Features


Poly Comics

Super protected: a vaccination tale

Public health officials warn of possible side effects, but what if they weren't all negative? The Poly is bringing back comics with graphic artist Habib Nahouta at the helm.

Club Spotlight

RPI clubs persist through the pandemic

As part of an ongoing attempt to maintain a semblance of the normal college experience, many clubs have adapted their activities to operate fully online. The Polytechnic interviewed club officers about forging friendships online, pursuing projects virtually, and planning for the future.

Recommendations

What to binge before you get your vaccine; yes, this is a challenge

Though we’re glad 2020 is over, here are our favorite movies and shows released in the past year to get you through the quarantine and the rest of the semester.

COVID-19

Students share their concerns about returning to campus

Students returning to campus for the Spring semester face increased risk of COVID-19 by rejoining the Rensselaer community. Five students share their views on remote learning, the return to campus, and the COVID-19 vaccine, among other topics, with The Polytechnic.

STUDENT EVENT

HackRPI excels in spite of COVID-19

The 7th annual HackRPI hackathon was held virtually this year due to COVID-19. The free event ran as usual, with themes, events, and workshops. The most interesting aspect of the hackathon, though, was the diverse set of projects, ranging from a ride-sharing app called Carpool Coordinator to a modernized health care portal called Mediscope. The themes for this year were the following: artificial intelligence, climate change and environmental sustainability, and Public Health and Pandemic Response.

Student Tips

Beating procrastination: A realistic guide for the "lazy" student

In last week’s Top Hat, our Grand Marshall Advaith Narayan gave his tips for managing academic stress. Consider this a follow-up to address the elephant in the room, the biggest cause of student stress, low grades, and late nights: procrastination. From someone who has struggled with procrastination for her entire academic career, here are some guidelines to help kick the procrastination habit.

COVID-19

COVID testing: a 4-star experience

Over 4,200 members of the Rensselaer community were tested for COVID-19 prior to the return to campus this fall in an impressive feat of organization. While the process has gone remarkably smoothly, we hope that improvement in communication can make it even better.

Food Review

It's a soggy mess: Rensselaer’s quarantine food does not fail to disappoint

Students everywhere endure the mediocrity of dining hall food, but Rensselaer’s choiceless quarantine meals are a whole new take on this quintessential college experience. There was no way to prepare first-year students for the abysmal food that was soon to arrive on their dorm-steps: soggy croutons, cold sauceless noodles, and more. First-year writer Avery Clark reviews Rensselaer’s quarantine food delivery service.

Academics

On teaching at home

After transitioning to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rensselaer professors provide their perspectives on online teaching and the lessons they will bring back with them when on-campus learning resumes.

Recommendations

How to socialize while practicing social distancing

After a few weeks of online courses and the absence of campus activities, here are suggestions on how to socialize while practicing social distancing.

On-Campus Event

Rensselaer Music Association’s concert pops

From jazz favorites to soundtrack classics, the annual Pops Concert hosted by the Rensselaer Music Association was a blast!

On-Campus Event

Frozen 'fits at the BSA Fashion Show

Enjoy this brief gallery of a breathtaking walk, titled “Ice Me Out,” from this year’s BSA Fashion Show in anticipation of our upcoming in-depth article. The walk expressed two sides of luxe: opulent, glittery fabrics mixed with edgy streetwear looks and silhouettes.

Off-Campus Event

Year of the Rat was worth the wait

The Chinese American Student Association held their Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday. I was there to take photos for The Polytechnic, but I had a blast. I had never been to anything like it before, and sure the food was subpar as it was American Chinese food catered by Sodexo, but the celebration featured a variety of performances from a dragon dance, to a performance on the guzheng—a traditional Chinese string instrument, even including a multitude of dance routines by the group Eighth Wonder.

On-Campus Event

Music, drama, and idiocy at Evening of Performance

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said the gentleman behind me after witnessing the closing act of Sheer Idiocy, which marked the end of a night filled with showstopping flair and frenetic fun. The combined talents of the RPI Players, Rensselaer Music Association, and Sheer Idiocy were intricately intertwined to make the Evening of Performance a night to remember.

Recommendations

Shows to help you unwind this semester

During the cold and rainy days here in Troy, sometimes you just have to bury yourself in blankets and put on a good show. If you’ve already binged all the popular series on Netflix and are looking for something new, The Polytechnic is here to help.

On-Campus Event

Beginner's guide to an RPI hockey game

Freshmen staff writers Medhini Mankale and Sarah Shiang reflect on their first Big Red Freakout game.

Empac Event

Dehumanization in work, war explained

Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, Jennifer Rhee, discussed concepts from her book, The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor, during the first Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center talk of the Spring semester.

On-Campus Event

Winter Carnival warms students’ spirits with fun, activities

The Winter Carnival was held just in time as the snow melted away in Troy. The theme was “There’s Snow Place Like Home.” After students checked in, they were free to play games outdoors, free skate, or explore the activities.

Interview

What makes Thunder Mountain Curry special

The Polytechnic sat down with the co-founder of Thunder Mountain Curry to discuss how it came to be and why it is loved on campus.

Club Spotlight

DFA offers unique solutions to community problems

Recently, Design for America had two major events—the annual Design Expo and a fall Dinner Party—that highlighted the work that DFA members do to better the community.

Empac Event

Artfully acoustic architecture explained

I attended acoustician Zachery Belanger's talk "Sound: A New Approach to Integrating Architectural Design and Acoustics" at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center last semester. This talk offered a rewarding deep-dive into the process of how EMPAC spaces are designed, the challenges of the collaboration of architects and acousticians, and a vision for the future of acoustics and architecture.

On-Campus Event

A not-so silent night: Rensselaer Music Association’s Winter Concert

From Christmas classics to musical arrangements written by Rensselaer students, the annual Winter Concert hosted by the Rensselaer Music Association was a treat for all who attended.

Off-Campus Event

‘Tis the season to be German

Many gathered at the Eastside Troy Christkindlmarket to welcome the Christmas season in german-style this Saturday evening.

Tv Series Review

The Mindy Project embarrasses me as an Indian American woman

Years after listening to a friend praise this show, I finally watched The Mindy Project—and honestly, I wish I hadn’t wasted my time.