In upstate New York, Professor Bodhi Rogers is employing cutting-edge techniques to help digitally preserve one of the state’s most historic homes. Bodhi is creating an advanced virtual model of the Schuyler House, the former home of legendary American Revolutionary War figure Philip Schuyler (Broadway fans may know him as the father of the Schuyler sisters in the hit musical Hamilton).

Bodhi, a physics professor and an archaeologist, uses a laser scanner that pulses one million times per second to take a reading of the house every five millimeters while simultaneously taking digital photos. Computer software is then used to create a 3-D model of the structure, which can be used in preservation planning.

“The digitally preserved copy can be used as a reference if there is any damage to the house. In certain circumstances, say for a damaged piece of molding, our data can be sent to a computerized wood milling machine to produce an exact replica of the piece, complete with any notches or carvings from the original.”

Assisting Bodhi with the scan is physics-engineering major Alexander Tuong ’19.

“I think it’s pretty cool to be preserving a historic house,” says Alexander. “I’m doing work that no one else has done on the house, and we are virtually freezing it. If anything happens to the house in the future, we have documented what it should look like.”

Bodhi and his students have successfully used the technologyto digitally preserve several other historic locations, including a castle in Ireland and President Lincoln's summer cottage.