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

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Roger Mark

Project Title: Big Data in Healthcare: MIMIC Preprocessing Module

Project Description: MIMIC is a large open ICU dataset used for the secondary analysis of health data. The next phase of this NIH supported research initiative is to merge and connect critical care data across institutions and countries. The Lab for Computational Physiology ( is seeking a UROP researcher to assist in designing and developing an application module to connect and import multicenter datasources to the MIMIC data structure. An interest in healthcare and data analytics is desirable.

Prerequisites: Python, SQL, Databases. HTML/CSS/Django a plus.

URL (if applicable)

Contact: Kenneth Paik,

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Richard Fletcher

Title: Mobile Phone App and Machine learning for Health Diagnostics

Our group develops a variety of mobile technologies to diagnose disease and abnormalities in a person's health. Besides creating the basic GUI for the mobile app, we also need to implement some machine learning (classification) on the phone itself to be able to distinguish between different disease states (i.e. do you have disease A or B? healthy or abnormal? etc.)
Sample applications include: (1) scanning newborn babies in India, where many babies die because of the fact that health workers are not able to detect underlying problems although the baby might appear healthy; and when the condition and symptoms become obvious, it is often too late for treatment. (2) pulmonary disease -- this is a second leading cause of death in India and 4th world-wide. Many forms of pulmonary disease (COPD, asthma, cancer) can be treated or prevented if early signs are detected. (3) printed/lab diagnostics -- we have a portable device that plugs into an Android phone that can do DNA/antibody testing on patient blood samples. We are looking for a student to develop an Android app for that as well. (4) scanning pregnant mothers in the last trimester to assess the health of their unborn baby.

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

UROP tasks include:
We are currently seeking UROP students to help explore innovative sensing techniques and applications using mobile phones. Since this field is very interdisciplinary, we welcome students with all levels of skills and interest areas. Interface design, algorithm development, and image processing and among the key areas used. In parallel with signal processing, we are also developing machine learning algorithms to assist with decision support and feedback for the health workers. Software will be implemented on Android phones and tablets using the JAVA SDK along with the native C NDK.

We are looking for students with a solid programming background in JAVA and/or C++, preferably in the context of Android. Prior experience with Android and/or image processing is a plus. In parallel with signal processing, we are also developing machine learning algorithms to assist with decision support and feedback for the health workers and doctors. No biomedical background is necessary, but of course general interest in developing technologies that help people is important. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress. At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working this spring term and possibly interested in summer UROP as well. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration. Opportunities to travel to India is also available.

Contact: Richard Fletcher,

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Erik Brynjolfsson

Project Title: Digital Leadership

Project Description: This UROP opportunity is part of a project being conducted within the Center for Digital Business (CDB), Sloan School. The project is exploring digital leadership capability and how to develop it, in the context of the sponsor company's emerging digitally-oriented organizational design. The sponsor company is Chinese and most of the data collection (interviews and surveys) is being conducted with Chinese-speaking respondents. The UROP candidate will support the project by assisting with interview documentation, implementing the online survey, and conducting secondary research into the company, its use of digital technologies, and its particular businesses. We seek a student with interests in digital technologies, organizational issues, and excellent understanding of spoken Mandarin who could also assist with oral translations and cross-cultural communication.

Prerequisites: Prior work experience in any organization Interest in digital technologies and capabilities Interest in organizational dynamics Excellent spoken Mandarin (plus written Mandarin, if possible)

Contact: Deborah Soule,

Spring 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Jose Gomez-Marquez

Project Title: Mobile App development for Diagnostic Construction Sets

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

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

Spring 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Mathematics
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Philippe Rigollet


Title: Fitting Sparse Additive Models Using Thresholded Basis Expansion

Description: Additive models have proved to be a powerful alternative to linear regression models. In the high-dimensional setting several sparse variants of this model have been proposed and analyzed. The purpose of this project is to study the optimality a remarkably simple procedure to fit such models and its numerical performance. This project will blend many of the basic tools employed in nonparametric and high-dimensional statistics such as thresholding, wavelets, Fourier analysis, minimax optimality and approximation theory.

Qualifications: The student should have taken a course on introductory probability and statistics and real analysis. Experience with coding is mandatory, preferably with Matlab or R.

Contact: Professor Philippe Rigollet,


Title: Revisiting the Network Scale-up Method

Description: The network scale-up method has been successfully employed by sociologists to estimate hidden or hard to reach populations (drug injectors, sex workers,…). This method consists in sampling a population by asking the question “How many people do you know in population X?” rather than “do you belong to population X?”. Surprisingly, this problem has connection to the matrix completion problem that arises in recommender systems (e.g. the Netflix problem). The goal of this project is to understand and simulate new methods for this kind of data in light of this connection. Other statistical applications, beyond estimation of hidden populations are foreseeable.

Qualifications: The student should have taken a course on introductory probability and statistics and linear algebra. Interest in graph theory is a plus (for secondary goals) but is not required. Experience with coding is desirable, preferably with Matlab or R.

Contact: Professor Philippe Rigollet,

Spring 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Christian Catalini

Project Title: MIT Bitcoin Study - Big data and blockchain analysis

Project Description: The objective of this project is to develop new tools to analyze and understand transactions taking place on the Bitcoin blockchain. We will use a mix of machine learning and network analysis to understand patterns, describe and visualize activity taking place on the blockchain.

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

Ideal Candidates have very strong programming skills in python, R, machine learning, SQL, and basic knowledge of statistics. Responsibility for this position include (a) writing code to collect data from the blockchain; (b) managing and analyzing data; (c) network and graph analysis; (d) visualizing data on the web.

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

Contact: Please email Christian Catalini ( with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet.

Spring 2015 & Summer 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof Ramesh Raskar, Camera Culture Group

Project Title: Detecting micro emotions using advanced machine learning techniques.

Project Description: We will be working on large data-sets and extracting facial features and emotions from the data sets. Our primary emphasis will involve innovation in this field using deep learning. We will also look into novel techniques for getting physiological signs from real time high resolution video. We we also experiment with thermal imaging, high resolution and high FPS raw video and muti-view image registration to solve these problems more accurately.

Goal: Developing deep learning based algorithms for reading facial emotions and applying these techniques to solve real world problems. The student will work on development and data collection.

Relevant Skills: Candidates should be proficient in Matlab/Python/C++/Java. Candidates should have ideally taken courses in Computer Vision, Machine Learning experience is a plus.

Funding: Sponsored research funds are available to support this project

Contact: Interested students should contact Otkrist Gupta ( Include a resume and a list of relevant courses.

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Economics
Faculty Supervisor: Daron Acemoglu

Project Title: Experiments on the cognitive foundations of strategic behavior

Project Description: Game theory has been incredibly successful in modeling strategic behavior; for example: prices in markets, auctions, and school matching. However, there is still much to be known about the neural and cognitive basis of strategic behavior.

Three experiments will shed light on three different aspects of strategic decision making: cooperative vs. competitive reasoning;  costs of cognition; and the role of self-control in strategy. These experiments will involve subjects recruited from MTurk as well as lab participants.

Responsibilities: The student will play a key role in the experiments, serving the double task of programmer and designer of the technical aspects of the experiment:

1) Take the main role in programing the experiments to be carried on MTurk, using the PsiTurk framework (, from a given blueprint of the experimental design

2) Assist in the design and realization of lab experiments (contribute to the design of the experiment's blueprint, be present during the lab experiment and provide material to participants, etc.)

Key Qualifications:

1) Programming experience and a willingness to use JavaScript and Python. Flexibility is a plus: other languages or frameworks might be needed as the experiments progress.

2) Highly motivated; interested in understanding and designing experiments for research in economics, psychology or cognitive science.

Project Timeline: The position requires a minimum commitment through the end of the Spring semester. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Contact: David Jimenez-Gomez (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Ram Sasisekharan

Project Title: Design, optimization and testing of monoclonal antibody therapies for the study and treatment of infectious diseases

Project Description: Glycans (sugar chains) have important functional roles in many diseases. The Sasisekharan Lab builds and integrates a variety of experimental and computational tools to study protein-glycan interactions involved many important biomedical problems, including cancer and infectious disease. One focus of our lab is to use these tools to help design antibody therapies that target glycoproteins for the treatment of viral infections, including dengue fever, influenza (Swine flu, Avian flu, etc.), HIV, and even viral infections caused by the Ebola virus in the current (2014) outbreak. As a UROP student on this project, you will work directly with a graduate student to produce, purify and test these antibodies on a variety of biological assays, as well as carry out experiments to help optimize these antibodies for improved effectiveness

Prerequisites: We are seeking enthusiastic, motivated UROP students for Spring of 2015 and beyond. Ideally, applicants will be in their Sophomore year in Courses 20 or 7, though students from other departments with a general understanding in biology and biochemistry may also apply. Previous research experience is not required.


Contact: Devin Quinlan (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Anthropology (Course 21A)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Erica Caple James

Project Title: Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative

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

- Researching contemporary topics in global health in specific regions of the world
- Researching existing global health and/or medical humanities programs in the United States and across the globe to identify best practices
- Identifying (and outreach to) existing student residential houses and organizations on the MIT campus to bring academic programming outside of the classroom
- Conducting literature reviews on research topics of interest to GHMHI staff.

GHMHI welcomes applications from all interested students at both MIT and Wellesley College, but those applying should have a background or demonstrated interest in the subject matter and have some prior research experience (quantitative and/or qualitative). GHMHI is pleased to offer this opportunity to undergraduate students for direct funding via the UROP Office (proposal deadline: 2/12/15), for academic credit (proposal deadline: 3/19/15), or as a volunteer opportunity (proposal deadline: 3/19/15). Students are able to contribute as many or as few hours per week to the UROP position as their schedules permit.

Please note, however, that students participating in a UROP for either direct funding or in a volunteer capacity who wish to have a notation of this UROP position recorded on their transcript should plan to contribute a minimum of ~ 80 hours during the semester. Academic credit will be granted based on the following formula: 1 hour/week throughout the term = 1 credit unit.


Contact: Interested applicants are invited to contact Brittany Peters via email at Please include an up-to-date resume along with a brief statement of interest in the work of GHMHI in your submission.

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Researcher (Urban Studies)

Project Description: The MIT Design Lab seeks a UROP researcher to join its Caring City Lifestyle Observatory. The Caring City is an in-depth international research project aimed at visualizing Millennials ideal city. The researcher will find, read and annotate secondary sources. He/she will read authoritative studies related to Millennials in the US, Europe and worldwide, as well as reports on architecture and urbanism, and prepare regular research reports for the rest of the Caring City team that synthesize his/her findings. He/she will also maintain an extensive and updated project bibliography. The position can be for credit or pay. The position is ideal for a student who is interested in architecture, urbanism, or city design, and wants to do further research in architecture and urbanism. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required, as is the ability to accurately and concisely synthesize large amounts of information. The MIT Design Lab (formerly the Mobile Experience Lab) takes a human-centered, multicultural and hands-on approach to design challenges, on behalf of major clients around the world.

Prerequisites: Excellent written and oral communication skills


Contact: Anika Gupta (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Data Visualizer (Urban Studies)

Project Description: The MIT Design Lab seeks a UROP researcher to join its Caring City Lifestyle Observatory. The Caring City is an in-depth international research project aimed at visualizing Millennials ideal city. The data visualizer will work with the project s lead graduate student designer to craft high-quality, professional data visualizations related to major themes in Millennial research, urbanism, architecture and city design. He/she will research visualization techniques, suggest ways these techniques might be used to visualize the project s Caring City s primary and secondary data, and execute these visualizations for print and online. The position is ideal for a student who is interested in data visualization and graphic design. Proficiency in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and other relevant visualization software/tools is required, as is a familiarity with statistical data. The MIT Design Lab (formerly the Mobile Experience Lab) takes a human-centered, multicultural and hands-on approach to design challenges, on behalf of major clients around the world.

Prerequisites: Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, as well as familiarity with statistical data and data viz software


Contact: Blanca Abramek (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Chemistry (Course 5)
Faculty Supervisor: Troy Van Voorhis

Project Title: Developing new Problem authoring tools for Online Chemistry Education

Project Description: Online education has witnessed explosive growth over the past few years, in part due to the advent of massively open online courses (MOOCs). In this context, significant effort has been put into content delivery providing media that introduce material and review problem solving strategies. In order to realize the expected student learning outcomes, these sophisticated content delivery approaches need to be coupled with student assessments quizzes, problem sets and examinations. The need for regular, varied evaluations is highlighted by several factors: students tendency to cram; the proven benefits of spacing as a retention tool; and the correlation between the variety of assessment and perceived learner satisfaction. Unfortunately, online assessment problems are often relatively primitive compared to content delivery. In many cases, entire online courses are assessed using only multiple choice or numerical response questions. This situation might be acceptable for a strictly quantitative field, like statistics. But it poses a serious challenge for chemistry, which involves a mix of the quantitative and the qualitative. The tools developed by the student will be designed to interface with the edX platform, an open source, freely available package4. Some of the tools described above may require expansion of the edX platform itself. In these situations, the PI will coordinate with the edX staff to ensure that the necessary updates will become a part of future edX releases. Beyond that, we will create a library of sample problems, illustrating how various problems of each type are constructed and giving step-by-step instructions about how variants could be authored. edX has an extraordinary reach it currently collaborates with 28 universities, offering over 70 courses to over a million students in 192 countries. Thus, deploying these tools within edX will have a wide audience both in terms of the number of potential instructors and the number of potential students. The PI has experience working with the edX codebase, having used it to assign ~100 homework and tutorial problems in MIT's general chemistry course (5.111) in Spring 2013. At present, edX has a number of problem types that can be used for assessment. In addition to simple numerical response and multiple choice, responses can involve typing a mathematical formula, clicking the relevant part of a schematic, or dragging potential responses into blanks. There are also some discipline-specific problem types. For example, there is a framework for fairly sophisticated electrical engineering problems that involve assembling different components (resistors, capacitors, etc.) into a working circuit. However, edX currently lacks any problem types specific for chemistry, a deficiency in the platform we hope to (at least partially) remedy. We are designing and implementing several new problem types for teaching chemistry using edX. At present we are mainly chemists (with some programming skill) and we are interested in adding one or two programmers (with some chemistry skill) to the team.

The goal is to create several new problem types in the edX environment. We currently have many tools (mostly Pythonic) outside the edX platform that perform the functions we desire; however, getting these tools to work inside the (HTML and Javascript) edX environment is reaching beyond our expertise as chemists. Many problems in chemistry require students to be facile with connecting the structure of a molecule to its properties; thus, first and foremost, we are working on several ways to allow students to submit chemical structures as an answer to a problem. Already implemented in the edX platform is the ability for a student to submit a molecular formula (e.g. CH3COOH) as the answer to a problem; however, evaluation of the correctness of the students answer is less functional. At present, edX only allows for (essentially) string comparison. We have a Python tool that checks for permutations of the same molecular structure (e.g. CH3COOH should be graded equivalently to H3CCOOH), but we desire assistance implementing this tool on the edX platform. Perhaps more ambitiously, we are implementing the ability for a student to submit Lewis structures as the answer to problems. We are currently experimenting with several open-source Javascript applets which allows students to draw molecules, and developing a codebase surrounding these applets to extract text-based equivalents to drawn structures (e.g. SMILES strings). Challenges ahead involve comparing different equivalent structures, assigning partial credit, and tailoring the assignments for different levels. We hope that this tool will be useful one day in all chemistry classes not just general chemistry! Outside the realm of grading molecular structures, we are aiming to implement automatic grading of short answer questions. Common in the general chemistry curriculum are questions requiring a one- or two- sentence answer, like explain a periodic trend or answer the question what is entropy? We have developed a prototype Python script based on natural language processing as a first stab at solving this problem. We are looking for assistance in refining the grading script, linking it to the edX platform, and developing an API for course designers. Short answer questions are common in all disciplines and not just chemistry, so this tool could have wide-reaching uses!

We are looking for a student with passion and expertise in programming with interest in online chemistry education. As we are trying to link a lot of libraries and scripts we have written in Python with Javascript that runs client-side through the edX platform, experience with Python, Javascript, and AJAX is ideal.

Contact: Troy Van Voorhis (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Transformable / Robotic furniture project

Project Description: The new MIT Design Lab has an open UROP position for this Spring 2015. We are seeking help researching, designing, and prototyping transformable or robotic furniture for a new space around MIT. Initially the project would include background research and design/3D modelling the furniture, with the hope to build a prototype in late spring. This is an exciting project that could be featured on campus for years to come.

Prerequisites: Desired skills include interest in transformable objects, basic mechanical systems as well as ability to design in 2D or 3D software. Experience with electrical engineering and/or digital fabrication would be a plus but not required.

Contact: Ryan Mclaughlin (

Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences/Linguistics and Philosophy
Faculty Supervisors: Prof. Ken Wexler, Martin Hackl

Project Description: We investigate the nature of the computational system of human language, by studying immature language in the child (the development of language). The research is interweaving current linguistic theory and empirical work. The current research areas include quantified statements, focus operators, and passive sentences. Your work will involve (i) running experiments with children (mainly 3-6 years old), (ii) data-entering, (iii) and contacting day-cares for cooperation. It might also involve (iv) assistance in experimental design and preparation of experimental materials.

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

UROP's main goals will be: engagement with cutting edge theoretical developments in language acquisition and acquiring hands-on experience with behavioral research with children.

Contact: If you are interested, please email Prof. Wexler ( and Prof. Martin Hackl (, and also CC Ayaka Sugawara ( and Leo Rosenstein ( with your resume.

There are a few UROP positions for Spring 2015: Work hours are flexible. There is a possibility of continuing working in the subsequent semester(s).

Applications received by Monday, February 16th will be given full consideration. MIT students interested in direct funding should apply by February 6th.

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: James Collins

Project Title: Understanding Bacterial Stress Responses via Network Biology

Project Description: Antibiotic induces stress responses in bacteria that can greatly affect the success of treating infectious diseases. These stress responses are highly complex and are managed by complex gene regulatory networks. This UROP project seeks to infer the induction of bacterial stress responses from 'big data' microarray gene expression profiles from different bacteria. This student will complete the assembly of a gene expression compendia and apply various systems biology methods to generate hypotheses which can be tested experimentally. Depending on interest and progress, the student may have an opportunity to be trained in doing followup experiments to test his/her own model predictions. This bulk of this work will be completed at the Broad Institute. The ideal UROP student is a Course 20 or Course 6, 7 sophomore or junior who is very comfortable with MATLAB and interested in computational biology.

Prerequisites: Comfort working with MATLAB is required. Course completion in Linear Algebra, Cell/Molecular Biology, Signals and Systems and/or Control Theory preferred.

Type and Hours: Project is 10+ hours/week and for credit to start. May become a full-time project for pay during the summer.


Contact: If interested, please email Jason Yang ( with aCV, list of completed coursework and brief statement (2-3 sentences) indicating your goals in pursuing a UROP.

Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ann Graybiel

Project Description: We are seeking a student to help this spring and full-time this summer with histological and/or behavioral studies of mouse models of Parkinson’s and Huntington's disease. We have generated mice that lack signaling molecules that are normally expressed in regions of the forebrain that are known to control movement and mood. The position available involves studying behavioral and molecular effects of these gene deletions in Parkinson's and Huntington’s disease models. The experiments require a a significant amount of training and dedicated time in the laboratory and so we are seeking a student that will be able to continue research in the Graybiel laboratory for longer term.

Contact: Jill Crittenden ( and please cc Yasuo Kubota (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Matthew Amengual

Project Title: Business Preferences for Labor Regulation

Project Description: Labor regulations throughout the world play a crucial role in distributing economic benefits and protecting basic human rights. At the same time, they can also impose costs on business and be politically controversial. What determines which businesses find labor regulations burdensome? Answering this question is key to understanding the political role of businesses in shaping labor regulations, as well as the impact of economic changes (such as flows for foreign direct investment and outsourcing) on policy. To answer this question, a UROP will assemble data from a variety of sources, including micro-level data from a survey of over 100,000 companies throughout the world, and perform statistical analyses to determine what variables are associated with firm preferences for labor regulations.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of STATA and advanced coursework in statistics/econometrics. Familiarity with multilevel modeling.

Contact: Matthew Amengual (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Seeking UROP for Internet of Things project

Project Description: The Fluid Interfaces Group ( is looking for a UROP student who has interest in robotics, industrial design and the Internet of Things. The UROP student will participate in building "smart" physical objects that have a virtual augmented interface for enabling advanced connected functionality. Your first task will be to add actuation and sensors to an office chair, desk lights and general purpose rotation knobs. Next you will define virtual interfaces for these objects using our "Reality Editor" toolkit.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have knowledge of electronics, Arduino and Web (javascript, html and css).

Contact: If interested, send your resume to Valentin Heun (

Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Les Norford

Project Title: Designing and implementing user interface for sustainable urban design software

Project Description: We’re developing an urban design simulation tool that provides climate-specific advice for cityscape geometry and land use to assist the development of energy-efficient cities that are also thermally comfortable. Once created, it will be a first of its kind to integrate energy- and thermal comfort- based concepts in urban design. More information on the project can be found on

We’re looking for a highly motivated student who will be responsible for designing and implementing the user interface in our current desktop GUI. The program has been written in C# using WPF in the .NET environment. You will be working on visualizing the simulation outputs as well as improving our current beta prototype for a better user interaction.

Requirements: C# programming skills required. Knowledge in energy simulations and interest in sustainable urban design are a plus.

Contact: If interested, please send an updated resume/portfolio to Aiko Nakano (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Nancy Kanwisher

Project Title: Relating the limits of cognition with the organization of the brain.

Project Description: We are currently leading a large-scale project in which we relate the organization of the human brain (via fMRI) to the cognitive limits of the human mind. Specifically, we are interested in examining how the organization of the visual and auditory systems actually limits the amount of information that humans can remember, attend to, and consciously perceive. Broadly, We are interested in understanding which types of cognitive abilities are constrained by the organization of the brain and which are not. In addition, we are specifically focused on identifying which particular parts of the brain are the most related to different visual tasks. Most of the neuroimaging data has already been obtained, so we will be primarily be doing behavioral testing (visual and auditory psychophysics) and analyzing existing fMRI data.

Prerequisites: We're specifically looking for candidates who:
1) Will be able to help with my research for the upcoming academic semester (and hopefully will want to stick around even longer!) (hours/week preferably > 6).
2) Are willing to help with the human (interacting with / schedule participants) and technical (experimental/analytic) side of experiments.
3) Have an interest in cognitive neuroscience research.

Contact: Michael Cohen (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: LEGO-tized Reality: Tangible User Interface (TUI) Research

Project Description: Changing Places is looking for a UROP to contribute to the CityScope Project, an effort to build augmented reality city models out of Lego. These models are used as tangible, collaborative decision support systems for tackling complex urban problems (see website for more info). Throughout this UROP, a student will gain a comprehensive understanding of technologies that enable augmented reality tangible user interfaces (TUIs). Key topics include projection mapping, object scanning, computer graphics, and software development (likely in Processing/Java). While working hand in hand with Media Lab researchers, the UROP will have their own budget to design and deploy modular hardware systems for exhibit at the Lab and with client cities (including Boston and Andorra). During the early spring, the UROP will hone their skills by building and exhibiting prototypes in-house. By late spring, and ideally into the summer, the UROP will apply their skills to deploy actual CityScope prototypes in communities of Boston and Andorra. All the while, the UROP will be given the freedom to hack radical prototypes with ideas of their own.

This UROP is for pay.

The UROP might expect occasional travel (i.e. Andorra), as deployment is very hands-on work. There are no requisites, but the UROP should expect to tackle a broad range of problems. Some knowledge of A/V systems and computer graphics is helpful. If research goes well, UROP is encouraged to continue on into summer and beyond.


Contact: Ira Winder (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Flexible materials for neural interfaces

Project Description: Restoration of motor and sensory functions in paralyzed patients requires the development of tools for simultaneous recording and stimulation of neural activity in the spinal cord. In addition to its complex neurophysiology, the spinal cord presents technical challenges stemming from its flexible fibrous structure and repeated elastic deformation during normal motion. To address these engineering constraints, we seek to develop highly flexible fiber probes, consisting entirely of polymers, for combined optical stimulation and recording of neural activity. The specific focus of this UROP project is to assist with the optical characterization and electrical characterization of the fiber probes. The fiber probe will be implanted to mice and the goal is to stimulate the spinal cords optically, get the neural recording simultaneously, and control the limb movements on demand. Besides characterization, students will learn how to fully assemble the fiber probes from a piece of polymer fiber into an implantable device. The UROP will begin during IAP or spring and can be extended

Contact: Chi Lu (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Magnetic nanoparticle synthesis for application in neuronal stimulation

Project Description: Electrical deep brain stimulation is used to treat drug-resistant psychiatric and neurological disorders but is surgically-invasive and not specific to cell type. We seek to develop a new neuromodulation method using magnetic fields for wireless neuronal excitation. By dissipating the energy in alternating magnetic fields into heat using nanoparticle transducers, heat-sensitized neurons will depolarize on-demand. The specific focus of this UROP project is to assist with optimizing the synthesis of the magnetic nanoparticles to achieve high heating efficiency and its material characterization. Surface functionalization and integration into in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical models will also be demonstrated.

Prerequisites: The UROP will begin during spring and must be available to work in the summer. Sophomores and Juniors are strongly encouraged to apply. Coursework in Bioengineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Materials Science may provide suitable background although not required. While previous lab experience is desired, we are open to providing students at various skill levels opportunities to broaden their research skill set. Students are expected to work at least 12-15 hours during the spring semester and full time (30 hours, with pay) during the summer.

Contact: Ritchie Chen (

Spring 2015
Multiple UROP Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. John E. Fernandez

Project Title: Resources and Urban Africa

Project Description: Predictions assert that Africa and Asia will account for 85-90 percent of growth in urban population in the coming four decades. Currently, the African continent hosts nine of the fifteen fastest growing national economies in the world . By 2050 the African urban population will exceed 1.2 billion, an increase of 786 million new urban residents . The research project A Typology of African Urban Resource Consumption seeks to understand this growth in terms of the physical resources consumed at present and required in the future. The main element of this work is the development of a typology of African cities using Material Flow Analysis and statistical analysis to establish a classification of cities based on distinct urban resource consumption profiles. The typology is based on the overall and per capita consumption of key resources including: water; materials; fossil fuel energy carriers; and CO2 emissions. Complementing this continent-wide typology research, this project has developed detailed resource maps showing the paths and volumes of resource extraction, acquisition, delivery and waste dispersal in six countries and the primary city/region in each: Cairo, Egypt; Gauteng, South-Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; Kinshasa, DRC; and Luanda, Angola. Based on this information, and with the cooperation and engagement of local partners, the team aims to define specific strategies to guide sustainable development of African Cities in terms of energy and material flows.

Tasks and Responsibilities: We are looking for different profiles of UROPs to join our team: - Data-mining and statistical analysis (Math or other): As UROP you will assist in the collection of data for a large set of cities spread over the African continent. You will cluster cities with similar resource consumption profiles based on the collected data, using R and other statistical methods/software, which will lead to the Typology of African Cities.

- Infrastructural challenges analysis and new technology potential (MechE, CEE or other): As a UROP you will assist on the continental scale in developing specific insight in the industrial, infrastructural and technological aspects of resource consumption defining the Typology of cities. On the national/urban scale you will assist the team in more detailed analysis of the existing infrastructures guiding resource flows and you will identify potential new technologies that can guide cities to an efficient and sustainable future of resource consumption.

- Environmental policy & economic impact (CEE, Planning, Econ or other): As a UROP you will develop an analysis on the continental scale of International African policies related to resource consumption in African cities. On the urban scale, you will develop a similar analysis for the 6 case study cities. You will develop policy change proposals that can be discussed with local authorities and identify the potential economic impact related to them.

- Spatial implications of natural resource flows (Arch, Planning or other): As a UROP you will assist in the spatial representation of resource flows for the 6 case study cities. You will engage in GIS-data collection and mapping as well as graphical representation of resource flows in diagrams. Depending on the development of the project you will potentially define strategic urban sites for which you will define stakeholders and key challenges to inform our discussion with local actors.

Prerequisites: No specific prerequisites are required. We are seeking students with special skills (as per the descriptions above) but will consider each applicant and their skill set on a case by case basis.


Contact: Phebe Dudek (

Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Christoph Reinhart

Project Title: Developing Efficient GPU-Based Daylighting Simulations

Project Description: Daylight in buildings is both aesthetically pleasing and a sustainable means of offsetting heating and electric lighting costs. However, poor use of daylight can lead to veiling glare on monitors and discomfort glare that impedes worker productivity. Traditional means for predicting the lighting quality of indoor spaces through simulation are time-consuming, which inhibits exploration of daylighting potential in new buildings. The goal of this project is to speed up architectural lighting simulation using GPU-based parallel ray tracing. The work produced from this project will be incorporated into publically-available lighting simulation software produced by the lab.

Tasks of UROP: The student will develop CUDA code for efficient lighting simulation and implement new modules into an existing code base. The student will also carry out performance testing and may be involved in collecting data from physical settings to use in validation. As work progresses, there may be opportunities for original research.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be motivated and have strong programming backgrounds with experience in CUDA or C/C++ programming. The ability to write and assess efficient code is key to this project. Prior experience with graphics programming is a strong plus.

Hours per week: 10+ hrs/week during spring semester; potentially full time for summer 2015.

Contact: Please contact graduate student Nathaniel Jones ( to set up an interview.

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kevin Slavin

Project Title: Domestic Biology Visualization

Project Description: Domestic Biology is a project of Julie Legault the Playful Systems group, directed by Professor Kevin Slavin. This project invites users to grow their own synthetic organisms in a custom built bioreactor. This bioreactor uses arduino based sensors (pH, Oxygen, Temperature) to monitor the growth of the organism and visualize it on-screen. We are seeking dedicated, creative, and highly motivated students to fill UROP positions (for pay or credits). You will be collaborating to create the visualization of data from the sensors. The visualization will need to run and be displayed on an android tablet.

Prerequisites: Android mobile development and visualization skills.

Contact: Interested candidates should send their resume and a brief paragraph about their background to Julie Legault (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering/LMP
Faculty Supervisor: Tonio Buonassisi

Project Title: Automated Materials Discovery Project in Python

Project Description: Seeking a highly motivated UROP student with a computer science background and familiarity with Python. is a growing database of structural and electronic materials properties, and holds a tremendous wealth of data for materials scientists. We are using this database to discover new materials for solar energy, based on fundamental physical properties of these materials. We would like to be able to screen through a large number of materials using a script and the existing API.

This project will require knowledge of writing scripts in Python, and ideally some experience working with Python APIs and databases. It will also require some understanding of concepts in chemistry (3.091 is sufficient). The time period will be through the winter and spring of 2015, or until work is completed.

Contact: Riley Brandt (

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ethan Zuckerman

Project title: Build the next generation of publishing tools

Project Description: The Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab is seeking UROP candidates for Spring 2015 to help build an open-source authoring and publishing platform.

Jumping into complex news stories is difficult, particularly stories requiring historical, political, or technical context. The overwhelming complexity of some topics can cause readers to turn away from important news stories altogether. Here at the Media Lab, we are trying to solve this problem. FOLD is a tool for reading, authoring, and publishing modular stories wrapped in contextual information like photos, maps, videos, tweets, interactive visualizations, and more. More information can be found at

As a UROP, you will be working on developing crucial features of FOLD alongside MIT Media Lab graduate students and a professional developer. Some development tasks include building authoring capabilities, authentication systems, database design, and interaction design.

We aim to release a beta version of FOLD by the end of Spring 2014, so you can see your work out in the wild and tested by a diverse set of users.

Responsibilities: Help us build an awesome experience for our authors and readers. This includes: writing production code, integrating with different APIs to allow authors to bring in context, and contributing to conversations about the user experience.

Prerequisites: We are looking for students with full-stack web development experience, preferably with Coffeescript, LESS, and Meteor or a similar Javascript framework. MongoDB experience is a plus. A bigger plus is if you’re excited to help build a web application that will be released into the world.

This UROP is available for either pay or credit (up to you), with the possibility to continue over summer 2015.

Contact: Please send your resume to Alexis Hope at

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering/HST
Faculty Supervisor: Lydia Bourouiba

Project Title: Interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission

Project Description: Seeking a highly motivated and self-driven UROP student interested in both experimental and mathematical modelling to tackle challenging problems at the interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission. The goal is to evaluate how fluids and various forms of pathogens could interact to shape disease transmission in various contexts and populations (human, e.g. Ebola or SARS outbreaks, animal, e.g. H5N1 outbreaks, and plant diseases, e.g. Rust).

Seeking students who are self-motivated, creative, and very enthusiastic about 1) problem solving and hands on activities or 2) problem solving and mathematical modeling. Fluency with Matlab and latex skills are required and ImageJ or image processing skills are considered to be a plus.

Strong Physics or Mathematical-Physics backgrounds and experience or courses in theoretical or experimental fluid dynamics will be considered as assets.

Contact: If interested, please send an updated CV, including list of courses taken, list of publications if any, and previous projects/UROPs experiences to Prof. Lydia Bourouiba

Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBE)
Faculty Supervisor: Alan Grodinsky

Project Title: Detecting mechanical properties of biomaterial in micro, micro and nanoscale

Project Description: The objective of this research is to quantitatively assess the role of aging and running on the degradation of cartilage tissue and progression of osteoarthritis. At macro scale classical mechanical indentation testing will be used on hydrogels and tissues including mouse or cow cartilage. At micro and nano scale a novel atomic force microscopy (AFM) system will be used to measure the micro-mechanics and nano-dynamics of hydrogels and cartilage tissue. This unique project, implements state of the art measurement techniques as well as classical methods to measure both elasticity and visco-poro elasticity of biomaterials and hydrogels at different scales (e.i. Macro, micro and nano scale).

Prerequisites: Applicants will be Junior or Senior students from Mechanical Engineering (course 2) or Materials Science and Engineering (course 3) Departments with strong interests in instrumentation and experimental instrumentation including atomic force microscopy. Applicants should be able to commit at least 10-12 hours per week during the academic year


Contact: Please email Dr. Azadi ( to request a brief interview if interested.

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: John Ochsendorf

Project Title: Smart retrofit of historical cities

Project Description: UROP positions for IAP 2015 and Spring 2015 are now open. In Back Bay Resilient Group at Building Technology Lab, we are assessing the structural safety and energy performance of the historical masonry structures located in the remarkable neighborhood of Boston's Back Bay. The UROP role during IAP and Spring 2015 will be to conduct research about the historical building typologies and develop 3D models of a typical city block. For this work 2 UROP positions are available.

Prerequisites: Experience in using Autocad is preferred. Experience in using Rhino and/or GIS are a plus.

Contact: Ornella Iuorio (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Patrick S. Doyle

Project Title: Synthesis of Functional Particles by Microfluidic Devices

Project Description: Preparation of functional particles have been attractive to wide range of fields due to their potential applications including encapsulated release systems. We are working on the preparation of non-spherical functional particles by Stop-Flow-Lithography. We are looking for a UROP during IAP and the Spring 2015 semester to help this project.

Prerequisites: A background in engineering would be preferred.

Contact: Seung Goo Lee ( and Hyundo Lee (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Rosalind Picard

Project Title: Web Designer & Data Visualization Ninja for Advancing Wellbeing

Project Description: What You Will be Doing Are you a web designer ninja? For this paid UROP over IAP (with possible extension into Spring 2015), you will implement design ideas into usable and functional UI's for web and mobile UI development with the latest in web and mobile development technology working closely with the principal investigators to develop awesome UI's for the Advancing Wellness initiative at the Media Laboratory. You will design and lead the implementation of the initiative s online presence. What You Need for this Position - At least 3+years of UI and UX development experience, including Drupal & Wordpress - Expert with jQuery, HTML5, CSS3, and AJAX and visualization frameworks such as D3js - Extensive experience with wireframes, mockups, and prototyping - Product Experience ***MOBILE EXPERIENCE IS A HUGE PLUS*** For more information, visit

Contact: Karthik Dinakar (

Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Retsef Levi

Project Title: Data Driven Patient Flow and System Design for Massachusetts General Hospital

Project Description: Data-driven healthcare optimization is a growing and exciting field. We are at work with teams of clinicians and administrators at Massachusetts General Hospital on the analysis and (re)design of patient care processes in areas such as the Operating Environment, the Cancer Center, the Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Labs, the Neurosciences Units, and Primary Care.

Responsibilities: The student will support one of these projects as necessary and will generally be involved in any of the following:
a. Collect and contextualize data - participate in time studies, read peer review literature and meet with physicians, nurses and administrators at MGH in order to understand the clinical significance and reliability of data.
b. Analyze data - analyze large data sets of hospital data, construct optimization models, and create statistical models.
c. Present results - Produce and give presentations to stakeholders in the hospital. Contribute to writing research papers if interested.

Key qualifications:
· Highly motivated with an interest in data analysis and hospital operations.
· Knowledge of basic statistics
· Programming experience and a willingness to learn one or more of Matlab, SQL, SAS, R, or Python. Experience in any of these is a big plus.
· Either optimization or data mining experience is a big plus.

Project timeline: The position requires a minimum commitment through the end of the summer, with the Spring semester serving as an evaluation period to see if we are a good fit for each other. Preference will be given to applicants who can commit to a full year with our group. In the long term, a student can become an important member of the team and become an expert in data driven health care improvement. Specific goals and deadlines will be discussed at the beginning of and throughout the position. Early applications are encouraged; submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Contact: David Scheinker (

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

Project title: Experiments on Brain Activity and Behavior Using Optogenetics

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

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

This is an excellent UROP for students seeking laboratory experience in preparation for medical school or a research PhD program. No prior experience is required, but you must be highly motivated, conscientious and detail oriented. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to working at least 12 hours per week during spring and fall semesters for at least a year and at least 20 to 40 hours per week during IAP and summer. We can usually only provide academic credits (not payment) for new UROPs.

In this project, our goal is to understand the functions of the striatum, cortex, and other brain areas in decision-making tasks performed by rodents. The striatum is a key part of the basal ganglia that receives input from midbrain dopamine neurons, cortex, and thalamus. It is thought to be centrally involved in decision making and selection not only at the level of movements but also at the level of goals, strategies, thoughts, emotions, and sensory interpretations. It is implicated in movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and dystonia, as well as addiction, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, aspects of schizophrenia, and other disorders.

Contact: Please send your resume to Leif Gibb, PhD ( and Alexander Friedman, PhD (

IAP-Spring 2015Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Daniel Griffith Anderson

Project Title: Glucose-Responsive Protein Development for Self-Regulated Diabetes Therapy

Project Description: The overall objective of the proposed UROP project is to help in the development of conjugated proteins (e.g. insulin, glucagon) capable of mimicking the dynamic functionality of the pancreas as it relates to improving upon existing therapies used to treat diabetes mellitus. The selected UROP candidate will be expected to gain proficiency in understanding the scientific literature with respect to this project, learn the synthesis, purification, and characterization techniques associated with protein conjugation, as well as become proficient in cell culture techniques for in vitro testing of protein conjugates.

Prerequisites: Must be at least a sophomore, preferably in Course 10, 20 3, or 5. Successful UROP candidates are recommended to have at least a moderate background in chemistry, with knowledge in organic chemical synthesis being particularly helpful, as well as be willing to tackle project obstacles and troubleshooting.

Contact: Abel Bryan Cortinas (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Linguistics and Philosophy (Course 24)
Faculty Supervisor: Donca Steriade

Project Title: Discovering relationships among words

Project Description: We are a team of two linguists interested in how the structure of lexical families can influence the pronunciation of words. We are currently studying relations among words in the derivational system of English how legendary comes to sound like legend , for example, or how the first vowel in phonetician can resemble the first vowel in either phone or phonic . We are looking for at least one additional member who can help us analyze lists of words and record various facts about them for example, their stress pattern and the stress patterns of related words. The work is slightly tedious, but the hours are flexible, and you will be learning with us about how the English derivational system works.

Prerequisites: A course in linguistics or the equivalent

Contact: Juliet Stanton (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Are you an EE interested in Robotic Architecture?

Project Description: Key words: hardware, electronics, prototyping At the Media Lab we are creating a new ecosystem of architectural robots that allow to dramatically increase the utilization and responsiveness of space, by converting traditionally static & dumb spatial objects into transformable & connected architecture. Take the CityHome as an example: an urban home that can reconfigure and offer functionality equivalent to double or triple its size by converting your bedroom into your living room, your office into your dining room and viceversa. ( But housing is only the beginning. We are developing the hardware and software tools that will allow the same principles and technologies to be deployed at scale and be applied to redesign other urban spaces such as offices, restaurants, hotels, and so on.

Prerequisites: We are looking for EE students that: - have relevant prior experience with hardware prototyping and skills in one or more of the following: electronic hardware, board design and fabrication, sensors, embedded programming, power electronics. - want to experience a challenging position in product focused R&D before graduation


Contact: Hasier Larrea (

Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies/Writing (CMS/21W)
Faculty Supervisor: Suzanne Lane

Project description: Developing online, interactive communication instruction for Engineering Project Labs. We are developing a variety of instruction, including interactive exercises and apps, to teach communication concepts such as genre analysis, discourse analysis, rhetorical situation, etc. specific to communicating engineering research.

Responsibility: You will work with lecturers in Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication to design interactive exercises and apps on the MITx system. Your role will be to write Python code for some of the more complex exercises, as well as perform data analysis on feedback. Javascript will also be useful for integrating apps. In addition, we’ll be looking for you to help us think through the design of the exercises and apps from the perspective of a student.

Commitment: 20 hours or more per week during IAP. Strong possibility of continuing through the spring semester at about 10 hours per week.

Key qualifications:
· Experience with Python (interest in pandas and NLTK is encouraged), Javascript, HTML, CSS;
· Interest in professional communication and online education
· Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team;
· Ability to meet deadlines and work independently

Previous experience with the MITx platform would be desirable, but is not necessary.

Contact: Suzanne Lane (

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Neri Oxman

Project Title: Architectural Glass 3D Printing

Project Description: The Glass 3D Printing Project is a collaboration between the MIT Media Lab's Mediated Matter Group and the MIT Glass Laboratory. We are seeking strong, driven candidates to aid with the development of one of the first ever Optical Glass 3D Printers. Proof of concept has been demonstrated through the first platform and the second prototype is underway. We are designing the platform to manufacture architectural sized glass components and aiming to build a collection of glass printed columns by Spring.

Prerequisites: We are looking for candidates (3rd year and up) with a EECS & MechE background:

EECS: Develop printer electronics and software
-Experience with numerous software controlling CNC equipment
-Experience building electrical systems for CNC milling machines & 3D Printers
-Experience with Arduino, Repetier, stepper and servo motor control
-Capable to build custom printer software and aid on the printer electrical system
-Experience with power electronics

MechE: Designing & building the 3D printer mechanical system
-High precision metal machining experience (CNC mill, water-jet, Bridgeport mill, CNC Lathe)
-Digital Fabrication experience with excellent craftsmanship
-Experience building 3D Printers and CNC milling machines (mechanical & electrical systems, timing belts, lead & ball screw, rack and pinion ect.)
-Sophisticated 3D skills (Rhino & Solid-works)
-Taken Thermodynamics courses at MIT
-Experience with power electronics

Commitment: Start date is IAP with potential continuance through Spring 2015- **Serious candidates only**

Contact: If interested, please contact Chikara Inamura ( & John Klein ( with a CV & PDF Portfolio

Interview is necessary and faculty references will be required.

IAP 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Biology (Course 7)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Amy E. Keating

Project Title: Design of novel anti-cancer peptides

Project Description: A UROP position is available in the lab of Prof. Amy E. Keating in the Department of Biology at MIT. The goal of the project is to help synthesize peptides with potential anti-cancer activities. Components of the research involve peptide synthesis, modification and in vitro biochemical analysis. The UROP will work closely with a senior chemist in the laboratory.

Prerequisites: The successful candidate should be enrolled in a chemistry or biochemistry-related program at MIT, and should ideally have some experience with organic chemistry. A minimum commitment of 10 hours/week is required.

Contact: Raheleh Rezaei Araghi (

Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16), Mathematics (Course 18)
Faculty Supervisors: Prof. Karen Willcox, Prof. Haynes R. Miller

Project Title: Crosslinks: an MIT-wide wiki initiative to help students learn by linking connections amongst topics and aggregating learning resources

Project Description: As an MIT undergrad, you’ve been there - scared when your 2.004 professor assumes you know how to compute eigenvalues and eigenvectors on the first day of class. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could review all the prerequisite eigenvalue topics in one place? Crosslinks is that place - a wiki of linkages and learning resources for any topic, authored by students, for students. It’s a place where you can find useful links to techniques for solving specific problems. It’s a place where you can get links to videos that other MIT students have found helpful. Ultimately, it’s a place where you can see how all the topics taught at MIT are dependent on each other. At least, it will be. That’s why we are seeking an enthusiastic student interested in education to help seed Crosslinks with initial content. You are a good fit if you like to read up on classes, review learning material and interested in educational initiatives.

Responsibilities: You will join the Crosslink’s UROP team and gain “first-person-there” glory when we launch the public beta in Spring 2015. You will identify key topics that cut across subjects at MIT, pinpoint the relationships among these topics and map out where in the MIT curriculum they are taught and used. You will also search for and identify good learning resources for each topic. As Crosslinks gains user adoption and collects analytics, you will engage in UX (user experience) analysis: you will analyze usage data, asking questions to hone in on user personas, determine the reasons behind user activity patterns and draw conclusions from findings to help improve Crosslinks. You will work with Prof. Willcox, Prof. Miller and Crosslinks’ project lead (Luwen Huang) on content creation, design direction and usability experiments.

Commitment: Start date is IAP with continuance through Spring 2015. Hours are flexible; 20 hours per week preferred for IAP and 10 hours per week preferred for Spring.

Contact: Interested students are asked to email Prof. Willcox ( and Prof. Miller ( with their resumes.

IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Professors Karen Zheng and Yasheng Huang

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

Project Description: This is a project focused on using big data to develop a risk management framework for detecting economically motivated adulteration (EMA) of food and drug products emanating from the global supply chain. As supply chains have become more globalized, such adulterations have become a serious issue and have prompted new strategic initiatives at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The socio-economic, political and regulatory environments are key drivers for EMA of regulated products.

This project will focus on using objective data to measure regulatory quality in China. The project will utilize a wide array of data sources such as online news sites, blogs, and academic articles to construct the database, based on which a measure of regulatory quality will be developed.

Responsibilities: The UROPs will be responsible for searching and collecting data from various data sources, converting unstructured data into a structured database, and performing basic statistical analysis. The UROPs must be native Chinese speakers, and a background in political science or economics is preferred.

Type and Hours: 20+ hours/week during IAP 2015 and 10+ hours/week during Spring 2015. Work can be done remotely. Up to 6 UROPs will be hired. Project for credit.

Contact: Please contact Professor Karen Zheng,

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