Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, RPI is a private research university located in Troy, New York with two additional campuses in Hartford and Groton, Connecticut.
Founded in 1824 by Stephen van Rensselaer and Amos Eaton for the "application of science to the common purposes of life" it is stated to be as the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world. For almost two centuries Rensselaer has maintained a reputation for providing an undergraduate education of undisputed intellectual rigor based on educational innovation in the laboratory, classroom, and studio.
The university offers degrees from five schools: Engineering; Science; Architecture; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and the Lally School of Management; as well as an interdisciplinary degree in Information Technology and Web Science. Students are encouraged to work in interdisciplinary programs that allow them to combine scholarly work from several departments or schools. The university provides rigorous engaging interactive learning environment and campus-wide opportunities for leadership, collaboration, and creativity.
The Institute is especially well-known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.
RPI ranks among the top 40 national universities in the United States according to the U.S. News & World Report 2016. The same edition ranks RPI the 24th for "Best Value" in undergraduate education.
Among notable alumni of the university are Joseph Gerber, founder of Gerber Scientific; Curtis Priem, NVIDIA co-founder and architect of the first PC video processor; Sheldon Roberts, member of the "traitorous eight" who created Silicon Valley; Edward Zander, former CEO of Motorola; Steven Sasson, engineer and inventor of the digital camera and many others.
The university offers around one hundred and forty degree programs in sixty fields, leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees.
The university is one among a small group of polytechnic universities in the United States which tend to be primarily devoted to the instruction of technical arts and applied sciences.
According to U.S. News & World Report Graduate Rankings 2013 some of the best ranked programs are: multimedia/visual communications – the 6th; nuclear engineering – the 14th; applied mathematics – the 17th; materials engineering – the 20th.
Besides, RPI has established six areas of research as institute priorities: biotechnology, energy and the environment, nanotechnology, computation and information technology, and media and the arts.
RPI's 111 ha campus sits upon a hill overlooking Troy, New York and the Hudson River. The surrounding area is mostly residential neighborhoods with the city of Troy lying at the base of the hill. The campus is bisected by the 15th Street with most of the athletic and housing facilities to the east and the academic buildings to the west. A footbridge spans the street linking the two parts. Much of the campus features a series of Colonial Revival style structures built in the first three decades of the 20th century.