Features


RCOS

A chat with QuACS

With Spring semester course registration right around the corner, many RPI students are trying to put together their course schedules. A popular scheduling tool among RPI students is QuACS, the Questionably Accurate Course Scheduler. To get a better understanding of QuACS, The Polytechnic interviewed the QuACS team.

The Poly's Recommendations

What's The Poly listening to?

Are you looking to spice up your playlist? Don't worry, The Poly's got you covered. Check out our Fall 2021 recommendations below, featuring music from Adele to Modest Mouse.

Poly Comics

The ghosts of West Hall

Exploring West Hall at night is a rite of passage at RPI. In the newest Poly comic, three students have a strange encounter in the rumored-to-be-haunted building.

RPI HISTORY

The forgotten ghosts in the depths of West Hall

West Hall has a reputation at Rensselaer for its otherworldly, cryptic nature, with its eerie and complex history. Staff writer Vaughn Greason ’25 walks through the history of West Hall and what it represents to RPI.

Interview

Drag fever with Typhoid Mary

Laura Zwirn ’23 and Erik Cross ’23 interview local drag queen Typhoid Mary to learn more about their artistic endeavors and their lived experiences as an artist in Troy.

Campus Event

Borderline brilliance at poetry slam

Talk Without Borders organized Poetry Slam Night, an event aimed towards providing members of the Rensselaer community with an open space to express themselves in an artistic way.

culture

How Parasite and Squid Game disprove the get-rich-quick myth

Bill Ni ’23 shares his thoughts on why Parasite and Squid Game are so successful and how they reflect on our society’s income inequality.

RCOS

New Shuttle Tracker enters beta

Shuttle Tracker recently released a new public beta, called “the new Shuttle Tracker,” with a major new feature: crowd-sourced location data. The Polytechnic interviewed the Shuttle Tracker team on the Tracker's new features.

Tv Series Review

We Are Lady Parts is the quirky coming-of-age narrative we’ve been waiting for

Editor in chief Medhini Mankale ’23 and photography editor Rachel Wang ’23 explain why We Are Lady Parts is the one show you should binge this semester. The comedy series follows an all-female Muslim punk band as they prepare and audition for a battle of the bands competition, with plenty of witty banter and jokes along the way.

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.