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ITWS Research

Information Technology and Web Science is the focal point of a revolution in which computer science and computing tools and techniques drive innovation across a wide spectrum of businesses, industries, and academic research.

Nearly every discipline in Rensselaer's five academic schools is impacted in one way or another by information technology and web science. In some cases, this impact takes the form of exploiting information technology and web science to drive innovative research programs that advance the discipline. 

In other cases, the discipline advances information technology and web science itself by developing new computing and communications tools and techniques. In still other cases, information technology and web science brings disciplines together into creative interdisciplinary research programs that would not be possible without the facilitation of information technology and web science.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Rensselaer's Undergraduate Research Program (URP) provides real-world, hands-on research experience for undergraduate students in ITWS. Through this unique program, students have the opportunity to work directly with a faculty member on a research project, sometimes for academic credit or for a financial stipend. Students gain leadership and team skills, hands-on experience, and critical thinking skills.

Ph.D. Research Opportunities in ITWS

ITWS-related research is underway everywhere on campus. Ph.D. programs in Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Management and Science offer a wealth of opportunities for focusing on ITWS in a doctoral program. In addition, for highly interdisciplinary research, an ITWS Track is available in the Multidisciplinary Science PhD program.

Examples of Research Opportunities

As just a few samples of the varied research opportunities in ITWS at Rensselaer, consider the following:

Information systems form the core of many if not most ITWS systems. Research exploring the design, implementation and operation of intelligent information systems is central to disciplines such as computer science, computer systems, management and decision sciences and engineering systems. Exploring new ways to take advantage of information systems is leading to new discoveries in nearly all disciplines. Whether you are interested in the information systems themselves or their use in specific problem domains (e.g., materials engineering, biology, chemistry and sociology), there are opportunities for research in information systems across the Rensselaer campus.

Computer networking, like information systems, is a fundamental technology used in many ITWS systems. Extensive research opportunities in computer networking exist in both computer science and computer systems, focusing on such topics as congestion control, wireless networks, and intrusion detection and security. Additionally, a new interdisciplinary research center in pervasive computing and networking builds upon this basic research.

Another important consideration for any ITWS system is human computer interaction (HCI), which focuses on building computational and information systems that are easier and more effective for people to use. Research is this area is underway in Rensselaer's Social and Behavioral Research Laboratory.

A final example is scientific computation, which focuses on the development of reliable simulation technologies for engineers, scientists, medical professionals, and other practitioners. These advancements enable experts in their fields to employ, appraise, and evaluate the behavior of physical, chemical, and biological systems of interest.

Other exciting ITWS research underway at Rensselaer can be found by clicking here.

Doctor of Philosophy in Multidisciplinary Science

The School of Science offers graduate study leading to the PhD in Multidisciplinary Science. This degree allows students who have traditional discipline-oriented backgrounds to function more effectively in academic, industrial, or governmental positions that are multidisciplinary in nature.

The ITWS Track as part of the PhD in Multidisciplinary Science allows a student to work on ITWS Research with faculty from multiple Rensselaer departments and schools.

How to Apply

Whether you pursue your PhD through one of Rensselaer's many traditional PhD programs or through the ITWS Track in the Multidiciplinary Science PhD program, you will have the opportunity to do innovative and exciting ITWS research with faculty who are world leaders in their fields.

You must apply to a specific PhD program. Please visit the Graduate Admission Office Web site to obtain on-line application instructions and credentials requirements for your specific program.

Duration of Study

The time required to complete a PhD varies from discipline to discipline. It also depends on a student’s preparation at entry to the program. Typically, a PhD at Rensselaer requires four to six years. For more details, consult the specific PhD program in which you are interested.

Program Costs

Details of the tuition for full-time graduate students can be found here. Many students in PhD programs receive financial aid in the form of teaching and research assistantships or fellowships which fully fund the cost of tuition and provide a stipend to cover living expenses. Assistantships are obtained through the department in which you will be a student. The details vary from department to department. Therefore, consult the department to which you apply for details. For loan information, call the Office of Financial Aid at (518) 276-6813 or e-mail financial_aid@rpi.edu with any questions.

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