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Resident Undergraduate Education

We will... enroll outstanding undergraduate students in excellent programs distinguished by interactive pedagogies, partnerships with faculty in research and innovation, seamless customer service, and a campus culture and engaging student experience that create a lifelong relationship with the Institute.

The Rensselaer undergraduate experience is distinguished by a commitment to provide a firm grounding in the fundamentals; hands-on experiential learning; research and entrepreneurial partnerships with faculty; opportunities to participate in cross-disciplinary project teams; and a lively, well-rounded, and engaging campus environment.

Mohammed Zaki

Mohammed Zaki: Seed Grant Bears Fruit
Last year, the Office of Research provided $750,000 worth of grants to 16 research projects on campus through the Exploratory Research Seed Program.

A primary goal of the program is to fund new interdisciplinary research projects in areas of strategic interests and to build new opportunities in disciplines that have a high probability of leading to major externally sponsored research programs.

The program has already yielded results: Mohammed Zaki, assistant professor of computer science, recently earned an Early Career Principal Investigator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. The three-year, $333,928 grant to decode the protein language was the result of work conducted under the Exploratory Research Seed Program.

From admissions publications and Web pages that intrigue and welcome prospective students, to online audits of degree requirements for graduating seniors — and everything in between — the undergraduate experience is being refined, redefined, and renewed.

A Rich, Challenging Academic Program
Interactive Learning — an innovative blend of lecture, skill-building exercises, discussion, high-tech inquiry, and old-fashioned problem solving — is practically synonymous with undergraduate education at Rensselaer.

Now The Rensselaer Plan is infusing new life into the interactive learning initiative. The studio approach has now been integrated into all undergraduate programs, and although the technique does not require the use of high technology, many classes take advantage of specially equipped studio classrooms.

In the O.T. Swanson Multidisciplinary Design Laboratory, which opened in 2000, students from several disciplines collaborate on design activities in a state-of-the-art facility that simulates the work environment. Here, students take a project from its initial design, through prototyping and on to manufacturing, learning real-world technical skills from faculty, from industry representatives, and from each other.

This year, the Multidisciplinary Design Laboratory Experience in engineering, which until now has concentrated largely on industry-sponsored and service projects, has been expanded to include innovative programs that develop Rensselaer-owned intellectual property and link student teams with Incubator start-up companies.

Computing became fully integrated into the undergraduate curriculum this fall as Rensselaer’s Mobile Computing Program entered its fourth year. Now every undergraduate student is equipped with a laptop computer and connected to faculty, classmates, specific course materials, and the wealth of materials available through the Internet.

Research is the keystone of The Rensselaer Plan and at the very essence of the undergraduate experience.

Undergraduate students at Rensselaer have many opportunities to partner in the research enterprise. Many courses incorporate research projects as part of the curriculum. Engineering students often put their research projects to the test in the Research Forum, a place where undergraduate teams compete for recognition and prizes.

People, Programs, Platforms

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Rensselaer Magazine: December 2002
President's View Your Mail From the Archives Hawk Talk Class Notes Features
Front Page At Rensselaer Milestones
In Memoriam Making a Difference Staying Connected
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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in March, June, September, and December by the Office of Marketing and Media Relations.

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