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

8/13/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Danielle Wood

Project Title: Design of a Satellite Testbed

Project Description: The Space Enabled Research Group advances justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. Space technology contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals via communication, earth observation, positioning, microgravity research, spinoffs and inspiration. Space Enabled uses six research methods: design, art, social science, complex systems, satellite engineering and data science.

This project develops a satellite testbed that will help Space Enabled prepare to design future orbital spacecraft missions. The student will investigate satellite components to comprehensively understand electrical, mechanical, and communication constraints between each and integrate them into a physical testbed.

Prerequisites: We seek students with a strong background in embedded electronic systems, especially electrical, aerospace, and mechanical engineers. In addition, we seek students interested in the topic of sustainable development.

Relevant URL: spaceenabled.media.mit.edu

Contact: Javier Stober (stober@mit.edu)


8/13/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Richard Petrsso

Project Title: Inertial Confinement Fusion neutron spectrometer response function simulations with Geant4

Project Description: The High-Energy-Density Physics (HEDP) Division http://www-internal.psfc.mit.edu/research/hedp/ of the PSFC designs and implements experiments, and performs theoretical calculations, to study and explore the non-linear dynamics and properties of plasmas under extreme conditions of density (~1000 g/cc), pressure (~ 1000 gigabar), and field strength (~megagauss).  As part of this effort, the group has installed the MRS neutron spectrometer to measure the yield, ion temperature and confinement properties of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) ignition experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF). This spectrometer measures neutron spectra from the primary cryogenically layered DT implosions on the NIF, such as described in Refs. [1,2,3]. MRS measurements from the NIF are interpreted using a detailed instrument response function simulated using the Geant4 toolkit (geant4.cern.ch). We are currently looking to improve our understanding of instrument response to allow more detailed analysis of finer features of the measured neutron spectra, as a step to understanding asymmetries and flows in the NIF implosions. These factors are crucial to understand and mitigate in order to achieve ignition on the NIF.

To accomplish this, we are looking for a student to:

  • (i) adapt the existing response function simulation code to the newest version of Geant4;
  • (ii) move the code from a Windows to a Linux computing environment;
  • (iii) add more physics capability to the code to further improve our understanding of MRS response.

Prerequisites: The right candidate for this project is a self-motivated student with prior experience in C++ and Linux. Geant4 experience would be an advantage, but for a student that does not yet know Geant4, this is an excellent opportunity to learn! Hours for this project will be negotiable, during Fall 2018 and with the possibility of continuing into future semesters.

Relevant URLs: http://www.psfc.mit.edu/  | http://www.psfc.mit.edu/research/topics/high-energy-density-physics

Contact: Maria Gatu Johnson (gatu@psfc.mit.edu)


8/10/18

Term: Fall/IAP

Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Mark Harnett

Project Title: Biophysics of Computation

Project Description: Using a combination of theoretical and computational modeling, behavioral experiments, as well as optical and electrophysiological neural recordings, students will contribute to our mission of understanding how the biophysical features of neurons give rise the remarkable processing power of the mammalian brain. This project involves the design, day-to-day operation, and analysis of a complex cognitive task, and will lead to the analysis of a large, high dimensional dataset.

Prerequisites: Minimum time commitment of 12 hours per week.

Relevant URL: http://www.markharnett.org/

Contact: Jakob Voigt (jvoigts@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Barbara Wixom

Project Title: Data Monetization Survey Research

Project Description: Over the summer, we surveyed 300 executives regarding data monetization activities at their company. We hope to explore how companies effectively create value from information and learn how companies make money and create competitive advantage from data. This fall (starting as early as August 28), we need UROP help to create a respondent report that communicates initial descriptive findings. So, we are looking for someone with experience in quantitative data analysis. Duties would include preparing the data set, augmenting the data set with additional data from public data sources, basic statistical analysis, creating visualizations that represent key insights, and creating an attractive, professional report for an executive audience.

Note that Barb Wixom will be on vacation without email until August 20. On this date, she will begin to respond to UROP  interest and applications.

Prerequisites: Attention to detail is critical. We need someone who is well organized and creative. We will need a solid background in statistics -- and skills in either a statistics tool like SPSS and/or in statistical programming (R preferred). It would also be helpful to have experience with Tableau or a tool that can be used to create visual representations of findings.

Relevant URL: https://cisr.mit.edu/

Contact: Barbara Wixom (bwixom@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Asada, H. Harry

Project Title: Graphic Design for Human Training in Advanced Manufacturing

Project Description: Each year over 200,000 people enter various apprenticeship programs in the United States. While the total number is large, most of them are for construction industries, e.g. plumbing, carpentry, and electric works. In contrast, the manufacturing automation and robotics segment is scant, and virtually no apprentice program is currently available in many states and regions. The needs for advanced manufacturing and robotics are increasing, and the significant talent shortage and skill gaps hamper the growth of manufacturing industries.

To solve this problem, Dr. Harry Asada and the d'Arbeloff lab recently received over $2 million dollars to develop a fully automated apprenticeship program called TeachBot to empower workers in manufacturing in the US with the skills necessary to work collaboratively with robots in modern manufacturing environments. The project is currently in early stages of development, and we are seeking a talented, passionate, and eager-to-learn UROP to develop interactive educational graphics and animations for TeachBot learning modules. Our ideal UROP would be proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; have demonstrated proficiency in graphic design; and be excited about STEM education and revolutionizing advanced manufacturing.

Benefits include mentoring from premier robotics researchers, an impressive headline project for your design/engineering portfolio, extremely flexible hours, and your own desk in a nice office with a third story view.

Prerequisites: Required: HTML/CSS/JavaScript

Encouraged:

  • Graphic design portfolio (we just want to see that you're a creative person)
  • Photoshop
  • Animation

Relevant URL: http://meche.mit.edu/news-media/professor-harry-asada-awarded-2-million-grant-develop-robotic-educational-tool-%E2%80%9Cteach-bo

Contact: Nick Selby (nselby@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. L. Bourouiba

Project Title:  Biophysics and infectious diseases

Project Description: The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory focuses on elucidating the dynamics of pathogen transmission from the lens of physical processes at various scales. A series of ongoing projects involve the development and analysis of experimental results derived from high-speed imaging, microfluidics, and microscopy.

We seek a driven UROP student with a strong background in physics or Math-Physics to be involved in some of these projects. The range of tasks, depending on the student background, will range from involvement in experimental data collection, microscopy, to data analysis.

Prerequisites: We are looking for a UROP student with a positive outlook and personality, and the ability to give and take constructive criticism, and with particular interest in working on problems pertaining to the application of physics and engineering to health challenges. Optics and coding (e.g., Matlab, python, development of GUIs) are considered assets.

If interested, please send an updated CV, including the list of courses taken and previous projects/UROP experiences to Prof. L. Bourouiba lbouro@mit.edu.

Relevant URL: http://lbourouiba.mit.edu/

Contact: Prof. L. Bourouiba (lbouro@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. L. Bourouiba

Project Title: Algorithms for mitigation and control of infectious diseases

Project Description: Infectious diseases continue to persist and infect millions per year (e.g., influenza, SARS, and C-difficile to cite a few). In addition, the emergence of resistant strains (super-bugs) will be one of the most pressing challenges of the century. To develop a multifaceted approach to mitigation and control of infectious diseases and curb the risk of epidemics and pandemics, it is important to understand the process of transmission. Such understanding will allow for new engineering solutions to transmission mitigation.

The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory focuses on developing the tools to study, and deriving fundamental insights on, the dynamics of pathogen transmission. A series of projects aiming to do so involve biophysics, signal processing, and pattern recognition to be developed for novel experimental and medical datasets. For these projects, we seek a driven UROP with a strong background in signal processing and associated algorithm development to assist with signal pattern recognition and extraction.

We seek a dedicated and motivated UROP student with positive outlook and personality, and the ability to give and take constructive criticism. It is important that the UROP student be interested in remaining involved in the laboratory for more than one term, to enable sufficient time for receiving training, and have the opportunity to apply such training to make significant progress on the project selected, hence fully benefit from this unique research opportunity.

Prerequisites: Experience with coding in a range of languages, development of GUIs, and particular interest in working on problems pertaining to human health applications combined with strong quantitative and analytic skills in physics or Math-Physics will be considered assets.

Contact: If interested, please send an updated CV, including the list of courses taken and previous projects/UROP experiences to Prof. L. Bourouiba lbouro@mit.edu

Relevant URL: http://lbourouiba.mit.edu/


8/9/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jonathan Polimeni, PhD

Project Title: The effect of brain orientation in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Project Description: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to study neuronal activity in the human brain non-invasively. These signals are derived from blood oxygenation, flow and volume changes in the brain’s vasculature that cater for the increased metabolic demand during neuronal activity. Functional MRI (fMRI) techniques have been refined and pushed to higher spatial and temporal resolution over the last decade. The hope is to enhance neuronal specificity with higher resolution, however there is evidence that higher resolution makes these signals more susceptible to vascular properties, in particular the orientation of vessels to the magnetic field. This project aims to assess these biases in a large data set (the Human Connectome Project).

We are looking for a student with a background in either CS, Physics, EE or similar that is interested in learning more about fMRI and the human brain. No prior knowledge in neuroscience is required. Most of the work will comprise bash scripting and data analysis in Matlab. The student will gain experience in specific software for brain imaging data, handling large data sets, signal processing and brain physiology (cool!).

Prerequisites: Comfortable with LINUX/UNIX and Matlab, some experience in bash scripting (or willing to get some), some knowledge in computer graphics would be a plus.

Contact: Olivia Viessmann oviessmann@mgh.harvard.edu


8/9/18

Term: Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hugh Herr

Project Title: Camera-based 3D scanner for biomechanical applications

Project Description: In order to design subject-specific biomechanical interfaces, such as the prosthetic socket for amputees, accurate knowledge of the shape, deformation, and mechanical properties of the body part is essential. At the Biomechatronics group of the MIT Media Lab, we develop a 360-deg 3D scanner and indentation device for measuring the shape of the residual limb, as well as the full-field deformations and strains on the skin, and the mechanical properties of the underlying soft tissues. The system employs synchronized multiple Raspberry Pi camera boards and ATI force/torque sensors. An open source MATLAB toolbox (https://github.com/MultiDIC/MultiDIC ) was developed to analyze images from multiple cameras and reconstruct the 3D shape and deformations, using 3D Digital Image Correlation.

The UROP student is expected to conduct 3D Digital Image Correlation analysis on images acquired by the 3D scanner in MATLAB, and assist with further development of the software. UROP students will have the opportunity to participate in clinical experiments where the developed systems will be tested on patients with lower limb amputation.

Prerequisites:

  1. Prior experience programming in MATLAB.
  2. Commit to at least 10 hrs/week.
  3. Prior research experience is a plus.

Please send your CV as well as a description of any experience/projects relevant to this position.

Relevant URL: https://github.com/MultiDIC/MultiDIC

Contact: Dana Solav (danask@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Term: Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hugh Herr

Project Title: Pressure sensing system for prosthetic sockets

Project Description: At the Biomechatronics group of the MIT Media Lab, we develop a methodology for computationally designing and 3D printing prosthetic sockets for lower limb amputees. The socket comprises the mechanical interface between the soft tissue of the residual limb and the external prosthesis. In order to evaluate the fit of the socket, accurate measurement of the pressure applied on the skin by the prosthetic socket is required. A pressure sensing system is developed, which include thin pressure sensors and an Arduino-based data acquisition system. The UROP student is expected to perform the following:

  1. Develop and build electronic circuits for acquiring pressure measurements from multiple sensors simultaneously.
  2. Program Arduino/Raspberry Pi type boards for data acquisition.
  3. Perform calibration and validation tests of the system.

UROP students will have the opportunity to participate in clinical experiments where the developed systems will be tested on patients with amputation.

Prerequisites:

  1. Prior experience with electronics and Python programming.
  2. Commit to at least 10 hrs/week.
  3. Prior research experience is a plus.

Please send your CV as well as a description of any experience/projects relevant to this position.

Relevant URL: https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/variable-impedance-prosthetic-vipr-socket-design/

Contact: Dana Solav (danask@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ahmed Ghoniem

Project Title: Arduino and control system for a decentralized biomass/renewable energy system

Project Description: In many parts of the developing world, agricultural and other biomass waste is simply burned in the open air, creating much toxic pollution. Thermochemical treatment is a process whereby this waste can be converted into solid fuel. This has the potential to provide renewable energy, create new income and jobs, reduce waste, and in some cases cut down pollution and greenhouse emissions.

To make the system run more effectively, we have built a preliminary Arduino system to control the reaction conditions with minimal user intervention. This UROP will be a continuation of the project in further developing the system to incorporate temperature feedback and smart adjustment. Successful projects will have potential follow-on travel opportunities (India, Kenya, etc.) to test viable prototypes.

Prerequisites: Prior experience with circuit design and Arduino platform is required. Multi-semester engagement strongly preferred. Please send CV to kkung@mit.edu in case of interest.

Relevant URL: http://tatacenter.mit.edu/portfolio/torrefaction-reactor/

Contact: Kevin Kung (kkung@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Lionel C. Kimerling

Project Title: Educational Games for Integrated Photonics Virtual Lab

Project Description: Would you like to develop educational tools to help students learn about optics and photonics? Are you interested in gaining skills in optical modeling and simulation?

Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are an emerging technology that combine electronic and photonic devices on the same platform. Our goal is to create a library of educational simulations for workforce training in this new field.

In this project you will learn to use commercial software to explore photonic device behavior and incorporate your results in an online Virtual Lab. We have an expert production team, including a full-time software developer and UI/UX designer, as well as two content experts to help guide the project.

Sponsored research funding is available. Preference will be given to applicants who can commit ~10 hrs/wk during fall term and 40 hr/wk during IAP. For sophomores and juniors, this position could be open to a longer-term commitment.

Prerequisites: Must have a background in applied physics or materials science. Experience with commercial optical simulation tools (Lumerical / Synopsys) is a plus, but not necessary.

Relevant URL: https://aimphotonics.academy/about/what-integrated-photonics

Contact: Dr. Erik Verlage (everlage@mit.edu)


8/9/18

Fall 2018

Department/Lab/Center: Research Lab for Electronics (RLE)

Faculty Supervisor: Prof. David Perreault

Project Title: Investigating High-Frequency Magnetic Materials for Power Electronics

Project Description: Power conversion is crucial for many applications, ranging from medical equipment to electric vehicles to consumer electronics. One of the major challenges in power electronics is designing small, low-loss magnetic components (inductors and transformers). To do this well, designers need to know the loss properties of magnetic core materials so that they can select the appropriate material for their application. However, many systems are now pushing to higher frequencies of operation for miniaturization, and core loss information at these frequencies is difficult to measure, even for the manufacturer. To help solve this, our lab has been leading research into methods to characterize magnetic materials at high frequencies.

Currently, every available high-frequency measurement approach is very manual and time-consuming. This UROP will research automated approaches, combining insights from power electronics, analog and digital circuits, signal processing, and embedded systems.  This work will directly enable materials manufacturers to characterize and develop better HF materials, with high impact in the power electronics industry.  The results of this work will be published, and it will be used by lab members, as well as other research and industry groups. 

Through this project, the UROP will gain hands-on experience in electromagnetic and circuit analysis, PCB design, and electrical and mechanical prototyping.  These skills are highly desirable both in industry and academia.  

Prerequisites: 6.002 or equivalent experience

Expected Commitment: 10 hours/week

Contact: Prof. David Perreault (djperrea@mit.edu), Alex Hanson (ajhanson@mit.edu), Rachel Yang (rsyang@mit.edu)


8/6/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Canan Dagdeviren

Project Title: Interfacing with Intelligent Textiles

Project Description: The Conformable Decoders group are currently developing a collection of smart garments through digital knitting technologies for physiological sensing, activity monitoring, and physical interaction applications. Depending on the background, skills, and interests, the UROP student will be expected to perform one/several of the followings:

  • Construct multiplexing circuit for large-scale sensing
  • Develop wireless communication interface
  • Analyze sensor data and apply pattern recognition principles

A successful UROP will have the option to extend the project into the following term. To take a part in this exciting project, please send your resume and interest to irmandy@mit.edu.

Prerequisites: Are independent, dedicated, imaginative, and creative. Possess great organizational and communication skills. Have experience in one or more of the followings: sensor interface, wireless communication, PCB design, machine learning, or programming.

Contact: Irmandy Wicaksono (irmandy@mit.edu)


8/6/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Yasheng Huang

Project Title: Government Regulations of Food Safety in China

Project Description: The goal of this project is to find Chinese data and archival and documentary sources that will help our understanding of the roles and functions of government regulations and management of risks associated with the intentional adulteration of food supply chains (i.e., poultry, beef, pork, milk, seafood, and produce) in China. The data and archival sources may come from government websites, government publications on regulations, court cases, media reports. The UROPs will work in a supervised team and will perform background research on the Chinese regulatory system and CFDA (related to food). Our aim is to map out potentially contaminated food suppliers using this data, creating a real-time social sensor of food safety in China.

Prerequisites: The focus here will be on identifying Chinese websites and other sources of data and information so ability to read and understand Chinese is necessary, general knowledge of and an interest in Chinese economy, politics and society and also the ability to write research reports and research summaries will be critical. Attention to details, the ability to finish tasks on time and initiative taking are extremely important.

Contact: Channa Yem (channay@mit.edu)


8/6/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Stephen Van Evera and Dr. John Tirman

Project Title: MIT and Israeli-Palestinian Bridge Building Initiatives

Project Description: MIT is currently is doing significant work in Israel, Jordan and with

Israeli-Palestinian projects. Last semester MIT students interviewed Israeli-Palestinian joint ventures/projects. We want to take this research to the next level by exploring the unique role that MIT can play to significantly impact, support and scale bridge-building between Israelis and Palestinians through science, technology and business, while enhancing MIT students’ global experiences and faculty’s capacity to partner with others to solve regional challenges.

Assignments will include:

  • Mapping of Israeli-Palestinian joint ventures/projects
  • In-depth interviews with a select group of Israeli-Palestinian ventures/projects that will enable a clear vision of MIT’s potential role in supporting their efforts.
  • Meeting with MIT centers/initiatives/groups to understand their potential role.
  • Assessing viability and ways of MIT engaging with these initiatives in order to significantly impact bridge building between Israelis and Palestinians, MIT engagement needs to include students travel to the region or faculty research/projects/classes
  • Engaging with participants that will be taking part in an Israeli-Palestinian conference at MIT, on Sunday November 11th, in order to solidify a vision and concrete steps for MIT engagement.
  • May include additional work focused on Nov. 11th event
  • May be widened to include Israel and Jordan

Prerequisites:

  • Current MIT student
  • Knowledge of the region
  • Not required, but travel to the region during IAP 2019 or summer 2019 may be possible
  • Academic or other experience in the Middle East is helpful
  • Strong analytical skills

Contact: David Dolev (ddolev@mit.edu)


8/6/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Biology (Course 7)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: David Bartel

Project Title: MicroRNA biogenesis

Project Description: MicroRNAs are ~ 22 nt endogenous RNAs that target mRNA post-transcriptionally to decrease protein output.  A mammalian genome encodes hundreds of microRNAs, which collectively regulate the majority of the transcriptome. Accumulating evidence suggests that microRNAs play key roles in diverse biological processes.  This project aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms by which microRNAs are made.  The UROP will work closely with Wenwen Fang, a postdoc researcher in the lab with extensive training in molecular biology and biochemistry. The UROP will participate in and learn about culturing human or mouse cells, and generating cell lines by CRISPR technology; perform biochemical and imaging experiments; prepare next generation sequencing libraries and carry out data analysis.

Prerequisites: Self-motivated student, general biology course (understanding of general biology), previous research experience preferable.

Contact: Wenwen Fang (wfang@wi.mit.edu)


8/6/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ahmed Ghoniem

Project Title: Testing a decentralized biomass upgrading system

Project Description: In many parts of the developing world (including the U.S.), crop and forest residues are simply burned in the open air, creating air pollution. Thermochemical treatment is a process whereby such residues can be upgraded into solid fuel or other chemicals. This has the potential to provide renewable energy, create new income and jobs, reduce waste, and in some cases cut down pollutions and greenhouse emissions.  We work on small-scale, low-cost, portable systems that can potentially be latched onto the back of tractors, shipping containers, etc. to locally convert/upgrade the biomass residues at source.

You will assist in operating and testing a laboratory-scale version of the system. You will learn the basics of experimental design and data acquisition. This is a hands-on project -- expect to get your hands (really) dirty.

Unlike the previous related UROP position in decentralized biomass offered by our lab, this UROP position requires no previous technical experience. Compared to the other position, this specific position will be somewhat more tedious/repetitive as it consists of assisting the operation of our biomass system under various conditions. If you have no prior experience, however, this may be a good entry-level UROP position and a stepping stone to other more interesting projects within our groups in subsequent semesters once you gain more advanced experience and skills.

Please send CV to kkung@mit.edu in case of interest.

Prerequisites: As the system requires many hours of operation to finish a test, a preferred candidate will have one large chunk of many hours open on his/her weekly schedule, rather than multiple small chunks of time.

Relevant URL: http://tatacenter.mit.edu/portfolio/torrefaction-reactor/

Contact: Kevin Kung (kkung@mit.edu)


8/6/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ahmed Ghoniem

Project Title: Developing and testing hardware components for a decentralized biomass upgrading system

Project Description: In many parts of the developing world (including the U.S.), crop and forest residues are simply burned in the open air, creating air pollution. Thermochemical treatment is a process whereby such residues can be upgraded into solid fuel or other chemicals. This has the potential to provide renewable energy, create new income and jobs, reduce waste, and in some cases cut down pollutions and greenhouse emissions.  We work on small-scale, low-cost, portable systems that can potentially be latched onto the back of

tractors, shipping containers, etc. to locally convert/upgrade the biomass residues at source.

You will help develop a critical hardware component and its software control within such a system. This is a hands-on project -- you will learn how to define functional requirements, source and purchase parts, test that they meet the functional requirements, and implement a control system to be able to adjust the component autonomously.

Please send CV to kkung@mit.edu in case of interest.

Prerequisites: An ideal candidate will have had experience with mechanical components and design, instrumentation (e.g. load cells), programming (e.g. Python), and basic circuit design (e.g. implementation of an Arduino-based control system). If you already have a design portfolio website, please send that along with your CV.

Relevant URL: http://tatacenter.mit.edu/portfolio/torrefaction-reactor/

Contact: Kevin Kung (kkung@mit.edu)


8/3/18

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Canan Dagdeviren

Project Title: Assessing pH sensing materials and configurations for biomedical applications

Project Description: Recently, researchers developed miniaturized pH sensing systems for various biomedical applications, such as monitoring healing wounds, ischemic heart, and tumor tissues pH. These advancements rely on various sensing electrode materials and structures, including metal oxides, polymers, and various nanostructures. Our project aims at exploring suitable materials that are easy to fabricate and cost effective for pH sensing, given the strict reliability requirements for use in biomedical applications. Key evaluation parameters include sensitivity, stability, repeatability, reproducability, and the trade-offs associated.

The project tasks include:

  1. Participating in the design of experiments and tests planning.
  2. Configuring equipment and setup for pH experiments.
  3. Conducting pH measurements in class 10,000 cleanroom.
  4. Analyzing data and constructing professional plots.
  5. Surveying prior literary works and staying up to date on relevant topics.
  6. Contributing to manuscripts preparation through writing and editing.

 ** Representative literature on the topic:

    http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/9/11/8911/htm

    http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/9/9/7445/htm

Prerequisites: We are looking for self motivated, hard working, and observant candidates who are willing to learn quickly and are able to deal with uncertainty. A background in analytical chemistry, solid state electronics, and prior lab experience are preferred.

Contact: Mohamed Tarek Ghoneim: mohamed.t.ghoneim@gmail.com


8/3/18

Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: David J. Perreault

Project Title: Design Considerations for Hybrid Electronic and Magnetic Power Transformers

Project Description: Our group has developed a new class of transformer structure that combines electronic switches with the magnetic structure of a conventional transformer. Initial work on this structure has shown it to be highly beneficial in miniaturizing isolated power electronic converters (i.e. making them smaller and more efficient), making it attractive for emerging applications such as USB Type-C chargers, electric vehicles, and photovoltaic systems.

While the fundamental theory is understood, efforts to optimize this structure are still in their infancy. In this position, the UROP student will work closely with the graduate mentor to understand the critical but unexplored phenomena that are essential to optimizing this new class of transformer. In this endeavour, the student will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop 3-D Finite Element Model simulations to assess hypotheses that the student and mentors develop about possible limitations of the structure.
  • Design and evaluate hardware prototypes to verify the principles learned from simulation.
  • If the results of this investigation are positive, we will use the knowledge gained to formalize a set of design considerations for the structure and develop an optimized prototype.

The project is designed with a two-semester commitment in mind, with the intent to submit the work to an IEEE conference in 2019 (e.g. COMPEL 2019). There is also the option to continue with the lab on future projects.

Prerequisites: A strong background in circuits, ideally having completed or planning to take 6.334 (Power Electronics). A 10 hour/week commitment is expected, including weekly one-hour meetings together with the faculty supervisor.

Contact: Mike Ranjram: mranjram@mit.edu


8/3/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Ann Graybiel

Project Title: Testing the role of the striosome and matrix 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.

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 dedicated 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.

Contact: Please send you CV and a cover letter to Bernard   (bbloem@mit.edu)


8/3/18

Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Canan Dagdeviren

Project Title: Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting and Sensing from Biomechanical Motion at Knee

Project Description: Our body is an ocean of patterns that we have not yet properly decoded. Our lab, Conformable Decoders, works on translating these biological signals around us - especially from the human body - into energy and data that we can easily understand. We microfabricate the devices for energy harvesting and sensing in our very own cleanroom (YellowBox) at the Media Lab. In this project, the student will collaborate closely with the student advisor to fabricate tools needed to test the devices and conduct tests in the cleanroom.

Depending on your expertise and interest, tasks may include:

  1. Conducting finite element analysis to model piezoelectric thin film devices
  2. Building a motorized, silicone knee model for cycling tests of the devices
  3. Making host substrates for the microfabrication process
  4. Probing piezoelectric devices and interfacing to circuitry

We are looking for two UROPs.

Prerequisites: We would like students who are careful, methodical, organized, and motivated. Working in the cleanroom as an undergraduate is an amazing opportunity - you will appreciate it. Though not required, prior experience in a research laboratory is preferred.  Exposure to fabrication (laser cutter, CNC/manual mill, simple electronics, etc.) is a plus. If you are experienced in finite element analysis, that’s a major plus.

Contact: Farita Tasnim: farita@media.mit.edu


8/3/18

Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: David Perreault

Project Title: Developing a lightweight high voltage ac power converter for an electro-aerodynamic (EAD) propulsion aircraft

Project Description: Our group is collaborating with the Department of AeroAstro to develop novel aircrafts with EAD propulsion, or more commonly known as ionocrafts. We are the first team in the world to successfully develop and fly such an aircraft. Lightweight high voltage power converters are crucial to the success of the flight. Currently we are developing the 2nd-gen EAD thruster where high voltage ac power are needed. In this project, we particularly focus on developing a lightweight high voltage ac power converter. 

The benefits of the project include:

  • Developed prototype will be used in the second generation EAD aircraft
  • Conference publication or potential journal publication
  • Skill sets gained: circuits simulation, PCB design, knowledge of high voltage power conversion

Prerequisites:

  • The student is required to have taken 6.002 and preferably 6.334.
  • Some experiences in power converter design would be very helpful.
  • The project will last for 1-2 semesters. Juniors and seniors are welcomed to apply.
  • The student is required to commit at least 10 hours a week.
  • Relevant URLs (if applicable): http://electricaircraft.mit.edu/, http://www.rle.mit.edu/per/home/

Contact: Yiou He: yiouhe@mit.edu


8/2/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Alan Jasanoff

Project Title: Exceedingly-small Iron Oxide Magnetic Nanoparticles for Neuroscience Applications

Project Description: This project provides a full range of training and research experience on bioengineering, chemistry, and neuroscience. We will first work together on the synthesis and surface ligand exchange of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. Then these iron oxide nanoparticles will be bio-conjugated with peptides, DNAs, or proteins in order to make new and versatile sensors in the central nervous system. The nanoparticle sensors’ targets are calcium ions and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. In the end, we will evaluate the performance of these nanoparticle sensors both in vitro and in vivo by using state-of-the-art functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Prerequisites: Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and General Biology. Prior research experience in chemistry or biology laboratories are recommended. Work hours is flexible as long as you can spend 12 hours per week on this project. You’re welcomed to continue the UROP with us in future semesters including IAP, spring, and summer.

Relevant URL: http://web.mit.edu/jasanofflab/

Contact: He Wei (hewei@mit.edu)


8/2/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Canan Dagdeviren

Project Title: Wearable and Implantable Ultrasound Systems

Project Description: The Conformable Decoders group are currently fabricating flexible and stretchable electronic devices based on piezoelectric materials for medical imaging purposes. Depending on the background, skills, and interests, the UROP student will be expected to perform one/several of the followings:

  • Conduct literature review of the prior work of their research
  • Model and characterize theoretically or experimentally, piezoelectric transducer devices and polymer composites
  • Design templates, fabricate, and populate piezoelectric crystal arrays

A successful UROP will have the option to extend the project into the following term. Please send your resume and interest about this project to irmandy@mit.edu.

Prerequisites: Are independent, dedicated, imaginative, and creative. Possess great organizational and communication skills. Have experience in one or more of the followings: analog/digital electronics, PCB design, sensor fabrication and characterization, signal processing, modeling and simulation, medical imaging, or programming.

Contact: Irmandy Wicaksono (irmandy@mit.edu)


8/1/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jim Collins

Project Title: Website Design for a Synthetic Biology Educational Non-Profit

Project Description: The Jim Collins’ lab at MIT’s Institute of Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Department of Biological Engineering is seeking a highly motivated student to do website graphic design for one of our research projects, BioBits. BioBits is an educational kit with hands-on, easy-to-use, low-cost molecular and synthetic biology activities for low-resource schools. We would like to further develop our current website (mybiobits.org) to include more information for interested teachers about our technology and the kits offered.

This UROP responsibilities will include:

  1. Develop and maintain a robust style guide for the BioBits website
  2. Create visual designs for web, mobile, email, and print collateral
  3. Work closely with the researchers to iterate on designs
  4. Create high-fidelity mock-ups and finished .sketch files for development
  5. Learn about the synthetic biology technology behind BioBits in order to develop content for the website

We expect the UROP to dedicate 10-20 hours a week to this project. We are looking for UROPs with an innate, sharp aesthetic and sense of style, a passion for design, a positive outlook and personality, and the ability to give and take constructive criticism

Benefits from this UROP opportunity include:

  • 1) contributing to an initiative that is seeking to provide quality biology education to students who normally cannot access it
  • 2) building your web design portfolio
  • 3) flexible working hours, as the design can be done out of lab
  • 4) opportunity to work in one of the top synthetic biology labs and learn more about our synthetic biology efforts for low-resource areas (hands-on wet lab experience possible, if desired by UROP)
  • 5) compensation of $12/hour.

To apply, please email Ally Huang (ally@mit.edu) your current resume and if possible, any samples of previous web design work you have done. Seeking applicants ASAP who can make a firm commitment on this project and start right away.

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

Relevant URL: mybiobits.org

Contact: Ally Huang (ally@mit.edu)


8/1/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Miho Mazereeuw

Project Title: Urban Risk Map - Machine learning for hyperlocal disaster alerts

Project Description: The Urban Risk Lab is an interdisciplinary research lab in School of

Architecture + Planning, developing technologies to embed risk reduction and preparedness into the design of cities. We are looking for students with prior experience, or a strong interest in machine learning to contribute in ongoing development work of the Urban Risk Map project. Urban Risk Map harnesses the power of citizen reporting and social media to map time-critical information without needing to install any new applications or training. Currently operating in three countries - Indonesia, India and the United States - this platform connects residents, who often have the best-localized information, with emergency managers to drastically cut down on response times.

The student will work closely with faculty and researchers to develops smart hyperlocal disaster alerts for Urban Risk Map - an open source platform for time-critical information sharing. The student will help support the project goals to: (1) Develop algorithms for detecting critical flood events using streaming crowdsourced data in conjunction with other geospatial datasets; (2) develop methods to use social media advertising for situational alerts (3) Assist with development of open source Riskmap platform for real-time disaster reporting.

Prerequisites:

  • JavaScript and python web-development experience
  • Familiarity with AWS preferable but not required
  • preferably have taken 6.036 and/or 6.171

Relevant URL: riskmap.org

Contact: Miho Mazereeuw (mmaz@mit.edu)


8/1/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Danielle Wood

Project Title: Exploring the Dynamics of Learning and Decision-Making to Apply Space Technology in Support of Sustainable Development

Project Description: The Space Enabled Research Group advances justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. Space Enabled uses six research methods to apply space technology to sustainable development: design, art, social science, complex systems, satellite engineering and data science. In this project, Space Enabled emphasizes the use of design thinking and social science to understand the experiences of participants in projects that apply space technology in support of sustainable development. Specifically, the project uses methods from anthropology, sociology, history and economics to explore social aspects of technology projects. Several case study technology projects are examined in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Benin and Tunisia; in each case study an organization applies space technology to respond to a local need in a new way. All the case studies examine project that use space technology because this is an increasingly feasible opportunity for countries in every region of the world. The case studies ask questions such as: 1) What sociotechnical imaginaries does the community hold about the impact of space technology on their community? 2) What learning processes are used to learn new technology? In this project, students will analyze data for existing case studies and help prepare to collect data for future case studies. Students will also participate in literature review on the topics of cultural impacts of technological learning and the influence of technology on decision making.

Prerequisites: We seek students with a combined interest in social science and science or technology. We prefer students with knowledge in any of the following fields: sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, organizational theory, history, urban studies and planning, international studies. Students that have experience coding qualitative interview data and performing academic literature reviews are preferred. In addition, we seek students interested in the topic of sustainable

development.

Relevant URL: spaceenabled.media.mit.edu

Contact: Javier Stober (stober@mit.edu)


8/1/2018

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Danielle Wood

Project Title: Designing Systems to Combat Invasive Plant Species in West Africa

Project Description: The Space Enabled Research Group advances justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. Space Enabled uses art, design, social science, complex systems, satellite engineering and data science to apply space technology to development. This project applies all six methods to the issue of invasive plants in West Africa. This project is pursued in collaboration with a company based in Cotonou, Benin called Green Keeper Africa that harvests the invasive water hyacinth and uses it to manufacture products that clean oil-based waste. Green Keeper Africa faces a challenge to monitor the location of the water hyacinth; they propose to create an Observing System to track the behavior of the plant. Space Enabled  and Green Keeper Africa are collaborating on a multi-faceted research project that will harness all six of the Space Enabled research methods. The project uses design thinking to identify the objectives for an information system.

The social science portion examines the historical, economic and cultural context. The complex system modeling activity builds a computer-based simulation of the community and environment. The engineering component aims to produce new data about the water hyacinth, such as building earth observation platforms. The data science work builds a prototype information system with actionable information about the water hyacinth. Students will join the activities outlined above, depending on their interests and background. The option to renew for spring may be available.

Prerequisites: We are looking for students with a technical background in GIS and remote sensing.  Also, students with backgrounds in biology; urban studies; social science (history, anthropology, sociology, economics); civil, environmental, mechanical and/or aerospace engineering; or computer science/data science are encouraged to apply. In addition to this technical background, we seek students with an interest in sustainable development. Prior research experience is preferred.

Relevant URL: spaceenabled.media.mit.edu

Contact: Javier Stober (stober@mit.edu)


8/1/18

Term: Fall 2018

UROP Department, Lab or Center: MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: George Ricker

Project Title: Searching for exoplanets in TESS data using neural nets

Project Description: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a space telescope aimed at discovering transiting exoplanets around nearby stars. Launched in April 2018, the telescope has started taking data, and will soon produce a rich data set full of transit signals and other interesting astrophysical phenomena. The aim of this project is to train a neural network classifier tailored for the TESS data that can successfully find exoplanet transit signals while minimizing false positives. Both supervised and unsupervised learning will be exploited to infer the relevant features of the signal and background, as well as to characterize the measurement noise.

Prerequisites: Python programming skills, basic understanding of statistics, machine learning and neural networks.

Contact: Tansu Daylan (tdaylan@mit.edu)


7/31/18

Term: Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Canan Dagdeviren

Project Title: Interfacing Miniaturized Electromechanical Sensor for Monitoring Soft Material Moduli

Project Description: We are developing a microfabricated sensor for monitoring soft material stiffness with potential implantable applications. This UROP position is focused on developing the interfacing electronics and the student will be working closely with the graduate mentor in the followings:

  • 1) Development, testing and improvement of readout circuit/equipment set-up
  • 2) Integration of the circuit with the sensor frontend

Representative literature: https://www.nature.com/articles/nmat4289

Prerequisites:

  • 1) Experience in analog/digital circuit development
  • 2) Experience in signal integrity (simulation or hands-on) and low-voltage signal conditioning is a plus
  • 3) Responsiveness and dedication

Relevant URL: https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/conformal-implantable-viscosity-and-electrochemical-sensors/overview/

Contact: Zijun Wei (zijunw@mit.edu)


7/31/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Alan T. Hatton

Project Title: Electrochemically mediated amine regeneration for post-combustion CO2 capture

Project Description: Our lab has developed an electrochemically-mediated CO2 separation process that enables reductions in the energy and capital investment in comparison to traditional thermal swing amine scrubbing technology. We have demonstrated the efficiency in amine regeneration utilizing electrochemical techniques. In this project, the student will collaborate closely with a doctoral mentor to fabricate and test the reactor.

Specifically, 1. Fabricate flow cells; 2. Testing the flow cell and perform off-line analysis.

Prerequisites: Though not required, prior experience in a research laboratory is preferred.  Exposure to fabrication (laser cutter, CNC/manual mill, simple electronics, etc.) is a plus.

Contact: miao wang (miaowang@mit.edu)


7/30/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Edgerton Center

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Eric Verploegen

Project Title: Modeling of Heat and Mass Transfer of Evaporative Cooling Devices for Improved Vegetable Storage in Low-Income Rural Communities

Project Description: We are looking for a student to help develop a heat and mass transfer model of low-cost evaporative cooling devices for improving vegetable storage in Africa and India. When affordable and effective post-harvest storage solutions are not available or affordable, people living in off-grid rural communities will often experience vegetable spoilage, loss of income, lack of access to nutritious foods, and large amounts of time spent purchasing vegetables. Evaporative cooling devices have the potential to provide a low-cost, local available, and effective solution for improving vegetable shelf life

The goal of the model is to identify how specific design variations impact the performance of the evaporative cooling devices and enable organizations that produce and promote these technologies to optimize designs for maximum performance and minimum cost. The combined heat and mass transfer model will be refined and validated with both experimental data that has been previously collected in Mali and experiments that will be conducted on campus during the semester.

The project will have potential follow-on travel opportunities (India, West Africa, etc.) to test viable prototypes in the field.

Interested candidates should email ericv@mit.edu with a brief explanation of why they are interested in this project and describe any relevant previous experience.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have an interest in practical solutions to global poverty challenges. A background in thermodynamics and heat transfer and experience using Matlab is required. Experience with heat transfer modeling is preferred.

Contact: Eric Verploegen (ericv@mit.edu)


7/30/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Klavs Jensen

Project Title: Robotic Platform for Collaborative Flow Chemical Synthesis

Project Description: We are utilizing a six axis robot to do flow chemistry. The robot’s ability to perform chemistry is based on the utilization of decentralized reaction modules with plug in play functionality. The utilization of robotics for this application requires path planning, route optimization, and collision detection to be implemented. The robotic platform can be configured to run chemistry through a Django web interface.

UROPs will be involved the development and testing of new code to improve upon the robot’s ability to perform chemistry.

Tasks Include:

  • Improving, developing, and testing a graphical user interface
  • Improving, developing, and testing path planning algorithms

Prerequisites: The major requirement is motivation. A working knowledge of Python or web-based interfaces would also be helpful.

Relevant URL: jensen.mit.edu

Contact: Dale Thomas (dt3@mit.edu)


7/30/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Klavs Jensen

Project Title: Reaction platform for chemical synthesis

Project Description: We are developing a reconfigurable chemical synthesizer for the manufacturing of advanced materials. The system will be designed, developed, and engineered following a product design framework to improve upon previously developed systems. Our goal is to overcome difficulties of handling of solids in small tubes. We plan to utilize a number of manufacturing techniques to build disposable highly chemically resistant microfluidic devices. The system is being developed by a cross-disciplinary team (chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering) focused on overcoming limitations of chemical synthesis through the design of novel reactor modules.

UROPs will be directly involved with the design and testing of new parts, electronic circuits, and components.

Tasks Include:

  • Designing of system components
  • Prototyping system components
  • Assembling of system components

Prerequisites: The major requirements are motivation and an eye the detail. The ability to utilize Solidworks and familiarity in a machine shop is important. Knowledge of (or interest in) electronics is useful.

Relevant URL: http://jensenlab.mit.edu/

Contact: Dale Thomas (Dt3@mit.edu)


7/30/18

Term UROP is offered: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Colloidosomes for drug delivery and electrochemical separations

Project Description: We are looking for a student to help develop a nanoparticle-based encapsulation method for drug delivery and electrochemical separations. First, we will synthesize silica and titanium oxide nanoparticles, functionalize them with chemical moieties to alter the surface charge and reactivity, and finally use them to make Pickering emulsions that will be tested for their potential as drug delivery agents. Additionally, nanoparticles will be functionalized with moieties which would react with electroactive redox species upon electrochemical activation. These interactions will be studied for different particle surface functional groups and different redox species, which will then be immobilized onto electrode substrates to electrochemically pattern nanoparticles onto a surface.

This project is at the interface of chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science. The work entails synthesis and purification of nanoparticles; surface functionalization of nanoparticles; characterization of nanoparticles (TEM, SEM, DLC, EDL, and FTIR); and electrochemical measurements and analyses (Cyclic Voltammetry, chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry).

Interested candidates should email kphill@mit.edu and svoskian@mit.edu with a brief explanation of why they are interested in this project and describe any relevant previous experience.

Prerequisites: Students with basic chemistry lab experience from chemical engineering, chemistry, and materials science are encouraged to apply. Experience in any of the methods listed in the project description is beneficial but not required.

Contact: Katherine Phillips (kphill@mit.edu)


7/30/18

Term: Fall/IAP

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Chemistry (Course 5)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Tim Jamisonn

Project Title: Integrated Software Development for an Automated Chemical Synthesis Platform

Project Description: The automation of chemical synthesis is a hot field of research as it aims to improve efficiency, safety, and sustainability compared to traditional methods of molecular synthesis. As part of our research in this area, our group has been involved in collaborative efforts focused on developing a versatile and compact automated chemical synthesis platform based on continuous flow chemistry.  This is an opportunity to be on the cutting edge - at the interface of computer science and chemistry.

We are looking for enthusiastic students who wish to contribute to this exciting project. In particular, we are seeking UROPs with an interest in improving and further developing the platform software that is currently based on MATLAB and LabVIEW.

Prerequisites: Working knowledge of MATLAB and general coding experience.

Relevant URL: http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/jamison/

Contact: Rachel Beingessner (rbeinges@mit.edu)


7/25/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: M. Pilar Opazo

Project Title: Chefs and High-End Cuisine n NYC

Project Description: This research studies the flows of  knowledge and expertise among professionals one global center, New York. It is based on in-depth interviews with chefs who own/work in restaurants offering "non-traditional" cuisines (e.g. Nordic, Peruvian, Mexican, Chinese) in New York.

The study examines the strategies used by these chefs to enact cultural change by positioning their exotic cuisines in the culinary landscape of a core and global city and, thereby, gain social recognition. Work on this project will involve data collection, preliminary analysis and transcription of interviews.

Relevant URL: www.mpilaropazo.com

Contact: Pilar Opazo (mpopazo@mit.edu)


7/25/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Justin Reich

Project Title:  Studying Participants’ Learning Experiences in Massive Open Online Courses  (MOOCs)

Project Description: Our multidisciplinary laboratory--the MIT Teaching Systems Lab (TSL)-- is comprised of engineers, learning designers, learning scientists, and social science researchers. We are  looking for students with an interest in education, learning science, and qualitative and mixed methods research. The project focuses on how participants experience MOOCs and focuses on topics such as motivation, use of self-regulated learning strategies, and learning and career outcomes from course participants. Students will work closely with TSL researchers to collect primary data about participants’ experiences in courses through surveys, interviews, and observations. Possible student tasks include:

  • (1) Developing interview protocols and conducting interviews with MOOC participants
  • (2) Designing survey questions and analyzing survey data from MOOCs
  • (3) Conducting field observations of school or workplace learning

Students will work closely with TSL researchers familiar with the detailed goals of the project and will gain hands-on experience in qualitative and mixed-methods research.. Sponsored research funding is available.

Prerequisites: Some previous experience working in educational settings or conducting qualitative or mixed-methods research is preferred but not required.

Contact: Joshua Littenberg-Tobias (jltobias@mit.edu)


7/25/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: John Akula

Project Title: Cutting-Edge Digital Technologies and the Law

Project Description: A new law course will be offered Spring 2019 by John Akula and Lou Rodriques (Senior Lecturers in Law) on law-sensitive aspects of cutting-edge digital technologies.  Topics will include AI-driven decision support, robotics, and autonomous devices; Big Data and data analytics; the Internet and IoT; blockchain and FinTech; cybersecurity and privacy; the sharing economy; and social media.  Lou and I are looking for help in collecting/synthesizing/designing teaching materials and cases for the new course.  You will work mostly with secondary legal sources dealing with current developments, policies and disputes.  This will be a team effort – planning to bring several UROPers on board.  Money and credit both possibilities.  You must be available to meet weekly Friday at 3pm.  If interested send email with resume to jakula@mit.edu.  An early start this summer (although not as a summer UROP – too late for that) also a possibility.  There may also be some projects relating to legal issues in other Sloan law courses if that interests you.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites -- anything you need to know about law Lou and I will explain.

Relevant URL: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty-and-research/faculty-directory/detail/?id=41134

Contact: John Akula (jakula@mit.edu)


7/24/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Electrochemically mediated molecular separations

Project Description: Our lab is developing a technology for electrochemical separations of gases, small molecules and nanoparticles. We have demonstrated the separation of CO2 from gas streams and its subsequent concentration using electroactive species, and would like to explore the separation of other molecules and nanoparticles. The goal of this project is to develop various redox materials, ionic liquid electrolytes, and engineer separation units for purification and environmental remediation.

Please contact us for more details.

The tasks include:

  • Organic synthesis
  • Synthesis and functionalization of nanoparticles
  • Chemical characterization
  • Electrochemical techniques
  • Microscopy
  • Modelling
  • Data analysis

Prerequisites

  • Organic Chemistry 
  • Lab skills

Preferred: Spectroscopy (NMR, LCMS, FTIR)

Contact: Sahag Voskian (svoskian@mit.edu)


7/23/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Tami Lieberman

Project Title: Imaging the skin microbiome

Project Description: Little is known about the microbes that inhabit our skin during health. Recent genomic work in our laboratory has suggested that the bacterial communities on our face are structured, with limited bacterial diversity within each sebaceous follicle (pore). This project will further explore species and sub-species level diversity using a variety of imaging techniques including expansion microscopy and in situ hybridization. This project also includes the to opportunity to work with genomic and transcriptomic data.

Prerequisites: Fluorescence microscopy experience required

Relevant URL: www.lieberman.science

Contact: Tami Lieberman (tami@mit.edu)


7/19/18

Term: Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Development of Shape-changing Soft Actuator for Providing Tangible Bio-feedback of Vital Signals.

Project Description: In Tangible Media Group at Media Lab, we are developing a soft actuator of a shape-changing interface for providing heart beat and respiration rate feedback through tangible motion. This work will involve tasks getting data from bio-sensors (e.g. ECG, heartbeat sensor, respiration sensor, EMG) and handling them to control the soft actuator. Students will improve their mechatronics knowledge and practical skills, learn the principle of physiological feedback of human body, and how to design and evaluate the developed device.

Prerequisites:

  • Circuit design and quick prototyping
  • Signal processing
  • Basic coding skills
  • Experience with android app development (not necessary)

Contact: Kyung Yun Choi (yun_choi@mit.edu)


7/19/18

Term: Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiroshi ISHII

Project Title: Development of Touch Sensitive Table based on Networked Load Sensors

Project Description: For this project, we are looking for a student to help develop tangible interfaces which turn everyday tables into sensitive input interfaces to detect human activity on the tabletop. We will be designing both hardware (wooden board, load-cells, and an Arduino processor) and software written in Arduino/Processing environment. Through this experience, the student will improve skills in physical prototyping, electronics and coding.

Prerequisites: Desirable if you have at least two or more experiences/skills from the list below:

  • a) Prototyping experience with Arduino
  • b) Soldering skills
  • c) Basic coding skills (preferable Arduino/Processing)
  • d) Previous experience in making things (Let us know the project detail)

Contact: Takatoshi YOSHIDA (taka_y@mit.edu)


7/17/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Justin Reich, EdD

Project Title: Text analytics research on educational academic papers

Project Description: Our multidisciplinary laboratory-- comprised of engineers, learning designers, learning scientists, and social science researchers-- is looking for a student with experience with, or a strong interest in learning text analysis and other learning analytics quantitative techniques. The student will work closely with faculty, staff and a postdoctoral associate with significant industry experience to collect secondary data from leading learning analytic educational societies and apply text analytic techniques to this data (e.g. topic modeling or non-supervised learning). The student will help support the project goals to: (1) apply text analysis to identify major research trends over time within each society’s conference; (2) assist with the preparation of a survey of conference program committees; (3) identify between- and within-conference to similarities and differences in conference content.

The student will work closely with engineers and statisticians who are familiar with the detailed goals of the project and will gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge learning analytics and text analysis in particular. Although flexible, we would ideally start this project as soon as possible.

Prerequisites: Comfortable with Python and/or R programming; basic knowledge of machine learning techniques; experience with text analytics and educational research is highly desired but not required

Contact: José A. Ruipérez-Valiente (jruipere@mit.edu)


7/16/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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.

Specific end of UROP goal: Understand current research in educational games that involve collaboration and virtual reality simulations.

Contact: Please send a resume and a brief cover letter via email to Jessica Rondon (jrondon@mit.edu). Please indicate which project(s) you would be interested in and describe how your experience or interests would be a good match for the project(s). Also, please indicate whether you are looking for IAP or Fall or both IAP and Fall, and whether you are seeking a UROP for credit or for pay.


7/16/18

Term: Fall/IAP

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Justin Riech

Project Title: Eliciting Learner Knowledge

Project Description: What if playing a game could help you become a better teacher or tutor? Eliciting Learner Knowledge is an online game designed to do just that - to help educators become better teachers by practicing how to interact with students in a role playing game about science topics. As part of the ELK team, you’ll work together to create games to learn what students know about topics such as energy, genetics, and chemical reactions. You will improve the current version of the game, and you will help us imagine and create new games to help improve teaching.. Sponsored research funding available.

Specific end of UROP goal: Design and create game bundles on different STEM topics for ELK, design new versions of games to help teachers become more effective in building on what students know.

Contact:- Please send a resume and a brief cover letter via email to Jessica Rondon (jrondon@mit.edu). Please indicate which project(s) you would be interested in and describe how your experience or interests would be a good match for the project(s). Also, please indicate whether you are looking for IAP or fall or both IAP and fall, and whether you are seeking a UROP for credit or for pay.\

Address letter to: Dan Roy danroy@mit.edu


7/16/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Karen Gleason

Project Title: Polymeric gas sensor array using initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD)

Project Description: We will develop and test sensors based on thin polymer films that will be part of a multiplexed volatile organic compound (VOC) sensor platform.  A machine learning algorithm will be subsequently applied to datasets to provide for accurate sensing of a spectrum of VOCs pertinent to key industries.

Prerequisites: No required prerequisites.  Experience with chemical vapor deposition is a plus.

Contact: Maxwell Robinson (maxwellr@mit.edu)


7/5/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Martin Z. Bazant

Project Title: Electrokinetic multi-phase flow in porous media

Project Description: The project intends to study how would electrokinetic phenomena (electro-osmotic flow) affects the two-phase flow in porous media. The project is relevant for oil recovery, reactor design and bio-metical device design. Students will learn to use in-situ imaging method to measure and record the flow pattern.

Supervisor: Dr. Tao Gao (taogao1@mit.edu)

Prerequisites: No required prerequisites. Knowledge of fluid mechanics is a plus.

Contact: Barbara Balkwill (balkwill@mit.edu)


7/5/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Martin Z. Bazant

Project Title: Novel electrode structure for next-generation battery

Project Description: The project intends to develop novel electrode structures for next-generation battery with unprecedented performance like high power, high energy and long cycle life. The student will learn to make battery electrode through thin film coating technique, assemble coin cells, and even prototype one’s own battery system using the lab’s laser cutter facility.

Supervisor: Dr. Tao Gao (taogao1@mit.edu)

Prerequisites: No required prerequisites. Knowledge of electrochemistry is a plus

Contact: Barbara Balkwill (balkwill@mit.edu)


7/2/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jonathan Polimeni, PhD

Project Title: Relationship between cerebrovascular reactivity and brain resting state signals

Project Description: Our neuroimaging laboratory is looking for a student with experience in signal processing and a strong interest in neuroscience to characterize the structured patterns in brain cerebrovascular reactivity, and examine their relationships with brain functional networks. The student will work closely with neuroscientists who are familiar with the detailed goals of the project. He/She will gain hands-on experience with functional MRI data analysis, and learn the spatiotemporal properties of physiologic and neural fluctuations in the brain resting state. Although flexible, we would ideally start this project as soon as possible.

Prerequisites: Skilled in MATLAB programming; knowledge of basic linear algebra, signal processing; experience with machine learning is highly desired but not required

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


7/2/18

Term: Fall

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

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Patrick S. Doyle

Project Title: Disassembling DNA Chainmail

Project Description: The kinetoplast is a mitochondrial DNA structure that is comprised of thousands of rings linked together like chainmail. In our lab we are interested in studying the physics of DNA with complex structures like knots and linked rings. These linkages represent an exotic type of non-covalent bond which has not been extensively studied. There is an enzyme called topoisomerase that can untie knots and unlink loops by passing strands through one-another. For this project, we will use topoisomerase to chemically unlink loops from the kinetoplast network and examine how it affects the physics of interlinked bonds.

Prerequisites: Experience with gel electrophoresis and other DNA separation methods is desirable.

Relevant URL: http://news.mit.edu/2018/untangling-dna-knots-0503,

Contact: Alex Klotz (aklotz@mit.edu)


6/25/18

Term: Fall

UROP Department, Lab or Center: Media Laboratory

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Airflow simulation of shape changing structures

Project Description: The project intends to develop an airflow simulation tool of shape changing structures. The computational model will be entirely developed in Grasshopper environment. The overall structure will also be designed in Rhinoceros and prototyped  through digital fabrication techniques.

Prerequisites: No required prerequisites. Rhinoceros and Grasshopper are a plus.

Contact: Valentina Sumini (vsumini@media.mit.edu)