We enter the 21st century with a sense of wonder, affected by a technological revolution and global awareness never before experienced by humankind. Propelled by an insatiable curiosity and relentless desire to create, the last century ushered in a time of burgeoning technological development. We have witnessed technological innovations that dramatically transformed the mobility of people from horses to cars, airplanes, and rockets. Telephones, computers, and satellite technology have irrevocably altered the ways we communicate with each other. Ironically, these advances have brought some of us together while simultaneously pulling others apart.
What is the role of the humanities, arts, and social sciences in a technological research university of the 21st century? The answer is simple: We are seekers. We seek to understand the very nature of our humanity. We seek to improve the quality of life. We seek to preserve our world. We seek truth through artistic innovation.
The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is a special community in an exceptional university at a critical moment in time. We sit at the crossroads of humanity and technological innovation. We contextualize what it means to be a contributing global citizen in an increasingly complex technological society. We concern ourselves with issues that have plagued humanity since the beginning of recorded history: ethics, truth, meaning, and beauty. At Rensselaer, we situate our contributions alongside the Schools of Architecture, Engineering, and Science, as well as the Lally School of Management, as equal partners in the quest for understanding.
Come and partner with our world-class faculty in this journey of higher learning. You will be challenged to discover your potential through the study of the arts, cognitive science, communication and media, economics, and science and technology studies. It is through these studies that you will find yourself on the path of the life well lived.
Mary Simoni, Ph.D.