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ATRENSSELAER

Biology
Understanding Alzheimer’s
Chunyu Wang, assistant professor of biology at Rensselaer, has received one of 10 New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR) James D. Watson Investigator Program Awards.

Commencement
Launching the Class of 2005
Blue skies and mild temperatures prevailed for the nearly 1,100 graduates at Rensselaer’s 199th Commencement May 21. More than 10,000 family members, friends, and university alumni and staff attended the festive ceremony on Harkness Field, followed by a picnic on campus.

Environment
New Book Examines Environmental Issues
In his new book, Wisdom for a Livable Planet (Trinity University Press, April 2005), Carl McDaniel provides an introduction to many of today’s critical environmental issues, including toxic waste, biodiversity, globalization, population, economic justice, climate change, and environmental education.

Mathematics
A Winning Solution
A Rensselaer undergraduate team has won the 2005 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, besting competitors from Harvard University, MIT, and others.

Geochemistry
Taking the Earth’s Early Temp
Researchers at Rensselaer and Australian National University have found new evidence that environmental conditions on early Earth, within 200 million years of solar system formation, were characterized by liquid-water oceans and continental crust similar to those of the present day.

Sports Report
Field Hockey Highest GPA in Nation
Rensselaer’s women’s field hockey team has the highest team grade point average in the nation when considering all the Division I, Division II, and Division III squads.

Lighting Research Center
New Technology for LED Output
Scientists at Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center (LRC) have developed a method known as “SPE” (scattered photon extraction) to get significantly more light from white LEDs (light-emitting diodes) without requiring more energy.

Architecture
Going to Extremes
Fifth-year architecture student Stephanie Cramer didn’t have to look far for inspiration for a project for her Extreme Drawing class.

The Minutia File
How Lightsabers Work
The popular Web site How Stuff Works, created by Marshall Brain ’83, this spring paid a tongue-in-cheek homage to the Star Wars craze with a feature on “How Lightsabers Work” (www.howstuffworks.com/ lightsaber.htm).

Dialogue
Race Car Driver Erin Crocker ’03 Takes Aim at NASCAR
Erin Crocker ’03, an engineering graduate from Wilbraham, Mass., has spent more than a decade racing cars, competing on dirt tracks in quarter midgets, mini sprint and winged sprint cars, and trucks. Now the 24-year-old is seen as one of the most promising drivers on the NASCAR circuit.

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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in March, June, September, and December by the Office of Communications.

 
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