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.

4/18/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Mitchel Resnick

Project 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 the story of their design process. With Build in Progress, users are encouraged to share design iterations and experimentation, including both what worked and what didn’t work in developing a project.

The platform incorporates a mobile app (Android and iOS) and web app (Ruby on Rails) that enable users to upload media associated with their project, leave feedback on other people’s designs, remix projects, and discover interesting projects being shared through the site.

We are looking for mobile programming UROPs to work on the development of the Android and iOS apps and a web programming UROP to develop new features on the website.

Position #1: Android Programmer

Project Description: This student will work on developing new features of the Android app. Currently an Alpha prototype on the Play Store, the Android app enables authors to create and edit their own projects. The student will work on completing media-sharing features as well as integrating social features accessible through the site (commenting, getting updates on other people’s projects, etc.)

The UROP must have technical experience working in Java, specifically with Android (6.570 or equivalent experience) and should also have a strong design aesthetic and attention to detail (e.g., experience with basic wire-framing, interface design and prototyping. 6.831 or equivalent experience). The student must be able to show at least one example of an Android app they have previously developed.
___________________

Position #2: iOS Programmer

Project Description:The student will continue with development of the iOS app to prepare the app for launch before the end of the summer. The student will work on integrating media-features (sharing images and video) as well as the front-end design of the app. This student should be able to work independently, have some experience with developing for iOS, and have a strong interest in interface design
___________________

Position #3: Web Programmer

Project Description: This student will be working in Ruby on Rails to design and implement core features of the website, particularly improving the remix interface (a way for users to build off of each other’s projects). If you’re interested in gaining a variety of RoR experience quickly, working on many different aspects of a live site, this UROP may be for you.

This UROP should have a strong background in Javascript, HTML, and CSS and experience programming in groups (using Git, etc.). The student must also have experience with Ruby and the Ruby on Rails framework (6.470 or 6.170 or equivalent experience).

Contact: Please contact ttseng@mit.edu with a paragraph description of your interest, a copy of your resume, and a link to a project you’ve built. Please also indicate if you have experience developing your own DIY projects and have used any other documentation platforms (such as Instructables)


4/18/14
Summer 2014
Department: Art, Culture, Technology
Faculty Member: Prof. Azra Aksamija

Project Title: Empathy Suits

Project Description: We are creating Empathy Suits, culturally-sensitive headgear and wearable technologies 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 Saudi Arabian collective "Edge of Arabia," as well as the Art Jameel. 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 - Empathy Suits - that 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 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. In October 2014, Prof. Aksamija will host a workshop at MIT's Art, Culture, Technology Program, bringing together the artists from Saudi Arabia, who will be on tour to Boston, and undergraduate students from her classes. During the workshop, artists and students will be designing culturally-sensitive headgear to be added to our!
growing "Empathy Suits" collection. MIT community have an opportunity to exchange creative experiences with artists from the Middle East and explore where their stories intersect. The workshop will be recorded and broadcasted worldwide through Culturunners online TV. The overall project will have a substantial visibility, both in the United States and worldwide. The project will also be exhibited at renown art venues and institutions throughout the United States, including the Cooper Union and United Nations in New York and the Smithsonian Institute and the Newmuseum in Washington DC.

Required/desired skills and tasks for this project include: researching culturally specific helmets and headgear (study material will be provided) drawing 3D models in Rhino 3D printing sewing and model making

Time commitment: 20-30h / week

Contact: Azra Aksamija (azra@MIT.EDU)


4/17/14
Department: Physics or Electrical Engineering
Faculty Member: Prof. Marin Soljacic

Project Title: Shooting Light Around Corners

Project Description: Do you think you can build a device that can hit targets hiding around a corner? Do you believe it is even possible? We think it can be done, utilizing the wave nature of the light. We are looking for a strong student willing to take this challenge. But it would require a tough theoretician to design the shape of the light beam so it uses the corner as some sort of lens, focusing itself around it.  At the second step of the project, you might get to build an experimental setup to demonstrate what you found.

Your main goals will be:
1. You will develop the theory and code for the optimal beam amplitude and phase.
2. If successful, design and then build an experiment in optics or microwaves, demonstrating how your beam can hit the target that hides around a barrier.

Prerequisites:
- Some optics and wave propagation knowledge desirable.
- You should have experience working with Matlab, or C/C++.

Contact:  Ido Efraim Kaminer (kaminer@MIT.EDU)


4/17/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Rosalind Picard

Project Title: Measuring Emotions with Google Glass

Project Description: What if you could see what calms you down or increases your stress as you go through your day? What if you could see clearly what is causing these changes for your child or another loved one? People could become better at accurately interpreting and communicating their feelings, and better at understanding the needs of those they love. This project explores the possibilities of integrating biosensing technologies with Google Glass to enable fundamental advances for Affective Computing research in real-life settings.

The UROP will help building one or more components of the overall vision. For instance, the UROP may need to develop several stress-reduction interventions through Google Glass, create a stress sensing apps based on physiological data, help perform user studies and/or analyze affective information collected through the Glass or other biosensors.

This is a full-time UROP position for the summer. Ideal candidate should have extensive experience in Android programming and/or MATLAB. The UROP should be eager to learn, have good communication skills, and be willing to collaborate.

Compensation: For course credit or pay. Please apply as soon as possible to be considered for direct funding (deadline April 17).

Contact: To apply, send a resume to javierhr@mit.edu


4/17/14
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science
Faculty Supervisor: Adam Berinsky

Project Descriptiont: Rumors and innuendo have long influenced the conduct of politics. With the rise of the 24-hour news cycle and the rapid communication of specialized information via the Internet, however, the potential for the spread of false information through rumors is perhaps greater than at any time in history. This project investigates two critical questions relating to political rumors: who believes them, and what can be done to correct false information in a democratic society?

Tasks: The RA will help design and program experiments that will test various rumor correction strategies. The RA will also help conduct a historical study of political rumors, with a particular focus on rumors disseminated during the survey-research era (1935 to the present). This task may involve some archival work concerning rumors circulating during World War II. The RA will also help analyze survey and experimental data and produce a literature review.

Skills: Knowledge of STATA and R helpful.

Time: UROPs will work approximately 40 hours per week on the Summer 2014 terms.

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.

NOTE: Departmental RAs are expected to work an average of 30-40 hours/week. The Department will distribute evaluation forms to both faculty and students at end of term in order to provide feedback and assess the RA experience (in terms of learning new skills, professional development, joint publications, etc.) for students. UROPS will be considered both on a paid or for credit basis.


4/17/14
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Wanda Orlikowski

Project Title: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Platform-based Ecosystems

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 code to collect data from a variety of sources, 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, appstores, and ecosystems.

Prerequisites:
- Programming skills with scripting languages (Python or Ruby or Perl)
- 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.


4/17/14
Department/Lab/Center: Engineering Systems Division (ESD)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Deborah Nightingale

Project description: We are in the process of analyzing some important dataset in healthcare specifically about diabetes management. Chronic disease management is one of the most popular topics in healthcare management nowadays with the Obama healthcare reform. Students who plan to go into medical school or healthcare management fields should apply for this position. It will be an excellent learning experience.

We might acknowledge the UROPS in the papers published who would help us in summer 2014 starting from June 1st, if they showed honesty, responsibility, dedication and interest in their work. If we liked their work we might keep them for the Fall semester as well and write them a good recommendation for their graduate school applications in the future.

We will be interviewing candidates starting April 15th 2014. Please email me if you are interested and have the skills.

Prerequisites: Student applicant should know the unix computer language well and can help analyze data using unix commands. Also, knows Microsoft office skills like writing formulas in excel sheet. We are interested in students who are responsible and reliable and take his/her work seriously. Willing to dedicate sincerely and honestly up to 15-20 hours/week.

Contact: Sahar Hashmi drhashmi.mit@gmail.com


4/17/14
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Olivier de Weck

Project Title: Airfoil Test Stand

Project Description: This UROP position involves the design and construction of a test stand that enables measurement of the lift and drag characteristics of airfoils at various airspeeds and angles of attack, utilizing the 1x1ft wind tunnel in the Neumann Hangar. The goal of the project is to enable the collection of empirical data from real-world testing and comparison of that data to results from theoretical models such as Xfoil (http://web.mit.edu/drela/Public/web/xfoil/). The test stand created in this UROP will be utilized in future years as a lab resource for Unified Engineering.

The airfoil test stand shall enable the testing of a variety of different airfoils, and would ideally facilitate the creation and testing of new airfoils without significant effort. A mechanism that enables precise control of the angle of attack of the airfoil across a wide range (including stall conditions) is required. The test stand itself must be designed to account for and minimize as much as possible aerodynamic (or other) effects that cause discrepancies between the real-world implementation and an idealized model. Additional capabilities, such as flow visualization or pressure measurement, are desirable but not required. Work over the summer will involve the full project lifecycle, including requirements definition, concept generation and selection, detailed design, manufacturing, assembly, and testing/verification. Students will meet periodically with a graduate student supervisor over the course of the summer to present progress.

Compensation: This UROP can be done for credit or pay.

Prerequisites: Machine shop training required at time of start of UROP (June 2014). Prior machine shop/CAD experience, familiarity with basic aerodynamic principles, and experience use of Xfoil to model airfoils are highly valued, but not required. Completion of Unified Engineering preferred but not required.

Contact: Interested candidates please send a 1-pg resume and a brief statement of interest to Graduate Student Supervisor Andrew Owens (acowens@mit.edu)


4/17/14
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lydia Bourouiba

Project description: Seeking a motivated UROP student interested in experimental and mathematical modelling for problems in fluid dynamics for problems at the interface of physical and biological sciences. 

Seeking student who is self-motivated and with strong interest in working on problems pertaining health applications and in particular, disease transmission. A strong Physics or Math-Physics background and experience or courses in fluid dynamics are assets. 

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


4/17/14
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology, Biomedical Engineering Center
Faculty Supervisor: Elazer Edelman

Project title: Mechanical testing and metallurgical evaluation of fatigue and fracture of cardiovascular stents

Project description: Cardiovascular stents are implanted in millions of patients each year. Surprisingly, some 40% of all stents implanted eventually fracture. Our work seeks to understand the causes of stent fracture and the potential implications to disease progression and patient outcome.

There is one opening for an undergraduate interested in leading testing stent specimens to failure, data analysis and imaging of fractured stent specimens. Research will include scanning electron microscope (SEM) training and imaging, careful recording of observations and results, and image analysis.

Commitment of 30 hrs a week required for the summer.

Prerequisites: Attention to detail and ability to keep an organized record of observations and results are essential. Prior work and/or laboratory and image analysis experience and an interest in material science and engineering are desired. Candidates must be reliable, organized, and independent with strong communication skills.

Contact: Claire Conway, PhD (cconway@mit.edu, http://edelmanlab.mit.edu/)


4/17/14
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Dara Entekhabi

Project Title: Observing the water, energy and carbon cycles from space

Project Description: Our understanding of the coupled global water, energy and carbon cycles directly impacts our ability to manage land and water resources, predict floods and droughts, forecast weather and adapt to a changing climate. These cycles are linked through soil moisture. Lead by Professor Dara Entekhabi, NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP, https://smap.jpl.nasa.gov/) satellite mission will measure soil moisture from space using a radar and radiometer in the L-band frequency range. The satellite will be launched in November 2014.

Our lab has a range of computational projects available related to the SMAP mission, including:
- Contributing to the development of SMAP’s main retrieval algorithm to determine soil moisture from combined radar and radiometer measurements;
- Developing new statistical tools for validating SMAP’s soil moisture retrievals with sparse ground observations;
- Using observations from existing satellites to infer temporal and spatial patterns in global
vegetation;
- Using observations from existing satellites to gain understanding of global vegetation
functioning.

The UROP student will have the opportunity to gain experience in data analysis of cutting-edge satellite data and contribute to a critical NASA satellite mission. Opportunities are available to author or co-author a journal paper.

This is a paid position.

Requirements: Candidate must be competent with Matlab (preferred) or Python and its numerical computing toolboxes. Knows some statistics, or willing and able to learn. Some knowledge of hydrology would be desirable but is not necessary.

Start Date: Flexible, but ideally Summer 2014. Although the start date is flexible, a proposal is due to the UROP office by June 19th, 2014 for a summer position.

Commitment: Flexible, but ideally 40 hours/week. No fixed schedule, but weekly results expected. Willingness to commit to longer periods (1 year or more) would be a plus. The position will be co-supervised by two graduate students in the Entekhabi Lab and involve significant interaction with Prof. Entekhabi.

Contact: Interested students should e-mail Kaighin McColl (kmccoll@mit.edu) or Alex Konings (konings@mit.edu) and include a CV highlighting relevant experience


4/17/14
Department: Biology
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Lenny Guarente

Project Title: The genetic/epigenetic “program” of neuronal aging in humans and worms

Project Description: The Guarente lab, has a long-standing interest in understanding how “the program” of aging works and how these pathways may be targeted to extend lifespan and treat age-related disease. This project is focused specifically on aging of the brain and how it is regulated on a genetic, transcriptional, and epigenetic level. Age is a requirement for onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and if we can slow down aging we may be able to slow down or even reverse the course of these diseases. We are currently analyzing microarray data and whole genome SNP chips from post-mortem human brains of subjects 25-95 years old to try and understand the transcriptional and genetic architecture that regulates normal brain aging. At the same time we are isolating neurons from the nematode, C. elegans, and performing RNA seq and Chip seq for a variety of histone marks, to understand how neuronal aging works. You would be primarily mentored by Christin Glorioso, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. This project is both translational, in that we collaborate with physicians working with human data, and highly collaborative. We work closely with colleagues from the Kellis lab, http://web.mit.edu/manoli/, and the Scherzer lab, http://www.scherzerlaboratory.org/. This project has opportunities to learn programming, bioinformatics, cell culture/molecular biology, and how to work with C. elegans. We are very excited to work with students that have a background in programming in particular. Course 6-7 students are ideal for this project but we are open to all students that are interested. We generally program in R, a statistical language based in C, and will give priority to students with knowledge of this language.

Requirements: some programming knowledge and initiative to tackle programming problems efficiently and independently, interest in aging and genetics/epigenetics

Contact: Christin Glorioso, MD PhD email: glorioso@mit.edu


4/17/14
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Eric Adams

Project Title: Experimental study of the effect of droplet size on intrusion of sub-surface oil spills

Project Description: Oil and gas released from a blowout, such as the one that occurred recently in the Gulf of Mexico, forms droplets and bubbles that produce a buoyant plume that tends to rise to the surface. However, the plume interacts with ocean currents and density stratification to form submerged horizontal intrusion layers which transport dissolved oil and small oil droplets. Meanwhile the larger oil droplets and gas bubbles continue their ascent to the surface. Use of chemical dispersants at the well-head tends to make droplets smaller, increasing the tendency for oil to become trapped in the intrusion layers.

Our laboratory experiments use glass beads as an upside down analog of light oil droplets, and simulate ocean currents by towing a carriage in a salt-stratified tank. We observe the beads visually and determine their spatial distribution once they have settled. The UROP will help a graduate student set up, conduct, and analyze experiments using different size beads, current velocities, and ambient density profiles.

Requirements:
An interest in experimental fluid mechanics is preferred, but no specific skills are required.

Duration:
Summer 2014 possibly extending into fall; flexible hours.

Contact:
Cindy Wang at dwang13@mit.edu or Eric Adams at eeadams@mit.edu


4/17/14
Summer 2014
Department: HST
Faculty supervisor: Roger G. Mark

Project title: Prognostication of Neurological Outcome Following Cardiac Arrest

Project Description: Every year there are approximately 800,000 cardiac arrests in United States and Europe with survival rates of approximately 10%. Of those that survive, 80% remain comatose after resuscitation and only 3–7% regain normal neurological status. The ability to predict the neurological outcomes of these patients is of immense interest to families, hospitals and care providers. First and foremost there is an immeasurable emotional burden that a prolonged period of coma inflicts on families, not knowing if their loved one will wake up and struggling with the heavy decision to continue or withdraw medical care. In addition to the emotional cost, the financial burden associated with the care of comatose patients is steep and can exceed $20,000 a day, with stays lasting from hours to weeks.

Improving the prediction of coma outcomes has everything to do with understanding where in the spectrum of neurological outcome the patient falls after the initial arrest. Doing this more precisely would allow clinicians to allocate resources to those patients which would most clearly benefit from them, and provide families with objective forecasts of the outcome of their loved ones. Unfortunately, prognostication of neurological outcomes following cardiac arrest remains a difficult problem. Despite the existence of several models in the literature, a neurological examination by a physician remains the primary method of choice for gauging outcomes. Neurological evaluations are problematic however because they require doctors to grapple with confounding effects of multimodal real-time data streams from EEG, brain imaging, sedation, and cooling protocols, all of which influence the neurological examination. Integrating multimodal data over multiple days of ICU consistently for every patient in the ward is a non-trivial task, limiting the ability to detect even major changes in brain function of comatose patients. Our objective is to develop algorithms and approaches which may be used at the bedside to provide physicians and families with a real-time measure of patient neurological function, and a prognosis of outcome based on both historic data, and quantitative models of brain function. This UROP project is an excellent opportunity for a student to participate one or more of the following specific aims:
1. Preprocess raw clinical data from intensive care unit records, including EEG waveform data.

2. Develop quantitative time-series models to characterize the typical patterns of evolution in brain activity for patients with good vs. poor neurological outcomes, accounting for the effects of several covariates on the EEG.

3. Develop real-time monitoring methods to predict prognosis from EEG + covariates.

4. Characterize the evolution of auditory evoked potentials in these patients, and incorporate this into the real-time monitoring model.

Requirements: Background in engineering with some knowledge of signal processing, familiarity with MATLAB, and an interest in medical applications of engineering. Previous experience with databases and SQL would be desirable but not required. Student will be trained in the appropriate analytical techniques in machine learning and signal processing that are necessary for the analysis of complex multidimensional data-sets. The student should be comfortable working as a part of an interdisciplinary team as well as independently.

Contact: Please send a resume and a short statement of interest to Professor Roger Mark (rgmark@mit.edu)


4/17/14
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty supervisor: Prof. Darrell Irvine

Project Title: Topics in Experimental Biology—Cancer Immunotherapy Project

Introduction: The immune system is capable of promoting the elimination of tumors, and the field of cancer immunotherapy seeks to rationally modulate the immune system to achieve this goal. This project involves using a variety of types of immunotherapeutics—including cancer vaccines, tumor-targeted antibodies, checkpoint blockade, and cytokines—to treat cancer in a murine melanoma model. This is a joint project between Cary Opel and Kelly Moynihan, who are in the Wittrup and Irvine labs in the Koch Institute, respectively. We are seeking a highly motivated biology UROP to begin work this summer so that they will have experience in our lab to enroll in 7.18 in the fall.

Project Description: This project has been ongoing since June of 2013. It involves vaccinating tumor bearing mice against a tumor antigen (using a vaccine system recently published: (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12978.html) and administering additional immunotherapy support, including novel cytokine fusion proteins designed by members of the Wittrup lab. In our first few experiments we have observed regression of tumors in a very challenging mouse model of melanoma, so we are looking to further explore this system, elucidate the mechanism of protection, and gather sufficient data to publish our findings.

Responsibilities may include assisting with any or all of the following:
- Culturing and inoculating tumor cells to mice
- Preparing and administering therapeutic agents in mice (Protein production and purification)
- Assaying for T-cell effector function over the course of tumor therapy
- Taking longitudinal tumor size measurements
- Experiments related to mechanism elucidation

Contact: To apply, please submit a resume, a short statement of interest, and contact information for at least one reference to Kelly at kdmoyn@mit.edu by May 12th.


4/17/14
Summer 2014
Department: Architecture
Faculty supervisor: Prof. John E. Fernandez

Project Type 1: Architectures of Duress

Description: Architectural design is changing as a direct result of the growing awareness of global climate change and increasingly critical resource constraints. Every year, historically habitable zones in a variety of climates are becoming more challenging in various ways; critical water shortages, changing biome and other ecological attributes, increased risk from natural and anthropogenic disasters, rising seas etc.

This summer we will design in at least three environments as follows:

1. Resilient Housing for New Orleans: The MIT Float House will be the model for designing and planning a floating neighborhood for flood prone environments. Our specific site will be on the east side of New Orleans but the project will suggest a model for floating neighborhoods for coastal American cities elsewhere.

2. Architecture of the Atacama: The driest desert in the world, the Atacama desert of northern Chile will be the site for a series of buildings that serve residents and workers of the extractive economy of the region. The work builds on an urban metabolism study of the city of Copiapo sponsored by the MISTI-Chile Program.

3. Post consumer architecture: Foams, ceramic and polymer, will be used together in the development of a structure and enclosure system for buildings in challenging environments. An initial system using aerated concrete, normal concrete and polystyrene has been developed and production of prototypes and a scale model will be designed and built.

____________________

Project Type 2: Scales of Urban Metabolism

Description: Currently the Urban Metabolism Group is engaged in several projects intended to describe the metabolism of the city. Each project is meant to discover the nature and intensity of resource flows (water, materials, energy) that serve a particular extent of the city; a neighborhood, city district, entire metropolitan area, or collection of cities. These projects involve a variety of methods and arrive at diverse conclusions regarding the ways in which cities acquire, transform, consume resources and discard wastes. Researchers under this research description will have the option to work on any of the following projects:

1. The metabolism of the MIT Campus: The project will determine the resource flows and intensity of consumption that drives the MIT campus. Building on work now being done in the class Design for Sustainable Urban Futures and material provided by Prof. Elsa Olivetti, the team will provide a framework for MIT to use in determining practical and effective reductions in resource flows through a variety of strategies. Main stakeholder of this work is Julie Newman, Director of Sustainability at MIT.

2. The metabolism of the Back Bay, Boston: this project will complete a material history of the neighborhood and develop a practical model for the sustainable development of this city district. Primary stakeholders for this work are the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and Boston's Environment Department.

3. A typology of African Cities: The project will arrive at a continent-specific typology of African cities based on their resource consumption. The work will lead to a workshop in Capetown in January 2015 and therefore may support student work after the summer and into the fall term 2014. Our partner ion this project is the University of Stellenbosch in Capetown, S.A. Stakeholders of this work include the African Union, the African National Congress, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory and a collection of African mayors.

Prerequisites and Requirements: There are no specific prerequisites or requirements. The work described above includes architectural design and analysis of various kinds. Students interested in the topics listed may focus on one or the other, or may bridge between the two. An assessment of efficacy to work on any of the projects above will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Period and place of work: Any portion of the summer will be considered though it would be best to be in residence for at least 6 weeks. The team will work out of the International Design Center (IDC) on the 3rd floor of N-52. We will be using a variety of instruments and fabrication tools of the IDC including several kinds of 3D printers and scanners, and other fablab equipment.

Contact: If you are interested in either type of position please contact the faculty supervisor Prof. John Fernandez at fernande@mit.edu to arrange an appointment and discuss further.


4/17/14
Summer 2014
UROP 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. Programming experience in Javascript is also preferred but not required. Minimum commitment is 20/hours week from end of May or the beginning of June through the beginning of August.

Contact: rwmagid@mit.edu if interested.


4/17/14
Summer 2014
UROP Dept: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Michael Triantafyllou

Project Title: Design of Aerial and Aquatic Flapping Foil Vehicles

Project Description: Flapping foils, the primary mechanism for animal flight and swimming, are ubiquitous in nature but have only recently been pursued for engineering application. This UROP position will assist in the design of flapping foil vehicles that take advantage of a unique degree of freedom: in-line motion. Slow-flying birds use in-line motion to boost their lift, while turtle use in-line motion to maintain a level swimming trajectory.

The final goal of this project is to create a cutting-edge flying vehicle that uses flapping to both swim underwater and fly in the air. The UROP would be expected to take on one of two roles, depending on his/her skillset and interests:
1) Assisting in rapid-iteration mechanical design of prototype wings and running fluids experiments in the MIT towing tank.
2) Simulating the fluid flow in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to inform the vehicle design.

Prerequisites: Strongly motivated with an interest in the material. No specific classes required, but some basic knowledge of fluid mechanics (2.005), mechanical design (2.007 or living in a machine shop), and programming is necessary. MATLAB experience is a bonus. Rising junior or senior preferred.

Contact: Jacob Izraelevitz (jsi@mit.edu)


4/15/14
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: Senseable City Lab - Android Development

Project Description: In Birmingham UK, we're researching the impact of social networks for improving urban services such as road maintenance and traffic management.

In South Africa, we're 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.

In Brazil and India we're studying the effect of technology use in informal recycling operations in order to help sustainability.

We're looking for students with experience or interest in learning Android development. If you're looking to work with digital technologies and solving real world projects, as well as learning about mapping real time data, sensors and machine learning this might be the opportunity for you!

Contact: Erin Baumgartner, embaum@mit.edu


4/8/14
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Larry Sass

Click for PDF or Project Description

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.


4/8/14
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Krystyn J. Van Vliet

Project title: Design and understanding the properties of advanced materials for oil-field applications

Project Description: The demand for advanced materials, especially composite materials suitable for oil and gas recovery and processing, are growing rapidly. As these composite materials must survive the harsh environment under down-hole conditions – including high temperature, high pressure, and exposure to different fluids – we need to not only understand the material behavior at room temperature, but also design experiments to study/predict the material behavior under these harsh environments. This challenging UROP project includes design and understanding the properties of the advanced materials under oil recovery application conditions. We will focus not only on understanding the mechanical properties and microstructure behavior of materials as a function of physical conditions, but also predict the material behavior based on the kinetics and material-temperature properties measured at lower temperatures. This UROP project is a great opportunity for a student who wants to gain exposure to industrial research and understand more about the challenges faced by engineers in the oilfield to develop reliable technologies.

Requirements: Materials science or mechanical engineering background. We seek a student who is highly motivated and enthusiastic, with some previous hands-on experience with experimental research. The student should be able to work independently, and as part of a team.

Contact: Please send your resume to Prof. Krystyn J. Van Vliet (krystyn@mit.edu) and Dr. Meng Qu (mqu@slb.com)


4/8/14
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: ESD
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Donna H. Rhodes

Project Title: Interactive Tradespace Exploration Laboratory Innovations for Systems Evaluation and Selection

Project Description: Big data and visual analytics are both on the rise as key areas of innovation and opportunities for decision making. In the field of systems design, these areas are still immature, but promise to radically change the way we define, design, and decide upon systems to build. This project will leverage work in big data and visual analytics to further develop a novel environment for interactive data-based system design and decision making.

In order to transcend cognitive limitations and facilitate the discovery of appropriate design and operational strategies, the Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (http://seari.mit.edu) is currently developing interactive gaming simulations and data exploration environments. This year’s project will focus on expanding the functionality of a multi-sensory tradespace exploration environment created at SEAri. A summer UROP project with a team of students will develop and implement novel approaches in the use of the tradespace exploration laboratory for multi-sensory data representation and exploration. Tasks will include software development in MATLAB, implementing the latest research methods for visualizing and analyzing tradespaces, and “human-in-the-loop” exploration of millions of aerospace and naval system conceptual designs. Multiple types of tasks needed for this project include software engineering, software development, user interface design, and informal user testing. Additionally, there is an opportunity to connect the work with aspects of other SEAri research into game-based learning and design.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with Microsoft Office, at least one programming language, preferably with object-orientation. Previous summer projects were developed in some subset of MATLAB, Python, C#, and Unity3D. Commitment to the work, good analytic, and software engineering and/or programming skills are needed to participate in collaborative research. Candidates should have interest in working with a mixed team of research staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students as part of the larger effort. There are openings for four to six UROPs in this summer project. Rising juniors or seniors in course 6 preferred. Pay will be based on candidate’s skill set.

Period: Summer 2014 (June 9 to Aug 19, 2014)

Contact: Please send a resume to Dr. Adam M. Ross, adamross@mit.edu, and visit the SEAri website for lab information: seari.mit.edu.


4/8/14
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Karl Dane Wittrup

Project Title: Undergraduate Research Project in Therapeutic Protein Engineering

Research Lab: The Wittrup Lab (http://web.mit.edu/kdw-lab/) at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (USA), is engaged in the development of protein engineering technologies and the discovery of new molecules for the use in therapy, with a particular focus on cancer.

Project background: Given the complexity within the tumor microenvironment, it is unlikely that a single drug will be sufficient to disrupt the complex tumor-promoting intercellular signaling that leads to metastasis. The suppression of such networks may be achieved by the development of cross-reactive molecules. The aim of this undergraduate research project is to develop high-affinity and cross-reactive protein based-ligands against previously validated cancer targets, characterize their binding mode, and determine their therapeutic potential in vitro.

Methodology of work: The work will involve a wide range of molecular biology and biochemical techniques. The undergraduate will gain experience in relevant protein engineering techniques, including generating combinatorial libraries encoding therapeutic proteins with yeast display surface. Protein expression and purification will be performed, and the resulting molecules will be analyzed using a variety of techniques, including ELISA, BioLayer Interferometry (BLI), and surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Finally, the capability of cross-reactive therapeutic molecules to affect cancer cells will be assessed in vitro using conventional cell culture assays (flow cytometry-based GPCR-ligand binding, flow cytometry-based calcium mobilization, chemotaxis, cell migration and invasion bioassays).

Requirements: The student should be highly motivated, organized as well as open to and interested in learning and applying new techniques in different disciplines. A good knowledge of molecular biology, biochemistry and mammalian cell culture is required. The ideal candidate will be a rising senior interested in pursuing a full year project starting in the summer and continuing with enrollment in course 7.18 during the fall.

Contact: To apply for the position, please send a CV and a letter of motivation to Dr. Alessandro Angelini (aleange@mit.edu).


4/8/14
Department/Lab/Center: Biology, Biological Engineering, Materials Science Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Darrell Irvine

Project Title: Development of cancer immunotherapy via engineered biomaterials and nanotechnologies

Project description: The Irvine Lab is looking for a motivated UROP to work under a senior postdoc on a collaborative team including multiple other UROPs. The central project revolves around engineering cells and biomaterials for novel cancer vaccines and immunotherapies.

This UROP will play a crucial role in the development, in vitro characterization, and in vivo testing of locally administered microparticle drug depots to modulate a candidate immunotherapy pathway in cancer and metabolism. Experimental duties include design, synthesis and validation of a small library of ligand and inhibitor particles, and basic mouse handling and assisting necropsies to evaluate different particle effects on cancer progression in mice; cellular analyses will be performed using microscopy and cytometry as described above. Secondarily, this UROP will support a larger team in the development and immunoassay of B cell function as cellular vaccines in vitro and in vivo, centered on using a microfluidics device developed in the Langer lab. This work will include aforementioned biology techniques as well as advanced mammalian cell culture and molecular biology/immunology work including Western blots, real time RT-PCR, and ELISA.

The ideal candidate would have the following skills & goals: committed and organized with previous research experience in biology/engineering, works well in a team, desires increased research independence and the opportunity to generate and explore their own ideas, and is interested in learning more about cancer, immunology, and/or materials science.

Prerequisites: Must be comfortable assisting with mouse procedures. Preference will be given to candidates with previous experience in a biology or engineering research lab, but previous experience is not a requirement.

Time commitment: Full-time during the summer; approximately 15-20 h per week and a minimum of 3 days per week in the lab during the fall semester. Continuation throughout the fall summer is expected provided that project interests and working relationships are compatible. Preference will be given to candidates who have more time available and show particular desire to develop research independence to learn and implement principles in experimental design and planning.

Contact: Please email CV and email/letter of interest directly to gszeto@mit.edu or gszeto@gmail.com.


4/8/14
Department/Lab/Center: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Olivier de Weck

Project Title: Line Cutting Mechanism for High Altitude Balloon Missions

Project Description: This UROP position is related to the high altitude balloon lab in Unified Engineering where we fly balloons into the stratosphere to the edge of space (we have reached over 80,000 feet and our goal is to break 100,000 feet). The problem is that on the way down some balloons get trapped in high trees, making the payload difficult to recover. See this video to get an idea what a balloon mission looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukcRsn2o3Cc

The scope of this UROP summer position is to develop a "line cutting mechanism" such that if a balloon gets trapped in a high tree that a wireless signal can be sent that will separate the payload and allow it to fall to the ground and be recovered (thereby sacrificing the parachute, which is not a problem since they are quite inexpensive). There could also be other ways to solve the problem, e.g. by burning a line through resistive heating, by electromagnet forces etc... the UROP work over the summer consists of a mini-product lifecycle including gathering of requirements, working up concepts, selecting a concept, detailed design and assembly, testing and then manufacturing a batch of ten units. This summer UROP can be done for credit or for pay. Prior machine shop and CAD experience is a plus, but not absolutely necessary.

Contact: Graduate Student Supervisor Andrew Owens (acowens@mit.edu)


4/4/14
Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty supervisor: Prof. Antoine Allanore

Project Title: Development of a microfluidic device for soil science

Project description: We are recruiting one student to work in the laboratories headed by Prof. Antoine Allanore within the department of Materials Science and Engineering. We work in collaboration with a mining company with the ultimate goal to provide local sources of fertilizers to agriculture-intensive countries in the southern hemisphere. Specifically, the candidate will be involved in the design, realization and testing of a microfluidic device to study the dissolution rates of several mineral sources. This UROP project is suited for a motivated and committed student willing to learn and explore science at the boundaries between materials science, geochemistry and microfluidics. The student will be involved in the use of analytical techniques such as Raman spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), thin-section microscopy, X-Rays Diffraction spectroscopy (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). This project can be easily modulated towards the interests of the student with the possibility to focus more on theoretical (microfluidic design and data modelling), experimental (device construction and chemical analysis) or both aspects.

Link: http://mpc-www.mit.edu/component/k2/item/391-better-potassium-processing-through-microfluidics

Prerequisites: The candidate should be either a sophomore or junior student.

Hours: This will be a full-time project during summer, with the opportunity to continue into the fall 2014 semester.

Contact: Interested candidates please send a CV and a short cover letter expressing your interest in the position to both Dr. Davide Ciceri (ciceri@mit.edu) and Prof. Antoine Allanore (allanore@mit.edu).


4/1/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Rebecca Saxe

Project Title: Cross-Cultural Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Narratives

Project Description: A major modern political challenge is how to help members of different groups, especially those with a history of conflict, live together in peace and equality. The challenge is exacerbated both by continuing conflict over physical and social resources, and by the psychological biases and hostility towards one another that the conflict has created.

The primary goals of this research are to (1) functionally localize brain regions involved in bias between members of antagonistic groups, (3) develop novel measures of intergroup bias and antagonism, and (3) determine the effect of interventions on behavioral and neural measures of bias between groups that are either estranged (e.g. Americans and Arabs) or in conflict (e.g. Israelis and Palestinians).

The UROP engaged on this project will be working closely with Dr. Emile Bruneau and Project Coordinator Laura Ligouri to aid in both the neurobiological as well as applied research goals of the project. The UROP chosen will contribute towards the development of neuroimaging studies, will learn the foundations of functional MRI data analysis, will learn the application of collective intelligence tasks towards the assessment of peacebuilding programs, among other tasks.

Previous experience: Candidates for this UROP position will be expected to be self-motivated and demonstrate a keen sense of interest in the subjects under investigation.

The following skills would be most useful:
- Experience living or working within other cultures
- General coding experience and aptitude (e.g. javascript)
- Matlab programming experience

Contact: If you are interested, please send an email to lligouri@mit.edu and include:

*an overview of your previous experience (specific references to previous UROP and work experience, coursework, as well as any other projects you feel are applicable)

*attach a CV

*your availability between now and the end of the semester as well as your availability for the summer (include preferred start and end dates as associated with the Spring and Summer sessions; number of hours per week you are available; days/evenings/weekend availability)

*Please put “SocCog UROP” in the subject lin


4/4/14
Department: RLE
Faculty Supervisor: Marc Baldo

Project Title: Fabrication and Characterization of Polyene based Organic Solar Cells

Project Description: Singlet fission is a process in organic materials in which one high energy state spontaneously splits into two states of approximately half the energy. Traditional solar cells are limited to one electron out per photon in, wasting the excess energy of high energy photons as heat. By utilizing a singlet fission coating, high energy photons can generate two carriers and thus twice the photocurrent, while low energy photons are collected as usual in the non-fission absorber. This allows for a significant increase in the theoretical efficiency. Recently, a new set of materials, diphenylpolyenes, have been demonstrated to perform singlet fission.

This project will incorporate these materials into a functional photovoltaic device for the first time and use that device to understand and characterize the materials. The project will involve the full scientific process, from device design to fabrication and characterization. Deposition techniques learned will include spin coating and thermal evaporation. Characterization techniques learned will include current-voltage, quantum efficiency, and magnetic field effect measurements.

Requirements: None.

Contact: Dan Congreve at congreve@mit.edu


4/4/14
Department: Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Tanja Bosak

Project description: We are looking for a student to perform laboratory experiments at the interface between sedimentology, ecology and paleontology. Experiments will be conducted in Bosak’s geobiology lab, which has been equipped with a small wave tank apparatus. The purpose of the experiments is to reproduce sedimentary structures from the interactions between sediments, flow and microbial mats. The results of these experiments would have a profound impact on how trace fossils are interpreted. The experiments consist of running a wave tank using different sediments and microbial mats, monitoring the results using different types of cameras, and processing the images. The student will be encouraged to survey existing literature on trace fossils, to allow for comparisons with experimental results. The student would have large autonomy in conducting the experiments and will have the opportunity to propose and test his/her own hypotheses. The experiments will be conducted over a time frame of 1-3 months, between May and August 2014. The daily time schedule will be flexible.

Prerequisites: The student will work closely with G. Mariotti, post-doc at Bosak’s Lab. We are looking for a motivated and independent thinking student. Knowledge in paleobiology and/or sedimentology is preferred, but not necessary. An added bonus is if you have experience with Matlab and image processing.

Contact: Giulio Mariotti (giuliom@mit.edu); Tanja Bosak (tbosak@mit.edu)


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

Project Title: Design, Construction and Tests of an Autonomous Energy-Harvesting Station-Keeping Drifting Buoy for Persistent Wave Monitoring

Project Description: Vortical Flow Research Laboratory is looking for two UROPs who are interested in working on a novel design project for deployable, autonomous, non-moored buoys that will be used for sea environment measurements. The UROPs will assist VFRL researchers in conducting hydrodynamic calculations, in developing and implementing control algorithms for buoy operation, take part in developing the mechanical design, and take a large part in constructing the prototype and testing its performance.

Ideal candidates have some experiences with AUVs and hands-on work and have backgrounds in controls and mechanical design.

Availability: Spring 2014, Summer 2014, Fall 2014

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


4/4/14
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Philip Gschwend

Project Title: Passive sampling for measuring environmental organic pollutants

Project Description: The large-scale use of chemicals such as pesticides, solvents and petroleum products, has lead to widespread environmental contamination of toxic organic compounds. Large body burdens of these chemicals can pose health threats to organisms and to other species that consume them. Passive sampling with polymer membranes is one of the techniques that is currently being used for measuring concentrations of such contaminants in surface waters and sediments.

We are interested in the ability of passive sampler membranes to accumulate organic chemicals in a biomimetic fashion, and therefore serve as indicators of body burdens of organic chemicals in exposed organisms. The toxicity of hydrophobic chemicals is often additive, and we are developing and testing a method of predicting the cumulative toxic effects associated with mixtures of chemicals measured via passive sampling.

The UROP student will assist with chemistry laboratory work involving solvent extraction of polymer membranes and biological tissues, and chemical analysis by gas chromatography of chemicals such as PCBs and petroleum hydrocarbons. Additionally, the student will help with bioaccumulation and toxicity studies on small aquatic invertebrates.

Pre-requisities: Excited to work in a chemistry laboratory environment. Interest to learn analytical techniques and new instrumentation. Basic chemistry laboratory skills are a plus. Preference given to early applicants who are able to apply for direct funding by April 17th. This project is suitable for students interested in environmental chemistry with a focus on organic contaminants.

Duration: Summer 2014, dates flexible. Preferably 40 hrs/wk.

Contact: Patricia Tcaciuc, paty@mit.edu.


4/4/14
Department: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ali Khademhosseini

Project Title: Google Glass Assisted Biomedical Data Acquisition and Analysis

Project Description:
The past decade has witnessed rapid development and expansion on the use of smart, compact, and portable electronic devices such as iPhone and touchpads. These devices enable wireless telecommunications among remote parties, and have thus been exploited for their potential in a wide spectrum of biomedical applications, from bench-top image and signal processing, to point-of-care diagnosis and surgical aids. However, one critical limitation on such applications is the required use of touch/gesture-based control. One promising solution, the wearable Google Glass, perfectly solves such issue by packing together a voice-controlled computing system with imaging and videotaping capabilities. Together with the on-screen display and wireless features the Glass becomes a powerful tool, allowing data acquisition/processing, and wireless communication with remote parties, all in a hands-free manner. As a pioneer in testing the Google Glass, our lab seeks to develop various functions for it based on our own research, including, but not limited to, miniature microscope for monitoring cell behavior in a microfluidic bioreactor, organ-on-a-chip platforms with continual electrochemical sensing of secreted biomarkers, and a smart wound dressing system. We have a dynamic and multi-disciplinary team trying to tackle these issues. Join us and a set of Google Glass will be provided to you for the research work.

Prerequisite and Requirements:
The candidate(s) should hold strong background in programming, specifically, JAVA (Eclipse) and Android Development Tools (ADT) for Android operating systems, and/or Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE) Xcode and Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS. Experience in LabVIEW and MATLAB will be additional advantages.

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.


4/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Elfatih A. B. Eltahir

Project Description: A UROP opportunity (for pay) to work on a project that involves the development of a user interface to facilitate access and presentation of climate and climate change data at a regional scale. The selected student will contribute towards development of the user interface that should allow the user to easily access and present data on the future state of climate variables in Asia, including temperature and other climate variables.

Requirements/skills: The ideal candidate for this position should have a background in computer programming, user interface development, GIS, and Google Earth tools

Contact: If interested, please contact (jtegos@mit.edu) ASAP.


03/28/14
Department: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Kevin Slavin

Project description: The Playful Systems lab in collaboration with the Dalai Lama Center for Transformative Ethics is working on a mobile application (also an experiment/art project) that is about building empathy with a stranger.

Prerequisites: UROPs will work closely with graduate students who are both developers and designers, helping to program an iOS javascript. An added bonus is if you have experience with and are interested in motion-based signal processing, specifically in using accelerometer data to interpret types of activities.

Contact: Varounny Chanthasiri (varounny@mit.edu)


3/28/14
Department: Simons Center for the Social Brain (SCSB)
Faculty Supervisor: Various Faculty

Project Title: The Simons Center for the Social Brain (SCSB) will support several full-time UROPs during Summer 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 Summer 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, April 15. 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, April 15.

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


3/25/14
Department/ Lab: Sloan/MIT Center for Collective-Intelligence
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Thomas W. Malone

Project Title: Developing methods and tools for supporting rapid evaluation of intellectual artifacts (ideas, plans, proposals)

Project description: Crowdsourced Innovation enables organizations like Google, X-Prize, InnoCentive, Quirky, the MIT Climate CoLab and many others to find novel ideas and solutions to problems that, in some cases, were not available before. In open innovation contests, organizations present challenges, and seek ideas from a wide range of people. Project solicitations from organizations like the NSF, NIH, etc. are similar in many ways.

While this approach fosters the creation of many novel ideas, it also creates a challenge of evaluation: how to find the needles in the haystack - those few good ideas hiding in the mass of lower-quality ideas?

We are developing and testing techniques to address this challenge.

Task Description: As part of this project, we are interested to check whether and how:
1. A crowd of non-experts can perform subtasks that will off-load expert reviewers

2. A crowd of non-experts can predict or approximate expert reviews

3. Auto-graders, and auto-summarization tools may prove useful in the process.

Accordingly, we are looking for 2 computer-science students who will help in two capacities:

1. Assist in developing and running experiments on Mechanical Turk

2. Appropriate, extend, and test auto-grading software and auto-summarization software

UROP work can start immediately, and these positions will continue into the summer and until further notice. We are exploring funding opportunities, but currently, these positions are for credit.

Job 1: The Pasha of MTurk

What you’ll do:
1) Primary task: Help design and run experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

2) Preliminaries:
a) survey and select best framework (among several open-source beta projects) for running MTurk experiments.

b) Appropriate, extend, debug and maintain the selected tool as needed. Potentially develop or extend its interface so non-programmers can work with it more easily (we’re not looking for a fancy GUI design here, just for a reasonably accessible mode of work).

Students and skills preferred: A web programmer, probably a CS-major, but other with good programming skills will be considered. Know your LAMP, Java, Python, and related techniques such that you can easily do things like building simple web applications, appropriate and extend modules from GitHub and running them in no time, etc. while holding a cup of Joe in one hand.

Knowledge of R is a plus.

Time requirements: flexible. To be discussed. 10 hrs/wk sounds reasonable.

Job 2: Experimenting with AI code

What you’ll do:
a. Survey, implement and maintain code for running Auto-grading and Auto-Summarizing algorithms.

b. Appropriate, extend, debug and maintain the selected code as needed. Potentially develop or extend its interface so non-programmers can work with it.

c. Help design and run experiments, where said code will be used to summarize and grade plans and papers.

Students and skills preferred: An advanced year CS-major, interested in machine learning. Be able to independently find, evaluate, use and extend open source packages, and be able to work in a web environment. Knowledge of Java, Python is a must. Knowledge of related technologies/tools/languages e.g. MySQL, R, PHP, etc., as well as the ability to create an ugly but useful GUI will be a strong plus. You should be able to easily take modules from GitHub and run them in no time, while holding a cup of Joe in one hand.

This project is exploratory in nature, and offers potential for individual work that can grow. It may be of particular interest to students who consider graduate studies, and who may want to explore this area as a potential topic that can later develop into a master’s thesis.

Time requirements: Flexible, to be discussed. 10 hrs/wk sounds reasonable.

Contact: Yiftach Nagar (ynagar@mit.edu).


3/25/14
Multiple Projects
Department/Lab/Center: Aero/Astro
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Kerri Cahoy

Project Title #1: CubeSat Lab Research

Project Description: Micro-MAS is MIT’s first cubesat, currently being delivered to the launch provider this Spring. The team is looking for interested hardware and software UROPs to advance the next generation of MIT CubeSats starting this fall.

UROP type: * For pay * All summer, June-August * Prefer 40 hours per week, may consider part-time
_____________

Project Title #2: Wavefront Control Lab UROP

Project Description: The Wavefront Control Lab (WCL) is managed by Professor Kerri Cahoy. We at the forefront of optics research and are looking for UROPs this summer to help with in-lab demonstrations, testing and analysis.

UROP type: * For pay * All summer, June-August * Prefer 40 hours per week, may consider part-time

Contact: Annie Marinan, marinana@mit.edu


3/25/14
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Aero/Astro
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero

Project Title: SPHERES Zero Robotics--‘High School Game’

Project Description: The Zero Robotics team is looking for up to 5 UROPs to form the "High School Game Production" team during the Summer 2014 terms. The Zero Robotics (http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/) competition allows high-school students to program the SPHERES satellites (http://ssl.mit.edu/spheres) and compete first in simulation; the finalists have their code run by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

During Summer 2014 the Zero Robotics High School team will be completing the production of a new game for the 2014 Fall tournament and preparing all the online infrastructure to start a new Tournament in September 2014. The team members will participate in the "Kick-off" event (webcast) the first week of September. Every year the games reflect on a current topic of interest for aerospace (e.g. last year the collision of comets with Earth), while allowing the topic to be virtualized into a game to be played with SPHERES in simulation and aboard the ISS.

We are looking for students highly interested in programing, web development, and outreach. You will be challenged to complete the game programing (C++, Flash), ensure the ZR website is up to date and fully functional, prepare the game and tournament manual, and do outreach to participants.

Previous experience:
* Must have strong programming background (preferably in c/c++ or similar language)
* Working knowledge of MATLAB helpful
* Experience with JavaScript, ActionScript, HTML5, and/or FLASH helpful
* Experience with Linux based systems (programing, configuring) helpful
* Previous game design helpful
* Alum of a FIRST robotics team a plus

UROP type: * For pay * All summer, June-August * Prefer 40 hours per week, may consider part-time

Contact: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero, alvarso@mit.edu


3/25/14
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Aero/Astro
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero

Project Title: SPHERES Zero Robotics--Middle School Game

Project Description: The Space Systems Laboratory SPHERES (http://ssl.mit.edu/spheres) Zero Robotics (http://zerorobotics.mit.edu) team still looking for between 5 to 10 UROP students to run the "Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program 2014". This group of students will be the primary team supporting the 5-week summer program, which has now expanded to 9 states! In the competitions teams of students write software for our SPHERES satellites to race against each other through a game designed during the Spring. The competitions start with simulation runs and culminate with a live final aboard the International Space Station!

The tasks of the ZR UROPs will be to: Help with training of the Middle School teachers - Support the Middle School teams during a 5 week competition (June-July) - Be in charge of helping a specific region in the Middle School Summer Program (9 regions are participating this year: AL, CA, DC, FL, GA, ID, MA, OH, TX) - Help run the "finals" at MIT

What we are looking for in the UROP: Excited to work with middle school students (prior community service or outreach to students is preferred, but not required) - Basic programming experience in any language - Interest in satellite control and space - Strong academic background to represent MIT/SPHERES to middle schools - All years are encouraged to apply!

UROP details:
- Summer of 2014 (June - August : must be here all summer) - Full time - For pay
- Applications will be reviewed on a "rolling basis" until all positions are filled

Contact: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero, alvarso@mit.edu


3/25/14
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture and Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Leon R Glicksman

Project Title: Energy Efficiency in MIT Labs

Project Description: As part of the Campus Energy Task Force we are surveying a sample of the MIT labs that are most energy efficient and a sample of the least energy efficient ones. Laboratories are the largest energy consumers on campus. The major energy consuming equipment and functions need to be identified and their energy use quantified. The comparison between the best and least efficient labs will be used to provide estimates of potential improvements that the Institute should prioritize in the campus renewal programs. The work will involve the measurement and analysis of HVAC operations, lighting systems, laboratory equipment and IT systems. This will include both technical and economic properties. The results will be an important data base for future MIT sustainability actions.

Proposal Process: Applications must be submitted by April 1st. Further instructions may be found on the Energy UROP website.

Contact: Prof. Leon Glicksman (glicks@mit.edu)


3/25/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering/MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. John Hart

Project Title: Nanomanufacturing of High-Performance Electrostatic Capacitors

Project Description: This student will join our team researching the fabrication and performance of electrostatic capacitors incorporating carbon nanomaterials. This project is motivated by the need to develop energy storage devices with higher performance and for harsh operating environments. Specifically, we expect that our design can reach 10-20X the performance of electrostatic capacitors, while being scalable to roll-to-roll manufacturing. However, the approach is challenging in that it requires new processing techniques for carbon nanomaterials and understanding of dielectric properties at the nanoscale.

The student will own key tasks related to nanomaterial synthesis, processing, and electrical characterization, and contribute to new device design strategies. Depending on the student’s interests, the project may also include analytical or computational modeling. Ideal candidates should have interests and experience in micro/nano fabrication, energy devices and their applications, electrical characterization, and the principles of electromagnetism.

Proposal Process: Applications must be submitted by April 1st. Further instructions may be found on the Energy UROP website.

Contact: Prof. John Hart (ajhart@mit.edu, www.mechanosynthesis.com)


3/25/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering/MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. John Hart

Project Title: Origami-inspired manufacturing of energy storage devices

Project Description: Via transformation of paper and sheet materials from into novel 3D structures, Origami-inspired design provides an opportunity to realize unique geometries and functionalities at various scales. We are exploring concepts whereby folding is used to achieve some of the key requirements for practical energy storage performance, such as improved storage capacity per unit volume. This project will involve studying the mechanics of selected functional materials to facilitate folding, along with related experiments and computational modeling. The student will lead key tasks as part of a team demonstrating a new device by the end of the summer. Further, we will investigate different folding designs to achieve optimal properties, with a strong focus on scalability for manufacturing.

Contact: Prof. John Hart (ajhart@mit.edu, www.mechanosynthesis.com)


3/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Science, Technology, and Society Program (STS)
Supervisor: Prof. John Durant

Project Title: Google Glass at the MIT Museum.

Research context: Augmented Reality installations are becoming significant in museums. As important projects such as Gallery One ArtLens at the Cleveland Museum of Art shows, a new generation of mobile technology can provide visitors new interaction to experience the museum visit.

The key research question: How can Augmented Reality facilitate visitor engagement with the collections, galleries and exhibitions of the MIT Museum? In particular, how can new generations of devices such as Google Glass enhance the visitor experience?

Project description: Through a design-based research methodology we will carry on an exploration of AR technology by testing some interface prototypes and visitor interactions in a museum context. We will adopt Google Glass and smart phones.

The resulting findings will give the opportunity to reflect on principles for engaging visitors in a meaningful museum experience that is AR-mediated.

Two UROP positions are now open

Developer prerequisites: proficiency in programming for Android and an interest in learning and improving skills for the Glass Development Kit (GDK) to build Glassware that runs directly on Google Glass. https://developers.google.com/glass/develop/index,HTML/CSS abilities are preferred.

Duration: Spring 2014 Credit (and/or Volunteer).

Contact: If you think this is from interest for you, send a resume and a list of relevant projects you have worked on so far and familiarity with programming (as described above) to Dr. Marco Mason, mrcmason@mit.edu


3/14/17
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Building Technology Program, Architecture and Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Leon R Glicksman

Project Title: Energy Efficiency in MIT Labs

Project Description: As part of the Campus Energy Task Force we are surveying a sample of the MIT labs that are most energy efficient and a sample of the least energy efficient ones. Laboratories are the largest energy consumers on campus. The major energy consuming equipment and functions need to be identified and their energy use quantified. The comparison between the best and least efficient labs will be used to provide estimates of potential improvements that the Institute should prioritize in the campus renewal programs. The work will involve the measurement and analysis of HVAC operations, lighting systems, laboratory equipment and IT systems. This will include both technical and economic properties. The results will be an important data base for future MIT sustainability actions.

Contact:
Leon Glicksman (glicks@mit.edu)


3/17/14
Department/Lab/Center: Industrial Processing Center
Faculty Supervisor: Elisabeth Reynolds

Project Title: Developing Globally Competitive Agricultural Clusters in Japan

Project Description: While Japan is well known for many of its globally competitive industries such as the automotive industry, and its process innovation such as Kaizen, it also has strengths in agricultural products that have been on the whole less successful in penetrating global markets. Significant opportunities exist in Japan for building successful agriculturally-based clusters like those that have arisen elsewhere such as in Napa Valley, California or the Netherlands Food Valley. However, agricultural industries in Japan suffer from an aging labor force as well as lack of knowledge or access of international markets.

This research project, based at the Industrial Performance Center (IPC) and working in conjunction with a senior executive of the Japan Railway East Company (JRE), will focus on understanding the agricultural base in Japan and researching strategies that have been employed globally to develop successful, globally competitive agricultural-based clusters, often combined with tourism. In particular, social networks, cloud sourcing/funding and other internet-based strategies will be examined to see how they might be deployed in Japan.

The UROP engaged on this project will be researching Japan’s economy, specifically in agriculture (and marine) to understand the opportunities that exist for regional economic development. In addition, the UROP will examine how agricultural clusters in other parts of the world, or specific companies and products, have successfully penetrated global markets by employing social networks and internet-based strategies to gain access to capital and markets.

Work will begin the Summer of 2014 with the possibility of continued work into the fall semester. The UROP will report directly to Elisabeth Reynolds, Executive Director of the IPC but work closely with a JRE executive who is a visiting researcher at the IPC. The UROP is required to work 10 to 40 hours a week depending on his or her availability and he or she will be paid the standard UROP amount per hour ($10 per hour) or more depending on experience. At the standard amount, the maximum income for the summer is $4,800.

Skills: include proficiency in Japanese, and good writing skills. Strong analytical and interpersonal skills also required. Some background in economics or business preferred as well as an interest in agriculture.

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


3/17/14
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ali Khademhosseini

Project Title: Google Glass Assisted Biomedical Data Acquisition and Analysis

Project Description: The past decade has witnessed rapid development and expansion on the use of smart, compact, and portable electronic devices such as iPhone and touchpads. These devices enable wireless telecommunications among remote parties, and have thus been exploited for their potential in a wide spectrum of biomedical applications, from bench-top image and signal processing, to point-of-care diagnosis, and to surgical aids. However, one critical limitation has been exerted by the fact that all these operations need to be performed when hand-holding the devices. One promising alternative, the wearable Google Glass, perfectly solves such issue of inconvenience by integrating a voice-controlled computing system with imaging and videotaping capabilities integrated with on-screen display and wireless technologies, which easily allows one to acquire data and potentially perform data analysis and communicate with remote parties all in a hands-free manner. As a pioneer in testing the Google Glass, our lab seeks to develop various functions for the Glass based on our own researches, including but not limited to, miniature microscope for monitoring cell behaviors in a microfluidic bioreactor, organ-on-a-chip platforms with continual electrochemical sensing of secreted biomarkers, and smart wound dressing. One set of Google Glass will be provided for conducting related researches.

Prerequisite and Requirements: The candidate(s) should hold strong background in programming, specifically, JAVA (Eclipse) and Android Development Tools (ADT) for Android operating systems, and/or Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE) Xcode and Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS. Experiences in other programming such as LabVIEW and MATLAB will be additional advantages.

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.


3/17/14
Multiple Positions
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project description #1: The topic is On-Demand Transportation (MoD systems) on a public level. The context is India and China. The idea is to have On-Demand options like buses which come pick you up rather than you going to the bus-stop. A very hybrid system of getting upper middle class people who otherwise do not travel by bus, to take it.

Responsibility: The project will be to focus on current and future mobility patterns in BRIC countries, changing consumer behavior and parametric modelling. A background in design, consumer research, social behavior, architecture, computer science, urban planning, traffic, automotive design, mechanical engineering is essential.

Pre-requisites: We are looking for some experience in either one of the following - 3D Modelling, Web design, Interest in creating Apps for Android/IOS, Python, Grasshopper, CSS

Contact: Karthik Vembu Narayan (kvn@mit.edu)
__________
Project discription #2:
The topic is Wearable technologies to help the lower income group in BRIC countries. To create a sweat sensor and calibrate information from it. We are looking for 2-3 UROPs.

Responsibility: The project will look into research and creating working prototypes of wearable products for various parameters both on a city and personal level. We will be collaborating with others in the Lab.

Pre-requisites: We are looking for some experience in either one of the following - A background in electrical/electronics, embedded systems, computer science, mechatronics, robotics. Fabrication, circuit design.

Contact: Karthik Vembu Narayan (kvn@mit.edu)


3/17/14
Multiple Positions
Department/Lab/Center: Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology (ISN)
Faculty Supervisor: Alfredo Alexander-Katz

Project Title: Drug Delivery Systems Design

Project Description #1: We are developing drug delivery platforms. Microfluidic technology allows us to control the release kinetics of a drug or the conditions in which drugs are released at the nano-scale.

We are looking for motivated, driven UROP students to join the interdiscplinary team and do in vitro testing on our devices and assist in design aspects. We are looking for a student to help in running experiments and gathering data on our devices. Assays that will be run include immunoassays (i.e. ELISA), HPLC, TGA, and diffusion-studies. Lab experience in biology or biological engineering is desirable, but so is a genuine enthusiasm to gain experience in wet-lab.
_________
Project Description #2: We are in the final design steps and testing of a medical device that can store and deliver lyophilized drugs under emergency or ambulatory conditions. A device that can hasten the reconstitution of lyophilized drugs would combine the rapid deployment and delivery of a drug in aqueous solution without sacrificing the stability and shelf-life of lyophilized drugs.

We are looking for motivated, driven UROP students to join the interdisciplinary team to assist in design aspects. We are looking for someone with experience in drafting using SolidWorks to help modify or redesign our devices in coordination with simulations and lab results.

Contact: Albert Chi (ahchi@mit.edu) and Dr. Oscar Miranda, PhD (omirandas@mit.edu)


3/10/14
Summer 2014
Department/Lab/Center: 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 Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) Scale Up research, led by MIT’s Industrial Performance Center (IPC), focuses on the growth trajectory of innovative start ups that require production capabilities to understand how and where these companies acquire the skills and know-how to manufacture new technologies, 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 now begin looking 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 both a Massachusetts and 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 Summer 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 to 20 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 required: include knowledge of Excel, and good writing skills. Knowledge of Stat an asset. Strong analytical and interpersonal skills also required.

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


3/10/14
Department/Lab/Center: Economics
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Robert Pindyck

Project Title: The Economics of Potential Global Catastrophes

Project Description: I am looking for one or two students to help with a research project related to the economics of potential global catastrophes, including possible catastrophic climate change, as well as such events as nuclear terrorism or a mega-virus. I am concerned with the economic and policy implications of multiple sources of uncertainty (e.g., with respect to environmental damage), and with the statistical characterization of low-probability outcomes. This work also addresses the macroeconomic and financial implications of possible global catastrophes – I use simple general equilibrium models, calibrated to economic and financial data, to infer the likelihood of catastrophic events and distributions for their impact, and to assess the “willingness to pay” to avert such events. (For more information, go to my website and download “Uncertain Outcomes and Climate Change Policy,” “The Climate Policy Dilemma,” and “The Economic and Policy Consequences of Catastrophes.”)

This work may involve extensive programming in MATLAB, some statistical analysis, and an intensive literature review. Candidates should have a strong working knowledge of MATLAB, as well as a good background in economics. They should also be able to work independently. The work can begin immediately, and could continue through the summer and possibly next fall.

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.


3/4/14
Department: Electrical Engineering & Computer Science | MIT Energy Initiative
Faculty Supervisor: Erik Demaine

Project Title: Energy-Efficient Algorithm Compiler

Project Description: We are developing a new field of algorithms where we measure the amount of energy it consumes in addition to the time and space it uses. In our model, reversible computation (where the inputs can be recovered from the outputs) is free, but creating or destroying information costs energy. This model will become the dominant energy cost in computers within the next 10-20 years.

We would like to be able to measure the energy savings our algorithms achieve by implementing a language and simple compiler. (The compiler needn't be efficient -- you can think of it as a simulation.) We have already designed most of a pseudocode language, but it would be cool to see it actually "running" (in a simulated sense) on a real computer.

Long term, we envision that this language specification would be a model for the future of energy-efficient computing.

Application Deadline: Applicants are asked to follow the procedures on the Energy UROP page (http://mitei.mit.edu/education/undergraduate-research), with a deadline of April 1st.

Contact: Further questions may be directed to the MITEI Student Activities Coordinator, Ethan Feuer at efeuer@mit.edu


3/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: 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: Prior research experience, especially in biology or neuroscience, is a plus but not required. Experience with Matlab or similar coding languages is preferred. Qualified applicants must have an interest in neuroscience and a strong work ethic, be detail oriented, reliable, and work well with others. We require 15-20 hours/week during the semester and working 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.


3/4/14
Department: Linguistics and Philosophy
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. David Pesetsky

Project Description: Take part in new exciting research in the field of music cognition. The project is located at the intersection of theoretical, computational modeling and experimental work exploring how humans process and perceive complex structure in music. We are looking for eager students with an interest in music cognition to help with experimental work, developing computational tools.

The ideal UROP has some basic background in music, experience in programming (if possible with web technologies), data collection and analysis. Be part of cutting-edge cognitive research project on music, bring in your own ideas and learn how the musical mind works!

Contact: Write an email to Martin Rohrmeier (mr1@mit.edu, http://web.mit.edu/mr1/www/) to apply for this UROP. Please include a brief resume, including your experience in programming and computational modeling as well as one paragraph about who you are and what you expect to get out of the participation at this UROP project.

Visit the Research section of the MIT website