Rochester Institute of Technology

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Template:Infobox American Universities Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private higher education institute, with emphasis on career preparation, in Rochester, New York founded in 1829.



The institute was founded as the Rochester Athenaeum in 1829, which later merged with the Mechanics Institute in 1891 to create the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. In 1944 the Institute changed its name to the Rochester Institute of Technology. The institute originally existed in downtown Rochester but was moved outside the city limits in 1968 to the town of Henrietta, New York where it remains today. RIT enrolls over 15,300 full- and part-time students, with an approximate male-to-female ratio of 2:1. Associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees are awarded. The institute includes a federally funded National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). The current president is Albert J. Simone, the institute's eighth president.


The institute is well-known for its engineering and photography programs. It also has one of the oldest cooperative education programs in the United States in which students hold a full time job for a period (while not taking classes) as part of their graduation requirements. The school year is divided into four 11-week (10 weeks of teaching and 1 week of final exams) quarters instead of two longer semesters. Whereas at many other colleges one would attend for two semesters and take summer off, at RIT students generally attend fall, winter, and spring quarters.

The university consists of 8 colleges:

In addition, RIT has a school located in Dubrovnik, Croatia named the American College of Management and Technology ( (ACMT)


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RIT's Quarter Mile walkway

The current campus is housed on a 1,300 acre (5 km²) property. This property is largely covered with woodland and fresh-water swamp making it a very diverse wetland which is home to a number of somewhat rare plant species. The campus is comprised of 237 buildings and 5.1 million square feet (474,000 m²) of building space.

With the expansion of the Math and Sciences Building, R.I.T.'s campus contains more bricks than the Great Wall of China. The brick color used is actually patented by the institute. When R.I.T. was constructing its current campus in 1968 they found it was more cost effective to buy the company that made the bricks, rather than the bricks themselves. The number of bricks increased again because of several construction projects, including the 160,000 square foot (15,000 m²)two-story Gordon Field House & Activies Center. The nearly universal use of bricks to construct the campus prompted students to give it the pseudo-affectionate nickname "Brick City."

The dorms and the academic side of campus are connected with a walkway called the "Quarter Mile." Along the Quarter Mile, between the academic and dorm side are various administration and support buildings. On the academic side of the walkway is a courtyard with a sculpture of a mobius strip; on the dorm side is a sundial and a clock. These symbols represent time to infinity. Standing between the Administration Building and the Student Alumni Union lies the Sentinel, a steel structure created by the acclaimed metal sculptor, Albert Paley. Reaching 70 feet (21 m) high and weighing 110 tons, the sculpture is the largest on any American university campus. There are five RIT-owned apartment complexes; Colony Manor, Perkins Green, Racquet Club, Riverknoll and University Commons.


While RIT is traditionally a teaching and career-focused university, its research programs are gradually expanding. The total value of the institute's research grants for FY 2003-2004 exceeded 30 million dollars.

In 1986, the institute founded the Chester Carlson Center for Imaging Science (, and started its first doctoral program in Imaging Science in 1989. The Carlson Center features a diverse research portfolio; its major research areas include Digital Image Restoration, Remote Sensing, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Microdensitometry, Color Science, Silver Halides, Astronomical Imaging, Visual Perception, and Ultrasonic Imaging.

The Center for Microelectronic and Computer Engineering ( was founded by RIT in 1986. The institute was the first university to offer a Bachelor's degree in Microelectronic Engineering. The Center's facilities include 50,000 square feet (4,600 m²) of building space with 10,000 square feet (930 m²) of clean room space; the building will undergo an expansion later this year. Its research programs include nano-imaging, nano-lithography, nano-power, micro-optical devices, photonics subsystems integration, high-fidelity modeling and heterogenous simulation, microelectronic manufacturing, microsystems integration, and micro-optical networks for computational applications. In 2002, RIT launched its second doctoral program in Microsystems Sciences and Engineering, the first of its kind in the nation, giving a boost to the Center's research activities.

The Center for Advancing the Study of CyberInfrastructure(CASCI) ( represents the computing research arm of the university. The Departments of Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology, Computer Engineering, Imaging Science, and Bioinformatics collaborate in a variety of research programs at this multidiscliplinary center housed in its College of Computing and Information Sciences. RIT was the first university to launch a Bachelor's program in Information Technology in 1991, the first university to launch a Bachelor's program in Software Engineering in 1996, and was also among the first universities to launch a Computer Science Bachelor's program in 1972.


RIT's nickname is the "Tigers", a name given following an undefeated basketball season in the 1950s. Prior to that, RIT's athletic teams were called the "Techmen". In the late 1950s, RIT purchased a rescued Bengal tiger which became the University's mascot, named Spirit. The original tiger's pelt now resides in the school's archives at the on-campus library. A metal sculpture in the center of campus now provides an everlasting version of the mascot, and RIT has helped to acquire a new bengal tiger cub for the local Rochester Zoo. RIT has 24 men's and women's varsity teams. All of RIT's teams are in the NCAA's Division III, with the exception of the hockey program, which will join the Atlantic Hockey Conference starting in 2006. The hockey program will then be RIT's only Division I sport. Additionally, RIT has a wide variety of club, intramural, and pick-up sports and teams to provide a less-competitive recreational option to students.


RIT boasts more than 90,000 alumni from all 50 U.S. states and over 90 countries. Its alumni include nine Pulitzer Prize recipients; Tom Curley, President and CEO of the Associated Press; Bruce James, Public Printer of the United States; Daniel Carp, President and CEO of Eastman Kodak; and Bernie Boston, photojournalist.

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