Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Winter 2013/2014 - (Page 22)
different diseases or conditions.
High-throughput screening-a data-intensive technique used
to identify the unique protein "fingerprint" of an individual's
healthy or diseased tissue, which can help the process of diagnosing an illness or regenerating tissue-is another area that will benefit from the types of common data toolsets being created within
the Rensselaer IDEA, Vashishth says.
These and other research challenges are milestones on the
path to truly personalized medicine, where physicians and surgeons are able to make increasingly objective decisions based on
each patient's unique biology and informed by fast, accurate computer simulations.
"Personalized medicine is really the holy grail of biotechnology
and other health-related research taking place at Rensselaer and
around the world," Vashishth says. "The importance of data in this
endeavor cannot be overstated."
Another important element undergirding the connection of
CBIS and the Rensselaer IDEA is the recently announced partnership between Rensselaer and the Icahn School of Medicine
at Mount Sinai. The two institutions announced a formal affiliation agreement in May to collaborate on educational programs,
research, and the development of new diagnostic tools and treatments that promote human health. As part of the affiliation,
Rensselaer and Mount Sinai will leverage their respective supercomputing systems, and the data technologies realized thereon, to
quickly and efficiently produce sophisticated computer algorithms
that analyze genomic data and develop predictive models of disease, which in turn can better help diagnose and treat patients.
people-to experience and collaborate in immersive environments that can be outfitted with an infinitely customizable modular array of displays, speakers, cameras, and sensor technology.
This technology has a direct connection via underground optical
fiber to the CCI supercomputers.
Visually representing data, particularly esoteric or large volumes of information, can be challenging for researchers, and can
often present a stumbling block for students and faculty as they try
to convey the impact and importance of their work to their peers,
funding agencies, or the general public. EMPAC and the Rensselaer IDEA are developing next-generation visualization and
analytical tools to help make displaying, exploring, and interacting
with this data easier than ever before.
"The Rensselaer IDEA finds an ideal research platform at
EMPAC," Goebel says. "It is no longer the computer monitor or
small screen that can be used for the exploration of data. What is
needed is an environment which can envelop the researchers and
where they can work collaboratively at a scale which is natural to
us humans. At EMPAC, we can move through the space to discover details in the projection, we can jointly stand inside a data
visualization as if standing in a landscape, on a mountain, or in a
valley, and point others to what we discover and see."
Navigating with our eyes and ears, he says, is the best way to
arrive at new conclusions and discover complex patterns within
large data sets. EMPAC also appeals to the ears of researchers, and
has capabilities for the sonification of data-mapping data into the
"This is what EMPAC has been designed for from its very
"Our research at EMPAC over
the years has developed unique
approaches and tools, which will
benefit the Rensselaer IDEA and
contribute to its broad mission
in outstanding ways."
EMPAC is the platform where the arts, research,
science, and engineering meet under the same roof
and breathe the same air, says center director Johannes
Goebel. Unmatched in the world in terms of its combination of
technical capabilities, building facilities, and programs spanning
arts and the sciences, EMPAC is also the venue in which the
Rensselaer IDEA can be most appreciated via sight, sound, and
Opened in 2008, EMPAC was designed and constructed
specifically to allow groups of different sizes-from one to 1,200
22 RENSSELAER/ WINTER 2013-14
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Winter 2013/2014
Table of Contents
Snapshot: Rensselaer at Petascale
President's View: A Lesson From Microbes
Feature: The Rensselaer IDEA
Feature: Solving Problems
Feature:Hyerloop, Meet Tubeflight!
Feature: 2013 Alumni Hall of Fame
One Last Thing
Video Clip: Rensselaer at Petascale (AMOS)––Exerpts from President Jackson and CCI Director Chris Carothers remarks made at the Rensselaer at Petascale announcement event (3:21)
Slideshow: GE Girls@Rensselaer (0:54)
Video Clip: Data Forest––Director Jim Hendler discusses the "data forest" at the Rensselaer IDEA annoucement event (2:59)
Vimeo Link: EMPAC Research–– A New Paradigm for Interactive Exploration of Data with Live Coding (23:50)
YouTube Link: Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (44:13)
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Winter 2013/2014