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PERCEPTION AND ACTION The interconnections between art and science permeate all programs within HASS. Doctoral candidate Jon Matthis discovered this when he went from his undergraduate liberal arts degree program in philosophy to the Rensselaer graduate program in cognitive science. When I was studying philosophy I was very interested in the metaphysical gap between the mind and body said Matthis. In the cognitive science department I study the relationship between sensation perception and action. It is essentially the same question now Im coming at it with different tools. Matthis does his research in the Perception and Action PandA Laboratory directed by Professor Brett Fajen. The PandA lab uses technology like motion capture and virtual reality to conduct experiments between physical behavior and the mind. Using an obstacle course projected onto the lab floor and motion capture cameras to record the movements of participants as they navigate the course Matthis is researching the basic visual information the mind needs to maintain efficient walking motion over rough terrain. A Different Drummer MICHAEL WEISSMAN 11 Michael Weissman 11 grew up playing the drums and guitar and has always had an interest in digital music recording. When I was recording myself I thought that as a musician I could make the recording programs better he says. To do that I would need to add a knowledge of computer science and programming to my understanding of what all the features do and what would be desirable. At Rensselaer Weissman earned a dual degree in electronic media arts and communication EMAC and computer science. Weissman found that this combination gave him technical skill and flexibility to try new things. In one class for instance Weissman built a drum equipped with sensors programmed to activate lights in response to his drumming. Today Weissman is a technical support engineer at Disney Animation Studios where he has helped realize such blockbuster movies as Tangled and Frozen. He has come to see that his combination of skills and experience has made it possible for him to succeed in the job. They need people who are coders but who can also figure out whats next in the pipeline and how we can improve on it Weissman says. To be honest I dont think Id be where I am without the degree and relevant experience I got from EMAC and computer science. art science 9