Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2017 - 9
Information Technology and Web
Science Program Ranked 1st
Elects Joe Chow
THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND WEB
Science program at Rensselaer has been
ranked No. 1 among 35 undergraduate programs at national colleges and universities
by College Choice, a leading authority in
college and university rankings and resources.
"If you're interested in this growing ﬁeld,
you can expect plenty of opportunities,"
stated College Choice. "Computer and
information technology is expected to grow
at double-digit rates in the years ahead as
cloud computing, big data, mobile computing, and computer networks all expand at
a rapid pace."
The ranking of the top 35 schools was
based on each school's reputation in the
ﬁeld and its return on investment.
College Choice compiled data from U.S.
News & World Report, the National Center
for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com,
as well as a survey of freshmen attitudes
about academic reputation, ﬁnancial aid
offerings, and cost, published by the Higher
Education Research Institute at UCLA.
The survey also took into account graduate
success rates in the post-college job market.
"Rensselaer's IT programs, including
the Bachelor of Science in Information
Technology and Web Science, cover
topics such as trust, privacy, and future
web development," stated College Choice
in its description of Rensselaer. "More than
20 concentration options are available,
including areas like arts, medicine, and
Rensselaer ﬁrst offered a bachelor's
degree in Information Technology in 1998,
and in 2010 became the ﬁrst university in
the nation to offer an undergraduate degree
program devoted to the emerging interdisciplinary ﬁeld of Information Technology
and Web Science (ITWS). ITWS combines
technical courses and courses in human
computer interaction, the social implications of information technology, communications, management, leadership, team
building, and web science. Students can
pair their IT degree with another ﬁeld of
study to form a dual major.
"We are delighted that the dedicated
efforts of our ITWS leadership, instructional faculty, and staff have achieved this
high level of national recognition," says
Curt Breneman, dean of the School of
Science, within which the ITWS program
is housed. "Under the leadership of
director and chaired professor Peter Fox,
the ITWS program has set new standards
of excellence, technical rigor, and return on
investment that underpin this ranking."
JOE CHOW, POWER GRID CONTROL EXPERT AND PROfessor of electrical, computer, and systems
engineering, has been elected to the National
Academy of Engineering (NAE). Chow was
elected for his technical contributions to
modeling, analysis, and control
of large-scale power grids.
Election to the NAE is
among the highest professional
distinctions accorded to an
engineer. Academy membership honors those who have
made outstanding contributions to "engineering research,
practice, or education, including
signiﬁcant contributions to the
engineering literature" and to "the pioneering
of new and developing ﬁelds of technology,"
according to the organization.
Over the past three decades, Chow has
been at the cutting edge of electric power
systems engineering. His work in modeling
and control of large-scale power systems has
growing applications in development and
maintenance of smart grids. For example, his
work on synchrophasors, devices that make
real-time measurements of electrical quantities, allows new mechanisms to monitor the
power grid for boosting the amount of energy
that can be reliably transmitted on high-power,
high-voltage electric grids.
Chow serves as the campus director of the
Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric
Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT),
jointly funded by the National Science
Foundation and the U.S. Department of
Energy. CURENT is dedicated to developing
the next generation of electric grids, or "smart
grids," that promise higher efﬁciency, greater
reliability, and the smooth integration of
renewable energy sources into large power
"Rensselaer has strong programs in power
systems and power electronics," Chow says.
"Our vision is to develop ultra-efﬁcient homes
and buildings equipped with smart meters,
easy interfaces that allow us to see when and
how we're using energy, and seamless integration of home-based solar and wind power
generation into the larger grid."
RENSSELAER/FALL 2017 9