter Break is almost here; final exams and then we’re out! Most RPI students have nearly six weeks off. That’s a lot of time with no projects to complete, essays to write, or homework to do; it’s a time to relax and enjoy the break. Come up with a list of what you want to do either now or during the first week of break. I hope my ideas in this article will help you to generate your list. Read more...

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Sustainability

Eco-Princess Fest inspires girls to pursue STEM careers

On Saturday, November 22, Ecologic and Student Sustainability Task Force co-hosted the second Eco-Princess Fest at RPI. This program is designed to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in young children, specifically young girls, while educating them on environmental issues. Both undergraduate and graduate students volunteered their time to make this event possible. Some students dressed as Disney princesses, while others dressed as wizards and everyday people. There were several tables, each set up with a different activity that taught children about a certain topic. Read more...

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New Residence hall changes proposed

Senate moves forward on Residence Hall Proposals and appoints graduate senator

The first motion on the floor debated how the Student Senate should move forward with their recommendations to Residence Life regarding residence hall improvements. While the agenda had originally called for a vote to see if these recommendations would be sent to the Residence Life staff, the discussion was not to center around what could be improved in the write-up of the work done so far. This project progressed under the work of the Student Life Committee head Lexi Rindone ’15 and project lead Kees Cranendonk ’15, both Class of 2015 senators. Via surveys directed at the student body and Resident Student Association, the Senate was able to gain a number of statistics that reflected the general feelings and thoughts of the residence halls. The intent of the project was to compile and organize this data into a single write-up which would be sent to the staff of ResLife and would suggest rankings for the various potential improvements of the residence halls. In regards to that ranking, Cranendonk stated that health and safety concerns were prioritized over other amenities and looked to shape high impact, low cost changes. Class of 2018 Senator Steven Sperraza ’18 questioned if there had been enough respondents to these surveys to make the contained data viable. Cranendonk was prepared to clarify this by including the number of respondents per residence hall in the final report. Shoshana Rubinstein ’16 , Class of 2016 senator, applauded the specific nature of the data as some areas of some halls needed more help than others. Director of the Rensselaer Union Joe Cassidy suggested a comparative survey of off campus and Greek housing should be attached to the report. After discussion, Rindone and Cranendonk agreed to increase the amount of raw data that was available in the report. Read more...

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Top Hat

Election referenda posted

SLC work presented; GM’s advice for end of semester

Hello, RPI. I hope you had a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving Break. Each year, this break has been the perfect chance to reconnect with friends and family—as well as a prime opportunity to rest and recharge in anticipation of the final push towards the end of the semester. Read more...

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Entrepreneurship

Change the World Challenge awards contest winners

For many students, the beginning of the fall semester is a time to regroup after nearly four months off, meet up with friends again and get back into the swing of classes. Some students, however, came back and immediately jumped into new adventures. By the end of September, 75 teams had entered the newly redesigned Change the World Challenge, interested in exploring the market validity of their idea. The goal of the challenge is to give students the opportunity to take their first steps as an entrepreneur. During the six-week program, teams refine their idea by conducting customer interviews, feeling the pain points the user experiences and pivoting to address the uncovered recurring symptoms. Only 30 of the original 75 applicants advanced to the second round to actually begin on the six-week journey. In the end, only 10 teams are chosen to receive a prize of $1,000. This semester’s winners are, in no particular order: Read more...

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Ski and Snowboard and Ski Team receive funds

Statler & Waldorf approved to print 1000 issues, Ski Team to rent safer vans

The Executive Board met on November 20 to discuss funds for two snow-related clubs, as well as the number of issues Statler & Waldorf could print for their next issue. Read more...

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Derby

E-Board collects budgets

Administrative budgets reviewed before break begins

Hey RPI! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! Now it is time to buckle down for the last few days of classes and to push through finals so we can enjoy our extremely long Winter Break. Remember that the Heffner Alumni House will be open during study days for students to study with an endless supply of snacks and coffee. Read more...

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