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Biotechnology and the Life Sciences Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems
** Media, Arts, Science, and Technology

The Institute has blazed a trail to connect the arts, media, science, and technology with a bold initiative to create EMPAC: the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

With an impact reaching across the entire spectrum of the Rensselaer experience, this new focus will provide students, researchers, artists, and audiences with opportunities to link the arts with leading-edge research and performance across disciplines.

They will debate questions of art and science that defy conventional answers, find solutions to known and yet unknown challenges, and develop new ways of looking at concepts, images, and sounds. It will become an international center for innovation in the arts set within a university dedicated to groundbreaking discovery and innovation.

Led by director Johannes Goebel, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center will inspire experimentation, cross-disciplinary inquiry, and advanced research. In fact, the construction of this extraordinary building has already inspired research that may impact the planning and design of performance venues around the world.

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* Rensselaer Research
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* EMPAC *
Modeling Natural Light
Members of Rensselaer’s Department of Computer Science are working on modeling and simulation tools that will allow architects, lighting researchers, and designers to more efficiently take advantage of window placement, different building materials, and natural lighting to create greener homes and offices.
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* Bioart *
Research at EMPAC
To encourage interdisciplinary programs that will leverage the potential of the new building, Rensselaer’s Office of Research has supported a number of seed projects, which are expected to lead to new programs and funding at the interface of the arts, sciences, engineering, and technology. One has already served as a catalyst in the creation of a new research and academic program—bioart.
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* EMPAC *
Optimal Sound Equipment
Some of the most innovative research inspired by EMPAC has involved the design and construction of the building itself, and the knowledge gained in building EMPAC is expected to influence the design of future performance venues around the world. One EMPAC goal, for example, is to create an optimal sound environment, including total acoustical isolation.
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* Virtual Worlds *
Real-World Virtual Worlds
A group of Rensselaer researchers is working to engineer characters for online virtual worlds who exhibit the capacity to have beliefs and to reason about the beliefs of others. The goal is an artificial character that can modify its own behavior based on its ability to predict and manipulate the behavior of other characters, including humans.
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Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
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EMPAC
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The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
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“The 21st century is asking more from researchers and engineers and from all of us as humans than just being specialized in a certain field. We have to go beyond our limits to become leaders, and you can only become a leader if you can look outside of your box.

This is exactly what the new Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center contributes to the campus experience.”

Johannes Goebel
director of EMPAC

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