MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

Current Research: Project Openings

Below are currently advertised UROP projects available to MIT, CME and cross-registered Wellesley College 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

UROP Project listings are posted for approximately one month before they are removed, unless we are asked to re-post.

9/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Synthesis and Functionalization of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Energy and Environmental Applications

Project Description: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are novel micro-porous (pore size < 2 nm) and meso-porous (2nm < pore size <50 nm) materials developed in the past decade for separations and catalysis. MOFs are composed of metal centers coordinated by organic linkers. MOFs rank amongst the materials with the highest surface areas up to date, and due to their modular synthesis, allow for a high degree of molecular versatility. Within our group, we are studying the chemical and materials properties of MOFs for separating target gases (e.g. CO2) and volatile organic compounds, as well as their catalytic activity.

We aim to impart functionalities additional to a framework through post-synthetic modification – in particular creating additional chemical groups on the metal center or linker yet preserving the lattice structure. Careful design of the post-synthetic modification procedure is necessary, since it must be carried out under conditions in which the porous framework maintains its stability.

The student will assist in current on-going research for characterizing the MOF particles, and most importantly, helping to setup a separation system for understanding the MOF host-guest interactions. Currently, a custom column with a GC system has been developed to test the different MOF-particles. The student will be expected to both assist researchers in the project as well as work independently. Materials characterization technique will be developed (microscopies techniques such as TEM, SEM as well as BET surface area analysis), as well as engineering skills in designing separation systems. This project is expected to integrate functional materials design, surface analysis and engineering process integration.

Pre-requisite: Commitment of 12-15 hrs a week for the fall and spring, motivation in learning molecular design, organic chemistry and materials characterization, interest in energy and environmental science, prior experience in lab is recommended. Further involvement during IAP encouraged.

Contact: Please contact Xiao Su (x2su@mit.edu) with resume.


9/19/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Thomas Kochan

Project Title: Creation of online version of Course 15.662 “How the Next Generation can Secure its American Dream.”

Project Description: We are joining the MITx online offering of MIT courses by developing a digital, MOOC version of Course 15.662. Using emerging, digital technologies, we will collaborate with the MITx team of project managers, video production specialists and technicians to transform Course 15.662 into a scalable, online course offered through the edx platform.

The course is aimed at members of the workforce of the future and those starting out their careers. There is broad-based concern that young people today face a shortage of good quality job and career opportunities and need to take actions to overcome them. This course will provide young workers with an understanding of what they need to do individually and collectively to build successful careers and sustainable businesses.

Position Description: Under the guidance of Professor Thomas Kochan and Post-doc John McCarthy you will join the team as an MITx UROP. You will participate and contribute to a host of cutting edge, online programming and research activities to support the creation of the digital, MOOC offering this course. Examples of activities include: programming of course content and assessment problem components, preparation and evaluation of IP (intellectual property) content, development of course assessment questions, and participate in the recording and review of video and transcripts. The MITx UROP may also participate in the analysis of course data.

As a member of the course team, you will also benefit from additional mentorship from the Office of Digital Learning through training opportunities and MITx Fellow community and knowledge sharing events. You will also have open access to MITx classes and privileged access to MIT leaders.

Position Requirements: Applicants should be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Applicants should have a demonstrated, active interest in online learning and domain-specific knowledge about the course material. Time management skills, team collaboration, solid communication and writing skills are important.

Position terms: MITx Fellow/UROP positions are paid positions and are one-semester appointments. Hours are flexible averaging 10-15 per week.

Contact: Thomas Kochan: tkochan@mit.edu.


9/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Rosalind Picard

Project Description: A UROP position is available in the Affective Computing group at the Media Lab to help build a music neurofeedback system. The work will involve developing software in Python or C/C++ to connect brain-wave (EEG) recording devices and motion capture systems, via available APIs, to software developed in Matlab and Max/MSP. Some familiarity with Matlab, signal processing, and/or music software will be helpful. This project will appeal to those who have interests in neuroscience and music technology.

The position will begin in fall, 2014 and can be taken either for credit or pay, 6-10 hours per week. When applying for the position, please indicate any prior research experience, your interest and qualifications, and whether you would like to apply for credit or pay. In order to apply for this position for pay, please contact us by Tuesday, September 23. Research proposals for a paid UROP position will need to be developed and submitted by Thursday, September 25, to meet the direct funding deadline.

Contact: Grace Leslie (grace.leslie@gmail.com)


9/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ali Khademhosseini

Project Title: Innovative 3D Bioprinting

Project Description: 3D printing has become an enabling technique in biomedical research over the past few years due to its capability to generate precisely defined spatial patterns from cells and biomaterials in building functionally relevant tissues and organs that can greatly expedite the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. However, currently available commercial 3D printers all have their limitations such as the types of materials that are printable and the capability in complex fluid handling, etc. To tackle with these issues, our lab is custom-building high-capacity 3D printers that are able to handle a variety of biocompatible materials as well as to conduct multiplexed fluid extrusion and mixing for advanced tissue bio-fabrication.

Prerequisite and Requirements: The candidate(s) should hold background in mechanical engineering, programming (e.g., MATLAB), and microfluidics.

Contact: Interested applicants should send your CV/resume to Shrike Zhang (yszhang@mit.edu), with a brief statement on your background skills that particularly fit our requirements and your overall expectations. Please also include your availability in conducting the researches.


9/19/14
Multiple Projects
Department/Lab/Center: Aero/Astro (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero

Project Title #1: INSPECT

Project Description: The SSL SPHERES team is looking for UROP assistance (1-2 individuals) to continue working on the INSPECT sensor suite that recently flew aboard the NASA Reduced Gravity Aircraft. UROPs will be tasked with maturing the sensor integration software so that sensor/actuator interaction effects can be determined, devising a three modal calibration scheme (the INSPECT sensors include a stereo camera, optical rangefinder, and thermographic camera), and conduct testing on the low friction surfaces within the SSL to demonstrate full INSPECT operations. In addition, UROPs will be expected to contribute to test data analysis efforts and will likely also be expected to work collaboratively with graduate students and other UROPs working on SPHERES and INSPECT-specific projects.

UROP Type: Direct funding or credit. Any year is welcome to apply, upperclassmen preferred.

Contact: David Sternberg, davister@mit.edu
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Project Title #2: SPHERES AIRBUS D&S America cooperation for the conception and design of collector satellites systems

Project Description: The SPHERES team is working with AIRBUS D&S to make the first basic study of a collector satellite system based on tethers. The project goes from the dynamic and cinematic analysis of the system to the test design and coding. At the moment, hardware tests are going on in parallel with a Matlab- Simulink model design. The UROP will work closely with a graduate student performing hardware tests on SPHERES test-bed and doing further data analysis. The student will learn about and help with the hardware setting and experimental model verifications and have more insight in the development of Matlab-Simulink model. The student should know, or have a strong desire to learn Matlab-Simulink. Experience with the previously mentioned software is a plus.

UROP Type: Either for-pay from the UROP office (direct funding), or for-credit.

Contact: Marina Gràcia March, mgraciam@mit.edu
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Project Title #3: SPHERES InSPIRE-II Software UROP

Project Description: The SPHERES team has developed a fleet of docking ports and Halos to establish the world’s first on-orbit reconfigurable controls testbed. The SPHERES Docking Port has been designed with advanced sensor suite of UltraSound, InfraRed, and computer vision sensors to determine its relative state to the target SPHERES. Many of the algorithms needed to perform the spacecraft rendezvous and control after docking still need to be implemented in software, both on and off the Halo. The UROP will work closely with a graduate student in coding the VERTIGO-side software (Linux environment, C++)) to be used for science operations in space.

The student will learn about and help implement advanced computer-vision techniques (OpenCV). The student should know, or have a strong desire to learn, C++, Matlab, and the Linux environment. Experience with computer vision is a plus.

Type: Either for-pay from the UROP office (direct funding), or for-credit

Contact: Duncan Miller, duncanlm@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #4: Free-Floating Robotic Arm For SPHERES

Project Description: SPHERES are used as a 6-degree of freedom testbed for experimental space technologies--such as robotic arms. On a small scale, robotic arms can assist astronauts during spacewalks, and on a larger scale, autonomously construct multipart structures in space. Controlling a robotic arm attached to a satellite can be a complicated problem because the entire satellite will move in reaction to the arm moving. At MIT, we now have a prototype arm (Lego MindStorms) working and almost communicating with a SPHERES. We’re looking for UROP help to upgrade the MindStorms software to the EV3 unit. The UROPs will work with both Lego MindStorms and the SPHERES satellites to test out new control algorithms on our flat floor testbed that have never been tried before. We may also work on upgrading our robotic arm simulation to 3D. Basic programming skills are required. C++, Lego NXT, SolidWorks, Matlab, and electronics experience also a plus.

UROP Type: Either for-pay from the UROP office (direct funding), or for-credit

Contact:
Duncan Miller, duncanlm@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #4: Zero Robotics competition

Project Description: The Zero Robotics (http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/) competition allows high-school students to program the SPHERES satellites (http://ssl.mit.edu/spheres), competing first in simulation, then in a live tournament run by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The Zero Robotics platform is a fully online programming environment including a web-based integrated development environment. As a UROP, there will be opportunities to contribute improvements to the system, including:

- Real-time collaborative programming tools
- Dynamic simulation of robotic satellites
- 3D visualization and animation of simulation data
- "Big Data" aggregate analysis of tens of thousands of simulation runs * Game theory and AI programming, including design of games for future seasons

Zero Robotics has openings for two teams:
- One or two UROPs to support the current High School Competition
- Three to four UROPs to join the "game development" team to start creating the game for 2015

Current Competition responsibilities will include:
- Developing and improving "Standard Players" that act as the game AI
- Performing adjustments to parameters to balance the game in different phases of the tournament
- Assisting with basic technical support for the competitors
- Improving the existing website infrastructure (front-end and back-end)

Game Development team responsibilities include:
- Create a highly engaging game within the constraints of the SPHERES operational environment
- Design the game for high-school student programming an autonomous player
- Tie in the game to current or planned space research missions
- Design a game with multiple winning strategies and a balanced set of 'obstacles'
- Ensure the game works in a "leaderboard" environment

Time: 6 to 12 units (can discuss credit or pay)

Experience: Strong knowledge of at least one programming language, ideally Python, Java, or C/ C++, and comfort with picking up other languages. Experience with web application development in Python or Java will be a big plus. Familiarity with C/C++, MySQL, MATLAB, Java, HTML/JavaScript, and ActionScript a plus; alum of a robotics program such as FIRST also a plus.

Contact: spheres@mit.edu
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Project Title #5: CubeSat Deformable Mirror Demonstrationu

Project Description: The Deformable Mirror Demonstration project is looking for one or two UROPs for the fall semester. The overall goal of the project is to design a CubeSat to perform an in-space technology validation and demonstration of deformable mirrors for high contrast imaging applications. The focus of work during this semester will be on the mechanical layout of the optical payload. We are looking for students excited about and interested in learning and working with optics hardware and mechanical design. Work will primarily involve setting up, performing, and analyzing data from a series of optical experiments. Experience with any or all of Matlab and LabView is helpful but not necessary.

Previous experience:
* Working knowledge of MATLAB helpful
* Working knowledge of LabView helpful
* Working knowledge of Solidworks helpful
* Working knowledge of optics helpful UROP type: For pay or for credit

Contact:
Anne Marinan, marinana@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #6:
Opportunities in STARLab

Project Description: The Space, Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation Lab (STARLab) does a variety of research in small satellites, space systems, optical communications, space weather, and exoplanet detection and modeling. We are looking for UROPs to support several different projects (areas of focus are indicated under each opportunity – previous experience in these areas is helpful but not strictly necessary):

• Microwave Radiometer Technology Acceleration CubeSat (marinana@mit.edu)
– CAD/Structures (Solidworks, Thermal Desktop)
– Software (embedded programming on microcontroller, Salvo RTOS, MATLAB, Python)
– Science Data Analysis (coding in MATLAB)
• Free Space Laser Communications CubeSat Module (kingryan@mit.edu)
– Optics, communications (coding in C, MATLAB)
• Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (marinana@mit.edu)
– Optics, controls, mechanical design (coding in MATLAB)
• Geostationary Communications Satellite Anomalies (acarlton@mit.edu)
– Space weather data retrieval and analysis (coding in MATLAB)
• CubeSat cluster formation flight “Mothercube” (tamz@mit.edu)
– Communications, sensors, GPS (coding in C)
• Exoplanet Modeling and Data Analysis (mwwebber@mit.edu)
– Working with FORTRAN and C models
• Trapped Energetic Radiation Satellite: Deployable Antenna (tsheerin@mit.edu)
– Mechanical testing and data analysis (coding in MATLAB)

Applicants with matching interests and skill sets are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in a specific project please contact the lead at the indicated address directly.

UROP type: For pay (direct funding) or for credit

Contact: Kerri Cahoy (kcahoy@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Michael S. Strano

Project Title: Carbon Nanotube Sensors for biomolecule detection

Project Description: Carbon Nanotubes are receiving a lot of attention due to their excellent optical, electronic and mechanical properties. Amongst the various application that are possible using this unique nano-material, a growing field is that of developing various sensors for biomolecules such as glucose and insulin. The primary goal of this project will be to develop glucose sensor for in vivo glucose detection using carbon nanotubes and synthesized polymers. The student will be an author on any work enabled by their efforts if they spend reasonable amount of time on the project.

Prerequisites: The student should have introductory Physics and Chemistry. Additional class/lab experience is not necessary. Enthusiasm and willingness to see tasks to completion are important. Sophomore and junior students are preferred. Please apply if you can work at least 15 hours a week regularly for a minimum of two semesters.

Contact: Jiyoung Ahn (jyahn@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Rapid Prototyping of Electrochemical CO2 Capture Device

Project Description: Looking for a motivated UROP with strong design and machining skills to work on prototyping an exciting novel energy technology. Our lab invented a new electrochemical technology for carbon dioxide separation with applications in power stations, spacecraft and submarines. We developed an automated small-scale proof of concept device that shows promising performance. UROP will focus on aiding the design of optimized systems based on simulations, as well as building and testing prototypes. The position can be for credit or competitive pay depending on skills.

Prerequisites: Motivation. Creativity. CAD. Strong prototyping skills. Commitment of 8-10 hrs a week for the Fall and/or IAP.

Contact: Aly Eltayeb (aeltayeb@mit.edu) with resume.


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schuh

Project Title: Computational Investigation of Surface Chemistry

Project Description: The surface chemistry of metals has important applications in clean energy generation, catalysis, and the failure of structural materials. The student will use cutting edge, quantum-mechanical software to calculate the propensity of different elements to reside at surfaces, with the goal of making general conclusions about trends in the segregation and surface chemistry. Through this project, the student will learn how to develop and test computational methodologies, basic C programming, and how to conduct quantum mechanical calculations.

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of programming and crystal structures.

Contact: Michael Gibson (m_gibson@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Tanja Bosak

Project Title: Sulfur isotope fractionation during microbial sulfate reduction.

Project Description: Interested in interactions between the microbial world and the environment or chemical traces that microbes leave in the rock record? We are looking for a student (fall semester, with the potential to continue into spring) to investigate the sulfur isotopic fractionation associated with microbial sulfate reduction. The student will be responsible for preparing of bacterial growth media and sample analyses by microscopy and chemical assays. The student can also be responsible for his/her own mini-experiments. Hours are flexible, but a commitment to 10 h per week is expected.
Implications: Microbial Sulfate reduction (MSR) is the primary mediator of the sulfur biogeochemical cycle. Sulfate reducing microbes have versatile metabolisms and habitats and have played a key role in the marine cycles of carbon and sulfur from the early geological time onward. MSR prefers the lighter (S32) isotope over the heavy ones (S33, S34, S36) and produces sulfur isotopic fractionation. In general, large sulfate-sulfide isotopic fractionations are found in the geological record, but these values have rarely been produced in the laboratory setting. In this project we are investigating microbial metabolic pathways and growth conditions that and their effect on the sulfur isotopic fraction. This will assist in understanding both the geologic isotopic record and the metabolic pathway of these microbes.

Contact: Shikma Zaarur: shikma@mit.edu; Ana De Santiago Torio: anast@mit.edu


9/18/14
Department: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Tanja Bosak

Project Title: Microbial fossilization by the precipitation of clay and calcium carbonate minerals

Project Description: Interested in microbiology/mineralogy? Have you ever wondered how fossils are formed? We are looking for a student (fall semester, with the potential to continue into spring) to investigate the fossilization of living cyanobacteria. The student will be responsible for preparing media for cyanobacteria, as well as collecting samples for electron microscope imaging. If further work is desired, the student can also be responsible for his/her own mini-experiment, investigating the formation of mineral precipitates around cyanobacteria living under various conditions. Hours are flexible.

Implications: Cyanobacterial fossilization changed through time, possibly reflecting variations in sea water chemistry. However, specific factors which contribute to the nucleation of CaCO3 and clay minerals around the filaments of living cyanobacteria are still debated. We investigate cyanobacterial fossilization in enrichment cultures of cyanobacteria in artificial sea water. The investigation of clay and CaCO3 precipitation around cyanobacterial filaments enhances our understanding of microbial fossilization in shales and other siliciclastics.

Contact: sharon.newman@mit.edu


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science (Course 17)
Faculty Supervisor: In Song Kim

Project Title: BIG Data and International Trade

Project Description: This BIG Data project investigates how the patterns of global international have changed over time by analyzing more than 10 trillion observations. We develop a clustering algorithm to study the effects of WTO (World Trade Organization) on facilitating trade of goods and services. Specific tasks for RA: The ideal candidate will be familiar with scripting languages such as Python, and know how to scrape web-documents and manage big-datasets with query languages such as sql, etc. The work will involve automated data collection from various web pages, and APIs.

Time: UROPs will work approximately 10 hours per week for the either or both of the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 terms.

Prerequisites: Background and skills required of RA: Knowledge of python SQL Toolkit such as SQLAlchemy will be helpful although not necessary.

Contact: Interested applicants should send a short statement of interest indicating preferred start date, along with a resume/CV to Daniel Guenther (dsguenth@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science (Course 17)
Faculty Supervisor: In Song Kim

Project Title: Political Science and Trade Lobbying Analysis

Project Description: This BIG Data project investigates how money affects politics by analyzing all trade lobbying activities within the U.S. Specific tasks for RA: The ideal candidate will be familiar with scripting languages such as Python, and know how to scrape web-documents and manage big-datasets with query languages such as sql, etc. The work will involve automated data collection from various web pages, and APIs.

Time: UROPs will work approximately 10 hours per week for the either or both of the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 terms.

Prerequisites: Background and skills required of RA: Knowledge of python SQL Toolkit such as SQLAlchemy will be helpful although not necessary.

Contact: Interested applicants should send a short statement of interest indicating preferred start date, along with a resume/CV to Daniel Guenther (dsguenth@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Alex `Sandy' Pentland

Project Title: Measuring Interaction in Innovative Teams

Project Description: We are a joint Media Lab and Sloan team of researchers that are exploring how innovative teams interact to develop new projects and projects. We are using technology from Sandy Pentland’s lab to record real-time data on interactions between teammates to generate new insights into how different organizational practices drive team performance.

Over the course of the semester, UROP’s will have the ability to take part in analyzing micro-interaction data, developing new software to improve how we detect interactions, and participate in planning and executing field experiments. The different positions are described below.

Position #1 – Data Analyst

Help researchers clean and analyze location and interaction data from a series of experiments beginning with new data from MIT’s GFSA Startup Accelerator. During the experiment, an app was install on ~45 Android devices in order to collect data from various sensors.

UROP will help analyzing the data, studying correlations between social interaction and success measures, and visualize the data on a map

Skills: Python, SQL, Mongo or equivalent, familiarity with Linux

Requirements: Experience or strong interest in working with location data and visualization using maps
___________

Position #2 –Mobile + Backend developer

We are looking for a student interested in developing software to improve our ability to measure human interactions from sensor data. The student should also be ready to help deploy the software in a series of experiments conducted in hackathons around the Boston/Cambridge area.

UROP will help developing the data collection framework and support researchers during data collection at 1-3 hackathons during the semester. In addition to software development, the UROP would help at the events with sensor set-up and support.

Requirements:
· Experience with Android development, familiarity with Linux, and Django or equivalent
· Experience with iPhone development a plus
· Familiarity with hackathons a plus

Time Commitment: We are looking for students that are able to contribute a minimum of 10 hours of work a week. For students applying to the developer position, we also ask that they have availability to help deploy their software during a few hackathons.

Contact: Oren Lederman with a short description of your background or your resume at orenled@media.mit.edu


9/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Ian Hunter

Project Title: Robotics - Development of Rolling Spherical Robots

Project Description: The goal of this project is to create rolling robotic spheres that can traverse a variety of different terrains. Each sphere will have a suite of sensors to detect their environments and will communicate with each other to relay information back to their host. An emphasis will be placed on developing a modular core of the robot that can be applied to a number of different robots.

Job Description: The UROP will be responsible for creating, modeling and implementing different modules for use in the core of the robot, which primarily consists of a controller, communications, and power electronics. UROPs will be designing and modeling simple Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in CAD, and prototyping mechanical parts using a laser cutter.

Prerequisites: All applicants should have a strong interest in robotics, specifically mechanics and electronics. Required skills: Proficiency in Solidworks, or equivalent CAD (2.007 level and up) Basic knowledge of electrical circuits (2.678 or 6.01 or 6.002 and up) Preferred but not required experience: EAGLE or equivalent electronic CAD Microcontrollers e.g Arduino Programming, e.g. Python or C (6.01 and up) Prototyping with Laser cutters

UROP can be for credit or for pay. Please note the Sept. 25th deadline for direct funding.

Contact: Craig Cheney (ccheney@mit.edu)


9/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ron Weiss

Project Title: Software Development for Quantitative Flow Cytometry

Project Description: We are seeking a dedicated student to create a toolchain to help biologists analyze quantitative flow cytometry data. Cytometry experiments produce large, multi-dimensional data sets that up until now have required relatively strong programming and statistics skills to analyze effectively. We aim to change that. We envision a set of tools that is - Statistically sound and well-documented - Easy to use by non-programmers and non-data scientists - Flexible and modular so others can extend it as requirements change - Would produce both analysis results and shareable workflows The Synthetic Biology Center has about 40 people eager to use such a thing, so beta testers are widely available. Successful completion could also lead to a publication.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate for this project is either familiar with or willing to acquire skills in - UI design (maybe web-based) - backend / data processing implementation (maybe grid-based) - intermediate-level statistics (regressions, mixtures) - MATLAB or some other data analysis environment (like R)

Contact: Brian Teague (teague@mit.edu)


9/16/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Project Title: Leak Detection Robot for 2-inch-diameter Water Pipes

Project Description: At Mechatronics Research Laboratory, we design underwater robotic vehicles for performing missions in confined environments. An example of the tasks is the leak detection in city water pipe networks. As those pipe networks are made of small diameter pipes, the robot and all its components must be very compact. We are looking for new members to further develop the robot for 2-inch-diameter water pipelines.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be able to commit at least 10 hours per week during the academic year and have experience with and strong interests in mechanical design, electronics and programming. Experience in computational fluid dynamics will be a plus.

Laboratory: Mechatronics Research Laboratory, Building 1, Room 010.
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi.
Contact: Please send your CV to You Wu (youwu@mit.edu) and Dimitris (dchatzis@mit.edu) visit Mechatronics Research Laboratory at 1-010.


9/16/14
Department: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Neil Gershenfeld

Project Title: Robotic Nano-Assembly

Project Description: We are developing pick-n-place nano-assembly system for making semiconductor devices and optical elements. This system consist of a nano-tweezer to pick nano-parts which is mounted on scanning probe microscope for nano-positioning and assembly. The system is designed to be fitted inside scanning electron microscope for real-time imaging of nano-assembly. We have two UROP opening for this project for automating pick-n-place assembly and developing nano-positioning stage.

Position #1: Software developer to automate nano-assembly

Prerequisite: Python programming, eager to hack and play with instruments (expensive toys!!)

You will write python (or any other language) programs to automate nano-assembly process. This program will control position of nano-tweezers mounted on a state-of-the-art Agilent 5500 atomic force microscope (AFM) for assembly. You will be using easy to use scripting language and functions provided in AFM SDK to develop automation program.

-----------------
Position #2:
Develop control system for nano-positioning stage

Prerequisite - Experience with micro-controllers/Arduino, motor drivers and eager to hack and play with instruments (expensive toys!!)

You will be working on nano-position stage fitted inside a scanning electron microscope. This nano-positioning system consist of DC motors, gears and wheel encoders. You will be developing system to control DC motors using arduinos and motor drivers. You will also have access to electronics workbench, arduinos, shields, full electronics component inventory and workshop.

Pay: For pay or credit; possibility of extension into IAP 2015.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated student who is willing to work at least 10 hours per week. Student should have a creative mindset and expect to engage in challenging and independent work. Freedom will be given to the student to craft the direction of this project.

Content: Please write a short description (<200 words) that explains why you are interested and summarizes your relevant experience. Please send this information to Prashant Patil (prashant.patil@cba.mit.edu). If you are super motivated and willing to learn but do not have all the required skills, feel free to get in touch and we can talk about it.


9/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: John Lienhard

Project Title: Next-generation Liquid Concentration Technology for the Beverage Industry: Completion of Proof of Concept Tests

Project Description: Benefits for you: - Hands-on experience with membrane filtration technology - Hands-on experience with gas chromatography - Experience working on applied/near-industry-ready research The Project: This project will involve the production and characterisation of various concentrated beverages using procedures and experimental equipment that have recently been developed.

Prerequisites:
Applications are particularly encouraged from those: - currently in junior or senior year - with hands on experimental experience - available to work 10-15 hours per week

Contact: Ronan K. McGovern (mcgov@mit.edu)


9/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Anthropology (Course 21A)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Erica Caple James

Project Title: Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative

Project Description: A new Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative (GHMHI) led by Professor Erica Caple James and housed within MIT Anthropology in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) was established in 2014. GHMHI combines critical examinations of contemporary global health topics with classical approaches to the medical humanities through a number of courses, extracurricular activities, analyses of best practices in global health education, and collaborative interdisciplinary research in order to build community and capacity among MIT faculty, students, and staff members who are engaging these topics. Such efforts, furthermore, will build the capacity of MIT students to think critically and in nuanced ways about health, and also to improve the effectiveness of the interventions in which they become involved during and after their study at MIT.

This Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) posting will provide key support to Professor James, the Department's Postdoctoral Associate, and her Administrative Assistant through the following activities (among others):

- Managing GHMHI's social media presence including development and maintenance of a new website
- Researching contemporary topics in global health in specific regions of the world
- Researching global health and/or medical humanities programs in the United States and across the globe Identifying (and outreach to) existing student residential houses and organizations on campus to bring academic programming outside of the classroom
- Conducting literature reviews on research topics of interest to GHMHI staff

GHMHI welcomes applications from all interested students, but those applying should have a background or demonstrated interest in the subject matter and have some prior research experience (quantitative and/or qualitative).

GHMHI is pleased to offer this opportunity to undergraduate students for either academic credit or volunteer credit; financial compensation through the department is not available at this time.

Contact: Brittany Peters (bapeters@mit.edu). Please include an up-to-date resume along with a brief statement of interest in the work of GHMHI in your submission.


9/16/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ramesh Raskar

Project Description: The intersection of large well curated datasets with computation is an exciting emerging trend in Machine Learning. In this project, a potential UROP will be designing a new web-based interface to create labeled data sets of medical images. This is an excellent UROP opportunity for a senior undergraduate with an interest in web development and medical imaging to make a meaningful impact in health-tech.

Prerequisites: Web app development and design experience with Javascript/HTML5/CSS and hosting solutions like Heroku, a plus if familiar with Node.js or MongoDB. Interested in web user interaction and problems in organizing data. Excited about improving healthcare around the world by building big crowdsourced datasets.

About us: We are the Camera Culture group at MIT Media Lab directed by Professor Ramesh Raskar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA).

Contact: To join, please contact Karin Roesch (kroesch@mit.edu). Depending on progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


9/12/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. David Wallace

Project Title: Design Process Categorization for Optimization of Design Thinking Workshops

Project Description: The Education DesignShop (edudesignshop.MIT.edu) was an experiment this May to study whether we could teach design thinking to a group of non-designers and have them use these skills to re-design the education system….all in two days. It was a great success on many fronts, but still remains with many shortfalls. From this event (and others like it) we now have a plethora of data in the form of audio recordings, film recordings, and written answers to vague, open-ended questions. The next step is to make sense of all these data by: a) going into the literature and b) thinking creatively to build our own framework.

Job Description: This UROP will give deep, critical analysis into the design thinking processes and frameworks to think about how designers and non-designers problem-solve. The UROP will be invited to attend meetings with leading faculty in the area, and potentially be reimbursed for travel to upcoming experiments to be held in NY.

The UROP will work collaboratively with the lead graduate student to help develop:
1. A framework to categorize and understand responses to the problem-solving exercises given at past experiments.
2. Improved questions and data collection methods for future experiments.
3. Improved methods to teach design thinking and activities to learn it by at future experiments.

Persons with experience in design, design thinking, analysis of problem-solving methodologies, creating frameworks, and good literature review skills will have an advantage.

This UROP is available for either pay or credit, with the possibility to continue over IAP and Spring 2015. Strong opportunities of publishing a paper and being an honorable mention.

Contact: If you are interested, please send an email to jartiles@mit.edu and include:
-An overview of your background in design, both your hands-on experience and your time spent thinking about the process
-A resume, if available (Not necessary)
-Why you’d like to be a part of this project
-Available times to meet
-Please make the subject Line: “UROP Interest”


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisors: Prof Klavs Jensen

Project Title: Mechanical Design and Testing of fluidic components

Project Description: We are developing small scale advanced liquid handling components to be used in aggressive environments and demanding conditions. Work will be focused on the mechanical analysis and design of the components. After design, component manufacturing is mostly outsourced. Parts are then tested in house. Iteration on the design may be done to achieve required performance.

The position can be for credit or competitive pay depending on skills.

Prerequisites: Solid works. Original thinking and motivation. General knowledge of fabrication methods and mechanical design.

Contact: Dr. Andrea Adamo (aadamo@mit.edu)


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: HST
Faculty Supervisors: Don Ingber

Project title: Sepsis Diagnostic and Therapeutic Project

Project description: This project, conducted by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering of Harvard University, which is located at the Center For Life Sciences Boston Building directly adjacent to Harvard Medical School, focuses on the development and optimization of an engineered protein that is the center of technologies being developed for the diagnosis and treatment of Sepsis.

Responsibilities:
· Maintaining and transfecting mammalian cell cultures
· Designing, cloning and purifying proteins capably of improving our current technologies
· Analyze experimental data

Key Qualifications:
• Highly self-motivated undergraduate students.
• Background in bioengineering, biology, chemical engineering, mechanical/electrical engineering, and/or related areas required.
• Good communication skills
• Commitment at least one semester (4-8 hours per week)

Contact: Please send an email including your CV, schedule availability, and potential start date to Alex Watters, Staff Scientist, alex.watters@wyss.harvard.edu.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Christopher Schuh

Project Title: Cu-based Shape Memory Microwires: Towards Complex Structures

Project Description: The project is focused on developing complex structures made of shape memory alloy (SMA) microwires with controlled surface and grain boundary properties to obtain superior superelasticity, fatigue and damping performance. Cu-based SMA microwires can be utilized in a number of novel applications, such as intelligent textiles, once they are manufactured in large quantities via continuous melt spinning technique. In this project, we focus on production and characterisation of continuous wires, assembly of complex structures, such as weaves, fabrics and foams, made of these wires through new technologies. We study the collective behavior, in particular damping properties of these complex structures. We also work on SMA foam production.

Lab Work and Responsibilities include: Thermomechanical and calorimetric characterisation of the melt-spun wires (@ISN). Alloy preparation, microstructural and chemical characterisation, quality control, surface and thickness control via electropolishing, assembly of the wires, SMA foam production (Schuh Labs @DMSE).

Prerequisites: Minimum of 10 hours per week and at least 1 academic year dedication to the project is expected. We are looking for a highly motivated student with creative ideas who is able to work and make decisions independently in the lab.

Contact: Prof. Schuh (schuh@mit.edu) or Nihan Tuncer (nihant@mit.edu) along with a resume and the list of relevant courses taken and internship/research experiences you have.


9/12/14
Department: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Wojciech Matusik

Project Description: We are developing low cost and high-resolution 3D printer. We have a very diverse team, mechanical engineer, electrical engineering, chemist, software engineer, etc. It is a great opportunity to lear more about 3D printer and 3D printing. Specifically, under supervision, you will be involved in the formulation of UV curable ink, testing the flow behavior of liquids (viscosity, surface tension), measuring the mechanical and thermal properties of polymers, etc.

Requirements:
-
Have knowledge in chemistry, preferable in polymers
- Willing to deal with chemicals
- Organized, team player

Contact: Wenshou Wang <wwenshou@gmail.com>


9/12/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Supervisor: Prof. Paul Blainey

Project title: Investigation of pulmonary microbiome and immune system interactions

Project Description: This project focuses on analysis of the pulmonary microbiome in mouse models in order to study the relationship with the immune system. We aim to identify how components of the immune system interact with microbial populations in the lung and the resulting implications in human health. In this project, samples from immunodeficient mouse models will be processed to characterize the lung microbial population. The student will extract DNA from microbes, submit samples for sequencing, and utilize 16S metagenomic analysis to characterize the microbiome. Bioinformatics tools will be used for sequence analysis, with the opportunity for the student to gain skills in computational genomics analysis.

Requirements: Qualified applicants must have a strong work ethic and commitment to research. We are looking for a highly motivated student who is willing to work at least 15 hours per week during the semester and full time over IAP and summer with a minimum 1-year commitment. A background in biological engineering, biology, chemical engineering, or other related areas is expected. The student should have a creative mindset and expect to engage in challenging and independent work. Previous experience with wet lab techniques such as PCR and cell culture is preferred.

Contact: Georgia Lagoudas (lagoudas@mit.edu). Interested candidates should submit a CV with past research experience, a short description of why they would be a good fit for this project, and schedule availability.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Ann Graybiel

Project Description: We are seeking a student this semester to help to investigate the role of signaling imbalances in the part of the brain involved in motivation and movement. The student will primarily work to identify the localization of particular RNAs, which we have recently identified as modifiers in drug addiction and Huntington’s Disease, in mouse forebrain via in situ hybridization. The experiments will require time and dedication; we would like the student to also work full time over IAP and to continue working with us longterm.

Contact: Hilary Bowden (hilaryb@mit.edu) and Cc Jill Crittenden (irc@mit.edu)


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Tonio Buonassisi

Project Title: Development of a novel material for low-cost thin-film photovoltaics

Project Description: Tin monosulfide (SnS) is a promising candidate material for next-generation thin-film solar cells. SnS has near-optimal optoelectronic properties for solar collection, it has earth-abundant constituents which could allow it to scale, and it is conducive to deposition by thermal evaporation, which is a proven facile manufacturing method. Over the past three years, our lab (along with our collaborators) has more than tripled the record experimental conversion efficiency of SnS-based photovoltaic devices from 1.3% to 4.4%. However, this conversion efficiency still pales in comparison to the SnS theoretical maximum efficiency of 32%. In order to understand the limiting mechanisms and engineer higher-efficiency SnS-based solar cells, we employ a number of thin-film characterization techniques. The students will have the choice of one of the following, each focusing on a specific characterization technique:

(1) Employ scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to study the morphology of SnS thin-films.
(2) Employ x-ray diffraction (XRD) to study the crystallographic texture of SnS thin-films.
(3) Employ Hall effect measurements to study the electronic properties (resistivity, majority carrier concentration and majority carrier mobility) of SnS thin-films.

This is a year-long (with the option of extending) project in which the student will be mentored by a senior graduate student to obtain data using state-of-the-art characterization equipment, analyze results using an array of software tools, and draw correlations between thin-film properties and photovoltaic device efficiency. By the end of this project, the student will not only gain expertise in the characterization technique of choice, but also gain exposure to thin-film processing methods and photovoltaic device measurements. The results of the work will be critical in determining a path to higher-efficiency SnS-based photovoltaic devices. We are looking for two students with a passion for materials science and engineering research, but no prior experience is necessary.

Prerequisites: Mandatory: Good time-management skills Helpful: Some course(s) on properties of materials, nanoscale characterization methods

URL: http://pv.mit.edu

Contact: Rupak Chakraborty (rupak@mit.edu) with a resume and your project preference.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Andrew Lippman

Project Title: Ethos - revolutionizing the bitcoin protocol

Project Description: Ethos is a decentralized bitcoin-like network for storing and sharing personal data.

Our Vision: We think that the paradigm for personal data storage is changing. Instead of online companies storing our personal data in non transparent ways, people should have transparency, control and ownership of their data. What Bitcoin has done for currency and BitTorrent for media, Ethos does for personal data.

We just won first-place the MIT Bitcomp competition!

What you'll do
1) Help us work on the core protocol and clients
2) Build your own apps on top of Ethos. Think decentralized Facebook, Google, and such.

Prerequisites: We are looking for smart, motivated and independent students. Experience in C++, cryptography, distributed systems or Bitcoin is a plus, but we believe that grit and wit are more important.

Contact: Send resumes and two line introductions to ethos@media.mit.edu


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Armando Solar-Lezama

Project Title: Synthesizing Provably-Correct Programs

Project Description: We are developing a program synthesizer that synthesizes provably-correct programs from program sketches and logical specifications. We are looking for one or two UROPs to work with us on building a translator that encodes user inputs into Sketch, a synthesis-enabled language.

Prerequisites: Programming experience with your favorite language. Familiarity with compilers and parser generators such as Yacc or Antlr, is a plus.

Contact: Xiaokang Qiu (xkqiu@mit.edu)


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Joe Paradiso

Project Title: Mobile, Wearable Sensor Data Visualization

Project Description: The Responsive Environments group at the Media Lab is looking for an undergraduate to join a project about mobile, wearable sensor data visualization. We've been developing an outdoor environmental sensor network which provides dense, real-time data about a wetland restoration site. We're excited about the research opportunities presented by new wearables such as Google's Glass to access and explore these data in place, both for our ecologist research partners and for amateur visitors. This position will involve development for the Glass platform. Applicants should have a strong background and experience in design, as well as either front-end web development (for mobile is a plus) and/or Java (Android, with a strong emphasis on UI).

Contact: Interested applicants please contact Gershon Dublon (gershon@media.mit.edu) to set up an interview.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Nicholas Fang

Project Title: Digital Optical Pulse Shaping

Project Description: We are looking for two UROP students to develop an optical function generator that can program ultrafast optical pulses with a digital spatial light modulator. This project consists of two mutually dependent parts that can be executed in parallel (10hr/week each).

Part 1: Optical Setup: You will work us to construct and align separate optical set-ups to manipulate the Fourier contents of an optical pulse, to retrieve femtosecond features in the pulse shape of an ultrafast laser, and interface optical signals into electronic control software.

Part 2: Computer/Electronic Interface: You will extract detector readouts and to digitally manipulate opto-electronic equipment by scripting Python codes, and to build rigorous control algorithms.

We are looking for students with solid knowledge of optics (experience in 6.161 is a plus), programming skills in either Matlab/Pytheon/C++, and hands-on skills in machining. We expect the project to start as soon as possible.

Contact: Interested students should email graduate student Zheng Jie Tan (zjt@mit.edu) with your CV.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Design and synthesis of redox polymer/nanocarbon hybrids for sensing, catalysis and energy applications

Project Description: This project focuses on the design and synthesis of novel redox polymer/nanocarbon hybrids systems. The student will on the microstructural manipulation of the hybrid systems by using different synthesis conditions, obtain hands-on experiences in a wide range of electrochemical characterization techniques, and potentially will have the opportunity to explore a few important applications such as energy storage, heterogeneous catalysis, and electrochemical sensing. We are experienced in synthesis and characterization of several types of polymer/carbon hybrids. This project is a follow-up of our previous work. Thus we will provide well-defined objectives with specific guidelines.

We are looking for a self-motivated UROP to join this project. The student needs to be a faster learner. No prior electrochemistry knowledge is required, but the student has to have the desire to learn new concepts and deliver in a fast paced environment.

Details: Minimum 10 hours per week. Basic Excel skills and Matlab coding experience is needed for data analysis. Prior laboratory experience is preferred, but not required. Students who can continue after this fall semester are preferred.

Contact: Please send your CV/resume and a brief discussion of your interest to Xianwen Mao (xmao@mit.edu)


9/10/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Christian Catalini

Project Title: Big Data Research on Crowdfunding and Entrepreneurship

Project Description: The recent rise of crowdfunding - raising capital from many people through online platforms – poses a number of interesting questions for the economics of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as for social welfare. In this research project, we are collecting and analyzing quantitative data on crowdfunding to examine a range of issues, including the role of human capital in driving entrepreneurial experimentation, the influence of geography and spatial proximity on funding activities, what are the characteristics of projects that get funded as opposed to those that don’t get funded, and more.

If you are interested in getting hands-on experience in economics research and data analysis as well as to understand the dynamics of crowdfunding and entrepreneurship, this would be a great learning opportunity.

Specifically, we have two types of UROP positions:

Position 1: Candidates with a Mechanical Engineering background whose responsibility would be to (a) assist in data collection and analysis; (b) review crowdfunding projects for their technical feasibility. Though programming knowledge is not needed, candidates with programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python) and machine learning would be given priority.

Position 2: Candidates with strong programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python), machine learning, knowledge of intermediate statistics (e.g., regression analysis), and experience with statistical tools (such as STATA or R). Responsibility for this position include (a) writing code to collect data from a variety of sources; (b) managing and analyzing data using statistical software.

Even if the candidates don’t have all the requisite skill sets, but are motivated and willing to learn, do feel free to get in touch with us.

Contact: Please email Arvind Karunakaran (arvindk@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet.


9/10/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Spectrophotometric detection of ear infections

Project Description: Ear infections are a major cause of hearing disabilities and deafness all over the world. If not diagnosed accurately, it can lead to learning disorders and can also affect the brain development. Technologies that are utilized to diagnose ear infections haven’t changed in many decades. A magnifying glass with a speculum is still used today to examine the ear. Diagnosis of infections requires an experienced practitioner and yet many times an erroneous diagnosis is made which leads to prescription of incorrect medication.
We have developed a spectrophotometric otoscope, an imaging device that incorporates a highly sensitive element that can not only distinguish if the ear drum is infected but can also identify various infections. This will empower the medical practitioner to make the right diagnosis every time. At the same time it can save ambulatory costs if made accessible to primary care providers and parents.

Prerequisites: We are looking for candidates with passion to pursue research in biomedical engineering or medical/clinical research. The candidate will validate a spectrophotometric otoscope in a clinical setting. This position requires working with doctors, collecting and analyzing clinical data. Experience in Matlab, signal processing, optics, spectroscopy is preferred. Prototyping, interfacing devices, Arduino or android programming will be useful as well. There may be exciting opportunities to travel to India and validate the device at local health facilities as well.

Contact: Please send your resume to Anshuman Das (ajdas@mit.edu)


9/10/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Thomas W. Malone

Project Title: Crowdsourcing business innovation

Project Description: Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI) seeks 3-4 UROPs to search leading publications (such as MIT Technology Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wired, Fast Company) and tech-oriented web sites (such as BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, etc.) to identify new technologies and practices that could reshape business activities that involve intensive processing of information. Examples include big data, social network analysis, wearable computing.

The team will translate press and web reports into brief summaries, with links, which will be placed into a web repository. Executives, analysts, and others with industry knowledge will then be invited to contribute ideas about how these new technologies/practices could be applied in innovative ways in real organizations. The UROPS will engage with the community by responding to comments and encouraging members to extend their thinking.

Prerequisites: We seek UROPs who can work on average 10 hours per week during the school year and attend weekly team meetings. Candidates should have strong analytic skills, creativity, and an interest in emerging technologies.

Contact: Send CV, cover letter, and 1-3 page excerpt from a course paper to Robert Laubacher, rjl@mit.edu.


9/10/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Matthew Amengual

Project Title: Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Latin America’s Extractive Industries

Project Description: Large-scale mining presents both an opportunity and profound challenge for developing countries throughout the world. Mines are both a driver of economic activity and a source of intense conflict. In many cases, the short-term interests of mining companies, scarce economic spillovers from mining activities, and the corrosive political impacts of fiscal windfalls have combined to undermine development. Yet, the actions of companies, governments, and communities are not predetermined and, therefore, neither are the developmental outcomes. This project seeks to understand differences in the developmental impacts of large-scale mines in Latin America. The results will inform strategies employed by various actors to make extractives more likely to foster inclusive and sustained development.

Tasks: I am looking for one or two UROPs to help assemble and analyze political and economic data from various Latin American countries. Students will examine the relationship between mines and a variety of social, economic, and political variables. The initial responsibilities will be compiling and cleaning data from a variety of sources. Once these data are compiled, we will begin analysis. Proficiency with MS Excel and the ability to read basic Spanish is essential. Basic coding capabilities and/or knowledge of STATA or GIS are a plus, but not necessary. Weekly commitment of 10 hours, but can be flexible.

Contact: Students should email Professor Amengual, amengual@mit.edu


9/10/14
Multiple Projects
Department: Urban Studies & Planning
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

UNDERWORLDS: Researcher/Developer

The Underworlds Project is offering motivated students in CEE, ME, EE, CS, Design and Urban Studies a research opportunity to join our team! Students will contribute to the research and development of cyber-physical prototypes for real-time sensing, bio and urban informatics analysis, and geospatial data visualization. A vast reservoir of information on human health and behavior lies in our sewage, and yet it remains untapped. We imagine a future in which sewage is mined for real-time information that can inform policy makers, health practitioners, designers, and researchers alike.  Such is the idea behind Underworlds: a cross-disciplinary, open-data platform for monitoring urban health patterns, shaping more inclusive public health strategies, and pushing the boundaries of urban epidemiology. 

Pioneered by the Senseable City Lab and the Alm Lab, a prototype smart sewage platform is being developed at MIT consisting of a cyber-physical infrastructure, biochemical measurement technologies, and the downstream computational tools and analytics necessary to interpret and act on our findings.

Today’s real-time smart city infrastructure is made possible by the combination of rapidly evolving sensor technology and data analytics strategies, with recent advances in information communication technologies. Combining genomics and bioinformatics with real-time sensing and urban informatics, this initiative adds an entirely new dimension to our current ability to learn from the behavior and provide for the needs of urban populations.

LOCAL WARMING: Electrical Engineer/Mechanical Engineer

Senseable City Lab is looking for 1-2 electrical or mechanical engineers to join their Local Warming Team. Local Warming is a dynamic heating system that uses motion tracking and infrared technology to direct radiation, which heats building occupants. This allows for the building's overall inside temperatures to be kept, in turn, at a lower level creating significant energy savings. We are in the last stages of refining an existing system consisting of a series of infra-red lenses that are activated based on the detection of people's location using computer vision technology. Some of the tasks include optimization of python code, designing casings for circuit boards and camera modules, designing installation mounting gear, designing and fabricating bulb cover plates for improved heat dissipation. We are also looking for someone who is responsive, responsible and who can work with a certain degree of independence. This project was recently presented at the 14th Architecture Venice Biennale and will be deployed again in one or two different venues before the end of the year. 

SENSING ENVIRONMENTS: Architect with Strong Computational Background

Senseable City Lab is looking for an architect/designer with a strong computational/parametric background to work on a project, which will be looking at responsive architectural scale systems that mediate people's perception of the environment. Some of the sensorial elements that we will be looking at are: modulation of light, temperature, sound or texture. Some of the activities that will be performed will be: research of these sensorial elements, design of system, and prototyping. We are also looking for someone who is responsive, responsible and who can work with a certain degree of independence. This project is part of a Collaboration with AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) which looks at Perception Based Modelling and the study of People's Behavioural Response to different kinds of stimuli.  

SENSING ENVIRONMENTS: Electrical/Mechanical Engineer with Sensors Experience

Senseable City Lab is looking for an Electrical Engineer to work on a project involving to make and use sensors (i.e., wifi, bluetooth, 3G/4G) to detect people's presence and track them in the built environment. We will be deploying sensors within MIT and potentially within urban sites to detect people's presence and response to changing conditions. This project is part of a Collaboration with AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) which looks at Perception Based Modelling and the study of People's Behavioural Response to different kinds of stimuli. If you have previous experience with sensors and are excited about this opportunity, we would love to have you on board!

AIR QUALITY SENSING: Researcher/Developer With Strong Concentration on Air Pollutant

Concern about the impact of air pollution concentration has increased substantially in recent years particularly within rapidly developing countries. Monitoring of air pollution within a large city is commonly determined by using a small number of fixed sensors spread throughout the city leading to inadequate spatial sampling.

At the same time the availability of small inexpensive samplers is rapidly increasing, but with attendant errors in accuracy. The increased sampling possibilities also lead to a somewhat altered perspective on what we may want to measure within the pollutant concentration field. One possibility could be to look at aspects more closely related to the impact of the pollutants. Many pollutants are thought of as “safe” for concentrations below some specific levels. However others may have no lower limit.

Thinking along similar lines we might want to consider more useful questions to ask. For example, what is the spatial overlap between the concentration field and the “people occupancy” field and how does this vary with externally imposed variables such as the wind speed? That is, are there regions where we anticipate/predict persistent high levels of overlap between the “people” and the “pollution”?

Until recently, such problems would be put into the “too hard” or “ too little available information” baskets. But this may change quite dramatically when, for example, people can purchase (very) inexpensive sensors and hook them up to their own (well calibrated) sensor network otherwise called “their home”.

This can obviously be extended to many aspects such as home/transport/ recreation etc. To this author it seems to be a very short step to the required provision of quantitative data on the air quality in a neighbourhood on a very fine scale (that is house size scale) and an even shorter step to putting a “price” on the magnitude of this air quality data when buying and selling property.

The Senseable City Lab wishes to investigate the reality or not of such conjectures and this requires development and testing. In a sense it is providing information somewhat equivalent to the energy leakage from houses determined from thermal radiation drive-by measurements.

This leads to some interesting questions that can be asked e.g. what is the size of hot spots, where do they occur and what sensor spacing size is appropriate for determining such information and many more.

We would work with one or two UROPS and exploit where possible the existing fixed air quality sensor array currently on the MIT campus (CLAIRITY) together with one or more movable sensors. Depending on the skills and interests of the students could also help with some simple analysis and/or visualization if they wanted to.

URBAN LENS: Data Miner/Data Analytics

Human interactions in physical environments are increasingly leaving digital traces behind them in a form of big data created by human activity through digital media. One of the examples of such a dataset, which is now available for research purposes, is countrywide anonymized bankcard spending data in Spain over the course of last several years. 

Through analyzing this dataset, for the first time in modern history, we are able to gain insight into a very large portion of small-scale economic behaviors—from households to the level of the individual. With the aid of data analytics, individual behaviors can be scaled up with varying degrees of resolution with the aim of uncovering macro trends: for instance how economical success or failure propagates through a network of businesses, locations and individuals emerging all the way from smaller individual happenings into bigger widely recognizable events? One of the particular objectives of the project is to come up with a new metrics of current economical success of a geographical area or local neighborhood and more importantly it's existing opportunity, through the dataset of individual economical transactions. 

MIT students experienced or interested in big data mining and analytics are very welcome to join this multidisciplinary research initiative of the MIT Senseable City Lab and one of the largest Spanish banks, BBVA.

SANDSCAPE: Developer

The Senseable City Lab is searching for a self-motivated student for a new development of SandScape - a tangible human computer interface.

SandScape is a tangible interface for designing and understanding landscapes through a variety of computational simulations using sand. Users view these simulations as they are projected on the surface of a sand model that represents the terrain. The users can choose from a variety of different simulations that highlight either the height, slope, contours, shadows, drainage or aspect of the landscape model.

The users can alter the form of the landscape model by manipulating sand while seeing the resultant effects of computational analysis generated and projected on the surface of sand in real-time. The project demonstrates an alternative form of computer interface (tangible user interface) that takes advantage of our natural ability to understand and manipulate physical forms while still harnessing the power of computational simulation to help in our understanding of a model representation.

http://senseable.mit.edu/sandscape/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpyJcN3Tyzg

Responsibilities include 1. explore, identify, and develop new ways of sensing, three dimensional topographies of a 3D model (such as LIDAR, ZCAM, Kinect, laser range finders..), 2. develop software that integrates libraries of landscape analyses functions (elevation  models, shadow casting, water drainage) to analyze the sensed topographies, 3. develop visualization for projecting the result of the analysis back onto the 3D model and 4. build and install the system at MIT.

SandScape has received multiple design awards. The previous versions of the project have been installed in prominent venues throughout the world including the Boston Museum of Science, the Venice Biennial, MIT Museum, Ars Electronica Center's permanent exhibition. Its further development and installation at MIT is expected to draw significant attention from the scientific and design communities, as well as from the general public.

Qualifications include basic knowledge of image processing, proficiency with Open GL, WebGL, Aleegro, GDI or equivalent, knowledge of GIS and of rapid prototyping (laser cutting, waterjet cutting, etc) are a plus.

CAPE TOWN: Hardware Developer

The Senseable City Lab has several exciting research projects around the world. We focus our research in envisioning and understanding the impact of digital technologies in the future of cities.

In South Africa, we are working with the City of Cape Town in using smartphone technologies to give a voice to vulnerable populations and improve the service of public transportation networks such as minibuses. We are also exploring the use of automated optical sensors and wireless integration to create high resolution mapping of real-time urban mobility flows.

We are looking for motivated students with experience or interest in learning Android development and hardware integration. If you are looking to work with digital technologies and solving real world problems, this might be the opportunity for you!

UAV TECHNOLOGY: Researcher/Developer

Looking for highly motivated UROPs to help develop exciting new urban applications for UAV technology at the Senseable City Lab! Ideally suited to candidates with backgrounds in CS, EE, Robotics, ME, AeroAstro and design/fabrication. Students will help develop novel UAV sensing and communication capabilities, and integrate these into the autonomous closed-loop systems, with a high-visibility demonstration at the end of the project. Students will gain exposure to all aspects of the project, and will preferably have experience in one or more of the following areas: machine learning, computer vision, multi-rotor flight controls and path planning, embedded development & micro-controller experience, digital fabrication techniques (lasercutting, waterjet, 3D printing), back-end server & web development.

Contact: Erin Baumgartner, embaum@mit.edu


9/10/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ram Sasisekharan

Project Title: Bioinformatics Tool Development for Genomics Applications

Position Description: Under direction from senior research associates, must spend 20 hours/week to continued development and maintenance of bioinformatics software and databases for genomics applications; responsible for maintaining/sharing data between group members; coordinate ongoing software development activities in the lab with a computer programming team; must be able to work outside normal hours to meet project deadlines; must be prompt at responding to work related questions.

Project Description: The Sasisekharan lab is developing bioinformatics tools for systems biology and genomics applications. We are looking for a highly motivated and dedicated individual to write computer programs to automate the key elements of the database and tool development.

Prerequisites: Strong background in computer science with an interest in integrated approach to biology; knowledge about programming languages (Python preferable, familiarity with Django a strong plus) and MySQL.

Contact: djcain@mit.edu


9/10/14
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: George Stiny

Project Title: Broadened Drawing-Scape: A Platform for fusing Analog and Digital Means of Drawing

Project Description: Can it be possible to merge the visual richness of algorithmic drawings with intuitional foundations of hand-drawing? How can the traces that are created via hand-drawing be used in real-time rule-based explorative drawings? If drawing is making, seeing, understanding and getting immersed in thoughts, how can we elaborate on limitations and potentials of drawing using contemporary computers?

The goal of this project is to develop a broadened drawing environment in which computational means of drawings (such as coding) meets analogue means (hand & material) of drawing. During the course of the study the student will find a chance to work with the current hardware/software setup and s/he will ideally develop it further while producing a collection of exploratory drawings.

Tasks of UROP: The student will assist Onur Yüce Gün’s ongoing research project that consists of both hardware (digital camera, projector, etc) and software (Processing) components. The student will bring and further develop his/her programming and visual composing skills. Student will also assist future planning and documentation process of the project.

Prerequisites: This UROP is best suited for upper-classmen and women who are interested in visual design practices and visual arts and who have some sort of programming or scripting background. Experience with Processing is a plus; however experience in other programming languages is also welcome. Experience in Adobe Photoshop/After Effects is a plus but not mandatory.

Workload and Location: Approximately 10 hours/week, for credit or direct funding through the UROP Office. Studies will be undertaken in offices of Design and Computation Group.

Contact: Please contact Onur Yüce Gün at oyucegun@mit.edu with a brief statement of interest. Include descriptions (and if applicable images) of relevant previous work, and a summary of skills.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Ezra W. Zuckerman Sivan

Project Title: The role of status, reputation, and quality in an online market

Project Description: When analyzing an audience’s set of evaluations of an actor’s quality, it is hard to disentangle how external factors, such as the individual’s past performance and their affiliations, affected their decisions. Using a unique setting this project hopes to disentangle this problem employing a field experiment. For this field experiment, a website will have to be built along with a well-structured data collection process.

We are looking for smart and strong developers that can work independently, and have intermediate to strong Python, JavaScript, HTML, and SQL programming skills. Experience with building a website from scratch as well as setting up a data collection process and database is strongly preferred. If you possess some but not all of these skills please still apply, as multiple UROPs will likely be hired.

Additionally, if you are curious about social science research, crowd funding or the investment management industry, this project may be of added interest.

Contact: Please contact Tristan Botelho (tbotelho@mit.edu) and include your CV, and a ~200 word explanation of your interest and skills for the project


9/9/14
Department: Comparative Media Studies
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Health and Safety Wearable devices for extreme environments.

Project Description: Wearables beyond fitness trackers. We want to rethink how we interact with information around us, by using bio-signals and sensors that can provide information in extreme environments. We can create safer environments where life and death is only one mistake away. Our goal is to develop a network of nodes that provide the right amount of feedback to those who work in extreme environments.

Tasks of UROP #1: This student will work on helping to develop the communication between the sensors and google glass or ARM processor. The student should have solid experience with C/C++ and Micro-controllers and some Android experience. The student should also have some understanding of or interest in machine learning especially for gesture / pattern recognition.

Tasks of UROP #2: If you are excited about writing optimized code for real-time signal processing and background on mobile devices, this would be a great learning opportunity.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or direct funding through the UROP Office. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday September 15th.

Contact: Please contact Guillermo Bernal gbernal@mit.edu, and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, samples of relevant work, and an up-to-date resume.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Langer

Project Description: We are developing novel biomaterials as drug delivery systems that respond to micro-environmental stimuli for biomedical applications. Specifically, we focus on polymeric drug delivery systems such as hydrogels and nanoparticles for controlled release to treat gastrointestinal disorders. The project involves materials characterization, cell culture, bioconjugation, microscopy imaging and other related techniques. You are expected to work closely with a postdoctoral fellow in the lab.

Prerequisites: We are looking for UROP students who are responsible for work, highly motivated, with creative and critical thinking. You should have a competitive GPA academic record. Sophomore or Junior with lab experience is preferred. You will also need to read scientific papers and perform literature search on topics related to the project. Having skills/techniques in data analysis, material characterization and microscopy imaging is a plus.

Contact: Sufeng Zhang, PhD (sfzhang@mit.edu)


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Designing and Creating Applications for Coordinate and Pressure Sensitive Floors

Project Description: One of the areas of interest to the Changing Places Group is the idea of pervasive computing; where computational intelligence is not centralized in a desktop or mobile phone, but rather in the environment itself. From furniture to lighting fixtures the Media Lab is working to embed computation and connectivity into devices and items that have historically been passive. Recently, our group created the CityHome prototype, which incorporates transformability via robotics into the furniture and space itself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8giE7i7CAE).
While individual objects within common spaces like the home or office are usually candidates for computational upgrade, a frequently overlooked part of any space are the large surfaces that enclose it: the floor, walls and ceiling. The floor in particular is a highly trafficked surface that contains little to no sensing capability.

A prototype flooring system was created this summer with the ability to track a person or people over a 9’x4’ area with a spatial resolution of 6”x6” and ability to monitor the pressure applied at each sensing point. This semester we are looking for highly motivated and skilled UROPs who want to be a part of answering the question “what can you do if your floor is listening?”. Creating meaningful applications for an accurate, but low cost sensing floor system could have a positive impact in the areas of entertainment, healthcare, and interaction to name a few.

Candidates: We are looking for Junior or Senior EE/CS and Interaction Design students that:

EE/CS--Have relevant prior experience with electronics design and signals processing. Skills in one or more of the following: pcb design with eagle or similar CAD programs, circuit design, data collection and filtering, data analysis and pattern recognition, machine learning.

Interaction Design--Have relevant prior experience with human computer interaction, game design, visual programming.

Skills in one or more of the following: Processing or similar visual programming languages, video game design, graphic design, and persuasive design.

Lab: http://cp.media.mit.edu

Hours per week: commitment of 10 to 20 hours per week

Contact: If you are interested please write an email to Daniel Goodman, dhgood@mit.edu, and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, examples of previous relevant work, and your current resume/CV. There will only be one funded slot this semester, but depending on progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Karen Zheng

Project Title: A Big Data Approach for Addressing Non-traditional Adulteration of Food and Drug Products Emanating from the Global Supply Chain

Project Description: This is a project focused on using big data to develop a risk management framework for detecting non-traditional adulteration of food and drug products emanating from the global supply chain. As supply chains have become more globalized, such adulterations have become a serious issue and have prompted new strategic initiatives at the FDA. The aim of this initiative is to incorporate a wide array of big data sources such as online news sites, blogs, and academic articles into a set of analytic tools and capabilities which will automatically detect, manage and mitigate the risk associated with instances of imported adulterated food and drug products.

Responsibilities: The project will involve searching for and collecting data from a wide array of online sources and electronic databases, performing content analysis, converting unstructured text data into a structured database, and performing basic analysis on the data.

Prerequisites: Ability to read Chinese. Intermediate programming skills for webcrawling and databases are desired.

Duration and Commitment: Start as soon as possible. Commit to 15 – 20 hours per week. End date is negotiable.

Wage: $15/hour

Contact:
Professor Karen Zheng, yanchong@mit.edu


9/9/14
Department: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Caitlin Mueller

Project Title: Structurally Informed Additive Manufacturing: Roboprinting Stress Fields

Project Description: This project focuses on developing a new method for additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) at the building component scale. In contrast with the conventional approach of depositing material in horizontal layers, which results in poor structural performance across layers, this project focuses on new ways to deposit material in response to the three-dimensional flow of forces, leading to structures that are highly efficient, stiff, and strong.

Student Roles: The project is in its beginning stages, and UROP students are sought to help with two components. The first component is computational, and involves using 3D modeling, structural analysis, and topology optimization software to identify and model three-dimensional stress trajectories to inform additive manufacturing tool paths. The second component is mechanical, and involves working with a six-axis robotic arm and material extruder to experiment with the digital fabrication of structural forms. There is also the possibility to participate in structural load testing experiments and analysis.

Required Background and Skills: Students interested in Component I should be familiar with basic structural analysis (have taken 1.050, 2.001, 4.440J/1.056J, or equivalent) as well as 3D modeling using Rhino and Grasshopper. Students interested in Component II should have some background in electronics and mechatronics, basic 3D modeling, and fabrication shop experience (2.007, 2.008, 2.009, or equivalent).

Contact: Professor Caitlin Mueller (caitlinm@mit.edu) and James Coleman (colemajr@mit.edu)


9/9/14
Department: Materials Science and Engineering/Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Michael Cima

Project Title: Brain implantable microdevices for localized treatment of Parkinson’s disease

Project Description: Help us develop better medical technology to treat Parkinson’s disease and psychiatric mood disorders that affect nearly half of our population. The student will build novel multifunctional injectrode microdevices capable of recording both electrical and chemical activity from the brain while precisely delivering localized drug doses and/or electrical stimuli to specific areas of the brain that are believed to underlie these disorders. The project is highly multidisciplinary, involving mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering, materials science, and neuroscience. The student will be fully trained and be able to learn a variety of techniques in state of art facilities for fabricating these microdevices along with testing and characterizing their material and electrical properties, and potentially testing them in animals.

Evidently, the project integrates a number of interconnected goals to optimize all of the different functional aspects of the device. Studies have shown that the level of dopamine, an important chemical neurotransmitter in our brains, may play an important role in a number of brain disorders. One goal is to improve the chemical sensors used to detect this neurotransmitter by creating more robust carbon based electrochemical probes that would be capable of reliably penetrating and chronically recording from deeper areas (striatum) targeted in the brain, as incorporated within the injectrode system. This would allow us to detect how dopamine levels fluctuate in Parkinson’s disease and how delivery of certain chemical compounds in the affected areas of the brain may help shift these levels to a healthy state.

Prerequisites: We are looking for students enthusiastic about research, interested in challenging their knowledge, and solve problems. No prior experience is required. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to working at least 12 hours per week during the academic year. We can only provide academic credits (not payment) for new UROPs.

Contact: Please contact Helen Schwerdt (schwerdt@mit.edu) with your resume, interests, anticipated start date, and availability to meet.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Kevin Slavin

Project Title: A 21st Century Portrait, and Landscape, of the Human Body

Project Description: Homeostasis is a project of the Playful Systems group, directed by Professor Kevin Slavin. It is a large scale sculpture that (literally) brings to life the eleven biological systems that represent and embody human life.

This is a unique opportunity for dedicated, creative, and highly motivated students to work as UROPs, collaborating with two Research Assistants on the design and implementation of a living synthetic organism.

This organism, built on 11 intertwined bacteriological systems, will be sustained in part through their interactions with the architectural systems of the building they're embedded in. Its design and deployment will demand thoughtful experimentation in the wetlab, materials fabrication, and experience design.

This is a unique opportunity for UROPs with bio backgrounds to collaborate with artists and designers at the Media Lab.

Skills: Microbiology, MicroFluidics &/or Chemostat bacterial cultivation.

Contact: Interested candidates should send their resume and a brief paragraph about their background to Julie Legault (jlegault@mit.edu).


9/9/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Kevin Slavin

Project Title: Chess Computation Web Programming

Project Description: Media Lab group Playful Systems is looking for a UROP with web programming skills to help with our work on the Millionaire Chess Open. We're collaborating with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley to produce tools that analyze chess matches to help make the game into an exciting spectator sport. Our work will be deployed at a large tournament in Las Vegas this semester.

We need a UROP to help with the web programming portions of this effort. We're looking for someone with experience in the following areas:

* Node.js (extra-credit for experience with the serialport package)
* Front-end javascript (with jQuery)
* Deploying code to Heroku
* Git
* HTML/CSS (extra-credit for having worked with Blueprint or another grid-based layout system)

Further extra-credit if you have experience with these areas:

* Ruby and Sinatra
* Data science/statistics knowledge, including work with NumPy/SciPy

Contact: Greg Borenstein (gregab@mit.edu) MIT Media Lab, Playful Systems


9/9/14
Department: Biology/Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Michael Hemann

Project Title: Mechanisms of tumor microenvironment-mediated chemoresistance.

Project Description: Our lab is interested in the mechanisms by which tumors resist chemotherapy treatment. This project investigates the role that cells in the tumor microenvironment play in promoting cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy. We have found that chemotherapy-induced damage causes the secretion of cytokines and growth factors from cells in the tumor microenvironment that can promote tumor growth, invasiveness and resistance to chemotherapy. This project is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which chemotherapy promotes these microenvironment changes with the goal of targeting growth factor secretion and improving chemotherapeutic efficacy.

Students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of cell and molecular biology techniques including tissue culture, microscopy and basic molecular genetics and biochemical techniques. Undergraduates should be motivated and excited about research. Must be able to commit to 10+ hrs/week in lab and preference will be given to those interested in continuing through next summer.

Contact: Eric Bent, ehbent@mit.edu. Please attach a CV/resume with any relevant coursework or experience.


9/9/14
Multiple Positions
Department: Media Arts and Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Autonomous-Shared Electric Vehicles

Project Description: The Media Lab’s Changing Places Group is exploring the impact of self-driving vehicles on shared mobility in cities. We will investigate how new forms of urban mobility can positively and negatively affect existing mobility systems like the private automobile and mass-transit networks. This term we will be developing an autonomous, shared, and electric multipurpose mobility system that transports people during the day, goods at night, and perform completely different tasks at other times such as holidays. The project consists of a radically new vehicle type, a novel user interface and a self-learning operations system that is capable of managing the complex logistics of a hybrid people-goods mover.

UROP Positions: During your UROP, you will get insights into the future of transportation and will learn about technical, urban and business innovations in this field. You will help to create the system described above and you will be exploring ways in which machines can adapt to a user of this system - based on their environment, history, profile and social network.

Work packages in the project include the design of interfaces between user, vehicles and a back-end system, optimization of fleet operations, designing the new vehicle, and building control systems for the new vehicle. We will be working closely with manufacturers by using their systems to explore new concepts in the area of vehicular environments, systems, and networks.

UROP 1: Computer Programmer (UROP for pay position)

• You have developed mobile device applications on iOS
• You are experienced in Objective-C, C++ and Java
• Prior experience in simulation, transportation or other areas is a plus

UROP 2: Illustrator / Graphic and Storyboard designer (UROP for credit position)

• You have great conceptual design skills and are able to develop different scenarios
• You are able to refine your thoughts, illustrate them and build a storyboard
• You can create compelling results with the help of graphic software (Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator) and/or video software (After Effects/Premiere)
• You have basic 3D modeling skills (AutoCAD, Rhino, or Sketchup)

UROP 3: Electrical Engineer (UROP for credit position)

• You are familiar with motor controllers
• You have already designed and worked with embedded systems (PCB design)
• You are experienced with Arduino/Raspberry-PI and have at least some programming knowledge

About us: http://cp.media.mit.edu/

Contact: Please email Carson Smuts (carson@studionu.net). Include "UROP application" and your name in the title of the email. Include a link and or attachment with examples of previous projects and your CV/resume.


9/9/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Joshua Tenenbaum

Project title: Computational theories of language comprehension

Project description: The Computational Cognitive Science group is looking for a UROP to help design, implement, and analyze web experiments to study how humans produce and understand natural language. These studies will be used to evaluate computational models which are being developed in the lab, and thus involve exciting interdisciplinary connections between psychology, computer science, and linguistics.

Prerequisites: experience with web programming (HTML, javascript) or strong background in computer science.

Contact: please e-mail Leon Bergen (bergen@mit.edu) with a brief description of your background and interests.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Emery Brown

Project Title: Interactions in thalamocortical networks during propofol-induced loss of consciousness.

Project description: The overall project consists in assessing the effect of general anesthetics in thalamocortical networks during loss and recovery of consciousness. We have observed that in humans, loss of consciousness induced by propofol is heralded by a prominent 10 Hz oscillation in the electrical activity of the brain. We hypothesize that such rhythmic activity appears because the thalamocortical network enters in “free-running” mode, as a result of the inhibition of sensory experience by the anesthetic. We are testing this hypothesis by simultaneous recording of thalamic and cortical activity in awake rodents, while they are slowly induced into loss of consciousness using the anesthetic propofol.

Students roles/responsibilities: Two UROP positions are open: The first position requires implementing a system for controlled anesthetic delivery though a syringe pump using Simulink. The pump can be controlled through the RS-232 serial standard. The second position will require implementing Matlab algorithms to display brain electrical signals in the time domain and the time-frequency domain, and port them to video format.

Prerequisites: For the first position, previous experience with Simulink is required. Some experience with serial control will be helpful, but not required. For the second position, knowledge of Matlab, in particular graphic handles, is required. Knowledge of signal processing is not required but will be helpful. Interest in graphic design is welcome. Application for direct funding will be encouraged.

Contact: Francisco J. Flores, Ph.D. (fjflores@mit.edu)


9/4/14
Department: Biology/Whitehead Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Gerald Fink

Project Title: Controlled DNA sequence swapping in yeast

Project description: Pathogenic yeast are a serious public health problem. To address the differences between infectious and baker’s yeast, we will be looking at the timing and function of controlled DNA recombination in the two yeast species.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be able to commit at least 10 hours per week during the academic year and have a strong interest in genetics, molecular or cell biology.

Contact: Please send your CV to Dr. Hannah Blitzblau (blitzblau@wi.mit.edu).


9/4/14
DepartmentLlab/Center: Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Matthew Wilson

Project Title: Interactions in thalamocortical networks during propofol-induced loss of consciousness.

Project description: The overall project consists in assessing the effect of general anesthetics in thalamocortical networks during loss and recovery of consciousness. We have observed that in humans, loss of consciousness induced by propofol is heralded by a prominent 10 Hz oscillation in the electrical activity of the brain. We hypothesize that such rhythmic activity appears because the thalamocortical network enters in “free-running” mode, as a result of the inhibition of sensory experience by the anesthetic. We are testing this hypothesis by simultaneous recording of thalamic and cortical activity in awake rodents, while they are slowly induced into loss of consciousness using the anesthetic propofol.

Students roles/responsibilities:Two UROP positions are open: The first position requires performing histological analysis of brain samples, using both histological and image processing techniques. The second position requires implementing an open-source electrophysiological recording system (www.open-ephys.org), to be used for recording of thalamocortical signals.

Prerequisites: For the first position, previous experience in histology is required. Previous experience with Photoshop and/or Illustrator is not required but will be helpful. For the second position, experience with C and C++ is required. Knowledge of signal acquisition and processing is not required but will be helpful. I will encourage application to direct funding.

Contact: Francisco J. Flores (fjflores@mit.edu)


9/4/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: OnTheGo

Project Description: We want to extend the interaction space around mobile devices using depth cameras. Our goal is to be able to recognize a wide range of in-air gestures around mobile devices robustly while supporting user variation. We also want our algorithm to run in real-time on resource constrained devices like smartphones, smartwatches and eyewear. If you are excited about writing optimized code for real-time gesture recognition on mobile devices, this would be a great learning opportunity.

Position #1: This student will work on core features of the Android app working with the Android SDK. The student should have solid experience with Android and OpenGLES with some experience with C/C++. The student should also have some understanding of or interest in machine learning especially for gesture recognition.

Position #2: This student will also work on the core features of the Android app, but will be working with the Android NDK. Strong programming skills in C/C++ are required with some knowledge and/or experience with Android programming, machine learning, Matlab, and depth sensors.

Both positions will work collaboratively as both parts of the Android application (SDK, NDK) need to communicate with each other. If you are super motivated and willing to learn but do not have all the required skills, feel free to get in touch and we can talk about it.

Contact: Please contact Misha Sra (sra@media.mit.edu) with a paragraph description of your interest, the position you are interested in, a copy of your resume, and a link to previous project/s you have developed.


9/4/14
Department: HST
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lee Gehrke

Project Description: A UROP position is available to work on the development of a rapid diagnostic device to detect viruses in the field. The individual will join an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers to prepare reagents and assemble devices for field testing. Requirements for the position include prior laboratory research; familiarity with gel electrophoresis, western blotting, DNA preparation, ELISA is a benefit. Ability to work as a member of a team is important, as are careful attention to detail, critical thinking, and reliability.

Contact: Lee Gehrke (lgehrke@mit.edu), 617-253-7608


9/4/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Jared Curhan

Project Title: Behavioral Research Lab and Negotiation Research

Project Description: Sloan faculty member and Lab Manager seek UROP for credit for Fall 2014 with possible continuation in Spring 2015. UROP student would serve as a Research Assistant for studies on the dynamics of negotiation as well as support other studies that take place in the Behavioral Research Lab.

Responsibilities may include data entry, coding, subject recruitment and outreach and assisting with experimental sessions. Weekly time commitment will be 10-15 hours per week and can be flexible.

Pre-requisites: Applicants must be highly motivated, highly responsible, creative and entrepreneurial. No prior knowledge of above topics is required. Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, online survey software, audio/video equipment, social media and/or the MIT libraries is a plus. Basic understanding of statistics and research methodology is not necessary, but also would be welcome.

Contact: Interested students should e-mail Jenn Walker at jlwalker@mit.edu.Your e-mail should include a copy of your resume and a brief note indicating your background, interests, year in school, major, and any relevant experience. Finally, please provide a list of ALL courses you have taken at MIT (course number and name, organized by year) and the final grade you received in each course. (A copy of your official transcript may be requested at a later date.)


9/4/14
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Karen K. Gleason

Project Title: Development of advanced desalination membranes

Project Description: The goal of this project is to develop new membranes for membrane distillation desalination systems. Membranes are produced using initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) and characterized using SEM, AFM, FTIR etc. The UROP student is expected to assist graduate students in producing and characterizing the membranes.

Prerequisites: Self-motivated, committed to doing lab-work, prior lab experience preferred. Training will be provided for any new techniques.

This position is available for credit or pay for the fall semester (minimum of 10 hours/week) with the possibility of continuation.

Contact: Amelia Servi aservi@mit.edu


9/4/14
Department: LIDS, EECS
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Devavrat Shah

Project Description: This UROP consists of two mutually dependent parts that can be executed in parallel.

Part I - Scheduling: this is the research component of this project and is expected to continue for multiple semesters (students are only expected to commit one semester at a time). Scheduling, in its various forms, is a hard problem to solve. From finding the most optimal time slot for people to meet for a meeting/course/interview etc to finding the "best" chunk of time to execute compute jobs, this is an active area of research. Our aim is to begin to work on the "meetings" aspect of this problem to start with. The goal is to eventually develop an open-source interface that will allow people and organizations to define parameters of "optimality" under constraints to determine the best periods of time (to meet). We also intend to publish our results. The work shall involve the following components (roughly):

· Research: define how to determine "optimality" (i.e. the best time to meet), how to mathematically model "constraints" (e.g. chunks of time that do not work; other resource constraints) and survey existing literature for ideas and context.

· Implement a functional version as a web-interface (see Part II).

· Iterate extensively to come up with a simple interface that makes our work accessible to a broad audience. This could involve conducting studies to improve the "out-of-the-box" user experience (UX).

Part II - Web Portal: our goal is to showcase (and embed) the open-source portal described in Part I on a live website. To tie this to a concrete goal, we will align this project to the Umaer Basha Foundation (UBF) who will use and propagate the utility of our Scheduling interface(s). UBF and MIT exist as a collaborative venture.

Apart from learning to use state-of-the-art animation software and gaining experience in software engineering / web-design, student(s) who work on this UROP will gain first-hand experience in measuring and optimizing page-load times across different browsers and devices. Conventional wisdom for optimizing page load time(s) (e.g. see https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/) does not always yield optimal performance due to rapid evolution of browsers and diversity of web clients. The UBF website is representative of the websites needed by small businesses and foundations across the globe, and should allow student(s) to determine the effectiveness of standard performance techniques in such scenarios. Student(s) may be able to innovate / document new performance optimizations and instrumentation techniques.

To this end, student(s) will be expected to create a brand new web portal (likely a Django-based web project) for the UBF. Here are the goals for that portal:

· The UBF website will need to prominently display and showcase the Scheduling work from Part I.

· The UBF website needs to be highly interactive and responsive. The home page for the website will contain a high-quality animation that will first show the globe, zoom into Cambridge and show a sketch of the MIT campus and subsequently zoom to Karachi in Pakistan and show a sketch of the UBIT campus. The animation's purpose will be to highlight the similarity in the two buildings and the inspiration UBIT draws from MIT.

Contact: Graduate Student: Muhammad J Amjad (mamjad@mit.edu)


9/4/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Nancy Kanwisher

Project title: Unraveling visual cognition in people with autism

Project description: We are currently leading a large-scale fMRI project investigating visual cognition in people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. Our project is testing a hypothesis that enhanced visual sensitivity often observed in autism can be pinned to differences in particular neural circuits in the brain. Specifically, we are trying to understand why the rate at which information transitions into visual awareness is slower in autism, and how visual perception in autism is sharply enhanced in attended regions of space. We will use behavioral testing (visual psychophysics) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) to probe these questions.

Your roles: You will gain experience with: working with people with autism, learning how to run fMRI scans, analyzing fMRI data, designing and conducting visual experiments. Position may be taken for credit or payment. In order to be eligible for a paid UROP through the Simons Center for the Social Brain, please contact us by September 15th so that we can develop a research proposal (to be submitted on September 23rd for the Simons Center for Social Brain funding mechanism).

We're specifically looking for candidates who:
1) Will be able to help with my research for the full upcoming academic year (hours/week preferably > 6).
2) Have some experience with MATLAB (flexible).
3) Are willing to help with the human (interacting with / schedule participants) as well as the technical (experimental/analytic) side of experiments.
4) Are fascinated by neuroscience and the brain!

Contact: Please feel free to reach out to me (Caroline Robertson) at cerw@mit.edu with any questions.


9/4/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Fiona Murray

Project Title: Measuring Interaction in Innovative Teams

Project Description: We are a joint Media Lab and Sloan team of researchers that are exploring how innovative teams interact to develop new projects and projects. We are using technology from Sandy Pentland’s lab to record real-time data on interactions between teammates to generate new insights into how different organizational practices drive team performance.

Over the course of the semester, UROP’s will have the ability to take part in analyzing micro-interaction data, developing new software to improve how we detect interactions, and participate in planning and executing field experiments. The different positions are described below.

Position #1 – Data Analyst

· Help researchers clean and analyze location and interaction data from a series of experiments beginning with new data from MIT’s GFSA Startup Accelerator. During the experiment, an app was install on ~45 Android devices in order to collect data from various sensors.

· UROP will help analyzing the data, studying correlations between social interaction and success measures, and visualize the data on a map

· Skills – Python, SQL, Mongo or equivalent, familiarity with Linux

· Experience or strong interest in working with location data and visualization using maps

Position #2 – Mobile + Backend developer

· We are looking for a student interested in developing software to improve our ability to measure human interactions from sensor data. The student should also be ready to help deploy the software in a series of experiments conducted in hackathons around the Boston/Cambridge area.

· UROP will help developing the data collection framework and support researchers during data collection at 1-3 hackathons during the semester. In addition to software development, the UROP would help at the events with sensor set-up and support.

· Experience with Android development, familiarity with Linux, and Django or equivalent

· Experience with iPhone development a plus

· Familiarity with hackathons a plus

Prerequisites: We are looking for students that are able to contribute a minimum of 10 hours of work a week. For students applying to the developer position, we also ask that they have availability to help deploy their software during a few hackathons.

Contact: Daniel Fehder with a short description of your background or your resume at dfehder@mit.edu


9/4/14
Department: Simons Center for the Social Brain (SCSB)
Faculty Supervisor: Varies (see below)

The Simons Center for the Social Brain (SCSB) will support full-time UROPs during Fall 2014 for pay.

Project description: Undergraduate research topics may address any aspect of the social brain and its disorders, importantly including autism and related neurocognitive disorders. Topics may include but are not limited to: genes and genetic analyses; other risk factors; epidemiology; developmental time course; animal models; human stem cell models; human brain imaging; behavioral studies; mathematical modeling; biological and cognitive therapies; sensors and aids; and diagnosis and biomarkers.

Applications for Fall 2014 Simons UROPs should include a brief proposal with a clear focus on the social brain and autism spectrum disorders, developed with a faculty mentor who will supervise your work.

If you have a faculty advisor in mind, please work together to develop a two to three page proposal which describes the context and scope of the project, a tentative work plan, your role in the UROP, and what you hope to get out of the experience, both academically and personally. If you do not have a faculty advisor in mind, you can find potential advisors via the SCSB UROP Faculty website http://web.mit.edu/scsb/uropfac.html and contact them directly.

If you are an MIT student, please submit your proposal to the UROP office no later than 12 noon on Tuesday, September 23. Importantly, you should select the SCSB (Simons Center for the Social Brain) option associated with your faculty mentor’s name during the process of completing your online application. The application should be entered as Sponsored Research. Should your project not be among those funded by the Simons Center, it will be automatically considered for Direct Funding through the UROP office.

If you are a Wellesley student, please submit your proposal and signed cover letter to my office, no later than 12 noon on Tuesday, , September 23. Please note, only MIT students, Wellesley undergraduates (through the MIT-Wellesley Exchange Program), and students participating in the Cambridge-MIT Exchange (during their semester(s) of study at MIT) may participate in the MIT/SCSB UROP program.

Simons Center UROPs are supported by the Simons Center for the Social Brain, the mission of which is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying social cognition and behavior, and to translate this knowledge into better diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Simons Center seeks proposals from undergraduates interested in studying ASDs from a diversity of perspectives including life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Contact: Eleana Ricci, ericci@mit.edu, 617-253-9340


9/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: Economics
Faculty Supervisor: Daron Acemoglu

Project Title: Empirical Projects in Political Economy

Project Description: We are seeking UROPs to contribute to answering the following political economy questions:

(1) How do political parties reward politicians for legislative effort? We have access to uniquely rich data on UK politicians from 1918-2015 and will investigate whether internal party rewards (e.g. Cabinet positions) exist for those MPs that submit bills.

(2) Political hierarchies in India: how strong are the linkages between high-level and low-level politics in India? Our preliminary evidence for West Bengal suggests surprisingly that the spillovers from high-level to low-level can even be negative. Future work will investigate why.

(3) Decentralization and selection of low-level politicians in India: does the size of village councils affect the quality of politicians selected? Does size influence effectiveness of policies? We are collecting data for Himachal Pradesh where a quasi-experiment enables us to identify effects.

(4) How has the growth of Mormonism influenced politics in the US since 1950?

Interested students are free to work on the project that interests them most. For each project, the UROP will help in the following tasks:

- Data compilation (which may involve some web scraping)

- Background research (e.g. into the institutional history of panchayats in Himachal Pradesh)

- Regression analysis (including regression discontinuity)

Required Skills: The ideal candidate will have a strong background in Economics, an interest in development and political economy topics, experience using Stata and the ability to work independently. Web scraping and ArcGIS skills would be assets (though not necessary).

Commitment: 5-10hrs/week, fall term (with possibility for extension)

Contact: If interested, please e-mail CV, list of completed courses, whether you would prefer to work for credit or pay, and a short description of why you would be a good candidate to Matt Lowe (UROP supervisor) at mlowe@mit.edu.


9/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Itai Ashlagi

Project Title: Organ donation and acceptance

Background: Anyone in the US can become an organ donor (this can be done by signing to become a donor when registering for driver license).
However, once deceased and the time of donation arrives, the donor’s family should still agree to donate his/her organ and indeed it is often the case that the family refuses.

Description: This project goal is eventually to come up with mechanisms to increase acceptance rate. The first crucial step, in which the UROP will be mostly involved in is the collection of data and surveys about the acceptance rate of families in the US as well as other countries. While technical skills are not needed, creativity and initiative will be important to make this successful.

The work time is flexible and up to about hours a week.

Contact: Itai Ashlagi iashlagi@mit.edu


9/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Industrial Performance Center (IPC)
Faculty Supervisor: Elisabeth Beck Reynolds

Project Title: Scaling Innovative Firms in Massachusetts

Project Description: A key aspect of our understanding of the opportunities and challenges for increased economic growth in the U.S. is the role of entrepreneurial firms. We need to understand more deeply how the bridge from early stage idea to full-scale production is made in these firms given their limited human, physical and financial capital. While the U.S. is strong in innovation and in starting companies, it is important that new technologies and companies grow to scale for the country to capture the full benefits of its innovative capacity.

The Scale Up research agenda, led by MIT’s Industrial Performance Center (IPC), focuses on the growth trajectory of innovative start ups to understand how and where these companies acquire the skills and know-how to scale their operations and what the implications are for U.S. innovative capacity long term.

Some of the key questions we ask in this research are:

· What are the typical steps along the pathway from idea to full-scale production?
· How do these steps differ across different firms and across a range of different sectors?
· What are the sets of capabilities – that companies need to be able to bring a fully integrated product to end users and the market?
· What are the strategic decisions made by entrepreneurial firms at each of these stages?
In the first year of the project, we conducted case studies with companies that have licensed technology from the MIT Technology Licensing Office. In the second year of the project, the PIE Scale Up module will expand the research to look at regional and national data to determine whether we can speak to larger trends regarding scaling production. The research will focus on a broader sample of U.S.-based early-stage firms centered on two groups of firms – those who have received at least Series A venture funding (as recorded in VentureXpert) and those who underwent an Initial Public Offering.

The UROP engaged on this project will be working with these data sets, analyzing the data from MIT, Massachusetts and a national perspective. Using Excel (and possibly Stata), the UROP will help identify companies that have either received venture capital investments and/or have gone public and track their growth trajectories over time. Beyond working with the data sets, the UROP will help research the impact of mergers and acquisitions on these companies, learn more about the founders of the companies, and help conduct interviews with several of the companies.

Work will begin Fall of 2014 and with the possibility of continued work into the fall semester. The UROP will report directly to Elisabeth Reynolds, Executive Director of the Industrial Performance Center and work 10+ hours a week depending on his or her availability. He or she will be paid the standard UROP amount per hour ($10 per hour) leading to a maximum of $2,600 for the semester.

Skills: Skills required include knowledge of Excel, and knowledge of Stata is an asset. Strong analytical and interpersonal skills also required.

Contact: Elisabeth Beck Reynolds <lbr@MIT.EDU>


9/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Elsa Olivetti

Project Title: Enabling predictive life-cycle assessment through manufacturing process underspecification

Project Description: The manufacturing industry can be very energy intensive and the increasing public awareness of sustainability issues places significant incentives on companies in this sector to reduce their energy use or in other ways make their processes more environmentally friendly. Particularly in the early stages of product design or design of a manufacturing process, an assessment of its potential environmental impact can therefore be a powerful tool to guide decisions. The challenge is that the amount of information needed to completely assess a process’ environmental impact requires significant time and resources. Streamlined quantitative methodologies have emerged to accelerate speed and reduce cost, trading off some of the accuracy of a complete assessment with the smaller effort required. However, the variability and uncertainty of streamlined LCA studies to date is significant, not sufficiently quantified and often flawed by a chain of subjective analyst decisions.

We are looking for a detail oriented UROP to continue work on aggregating existing data on manufacturing processes across a broad range of databases and environmental impacts. Specifically, the student will work on documenting not only the environmental impact of each process but also identify relevant descriptors of the data. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to understand the state of environmental analysis of manufacturing processes.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with Excel and interest in materials science and the environmental impact of materials manufacturing.

Contact: If this project interests you, please contact Dr. Jocelyn Newhouse (jocelynn@mit.edu) with a statement of your interest in the project, summary of any relevant experience as well as your CV/resume.


9/4/14
Department: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Larry Sass

Project Title: Blocks World Redux: Interactive Computation for Enhancing Creative Tacit Knowledge

Lab: International Design Center

Project Description: Physical computing technologies such as robotic manipulators, integrated electronics and motion sensing are poised to enhance and extend how humans use their bodies to interact with materials, tools, and their work environment. However, little is known about how humans ‘think with their hands’ to develop creative ideas. Perhaps we can make robots that drive our cars and clean our houses, but will they replace the creative maker? What goes on in the interaction between mind, body, and world that enables us to generate novel physical and spatial ideas?
The goal of this project is to explore and develop an interactive computational environment for investigating the embodied cognitive abilities of designers. We will revisit an old artificial intelligence problem – Blocks World – from the perspective of an architectural designer who sees blocks not as a sorting or optimization problem, but as a playful opportunity that affords the emergence of creative ideas.

Tasks of UROP: The student will assist PhD candidate Dan Smithwick in ongoing research into the tacit know-how exhibited by designers. The student will bring and further develop his/her technical knowledge and skills for programming the integration of a Kuka robotic arm with a Kinect vision system and integrated Arduino electronics. In addition, the student will assist with setting up and conducting design protocol analysis experiments, including video documentation, editing, and annotation.

Prerequisites: This UROP is best suited for upper-classmen and women with self-initiative who have demonstrated experience with programming the above listed and/or similar technologies. Skill with Adobe Creative Suite and 3D modeling is desired but not required. This is a multi-disciplinary opportunity for Course 2, 6 and any others with strong programming backgrounds to apply and develop their skills outside of their own department.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or direct funding through the UROP Office. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday September 15th.

Contact: Please contact Dan Smithwick, djs2@mit.edu, and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, samples of relevant work, and an up-to-date resume.


9/4/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Dick K.P. Yue

Project Title: Design, Construction and Tests of Intelligent Marine Systems for Renewable Energy Applications

Project Description: Vortical Flow Research Laboratory is looking for three UROPs who are interested in working on a novel design project for deployable, autonomous, non-moored buoys for various renewable energy-related applications. The applications include autonomous, persistent operation as sea environment measuring buoys; tunable buoys as members of wave energy arrays; swarming buoys that use networking concepts to achieve reconfigurable, autonomous networked sensory arrays. The UROPs will assist VFRL researchers in developing the mechanical design, take a large part in constructing the prototypes and testing their performance, work on developing and implementing control algorithms for buoy operation, and conduct some hydrodynamic calculations.

Ideal candidates have some experiences with AUVs and hands-on work and have backgrounds in controls and mechanical design. The appointment is available for credit, or for direct UROP funding.

Openings: Multiple

Availability: Fall 2014, Spring 2015

Contact: Grgur Tokic (gtokic@mit.edu), Yuming Liu (yuming@mit.edu), Dick K.P. Yue (yue@mit.edu)


9/3/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Alan Jasanoff

Project Title: Investigate brain regions activated by reward and aversion pathway stimulation

Project Description: A UROP position is available in the lab of Prof. Alan Jasanoff in the Departments of Biological Engineering at MIT. The successful candidate should be enrolled in a biological, neurobiological, or engineering program at MIT.

The goal of the project is to determine how the brain responds to stimulation of the reward and aversion pathways. Components of the research involve animal surgery, characterization of behavior, brain imaging using fMRI, and data analysis. The UROP would be primarily involved in behavioral and imaging experiments. Depending on the UROP’s interest, there might also be opportunities to work on programing or engineering subprojects.

Primary responsibilities: The UROP will assist graduate student Sarah Bricault in the lab of Prof. Jasanoff in the some or all of the following:

1. Running behavioral tests on experimental animals. This will involve animal handling.
2. Assisting in performing fMRI imaging of experimental animals.
3. Assisting in the design, construction, troubleshooting, and use of relevant experimental systems.
4. Other associated projects.

Contact: If you’re interested contact me, Sarah Bricault (sbricau1@mit.edu). Please include a recent CV and a statement of interest


9/3/14
Fall 2014
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Neri Oxman

Project Title: Design of Innovative Digital Fabrication & Manufacturing Systems

Project description: What will the future of digital fabrication and automated construction look like? Could large-scale robots on wheels construct buildings? Might building skins and wearable devices be biologically grown? If these questions interest you, please read on!

The Mediated Matter Group (directed by Prof. Neri Oxman at the MIT Media Lab) conducts research at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science and synthetic biology and applies that knowledge to design across scales from the micro scale to the building scale with a focus on additive manufacturing. We design products, wearable devices and architectural building components and also invest in the development of new technologies - such as robotic printing - to design and build them.

Our previous projects have been featured at major museums (MoMa, Pompidou) and scientific journals. Recent projects include a 50-foot robotic 3D printer for buildings, a Silk Pavilion fabricated by 6,500 silk worms, a body armor inspired in a prehistoric fish, and a 3D printed dress featured at the Paris Fashion show.

We are seeking dedicated, creative and highly motivated students to fill UROP positions in our group. The research will focus on the development of a large-scale 3D printing platform and will include improvements of precise pneumatic and electro-mechanical tools incorporating multi-material mixing on-the-fly. We will operate these tools in synch with our computer-controlled machines, such as a 6-axis robotic arm and/or 3-axis CNCs.

Position: Course 2: Mechanical Engineering (preferably 2+ years)

Students who wish to apply should have strong digital fabrication experience and mechanical design background. They should be proficient with 3D modeling and have experience with precision mechanical systems. Previous work with material deposition tools is a plus.

Contact: Interested candidates should send their resume and a brief paragraph about their background to Laia Mogas-Soldevila (dumo@mit.edu)

Please contact us if you’re interested and we would be delighted to show you the project in more depth!


9/3/14
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. William Tisdale

Project Title: Quantum Dot Materials for Renewable Energy Technologies

Project Description: Lead sulfide quantum dots are a promising material for next generation solar cells, infrared light-emitting diodes, photodetectors, and thermoelectrics. The goal of this project is to develop a method for uniformly dispersing PbS quantum dots in a polymer matrix. This sample structure is important for studying the electronic properties of isolated quantum dots at low temperatures. The student will be involved in researching methods in the scientific literature, fabricating samples, and testing samples using photoluminescence measurements. The student can also expect to be exposed to advanced optical techniques used to study these materials.

Contact: Please send your CV/resume and a brief summary of relevant experience and interest in the project to Rachel Hoffman (hoffmanr@mit.edu).


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Polymer Electrode Material Design and Optimization for Energy Storage and Separation Applications

Project Description: Polymer materials, such as conducting polymers, can be engineered into nanostructured composite materials to increase their charge storage capacity for energy storage applications. In this project, the student will have the opportunity to work on polymer electrode design and optimizations and obtain hands-on experience of polymer electropolymerization and electrode preparations. The student will also learn important electrochemical characterization and data analysis methods to assist the engineering design. The other aspect of the project involves exploring the energy and environment applications of the novel polymeric composite material. The student can be actively involved in designing and conducting experiments to evaluate the electrode performance in those applications.

We are looking for a self-motivated UROP to join this project. The student needs to be a faster learner. No prior electrochemistry knowledge is required, but the student has to have the desire to learn new concepts and deliver in a fast paced environment.

Details: Minimum 10 hours per week. Basic Excel skills and Matlab coding experience is needed for data analysis. Prior laboratory experience is preferred, but not required. Students who can continue after this fall semester are preferred.

Contact: Please send your CV/resume and a brief discussion of your interest to Wenda Tian (tianw@mit.edu)


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Joe Paradiso

Project Title: ChainAPI

Project Description: The barriers to building internet-connected sensors, actuators, and other "things" are getting lower and lower. Once the data leaves your device, where does it go? Chain API is an open-source hypermedia API for working with sensor data, developed in the Responsive Environments group of the MIT Media Lab. It includes an HTTP interface supporting request/response interactions, as well as a Websockets streaming API for realtime "push" updates. Focusing on relations and hyperlinks goes beyond the "Internet of Things" and into the "World-Wide-Web of things", enabling API clients to easily browse, discover, and stream data from disparate sensor networks that may span across many servers. This architecture also creates a substrate for an ecosystem of crawlers and search engines to index and organize data for different applications and use cases.

ChainAPI is built in Python using Django and Flask, with clients in Python, Java (Android), and C# (Unity). We try to strike a balance between discipline and pragmatism, i.e. we write unit tests and design thoughtfully, but working code is king.

Position: We're looking for an enthusiastic developer who wants to learn more about sensor data and web APIs. Experience in Python will come in handy, but a willingness to dive in and work independently is primary. You will be writing client-side and server-side code in collaboration with grad students to support the research goals of the project, as well as building a useful system. You will get experience with important skills like distributed systems, API design, and unit testing.

Contact: Please contact Spencer Russell (sfr@media.mit.edu) with:
- 1-page resume/CV
- Short description of why you're interested in this project, what you hope to learn, and how you can best contribute
- Links to any prior work you're proud of


9/3/14
Fall 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Wanda Orlikowski

Project Title: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Platform-based Ecosystemsi

Project Description: Platforms are increasingly becoming prevalent in many markets, ranging from software operating systems and search engines to electric vehicles, cloud computing, smart grids and more. Popular examples include Apple iOS (and its iTunes appstore), Google Android (and its Google Play appstore), Salesforce’s Force.com (and its AppExchange appstore) and more. Increasingly, many companies – not just the ones in the software domain – are establishing and opening up “platforms” to allow users, app developers, and third-party entrepreneurs to tinker and build complementary applications (e.g. Ford’s OpenXC platform).

An important aspect of platforms is that they allow third-party complementors – ranging from established firms to nascent entrepreneurs – to innovate via enabling them build extensions and complementary applications. These platforms are said reduce barriers to entry and provide a fertile ground for new firm creation, offering entrepreneurs with access to a customer base, variety of technological toolkits, channels for marketing and brand-building and more.

The purpose of this research is twofold: (a) to understand how open platforms actually emerge, how they evolve over time, and how an ecosystem of users, app developers, and entrepreneurs galvanize around the platform; (b) to unpack various types of challenges and tensions faced by entrepreneurs who build their business around platforms and examine why some entrepreneurs are able to successfully navigate these challenges, while others are not able to.

If you are interested in getting hands-on experience in social science research and data analysis, this would be a great learning opportunity.

Responsibilities: The UROP will closely participate in research that involve gathering and analyzing data related to a number of questions (e.g. how a community of users/customers, app developers, and third-party entrepreneurs come “on-board” to a platform, when do they “leave” a platform, factors that affect their level of trust with the platform-provider, various tactics and strategies taken by app developers etc.). This includes writing programs to collect data from a variety of places, managing and analyzing data using statistical software, and if interested, be involved in the writing of the research.

The ideal candidate is a highly motivated student with strong programming, data analysis, and data management skills and a sincere interest in the phenomena of platforms and appstores.

Prerequisites:
- Programming skills with scripting languages (Ruby or Perl or Python)
- Intermediate Statistics (including STATA or R or SAS programming)
- Experience with Microsoft Excel (Macros, VBA)
Good communication skills

Contact: Please email Arvind Karunakaran (arvindk@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet and number of hours per week to work.


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science
Faculty Supervisor: Professors Daniel Hidalgo and Chappell Lawson

Project Title: Online Governance Project

Project Description: This project is designed to understand how elected officials around the world use the web to communicate with and serve their constituents. We will examine questions such as: how do local governments and officials vary in the level of services that they offer through government websites and the degree of transparency they offer on budgets and salaries? What factors explain which governments are more responsive through their online presence than others? This is an exciting way to learn more about democracy works around the world, how governments can be made more responsive to citizens, and how communication technologies are transforming governance.

Each UROPer will collaborate with a team including MIT faculty and graduate students. He or she will be responsible for gathering data on government websites, coding samples of website content, and adapting web scraping and machine learning code for the project.

Skills Required: Internet research skills and familiarity with Excel. Advanced students with statistical or programming skills in R, Stata, and Python may be able to take a larger role in the project. Foreign language ability is not required, but students from other countries will have the option of working on their home country if they wish.

Contact: If interested, please contact Professor Daniel Hidalgo at dhidalgo@mit.edu.


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: History
Faculty Supervisor: Christopher Leighton

Project Title: China's Red Capitalists: Business under Mao

Project Description: China's resurgent reform-era economy has captured international attention since the 1980s; this project investigates the historical roots of this contemporary transformation by tracing the lives of prominent businessmen and women who lived through the founding years of the People's Republic, from 1949 to 1979. What was it like to live as a capitalist in an avowedly socialist China? How did China's business elite re-work their economic place and social position to transition from their bourgeois past to become accepted partners of a communist leadership? How did these people re-emerge and help guide China's reintegration into the global economy?

Tasks:
1) Collect biographical and memoir material written by and about Chinese business
2) Read, extract, and review primary material and secondary scholarship
3) Create mini biographies, genealogies, and life timelines of people and families
4) Analyze the above

This task list is suggestive rather than comprehensive; UROPs are encouraged to suggest other work of mutual interest that will advance the project.

Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of Chinese highly desirable

Contact: Christopher Leighton (cleight@mit.edu)


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Description: Do you have interest in connecting the physical world around you with the world wide web?

We have an Augmented Reality Web System that can be used for games and programming tasks
for the physical world. Help us to research how such a system can work reliable in everyday environments. You will work on a team that builds up on 2 years of research.

All you need to know: C++, Objective-C

Things that are beneficial to know of: OpenGL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Lab: MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group

Contact: If you are interested, mail your resume to Valentin Markus Josef Heun: heun@mit.edu


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Description: The MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group bring the Web to the physical world with our Augmented Reality Web System. Help us with researching new interfaces between physical objects and the web. How can we build these bridges so that they are seamless? How do we interact with them? You will participate in research that builds a foundation for these questions.

All you need to know: HTML, CSS, JavaScript.

Things that are beneficial to know of: Web Sockets, Node.js

Contact: If you are interested, mail your resume to Valentin Markus Josef Heun: heun@mit.edu


9/3/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Ann M. Graybiel

Project Title: Experiments on brain activity and behavior using optogenetics

Project Description: Help us do experiments to solve the mysteries of the brain! In this project, you will assist us in performing experiments manipulating brain activity and behavior using the cutting-edge technique of optogenetics in rodents and in building micro-devices.

There is also the potential to assist in brain surgeries to implant micro-devices that you build and to do calcium imaging of brain activity using a miniaturized microscope.

This is an excellent UROP for students seeking laboratory experience in preparation for medical school or a research PhD program. 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 at least 12 hours per week during spring and fall semesters for at least a year and at least 20 to 40 hours per week during IAP and summer. We can usually only provide academic credits (not payment) for new UROPs.

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.

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


9/3/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Supervisor: Prof. Paul Blainey

Project Title: Development of microfluidic skin microbiome sampling device

Project Description: This project focuses on the development of a microfluidic device for sampling of the skin microbiome. The Blainey lab focuses on the intersection of microfluidic tools and interesting biological questions. We would like to investigate the skin microbiome at a high resolution, and a microfluidic device would enable sample collection from small areas (followed by off-chip PCR). This project would include device design and fabrication, DNA library preparation with PCR, and sequence analysis.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated student who is willing to work at least 10 hours per week. Expected background in biological engineering, biology, chemical engineering, or other related areas. Student should have a creative mindset and expect to engage in challenging and independent work. Freedom will be given to the student to craft the direction of this project. Previous experience with wet lab techniques such as PCR and cell culture preferred.

Contact: Georgia Lagoudas (lagoudas@mit.edu)

Interested candidates should submit a CV with past research experience, a short description of why they would be a good fit for this project, and schedule availability.


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Mitchel Resnick

Project Title: Computer Clubhouse Village: A Creative Learning Community for underserved-youth

Project Description: The Computer Clubhouse Village is creative learning community where youth can connect with members from all the Computer Clubhouse (http://www.computerclubhouse.org) locations around the world. At Computer Clubhouse after-school centers, young people (ages 10-18) from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Users of the website share their projects, find new project ideas, discover new ways to do things and interact with other youth who share common interests.

Position - Web Programmer(s)

This student will be working in Ruby on Rails to design and implement new features for the Clubhouse Village website, including personal project portfolios and a drag and drop interface for adding projects to galleries on the site. At a minimum, the student should have 6.005 or equivalent programming experience, and be a highly motivated and independent problem solver. More significant software and web development experience (e.g., 6.170, 6.148) is preferred along with experience working in Javascript, HTML and CSS. The student must be able to devote a minimum of 8 hours a week to the project and should be interested in continuing the project for more than one semester.

Contact: Please contact Direct Supervisor Chris Garrity (chrig@media.mit.edu) with a paragraph describing your interest and relevant experience, a copy of your resume and include links to any previous projects you developed.


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: RLE/EECS
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Description: The Speech Communication Group at RLE has several positions in a research project on differences in rhythmic behavior between speaking and tapping, with implications for the role of sentence prosody in speech production planning. Some familiarity with behavioral experiments, linguistic phonetics or with speech acoustics is a plus for this position, but we can train you. The position will familiarize you with designing and running experiments, software for displaying and analysing sound signals, and the ways in which speech, music and other structured behaviors may be similar and different.

Pay: $10.50 per hour; possibility of extension into IAP 2015.

Contact: Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, sshuf@mit.edu


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: RLE/EECS
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Description: The Speech Communication Group at RLE/EECS conducts research on speech signal analysis and processing, which includes:

1) Landmark and Acoustic Cue Extraction system development: construction and integration of modules that detect acoustic patterns in the signal that correspond to linguistic and paralinguistic information, such as phonemes, words, prosody, etc.

2) Database annotation with landmarks and acoustic cues: annotation and configuration of multi-speaker databases with landmarks and acoustic cues

3) Application of Landmark and Acoustic Cue Extraction to analysis of speech of different populations: analysis of speech from different speaking styles, from typically and atypically developing children, from dysarthric speech, etc.

The group plans to hire several UROPs in the fall term 2014 for the following tasks:

Project #1 - Module Development: Develop one or more modules that implement signal processing/detection algorithms for extracting and integrating acoustic cues for a) vowel place, b) vowel tense/lax distinction, c) glide identification, d) nasal place, or e) obstruent consonant voicing

Skills (required): Matlab, C++, Java, Python or similar Skills/coursework (preferred): familiarity with WaveSurfer or similar speech analysis software / Signals and Systems or Digital Signal Processing, Probability, and/or Phonetics
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Project #2 -System integration/management and experimentation: Oversee integration of the component modules and the overall maintenance of the Landmark and Acoustic Cue Extraction system, as well as running the system in various configurations on multiple databases; may also be asked to run experiments involving the HTK speech recognition toolkit

Skills (required): Matlab, C++, Java, Python or similar/ familiarity with popular platforms such as Linux, MS, MacOS Skills/coursework (preferred): familiarity with HTK toolkit / Signals and Systems or Digital Signal Processing, Probability, and/or Phonetics
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Project #3 -Database development and analysis (entry level position): Annotate speech data with landmarks and acoustic cues, and/or prosody markers, and if desired, may progress to analysis of the data by tabulation or by using decision tree analysis software

Skills/coursework (preferred): Python, Excel / Phonetics Positions pay $11 per hour, with some possibility of extension into IAP and beyond.

Contact: Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, sshuf@mit.edu.


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: Half-implant Wearable Technologies for Nail & Hair

Project description: We will be creating half-implant wearable technologies for fingernails and hair. These half-implant wearables will not only be highly functional; they will be aesthetic, fashionable and appealing to wear. The UROP will be working with grad students to explore novel sensing modalities and create prototypes. We will also experiment ways to make our hardware solutions "aesthetic". Using the developed nail and hair sensors as input technology, we are also planning to develop applications connected to Google Glass and mobile devices.

Requirements: (UROP departmental funding/UROP for credit): Ideal candidate will have strong hardware background and/or software experience. An artistic eye will be a plus. However, we welcome anyone with interest to submit their resume, as other aspects of the project with may fit different skill sets. There is a possibility for extending this to the Spring semester, for subsequent phases of this project.

Contact: If interested, please send resume to cindykao@media.mit.edu


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Ed Boyden

Project Title: In Vivo Robotics For Understanding Brain Function

Project Description:
UROP positions are available in the Synthetic Neurobiology Group at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the MIT Media Lab, working with post-doctoral fellow Dr. Annabelle Singer and graduate student Giovanni Talei Franzesi under the guidance of Dr. Ed Boyden. While neural codes have long been examined at the spiking level the significance of a particular neural code ultimately depends on how it is perceived and processed by the cells that receive these codes via synaptic inputs. We aim to understand the computations that occur inside neurons, how neurons receive and respond to their inputs, during behavior using cutting edge methods to perform automated patch clamp recordings in awake behaving animals. Undergraduates working on this project will perform animal handling, behavioral training, and data analysis. As time permits, students will analyze intracellular neural signals recorded from awake behaving animals. Students may also participate in other aspects of the project, including surgery, histology, and electrophysiology. Data analysis will involve signal processing and visualization in Matlab, though other programming languages could be used as appropriate. UROPs also participate in lab meetings including presenting their research. For more information about the lab see: http://www.syntheticneurobiology.org.

Prerequisites: Qualified applicants must have a strong work ethic, commitment to doing research, and an interest in neuroscience. We are seeking individuals who are detail oriented, reliable, and work well with others. Prior research experience, especially in biology or neuroscience, is a plus but not required. Experience with Matlab or similar coding languages is preferred. We require the student to work 15-20 hours/week during the semester and full time over the summer and IAP with a minimum 1 year commitment. We highly suggest being open to a multi-year commitment as that can result in co-authorships and publications.

Contact: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and transcript (unofficial is ok) to Annabelle Singer (asinger@mit.edu) and Giovanni Talei Franzesi (geggio@mit.edu).


9/3/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Josh McDermott

Laboratory for Computational Audition

Project Title: Recording Environmental Sounds for Auditory Perception Studies

Project Description: Our lab studies the computational abilities of the human auditory system. We are interested in how people derive information about the world from sound, and in particular the process by which humans identify everyday sounds; a task that humans find relatively effortless but that remains challenging for machine systems. We are looking for a UROP to help in these studies by recording different types of sounds that people frequently hear (e.g. telephone ring, computer typing, etc.). These recordings will be useful for a variety of ongoing projects in the lab, and will eventually be made public for other research groups to download and use.

We are looking for a student who can work independently, and is interested in sound and perception. No specific prerequisites are required. Experience with programming and with audio recording would be a plus. This position is available for pay or for credit.

Contact: Contact James Traer (jtraer@mit.edu) if interested in the position.


9/2/14
Multiple Openings
Department: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Rosalind Picard

The Affective Computing group, Media Lab is looking for highly motivated and responsible UROP students who work on the following projects this fall.

Project #1: Help us to run exciting experiments to understand stress, sleep and social network data from MIT students using mobile phones and wearable sensors

We are running long-term ambulatory measurement experiments in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, Brigham Women's Hospital for MIT students to understand their stress, sleep, academic performance and social networks.

You will be a part of our "College Sleep" team and
help us to prepare for experiments, conduct the experiments and analyze data, You will learn how to design and run large-scale human experiments and collect and analyze the data.

The students must have interests in doing human experiments in health/wellness research fields. Experience in human experiments or data analysis skill, python matlab experience is plus.
_________

Project #2:
Long-term ambulatory physiological and behavioral data analysis (statistical analysis and machine learning) to understand the health condition (mood, sleep, stress etc.)

The students will analyze data (e.g. electroencephalogram, skin conductance, activity, phone logs etc) to understand stress, mood and sleep. The students must have experience in MATLAB or python and have interests in signal processing/data analysis and health/wellness research fields.

Experience in statistical analysis, signal processing or machine learning is plus.
_________

Project #3:
Develop an android phone application to monitor sleep and provide advice to improve sleep

The students must have experience in android programming and also have interests in sleep. health/wellness fields.

Contact: If you are interested in the project(s) above,
please send an email to Akane Sano at akanes@mit.edu with the following information:

- Subject line: “UROP – first name, last name – years in college, the name of the project you wanna work on
- Content: Please write a short description (<200 words) that explains why you are interested and which project you are interested in and summarizes your relevant experience.
- Attachment: CV/resume


9/2/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Linda Griffith

Project Title: Developing biomaterials for tissue engineering with emphasis in the small intestine.

Project Description: UROP opportunity for a student interested in developing biomaterials with applications in cell polarization and organogenesis. The small intestine is the prime site for drug absorption thus we are interested in developing biomaterials that can favor tissue formation and polarization using primary cells. We then would use this biomaterial to build a microphysiological system to test drug toxicity/absorption in vitro. As such we envision the student will learn how to culture human organoids (miniguts) in 3D culture. In parallel the student will learn how to assemble PEG-based hydrogels harboring different cell adhesion sequences to favor cell polarization of the primary cells.

Candidates: We are looking for a highly motivated, independent, and naturally curious student. Experience with biomaterial fabrication, biological assay and cell culture techniques are a plus.

The Lab: The lab is located in the Center for Gynepathology Research, Building 16 room 436.

Hours per week: Commitment of 10 or more hours per week is expected with some flexibility during exam week.

Contact: Please send your CV and reference to vhernand@mit.edu to set up a meeting to discuss the projec


9/2/14
Multiple Openings
Department: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Rich Fletcher

Project Title #1: Augmented Reality on Mobile Phones for Health Applications

Project Description: Augmented reality provides powerful new ways to represent and display information on mobile phones and tablets. We have several mobile health applications where augmented reality could provide an innovative solution to make the user interface more intelligent and simple to use. Tracking specific features in the camera field of view and overlaying dynamic annotations of objects and sensors in the camera view are among the design features that we are exploring. Our team includes Harvard School of Public Health and Boston Childrens Hospital as well as top hospitals and NGO's in India (AIIMS Hospital and Public Health Foundation of India). Projects include applications for consumer health, here in the US, as well as global health projects in developing countries.

UROP tasks include:
- We are currently seeking 1-2 UROP students to help develop augmented reality applications using the Qualcomm Vuforia SDK for Android.
(https://developer.vuforia.com/)
- This powerful SDK enables a wide variety of useful augmented reality functions (see for example: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP5le6lZ_bw).
- We are looking for students with a solid programming background in JAVA and/or C++. Prior experience with Android or image processing is a plus. No biomedical experience or knowledge is necessary, but of course general interest in creating technologies to help people is desirable. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working fall semester and will hopefully continue through the IAP and beyond. Pay or credit is available, or UAP project consideration.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience
______________

Project Title #2: Efficient power amplifier design for inductive stoves

Project Description: Believe it or not, most of the people in the world still use biomass fuels for cooking and/or heating. Burning biomass (wood, coal, dung, etc.) produces smoke which is extremely harmful for family members, particularly pregnant mothers. One of the largest causes of death and most common public health concern around the world is this so called "Household Air pollution. We are currently developing a new efficient design for a cooking stove using magnetic induction, which is commonly found in commercial restaurants and starting to appear in consumer kitchens in urban india and africa. This "out of the box" design represents a huge revolution in the way most of the world cooks their food.

UROP tasks include: We are currently seeking 1-2 UROP students to help design and test efficient FET amplifiers that can drive a 1KW load with very high efficiency. We are looking for students with a solid analog design background with knowledge of transistor amplifiers and circuits. Coursework in and Analog and power electronics, and control systems is a plus. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working fall semester and will hopefully continue through IAP and beyond.

Pay or credit is available, or UAP project consideration.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience
______________

Project Title #3: Mobile Phone App Development for Health Diagnostics

Project Description: Our group develops a variety of mobile technologies to diagnose disease and abnormalities in a person's health. Sample applications include:
- (1) scanning newborn babies in India, where many babies die because of the fact that health workers are not able to detect underlying problems although the baby might appear healthy; and when the condition and symptoms become obvious, it is often too late for treatment.
- (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) Diebetes -- 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.

Using a combination of mobile phone app with clever sensing techniques, macnhine 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.

UROP tasks include: 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 C++, preferably in the context of Android. Prior experience with Android and/or image processing is a plus. In parallel with signal processing, we are also developing machine learning algorithms to assist with decision support and feedback for the health workers and doctors. Software will be implemented on Android phones and tablets using the JAVA SDK along with the native C NDK. No biomedical background is necessary, but of course general interest in developing technologies that help people is important. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working this Fall term and will hopefully continue through the IAP and beyond. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration. Opportunities to travel to developing countries are also available.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience
______________

Project Title #4: Mobile App Development for Psychological Assessment and Treatment

Project Description: Mental health is an critical health concern which touched most of our lives, yet this field is often underappreciated and overlooked in terms of general health care and also technology development. In the US, top mental health disordes include substance abuse, depression, and anxiety disorders. Although the number of mental health disorders is vast, our group is focused on a new key areas of mental health where early detection and better therapy are of great need. Our group is developing several innovative techniques to help detect and diagnose mental health conditions and disease. Some of these techniques involve analyzsing a person's eyes (gaze, pupillometry) as well as a variety of games that measure stress or impulsivity or cognitive bias. We are also exploring innovative and personalized ways to treat mental health conditions that does not require drugs -- which are highly over used in this country. Our projects are designs to help not only everyday consumers, but also targeted for working with homeless shelters and drug-rehab programs. Our lab has a strong clinical phychiatry ties to UMass Medical School as well as doctors in the Boston area.

UROP tasks include: We are seeking students with an interest in mental health, cognitive science, and psychology who are motivated to create new ways to revolutionize mental health assessment and treatment. Aside from an interest in psychology/psyuchiary and brain function, we are looking for students with programming backgrounds to help develop software for mobile devices in JAVA and/or C++, preferably in Android. Experience with game design or image processing is a plus. Alternatively, we also welcome students who are interested/capable of assisting with server-side programming to provide services via a web site with integration to VOIP and SMS. (experience with DRUPAL or VOIP, Twitter, or text messageing servers is a plus). The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working this Fall term and will hopefully continue through the IAP and beyond. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience

Contact: Dr. Rich Fletcher (fletcher@media.mit.edu) (and mention for which project you are applying)


9/2/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Amy Glasmeie

Project Description: Seeking a UROP with programming and web development experience to work on creating web-based games and other multimedia learning materials for a new textbook on economic geography and energy systems. The textbook (to be published in print and online) is geared toward students seeking to understand and analyze energy markets and policy at the global and national levels.

This project is led by Professor Amy Glasmeier in Course 11. Professor Glasmeier runs the Lab for Regional Innovation and Spatial Analysis. She works at the intersection of academic research and applied economics and policy. Her projects include An Atlas of Poverty in America, and the Living Wage Calculator, which made headlines most recently when furniture store Ikea announced it would be using the tool to increase the hourly wages it pays its employees across the US.

The UROP student will be responsible for designing and building out web-based, user-friendly educational tools and resources, such as interactive maps, simple animations and web-based games.

Key hard skills:
· Experience with Javascript, HTML, CSS;
· Experience with data visualization (working knowledge of D3 useful, but could also be learned on the job);
· Experience and/or interest in working on UI/UX

Key soft skills:
· Ability to work in an multidisciplinary team;
· Ability to engage in problem-solving aspects of the project;
· Ability to meet deadlines and work independently

Contact: Ksenia Kaladiouk at kseniak@mit.edu if you are interested in applying or have any questions. Please include a current resume, any relevant work samples and a few paragraphs about your background and interest in the project.


9/2/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Supervisor: Prof. Retsef Levi

Project Title: System Design and Operations of Academic Medical Centers at Massachusetts General Hospital

Project Description: MGH is one of the oldest hospitals in the US, and is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country. Over the last eight years the Sloan School of Management and MGH have been collaborating on a hospital-wide project that is focused on major design and operational issues within academic medical centers.

The goal of the project is to develop new scientific and data-driven methodologies and decision support tools to design patient care processes and systems within the unique environment of academic medical centers, and apply them effectively in the MGH environment.

The project covers many areas of the hospital, such as the perioperative care system, the intensive care units, the hospital bed management, the cancer center, and primary care. Typical projects involve system and process redesign, health care analytics, particularly the use of data, statistical analysis and optimization.

The ideal candidate is a highly motivated student with a sincere interest in using data analysis to improve health care operations.

Tasks include: The student will help us collect and analyze hospital data, construct optimization models, and run statistical analysis. The student is expected to interact with clinicians and administrators at MGH to understand the details of the operations of study and validate modeling assumptions. The student will also help in producing and presenting deliverables to the hospital's stakeholders in regular meetings. If interested, the student can also be involved in the writing of the research project.

Key qualifications:
· Basic statistics
· Experience with Microsoft Office - Excel and Power Point
· Some programming experience and a willingness to learn data analysis in software such as Matlab, R, python, or equivalent.
· Good communication skills
· Genuine interest in health care
· Optimization/simulation knowledge and advanced programming skills are a plus.

Contact: Please email Cecilia Zenteno (ceciliaz@mit.edu) with your CV, why you are interested, and a description of your relevant experience.


9/2/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Supervisor: Prof. Paul Blainey

Project title: Development of microfluidic skin microbiome sampling device

Project Description: This project focuses on the development of a microfluidic device for sampling of the skin microbiome. The Blainey lab focuses on the intersection of microfluidic tools and interesting biological questions. We would like to investigate the skin microbiome at a high resolution, and a microfluidic device would enable sample collection from small areas (followed by off-chip PCR). This project would include device design and fabrication, DNA library preparation with PCR, and sequence analysis.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated student who is willing to work at least 10 hours per week. Expected background in biological engineering, biology, chemical engineering, or other related areas. Student should have a creative mindset and expect to engage in challenging and independent work. Freedom will be given to the student to craft the direction of this project. Previous experience with wet lab techniques such as PCR and cell culture preferred.

Contact: Georgia Lagoudas (lagoudas@mit.edu)

Interested candidates should submit a CV with past research experience, a short description of why they would be a good fit for this project, and schedule availability.


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center EECS/CSAIL
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Tim Berners-Lee

Project Title: Building Decentralized Software

Project Description: Social software has an inherent network effect, where people have to use the same system in order to collaborate and interact online. This makes it hard for any new and creative applications to attract enough users to become useful. Even worse, because there is no single system that everyone is willing to use, it has become impossible to deploy any online tools that have the kind of universal reach we're used to with email and the Web.

We are developing "Crosscloud" protocols which allow user data to be managed separately from applications, resulting in decentralized social software. Crosscloud applications naturally interoperate, forming a shared critical mass. Users are free to switch systems while keeping the same social connections, and developers are free to innovate without having to worry about capturing a user base or maintaining a massive back-end operation. We believe the result will be a dramatic increase in innovation, especially in non-frivolous applications, with an increased respect for user autonomy and privacy.

We have some prototype software, including Cimba (cimba.co), a decentralized replacement for Twitter. We're particularly looking for students to work in the front-end, improving Cimba and developing additional applications. All work is open source and done in co-operation with W3C's open standards process.

If you've always wanted to make something to do photo-sharing, or secure chat, or group scheduling, or voting, or matchmaking, or a multi-player game, or a group to-do list, or any other online system that connects people, Crosscloud gives you a practical way to build it without locking-in users and needing to support them forever. Come join our team and we'll help you make it happen.

Prerequisites: Commitment of 10+ hrs/week. Experience with JavaScript web application development is a requirement for front-end work and familiarity with RDF Linked Data is a plus. Alternatively, you could be the first to bring this technology to a mobile platform. .

Contact: To apply, please send a resume and statement of interest to crosscloud-jobs@csail.mit.edu. For more on the technology and vision see https://github.com/sandhawke/crosscloud.


8/28/14
Fall 2014
Department/Lab/Center MIT Media Lab
Faculty Advisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Augmented Environments

Project description: UROP positions for fall 2014 are now open. In the Changing Places group at the Media Lab, we have designed and developed LightByte, an interactive kinetic installation with 35” x 46” cascade consisting of 8 kinetic panel modules and 400 individually controlled shutters. In addition, we have developed pen-based augmented reality, FlickInk and MoveInk. Our 2013 UROPs contributed to an exhibition in Barcelona. One of the recent development using FlickInk technology for augmented participatory design was presented at SIGGRAPH. It was selected as a winner of 2013 ACM student research competition (http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2503385.2503405).

The UROP roles in 2014 fall will be focusing on the user experience/ usability study, communication, and mobile interactions. Possible roles and prerequisites are listed below.

Your roles will possibly include one or more of the following depending on your interest and skills:

1. User experience: You will join the team to design and conduct usability studies.

Requirements: good communication skills
A plus: experience in designing user study/ conducting behavior research.

2. Communication: Web design, filming, video editing, and graphic design for the project demonstration, documentation, and publications.
Experience in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, SolidWorks/ Rhino and web development is a plus.

3. Mobile computing and interactive installation: You will be contributing to preparing for upcoming exhibitions (in MIT and in Dubai) that involve interactive installation, developing mobile experience, maintaining the systems, and lots of fun!

Experience in Android programming, working knowledge of microcontroller programing, soldering, prototyping with sensors, Arduino/processing is a plus.

Note: only limited UROP positions are available for pay - send in your resume soon. We also welcome students interested in positions for credit.

Contact:
Please send your resume to aithpao@media.mit.edu


8/28/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Susumu Tonegawa

Project Title: Dissecting neural circuits involved in memory formation and retrieval

Project Description: When we form new memories, specific neuronal populations become activated in a brain region known as the hippocampus. It is important to study these populations as well as underlying neural circuits, to better understand how we form a memory and later retrieve it at any time. This project will combine cutting-edge neuroscience technology such as optogenetics, in vivo calcium imaging and transgenic mice along with behavioral analyses to study brain regions implicated in memory disorders including amnesia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Responsibilities: During the course of this project, students will gain hands-on experience performing mouse histology, high-resolution microscopy, survival surgery and optogenetic-based behavioral analyses.

We are seeking highly motivated students with an interest in neuroscience. Students with previous experience in a neuroscience/biology lab working with rodents are preferred. This position is ideal for students who would like to develop in-depth research experience and plan to stay involved with the project following this fall semester. There are 1-2 positions available starting immediately.

Contact: If you are interested in this position, please contact Dheeraj Roy (d_roy@mit.edu). Please include your CV and availability for a brief meeting.

For more information about Tonegawa lab research, click here: http://www.tonegawalab.org/news/


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Greg Stephanopoulos

Project Title: Interested in Applying CS Skills in a Lab Setting?

Project Description: We are looking for a student with significant computer science background to design software and database tools to upgrade the data management system in our lab, as well as re-design our group website. The student would work with researchers in the group (grad students and post-docs) to assess current data management needs and implement robust systems for, among others: data backup, cataloging and managing recombinant strains, and standardizing transfer of research between users. This is a unique opportunity for someone tech-savvy to gain an insight into the CS needs of a biological research group and develop important systems that will be used extensively.There is little constraining existing architecture, so the student would have significant flexibility to generate innovative, creative solutions.

Prerequisites: Prior experience in website development and database management. An interest in applying computer science to a biological lab

Lab: Metabolic Engineering and Bioinformatics Laboratory

Contact: Ben Woolston (PhD Student) - woolston@mit.edu, please email your CV/resume and a short paragraph about yourself, your experience and future interests. Also indicate the hours per week you have available and your potential start date.


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Allan S. Myerson

Project title: Design and Build of a Miniature Processing Plant for the End-to-End Production of Active Pharmaceutical Compounds.

Project description: The current paradigm in pharmaceutical manufacturing is dominated by the use of batch process engineering. Very recent work on the continuous processing of pharmaceuticals has shown that lower costs, greater flexibility, better sustainability and novel production pathways of drugs can be achieved. Miniaturization of a pharmaceutical processing plant for the end-to-end production of bioactive compounds provides a greater response-to-demand flexibility to supply urgent medicines for those in remote locations facing crisis such as in regions of natural disaster or war.

In this project, the student will have the unique opportunity to be actively involved in the design, building and testing of the downstream process operation units performing crystallization, filtration, drying and drug formulation. Original thinking on each design is encouraged. Designs will require rapid prototyping in whatever means deemed necessary - this includes 3D printing, DMLS and traditional CNC machining. The project requires a mechanical engineering student (junior or senior year ideally) with proficiency in the use of CAD software tools for rendering 3-D conceptual designs. Knowledge of electronic engineering and/or machining experience is a plus.

Position available for credit or pay (willing to commit 5-10 hours a week).

Contact: If interested, please send your CV/resume to Marcus O’Mahony (omahonym@mit.edu) or Torsten Stelzer (stelzer@mit.edu).


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Laura Schulz

Project Title: Lookit: an online cognitive development lab

Project Description: Our lab studies how infants and young children learn about the world, and traditionally studies have taken place either at MIT or at the Boston Children's Museum. New this year is an online branch of the lab, "Lookit" (https://lookit.mit.edu), which allows families to participate online by completing a short activity in their web browser which is videotaped via their webcam.

As a research assistant on the Lookit project, you will be involved in the full research process, including online recruitment, study design, collecting data, evaluating of user experience, and data analysis. Weekly tasks include watching videos of participants and recording their responses (e.g. looking behavior and verbal answers to questions). This UROP may form a foundation for conducting independent studies on Lookit in future terms. The schedule is flexible and time in the lab can be arranged around your coursework.

Details: Programming experience preferred but not required. Minimum requirement is 9 hours/week.

Contact: Kim Scott, kimscott@mit.edu


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Rapid Prototyping of Architectural Robotics

Project Description: At the Media Lab we are creating a new ecosystem of architectural robots that allow to dramatically increase the utilization and responsiveness of space, by converting traditionally static & dumb spatial objects into transformable & connected architecture. Take the CityHome as an example: an urban home that can reconfigure and offer functionality equivalent to double or triple its size by converting your bedroom into your living room, your office into your dining room and viceversa. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8giE7i7CAE).

But housing is only the beginning. What if, for example, we could apply the same principles and technologies to redesign the office, restaurant, hotel of the future? With the spirit of the 200 sqft CityHome project, that moved from paper to prototype in one semester, we will envision, sketch, plan and rapid prototype a new concept space.

Candidates: We are looking for Senior ME/EE/CS students that:
- have relevant prior experience with rapid prototyping. Skills in one or more of the following: fabrication, electronics & sensors, embedded programming, application programming, advanced CAD
- want to experience a challenging position in product focused R&D before graduation

Lab: http://cp.media.mit.edu

Hours per week: commitment of 10 to 20 hours per week

Contact: If you are interested please write an email to Hasier Larrea, hlarrea@mit.edu, and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, examples of previous relevant work, and your current resume/CV. There will only be one funded slot this semester, but depending on progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Ethan Zuckerman

Project Description: The MIT Center for Civic Media is looking for a UROP to help create a browser plug-in that will help create a deeper engagement between news organizations and readers, while also providing an incremental income stream to the organization. The NewsPix browser extension pulls up stored famous front pages or news photos entered by the news organization. It lets readers to click through to the stories on the page ones or buy copies of the pages or photos. The UROP would work closely with research scientist Matt Carroll, research affiliate Catherine D'Ignazio and a news organization that will be beta testing the app.

Initially, we will craft a small user study that will A/B test two different UI presentations. The goal of the UROP position would be to craft 1) the app/browser extension and 2) A backend tool for news organizations to publish content to the app. While those are the two basic requirements there is significant latitude for a motivated student to integrate creative additions on the UX side of things or on the back end (e.g. historical event search, algorithmic image search or image recommendations for the news organization doing the publishing).

We are especially interested in UROPs who have a desire to use technology for public engagement and news innovation. Ideally you would also have skills in one or more of the following:

- Backbone/Javascript
- Python/Python Flask
- MongoDB
- UX/graphic design/HTML/CSS
- News reporting/editing/publishing experience

Dates: The project is ongoing; UROPs will begin during the fall semester of 2014 and potentially continue during IAP, spring, and summer (depending on quality of work and fit with the project).

Contact: If interested, please contact Center for Civic Media Research Scientist Matt Carroll (matt54@media.mit.edu) and include:

* short summary of your reasons for interest in the project and the skills you hope to contribute
* resume/cv
* links to portfolio or relevant projects
* summary of previous UROP experiences and references


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Allan S. Myerson

Project Title: Crystal size classification in MSMPR

Project Description: Design and develop a new process to obtain crystals of a certain size distribution from a mixed-suspension, mixed-product-removal (MSMPR) crystallizer. This project is relevant to pharmaceutical industrial processes of small organic molecules.

Prerequisites:
· Self-motivated.
· Minimum time commitment: 15 hours/week.
· Prior lab experience is a plus.

Contact: Please send your CV/resume and a list of relevant courses you have taken to Yuqing Cui (ycui@mit.edu)


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Neurite outgrowth and orientation in three-dimensional polymeric scaffolds.

Project Description: In the Biolectronics group at MIT we are working at the forefront of neural interface devices for recording, stimulation, and regeneration. Our devices are engineered for the further understanding and treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and autism, as well as overcoming paralysis following traumatic injury to the peripheral nervous system. We have recently implemented our materials fabrication techniques of micro-channels for in vitro investigations of neural regeneration. We would like quantitative measures of not only the distance over which neurite growth occurs, but the influence of channel geometry on the organization and orientation or degree of alignment.

We are looking for a highly motivated UROP to neurite outgrowth in two and three-dimensions. The student will be involved in tissue culture, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and image processing. We are very interested in determining the optimal channel geometries for guiding and aligning sensory and motor neuron outgrowth.

Prerequisites: Comfortable working in wet lab, familiarity with Matlab, self-motivated, and an interest in neural tissue engineering. Sophomores and juniors with chemical or biological background will be given preference.

Contact: Please send your CV/resume as well as a brief summary of relevant experience and interest in the project to Dr. Ryan Koppes (rkoppes@mit.edu)


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Magnetic nanoparticles functionalization with surface initiated polymer brushes

Project Description: Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) offer a variety of exciting applications from cancer treatment to blood purification. Our lab is employing MNPs for non-invasive control of neural circuits. For this purpose MNPs have to be stabilized in biological fluids and targeted to specific nerve cells. Within the scope of the UROP project, the student will be working on the synthesis of biocompatible polymer brushes via living radical polymerizations on the surface of MNPs. When long polymer chains are covalently attached to a surface from one of their sides, steric repulsion between neighboring chains forces them to stretch away from the surface forming polymer brushes. Polymer brushes are very useful to stabilize suspensions of colloidal particles in biological fluids. The student will be involved in the surface initiated polymer synthesis and characterization. There will be opportunities to learn new skills (or apply already learned skills) in organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, electron microscopy and other advanced characterization techniques.

Prerequisites: The student must be comfortable with organic chemistry and working in a wet lab. Sophomores and juniors with chemistry or chemical engineering background will be given preference. Student is expected to dedicate ~12 hours a week to the project.

Contact: Please contact Dr. Gabriela Romero (gabyru@mit.edu) with your CV/resume, interests, potential start date, and estimated availability.


8/28/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Ann M. Graybiel

Project Title: Manipulation of the lateral habenula (LHb) to control mood disorders

Project Description: This fall, help us cure mood disorders that affect more than 15 million Americans at a given time! You will help us conduct an experiment in which the lateral habenula (LHb) activity is controlled by targeted expression of receptors and following drug administration on a behaving monkey. This project combines neural recordings with genetic manipulation of the brain. You will be fully supervised and can work on a flexible time schedule.

This is an excellent UROP for students who are interested in neuroscience. 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 at least 12 hours per week during the academic year. We can only provide academic credits (not payment) for new UROPs.

In this project, our goal is to understand the functional circuit of mood control around the lateral habenula (LHb). Circumstantial evidence suggests that the LHb plays an important role in modulating dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine activities in the brainstem that are known to influence our mood. Also recent studies show that the LHb is a hub that controls the motivated behaviors that are known to be altered in individuals in mood disorders. Using cutting edge genetic technology of designer receptors expressed via gene manipulation, we will target the LHb and manipulate its activity via designer drugs. It is hypothesized that by controlling the level of LHb activity we will be able to systematically manipulate mood by way of LHb action on dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine activities in the brainstem.

Contact: Please send your resume to Simon Hong, PhD (simon_h@mit.edu)


8/26/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences/Early Childhood Cognition Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Laura Schulz

Project Title: Learning and Exploration in Early Childhood

Project Description: Our 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 most of our experiments take place. As a research assistant in our lab, you will be involved in the full research process, including recruiting families to participate in research, conducting behavioral experiments with young children, coding behavioral data, and building stimuli (toys!) for research projects. We are looking for UROPs who are curious and who would be comfortable interacting with children and their parents. For more information, please visit our website: eccl.mit.edu

Details: 9.00 and 9.85 are preferred but not required. Minimum requirement is 6 hrs/week.

Contact: Sammy Floyd samfloyd@mit.edu if interested.


8/26/14
Department: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biology
Supervisor: Prof. Robert Langer

Project Title: nanoparticles synthesis and performing in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo studies.

Project Description: This proposed study aims to elucidate the fundamental scientific and engineering principles required to create a nano-engineered product that can be used for oral cavity delivery of currently injectable drugs such as anticancer. We employ the use of nanoparticles (NPs) for the delivery of drugs to the tumor tissues and other diseased mucosa. The process of NP synthesis as well as helping with in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo studies is some of the main elements of this job.

We are looking for Junior and Seniors ONLY who would perform NP synthesis along with conjugating biomarkers to our NPs. Cell culture, In-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo experiments are part of the internship UROP with a creative mindset with the passion to solve challenging problems and with prior experience in automation and instruments handling are encouraged to apply.

Major: Chemistry, Biology and Chemical Engineering

Contact: Interested candidates should submit a resume/CV to Manijeh Goldberg (manijehg@mit.edu) with a short description of why they would be a good fit for this project.


8/26/14
Department: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Mitchel Resnick

Project Title: Build in Progress: A Project-Sharing Platform for DIY ProjectsProject Title: Build in Progress: A Project-Sharing Platform for DIY Projects

Project Description: Build in Progress (http://buildinprogress.media.mit.edu/) is a platform for makers and designers to share their design process. With Build in Progress, users can visually represent the different pathways in their process, including iterations and collaborations, all while getting feedback on the development of their projects.

The platform incorporates a web app (Ruby on Rails) and mobile app (Android and iOS) with which users can upload images and videos to their projects, get and leave feedback on projects, and remix other projects they find on the site.

Position #1: iOS Programmer(s)

This student will work on core features of the iOS app, particularly a custom camera interface that will enable users to upload capture multiple images and videos from their device to the Build in Progress website. The student should have basic experience developing for iOS, including experience programming in Objective-C, and should have a good eye for interface design. The student must be able to devote a minimum of 9 hours a week to the project and should be interested in continuing the project for more than one semester. At minimum, the student should have 6.005 or equivalent programming experience, though more significant software development experience (e.g., 6.170) is preferred.

Position Title #2: Web Programmer(s)

This student will be working in Ruby on on Rails to design and implement new features for the Build in Progress website, including a tool for exporting projects and a logging interface for seeing how projects develop over time. The student should have taken 6.170 and 6.813 and should have significant experience working in Javascript, HTML, and CSS and must be able to share a link to a Rails app they’ve designed and deployed. The student must be able to devote a minimum of 9 hours a week to the project and should be interested in continuing the project for more than one semester.

Position #3: Android Programmer(s)

This student will work on completing media-sharing features in the Android app (currently an Alpha prototype on the Play Store). This student should have prior Android development experience (6.570 or equivalent) and be very comfortable working in Java (at minimum 6.005 experience). The student must also show evidence of a strong design aesthetic and attention to detail (e.g., experience with basic wire-framing and creating mockups, etc.). This student must be able to devote a minimum of 9 hours a week to the project and should be interested in continuing the project for more than one semester.

Contact: Please contact Tiffany Tseng ttseng@mit.edu with a paragraph description of your interest, a copy of your resume, and a link to a previous project you have developed. Please also indicate whether you have experience with other project-sharing platforms, especially Instructables (include a link to a project you've published if relevant).


8/26/14
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Fikile Brushett

Project Title: High-throughput Spray deposition for electrochemical devices

Project Description: The capture, activation, and conversion of carbon dioxide to value-added chemicals are attracting increasing attention due to the energy and climate crisis. More effort, however, is needed to understand the role catalysts play on the conversion of CO2 in order to increase the selectivity for the desired chemicals. Electrodes play a significant role in the development of highly efficient electrochemical CO2 reactors and the reactions that occur at the electrode-electrolyte interface determine their performance and durability. We are particularly interested in developing microfluidic devices with nanoparticulate catalysts imbedded in gas diffusion electrodes. This will enable us to probe the catalyst performance and durability for the oxygen evolution reaction and carbon dioxide reduction reaction. Currently, catalyst coating is done via a paintbrush method which creates inconsistencies and loss of precious catalyst materials. This project aims to develop a high-throughput spray system for controlling the thickness and distribution of catalyst inks on gas diffusion electrodes. This system will help develop an understanding of how catalyst concentration and distribution impacts the overall performance and durability of heterogeneous catalysts for electrochemical processes.

We are seeking a dedicated, creative, and highly-motivated undergraduate student to join our research team. In this project, the student will be working closely with graduate and postdoctoral mentors to design spray systems for efficient high rate catalyst coating onto gas diffusion electrodes. In the process the student will gain hands-on experience in electrochemical engineering, materials science, and mechanical engineering. Additionally, the student will gain experience integrating MATLAB and Labview programming languages for use in spray devices.

Prerequisites: Though not required, prior experience in a research laboratory as well as MATLAB or Labview programing experience is preferred. Applicants should be prepared to dedicate at least 8-10 hrs a week

Start date: Fall semester with a possibility to extend beyond

Contact: Interested students should contact Dr. Kyler Carroll (kcarroll@mit.edu) and cc Prof. Brushett (brushett@mit.edu). Applicants should include a cover letter explaining their interest in the group and a current resume/CV.


8/26/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Nancy Kanwisher

Project title: Help us figure out how language works in the brain!

Project description: Language is our signature human cognitive skill: no other animal communication system approaches human language in its complexity and generative power. Understanding the architecture of the language system and the relationship between language and other cognitive systems is therefore essential for unraveling the mechanisms of human cognition. Across a number of studies we are attempting to provide a detailed functional characterization of brain regions that respond robustly when we produce and/or understand language.

Some of the questions we are currently focusing on include the following:
a) Does language rely on specialized neural machinery, or does it rely on some of the same brain mechanisms as those supporting other cognitive processes (e.g., music, arithmetic, general reasoning abilities, social cognition, abstract conceptual processing, etc.)?
b) To the extent that domain-general (working memory / cognitive control) resources play some role in language, what is the nature of their contribution? Are they critical for successful communication?
c) What is the internal architecture of the language system? What are the possible ontologies of linguistic processes and do we find corresponding neural dissociations?
d) What is the nature of our language knowledge?
e) What brain mechanisms support language learning? To what extent are those specialized for language vs. domain-general and used for other kinds of learning?
f) What is the process of recovery from damage to the language cortex (e.g., as a result of stroke or a brain tumor)? What brain structures are most helpful for successful recovery?
g) What are the behavioral consequences of individual differences in the topography of language activations (e.g., their extent or degree of lateralization), including differences between healthy individuals and individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders?

Your duties will include helping to review the relevant literature and to design experiments, creating experimental materials, running participants (on behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) experiments), and helping with data analyses. You will learn how to design experiments, how to use tools like fMRI and TMS to address questions in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, how to analyze and critically evaluate experimental data, and how to present research results.

Prerequisites: We are looking for for-credit UROP students for the fall of 2014 to work on a project that investigates the brain basis of language (with a strong preference for students who would like to commit to at least 2 semesters of work, or more). Ideal candidates would be responsible, motivated and detail-oriented and would be able to spend at least 8-10 hours a week in the lab. Programming skills (especially matlab and python) are highly desirable. Being an EMT is a big plus (relevant to TMS work). Coursework in cognitive science / linguistics / neuroscience is a plus but not required.

Contact: Ev Fedorenko (evelina9@mit.edu). Please attach a CV/resume.


8/26/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering/Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: K. Dane Wittrup

Project Title: Combination immunotherapy for cancer therapy

Project Description: Recent developments in the Wittrup lab have identified a promising combination immunotherapy regimen consisting of serum-persistent interleukin-2 and an anti-tumor antibody. We are now in the process of evaluating this combination treatment with a broadly specific anti-tumor antibody for applicability to a diverse range of indications. The role of the UROP student will be to work closely with a graduate student to evaluate preclinical efficacy and toxicity in mice, as well as characterize the mechanism of action.

Requirements: Committed student who is willing to work 10-15 hours per week during the spring and fall terms, and 40 hours a week during the summer and IAP. A one year commitment (now until the end of summer 2015) is required. Previous experience with wet lab techniques such as tissue culture, cloning and PCR, protein expression/purification, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemistry is preferred. A willingness to work with animals (mice) and steady hands are required.

Contact: Byron Kwan (bkwan@mit.edu)
Please include your resume, summarize your relevant experience with wet lab techniques in a biology setting, and your availabilities to meet.


8/26/14
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Project Advisors: Prof. Jesse Kroll, Prof. Colette Heald, and Dr. Eben Cross

Project Title: Development of MIT’s Air Quality Network

Project Description: Three UROP positions involving the further development of MIT’s air quality network (CLAIRITY) are available in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. In Spring 2014, Course 1 seniors built a campus-wide network for the real-time measurement of indoor and outdoor air quality (see http://clarity.mit.edu for real-time data and information on the project). The UROP projects are aimed at improving the robustness of the network and better understanding the data and calibration. The three projects available are:

(1) Coding development to improve the resiliency of the network, particularly the wifi communication. Experience with coding in Python is required; familiarity with Raspberry Pi and wireless communication a plus.

(2) Hardware upgrades and maintenance to keep the sensor nodes working over extended periods. Familiarity with electronics and Raspberry Pi a plus.

(3) Data analysis of the air quality data, in part to understand the calibration (signal-to-concentration conversion) of the sensors. Experience with computational software (Matlab, etc) and large datasets required.

The three UROPs will carry out their projects independently but will also work with each other as a team. Strong self-motivation and interpersonal skills are therefore required. Students will be jointly advised by Prof. Colette Heald, Prof. Jesse Kroll, and Dr. Eben Cross. It is anticipated that this work will result in a publication in the peer-reviewed literature.

Contact: Interested applicants should email Prof. Jesse Kroll (jhkroll@mit.edu); please include your resume and a brief (1-3 sentence) description of which project(s) you are interested in and why.


8/26/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Synthesis and Functionalization of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Energy and Environmental Applications

Project Description: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are novel micro-porous (pore size < 2 nm) and meso-porous (2nm < pore size <50 nm) materials developed in the past decade for separations and catalysis. MOFs are composed of metal centers coordinated by organic linkers. MOFs rank amongst the materials with the highest surface areas up to date, and due to their modular synthesis, allow for a high degree of molecular versatility. Within our group, we are studying the chemical and materials properties of MOFs for separating target gases (e.g. CO2) and volatile organic compounds, as well as their catalytic activity.

We aim to impart functionalities additional to a framework through post-synthetic modification – in particular creating additional chemical groups on the metal center or linker yet preserving the lattice structure. Careful design of the post-synthetic modification procedure is necessary, since it must be carried out under conditions in which the porous framework maintains its stability. There are two aspects of the system:

1) In this first, the student will assist in current on-going research for characterizing the MOF particles, and most importantly, helping to setup a separation system for understanding the MOF host-guest interactions. Currently, a custom column with a GC system has been developed to test the different MOF-particles. The student will be expected to both assist researchers in the project as well as work independently. Materials characterization technique will be developed (microscopies techniques such as TEM, SEM as well as BET surface area analysis), as well as engineering skills in designing separation systems.

2) In the second aspect of the project, we are aiming to explore the electrochemical behavior of metal-organic framework and other coordination molecules for various energy and environmental applications. Many MOFs and coordination complexes undergo redox processes, which can promote fast electron transfer. The UROP will be involved in the development and testing of electrodes for catalysis and separations, with an emphasis on understanding the thermodynamics, electron-transfer efficiency and engineering performance. A major goal of is to develop a stable system which can undergo multiple cycles with high separation and catalytic efficiency.

Pre-requisite: Commitment of 12-15 hrs a week for the fall and spring, motivation in learning molecular design, organic chemistry and materials characterization, interest in energy and environmental science, prior experience in lab is recommended. Further involvement during IAP encouraged.

Contact: Please contact Xiao Su (x2su@mit.edu) with resume.


8/22/14
Department: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Member: Prof. Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Mobile context classification using image features.

Project Description: We are looking for a motivated UROP to help changing how a mobile or wearable device sees our bodies and environment around it with a novel image sensing method. This project is a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) project with a wearable sensor, image processing, machine learning, and classification. It also gives opportunities to develop various rapid prototyping skills, including Arduino, Processing, 3D printing, circuit design, circuit board milling at fablab, ARM Cortex programming, and designing interaction methods at Media Lab facilities.

Start Date: Immediate opening

Contact: You will be working with Munehiko Sato, PhD (munehiko@mit.edu). If you are interested in joining the team, send an email with your CV (plus website and/or portfolio). Depending on progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


8/22/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Device Optimization for Electrochemical Carbon Dioxide Capture

Project Description: Briefly: A Chemical Engineering Lab looking for a highly-motivated undergraduate to aid in the design and testing of a novel electrochemical carbon capture device.

Large-scale CO2 capture is an essential technology for the efforts to curb climate change. Current capture technologies are energetically inefficient and difficult to deploy, and ultimately, prohibitively expensive. Previous work in the Hatton group developed a proof-of-concept for a novel electrochemical system, that provides targeted, energy efficient and plug&play capture.

Thermodynamic analysis and open-circuit potential measurements suggest that this technology could potentially reduce energy consumption significantly, compared with the state-of-the-art thermal amine capture technology. To demonstrate the feasibility of the electrochemical approach, we developed an automated small-scale proof-of-concept device, and are now in the process of testing its performance and optimizing its design.

In this project, the student will assist the researchers in testing the performance of novel device designs under different conditions in the existing automated setup. In addition, upon interest, the student will model, design and build various flow channels and determine their effect on the electrochemical cell performance.

Prerequisites: Commitment of more than 10 hrs a week for the Fall, IAP and/or Spring.

Prior lab experience is required, as well as interest in electrochemistry and devices.

Contact: Please contact Aly Eltayeb (aeltayeb@mit.edu) with resume.


8/22/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Karl Iagnemma

Project Title: Experimental study of human driving performance with various levels of assistance systems.

Project Description: The Robotic Mobility Group (RMG) is looking for two talented students to conduct autonomous/semi-autonomous vehicle navigation research.

The goal of the research is to investigate human driving performance with different levels of difficulties of driving scenario coming from obstacles, dynamics of vehicles, latency of control commands, etc. Then the performance will be also measured with various levels of assistance systems from shared control systems to fully automated systems to quantify the efficiency of driving assistance system.

Each student will be in charge of either of:
- programming of given ideas of assistance systems on Matlab simulator
- performing experiments with human subjects on given simulators

Prerequisite: Knowledge of Matlab and programming skill is necessary. Enthusiasm and dedication over the project warrants the potential for the project to continue into multiple semesters.

Contacts: interested applicants email junghee@mit.edu with your resume and a cover letter.


8/22/14
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Fikile Brushett

Project Title: Flow Cell Design and Fabrication for Organic-Based Grid Level Energy Storage

Project Description: Challenges facing electric energy generation include costly production during peak demand hours, emission of harmful greenhouse gases, and precise maintenance of voltage and frequency. Storing electric energy in large quantities for on-demand release could offer cheaper electricity during peak hours, defer infrastructure upgrades, and offset the variability associated with renewable energy sources. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are promising rechargeable electrochemical energy storage devices that utilize the oxidation and reduction of two soluble electroactive species for charging (storing energy) and discharging (delivering energy). This research project aims to develop high energy RFB prototypes specifically for organic-based chemistries using a bottom-up design approach to optimize performance and durability. We are particularly interested in the design and fabrication of laboratory-scale prototypes which can be used to experimentally verify the performance of new organic-based RFB chemistries and flow field designs. Ultimately, a rapid prototyping and design cycle is desired to allow for rapid improvements in RFB performance. This prototyping and design cycle will involve computer aided design, traditional machining techniques, and new rapid prototyping techniques, such as 3D printing.

We are seeking a dedicated, creative, and highly-motivated undergraduate student to join our research team. In this project, the student will be working closely with graduate and postdoctoral mentors to design flow cells for laboratory-scale energy storage systems. In the process the student will gain hands-on experience in electrochemical engineering, mechanical design, machining, and materials science. Additionally, the student will gain experience in computer aided design with either SolidWorks or AutoCAD, as well as data processing in MATLAB.

Prerequisites: Though not required, prior experience in a research laboratory as well as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, MATLAB experience is preferred. Machining experience is also highly desirable. Applicants should be prepared to dedicate at least 8-10 hrs a week

Start date: Fall semester with a possibility to extend beyond

Contact: Interested students should contact Jarrod Milshtein (jmilsh@mit.edu) and Cc: Prof. Brushett (brushett@mit.edu). Applicants should include a cover letter explaining their interest in the group and a current resume/CV.


8/22/14
Department/Lab/Center: HST
Faculty Supervisors: Don Ingber

Project title: Development of a microfluidic system for sepsis diagnosis

Project description: This project, conducted by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering of Harvard University, which is located at the Center For Life Sciences Boston Building directly adjacent to Harvard Medical School, focuses on the development and optimization of a microfluidic device coupled with magnetic nanoparticles and genetically engineered proteins to provide a new approach to sepsis diagnosis.

Responsibilities:
· Fabrication of microfluidic devices (PDMS soft lithography, assembly of biomedical devices)
· Carry out experiments using microfluidic device for various applications, such as in vitro diagnosis of infectious diseases and depletion of pathogens in biological fluids
· Analyze experimental data
· Computational simulation (if applicable)

Key Qualifications:
• Highly self-motivated undergraduate students
• Background in bioengineering, biology, chemical engineering, mechanical/electrical engineering, and/or related areas required
• Good communication skills
• Commitment at least one semester (12 hours per week)

Contact: Please send an email including your CV, schedule availability, and potential start date to Joo Kang, Wyss Technology Development Fellow, joo.kang@wyss.harvard.edu.


8/22/14
Department: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Jose Gomez-Marquez

Project Title: Mobile App development for Diagnostic Construction Sets

Project Description: The Little Devices lab has an opening for a motivated UROP to assist in a a medical image recognition project for hard to reach clinics. Our research team works on hard to detect pathogens that require image recognition and processing algorithms to drive patient diagnostics. You will be working with a group of mechanical engineers, virologists, and chemists.

UROP Tasks will include: Join us our diagnostic team to work on mobile phone software using Android SDK, Java libraries, Javascript and database software. Working with medical engineering team to brainstorm new ways of interpreting images, pattern recognition of large data sets, and design for remote populations. An interest in global health will be rewarding but not a requirement. We want to you solve interesting problems. International travel opportunities available.

Contact: Jose Gomez-Marquez (jfgm@mit.edu)


8/22/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Matthew A. Wilson

Project Title: Brain region interactions during memory formation.

Project Description: When you form a new memory, different parts of your brain interact and exchange information in order to preserve it so you can access it when needed. Figuring out how multiple brain regions communicate to form and retrieve memories is challenging, but it’s a necessary step to fully understand memory acquisition and consolidation, as well as to open potential therapeutic avenues for cognitive disorders that affect memory.

We use multiple approaches, including state-of-the-art techniques (e.g., optogenetics and pharmacogenetics), electrophysiology, histology, and animal behavior, to study how brain networks interact during memory formation and consolidation.

If you: 1. Love neuroscience, 2. Are seriously considering getting a Ph.D. in neuroscience, and 3. Are hardworking and interactive, then we would love to have you join our team!

Prerequisites and hours: Dedication of at least 10 h/week, with the possibility of extending through IAP and beyond. Experience handling rodents is a plus, as well as experience with MATLAB.

Contact: Please contact Carmen Varela, carmenv@mit.edu; submit resume and a brief paragraph commenting on your interest in neuroscience; let us know when you would be available for an interview.


8/22/14
Department: Center for Collective Intelligence
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Thomas W. Malone

Project title: New technologies/practices in business operations

Project description: UROPs will search leading publications (such as MIT Technology Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wired, Fast Company) and tech-oriented web sites (such as BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, etc.) to identify new technologies and practices that may have an impact on business activities that involve intensive processing of information, often referred to as back-office operations. Examples include big data, social network analysis, wearable computing.

The team will translate press and web reports 100-150 word summaries, with links, which will be put into a web repository. Executives, analysts, and others with knowledge of the industry will then be invited to comment and contribute ideas about how these new technologies/practices might be applied in back-office settings. The UROPS will engage with the community by responding to comments.

After a critical mass of examples of new technologies/practices and applications have been developed, the project team will work to classify the examples, using CCI’s Collective Intelligence Genome framework (Malone, Laubacher, Dellarocas SMR 2010).

The project team will also include a senior CCI Research Scientist and graduate Research Assistant or junior Research Scientist.

Prerequisites: UROPs must be able to work 10 hours per week on average Fall and Spring semester and attend weekly team meetings. Strong writing skills and interest in emerging information technologies is required; prior experience with business operations is a plus.

Contact: Send CV, cover letter, and 1-page writing sample to Robert Laubacher, rjl@mit.edu.


8/22/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisors: Juan Pablo Vielma and James Orlin

Project Title: JuMP: software for modeling optimization problems in Julia

Project Description: From combinatorial problems like the traveling salesman and airline scheduling to convex model fitting in machine learning and statistics mathematical optimization is a broad field with many applications. JuMP, written in the numerical computing language Julia, is an open-source software package designed to make it easy for users to express such optimization problems using a natural, mathematical syntax. Both Julia and JuMP began development at MIT and have a growing user base in both research and courses at MIT and internationally. The goal of this project is to further the development of JuMP and help develop JuMP homework exercises and a JuMP tutorial for 15.053/8. Multiple UROP positions are available, and depending on your interests there are projects oriented towards usability (documentation, user interfaces), course development (homework problems for 15.053/8), theory (algorithms, formulations), and implementation (benchmarking, improving data structures, interfacing with existing optimization codes).

Prerequisites: Familiarity with mathematical optimization at the level of 15.053/8. Strong programming and/or writing skills. Experience with Julia is helpful but not required.

Contact:
Please contact Jessica Olumets, jolumets@mit.edu


8/22/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Kay Tye

Project Title: Dissecting neural circuits involved in social behavior

Project Descriptions: This project is focused on using state-of-the art neuroscience tools such as optogenetics and in vivo electrophysiology to dissect brain circuits that are implicated in social behaviors relevant to autism, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.

Responsibilities: This project involves working with mice and responsibilities will include electrode and fiber fabrication, histology, and behavioral analyses. There will also be an opportunity to learn rodent behavioral and surgical skills.

We are seeking highly motivated individuals with an interest in neuroscience. All students are welcome to apply, however, students with previous experience in neuroscience, psychology, or biology are preferred. Students with previous research experience in neuroscience will be given priority. Students wishing to gain an in depth research experience that plan to stay involved for more than 1 semester will be favored. 1-2 positions are available starting during the fall term.

Contact: For more information about the Tye lab check out: www.tyelab.org/Philosophy.html

If you are interested in this position, please contact Stephen Allsop sa3@mit.edu and attach your CV.


8/19/14
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering/Institute of Medical Engineering and Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lydia Bourouiba

Project title: Interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission

Project Description: Seeking a motivated and driven UROP student interested in both experimental and mathematical modelling to tackle problems at the interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission. The goal is to evaluate how fluids and various forms of pathogens could interact to shape disease transmission in various contexts and populations (human, animal, and plant diseases).

Seeking students who are self-motivated, creative, and enthusiastic about 1) problem solving and hands on activities or 2) problem solving and mathematical modeling. Some interest in art and photography, Matlab, latex, and ImageJ are considered to be a plus.

A strong Physics or Math-Physics background and experience or courses in fluid dynamics will be also considered to be assets.

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


8/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)
Faculty Supervisors: Raanan Miller and Robert Stoner

Project Title: The role of the MIT Energy Initiative in energy innovation and catalyzing the Kendall Square energy innovation cluster.

Project Description: The MIT Energy Initiative has played a leadership role at MIT, linking the Institute’s world-class research capabilities and faculty with key players across the energy innovation spectrum with the goal of improving current energy systems and transforming tomorrow’s global energy marketplace.

In addition to translation of numerous technologies from the lab to application in industry, MITEI’s activities have also lead to the creation of numerous startups including FastCap, Ambri, Sun Catalytix, 24M Technologies, WiTricity and others.

The goal of this project is to trace the path of energy related technologies from concept to commercial deployment, e.g., startups, to understand what resources at MIT (e.g, Deshpande Center, MIT Entrepreneurship Center) and elsewhere that were critical to success, and investigate how MITEI and MIT contributed to enhancing the innovation cluster dynamics relate to energy in Kendall Square.

The project will involve data collection; analysis; meetings with numerous stakeholders across MIT and Industry; learning about and augmenting system dynamic and other models. You will be working on the project with supervision from the Faculty Supervisors.

Prerequisites: Start in Fall 2014, commit a year and hopefully work summer 2015, >=10 hours a week, be enthusiastic about energy innovation and want to learn, and willing to work hard.

Contact: Please contact Raanan Miller (ramiller@mit.edu). In the email, indicate what times you’re free to chat/interview if interested (please also send a resume/CV).


8/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Paula Hammond

Project Title: Development of structured framework hydrogels

Project Description: The student will be working on the synthesis of hydrogels from synthetic polymers that form an α-helical structure and incorporate pendant "click" groups, which enable efficient conjugation of small molecules and bio-polymers. The rigid rod geometry of this polymer as well as the modularity afforded by the click groups enable unique physical properties for new biomaterials.

The student will have the option of being more involved in either the chemical synthesis or the materials engineering portion of the project depending on his/her interest. There will be oppurtunities to learn new skills (or apply already learned skills) in organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, biomaterials, and other related fields.

Prerequisites: The student must be comfortable with organic chemistry and working in a wet lab

Contact: Please contact Wade (wangwade@mit.edu) with your CV/resume, interests, potential start date, and estimated availability.


8/19/14
Department: Biology/Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Faculty Supervisor: Angelika Amon

Project Title: The role of aneuploidy in cancer development and progression

Project Description: Aneuploidy, or an abnormal number of chromosomes, is found in greater than 90% of human tumors. Yet, how aneuploidy affects tumorigenesis is poorly understood. Our lab is interested in studying the effects of aneuploidy on cell physiology and division. Understanding the ways in which aneuploid cells differ from normal, or euploid, cells will shed light on the biology of cancer and may elucidate genetic pathways that can be targeted to specifically kill aneuploid cells while leaving euploid cells unharmed.

In this project, we will be investigating the interactions between oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and the aneuploid state. We will be introducing genetic alterations commonly observed in cancer cells into euploid and aneuploid cells and then analyzing the resultant cell populations. We will attempt to determine whether aneuploidy has a synergistic or antagonistic interaction with these genetic drivers of cancer. As part of this project, the student will learn many common biology lab techniques, including cell culture, microscopy, RNA preps, and more.

Prerequisites: A schedule that allows the student to spend 10 or more hours a week in lab, and an interest in reading and engaging with the primary literature on cancer biology.

Contanct: Interested students should submit a cover letter, CV, and transcript (unofficial is fine) to Jason Sheltzer (sheltzer@mit.edu).


8/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ramesh Raskar

Project Description: Computer Vision researchers design machines and computer programs that capture and interpret data from our visual world. In this project, potential UROPs will be designing new 3D cameras under guidance (http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/26/MITs-500-dollar-kinect-like-camera-works-in-snow-and-rain/). This is an excellent UROP for junior or senior undergraduate students who are looking to publish their research in top venues and continue to engineering careers.

Prerequisites: PCB layout and elementary circuit design experience. Interest in embedded systems.

About us: We are the Camera Culture group at MIT Media Lab directed by Professor Ramesh Raskar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA).

Contact: To join, please contact Achuta Kadambi (achoo@mit.edu). Depending on progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


8/19/14
Department: Aero/Astro
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Jonathan How

Project Description: The Aerospace Controls Lab (ACL) is looking for a UROP with immediate availability to aid graduate students with a self-driving vehicle project. Tasks include researching relevant sensor and actuator hardware, installation of hardware on the vehicles, collecting hardware data within the Robotic Operating System (ROS) infrastructure on a Linux architecture, visualizing sensor data in ROS, and a number of other computer simulations and hardware experiments for planning and decision-making algorithms.

Prerequisites:
-experience with robotic sensors and actuators
-general installation skills, electrical wiring and sensor mounting
-experience working with Linux
-valid US driver's license with clean driving record

Preferred Skills:
-programming experience, including familiarity with C/C++ and perhaps python
-experience with ROS

Contact: If interested, please contact justinm@mit.edu


8/19/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Andrew W. Lo

Project Title: Preparation of new textbook on quantitative investing

Project Description: We are working to prepare a new graduate-level textbook on quantitative investing and are looking for students to help with data collection and the development of problems and solutions to be included.

Ideal candidates will have a strong math and statistics background, strong programming skills (MATLAB), and an interest in data and quantitative investing.

Contact: Please send statement of interest, unofficial grade transcript, and resume to Jayna Cummings, jcummin@mit.edu


8/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences/Linguistics and Philosophy
Faculty Supervisors: Prof. Ken Wexler, Prof. Martin Hackl

Project Description: We investigate the nature of the computational system of human language, by studying immature language in the child (the development of language). The research is interweaving current linguistic theory and empirical work. The current research areas include quantified statements, focus operators, and passive sentences. Your work will involve (i) running experiments with children (mainly 3-6 years old), (ii) data-entering, (iii) and contacting day-cares for cooperation. It might also involve (iv) assistance in experimental design and preparation of experimental materials.
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.

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.

Contact: If you are interested, please email Prof. Wexler (wexler@mit.edu) and Prof. Martin Hackl (hackl@mit.edu), and also CC Ayaka Sugawara (ayakasug@mit.edu) and Leo Rosenstein (leaena@mit.edu) with your resume.
There are a few UROP positions for Fall 2013: Work hours are flexible. There is a possibility of continuing working in the subsequent semester(s).
Applications received by Monday, September 1st will be given full consideration.


8/19/14
Department: Edgerton Center/D-Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Verploegen

Project Title: Energy and electronics curriculum development

Project Description: D-Lab is developing a curriculum intended for teaching the basics of energy and electronics to an international audience with no prerequisite formal education. This work is a part of D-Lab’s Creative Capacity Building program (http://d-lab.mit.edu/creative-capacity-building) that provides an hands-on learning experience to train people how to make technologies that be used alleviate poverty in their communities.

We are looking for a UROP to conduct research to identify existing educational materials that can inform and/or be adapted for the curriculum D-Lab is developing in this area. This research will be followed by the development of hands-on training modules with the D-Lab team.

Contact: If you would like more information about the project, please contact Eric (ericv@mit.edu) to meet and discuss further. Candidate must have the ability to work independently and think creatively, no prior technical experience needed. This position is for credit only. A minimum of 8 hours per week is expected, work time is highly flexible.


8/19/14
Department: MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Azra Aksamija

Project Title: Empathy Suits - Wearable Technologies

Project Description: This UROP offers students the opportunity to collaborate in developing and producing various artistic wearable technologies called "Empathy Suits." We are creating culturally-sensitive headgear and wearables with integrated cameras, microphones and GPS trackers. These wearable recording technologies will be used to document storytelling and facilitate cultural encounters between artists and diverse audiences in the Middle East and the United States. The wearables are produced as a part of the multiannual project CULTURUNNERS, a unique collaboration between MIT artists Azra Aksamija, (ACT Assistant Professor) and Peter Schmitt (ACT Affiliate) and artists from the Middle Eastern artist collective "Edge of Arabia," in partnership with the Art Jameel. The core artistic value of this project is in the socio-politics implied by the meeting of artists from different cultures and transformation of stereotypes through the culturally and contextually sensitive wearables and exchange of stories.

CULTURUNNERS is an artistic expedition in search of connections and empathy across cultures. Over the next three years (2014-2017) artists will be invited to explore and communicate interconnected stories between the Middle East and the United States. This project will allow for grassroots encounters which link ideas and people across physical and psychological borders. At the heart of the project will be the development of innovative communications technologies which connect people along the lines of creativity and beyond identities defined by culture, religion, nation, citizenship, social and economic status, profession, gender or age.

The prototypes of "Empathy Suits" that will be produced CULTURUNNERS expedition, which we seek UROP collaborators include:

1. CAPture: A modified baseball cap, with integrated cameras, streaming video from mobile device to a webpage. The goal for this project is to make the live video stream from two cameras (360 camera and a endoscopic camera attached to a baseball cap) visible (and recordable) on a webpage (or you-tube channel). Most likely we would be using an iPhone as a platform. The iPhone camera should be streamed through the data connection onto a webpage where it can be watched and recorded. In addition we would like to explore the possibility of attaching a second camera to the iPhone (USB camera) and streaming it’s content as well. On the server and web page site we need to embed the video stream into an existing web page (or you tube channel).

2. reCORDed: A modified Arabic headgear (Egal), with integrated sound recoding device, streaming sound to a webpage.

We would like to have these two projects developed as soon as possible, so that we can test them during the workshop and a symposium in early October 2014. The project will be featured in various exhibitions and events in the United States and internationally. UROP students will also have an opportunity to exchange creative experiences with artists from MIT and the Middle East.

Required/desired skills:
· Programming streaming application for mobile devices (most likely iPhone)
· Programing for server and web based video streaming (web page provided)
· Web page integration (embedding video stream in web page)
· Implementing functional system

The position is for either Direct Funding or Credit.

Contact: Azra Aksamija (azra@mit.edu)


8/13/14
Department: Chemical Engineering/Koch Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Joseph Ciolino/Dan Kohane

Project Title: Drug Eluting Contact Lens

Project description: The goal of this project is to create a contact lens for controlled drug delivery of ophthalmic medications. In order to control the release rate, the drug is incorporated in a thin polymer film surrounded by contact lens hydrogel. The drug diffuses through the film and polymer to reach the anterior portion of the eye.

UROP duties will include: casting of drug-polymer films, encapsulation of the films in the contact lens,-maintaining benchtop drug release studies, testing new drugs and polymers (e.g. solubility studies), making buffers and solutions, and other tasks as needed.

Prerequisites: Prior lab experience or coursework (i.e., orgo lab). Ability to work independently. Eight hours minimum per week. Credit only.

Contact: Amy (amyeross@mit.edu) with CV.


8/13/14
Department: Media Arts and Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Persuasive Urban Mobility - Comparison of Persuasive Strategies to Increase Bike Use

Project Description: The MIT Media Lab' Changing Places Group and the Austrian Institute of Technology are investigating how to increase the number of sustainable transportation trips in cities. Initial efforts focus on a study to evaluate effects of persuasive strategies to increase biking in the Cambridge area. Based on previous findings safety concerns are a main barrier for adapting biking as a regular mode of transportation. Therefore three persuasive strategies that intend to raise the perceived safety of biking will be tested and evaluated in a 3 week study with approximately 80 participants. As part of your UROP, you will learn about behavior change systems and will assist in research with human subjects.

Prerequisite and Requirements: Candidates must have an interest in sustainable transportation and incentive strategies. Strong candidates are accustomed to interact with study participants and have first experiences with quantitative and qualitative analysis of data.

About us: http://cp.media.mit.edu/

Contact: Please email Sandra Richter who is leading the research study in September (srichter@mit.edu). Include "UROP application" and your name in the title of the email. Send an attached resume, hours per week desired, and four possible meeting times (30 min) for the nearest week that you can interview. Also include a link to any relevant projects you have worked on.


8/13/14
Department: Anthropology (21A)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Graham Jones

Project Description: As part of a NSF-funded research project on the cultural impact of online education, we are seeking students to work with our team analyzing computer-mediated forms of language and social interaction. Students will analyze transcripts of online conversations according to the framework we have developed, and help to refine that framework. Students will be trained in software tools for qualitative data. No previous experience in this area is required, but preference will be given to students some coursework in Anthropology, CMS, or Linguistics.

Contact: Professor Graham Jones (gmj@mit.edu) in the Anthropology Program.


8/13/14
Department of Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Peter Dedon

Project description: The department of Biological Engineering is in the midst of setting up a new MITx class, 20.207x – Biotechnologies of infectious diseases and is seeking 1 UROP student. 20.207x is an upper-level undergraduate and graduate course that integrates biology, chemistry and engineering in understanding modern approaches to studying infectious disease and developing new therapeutics and diagnostics for microbial pathogens. This UROP will assist a team of professors and a postdoc in developing 20.207x into a world-class course to be launched on the EdX platform Spring 2015. Tasks for the UROP student will include, but are not limited to, designing online graphics for the course, scripting the video sessions, uploading course sections onto the EdX platform and assisting in general curriculum development of the course.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate should at least have basic knowledge of Chemistry, Biology, and Math and have some web design and programming experience. Familiarity with the EdX platform will be a huge plus. The highly creative UROP should be willing to stay for the 2014-2015 academic year and will work closely with a postdoc on the course development team. This is a paid position.

Contact: Please email Joy Pang ypang@mit.edu with a resume and short paragraph describing background and interest in the project.


8/11/14
Department: Anthropology (21A)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Graham Jones

Project Description: As part of a NSF-funded research project on the cultural impact of online education, we are seeking a programmer with the following skills: python, statistical analysis experience, ability to manipulate large unstructured data sets into sets digestible by researchers, some web experience related to presenting aggregate data sets.

In particular, the student’s responsibilities will include processing MOOC course forums by converting unstructured data sets into text documents formatted according to researcher specifications.

The student will develop new approaches to statistically analyzing this kind of qualitative data that will guide the team’s analysis and sampling, and which may ultimately be useful to other MOOC researchers, staff, and instructors.

Contact: This position will be supervised by Professor Graham Jones (gmj@mit.edu) in the Anthropology Program.


8/11/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Nicholas Fang

Project Description: We are looking for one student to develop a droplet delivery mechanism for digital projection 3D printing system. The motivation of this ongoing project is to reduce significant amount of material waste while maintaining rapid multi-material 3D fabrication capability.

This project will involve building of a material transport system, optics assembly and alignment as well as editing control programs. The UROPs will primarily work on mechanical component design and manufacture, mechanical-electric assembly and testing, and design to enhance the performance and reliability of the system.

Prerequisites: We are looking for students with experience of mechanical design, programming skills in Labview, and hands-on skills in machining (mill, lather, CNC, Injection molding, etc.),and laser cutting. Experience of 3D printing is a plus. We expect the project to start as soon as possible.

Contact: Interested students are asked to email Prof. Nicholas Fang (nicfang@mit.edu) or Dr. Kevin Ge (geq@mit.edu) with your CV.


8/11/14
Department: Biology, Chemistry
Faculty Supervisor: Barbara Imperiali

Project title: Development of small molecule inhibitors of carbohydrate acetyl transferases from human pathogens: new tools to investigate the roles of protein glycosylation in bacterial virulence

Project description: The study of microbial pathogens has demonstrated the prevalence of highly modified saccharides as constituents of bacterial N- and O-linked glycoproteins, which interact with the infected host and are intimately associated with the virulence of many medically significant Gram-negative bacteria, including N. meningitides, N. gonorrhoeae, and C. jejuni. Therefore, small molecule inhibitors of bacterial glycosylation may suppress pathogenic virulence. As the targeted pathways are not essential for survival, this tactic will likely evade the rapid resistance development which plagues current antibiotics and potentially introduce new therapeutic approaches to address infectious diseases.

We are currently pursuing a structure-based approach, using X-ray co-crystal (inhibitor bound to protein) data, to improve inhibitor potency and efficacy.

The student will perform organic synthesis to make new structural analogs and evaluate these compounds for their ability to inhibit the activity of the C. jejuni PglD acetyl transferase enzyme. Besides synthesis and in vitro assays, there is the option to learn protein expression and purification, enzymatic carbohydrate synthesis, X-ray crystallography, and other biochemistry techniques. If interested, the student can also learn some Maestro and Pymol basics.

Prerequisites: Basic organic synthesis skills required; 5.36 module 6, 5.37 module 7 OR previous laboratory experience. Strong preference for students who can commit to at least 10 hours per week for at least two semesters, starting as soon as possible. Open to a longer-term commitment.

Contact: Please send an email with a CV/resume, schedule availability, and potential start date to Joris De Schutter, Postdoctoral Fellow, jwds@mit.edu.


8/6/14
Department: Media Arts and Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Hugh Herr

Project Title: Data Collection and Safety Systems for Exoskeleton Research

Project Description: As our exoskeletons become more powerful, safety is an increasingly important factor in our research process. Your main objective will be to evaluate our data collection systems, perform a risk analysis, design a risk mitigation strategy, and implement parts of that strategy. This implementation will require some electrical engineering work and some basic mechanical design/fabrication. Solutions could potentially be useful to other research groups in this field.
Currently, we use motion capturing cameras, force plate equipped treadmills, and COSMED CO2 instruments to record human metabolic rate and walking dynamics. This data is used to train computer simulations of walking and to analyze controllers for existing exoskeletons. As part of your UROP, you will learn how to run our motion capture system and will assist in research with human subjects.

Prerequisite and Requirements: Candidates must have completed a course in circuit theory. Strong candidates will have experience in robotics, Matlab, mechanical design, and machine shop.

About us: http://biomech.media.mit.edu

Contact: Please email (mfurtney@mit.edu). Include "UROP application" and your name in the title of the email. Send an attached resume, list of relevant coursework or unofficial transcript, hours per week desired, and four possible meeting times (30 min) for the nearest week that you can interview. Also include a link to any relevant projects you have worked on.


8/6/14
Department/Lab/Center: HST, Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Sangeeta Bhatia

Project Title: Responsive Nanoparticle Sensors of Enzymatic Activity

Project Description: We engineer nanosystems that respond to protease activity as direct measurements of proteases in vivo and in vitro. Proteases are crucial to an incredible amount of physiological and pathological processes (such as fibrosis, cancer metastasis, thrombosis). We are currently working on some exciting developments to optimize these sensors by making them responsive to external triggers, designing better systems for use in vivo, and developing a pipeline for highly specific tumor gradation (distinguishing between benign cancers and aggressive, metastatic cancers). Check out: http://lmrt.mit.edu/research/tumor-interrogate.html for some descriptions of our work in this area.

You’ll be able to learn numerous lab techniques (in vitro and in vivo) as well get experience with project and experimental design. Ideally, you would be able to work on a project independently.

Prerequisites: Start in Fall 2014, commit a year and hopefully work summer 2015 (longer if you like it), >=10 hours a week in lab, be enthusiastic about proteases/enzymes and want to learn, and willing to work hard.

Contact: Please contact Jaideep Dudani, jdudani@mit.edu. In the email, indicate what times you’re free to chat/interview if interested as well (also send a resume/CV).


8/6/14
Department: Urban Studies and Planning
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. P. Christopher Zegras

Project Description: Help us improve Flocktracker (flocktracker.mit.edu), a tool that brings traditional surveying into the 21st century with geospatial tracking and automated data entry. Hours are flexible, though we do ask for a larger commitment early on (late August, and early in the semester), with greater flexibility as the semester progresses. The UROP will have the opportunity to participate in a multi-disciplinary team of academics (from MIT and abroad) and programmers (from Mexico and also now graduated) to help realize a functional interface that enables the monitoring and live analysis of project data, revisit the original tool, help design and test a field research experiment, and create new toolkits to expand functionality. Part of helping to improve the application will involve brain storming and deploying small research projects that can demonstrate new use cases or limitations with the current design. Through these initiatives, the UROP has the opportunity to demonstrate and assist in making critical design decisions.

In addition to collaborating on future research initiatives that use this tool, the UROP will assist in the development of a database to enable the transfer of Flocktracker from Google Fusion Tables. In this capacity the UROP will assist current researchers in strategizing between relational and document-oriented databases.

Contact: For more details on requirements and commitment, please contact Kuan Butts (kuanb@mit.edu)


8/4/14
Department: HST, Koch Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia

Project Title: 3D liver tissue models and liver regeneration

Project Description: The Bhatia lab is currently looking for a motivated undergraduate to pursue research in liver regeneration and developing 3D liver tissue models. You will be working under the guidance of a postdoc in the lab, Arnout Schepers. The project is mainly focused on tissue engineering and combines working with cells, biomaterials and design. Techniques used in the project include mammalian tissue culture, fluorescence microscopy, device engineering and cloning and other molecular biology techniques. Previous experience in a laboratory class or laboratory setting is required; experience outside a course setting is preferred.

If interested, please email your CV/resume and a short paragraph about yourself, your lab experience and future interests. Also indicate the hours per week you have available and your potential start date.

Prerequisites: Previous wet lab experience in either lab or course setting. Schedule is flexible; a 10 hour per week commitment is expected. Participation can be compensated via academic credit.

Contact: Please contact Arnout Schepers, arnouts@mit.edu


8/1/14
Department: Economics
Faculty supervisor: Prof. Robert Pindyck

Project Title: The Economics of Potential Global Catastrophes

Project Description: I am looking for one or two students to help with research related to the economics of catastrophes, including possible catastrophic climate change, and such events as nuclear terrorism or a mega-virus. I am concerned with the economic and policy implications of multiple sources of uncertainty, and with the statistical characterization of low-probability outcomes. What is the “willingness to pay” to avert such events, and which events should be the primary focus of policy. I also address the macroeconomic and financial implications of possible global catastrophes. (For more information, go to my website and download “Uncertain Outcomes and Climate Change Policy,” “The Climate Policy Dilemma,” and “Averting Catastrophes: The Strange Economics of Scylla and Charybdis.”)

This work will involve a detailed literature review of the likelihoods, potential impacts, and costs of averting various types of catastrophes. It may also involve programming in MATLAB and some statistical analysis. Candidates should have a good background in economics. A working knowledge of MATLAB is also a plus. They should also be able to work independently.

Contact: If you are interested, please send a resume and transcript to: Professor Robert Pindyck, Sloan School of Management, Room E62-522, rpindyck@mit.edu

 

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