Inside Rensselaer
Colloquium To Explore the Connections Between Science, Art, and Technology May 11-12

Rensselaer will host a colloquium next month to discuss and explore the evolving convergence of art and science.

Four renowned researchers and artists will convene to tackle questions about the evolution of aesthetic perception, and how art, music, science, and technology enhance our understanding of human sensibilities, communication, and cognition.

The discussions and presentations will make up the first day of the ninth annual Colloquium on Teaching & Learning, titled “The Science of Art — The Art of Science.” The two-day conference will take place May 11-12 in the theater of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).

The event is free and open to the public. Local school district faculty and administrators are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be served both days. Following the final presentations on Monday, May 11, will be a reception featuring live music and electronic art displays.

“With EMPAC becoming a reality, we should begin to explore what it really means, as a platform for art, science, teaching, and learning,” said Prabhat Hajela, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.

“It is important to look at new possibilities that this exciting new platform affords, not only the obvious ones related to music and art, but also those related
to entirely new pedagogies of immersive teaching and learning. Presentations and discussions at the workshop will hopefully stimulate new thinking and plant the seeds of interesting new questions for students, researchers, and artists to investigate.”

Keynote speakers for the first day of the colloquium are:

  • Roger Reynolds — Professor of Music, UC San Diego, “At the Interface of Art and Science: Opportunity, Manifestation, Transformation, Obligation”
  • Andrea Halpern — Professor of Psychology, Bucknell University, “Mental Concerts: Musical Imagery and the Brain”
  • Marina Wallace — Professor of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, “Head On: Art With the Brain in Mind”
  • Michael Balter — Author of The Goddess and the Bull, “The Origin of Symbolism and Art”

Following the presentations, the four keynote speakers will hold a panel discussion on the topic of “The Science of Art—The Art of Science.”

The second day of the colloquium will feature morning talks by several Rensselaer researchers, including Mark Changizi, of the Department of Cognitive Science; Barb Cutler, of the Department of Computer Science; Suvranu De, of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering; and Jonas Braasch, of the School of Architecture.

With support from Jack Arnold ’43, this year’s Colloquium on Teaching & Learning is sponsored by the Rensselaer Office of the Provost and organized by the Anderson Center for Innovation in Undergraduate Education and EMPAC.

Visit for the complete schedule and registration information.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 3, Number 4, April 10, 2009
©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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