A group of RIT students took first place Monday in a competition designed to end extremism. 

The competition is sponsored in part by the U.S. State Department as a way of countering hateful extremist rhetoric, by groups like ISIS and others, in various online sites and social media.

A team of 17 RIT students, many of them marketing majors, was one of three finalists in this competition which also includes a team from Azerbaijan and Brussels. Five of the 17 students traveled to Washington to represent RIT.

Our Monthly Science Roundtable looks at gravitational waves. The remarkable story of the first detection of gravitational waves confirms that Einstein was right, which is not exactly news, but in this case it was: Einstein figured these waves exist, but he also figured that we'd never be able to build anything sensitive enough to detect them. So in that sense, Einstein was wrong.

Our panel explains what the waves are, how we detected them, where they came from, and what we might discover next. And there happens to be local connections, which we explain as well. Our guests:

ALBANY (AP) New York is helping its private colleges with campus repairs, upgrades and construction projects.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that the state will award more than two dozen schools a combined $35 million in matching grants. To receive the money the institutions have to agree to spend $3 for every $1 of state money.

Universities will use the money to pay for things like classroom repairs, upgrades to arts centers and renovations to science labs.

How can we help relieve pain and anxiety for cancer patients during chemotherapy treatments? Studies show that video games, especially virtual reality experiences, serve as effective diversionary activities.

Cancer Wellness Connections is partnering with the RIT MAGIC Center to provide video games for patients. They're calling it "gaming for good," and we talk about why it's so effective. Our guests:

  • Betsy Twohig-Barrett, president and executive director of Cancer Wellness Connections
  • Jennifer Hinton, assistant director of the RIT MAGIC Center
  • Jordan Sommer, student and gamer

Our Dialogue on Disability looks at how technology is changing what is possible for people with disabilities. Known as "effective access technology," it can help people in many different ways.

We also discuss the documentary, Fixed: The Science Fiction of Human Enhancement, which asks whether technology can go too far in enhancing human abilities. It airs Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Our guests:

This program is presented as part of Dialogue on Disability Week – a partnership between WXXI and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies – in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. Dialogue on Disability is supported in part by The Golisano Foundation with additional support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation. 

RIT Opens Health Science Center

Oct 3, 2015
RIT photo by A. Sue Weisler

RIT opened its new Clinical Health Sciences Center Friday.

The Center is a 45-thousand square foot addition to the north end of Louise Slaughter Hall. It will be home to the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition and student programs in behavioral health, ultrasound and physician's assistant.

A doctor's office and clinic will open October 19 as part of RIT’s partnership with Rochester Regional Health. Primary and walk-in care will be available to RIT employees and the community. A laboratory blood-draw station will also open.

The Rochester Police Department has confirmed that the body pulled from the waters of Lake Ontario Friday night is missing RIT student Max Maisel. The cause of death is still being determined. 

A fisherman discovered the body around 7:30 p.m. Friday night and notified the U.S. Coast Guard. The body was about 200 yards away from the Coast Guard Station. Maisel had been missing since late February when he was last seen on Charlotte Pier. 

Veronica Volk / WXXI

RIT's Battery Prototyping Center was unveiled with a ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony and tour. The facility will provide space and technology for academics and private businesses to develop new battery technologies.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says she hopes someone in this facility will make a battery that helps her phone hold a charge.

"I would pay anything to not be scrounging around the floors of JFK and LaGuardia looking for a plug in the wall so I can talk to the governor."

Connections: Senator Rich Funke; Soledad O'Brien

Jan 29, 2015

We start the show talking with State Senator Rich Funke (R), who represents the 55th State Senate District. Then, we air a pre-recorded interview with Soledad O'Brien who was speaking at RIT today.

New U.S. Labor Department regulations will require federal contractors – of which there are nearly 50,000 companies with approximately 200,000 establishments – to set a target of having 7 percent of their workforce be comprised of employees with disabilities. Colleges and universities are being asked to do more to adequately prepare students with disabilities for the workforce, because current statistics show they are not prepared.  RIT is being cited as a shining example of what one university is doing in this arena. The National Organization on Disability hosted a news conference with RIT, and they join us to talk about how to make a workplace achieve this standard.