Jun 14, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023 
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023 [Archived Catalog]


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Schools

Department Head: Igor Vamos (Fall 2022), Michael Century (Spring 2023)

Graduate Program Director: Kathy High (Fall 2022), Igor Vamos (Spring 2022)

Music Program Coordinator: Christopher Fisher-Lochhead 

Department Home Page: https://hass.rpi.edu/arts

The Department of the Arts is dedicated to interdisciplinary creative research in electronic arts. It offers a unique environment to develop and realize innovative art within a technological university. The department offers a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Electronic Arts (EART) and a Bachelor of Science in Music (MUSC). The Department offers minors in Studio Arts, Well-being, Electronic Arts, Music, and Video, Performance, and Social Practice. These programs provide students with an opportunity to pursue a degree with a particular emphasis on the use of technology and an interdisciplinary approach to the arts.

Within this department, studio courses feature activities that stress creative and expressive development. Faculty encourage students to develop their perceptual sensitivity, as well as to build their confidence to apply creative exploration and problem-solving skills to a wide range of aesthetic challenges. In addition to a full complement of traditional disciplines, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, music, filmmaking, and performance, the department offers courses in media, video, computer imaging, animation, interactivity, multimedia installation, music, sound production, as well as music theory, composition, and performance.

Research Innovations and Initiatives

Arts department faculty members take varying approaches to the use of media in artistic creation and performance. All are active artists/theoreticians whose works are represented internationally in museums, galleries, and performance venues.

Students will become familiar with creative tools and are encouraged to work with combinations of media. The center of such creative work includes professional quality facilities in electronic and computer music, digital video production and post-production, computer imaging, animation, interactive media, installation art, and performance art. Opportunities to engage in creative or research projects with students or faculty from other departments or schools within the Institute are also possible.

Undergraduate Programs


  • Electronic Arts
  • Music


  • Studio Arts
  • Video, Performance, and Social Practice
  • Electronic Arts
  • Music

Graduate Programs  

  • Electronic Arts, Ph.D.


The department offers credit-bearing ensembles that may be applied toward the B.S. in Music or the Music Minor: Rensselaer Orchestra, Rensselaer Concert Choir, and Chamber Music Ensemble. Non-credit ensembles, dictated by student interest, are also available on campus: typical examples have included symphonic band, pep band, swing band, and vocal groups such as the Rensselyrics and the Rusty Pipes.

Course Descriptions

Courses related to all Arts and Music curricula are described in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog under the subject code ARTS and some IHSS courses.



Century, M.—M.A. (University of California, Berkeley); new media history and theory, contemporary music performance, and innovation studies.
Chang, B.—M.F.A. (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); virtual reality, experimental games, interactive installation, and open-source software.
High, K.—M.A. (State University of New York at Buffalo, Center for Media Study); video art, film production & theory, ecological arts, bioart, science and art, queer studies.
Miller, B.—M.F.A. (New York University Graduate Film and Television Program); video art and media art.
Nideffer, R.—Ph.D. (University of California, Santa Barbara); net art, contemporary social theory, game culture, and technology. 
Simoni, M.— Ph.D. (Michigan State University); algorithmic composition, live electronics, and piano performance.
Vamos, I.—M.F.A. (University of California, San Diego); tactical media, video, film production, and theory.

Associate Professors

Hamilton, R.—Ph.D. computer music, interactive performance, composition, virtual reality, and gaming.
Ruiz, K.—abd Ph.D. (Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinare Studien, EGS); interactive simulation, game studies, photography, and emerging multidisciplinary genres.
Staniszewski, M.—Ph.D. (Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York); modern and contemporary art, culture, and media history.

Assistant Professor

Goodheart, M.—Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley); music theory and musicianship, improvisation, composition, sound art and installation, history, aesthetics, interactive and compositional technologies.                            Ruzanka, S.—M.F.A. Art and Technology Studies (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); video, installation, performance, and virtual environments.


Fisher-Lochhead, C.—D.M.A. (Northwestern University)
Galloway, K.—Ph.D. (University of Toronto); musicology; ethnomusicology; sound studies; popular music studies; performance studies; music and sound in games and interactive media.
Kielwagen, J.—M.F.A. Sculpture, M.A. History and Theory of Art (Michigan State University); multimedia art, performance art, social art, sculpture, and art history.
Loveless, S.—M.F.A. (Bard College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); Director, The Center for Deep Listening.
Meltz, N.—M.F.A. Art, (State University of New York at Albany); collage, printmaking, animation, and graphic arts.
Press, E.—​M.F.A. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); television, video art, documentary, journalism.
Ragsdale, K.—M.F.A. (State University of New York at Albany); drawing, painting, sculpture, paper-craft, theatre lighting, and photography.
Rice, R.— M.F.A. (Middle Tennesse State University); sound recording

Professors Emeritus

Bahn, C.—Ph.D. (Princeton University); computer music and interactive performance. 
Hahn, T.—Ph.D. (Wesleyan University); ethnomusicology, performance art, and dance.

* Departmental faculty listings are accurate as of the date generated for inclusion in this catalog. For the most up-to-date listing of faculty positions, including end-of-year promotions, please refer to the Faculty Roster section of this catalog, which is current as of the May 2022 Board of Trustees meeting.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Schools