Associate Features Editor
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.
UPAC’s Union After Dark: Squash Mosh featured The Rusty Pipes, Rensselyrics, the dance group Eighth Wonder, and indie-pop band Black Tie Stereo. Attendees were treated to complimentary pumpkin pie, candy, and juice boxes. In addition to watching performances, attendees had the opportunity to paint squash, create sand art, play board games, purchase airbrushed clothing, and participate in the premiere of UPAC and TeamRPI’s “Minecraft Hunger Games” competition, which was projected live with commentary for everyone to watch.
Kurt Hentschläger’s “EKO,” publicized as “a splendid void of darkness,” clearly piqued the interests of many Rensselaer students. Unlike any other event I have attended at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, all tickets were completely sold out and an additional showing was added to accommodate more attendees. Even following this second showing, more students waited eagerly in the lobby for a possible opportunity to experience the piece.
Lead Video Engineer Eric Brucker led an informative tour of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center’s public venues, private production rooms, and hidden spaces. Participants’ thoughtful questions and the stunning views of EMPAC delightfully kickstarted my weekend.
The avant-garde Turkish dance duo Taldans performed one of their earliest pieces, titled Dolap, on Thursday at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sizanli make up the group, which was formed in 1996, the duo choreographed Dolap in 2000, and Thursday evening's performance was an example of the cumulative effect of working on a single piece for nearly twenty years. Dolap was the kind of piece that excited the audience with the dancers’ physicality and trust in each other. It lent itself to many interpretations and plenty of discussion, especially regarding Taldans’ strange choice of prop: a refrigerator.
B. Gentry Lee, one of the chief engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, gave a talk to members of the Rensselaer community in the Russell Sage Laboratory as a part of the Union Speakers Forum. Lee engaged the audience with his animated storytelling, combined with his advice to students and interesting experiences in engineering at NASA.
Rensselaer's annual student-run hackathon will be held over the weekend of November 2 in the Darrin Communications Center. HackRPI invites students of all majors to work in teams and develop a software project in one of this year’s project themes: natural disaster and mitigation, accessibility in education, and artificial intelligence.
Josh Groban, the Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and actor, mesmerized audience members by performing many of his classic numbers in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall on Saturday.
Every year, Rensselaer brings together a group of diverse individuals, each from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, who are passionate in pursuing varied academic interests and are all unified in our shared experience of building a new life away from home.
The Union Programs and Activities Committee organized an open house for students and alumni on Saturday.
September 15 marked the beginning of Latinx Heritage Month, which recognizes the importance of Latinx culture and history within the United States. Three student organizations—Alianza Latina, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity—have events planned throughout the month, and all students are welcome to participate in the festivities.
On Saturday, the Rensselaer Union hosted the 2019 Student Leader Summit. The event included conference-style “choose-your-own” workshops, breakfast, lunch, and a special keynote presentation featuring Heidi Knoblauch, the owner of the Plumb Oyster Bar in Downtown Troy.