Advertised Project Openings


Below are currently advertised UROP projects available to eligible undergraduates. All projects, regardless of mode (pay, credit, or volunteer) are expected to be worth MIT academic credit and be supervised by MIT faculty. Projects appear on this list in the order they have been received.

These projects do not represent all available UROPs as many faculty do not submit project listings for this site. Rather, they expect interested students to contact them based on their general research to discuss potential UROPs.

Available UROPs

8/17/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Political Science (Course 17)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Charles Stewart III

Project Title: Data Initiatives in Election Science

Project Description: The need for science and transparency in the analysis of elections is an increasingly important part of our democracy. As the MIT Election and Data Science Lab (MEDSL) continues to grow we are are working towards the goal of becoming the foremost clearinghouse for election science data. Although much data exists, it is often disorganized and not in easily-analyzed formats. This UROP is an opportunity to be part of improving access to data and contributing to election science research.

As a UROP working on this project you will:

  • Collect and organize election science data
  • Present interesting research ideas and findings to the larger group
  • Learn additional data management and statistical programming skills
  • Contribute to ongoing MEDSL research projects
  • Work towards answering you own research questions related to election science
  • Participate in weekly lab meetings

Prerequisites: You should be familiar with data management in formats such as comma/text delimited and/or Excel-type spreadsheets. Additional programming or statistical software skills (e.g., C/C++, MATLAB, Python, R, Stata) are welcome but not required. Please indicate your level of familiarity with data collection and management, econometrics, statistical programming, and web (data) scraping when you apply. We welcome applications from students at both MIT and Wellesley. The UROP can be for credit or pay.

Relevant URLs: electionlab.mit.edu

Contact: Cameron Wimpy wimpy@mit.edu


8/17/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Cellular Modulation of Tracheal/Lung Transplant

Project Description: The objective of this work is to improve lung transplant outcomes by using cell-seeded scaffolds to facilitate wound healing and modulate the immune system in various rat models of lung and tracheal transplantation. Despite advances in clinical care and immunosuppressant drugs, only ~50% of lung transplant patients are alive 5 years post-transplant. Previous work in our lab and a number of pilot studies suggest local signaling from the cell-scaffold system is able to prevent markers of rejection. This work is being done in collaboration with physicians at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is particularly relevant to students interested in medical applications of research.

Position Description: Students will learn a wide range of lab techniques including cell culture, histology, immunofluorescent staining, FACS and ELISA. Additionally, UROPs will have the opportunity to be involved in animal surgeries such as subcutaneous implantation and tracheal transplantation.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have previous experience working in a wet lab (ex. cell culture and experience with some of the techniques listed above). Must be able to commit 8-12 hours per week during fall semester. A background in biology, bioengineering, physiology, or related fields is desired but not required

Relevant URLs: https://edelmanlab.mit.edu/

Contact: Elise Wilcox: ecwilcox@mit.edu


8/17/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Neri Oxman

Project Title: Digital Construction Platform: Exploring environmental surveillance with architectural-scale robotics

Project Description: In nature, growth processes create unique structures adapted to their environments for increased functionality, yet our buildings remain static, rectilinear, and uninformed. What would the benefits be if a robot can design and build architectural structures based on environmental data? How can these tools aid in the development of efficient architecture?

The Digital Construction Platform (DCP) project seeks to develop a new approach to architectural-scale digital fabrication, particularly focused on the construction of commercial/residential structures. Our approach combines a large hydraulic boom arm with a smaller conventional robotic arm to produce a micro-macro manipulator arm system with a large workspace. Past work by the Mediated Matter Group has resulted in two prototypes of the DCP system, the fabrication of a large-scale (15-meter diameter) printed structure produced in July 2016, and the system’s publication on the cover of Science Robotics.

Mediated Matter: http://matter.media.mit.edu/environments/details/3d-printed-hemi-ellipsoidal-dome

Science Robotics: http://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/2/5/eaam8986

MIT News: http://news.mit.edu/2017/3-d-printing-buildings-0426

CNN Tech: http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/02/technology/3d-printed-building-mit/index.html

The current focus of the DCP project is on “environmental surveillance” – using the DCP as a tool for environmental data collection and representation through long exposure light paintings for future design and fabrication purposes.

Position #1: We are seeking students to support operation and modification of the DCP’s control interface and mechatronic systems to enable new projects. Example tasks include developing Simulink Desktop Real-Time interfaces for new tools; modifying existing trajectory generation and control software to support new operations; and design and fabrication of new end-effector systems.

Required qualifications: Experience with MATLAB and Simulink; basic linear systems modeling & control experience; introductory robotics.

Desired qualifications: Experience with real-time control prototyping tools (Simulink Desktop Real-Time, LabVIEW) highly desired. Electronics experience, esp. sensor noise mitigation; mechanical design & fabrication. This opportunity is intended for junior and senior students with prior controls and robotics experience, although other applicants will be considered if they demonstrate particularly strong backgrounds. The student must be able to commit at least 12 hrs/week to this project.

Position #2:

Prerequisites: Students with backgrounds in Engineering, Architecture, Design, Communications, and business.

Skills: Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment; Ability to communicate complex ideas effectively with the team and other interested parties, both verbally and in writing; Demonstrated aptitude for design and data analytics.

Desired Qualifications: Computational Design (Familiarity with Rhinoceros / Grasshopper); Environmental simulation / Data analysis; Public relations and communication Skills. This opportunity is intended for junior and senior students with interest in robotics, architecture, design and fabrication. although other applicants will be considered if they demonstrate particularly strong backgrounds. The student must be able to commit at least 12 hrs/week to this project.

Contact: Barrak Darweesh: barrakd@mit.edu


8/17/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Laura Schulz

Project Title: Learning and Exploration in Early Childhood

Project Description: The Early Childhood Cognition lab studies how infants and young children learn about the world. Specifically, our research projects investigate how young children learn about causal relationships through active exploration. In addition, we study other topics in cognitive development such as language and moral reasoning. We have a partnership with the Boston Children's Museum where our experiments take place.  As a research assistant in our lab, you will work closely with a graduate student on their project and be involved in the full research process, including building stimuli, recruiting families to participate in research, conducting behavioral experiments with young children, and coding behavioral data. We are looking for UROPs who are curious, reliable, and comfortable interacting with children and their parents.

Prerequisites: 9.00 and 9.85 are preferred but not required. Must be able to commit to 2 shifts per week at the Children's Museum; shifts can be any day of the week from either 10am-1pm or 1-5pm depending on your schedule.

Relevant URLs: eccl.mit.edu

Contact: Kary Richardson: karyrich@mit.edu


8/17/17

​Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ann M. Graybiel

Project Title: Experiments on brain activity and behavior

Project Description: Help us do experiments to solve the mysteries of the brain! In this project, you will assist us in performing experiments manipulating and/or recording brain activity and behavior in rodents using cutting-edge techniques such as optogenetics and calcium imaging. You may help us run experiments, perform neurosurgeries, train animals and/or build micro-devices for manipulating and recording neural activity. Students with strong programming and mathematics skills may also assist in data analysis. This is an excellent UROP for students seeking laboratory experience in preparation for medical school or a research PhD program. Students majoring in Course 9 as well as those majoring in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and other majors are welcome. In this project, our goal is to understand the functions of the striatum, cortex, and other brain areas in behavioral tasks performed by rodents. The striatum is a key part of the basal ganglia, receiving input from midbrain dopamine neurons, cortex, and thalamus. It is thought to be centrally involved in evaluation, selection, motivation, and decision making, not only at the level of movements but also at the level of goals, strategies, thoughts, emotions, and sensory interpretations. It is implicated in movement disorders like Parkinson s disease, Huntington s disease, and dystonia, as well as addiction, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, aspects of schizophrenia, and other disorders. 

Prerequisites: No prior experience is required, but you must be highly motivated, conscientious and detail oriented. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to working 4-5 days per week (at least 1-2 hours per day). We will also give preference to students who can work during spring and fall semesters for at least a year and 20 to 40 hours per week during IAP and summer. Times are flexible; evenings and weekends are available. We can usually only provide academic credits (not payment) for new UROPs.

Relevant URLs: http://graybiel-lab.mit.edu/

Contact: Please send your resume to Leif Gibb, PhD (lgibb@mit.edu).


8/17/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ann M. Graybiel

Project Title: Computational/mathematical analysis of brain data

Project Description: This project will help us understand key brain circuitry underlying decision making and behavior. It gives you the opportunity to analyze large datasets collected from the rodent brain using cutting-edge neuroscience techniques. You should have strong programming skills, preferably in MATLAB, and basic knowledge of statistics. There may also be opportunities to create computational models of neural circuits. This is an excellent UROP for students with computer programming and mathematics skills who are interested in neuroscience. You can work on a flexible time schedule. In this project, our goal is to understand the functions of the striatum, cortex, and other brain areas in decision-making tasks performed by rodents. The striatum is a key part of the basal ganglia that receives input from midbrain dopamine neurons, cortex, and thalamus. It is thought to be centrally involved in decision making and selection not only at the level of movements but also at the level of goals, strategies, thoughts, emotions, and sensory interpretations. It is implicated in movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and dystonia, as well as addiction, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, aspects of schizophrenia, and other disorders. 

Prerequisites: We will give preference to candidates who can commit to working at least 12 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters for at least a year and at least 20 to 40 hours per week during the summer and IAP. We can usually only provide academic credits (not payment) for new UROPs.

Relevant URLs: http://graybiel-lab.mit.edu/

Contact: Please send your resume to Leif Gibb, PhD (lgibb@mit.edu).


8/15/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: LIDAR UROP at Media Lab

Project Description: This UROP is geared toward a student who would like to build cameras and imaging devices, with the intent of publishing in a computer vision or computer graphics venue.

The specific project will be to make 3D LIDAR cameras for eventual use in autonomous driving. Two primary problems will be explored: (1) building a LIDAR sensor that could allow navigation through fog or scattering environments and (2) Enhancing LIDAR with polarization to navigate through fog. The student's role will be based on their strengths/interests. Hardware-minded students would likely be working on implementing the ideas in hardware and CS/Math students would tend to work simulation and renderings of the problem. 

Prerequisites: Successful candidates would ideally have taken and excelled in at least one of the following classes:

  1. Computer Vision
  2. Computer Graphics
  3. Computational Photography
  4. Optics

That said, if there is intense passion in this topic, do apply and we can figure out if your background is suitable.

Relevant URLs: www.media.mit.edu/~achoo/

Contact: Achuta Kadambi: achoo@mit.edu


8/15/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: New methods for fabrication in Zero G

Project Description: As part of the media lab’s “space initiative” we are working on a new concept for rapid fabrication of complex structures in a microgravity environment using UV curable resins. The project will deal with building an experimental apparatus, choosing the right materials, and getting ready for a parabolic test flight in November. (the UROP will not participate in the flight) This is a fun and challenging engineering project that requires a UROP with strong technical skills, high motivation and at least 10 hours a week to dedicate to the project.

As a UROP working on this project you will:

  • Do CAD design for the project based on instruction, drawings and specifications. (Using Onshape or Fusion 360)
  • Run simulations of the assembly to make sure the design passes all the requirements.
  • Conduct physical tests where needed.
  • Help find relevant hardware and stock material on the internet.
  • Help in fabrication and assembly of the system.
  • Contribute to the final design from your own ideas.
  • Work on a project with tight deadlines towards a concrete, and perhaps publishable final goal

Prerequisites: You must be very comfortable and quick with CAD software (onshape or fusion 360), including simulations. you must have good hands. You should know how to work alone with remote guidance, be proactive and dedicated to this project. Background in Arduino programming,  basic electronics, and hands on experience in building mechanical systems is a big plus. Shop training and access are a very big plus.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY before applying: this project will be time consuming and demanding. I expect it to be rewarding and fun for you as well.  I would like to start working on September 1st and except the UROP working with my to dedicate a good amount of time every week on the project.  If you are interested, please shoot me an email with your CV (URL if you have a website), two sentences about yourself and why you want to work on the project. if you have a project that you are particularly proud of, please indicate that in your email as well and say what was your contribution to it if it was a team effort. Please carefully estimate how much time you will have to work on the project, and on what days and hours you plan to work at the lab and from home. Clearly indicate your level in CAD and simulation software and how comfortable you are in mechanical design.

Contact: Amos Golan: amosg@mit.edu


8/15/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Professor Kripa Varanasi

Project Title: Thermoelectric power plant cooling tower water recovery

Project Description: According to studies by the UN and the US State Department, we are on the path to an extreme freshwater shortage by 2030. The US’s largest water withdrawal source is power plants, which account for 50% of total US freshwater withdrawals, mostly for cooling. To address this global problem, we are developing a technology in the Varanasi lab that is capable of reducing the amount of water consumed by thermoelectric power plants significantly. Our technology is a device that can be retrofitted to power plant cooling towers capable of capturing significant amounts of water without impacting the cooling cycle efficiency. We have a lab-scale prototype and are currently building a full-scale prototype at the MIT Cogeneration 20MW power plant on Vassar street to test the technology in industrial operating conditions. The project will involve working directly at the MIT Cogen power plant prototype, as well as 3D modeling of new designs. This would be a great experience for a UROP interested in technological solutions for real world industrial problems, on the largest scale.

Prerequisites:

  • Interested in energy/energy efficiency
  • Some experience with 3D Modeling such as SolidWorks or CAD is encouraged.

Relevant URLs: http://news.mit.edu/2017/infinite-cooling-wins-cleantech-university-prize-0808; http://varanasi.mit.edu/

Contact: Karim Khalil: kkhalil@mit.edu


8/14/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Karen Gleason

Project Title: Quantitative Analysis of Scale Formation Rate on Functionalized Surfaces

Project Description: Water scarcity has become a global issue and urged the development of desalination technologies. For most of the current industrial desalination processes, the formation of inorganic foulants, or so-called scale, can significantly impair the process efficiency and cause operational problems. This project is motivated to understand the nucleation and growth of common alkaline scale, namely CaCO3 and Mg(OH)2, on a variety of functionalized surfaces. Crystallization processes in different conditions will be explored, including precipitation in static solution with vapor diffusion, flow reactions in microfluidic channels and boiling tests in a laboratory apparatus that mimics thermal desalination processes. Characterization techniques such as FTIR, SEM, optical microscopy and ICP-OES will be used in this project. Videos and images obtained during the experiments will be further processed and analyzed.

Prerequisites: This project is best suited for students in Course III, V, or X. The student should be motivated and comfortable working independently after sufficient training.   A time commitment of 8-10 hours per week is preferred with at least one >4 hour block available.  Previous lab experience, either through UROP or lab-courses, is preferred but not necessary.

Relevant URLs: http://web.mit.edu/gleason-lab/

Contact: Junjie Zhao: jjzhao@mit.edu


8/14/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Alan Berger

Project Title: Designing Sustainable Neighbourhood Typologies for Native Housing in Abu Dhabi

Project Description: This project – a collaboration between the Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT and the iSmart program at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology – focuses on achieving higher levels of environmental, economic, and socio-cultural sustainability among native neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi. The current project phase focuses on designing low-carbon neighborhoods for a desert climate which integrates building and landscape design with advanced technologies. The project aims to be a case-study for holistic design methods and outcomes.

The UROP position will focus on producing diagrams, drawings, and figures for academic publication and lectures. The UROP will work along-side and learn from two experienced designers at the LCAU. This position is ideally suited for a strong undergraduate architecture student who wants to improve his or her representation skills, especially in the case of complex system diagramming, and who is interested in learning how to design for environmental and social sustainability.

Necessary Skills: proven basic illustrator and rhino knowledge and strong spatial thinking skills. 

Beneficial Skills: experience with grasshopper for rhino, and Python.

Relevant URLs: http://lcau.mit.edu/project/abu-dhabi-scenario-planning-design-new-sustainable-neighborhood-forms

Contact: Pru Robinson: pru@mit.edu


8/14/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Justin Reich

Project Title: Programmer for educational games

Project Description: Are you interested in learning more about educational games? Have you ever thought about how teachers learn how to teach? Are you curious about how people share ideas? Join a team of people who are designing Eliciting Learner Knowledge, a game to help people learn how to ask questions and share information. As a member of the team, you will help modify and improve the current design of the interface of ELK, the user interface, and maintain the back end of the program. The current experience uses JavaScript, React, node.js, socket.io, Postgresql. Experience using any those tools is preferred.

Prerequisites: The current experience uses JavaScript, React, node.js, socket.io, Postgresql. Experience using any those tools is preferred.Experience with product design and software development is preferred, and past experience with game development is required.  Students who have taken CMS.610/6.073, CMS.611, CMS.590/11.127, CMS.608, CMS.301, and CMS.615 are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact: Cindy Sambataro: tsl.mit.jobs@gmail.com


8/10/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Virtual reality and games for STEM learning

Project Description: Are you curious about how to use virtual reality, simulations, and games to help students understand and imagine careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects? In this project, you will work closely with TSL research scientists to understand the current research about using technology based solutions in high school classrooms. We are currently working on a game for 9th grade biology students in which students will be able to explore a cell using an Oculus Rift headset. UROPs will help assimilate research on students’ conceptions in biology, effectiveness and strategies for using 2D, 3D, and 3D VR simulations in educational games, and fostering collaboration in those environments. Sponsored research funding available.

Prerequisites: Interest in education, education research, and games.

Contact: If you are interested in this position, please send an email to tsl.mit.jobs@gmail.com and include:

  • an overview of your research experience (specific references to courses and other projects or experiences would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs
  • a summary of any previous UROP and work experience (attach a resume if you have one)
  • the number of hours you could work on the project
  • a short description of why you are interested in working on this project
  • Please put the title of the project in the subject line of your email

8/10/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Justin Reich

Project Title: Educational content for games

Project Description: Work closely with TSL research scientists to gather STEM content to make games for preservice teachers. For example, we are putting together a game called Eliciting Learner Knowledge, in which a teacher and student have a conversation about a STEM topic. UROPs will help us gather students’ ideas and preconceptions and misconceptions for that game on different topics like natural selection, genetics, and ecology. Sponsored research funding available. Specific end of UROP goal: Prepare content suitable for games for preservice teachers such as eliciting learner knowledge (ELK).

Contact: If you are interested in this position, please send an email to tsl.mit.jobs@gmail.com and include: 

  • an overview of your research experience (specific references to courses and other projects or experiences would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs
  • a summary of any previous UROP and work experience (attach a resume if you have one)
  • the number of hours you could work on the project
  • a short description of why you are interested in working on this project
  • Please put the title of the project in the subject line of your email

8/10/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Eric Klop

Project Title: VR Game Design - Cellular Biology

Project Description: We’re making a VR game to help high school kids learn cellular biology socially. We have lots of design questions to explore, and we’re looking for a UROP to join our discussions.

The ideal candidate has enjoyed games in a range of genres and noticed design patterns, can articulate why a game is good or bad, can anticipate interactions between different systems, can empathize with players who are not like them, can communicate clearly in conversation and writing, can think both analytically and creatively, can work predictably with minimal supervision, proactively suggests process improvements, and has an interest in biology and learning.

Sponsored research funding is available.

Specific end of UROP goal: Produce a set of design documents informed by brainstorming discussions and a growing list of criteria.

Contact: If you are interested in this position, please send an email to tsl.mit.jobs@gmail.com and include:

  • Any game designs you’ve created before
  • A review of your favorite game
  • the number of hours you could work on the project
  • a short description of why you are interested in working on this project
  • Please put the title of the project in the subject line of your email

8/10/17

Fall, Spring

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hadley Sikes

Project Title: An Engineering Design Approach to Quantitative Redox Biology for the Study of Cancer

Project Description: Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a member of a class of chemical species known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), is an important molecule in biology due to its involvement in numerous important signaling pathways. At low levels, H2O2 promotes homeostasis, but at high levels, it promotes apoptosis. It has also been hypothesized that H2O2, at certain levels, promotes pathologies such as cancer and diabetes. However, quantitative data is lacking regarding the concentrations of H2O2 that contribute to these different phenotypes. In addition, transport and kinetics considerations have largely been ignored. Our goal is to design and use quantitative tools to develop a mechanistic understanding of H2O2 signaling and its contributions to disease and cell death, with a major application being rational chemotherapeutic design. We use a variety of techniques from molecular biology, microscopy, synthetic biology, and more. This specific project will include components of cloning genes into new plasmid vectors, evaluating new cell lines, performing fluorescence microscopy experiments, and writing and using computer programs to automate the quantitative analysis of images.

Prerequisites: We are looking for UROP(s) who are interested in the intersection of chemical engineering and biology.  Desire to work in a wet lab and learn new techniques coupled with strong quantitative and analytical skills. Diligence and good note-keeping skills. Coursework in biology is helpful.

Time commitment: 10 hrs/week (firm).

Relevant URLs: http://hsikeslab.mit.edu/

Contact: Kassi Stein: kstein@mit.edu


8/9/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ann Graybiel

Project Title: Testing the role of striatal compartments in decision making

Project Description: Over the last decades big advances have been made in understanding the role of striatal pathways in behavior and cognition. However, still very little is known about the functional role of 2 major compartments, the striosomes and matrix. In this project we use optical methods to record from and manipulate these two compartments in behaving animals in order to test how the striosomes and matrix contribute to behavior.

Description of work: Your work will consist of performing behavioral tests on mice and manipulating specific parts of the striatal circuitry using optogenetics. In addition, you will learn histological techniques and do data analysis.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated student who is serious and eager to learn state of the art neuroscience methods. Work will take between 9 and 18 hours a week. We strongly prefer a student who wants to commit to this project for at least a year. Credits will be given for this UROP.

Contact: Bernard Bloem: bbloem@mit.edu


8/8/17

Term: Fall 2017 - with potential option of continuing for Spring 2018

Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Dr. Amar Gupta

Project Title: Digital Health and Telemedicine for Global Health: A Multi-Pronged Approach

Project Description:  The remote delivery of healthcare services and analytics, fueled by advances in communication and mobile health technologies, holds great potential to provide improved medical outcomes and quality at a reduced per-capita cost. This shift motivates research into how the evolving technologies and processes can be deployed in developed and developing environments and how issues related to interoperability (the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate) can be addressed.  This UROP provides an opportunity for the students involved to study technical, business and public health issues.  Previous researchers have published their findings in technical, business and medical journals. The focus and scope of the UROP can be potentially tailored to the background and interest of the concerned student.  Potential UROP projects can focus on: 

  • Data Science issues such as the analysis of hospital workflow and efficiency; 
  • Technical issues such as interoperability in medical hardware and software, especially with regard to efficient handling of data; 
  • Business issues such as analysis of costs and benefits, as well as nucleating startups; or 
  • Strategic Issues such as the deployment strategy.  

Applications are invited from students at MIT, Wellesley College, and Harvard University with preference for upperclassmen with demonstrated interest or background in the subject matter. The UROP can be credit or pay. Potential for multiple seniors and juniors to be involved in this UROP.

Prerequisites: None.

URL: https://learning-modules.mit.edu/materials/index.html?uuid=/course/HST/sp17/HST.S58#materials

Contact: Phillip Ferguson: phillipf@mit.edu


8/8/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Analysis of Continuous Activity Tracker Data

Project Description: The objective of this project is to create a system to process, and analyze Fitbit fitness tracker data collected continuously as part of ongoing clinical trials. The focus of this work will be to design and implement a system that will allow for the creation of visualizations and metrics which can communicate how these devices are being used as well as communicate any relevant physiological changes users are undergoing to physicians and researchers over the course of the trial. This will be a great learning opportunity for those interesting in data analysis and visualization specifically in the medical device space.

Prerequisites: Advanced knowledge of Python and MySQL is a must, as well as some basic statics knowledge.

Relevant URLs: https://edelmanlab.mit.edu/

Contact: Jonathan Brown: jbrown@mit.edu


8/8/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Pawan Sinha

Project Title: Characterizing Predictive Control in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Project Description: Motivated by a theory we have recently proposed (Sinha et al., 2014), the overarching hypothesis guiding this project is that individuals with autism exhibit impaired prediction of events as they unfold over time. To put this theory to the test, we probe features of motor behavior of autistic and neuro typical children while catching balls in a naturalistic setting. Difficulty interacting with dynamic objects represents a salient, yet under-studied feature of the autism phenotype, which we hypothesize stems from impaired prediction of trajectory of moving objects. In collaboration with the ActionLab at Northeastern University, this project aims to test whether the difficulties seen clinically in autism result from an underlying impairment in temporal prediction. The project uses motion capture to collect quantitative data regarding movement of individuals relative to the objects in the environment, with simultaneous recording of muscle activation, probing coordination as a potential indicator of prediction of ball motion. Deeper knowledge of the issue holds relevance for adapting environments for autistic children and adults, as well as for designing interventions that acknowledge and address potential underlying neurocognitive issues (e.g., prediction), and not merely the manifestation of the underlying impairment (e.g., difficulty in catching a ball).

Position Description: The UROP will contribute to performing pre-processing and computational analysis of 3D motion capture kinematics data and EMG (ElectroMyoGram) signals recorded during ball catching tasks.  The student will work closely with others as part of a team, with substantial opportunity to work independently. This position is available for pay or credit.

Prerequisites:

  • The ideal candidate will have previous programming skills or experience in MATLAB, and signal processing.
  • Able to commit 6-10 hours per week during the fall semester.
  • Background in computer science, engineering, brain and cognitive sciences, or related field.

Application and Deadlines: The deadline to apply through the UROP office for direct funding is listed on the UROP deadlines page; however, we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you wish to apply. We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis starting now until the position is filled. Visit the UROP website for details about UROP requirements: https://uaap.mit.edu/research-exploration/urop/apply/application-deadlines

To apply, please e-mail Annie Cardinaux, Project Coordinator at anniec@mit.edu, and include your Resume/CV and a letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the project. Please specify whether you would like to do the UROP for pay or credit. *If you are selected and wish to complete the UROP for pay, you will need to create   a project proposal for review by a member of our research team several days in advance of the fall deadline.


8/4/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Pawan Sinha

Project Title: Characterizing Habituation and Prediction in autism spectrum disorders

Project Description: Sensory sensitivities are a commonly occurring feature in individuals with autism. These difficulties can present considerable challenges for autistic individuals, in addition to the social-communication impairments and repetitive behavior that are typical of the autism phenotype. Motivated by a theory we have recently proposed (Sinha et al., 2014), the overarching hypothesis guiding this proposal is that difficulties in prediction may cause differences in sensory habituation. This project aims to investigate habituation profiles across a range of sensory modalities. Ultimately, we seek to understand whether the sensory difficulties observed clinically result from an underlying impairment in habituation and prediction. The project uses the tools of electroencephalography (EEG) and electrodermal activity (EDA) to obtain rich quantitative data regarding physiological response to repetitive stimuli. Deeper knowledge of the issue holds relevance for more accurate diagnosis, the provision of environments that are more tolerable for autistic individuals, as well as the design of interventions that acknowledge and address potential underlying neurocognitive issues (e.g., prediction, habituation), and not merely the manifestation of the underlying impairment (e.g., sensory sensitivities).

Position Description: The UROP will contribute to electrophysiological data collection and analysis using MATLAB or Python, using sophisticated signal processing methods.  The student will work closely with others as part of a team, with substantial opportunity to work independently. This position is available for pay or credit.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have previous experience in Python, C , or other programming languages, MATLAB, engineering, and strong analytical skills. Must be able to commit 6-10 hours per week during the fall semester. A background in computer science, engineering, brain and cognitive sciences, or related field is desired.

Application and Deadlines: The deadline to apply through the UROP office for direct funding is listed on the UROP deadlines page; however, we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you wish to apply. We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis starting now until the position is filled. Visit the UROP website for details about UROP requirements: https://uaap.mit.edu/research-exploration/urop/apply/application-deadlines

To apply, please e-mail Annie Cardinaux, Technical Associate at anniec@mit.edu, and include your Resume/CV and a letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the project. Please specify whether you would like to do the UROP for pay or credit. If you are selected and wish to complete the UROP for pay, you will need to create a project proposal for review by a member of our research team several days in advance of the direct funding deadline.


8/4/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Linguistics and Philosophy (Course 24)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Martin Hackl

Project Title: Child Language Development Research

Project Description: We investigate the nature of human language, by studying immature language in the child (the development of language). The research interweaves current linguistic theory and empirical work. The current research areas include quantified statements, focus operators, and presuppositions. Your work will involve (i) running experiments with children (mainly 3-6 years old), (ii) data entering and assisting with interpretation, (iii) interacting with day cares and parents for consent. It might also involve (iv) assistance in experimental design and preparation of experimental materials. UROP's main goals will be: engagement with cutting edge theoretical developments in language acquisition and acquiring hands-on experience with behavioral research with children. 

Prerequisites: Having taken 24.900 is preferred but not required. Given that the work is mainly about interaction with children and keeping them engaged in the experiments, you will have to be very good at playing with kids. 

Contact: Leo Rosenstein: leaena@mit.edu with a resume or CV


8/4/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Physics (Course 8)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Raymond Ashoori

Project Title: A novel tunneling spectroscopy of a two-dimensional electronic system (2DES).

Project Description: Our group have developed a fundamentally new spectroscopic technique which can probe the energy-, momentum-, and spin-resolved electronic structures of a two-dimensional electronic system. Our goal is to apply this method to a variety of two-dimensional materials that hosts important quantum many-body effects. We are seeking a UROP student to help 1) improving the electronics being used in the measurement and 2) fabricating semiconductor nanostructures.

  1. Cryogenic amplifier: We are at the leading edge of tunneling spectroscopy in the field. Yet, the experiment is technically demanding. For example, large bandwidth signals from an ultralow temperature cryostat are transmitted to the room temperature electronics. Currently, we are seeking a UROP student to help our graduate student improving the cryogenic amplifier used in the experiment. Background in circuit design will be useful.
  2. Sample fabrication: A UROP student will process the basic semiconductor fabrication. This includes photolithography, etching, and E-beam evaporation. Previous fabrication experience is not required. A UROP student will learn to operate the fabrication equipment in our lab.

Workload: There are no minimum working hours. It will be highly flexible depending on your commitment.

Prerequisites:

  • Candidates from course 6 or 8 would be preferred.
  • Interested in semiconductor fabrication process
  • Experience in electronics would be preferred.

Relevant URLs: http://electron.mit.edu

Contact: Prof. Raymond Ashoori: ashoori@mit.edu


8/3/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Roger Kamm

Project Title: Skeletal muscle tissue engineering and therapeutics for skeletal muscle disorders

Project Description: Skeletal muscle tissue engineering could be a promising therapy for millions of people worldwide suffering from general trauma, postoperative damage, cancer ablation, congenital defects, and degenerative myopathy. Most current methods of tissue engineering suffer from 2 main issues: the lack of sufficient force generation (2 orders below native skeletal muscle) and the lack of scale (most tissue engineered scaffolds are micro-scale and lack a vasculature). In this project, the student will work with researchers in the Kamm Mechanobiology lab to analyze a novel mechanism of amplifying skeletal muscle strength and building blood capillaries inside muscle tissues. Our system could lead to novel skeletal muscle regenerative therapies as well as be used to fundamental "holy-grail" scientific questions in muscle biology as such how the muscle transmits it's force to the surroundings.

Student's role: Depending on interest, past experience and motivation, the student will learn tissue engineering techniques to form in-vivo like 3D skeletal muscle in the lab, form and test biological robot function using engineered skeletal muscle, learn micro-biomechanical testing of skeletal muscle function, use arduinos/linear actuators to mechanically stimulate micro-tissues, develop image processing based high-throughput drug-screening algorithms, build micro-fluidic models of blood capillaries in muscle tissues and be involved in writing a scientific paper.

Prerequisites: The ideal applicant would have prior experience in mammalian cell culture and/or image processing. An interest in tissue engineering, regenerative therapies, biological robots and/or microfluidics would be a big plus.

Contact: Vivek Sivathanu: vsiva@mit.edu


8/2/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Bruce Rosen

Project Title: Brain imaging and computational neuroscience of sleep

Project Description: How do sleep and sleep deprivation affect the brain? We are using newly developed techniques for EEG and fMRI to study human brain activity during sleep and understand the effects of sleep deprivation. The goal is to understand the brain circuits that regulate sleep, how brain activity changes during drowsiness and states of unconsciousness, and how sleep dysfunction contributes to neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. The student's role could involve: hands-on experimental work, including applying EEG caps and acquiring MRI images; interacting with patient populations, administering questionnaires, etc.; manual coding of data; and programming in MATLAB for data analysis. This position could focus on experimental or computational neuroscience depending on the individual student’s background. This project is located at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH (free shuttle runs from MGH main campus).

Prerequisites: A commitment of ~8-10 hours/week for at least 2 semesters is preferred. Students should be comfortable working with human subjects, and available for occasional nighttime work, as some sleep experiments occur at night. Experience with Matlab, neuroscience, and/or signal processing would be an asset for students seeking a computational project.

Contact: Laura Lewis: ldlewis@mit.edu


8/2/17

Fall, Spring

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Shimon Kogan

Project Title: The Rise and Fall of Influencers

Project Description: We live in a connected world. As a consequence, our decisions are increasingly influenced by what others say and do. That naturally leads to the creation of social influencers. Despite the importance of social influencers in the business world, little research has been carried out about the dynamics of their rise and fall. In this interdisciplinary research project between finance and marketing, we use a proprietary dataset from a social trading platform to understand these dynamics and how they influence trading decisions.

Prerequisites: Strong programming skills in R / Stata are required along with some knowledge of statistical inference or econometrics.

Contact: Shimon Kogan: skogan@mit.edu


7/31/17

Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Varanasi

Project Title: Droplet impacts on superhydrophobic surfaces

Project Description: Droplet impacts on hydrophobic surfaces are ubiquitous. One example is the impact of agricultural spray droplets on plant leaves. Many plants naturally repel water. This makes it difficult to spray pesticides and fertilizers on them since droplets bounce and roll off their hydrophobic surfaces. To overcome this problem, we are developing a new technique that prevents the impinging droplets from bouncing, thereby enhancing the retention. The method relies on in-situ precipitation of charged polymers on the surface upon impact. The project will consist in quantifying the polymer precipitation behavior and the effect on droplet impacts. This would be a great opportunity for the student to learn about physical chemistry, interfacial phenomena, materials and fluid mechanics at the microscale. It is also a good experience for those who are interested in applied research and technology transfer from lab to applications.

Prerequisites:

  • Interest and basic knowledge in fluid mechanics, capillary phenomena and/or physical chemistry.
  • Previous experience in a lab is preferred but not required.

Relevant URLs: http://varanasi.mit.eduhttp://news.mit.edu/2016/reducing-runoff-pollution-making-spray-droplets-less-bouncy-0830

Contact: Maher Damak: mdamak@mit.edu


7/26/17

Fall, Spring, Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Kay Tye

Project Title: Neural circuits underlying social hierarchies

Project Description: From ants to primates, social animals achieve homeostasis by forming social hierarchies. This group organization allows them to work together, increase survival, and decrease unnecessary aggression and energy loss. While hierarchies are central to animal life, the neural correlates for social hierarchies remain unknown. By combining freely-moving calcium imaging and optogenetics in mice, we will identify and explore the neural circuits involved in the regulation of dominance behavior.

Prerequisites: Prior research experience is not required but UROPs must be willing to commit for at least one year. Freshmen and Sophomores majoring in Course 7 and/or Course 9 are particularly encouraged to apply but, any UROP with interest in the brain is welcomed!!

Relevant URLs: https://tyelab.mit.edu/

Contact: Nancy Padilla: npadilla@mit.edu


7/25/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jeffrey Hoffman

Project Title: Deep Space Mission Logistics and Risk Analysis Graphical User Interface Development

Project Description: Crewed missions to Mars are an unprecedented challenge in human spaceflight, especially in terms of logistics and maintenance. Astronauts will fly their systems farther from Earth than ever before, and stay in space for longer without timely resupply or abort options. In addition, transportation to and from Mars will be challenging and expensive, meaning that logistics mass must be minimized. Mission planners and system designers must carefully balance risk and spare parts mass in order to achieve mission objectives in a safe and cost-effective manner.

This project will develop an interactive graphical user interface (GUI) that will allow decision-makers to visualize the impacts of design decisions and spares allocations on risk and logistics mass requirements in order to guide technology development, system design, and mission planning. Specifically, the tool will allow a user to input system characteristics such as a system description, mission duration, and specific spares allocations, and view resulting risk metrics. Users will also have the option to optimize spares allocations to minimize mass for a given risk threshold, as well as explore a variety of options and visualize the trade space in terms of key metrics such as logistics mass, risk, and crew time requirements. The focus of this project is on the development of an effective, informative GUI for these types of analyses; this interface will be integrated with analysis code developed as part of ongoing NASA and MIT research into deep space mission logistics.

The software tools developed through this UROP will help provide NASA decision-makers with valuable insight to help develop future exploration systems and plan missions to Mars and other destinations. The UROP will present their work to NASA stakeholders, and have the opportunity to interact with system and mission experts at multiple NASA centers to receive feedback during development. The student will also have the opportunity to learn more about space mission analysis, including reliability and maintainability, system design, trade studies, and optimization.

This UROP is being offered for credit in Fall 2017, and may be extended into future semesters.

Prerequisites: Experience with GUI development is highly valued. Proficiency in Python and Git is strongly preferred (C++ or other relevant coding experience also valued). Must be familiar with or willing to learn and implement agile, test-driven code development. Familiarity with space mission design, logistics, reliability, and maintenance concepts is valued, but not necessary.

Contact: Andrew Owens: acowens@mit.edu


7/24/17

Fall/IAP/Spring

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Mriganka Sur

Project Title: Astrocytes contribution to motor learning

Project Description: Astrocytes, long thought to operate only as a support network for neurons, are now emerging as key players in the modulation of brain information processing. The Sur lab is seeking highly motivated UROPs who are enthusiastically interested in exploring astrocytes contribution to brain plasticity. The lab utilizes interdisciplinary approaches to systematically investigate brain plasticity at the molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral level. The Sur lab is using cutting-edge techniques such as rodent neurosurgery, slice electrophysiology, functional imaging of neuronal activity in awake mice using multi-photon excitation microscopy, and pharmacological and optogenetic manipulation of neural circuits, as well as molecular biology techniques (molecular cloning, biochemical assays, DNA/RNA/protein purification and quantification, immunohistochemistry, RT-qPCR). UROPs will learn how to design experiments, evaluate and analyze experimental data, and how to communicate scientific research.

Prerequisites: Must be willing to work with animals. Prior research experience is not required but UROPs must be highly motivated and willing to commit for at least one year. UROPs have the option to continue research during IAP and summer, if desired. Freshmen and sophomores majoring in Course 7 and/or Course 9 are particularly encouraged to apply.

Relevant URLs: http://surlab.mit.edu/

Contact: Chloe Delepine: delepine@mit.edu


7/14/17

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jonathan Polimeni, PhD

Project Title: 3D Brain Surface Modeling Software for Neuroimaging Data Analysis

Project Description: Our neuroimaging laboratory is looking for a student with experience in computer science and an interest in neuroscience to port software for 3D brain surface mesh creation, manipulation, and visualization from MATLAB to C/C++.  The student will have access to neuroscientists and software developers who are familiar with the detailed goals of the project. The software created during this project will be used by our lab to guide neuroimaging experiments and analyze the resulting imaging data.  Although flexible, we would ideally start this project  as soon as possible.

Time Commitment: 8 hours per week.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of MATLAB and C/C++ programming is required. A background in software development and computational geometry are highly desired.

Contact: Ned Ohringer: ned.ohringer@mgh.harvard.edu


6/28/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: CSAIL

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Justin Solomon

Project Description: The Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG) is hosting a workshop on the Geometry of Redistricting.  We are seeking a UROP to write software that gathers congressional districts from GIS/census sources and scores them based on compactness scores (Polsby-Popper, Reock, and others) over all 50 states in the USA.  UROPs will need to interface with geographic data, implement these different scores (includes some geometric measurements, processing of population data), and invent new visualizations to show which districts are gerrymandered or unusual.  Visualizations and demos generated by students in this effort hold potential to appear at the Geometry of Redistricting workshop (500+ attendees) and to be included in future publications arguing for fair voting procedures. 

The student will be mentored by Justin Solomon in CSAIL, jointly with colleagues at MIT and Tufts in the MGGG.  We are seeking full or part time attention throughout the summer so long as students are consistent and reliable about making progress.

Contact: Justin Solomon: jsolomon@mit.edu


6/28/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Anette Peko Hosoi

Project Title: Setting Up a Small Factory in Chip Packaging

Project Description: My group is setting up a small factory for education and research purposes. The focuses are on semiconductor and photonics packaging. During this summer, we will have the factory completely set up and start running some pilot products to test the capability of the factory. Also get familiar with each individual process equipment, along with the process. Candidates with all background are encouraged to apply. With this project, candidates will gain valid experience in semiconductor packaging, test and assembly, photonics, factory setting up and process flow.

Prerequisites:

  • Candidates from course 2, 3, 6, 8 or 10 would be preferred
  • Interested in semiconductor fabrication process
  • Interested in manufacturing or factory flow

Contact: Mingxiu Sun: mingxiu@mit.edu


6/27/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Architecture (Course 4)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Azra Aksamija

Project Title: Lightweaver - 3-D-weaving light machines in the refugee camp

Project Description: Enter a brief description of your UROP project Lightweaver is a kinetic sculpture employing light and a DIY pinwheel-driven wind mechanism to animate textile patterns. This three-dimensional light-weaving machine will be used to personalize the interior and exterior spaces of the refugee camp shelters through the functional and poetic use of lighting and textile technologies. Refugee camps are characterized by a repetition of a forms and austerity of visual stimuli. The project is investigating the role of art and design as a means for the sensory enrichment of the refugee shelters and as a medium to dignify stateless residents within conditions of limited resources, war and trauma. Lightweaver proposes a way of the rethinking the concept of the shelter beyond functionality and physical protection towards a culturally relevant space for life, education, and play. The Lightweaver will be co-created in the summer and fall 2017 with the residents of the Al Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. Educational workshops will focus on transcultural exchange, learning about textile history and an introduction to engineering and electronics. The Lightweaver will become a DIY device that camp residents can use to create immersive poetic environments within refugee camps where people can preserve their history, exchange knowledge, and share their stories through art and play of light.

This is a great opportunity to implement experimental and interdisciplinary work and support the education, cultural preservation and stimulate hope for communities affected by conflict and refugee camps. UROPs will play an integral roll in the creative and generative processes and be working directly with the project's artists and multidisciplinary team members. The project will be a great way to build experience working with communities and diverse skill sets.

DEADLINE: Thursday, June  29, 2017

Work description: We will be creating beautiful, fun, and simple light machines. You will be helping to develop a simple gear-based mechanism, powered manually or by wind (pinwheel).  You will be also helping to  figure out simple electronics and lighting technologies for the machine.

Skill set required: Ideally we are looking for someone with an artistic interest who is experienced with gear mechanisms, pinwheels and basic electronics. Interest and experience in researching lighting technologies is a plus.

Workload

  • The work will require  5-8 h/ week, and it will be highly flexible depending on your skill set and involvement.
  • We will be meeting on campus once a week.
  • Most of the work will be around the E14, but will include work that can be done anywhere or anytime.

The positions are offered for Credit or Volunteer.

Contact: Lillian Kology: lphk@mit.edu

 


6/20/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Valerie Karplus

Project Title: Managing Air Pollution in China - A Big Data Approach

Project Description: The goal of this project is to study the dynamic contributors to local air pollution in China. It will involve the application of data mining and machine learning techniques to analyze air pollution data. Candidates with computer science backgrounds and an interest in environmental management and public health are encouraged to apply.

Prerequisites:

  • Proficient in written Mandarin Chinese, ability to code in Python and Stata
  • Experience in data mining and machine learning preferred
  • A microeconomics course will be very helpful

Contact: Valerie Karplus: vkarplus@mit.edu


6/20/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Time Travel in Virtual Reality

Project Description: We are building a time travel experience in VR that takes you back a 100 years into the past and a 100 years into the future. The project started some time back and now we are looking for someone with experience in Unity and 3D modeling who will have the opportunity to take the Unity project and build a VR experience with it for the HTC Vive  

Prerequisites:

  • Unity (required)
  • 3D modeling (having some experience would be helpful. Not looking for an expert)
  • Strong interest in VR (required)

Contact: If interested, please email Misha Sra: sra@media.mit.edu with a link to your prior work and/or resume.


6/13/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Richard Fletcher

Project Title: Mobile App Development for Health Diagnostics

Project Description:  Our group develops a variety of mobile technologies to monitor our health and diagnose disease.  Sample applications include: 

  1. Cardiovascular disease -- this is the leading cause of death.  We have several tools which can be used to assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke; 
  2. Pulmonary disease -- this is a second leading cause of death in India and 4th world-wide.  Many forms of pulmonary disease (COPD, asthma, cancer) can be treated or prevented if early signs are detected. 
  3. Diabetes -- this chronic disease is becoming increasingly common all over the world, including developing countries. We are exploring some early detection methods that can be implemented on a mobile phone to enable early intervention; (4) Yoga -- stress is now recognized as an important contributor to disease; we are developing various apps to help teach and monitor stress reduction techniques, such as breathing exercises(pranayama).

Using a combination of mobile phone app with clever sensing techniques, machine learning algorithms, and little or no external hardware, it is possible to make important contributions to preventative health and public health services both in the US and developing countries. Our group has many strong clinical partners in the Boston area as well as with top hospitals in India for field testing our technologies and bringing innovations to the field.

Prerequisites: We are currently seeking UROP students to help explore innovative sensing techniques and applications using mobile phones. Since this field is very interdisciplinary, we welcome students with all levels of skills and interest areas. Interface design, algorithm development, and image processing and among the key areas used. In parallel with signal processing, we are also developing machine learning algorithms to assist with decision support and feedback for the health workers.  Software will be implemented on Android phones and tablets using the JAVA SDK  along with the native C NDK.  We are looking for students with a solid programming background in JAVA and/or Android. Experience with C or C++ is a plus. Some background in signal processing and/or machine learning algorithms is also useful.  Software will be implemented on Android phones and tablets using the JAVA SDK in Androi Studio.  For student with experience in C/C++, we also do advanced Android programming using the Android NDK and embedded C. No biomedical background is necessary, but general interest in health tech or social impact is useful. Students for summer UROP should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.  Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration.  Opportunities to travel to developing countries are also available. 

Relevant URLs: http://www.mobiletechnologylab.org/portfolio/

Contact: Please email resume to: Rich Fletcher (fletcher@media.mit.edu)


6/13/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Tonio Buonassisi

Project Title: High efficiency perovskite solar cells

Project Description: We are looking for motivated students who would like to learn how to work in the lab. We synthesize lead halide perovskites and fabricate devices. We also characterize the materials and the devices. The student interested should have some knowledge in chemistry and materials science, ideally in their 3rd year. Labview programming is highly desirable as we are trying to set up a system to characterize solar cells faster.

Prerequisites: Please provide details on any prerequisites or skills required for this UROP

Relevant URLs: pv.mit.edu

Contact: Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena: jpcorrea@mit.edu


6/13/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Animal behavior study

Project Description: The Bioelectronics Group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering  is looking for a UROP to work with live animals. The student will be involved in surgeries, behavioral studies and data analysis. The project is good for students who would like to get experience in working with animals and in behavioral studies. Depending on the student time, there is opportunity to be involved in immunofluorescence techniques and microscopy.

Prerequisites: Students with training in biological engineering, biology, neuroscience or related fields are encouraged to apply. Previous experience is advantage but not mandatory.

Contact: Dekel Rosenfeld: dekelr@mit.edu


6/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Robert Desimone

Project Title: Study animal learning using touch screen technology

Project Description: This is an opportunity to study animal learning using Javascript and touch screens. The project utilizes a newly developed system that is entirely web-based, meaning that the task presented to the animals is essentially a website, hosted on Dropbox, presenting stimuli programmed using Javascript. Animals are given a tablet computer and get rewards for touching the screen at the right place at the right time. The UROP will not work directly with the animals but will be in charge of programming, setting up hardware, and analysis of the incoming data. By making gradual changes in the task requirements to obtain a reward, the animals gradually learn a more and more complicated task. Ultimately, our goal is to use this new system to measure learning ability and processing of social and emotional content.

Prerequisites: Javascript; Electronics; Affinity with animal learning and behavior

Contact Name:Rogier Landman

Contact Email:landman@mit.edu


6/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Robert Desimone

Project Title: Heart rate measurement with vibration sensors

Project Description: Do you like signal processing? Can you extract a signal from noisy data? Develop an algorithm to extract heart rate from wearable vibration sensor data in animals. We are a neuroscience lab investigating animal vocalizations in a social context. The data is recorded using a microphone and a vibration sensor worn by the animals. In the vibration sensor signal, the heart rate can often be observed, although the amplitude is sometimes small. The heart rate can be useful for determining the arousal state of the animal, and this could in turn be useful to investigate the relation between internal state and social interactions. The task of the UROP is to write Matlab or Python code that takes a pre-recorded vibration sensor signal and calculates a second-by-second estimate of the heart rate and heart rate variability.

Prerequisites: Matlab or Python & Understanding of filtering techniques

Contact Name: Rogier Landman

Contact Email: landman@mit.edu


6/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Tod Machover

Project Title: Collaborative City Symphony -Developing Mobile Apps for Novel Vocal Experiences for Everyone

Project Description: Prof. Tod Machover s group, Opera of the Future, at the Media Lab is looking for UROPs experienced in Android and iOS mobile app development to be an integral part of the City Symphony project (specifically Philadelphia Voices). We are creating mobile apps, web apps and on-site activities for people to engage with there own voice and the voices of others through novel aesthetic experiences.

UROPs will gain hands-on experience in both the technical and creative aspects of app development and will see their products be deployed and used in the real world.

Possibility to continue in the fall.

Prerequisites:

  • Experience working with audio/DSP
  • Software engineering experience, especially with Object Oriented Programming Languages.
  • Experience in iOS and Android app development a strong plus.
  • Ability to work in timely fashion.
  • Ability to work in a team.
  • Ability to work with another's design.
  • Good communication skills.

Relevant URLs: https://philadelphia.media.mit.edu/

Contact: Please send resume and/or portfolio to Sizi Chen (sizichen@media.mit.edu).


6/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Renée Richardson Gosline

Project Title: Experiments in Bot Communications

Project Description: This project will examine the ways in which bots communicate with consumers and entail experiments of different communication approaches. The UROP will work on developing the bot and participate in the design, execution, and collection of data from field experiments.

Prerequisites: Experience with programming simple bots

Contact Name: Renée Richardson Gosline

Contact Email: rgosline@mit.edu


6/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Daniela Rus

Project Title: Correcting autonomous vehicle mistakes using brain activity

Project Description: Our objective is to learn how to use human-acquired brain activity for making autonomous mobility safer. We will be performing experiments using the Distributed Robotics Lab (DRL) autonomous wheelchair to study how brain activity collected during these experiments can be analyzed to improve the performance of the wheelchair. We believe that this could be very impactful for providing optimal safety in the future for autonomous driving.

We are looking for enthusiastic UROPs with a strong work ethic that would be excited to spend their summer helping us develop the experiments and work with the Robot Operating System (ROS) to assist us in implementing the experimental paradigm. Prior experience with ROS, Python, embedded programming, Arduinos is a plus.

Prerequisites: Ideal but not required: experience with ROS, Python,Arduinos and embedded programming is a plus!

Contact Name: Stephanie Gil

Contact Email: sgil@mit.edu


6/2/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Guoping Feng

Project Title: Animal behavior observation

Project Description: The overarching mission of this project involving the Feng lab, Desimone lab, and Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology is to establish new neurogenetic models of mental disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Animal models play a role in developing new insights into the evolutionary and neural background of these behaviors and possible new therapeutic avenues. In this project we study animal behavior, specifically with regard to traits that are associated with autism. The UROP will receive training on behavior scoring and recognizing relevant behaviors. The role of the UROP is to watch video footage and score behavior using Noldus Observer XT software. After collecting the data the UROP will analyze the observations. An important part of this is that the UROP signals whether the ethogram covers all the behaviors that occur, suggest improvements and help to detect patterns that warrant deeper examination. There will be opportunities to continue into the next term.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimal availability 3 months
  • Profound interest in animal behavior
  • Interest in autism and mental disorders in general
  • Keen observer with eye for detail

Contact: Rogier Landman: landman@mit.edu


6/2/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Guoping Feng

Project Title: Auto-detection of animal vocalizations

Project Description: Use signal processing and machine learning to develop auto-detection and classification of animal vocalizations. The lab has developed detection and classification software, programmed in Python. The task of the UROP is to test and improve the software. This involves testing the effectiveness of different features to distinguish vocalizations, and possibly programming the extraction of new features to improve the result. Even though the signals are auditory, the analysis is mostly image based.

Prerequisites:

  • Python
  • Proficiency in machine learning techniques
  • Knowledge of digital signal processing

Contact: Rogier Landman: landman@mit.edu


6/2/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Economics (Course 14)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Daron Acemoglu

Project Title: Financial Networks and Bank Failures

Project Description: The goal of this project is to empirically investigate the relationship between financial network structures and bank failures. In particular, we are interested in understanding the impact of interbank linkages on the transmission of shocks within the banking system.  For this purpose, we use a historical dataset on the Pennsylvania state banking system to construct the interbank network. This dataset has the unique feature that all linkages between banks are observable. The UROP student will primarily be working on the construction of the banking networks from historical banking reports and analyzing the constructed network data.

Prerequisites: The candidate should be proficient in Python. General programming skills, knowledge about network visualization and experience working with network data is a plus.

Contact: Mert Demirer: mdemirer@mit.edu


5/31/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Pawan Sinha

Project Title: Characterizing Habituation and Prediction in autism spectrum disorders

Project Description: Sensory sensitivities are a commonly occurring feature in individuals with autism. These difficulties can present considerable challenges for autistic individuals, in addition to the social-communication impairments and repetitive behavior that are typical of the autism phenotype. Motivated by a theory we have recently proposed (Sinha et al., 2014), the overarching hypothesis guiding this proposal is that difficulties in prediction may cause differences in sensory habituation. This project aims to investigate habituation profiles across a range of sensory modalities. Ultimately, we seek to understand whether the sensory difficulties observed clinically result from an underlying impairment in habituation and prediction. The project uses the tools of electroencephalography (EEG) and electrodermal activity (EDA) to obtain rich quantitative data regarding physiological response to repetitive stimuli. Deeper knowledge of the issue holds relevance for more accurate diagnosis, the provision of environments that are more tolerable for autistic individuals, as well as the design of interventions that acknowledge and address potential underlying neurocognitive issues (e.g., prediction, habituation), and not merely the manifestation of the underlying impairment (e.g., sensory sensitivities).

The UROP will contribute to electrophysiological data collection, analysis and classification using MATLAB or Python,  using sophisticated signal processing and machine learning methods.  The student will work closely with others as part of a team, with substantial opportunity to work independently. This position is available during summer term for pay  or credit.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have previous experience in Python, C , or other programming languages, MATLAB, engineering, and strong analytical skills. Must be able to commit 16-40 hours per week during the summer term. A background in computer science, engineering, brain and cognitive sciences, or related field is desired. Experience working with children is beneficial, but not required.

Application and Deadlines: The deadline to apply through the UROP office for credit and funding is June 29, 2017.  however, we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in applying. We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis starting now until the position is filled. Visit the UROP website for details about UROP requirements: http://web.mit.edu/urop/apply/deadlines.html

Contact:  To apply, please e-mail Annie Cardinaux, Project Coordinator at anniec@mit.edu, and include your Resume/CV and a letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the project. Please specify whether you would like to do the UROP for pay or credit. If you are selected and wish to complete the UROP for pay, you will need to create a project proposal for review by a member of our research team several days in advance of the June 29 deadline. We will also be looking for UROPs during the fall semester so do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested.


5/31/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Christopher Noe and Joe Weber

Project Title: Accounting Curriculum Development

Project Description: We are looking for a part-time summer UROP to assist with curriculum development for two accounting courses - 15.501 (Corporate Financial Accounting) and 15.535 (Business Analysis Using Financial Statements).  Work will primarily include background research and data gathering/analysis to support the writing of new case studies to be used in these courses.  If you like to write, co-authoring case studies is also a possibility.

Prerequisites: Strong library research skills will be very helpful. Prior knowledge of financial statements is not a requirement but students who have taken 15.501 preferred.  Prior knowledge of financial data sets like Factset or Bloomberg also not a requirement but preferred.  Lastly, we have a strong preference for someone who will be in Boston for the summer.

Contact: Christopher Noe: chrisnoe@mit.edu


5/24/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Materials Processing Center (MPC)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Lionel Kimerling

Project Title: Integrated Photonics Industry Assessment

Project Description: Are you interested in the following part-time paid summer UROP?  This is a study for the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics, which runs AIM Photonics Academy at MIT. The goal of the AIM Photonics Academy is to train future engineers, scientists, technologists and technicians for high-paying jobs in the photonics industry. Here is more info on AIM Photonics Academy: https://aimphotonics.academy

The main task for the UROP role is to conduct interviews at various companies, and help analyze data that has been gathered. The interviews are geared towards gaining a better understanding of how one should train the future workforce for Photonics. When visiting companies (Small and Medium Enterprises).  The protocol is to have an hour-long interview with individuals in several different roles at each company (i.e., engineering lead, CEO/executive administrator, and/or HR manager).

This person will visit (along with the lead PI):

  1. Large-size companies to interview folks in different roles at each big company, all at the same visit; and
  2. separately visit SMEs to interview CEOs and also to serve as an outreach for introducing what AIM Photonics Academy can do for them (engage these SMEs). All the interview questions have already been set and approved.

Skill set required:

  • Qualitative research methods (or the interest to learn and apply it).
  • Familiarity or interest in integrated photonics would be helpful.
  • Passionate and hard-working.

Relevant URLs: https://aimphotonics.academy

Contact: Yashu Kauffman: yashu@mit.edu


5/24/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Daniela Rus

Project Title: Developing an Indoor Positioning System at MIT using WiFi

Project Description: We aspire to deploy an indoor positioning system that can be used by students and visitors to navigate around buildings using their smartphones, or to find objects that have been tagged with WiFi emitters.  We have spent the past 2+ years developing the theory and now are ready to implement this in a live setting - so this is where it gets exciting!  To start, we will deploy in areas around the MIT Stata Center and/or the MIT Career Fair.  Our long-term goal with the project is to deploy this technology in hospitals to help doctors and nurses find patients, medical equipment, and other critical assets that will allow them to do their job more efficiently - providing needed care faster.

We are looking for UROPs to dive in on this project with us. UROPs with skills in programming, linux, embedded systems and/or mechanical and electrical engineering design are particularly welcome to apply.  Experience with laser cutting and/or 3D printing is a plus.

Relevant URLs: http://www.ubietytech.com/

Contact: Stephanie Gill: sgil@mit.edu


5/17/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Magnetothermal excitation of biological tissues

Project Description: The Bioelectronics Group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering  is looking for a UROP with interest in material science and/or biological applications. The proposed research focuses on minimally-invasive, injectable platform to enable multi-organ neuromodulation without the need for implants. We use magnetic nanoparticles that when being exposed to alternating magnetic fields, dissipate heat that triggers thermally sensitive ion channels and evokes neuronal excitation. Several projects are available including nanoparticles synthesis, immunohistochemistry of tissues and microfabrication.

Prerequisites: Students with training in biological engineering, material science, or related fields are encouraged to apply. Experience with general laboratory practices is required Starting date: ASAP

Contact: Dekel Rosenfeld: dekelr@mit.edu


5/17/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Paper Microfluidics

Project Description: In this project we investigate the flow of fluids in a microfluidic channel made of paper. In particular the channels will be optimized for delivering a particular oxidizing agent. A UROP taking up this position is expected to perform quantitative analysis of the channel for the delivery of the agent. Responsibilities will involve fabrication of paper microfluidic channels, performing quantitative chemical analysis and fine tuning the channel design.

Prerequisites: Chemistry (must have). Microfluidics (good to have). Hands-on fabrication (good to have).

Contact: Udayan Umapathi: udayan@mit.edu


5/17/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jerry Hughes

Project Title: Educational Video Game

Project Description: For two decades, one of the favorite items in the PSFC’s collection of outreach equipment has been an arcade-style video game that simulates aspects of plasma confinement and control in a tokamak.  The game is a memorable activity for the students who play it, and helps them to engage more with the topics covered in the outreach curriculum.

Despite its success, the game is dated and is in need of a replacement or major renewal.  As such, we would like a UROP student to create a proposal for the updated version of the PSFC's outreach video game.  While the tokamak will remain the theme of the game, the UROP's design process is open-ended, and can produce an outcome that may be very similar to or depart substantially from the original.

PHASE ONE:

  • communicate with area teachers who have brought their students to the PSFC and graduate students who have used the game to explore the current version's strengths and weaknesses.
  • research games meant for science outreach that have been created by other organizations; look for helpful resources in designing games for outreach, both in terms of literature on the subject as well as software tools.
  • Create a report compiling what has been learned, and outlining a concept for a refreshed version of the game.

PHASE TWO:

  • Build a demonstration version of the game that captures the new conceptual design.  For this purpose, the UROP may use AppInventor or another framework that the UROP either already knows very well or can become familiarized with rapidly.  The demonstration version is not meant to be a final implementation of the game, but rather, together with the report, to be a guide for how the game may be fully implemented in the future.
  • Make recommendations for how the final version of the game can be implemented, researching options for putting out a contract for the work, or for doing the work in-house.

Prerequisites: Some familiarity in programming would be helpful, but is not required, as this is mostly a scoping project.  The UROP should be passionate about science education, and excited about the work we do at the PSFC.

Relevant URLs: http://www.psfc.mit.edu/outreach

Contact: Paul Rivenberg: rivenberg@psfc.mit.edu


5/17/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Tod Machover

Project Title: Spaces That Perform Themselves

Project Description: Interested on working in the intersection of art, science, music, technology, architecture and perception? This project consist on the creation of a multi-sensory installation for augmenting the perception of sound and its relationship to space. The objective is to build a room that morphs with a musical piece and provides different perceptual stimuli to create a choreography of a space with sound, kinetic architecture, vibrations, color and light. All this to compose a new kind of aesthetic experience mixing experimental music, synesthesia, new instruments and installation art.

Building on the understanding of music and architecture as creators of spatial experience, this project aims to create a novel way of unfolding music’s spatial qualities in the physical world. The project will design a complete embodied experience that changes how we think about sound and its relationship to space. The project’s objective is to create a new type of architectural typology that morphs responsively with a musical piece. Presenting spatial and musical composition as one synchronous entity.

The goal of the project is to create a multi-sensory environment where music’s perpetually changing characteristics reconfigure the spatial organization of a space, thus creating “multiple rooms” along the way. The multiple rooms will be constructed by specific choreographies of sound, architecture, light and color. The physical space will be affected by a mechanical system that will move flexible fabric walls, so they can adopt different shapes and positions. The sound will be projected from an array of speakers and the light and color from LEDs that will be embedded on the structure. These will control sound position and intensity, along with light, color and brightness. This system will respond to the input of music, which will deploy a performance by a dynamic Space that is alive and in constant flux.

The project aims to give shape to a novel music-spatial aesthetic expression, where the piece is an experience of sound that is choreographed by a dynamic space and embodied in a person’s relationship to it. Along with opening the possibilities of a new experimental music composition model, the project will explore the virtues of architecture as a medium not for a purpose, but for an effect.

Prerequisites:

  • Experience with Arduino, processing, and C++.
  • Experience with Microsoft Kinect for gesture control, 
  • Experience with controlling multiple stepper motors, controlling LEDs.
  • Loves music, knows about or is interested on learning about interactive art, interested in sensors for gesture control (such as kinect).
  • Interested experimental music, synesthesia, new instruments and installation art.  

Contact: Sizi Chen: sizichen@media.mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Economics (Course 14)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Daron Acemoglu

Project Title: Levelling the Playing Field: Contact, Incentives and Caste Prejudice

Project Description: 52% of upper castes in India continue to practice “untouchability” (discriminating against lower castes). These group relations persist despite castes living in close proximity (albeit in segregated villages). Integration may be a natural policy response, but little is known about how the type of cross-caste interaction might matter. This project is then a field experiment in India which tests whether competitive incentives weaken the effects of interaction.

Cricket tournaments (5 of 8 completed so far) are used to integrate men from all castes, with men randomly assigned to teams (giving variation in cross-caste exposure). The teams are then also randomly assigned to individual vs. team pay (competitive vs. collaborative incentives). After each tournament is over, we use a variety of games and activities to measure caste prejudice amongst participants and non-participants.

We are seeking UROPs to work with us, carrying out the following US-based tasks:

  • Project and data monitoring during and after each tournament
  • Regression analysis
  • Visualisation and analysis of caste social networks

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have a strong background in Economics or Political Science, experience using Stata and the ability to work independently.

Commitment: 6-12hrs/week, Summer term (with possibility for extension).

Contact: Matt Lowe: mlowe@mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Economics (Course 14)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Daron Acemoglu

Project Title: The Political Contact Hypothesis: Can Integration Reduce Polarization?

Project Description: It is well known that political polarization has increased in the United States over the last several decades. Such polarization leads to legislative gridlock and an ideological divide amongst the electorate. In this project we aim to answer a simple question: if politicians were to come into more frequent contact with politicians across the party divide, would their views become more moderate?

To test the hypothesis, we will use natural experiments in Iceland, Norway and Sweden, where there exists random variation in who sits next to who in the legislative chamber.

We are seeking UROPs to work with us, carrying out the following tasks:

  • Language processing (using Python) of speech text
  • Contact w/ Iceland/Norway/Sweden Parliaments regarding exact institutional details
  • Python programming for web-scraping of politician biographies, vote records
  • Regression analysis

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have a strong background in Economics, Political Science and/or Computer Science, experience using Stata, web scraping/language processing with Python, and the ability to work independently. Norwegian/Swedish/Icelandic language skills would be an asset, but not required!

Commitment: 6-12hrs/week, Summer term (with possibility for extension).

Contact: Donghee Jo: djo@mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies (Course 21W)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Suzanne Lane

Project Title: Web/UI Designer

Project Description: Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (WRAP) recently received funding from the Davis Family Foundation to develop a series of “reasoning diagrams,” which reveal the underlying logical relationship between central concepts in a discipline.  We have already created such a reasoning diagram for Materials Science and Engineering, are close to finishing one for Comparative Media Studies, and are currently working on ones for Computer Systems, for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and for Chemical Engineering.  These reasoning diagrams are used as a teaching tool to help students learn the patterns of thought and explanation in a field, and thus we are also developing instructional materials to accompany them, both in the classroom and online.

Responsibility: You will work with the directors of WRAP, as well as a graduate research assistant, to design elements of the online instructional materials, including some interactive tools for working with the reasoning diagrams. Different tools, for instance, might incorporate gaming elements, or might allow students to zoom in on particular reasoning patterns and see many examples or adapt the diagram to their own research project. While we are looking for someone with fundamental coding skills, we are also looking for strong graphic design, storyboarding, and/or animation experience.

Commitment: Between 20-35 hours per week.  We are currently looking for someone for the summer, but interest in continuing with the project beyond this summer is desirable.

Prerequisites: 

  • Experience with python, java, HTML, and CSS.
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work independently

Familiarity with key design concepts and processes:

  • Design Research
  • Branding and Graphic Development
  • User Guides/Storyline
  • UI Prototyping
  • Interactivity and Animation
  • Adaptation to All Device Screen Sizes

Contact: Becky Shepardson: bshep@mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Michael Strano

Project Title: Isolated chloroplasts interfaced with nanobionics: a living synthetic material

Project Description: Plant chloroplasts are natural photocatalysts converting CO2 and light into glucose. This project aims to develop a novel synthetic material based on glucose produced by isolated chloroplasts. The main challenge achieving this goal is associated with the limited stability of the isolated chloroplasts. To circumvent this, we will augment chloroplast stability with nanobionics approach that was recently pioneered in our lab. A student will learn how to isolate chloroplasts from living plants, run viability tests, study their stability under various conditions, and develop nanotechnological routes to enhance chloroplast stability. This is a highly interdisciplinary topic combining plant science, material science, chemistry, and nanotechnology. A student will be free to choose the most appealing direction.

Contact: Volodymyr Koman: koman@mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Michael Strano

Project Title: Atomically-thin materials

Project Description: 2D materials (e.g., graphene) reach the ultimate limit of thickness of only few atoms. This brings new exciting properties that are distinct from the bulk. Furthermore, stacking 2D materials on top of each other allows for unprecedented control in material design. One example of these materials is molybdenum sulfide (MoS2). Unlike graphene, MoS2 monolayer possesses photoluminescence in the visible range, making it very attractive as a sensor. Since MoS2 fabrication remains difficult, its properties, especially chemical ones, are not well studied to date. In this project, a student will learn how to synthesize MoS2 using chemical vapor deposition, characterize it using spectroscopy techniques, and finally study MoS2 interaction with various chemical compounds. A student will also have the possibility to fabricate 2D nanocomposites to study mechanical and thermal properties of 2D materials. This is a highly interdisciplinary topic and a student will be free to choose the most appealing direction.

Prerequisites: Please provide details on any prerequisites or skills required for this UROP

Contact: Volodymyr Koman: koman@mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Tomaso Poggio

Project Title: CBMM Engineering of Intelligence (EIT) Teams

Project Description: Depending on your background and interest, we will recommend one or two of the following projects.

  1. Language modeling, question answering and reasoning, machine translation, conversation modeling with Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) and other models
  2. Visual recognition, detection and segmentation using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs)
  3. Visual question answering with RNNs + CNNs
  4. Computational modeling of visual cortex & biologically-plausible learning of neural networks
  5. Reinforcement learning with games and virtual environments
  6. Design new machine learning tasks and benchmarks
  7. Participate various machine learning challenges (e.g., ILSVRC, Microsoft COCO, WMT, etc.) We provide sufficient computational resource and technical support from dedicated research engineers.

Prerequisites: Interest in Machine Learning and/or AI. Previous research experience is NOT required.

Contact: Xavier Boix: xboix@mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Political Science (Course 17)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: In Song Kim

Project Title: Processing Text to Reveal Lobbying Activity

Project Description: Our project investigates how money affects American politics through lobbying. To support this research, we intend to develop software for the efficient comparison of text related to legislation. The software will operate on a large corpus of legislative text to identify when language from one document appears in similar form in another document.

The research assistant will work with us to identify functional and non-functional requirements for the software, and then implement the planned solution. The RA will work approximately 10 hours per week in June, July, and August. Interested applicants should send a short statement of interest (1-2 paragraphs) indicating preferred start date, along with a resume/CV.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have experience with text processing in Python, and in particular the efficient implementation of string distance algorithms.

Contact: James Dunham jdunham@mit.edu


5/15/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Dr. Wanda Orlikowski



Project Title: Research on 9-1-1 Emergency Coordination

Project Description: Emergency management organizations play an important role in the functioning of a city. Specifically, these centers manage the coordinated dispatch of police, fire, and emergency medical services, among others. The emergency communication call-takers and dispatchers act as the “first” first responders to emergencies of various kinds. They do this through answering 9-1-1 calls and other requests for help, quickly gathering the required data from callers and other real-time information technologies, synthesizing the data to make sense of what is going on, categorizing the incidents and entering information into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, and coordinating various activities during emergency response.

Despite the importance of dispatch and emergency communications centers, very few research studies have examined the coordination and decision-making challenges and complexities involved in this work. Moreover, the 9-1-1 emergency field is undergoing several changes due to shifts in the technological and institutional regime. With the profusion of mobile phones in the United States, the volume, type, and pattern of 9-1-1 calls have significantly increased (including a significant increase in the % of redundant calls, prank calls, missed dials, and non-emergency requests) which is impacting both the staffing and management of these emergency centers as well as increasing the percentage of time that police officers and EMTs spend in responding to 9-1-1 calls for service.

Therefore, the motivating question for this research is to understand how does one organize a 24x7 emergency center in the digital age, where the constant connectivity of mobile devices and social media are changing public expectations regarding response times and service levels? As a part of this research, we will be analyzing “big data” related to 9-1-1 call logs and Utilization data to understand the volume, type, and the flow of calls across multiple cities and years. We will also be building models to predict call-volume and call-patterns, which could in turn help the centers to organize accordingly and plan their staffing & patrol deployment.

If you are interested in (a) getting hands-on experience in collecting and analyzing high-volume data (e.g., city-level 9-1-1 calls, crime reports) (b) convert unstructured data into structured data and do analysis, (c) participate in interesting and relevant social science research, this would be a great learning opportunity. UROP will closely participate in research related to a number of questions related to the application of big data/analytics to the field of emergency response. Specifically, we have three types of UROP positions:

Position 1: Candidates with knowledge of intermediate statistics (e.g., regression analysis), and experience with statistical tools (such as STATA or R). Responsibility for this position include managing and analyzing data using statistical software. The ideal candidate is a highly motivated student with strong background in statistics/econometrics and with good data analysis skills.

Prerequisites for Position 1:

  • Intermediate Statistics (including STATA or R)
  • Experience with Microsoft Excel (Macros, VBA)
  • Good data analysis skills

________

Position 2: Candidates with strong programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python),  Responsibility for this position include writing code to collect data from a variety of sources, converting unstructured data to structured data,  data management, and a sincere interest in the phenomena of big data and analytics.

Prerequisites for Position 2:

  • Programming skills with scripting languages (Python or Ruby or Perl)
  • Experience with Microsoft Excel

________

Position 3: Candidates with good data management skills – someone who can cleanse and improve the quality of both quantitative and qualitative data. UROP type: Paid, For Credits, as well as Volunteer.

Contact: Please email Arvind Karunakaran: arvindk@mit.edu with a brief intro (or with a resume/CV). Also, please include which UROP position you are most interested in, your availability to meet and number of hours per week to work.


5/15/17

Summer 2017

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

MIT Faculty Supervisor: Ram Sasisekharan

Project Title: Predicting physiological response using the latest in hardware and software technology.

Project Description:  We are developing a flexible technology platform that can be used to predict physiological response to varied experiences with specific applications to cancer care. We will assemble the end-to-end, hardware, software and analysis components necessary to conduct experiments to measure these physiological responses.

Successful candidates will have a unique opportunity to work with a multi-disciplinary team at the Koch Institute on a project with academic and commercial applications across life sciences and health care. 

Skills:  We are looking for 2-3 students this summer who are interested in contributing to the platform (for pay or academic credit) in one of the following capacities- exactly matching experience is preferred but not required:

1)  Signal Processing / Data Storage: 

  • Signal processing of physiological signals using Python or Matlab
  • Setting up backend DBs in AWS environment

2) Software Engineering with hardware/Bluetooth integration: 

  • Knowledge of Bluetooth communication systems
  • Medical Device / IOT / other hardware integration

3) Software engineering/development of immersive environments: 

  • Programming skills in C#
  • Android/iOS game development

Contact: Toby Clark: clarkt@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jinhua Zhao

Project Title: Global Attitudes towards the Future of Mobility: Survey Sample Weighting for Cross-Country Comparisons

Project Description: The JTL Urban Mobility Lab, along with other MIT esearchers in the MIT Energy Initiative Mobility of the Future consortium, collected a global survey of attitudes towards travel and new transportation technologies and services (i.e. electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles). The sample consists of N=1000 or N=500 responses for each of 52 countries across the world. The sample was controlled at the country-level for age and gender during data collection, but is not representative on some other sociodemographic dimensions. We are looking to hire a student to help collect the country-level income and other information necessary to determine new weights for the responses. The student should then calculate these new sample weights and apply them in generating comparisons of descriptive statistics and response distributions across countries.

Skills:

  1. Strong background in sampling statistics and survey evaluation
  2. Ability to research and collect income and other sociodemographic data at the country level from online, open source, international databases
  3. Ability to independently apply survey response weighting techniques, particularly Iterative Proportional Fitting (raking)

Relevant URLs: http://energy.mit.edu/research/mobility-future-study/

Contact: Joanna Moody: jcmoody@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: James L Kirtley

Project Title: Design a Graphical Interface on Python for extracting frequency response of microgrid resources in real time

Project Description: The goal of the job is to design a Python GUI for extracting frequency response data from emulated microgrid resources and controllers such as solar inverters, natural gas generators, and wind turbines. The task will include an understanding of linear time invariant (LTI) systems, perturbation theory, and control and operation of microgrid components such as inverters and electric machines.

Contact: Edwin Fonkwe: efonkwe@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Georgia Perakis

Project title:  Analytics-driven logistics for healthcare start up

Project Description: Our project is about delivering on-demand healthcare services at home. Our objective is to revolutionize how healthcare is delivered by providing “house-calls, on-demand, powered by analytics”. Patients will be matched with healthcare providers, and care will be provided when and where most convenient for the patient. 

We are collaborating with Incasa (healthcare startup) in order to design realistic models that will help them make operational decisions for at home healthcare delivery. This includes using machine learning and statistics techniques to estimate demand, devising policies to match customers with providers, and building simulations which will help them analyze the performance of their operations and suggest ways to improve.

Responsibilities: First of all, you will be a member of the research team and the whole team will meet weekly. In these meetings we will work on modelling the problem, devising algorithms, building theory, discussing results and setting further steps. Outside of research meetings, we will work with data, implement and test algorithms, and research literature. The most important responsibilities will be to process the data, code the algorithms and run the computational experiments, which are decided upon during meetings. 

Qualifications:

  • Competence with Python is required
  • Experience in machine learning and optimization is preferred
  • Experience with geospatial data and visualization tools (incliding interacing with Google maps) is not necessary, but is a plus.
  • Experience in R also a plus

Salary: $18 per hour 

Duration: summer, with the possibility of extending further

Contact: Please send applications or questions to Professor Georgia Perakis (georgiap@mit.edu), Max Biggs PhD student (maxbiggs@mit.edu).  Applications should include your resume and a concise statement of why you are interested and why you would make a good fit.  If you are interested please apply as soon as possible.


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Dr. Timothy Padera

Project Title: Investigating the molecular determinants of lymph node metastasis

Project Description: Metastasis remains the principal cause of cancer mortality. Thus, the challenge is how to treat cancer cells that have spread to lymph nodes or distant organs in order to prevent their growth and ideally eradicate them from the body. A major goal of our lab is to dissect the molecular determinants of lymph node metastasis. Using multiple animal models of lymph node metastasis that are established in our lab, we will investigate the gene profiles of these tissues in order to determine what genes allow cancer cells to thrive in metastatic sites. Our data from RNA sequencing analysis show that cancer cells in the lymph node have a differentially regulated transcriptomic profile compared to tumor cells at the primary site.  Student(s) will be involved in the workflow of validating the importance of these targets and in the process, gain an understanding of several molecular biology techniques. A long-term commitment represents the opportunity for co-authorship on a manuscript, in addition to experience with intravital imaging, immunofluorescence microscopy, tumor biology immunology, cell culture and biochemical assays.

We are searching for dedicated and ambitious undergraduate researchers to assist with this project. The undergraduate researcher(s) will work closely with a postdoctoral fellow to execute the research plan.

Prerequisites: Prior research experience is preferred.  Applicants should be self-motivated, reliable, interested in the project and pay great attention to experimental details. The student should be available to work in the lab at least 40 hours per week through the summer and interested to continue the project through the Fall.

Contact: Ethel Pereira: epereira@steele.mgh.harvard.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Allan Myerson

Project Title: "Pharmacy on Demand" Equipment design/build/test

Project Description: The overall aim for this project is to develop, design, build, test, and demonstrate   an innovative, miniaturized, self-contained, automated, continuous end-to-end pharmaceutical drug manufacturing unit. This research is part of the DARPA Pharmacy on Demand project.

Role: We are looking for one or more students to work with our engineering team to conduct various tasks, including:

  • Designing, fabricating, debugging, and working with custom components and automated systems.
  • Running equipment, following experimental procedures, gathering and compiling data.
  • Project documentation (creating and updating parts lists, procedures, instructions, etc.)
  • Developing control code (LabView)

Possible projects include:

  1. Testing and process development of an automated system to dispense, weigh, and transfer powders with a range of material properties. Work could include experimental testing, mechanical assembly, Labview programming (motion control, serial communication with devices, data acquisition, control logic, and user interface)
  2. Testing and process development of an automated powder dosing and tableting operation. Work could include experimental testing, mechanical assembly, wiring, and Labview programming (similar to above)
  3. Testing, and test development, of proposed tableting quality control techniques including NIR and tablet stability testing
  4. Testing and process development of an automated system to perform crystallization, purification and drying of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
  5. Development of the next generation of the systems described above.

Prerequisites: 

  • Motivated individual with strong aptitude for hands-on work in a lab-based setting.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite.  
  • Attentive to details.

Desired qualifications:  Experience with prototyping, machine tools, and electro-mechanical systems is a plus, as is experience with data analysis, SolidWorks, and Labview.

Contact: David Brancazio: dbrancaz@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Learning Design Projects for a New Teacher Education Program

Project Description: The Teaching Systems Lab is currently looking for a highly motivated individual who can help us re-imagine how STEM teachers are prepared for today’s schools.

Do you want to learn how to design blended learning experiences where you can use your creativity and playfulness to create graduate school-level curriculum?  The Teaching Systems Lab is looking for summer UROPS who will join our interdisciplinary team consisting of research scientists, designers, teachers, and teacher educators to prototype blended learning experiences that provide rich practice opportunities for STEM teachers.

The UROP will learn different learning design frameworks and be part of the team to create curriculum prototypes that are informed by learning sciences.

Responsibilities include:

  1. design engaging learning materials such as games and online modules
  2. research high quality teaching and learning
  3. conduct user testing and revise the materials according to the testing results
  4. document design process for future referral.

Relevant URLs: tsl.mit.edu

Contact: Sarah Jane Vaughan: svaughan@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Emerging Worlds

Project Description: We are looking for social science research: both a current assessment and recommendations. You should be able to tell us how we are doing and what we could do to improve.

In your application, please tell us how you would structure a research study during the summer of 2017. It should culminate in a report with recommendations that will enable us to stay on the cutting edge of best practice and to improve the Emerging Worlds program.

You should address at least one of these areas in your research, report and recommendations:

  • Innovation programs structure/models
  • Sourcing grand challenges
  • Networks of innovation hubs/clubs
  • Measuring social impact – formulas and tools
  • Ethics of engaging for social impact

Prerequisites: For this UROP we are seeking a student with an affinity for and demonstrated skills/experience in social science, innovation for social impact, and one or more of the above categories of research. Experience in an emerging economy is a plus.

Relevant URLs:  http://mitemergingworlds.comhttps://docs.google.com/document/d/10cGXI-rSAOgTETPfQtrvworHnO1c16MdvPbSL_6Gi8w/edit?usp=sharing

Contact: Beth Zonis: zonis@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Architecture (Course 4)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Christoph Reinhart

Project Title: Interactive Web Interface for Living MIT Campus Energy Model

Project Description: Around 40% of US carbon emissions can be attributed to buildings, an alarming statistic which has triggered the development of many energy savings technologies from coated window glazings to LED light bulbs and improved insulation materials. While the building design and construction industry is nowadays capable of delivering highly efficient new buildings, some of which are becoming Zero Net Energy Buildings (ZNEB), owners of existing buildings still face the challenge to decide which actions to take to reduce carbon emissions in a cost effective way. In order to help MIT and other campus operator to manage their building related carbon emissions, the MIT Sustainable Design Lab is collaborating with the MIT Office for Sustainability on a Living MIT Campus Energy Model. The model relies on a new set of simulation technologies that self-adjust over time to mimic measured building energy use. The model can be used to (a) track over time whether all buildings “behave as they should” (.i.e. nothing is broken), predict energy savings form a set of proposed retrofitting options, (c) validate after renovation whether predicted savings are being realized and (d) track MIT’s progress to reduce building related carbon emissions.

For this UROP position we are looking for students who can develop an interactive web based interface for users to access and process simulation results from the MIT campus model.

Required Skills: Strong programming skills with Javascript/JSON web development

Preferred Skills:

  • Experience with full stack development, server side applications
  • Basic understanding of Rhinoceros and Grasshopper modeling environment
  • Basic understanding of energy simulation engines, such as EnergyPlus.
  • Basic understanding of building energy concepts, construction materials

Contact: Shreshth Nagpal: shreshth@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Deep learning with distributed application

Project Description: We will emphasize on security related features in supervised and unsupervised learning. Candidates will develop pipelines using deep neural networks and state of the art methods in object classification/segmentation. We will use either tensorflow/caffe/theano for development and testing. This is a research project and desired final outcome is working libraries and paper. Funding available.

Prerequisites: Candidates should be proficient in Python/C++. Candidates should have ideally taken courses in Algorithms and data structure, Machine Learning experience is a plus.

Contact: Otkrist Gupta otkrist@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Brent D. Ryan

Project Title: Examining the implementation of a “Smart Shrinkage” plan in an American shrinking city: Youngstown, Ohio

Project Description: Shrinking cities are cities that afflicted by economic downturns and subsequent population loss. It is not difficult to find a shrinking city in the US, especially in the Rustbelt. In the last decade, the concept of “smart shrinkage” has been proposed by some urban scholars as a panacea to tackle most problems in shrinking cities. It advocates an alternative planning paradigm that depart from the traditional growth-oriented one which has been heavily criticized. By believing in a smaller city that can also be more beautiful and accepting the reality of depopulation, “Smart Shrinkage” advocates rightsizing redundant physical space and public services, in order to accommodate them with the real population.  In 2005, City of Youngstown released the Youngstown 2010 Plan, as the first comprehensive plan in the US that claimed to adopt a “Smart Shrinkage” paradigm. This Plan received national acclaim and various awards. In 2013,  Youngstown released its updated zoning, Youngstown Redevelopment Code, as the most important subsequent planning effort to implement the Plan. The study, headed by Professor Brent Ryan and Visiting PhD student Shuqi Gao, will investigate the mismatch between the Plan and the Zoning, as well as the local response to these “Smart shrinkage” strategies. We have almost completed the first phase of this study, in which we have identified parcel-level differences between these two and concluded the major variations. Meanwhile we have conducted four trial interviews with local informants on inquiring the causes of these variations. We plan to conduct more interviews and a field trip survey there to have deeper understanding of the mismatch, as well as the local reactions of these “Smart Shrinkage” strategies. The UROP will be available during the Summer (20 hours per week) and Fall (10 hours per week) and will include GIS analysis of plan and map data, preparation of interview protocols, telephone interviews with informants, and, pending availability of funding, field interviews of informants. The UROP will be of interest to students with interests in GIS, urban policy, social justice, shrinking cities, economic development, urban planning, and urban design. UROP students will meet biweekly with Professor Ryan and report on a weekly basis to Mr. Gao. Any questions may be addressed to Mr. Gao at the address below. This UROP is available to students who wish to receive stipends, course credit, or on a volunteer basis.

Prerequisites: Proficiency in English; GIS skill; excellent communication skills; interest in urban planning and policy.

Relevant URLs:

http://www.youngstownohio.gov/about_youngstown/youngstown_2010/index.aspx

http://www.cityofyoungstownoh.org/city_hall/department

Contact: Shuqi Gao: shuqigao@mit.edu


5/8/17

Summer

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. J. Christopher Love

Project Title: Serverless Application System for Storage and analYsis of –Omic Data (SASSY-OD)

Project Description: We are developing a new framework to store and analyze biological (–omic) and other scientific datasets and securely share them across labs and institutions, based on cutting-edge tools provided by Amazon cloud. Recent advancements in “serverless” computing and container technology let us implement infrastructure-as-a-code that scales with our demands, is friendly to most users, and removes the burden of server administration.

If you enjoy doing big things with third-party APIs, or invent your own, we invite you to join in! We’re actively working on back-end APIs and their front-end UI. Knowledge of Node.js, TypeScript or JavaScript in general would be very helpful, but not required (and we know you learn fast!). We’d also like to borrow your experience designing and implementing sleek single-page applications (SPAs) in Angular or similar web frameworks, as well as general practice of test- and behavior-driven development and continuous delivery. And if you are familiar with intricacies of AWS and following its latest developments, we’ll pick you yesterday!

Timeline: We aim to move fast and break things, while also getting a full production system ready by the end of the summer. And researchers at the Koch Institute are looking forward to use it for an exciting new technology in RNA sequencing of single cells that will likely cross academic institutions, and beyond.

Contact: Denis Loginov <dloginov@mit.edu>