Album Review

Haircuts for Men, Macroblank, and the new vaporwave aesthetic

Vaporwave expresses a variety of emotions that are otherwise hard to articulate through aesthetics and production. Features Editor Vaughn Greason ’25 examines the aesthetics and evolution of the bands Macintosh Plus and Haircuts for Men, and looks to the future of vaporwave.


En garde, Ready, FENCE!: An overview of modern fencing

While not the same combat sport that the Princess Bride would have you believe, modern fencing is still the same fast-paced world of technique, defense, and mind games.

Club Spotlight

Shooting for the stars with the Rensselaer Astrophysical Society

Features Editor Vaughn Greason '25 interviews the Rensselaer Astrophysical Society about their place in RPI's community.

Student Life

PSS: Noel from Nason

With finals week looming, Nason Hall has been looking for a way to liven students’ spirits. Over the weekend, several residents pitched in to purchase and decorate a tree that’s now displayed on the building’s north side. The Polytechnic interviewed a few of the main contributors to this project.


Army ROTC heads to West Point

Cadets in Rensselaer’s Army ROTC competed in a national military skills competition, the Ranger Challenge, from October 22 to 24. The Mohawk Battalion, a 12-member team with RPI, Siena College, University of Albany, and Union College cadets, placed second out of 45 teams, qualifying them to compete at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point for the first time in over ten years.


Opening up and getting grounded with OpenCircuits

OpenCircuits, an online circuit designer, is seeing increased usage in classrooms at Rensselaer. Recently, Professor Konstantin Kuzmin decided to use OpenCircuits as his main circuit simulator when teaching Computer Organization. To learn more about the project, The Polytechnic interviewed the OpenCircuits RCOS project team.

On-Campus Event

RPI Players returns to captivate audiences with Clue

Despite the hiatus caused by the pandemic, the RPI Players still deliver with Clue—an infamous mystery story that’s been adapted into countless movies, shows, plays, and a myriad of board games since its inception.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.