MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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.

8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (WI)
Faculty Supervisor: Rick Young

Project Title: Gene expression regulation across tissues

Project Description: The Corradin lab is looking for motivated biology students with an interest in computational genomics. This project is offered for Fall term with opportunity for continuation. UROP student will perform comparative analysis of DNA and RNA sequencing results across cell types, tissues and species. This will involve applying computational skills to the evaluation of large datasets. Quantitative and spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression is essential to defining the diverse cell types that comprise the human body. Noncoding regulatory elements, termed transcriptional enhancers, play a crucial role in dictating gene expression programs that enable functional diversity spanning neurons to immune cells. As such, disruption of enhancer function is a frequent contributor to human disease. Advances in genome sequencing have facilitated the identification of enhancer elements. However, there remains a considerable discrepancy between the ability to identify enhancers and the ability to identify the specific genes that they regulate. This project will involve computational prediction of gene targets through comparative analysis of enhancer and gene activity across cell types.

Prerequisites: Candidates with a background in biology or computer science are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to candidates with prior experience with at least one of the following: Unix/Bash, R, Perl and/or python.

Contact Name: Olivia Corradin
Contact Email: corradin@wi.mit.edu


8/26/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Oral Buyukozturk

Project Title: Development of Durable Cement Based Material for Nuclear Waste Immobilization

Project Description: UROP students would be involved in the development of engineered construction materials, specifically for concrete for durability in aggressive environment by incorporating into the concrete mix various additives that can be obtained from sustainable local raw material resources. The objective of this work is to encapsulate the nuclear waste in concrete so that nuclear waste can be reused and disposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

Specific Tasks: The candidate will have opportunities to work in any or combination of following areas given below: Preparation of cement paste and concrete using sustainable additives in Geopolymer and Portland based cement systems. Involvement in preparation of samples for micro-characterization. Various micro-characterization techniques may include X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform Infra-red microscopy, Raman Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy of cementitious ma!
terials Opportunity to work and interact with the project team involved in computational modeling of cementitous gels and incorporation of experimental data in those models.

Undergraduate students at all levels including freshmen are encouraged to apply. For successful candidates limited funding may be available from the project.

Note: Freshman students are encouraged to apply. Previous freshnam UROPs have won the distinguished freshman award for research.

Prerequisites: None

URL: http://web.mit.edu/liss/#/home

Contact: Interested candidates should send a brief letter of interest and a bio sketch to Dr. Kunal Kupwade-Patil, kunalk@mit.edu


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Larry Susskind

Project Title: Enhancing Public Awareness and Engagement of Climate Change through Online Games

Project Description: The MIT Impact Science Collaborative has developed a series of games face-to-face role-play simulations -- to help enhance public literacy regarding climate change related risks. We want to compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of using online games to try to achieve the same objectives. We are looking for a student who can work with us to develop a web-based game in Javascript. Some prior game development experience would be desirable. We will also need to collect data about various users from a number of databases; so some familiarity with database management is preferable. This is a fantastic opportunity to program for a good cause. You will produce a tangible product during your UROP term and help to deal with climate change at the same time.

Hours: 10 hours per week Pay: $15/hour; can also offer credit.

Prerequisites: Javascript; database management; online game development experience preferred.

URL: https://scienceimpact.mit.edu/cambridge-climate-change-impacts-and-public-health-risks

Contact Name: Please email Ella Kim ella@mit.edu if you are interested, including a resume, list of relevant coursework, and links to any relevant projects you have worked on.


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Larry Sass

Project Title: Home Delivery: Design, 3D Printing and Prototyping of Multi-Unit Housing

Project Description: Our research lab studies how to produce real buildings directly from 3D CAD models. Within our lab group we are constantly trying to understand the fundamental mechanisms needed to design and 3D print/digitally fabricate housing. We have had two discoveries since targeting housing ten years ago. First, we discovered that it is possible to digitally fabricate a small house directly from a 3D model of interlocking plywood components. Second, we have also discovered new software systems that allow us to decompose 3D shape models into 2D elements ready for laser cutting and assembly. Both discoveries work well for the production of small individual houses. We are currently investigating ways to digitally fabricate multi-story, multi-unit housing of larger, casted interlocking concrete components. Answering this question would provide critical insight how we can digitally fabricate multi-unit housing post disaster or energy free housing as perfectly fabricated instruments. A great experience for a UROP student is one were the students learns some design but mostly learns ways to instantly produce their ideas as physical products larger than any 3D printer can fabricate directly from their laptops. Our expectation is that you will have a willingness to learn Architectural Design, building detailing in 3D with Rhino Modeling Software, laser cutting, and plaster casting and 3D printing.

We have three goals this term:
1. Design and create a set of structural elements in CAD that can be assembled by rules.
2. 3D Print a few prototypical designs of elements
3. Test the system with 3D models and see if any shaped building can be decomposed into the proposed element.

UROP Responsibilities: Designing, modeling and printing/casting components

Required Skills: 3D Modeling in Rhino or Solidworks Location: International Design Center, located on the 3-floor of N51.

Time Commitment: 10-15 hours per week, [Monday] Sept 12 - Dec [Friday]

URL: ddf.mit.edu

Contact: Please email Prof. Larry Sass sass@mit.edu. Include your name in the title of the email. Include a link Examples of previous projects and your CV/resume Please specify your availability during the rest of the summer/fall term


8/26/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Ann Graybiel

Project Title: Test for motivational circuits in mouse models of Huntington's disease

Project Description: We are seeking a student to help with histological and/or behavioral studies of mouse models of Huntington's disease. We have generated mice in which we can control specific circuits of the forebrain that are thought to control motivation and movement. The position available involves studying whether manipulation of these putative motivation circuits can modulate behavior and molecular phenotypes in Huntington s disease models. The experiments require a significant amount of training and dedicated time in the laboratory and so we are seeking a student who will be able to continue research in the Graybiel laboratory for longer term.

URL: http://graybiel-lab.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Jill Crittenden
Contact Email: jrc@mit.edu


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Thomas Eagar

Project Title: Nano-Toxicity of Chromium Particles

Project Description: Microscopic evaluation of nanoparticles containing chromium oxide to determine the effect of particle size on valence state. The toxicity of the hexavalent state of chromium oxide is of interest to occupational health and medicine. Prior training in electron microscopy is preferred but not required.

Prerequisites: Sophomore, Junior, or Senior.

Contact Name: Neil Jenkins
Contact Email: rood@mit.edu


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Deep Learning applications in artificial environments

Project Description: We will use semi supervised approaches in feature extraction and apply them in simulated environments. We will focus on deep neural network applications primarily, and explore current state of art. We will use either tensorflow/caffe/theano for development and testing. This is a research project and final outcome is a paper. Please contact otkrist@mit.edu for this position.

Project Goal: Develop deep learning algorithms for automated classification in simulated environments. Final desired outcome is a working pipeline written in Python/C++ and a publishable quality paper.

Candidate Role: The student will work on development of a pipeline and writing a paper.

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

Contact: Otkrist Gupta (otkrist@mit.edu) for this position.


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Alex `Sandy' Pentland

Project Title: Rhythm: an Open-Source platform for quantifying and improving in-person and distributed team collaboration

Project Description: Team efficacy is becoming an increasingly important field of study as the nature of work shifts to larger, multi-disciplinary teams.. Studies conducted by our group show that team performance can be predicted based on non-verbal social signals, such as turn-taking, response patterns, and conversation balance.

We are now developing a platform for quantifying, analyzing and improving team collaboration outside the lab in real-life situations. The system is composed of a variety of components, including wearable devices for quantifying face-to-face meetings, a web-based tool for measuring team behavior during video chats (e.g. Google Hangout, WebRTC), data-analysis core, and visual “coaching” tools that help people and teams adopt better behavior.

This summer, we collected hundreds of hours of meeting data from distributed and in-person meetings as well as team performance measures. We are now looking for exceptional people to help us analyse these data and extract new insights on teamwork and performance.

Skills you need to already have:
-
Python
- Experience with data analysis using Python
- R and/or Matlab.

Optional skills:
- Python Pandas (optional, but a strong plus)
- Data visualization
- Matplotlib / Python Bokeh

What you will be doing: depending on your exact skills, you will study the relationship between team behavior and performance, implement and test relevant behavioral models, and improve voiced-unvoiced detection.

Other prerequisites: we are looking for students that are able to contribute a minimum of 10 hours per week.

Contact: Oren Lederman (orenled@media.mit.edu) or Akshay Mohan (akshay.mohan@alum.mit.edu) with a short description of your background or resume


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Xuanhe Zhao

Project Title: 3D bio-printer development for hydrogels and biomaterials

Project Description: In soft active materials (SAMs) laboratory, we are developing soft materials like hydrogels with unprecedented properties. We have developed tough hydrogels whose mechanical properties are comparable to strong rubbers, and their integration with various engineering materials like metals, ceramics and elastomers. To expand our expertise on material system and integrative technology in to more tangible platform and applications, we are developing 3D bio-printer for soft materials like hydrogels and elastomer. We are looking for enthusiastic UROP student who will work together on this fascinating development. It will be a rare opportunity to participate in academic process of translating advanced biomaterial system to tangible applications with advanced fabrication methodologies.

The UROP student will do together with graduate student(s):
1. Synchronization of 3-axis robotic gantry with various external devices like micro -fluid dispensers.
2. Development and characterization of hydrogel inks for 3D printing system.
3. Fabrication and testing of of diverse structures made of soft materials.

UROP student(s) will be added in future publications based on their contributions. As the major focus is setting up the system and running system for various projects, so strong background in mechatronics, programing or 3D printing platform operation will be preferred.

Prerequisites: No department restriction (but MechE or EECS are preferred) / Strong background in either mechatronics or 3D printing system building or 3D printing system operation or programming is required / Highly motivated students (at least 10 hrs/week work is required)

URL: http://www.web.mit.edu/zhaox/www/

Contact Name: Hyunwoo Yuk
Contact Email: hyunwoo@mit.edu

8/26/16
Fall 2016
Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Laura Schulz

Project Title: Individual patterns of physical intuition in infancy

Project Description: The Lookit project is a new approach to research in developmental psychology. Rather than bring families to the lab to participate in studies about cognitive development, we've developed a website where parents and children can participate from home at any time, with video of the child's responses recorded via webcam and sent to the lab for later analysis. We are currently beginning a preferential looking study of infants' individual patterns of physical intuition. There are many group-level results about infants' sensitivity to apparent violations of gravity, inertia, and support relationships at various ages. However, gathering much more data from individual children over many sessions will allow us to see how these abilities relate to each other and how individual children differ in their expression of knowledge. We are looking for a motivated, responsible undergraduate researcher to help with "video coding" for this study. Video coders record information such as direction of gaze, distractions, and parent interaction as they watch videos of infants completing a study.

Commitment: 8-10 hours/week.

Compensation: Credit or pay.

Prerequisites: None, but must enjoy seeing babies smile. Experience programming (python or Javascript) or video editing is a plus for longer-term involvement in the project.

URL: https://lookit.mit.edu

To apply: Please send a brief statement of your interest and contact information for one reference (teacher, previous work supervisor, etc.) to Kim Scott (kimscott@mit.edu). We'll ask you to do some quick sample video coding in lieu of an interview.


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Pawan Sinha

Project Title: Characterizing dynamic object interactions in autism spectrum disorders

Project Description: Difficulty interacting with dynamic objects represents a salient, yet understudied, feature of the autism phenotype. These difficulties can present grave consequences for autistic individuals. Motivated by a theory we have recently proposed (Sinha et al., 2014), the overarching hypothesis guiding this project is that difficulties in interacting with moving objects may be an outcome of impaired prediction of the trajectory of moving objects as they unfold over time. In collaboration with the ActionLab at Northeastern University, this project aims to investigate these abilities across a range of motor tasks to test whether the difficulties seen clinically result from an underlying impairment in temporal prediction. The project uses motion capture and virtual/screen-based games to collect quantitative data regarding movement of individuals relative to the objects in the environment. Deeper knowledge of the issue holds relevance for adapting environments for autistic children and adults, as well as for designing interventions that acknowledge and address potential underlying neurocognitive issues (e.g., prediction), and not merely the manifestation of the underlying impairment (e.g., difficulty in catching a ball).

Position Description: The UROP will contribute to programming experimental interfaces and performing computational analysis of 3D motion capture and virtual game data. The student will work closely with others as part of a team, with substantial opportunity to work independently. This position is available for pay or credit.

Prerequisites:

· The ideal candidate will have previous experience in Python, C, or other programming languages, MATLAB, engineering, and strong analytical skills.
· Able to commit 6-10 hours per week during the fall semester.
· Background in computer science, engineering, brain and cognitive sciences, or related field.
· Ability to travel occasionally to Northeastern University for training, data collection, or meetings also desirable.

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

To apply: please e-mail Annie Cardinaux, Technical Associate at anniec@mit.edu, and include your Resume/CV and a letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the project. Please specify whether you would like to do the UROP for pay or credit.


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Pawan Sinha

Project Title: Characterizing Habituation and Prediction in autism spectrum

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

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

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

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

To apply: please e-mail Annie Cardinaux, Technical Associate at anniec@mit.edu, and include your Resume/CV and a letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the project. Please specify whether you would like to do the UROP for pay or credit. If you are selected and wish to complete the UROP for pay, you will need to create a project proposal for review by a member of our research team several days in advance of the September 29 deadline.

*If you are selected and wish to complete the UROP for pay, you will need to create a project proposal for review by a member of our research team several days in advance of the September 29 deadline.


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Ahmed Ghoniem

Project Title: UROP for renewable energy and rural development

Project Description: In many parts of the developing world, agricultural and other biomass waste is simply burned in the open air, creating much toxic pollution. Thermochemical treatment is a process whereby this waste can be converted into solid fuel. This has the potential to provide renewable energy, create new income and jobs, reduce waste, and in some cases cut down pollutions and greenhouse emissions. You will help carry out chemical and thermal analyses of the fuel and prototype reactor operation to help determine the optimal reactor conditions. You will learn the fundamental process of engineering design, and laboratory experimental techniques that are widely applicable to other areas of engineering. Successful projects will have potential follow-on travel opportunities (India, Kenya, etc.) to test viable prototypes.

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

Contact: Please send CV to Kevin Kung kkung@mit.edu in case of interest.


8/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Michael Siegel

Project Title: Developing a management simulation game on building cybersecurity capabilities

Project Description: Cybersecurity is rapidly becoming a critical issue for any organization. In the business context, it is highly challenging for managers to allocate their resources to invest in cybersecurity capabilities development. In an attempt to help managers experience such complexities, we have designed a management simulation game (so called a flight simulator ). The game is based on our system dynamics simulation model and runs online in an interactive environment. However, it is in initial versions and has much room for improvement. You will be involved in improving the game particularly enhancing and validating its mechanisms by reviewing the literature and conducting informal interviews with experts. You can also contribute in conducting experiments using the game to analyze players behavior. This project can enhance your critical thinking, simulation modeling, and data analysis skills. Required skills include attention to details, as well as excellent reading, writing, and communication skills. Familiarity with cybersecurity and system dynamics or other simulation modeling techniques is a plus but not required.

Required skills: include attention to details, as well as excellent reading, writing, and communication skills. Familiarity with cybersecurity and system dynamics or other simulation modeling techniques is a plus but not required. We are particularly interested in working with motivated and organized students who are committed to doing research.

Selected candidate(s) can join the project immediately. You will be working with the MIT (IC)3 (http://ic3.mit.edu) at the Sloan School of Management, working with Stuart Madnick, Michael Siegel, and Mohammad Jalali.

Contact: Please email Mohammad Jalali (jalali@mit.edu) with your CV, and feel free to ask if you have any questions.


8/23/16
Term: Fall
Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: David Perreault

Project Title: Evaluation of Dynamic On-State Resistance of Gallium Nitride Power Transistors

Project Description: Power electronics systems are beginning to benefit from wide-bandgap semiconductor switches like gallium nitride (GaN). These switches can operate more efficiently at higher frequency, allowing designers to reduce the size, weight, and cost of historically bulky power converters. Improvements in all of these areas have the potential to greatly impact the landscape of renewable energy, transportation, consumer electronics, and large-scale energy consumption (e.g. server farms). However, when switched at high frequency, wide-bandgap switches can experience dynamic resistance that is significantly higher than their dc resistance. This effect is not typically characterized for commercial switches, yet it can make a substantial difference in design decisions all the way from switch selection to architectural choices. This project will involve development of useful parameters for designers that reflect dynamic resistance, development of a system to measure these parameters, and characterization of existing switches for more immediate use by the power electronics community. Results will be used in several projects in the Power Electronics Research Group. The student will gain skills in circuit theory, simulation, PCB design, and prototyping, and will develop an understanding of current issues in power electronics research.

Contact Name: David Perreault
Contact Email: djperrea@mit.edu


8/23/16
Term: Fall-IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Biomimetic tissue scaffold for nerve regeneration

Project Description: The Bioelectronics Group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering designs, develops and tests fiber-inspired neural probes. Using the thermal drawing process, large scale cross-sectional geometry can be miniaturized into small fibers the width of a hair. These fibers can be used for a variety of purposes including optogenetic stimulation, recording of neural activity, drug delivery, and cell scaffold. For this project we need an undergraduate researcher to design, manufacture and test new scaffolds for nerve regeneration using bioresorbable polymers. The undergraduate researcher will be expected to test different formulations of polymers for compatibility with the thermal drawing process in order to reliably manufacture small-diameter fibers with complex geometry. Hours: Minimum 6hr/week

Prerequisites: Previously completed coursework in biochemistry/chemistry is advantageous

Contact Name: Elizabeth Canovic
Contact Email:canovic@mit.edu


8/23/16
Term: Fall
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Michael Cima

Project Title: Algorithm development for a novel health sensor

Project Description: We are developing a novel, non-invasive hydration status sensor for patients. The project is incredibly interdisciplinary and you can be exposed to as many of these areas as you would like: the physics of magnetic resonance, mechanical and electrical engineering to build sensors, animal work to develop algorithms, MRI imaging work for validation, and clinical trials at MGH. This is a rapidly moving project with lots of papers in the works for the upcoming year. The ultimate goal is to spin out this research into a startup company.

UROP Position: Data Scientist

UROP Description: Analyze sensor and physiological data from the clinical trial that is underway right now at MGH. Develop new algorithms and apply machine learning to a rich dataset from our novel sensors. Learn about cutting-edge algorithms that are used in the oil and food processing industries and apply them to the human body.

Necessary Skills: Excellent programming skills, coursework in statistics

What You'll Learn on the Job: Matlab, R, algorithms to analyze magnetic resonance data, image analysis Ideal

Candidate for this Role: Computer science major (or equivalent skills) with interest in human health and medicine

Commitment: 8-10hrs per week. Preference given to those who can stay on during IAP and/or Spring semester.

For credit or pay ($12/hr)

URL (if applicable): https://cima-lab.mit.edu/research/hydration_sensor

To apply: Email Lina at lcolucci@mit.edu describing your background and interest in this project. There will be a short, in-person interview.


8/23/16
Term: Fall-IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Broad Institute (BR)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Lander

Project Title: Connectivity of gene regulatory networks

Project Description: This computational biology project is a unique opportunity to join the laboratory of Professor Eric Lander (Founder and Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard) to study genome biology. The Lander Lab seeks to understand fundamental mechanisms of genome regulation and apply these insights to transform the treatment of human disease. With the sequencing of the human genome, we discovered that protein-coding genes comprise only 2% of our genome sequence and that much of the critical regulatory information resides in the remaining 98%. These noncoding regulatory regions control gene expression and thereby human phenotypes including susceptibility to disease. Yet, our understanding of this regulatory information is preliminary: for example, we do not know which noncoding regulatory elements control any given gene or set of genes. Answering this question would provide critical insight into how our genomes control cellular behavior and human disease. In this project, we aim to decode this fundamental regulatory wiring and define the principles that guide the connections between regulatory elements and the genes they control. The successful UROP will apply statistical and computational approaches to integrate massive datasets derived of DNA sequencing, RNA sequencing, and CRISPR/Cas9-derived experimental datasets to predict how the noncoding genome controls gene expression. Predictions will be validated in collaboration with a team of experimental and computational biologists in the Lander Lab.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have a strong background in programming, statistics, and/or molecular biology, and working knowledge of one or more of the following: Unix/Bash, R, Python, Java.

PURL (if applicable): https://jesseengreitz.wordpress.com/

Contact Name: Jesse Engreitz
Contact Email: engreitz@broadinstitute.org


8/23/16
Fall 2016 (with the possibility of continuing)
UROP Department: 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.

Contact: karyrich@mit.edu if interested.


8/23/16
Term: Fall
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Alan Berger

Project Title: Abu Dhabi Scenario Planning & Design of New Sustainable Neighborhood Forms

Project Description: This project a collaboration between the Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT and the iSmart program at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology focuses on achieving higher levels of environmental, economic, and socio-cultural sustainability among native neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi. In contrast with existing approaches, this project conceives of sustainability as the combination and complex interaction between typically separate disciplinary metrics of ecological services, water-use, building-energy, microclimate, transport and mobility, economics, and socio-cultural factors, among others. The UROP position will focus on helping the lead researchers in the on-going planning and development of a set of interconnected measurement and simulation tools written in Python for Rhinoceros + Grasshopper. For example, the water-use tool will provide a fast mechanism for simulating the effects of various urban design proposals on a host of water based metrics. The UROP will also work with the lead-researchers to create an effective method of storing and accessing data-sets and test-scenario results. The UROP will come away from the project with knowledge of a flexible, efficient, and collaborative work-flow for developing Python (and potentially C#) modules for a leading 3D Software platform used by designers throughout academia and industry. The UROP will also become familiar with a robust and well established NURBS based SDK which can be used in conjunction with OpenGL to develop custom 3D software and web-based visualizations.

Hours + Commitment: Average 10 hours a week, hourly to start with option for up to 20 hours as project progresses.

Necessary Skills: + Strong Python skills (both procedural and object-oriented) + Ability and eagerness to learn portions of a .NET SDK for Rhinoceros and Grasshopper + Data management and serialization to database (JSON or XML) Beneficial Skills: + Evidence of spatial/geometric thinking + Experience with Rhinoceros and/or Grasshopper, especially prior experience in writing Python components for Grasshopper + Experience with multi-criteria optimization (genetic solvers) + Programming skills in C#

URL: http://cau.mit.edu/project/abu-dhabi-scenario-planning-design-new-sustainable-neighborhood-forms

Contact Name: Pru Robinson
Contact Email:pru@mit.edu


8/23/16
Term: Fall
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Alex `Sandy’ Pentland

Project Title: Experimental investigation of Collective Intelligence

Project Description: Collective intelligence is believed to underly the remarkable success of human society. The formation of accurate shared beliefs is one of the key components of human collective intelligence. How are accurate shared beliefs formed in groups of fallible individuals?

An exciting area to investigate is the use of online experimentation for answering questions about both: 1) the individual decision mechanisms people use; and 2) the properties and dynamics of those mechanisms in the aggregate.

We are interested in developing an online experiment to examine the effects of network topology, social influence, repeated interactions, and reputation, on the emergence of collective intelligence.

Skills you should have already: Javascript/HTML/CSS and Django

Skills you will learn/hone: experimental design, data analysis, theories of collective intelligence.

Pluses: experience with data science, cognitive science, mechanical turk, Django Channels

Contact: Send Abdullah Almaatouq amaatouq@mit.edu a short description of your background or your resume


8/23/16
Term: Fall-IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Big Data -- Applied Machine Learning for an Innovative Future in Andorra

strong>Project Description: This is a rather unique collaboration project between the Media Lab and Andorra s government, largest private companies (e.g., energy and telecom), and academic institutions (please see this link for more context). The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of machine learning and data science methodologies on Andorra's big data, for enabling an understanding of the country s dynamics on tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact; as well as to shed light on technological and system s innovation towards radical improvements in these domains.

Data: this is a unique opportunity to work on a rich dataset that includes pseudonymized mobile phone records (CDRs) of the entire country, spatially specified logs to the national network of public WIFI, disaggregated energy consumption data from the national utility company, pollution and environmental data from the national network of environmental sensors, etc.

Tasks: Overall, we work both on conceptualizing and implementing high value data analysis, data processing, exploration, modeling, prediction, supervised and unsupervised learning tasks, etc.; as well as on high value data visualization and communication to project s stakeholders and Andorran citizens! For the latter task we use CityScope, a physical interactive platform for information visualization and exploration.

Academic papers will be elaborated on selected topics along this project. UROPs are welcomed to participate and co-author. These will be discussed on an ad hoc basis depending on student s interests, skills, and availability. Please see this link for examples on the line of exciting research we are interested on.

Candidates profiles:

Added Value for You:

Prerequisites: python, database, machine learning, data mining

Contact: Please send us your resume/portfolio and a short paragraph on your interest in the project to naichun@mit.edu


8/23/16
Term: Fall-IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Flexible neural probes for application in spinal cord

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 the Fall semester and must continue in the Spring semester as well (at least one year and can be continued).

Prerequisites: Sophomores and Juniors are strongly encouraged to apply. Coursework in Chemical Engineering, EECS, Bioengineering, or Materials Science background 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 work12-15 hours during the semester.

URL (if applicable): http://www.rle.mit.edu/bioelectronics/

Contact Name: Chi Lu
Contact Email: chilu@mit.edu


8/23/16
Term: Summer
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: UROP who has experience setting up and working with 3D printers

Project Description: Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab has an immediate task under a long-term research project of printing functional, transformative food. We are trying to set up an open source dual extruder 3D printing platform, and modify it with our own heated extruders to print gels, chocolate, etc. Currently, we are looking for someone who is interested in physically assembling, setting up a 3D printer controller board, and customizing gCode and software platform. People who have previous experience setting up 3D printers or have interests in picking up those skills in a short term are welcome to contact us. It is a paid UROP position, and starts immediately in August. If you are interested in extending the UROP position for the fall semester, we can discuss it as well.

Prerequisites: Strong ME background

Contact Name: Lining Yao
Contact Email: liningy@media.mit.edu


8/23/2016
Term: Fall-IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Research Lab for Electronics (RLE)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Synthesis and Characterization of Magnetic Nanodiscs for Neuronal Stimulation

Project Description: Magnetic nanomaterials are used in biomedical fields as MRI contrast agents, for cancer hyperthermia, and more recently for heat-induced cellular stimulation. Disc-shaped magnetic nanoparticles are interesting because they can potentially combine large magnetic moments with colloidal stability via the formation of magnetic vortex domain states. Controllable synthesis of magnetic nanodiscs is imperative for forming a stable vortex domain structure and pursuing the biomedical applications of magnetic nanodiscs. This project will culminate in magnetic nanodiscs being phase transferred to water via polymer surface functionalization and their in vitro performance being evaluated on nerve cells. We are looking for a highly motivated student to work on synthesis and characterization of magnetic nanodiscs. A minimum time commitment of 10 hours per week is expected.

Prerequisites: Some experience in inorganic synthesis is desirable.

URL (if applicable): http://www.rle.mit.edu/bioelectronics/

Contact Name: Dr. Danijela Gregurec
Contact Email: gregurec@mit.edu


8/23/2016
Fall Term
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Josh McDermott

Project Title: Recording and Synthesizing Sounds for Auditory Perception Studies

Project Description: Our lab studies the computational abilities of the human auditory system. We are interested in how people derive information about the world from sound, and in particular the process by which humans identify everyday sounds; a task that humans find relatively effortless but that remains challenging for machine systems. We are looking for a UROP to help in these studies by recording different types of contact sounds that people frequently hear (e.g. a coin falling on the ground, a box scraping as it’s slid across a table, etc.). In addition the project will require recording acoustic reverberation of rooms, measuring vibrational properties of everyday objects, filming objects falling with a high speed camera, synthesizing sounds with computational physics models to emulate the recorded sounds, and generating acoustic stimuli for perceptional experiments. Some of the experiments will be conducted with an oculus rift to investigate whether visual information effects perception of sound.

We are looking for a student who can work independently, and is interested in sound, perception and the physics of sound. No specific prerequisites are required. Experience with programming (preferably matlab, python and/or C++), audio recording and/or experience with game design (unreal engine and/or blender) would be a plus. This position is available for pay or for credit.

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


8/23/2016
Term: Fall
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Harry Asada

Project Title: An Integrated System for Selection and Manipulation of Single Cells in Culture

Project Description: This is a multi-disciplinary research opportunity for undergraduate students within the d Arbeloff Lab under the supervision of Jacob Guggenheim (PhD student) and Professor Harry Asada. Cells from an identical lineage can differ in their biochemical state and function. This cellular heterogeneity is known to play a key role in processes like embryonic development, immune response, drug-resistance, and evolutionary fitness. In order to study this process further, we have developed a system that can semi-autonomously select and manipulate single cells in a 2D culture using capillary-based manipulation for arbitrary petri dish sizes. The system consists of three major components: an image processing and analysis unit, a 3-DOF positioning unit, and a cell harvesting unit. The image processing and analysis unit receives a series of real-time images from the microscope and analyzes them to identify cells of interest. When a cell of interest is located, the image processing unit directs the 3-DOF positioning unit to move the end effector near the cell of interest. Finally, the cell harvesting unit aspirates the single cell with minimal isolation disturbance and dispenses it into the desired dispense location. This system has already successfully been applied to increasing intestinal organoid yield. Though this system is already developed, there remains much work to be done, both on new and exciting applications as well as further enhancing the system s capabilities. While open to other project ideas (seriously!), we are specifically looking for a UROP student to spearhead a project that explores additional applications for this system. If you are interested contact Jacob at jguggenh@mit.edu

Prerequisites: Experience with Matlab, CAD/3D printing, OpenCV, and aseptic technique preferred

Contact Name: Jacob Guggenheim
Contact Email: jguggenh@mit.edu


8/23/2016
Term: Fall
Department/Lab/Center: Economics (Course 14)
Faculty Supervisor: Benjamin Olken

Project Title: Stuck in Traffic around the World (and How to Fix it)

Project Description: Background. Severe road traffic congestion is a major problem in large cities in many developing countries, and while people and governments care deeply about this issue, there has been comparatively little research - and much skepticism - on the effectiveness of various policies to reduce congestion. Description. We are looking for an UROP to work on two related projects. The first project assembles and analyses a rich database of road traffic congestion conditions in Delhi and Jakarta, two dynamic and congested megacities. We use Python to query travel times from the Google Maps API. A key challenge is to design the queries in a way that is cost effective and captures the richness of urban road networks in these cities. The UROP will work on designing the queries, improving the existing Python code, and processing the incoming data. The final objective of the project is to understand the impact of several government traffic policies that are currently being tested, such as driving restrictions. The second project is a study of driver behavior in Delhi. Study participants install a smartphone app that records location data, which is then processed into commuting behavior. We then give drivers monetary and non-monetary incentives to change their driving behavior (when they travel, what routes they use, etc.) and study the results. The pre-study pilot that takes place this fall will involve large quantities of GPS data that must be processed and analyzed on a daily basis. The UROP will work with the study team on developing and operating the system that monitors and processes the incoming GPS data. Time commitment. Ideally 10h/week during term time.

Prerequisites: Courses: 1, 6, 11, 14 (not a requirement) It is a strong advantage to have prior programming experience, ideally with Python. The desire to learn quickly is important. Having been stuck in traffic in the past is considered valuable, but not essential, experience. ;)

Contact Name: Gabriel E Kreindler
Contact Email: gek@mit.edu


8/17/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Characterization of intra-cardiac blood flow dynamics

Project Description: The Edelman Lab at the institute for Medical Engineering and Science of MIT is analyzing the flow dynamics and patterns of blood flow in the heart both from an in-vitro heart model and in-vivo 4D MRI data from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. We use commercial software packages to extract anatomic volumes (3Dslicer, MIMICS) and flow visualization software (EnSight), to investigate how different cardiovascular disease will affect intra-cardiac flow patterns. We believe these derived indices will give us better measures to define and treat patients.

We are looking for a student to work on the following: extract desired image properties from MRI images and run image processing scripts to segment, threshold, and analyze specific images. The student will also get a chance to work with the above mentioned software to post-process the image data.

Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of fluid mechanics is recommended, but not required. Knowledge of MATLAB is a must.

Hours: 6-12 hours/week.

URL: http://edelmanlab.mit.edu

Contact Name: Dr. Eyal Ben-Assa
Contact Email: benassa@mit.edu


8/17/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (LMP)
Faculty Supervisor: Brian Anthony

Project Title: Design of patient scanning setup for a tomographic limb ultrasound system

Project Description: Ultrasound, an inherently safe and low-cost imaging modality, is used widely in clinical settings. The overall goal of this project is to collect ultrasound data on the residual limb of amputees, and use this to guide the design and fabrication of prosthetic sockets (the interface that connects a prosthesis to the limb). To this end, we are working to build a tomographic ultrasound imaging system, specifically designed to acquire volumetric and quantitative data of a limb. The UROP project will involve aiding in the basic mechanical design and CAD of different aspects of the ultrasound system, as specified by the research mentor. Specifically, we are seeking a student to take over the design and fabrication of the patient scanning setup; this will involve devising a means to comfortably and ergonomically scan a patient with our system. This work has the potential to evolve into a senior thesis project.

Prerequisites: Candidates must be proficient in CAD (Solidworks and/or Autodesk) and have some prototyping/fabrication experience.

URL: http://devicerealization.mit.edu

Contact Name: Bryan Ranger
Contact Email: branger@mit.edu


8/17/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hugh Herr

Project Title: Development of an online prosthesis design and education platform using Autodesk Forge

Project Description: Different regions of the world have unique approaches to developing prosthetics depending on resource availability, patient demands, and practical methods. Numerous online learning resources are available for amputees and prosthetists to gain a more comprehensive understanding of prosthetic limbs. However, most of these resources are hard to access and they do not provide sufficient up-to-date information. While CAD is becoming popular for prosthetic design, it has not reached a level at which a prosthetist feels confident enough to abandon the conventional methods of creating a prosthetic socket. This project aims to develop an online cloud-based design and educational environment for prosthetists and amputees that not only encourages the use of digital tools, but also fosters a community around developing innovative solutions in prosthetic design.

This project began as a summer research project, and we are now seeking a student to take over the project. Autodesk Forge has graciously provided some initial funding and has offered to provide expert guidance for the project. This is a fantastic opportunity for a student who is interested in design education and in building up their CAD skills. This work has the potential to evolve into a senior thesis project.

Prerequisites: Candidates must have basic proficiency in CAD software (preference given to those with experience in Autodesk).

URL: http://biomech.media.mit.edu

Contact: Please email Bryan Ranger (branger@mit.edu) if you are interested. Send an attached resume, list of relevant coursework or unofficial transcript, and hours per week desired. Feel free to include a link to any relevant projects you have worked on.


8/17/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Stephanie Woerner

Project Title: Benchmarking top performers

Project Description: For over 42 years, the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) has conducted evidence-based research that has an impact on business practices. We are launching a project to develop an interactive tool for the global business leaders at our sponsor and patron companies. Executives will interact with this application to benchmark their IT investments and understand how their investment portfolio stands up against their industry.

We seek a student to help define requirements, and design and develop the app, using our large dataset and the Qualtrics survey environment. Students will get hands-on coding experience, and will hone their creative data visualization and storytelling skills.

If you are interested in learning more about data analysis and information systems research, please send your CV and a cover letter. We would like to test a minimal viable product in late October, so we seek a student for 8-10 hours/week, starting as soon as possible.

Pay: Sponsored Research funding of $15/hour is available.

Prerequisites: strong programming skills, knowledge of statistics and survey analysis.

URL: cisr.mit.edu

Contact Name: Leslie Owens
Contact Email: lowens@mit.edu


8/17/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Depth Specific Electrophysiological Correlation of Cortical Phenotypical Abnormalities in a Mouse Model of Autism

Project Description: We looking for students that open to learn and can devote his/her time on developing of multifunctional implants for Autism research. Abstract : Social deficits observed in humans with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are hypothesized to be related to both genes and environment. It has been shown that ASD can be induced by maternal immune activation (MIA) during pregnancy. A recently developed MIA-driven rodent model is a promising research platform, considering that offspring exhibits disorder in social communication, repetitive behaviors, and characteristic phenotypical abnormalities at specific layers of the cortex as is commonly observed in ASD. The correlation between observed social deficits, phenotypical abnormalities at the different layers of cortex, and altered communication between cortical layers and down-stream structures require in vivo electrophysiological measurements and neuromodulation approaches for a better understanding of developmental reasons for ASD. In the proposed study, we will employ a multifunctional fiber-based neural probe design with fine spatial resolution that will allow us to execute optogenetic, electrophysiological and pharmacological experiments at different layers of the cortex simultaneously in freely moving mice. We aim to apply these tools to the development of a dynamic electrophysiological map of the disordered patch structure in a cytokine interleukin-17a (IL-17a) dependent MIA-driven mouse model of ASD and compare it to the cortex of healthy controls. We anticipate that the optical and electrophysiological approaches identified within this study will find applications in a range of rodent models of ASD thus facilitating the basic study of this heterogeneous group of neurological disorders.

You will gain skills in following areas:
1) Nanofabrication and characterization
2) Clean-room processes
3) Autism and neuroscience
4) Mouse and Rat surgery
5) Ultra-microtome techniques
6) Femtosecond ultra fast laser processing
7) Plasma processes

You must be eligible to working independently after proper training was given. The research will proceed interactively with your PostDoc supervisor. Enthusiastic students with deep commitment will be listed in output publications. Looking forward to hear ASAP.

URL: http://www.rle.mit.edu/bioelectronics/

Contact Name: Dr. Mehmet Kanik
Contact Email: mkanik@mit.edu


8/17/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Neura Fiber Probe Connector

Project Description: We looking for students that open to learn and can devote his/her time on developing of 2D integrated flip-chip connectors for 3D fiber probes for neural recording.

Reference Paper: http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v33/n3/abs/nbt.3093.html - Naturebiotechnology,2015.

You will gain skills in following areas:
1) Nanofabrication and characterization
2) Clean-room processes
3) Mouse and Rat surgery
4) Plasma processes
5) Lithography
6) DRIE
7) Vacuum technology

You must be eligible to working independently after proper training was given. The research will proceed interactively with your PostDoc supervisor. Enthusiastic students with deep commitment will be listed in output publications. Looking forward to hear ASAP.

URL: http://www.rle.mit.edu/bioelectronics/

Contact Name: Dr. Mehmet Kanik
Contact Email: mkanik@mit.edu


8/17/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Artificial Muscle for Neuroscience and Neurotechnology Applications

Project Description: We looking for students that open to learn and can devote his/her time on developing of fiber based artificial muscle using electroactivated polymers.

Reference Paper: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn503269b - ACS Nano 2014.

You will gain skills in following areas:
1) Nanofabrication and characterization
2) Clean-room processes
3) Mouse and Rat surgery
4) Electronic control
5) Circuit design

You must be eligible to working independently after proper training was given. The research will proceed interactively with your PostDoc supervisor. Enthusiastic students with deep commitment will be listed in output publications. Looking forward to hear ASAP.

URL: http://www.rle.mit.edu/bioelectronics/

Contact Name: Dr. Mehmet Kanik
Contact Email: mkanik@mit.edu


8/17/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Centre: Department of Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Allan Myers

Project title: Pharmacy on demand, continuous manufacturing.

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

Role: Continuous crystallization development. Position involves following a standard crystallization workflow including solvent screening and solubility measurements. Once suitable solvents are determined research will migrate to batch and continuous crystallization development. Solid state characterization and assessment of purity will be routinely carried out through a variety of analytical techniques. These include: High Performance Liquid Chromatograph, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, X-Ray Powder Diffraction, and Thermal Gravimetric Analysis.

Prerequisites: A knowledge of crystallization process design and experience with analytical techniques are desired but not essential.

Contact Name: Naomi Briggs
Contact Email: naomib@mit.edu


8/16/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Nano-Generator and Nano-Sensor for Neuroscience

Project Description: We looking for students that open to learn and can devote his/her time on developing of implantable triboelectric nanogenerators and nanosensors for neural stimulation and recording. This is a full length project and participants will gain experience in, nanotechnology, surface science, nanosensors, electronic characterization, materials selection and design, triboelectricity, microfluidics, mouse and rat surgery and neuroscience and neurotechnology.

Requirements: You must be eligible to working independently after proper training was given. The research will proceed interactively with your PostDoc supervisor. Enthusiastic students with deep commitment will be listed in output publications.

URL: http://www.rle.mit.edu/bioelectronics/

Contact Name: Dr. Mehmet Kanik
Contact Email: mkanik@mit.edu


8/16/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Linguistics and Philosophy Language Acquisition Lab
Faculty Supervisors: Prof. Martin Hackl

Project Description: We investigate the nature of human language, by studying immature language in the child (the development of language). The research interweaves current linguistic theory and empirical work. The current research areas include quantified statements, focus operators, and presuppositions. Your work will involve (i) running experiments with children (mainly 3-6 years old), (ii) data-entering, (iii) interacting with day cares and parents for consent. 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 Leo Rosenstein (leaena@mit.edu) with your resume.

There are a few UROP positions for Fall 2016: Work hours are flexible. There is a possibility of continuing working in the subsequent semester(s).

Applications received by Monday, September 5th will be given full consideration.


8/15/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory (MAS)
Faculty Supervisor: Alex Pentland

Project Title: Entrepreneurship Program

Project Description: Research project documenting and quantifying impact of Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program classes and alums and their ventures. Follow up with alumni and discover their story: they set out to start a new venture, often in the developing world, but how did it go? What were the problems, successes?

Prerequisites: interest in entreprenurship, good writing skills

URL: https://www.media.mit.edu/about/ventures

Contact Name: Joost Bonsen
Contact Email: jpbonsen@mit.edu


8/15/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Matthew Wilson

Project Title: Use of Video Analysis to Identify Sleep and Wakefulness.

Project Description: Sleep and wakefulness are examples of the brain states that neural circuits switch to in order to perform various computations. Wakefulness is predominantly directed at active interaction with the external world, but during sleep neural circuits remain active and can further process the information acquired during wake. Scientists often use electrodes to track sleep and wakefulness based on brain activity; this is a highly precise method, but it is not always efficient or practical, and it limits the state detection to the times that the recording equipment can be plugged in. Developing a state tracking method based on video analysis would allow neuroscientists to track sleep-wake changes wirelessly, and for much longer periods of time. This approach would have important applications in sleep research and technology, including studies in rodents and humans.

We are looking for students that are interested in applying computational techniques (video analysis) to neuroscience. This will be an independent project in which you will apply your video analysis skills to test the feasibility of using video for tracking sleep-wake cycle.

As part of this project, you will learn about behavioral neuroscience, the sleep-wake cycle and, more generally, brain state changes. You will also be able to explore other techniques used in the lab (primarily electrophysiology).

This UROP opportunity is a great introduction to computational and behavioral neuroscience. If you have a strong interest in these topics this could be a great match.

Prerequisites: Strong computational background, video analysis, signal processing. Dedication of at least 10h/week, with the possibility of extending through IAP and the Spring semester.

Contact: Please submit resume and a brief paragraph commenting on how your skills and background could be helpful to this project. Let me know when you would be available for an interview. carmenv@mit.edu


8/15/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Nanostructured Electro-Responsive Polymers for Environmental Applications

Project Description: Polymer materials can be engineered into nanostructured porous hybrids to increase their specific surface areas. In this project, we aim to develop nanostructured electro-responsive polymer hybrids via a novel electrochemical method. The student will work on polymer nanostructure design/optimizations and obtain the hands-on experience of polymer electrode preparation and electropolymerization. The student can learn a variety of electrochemical characterization and data analysis methods to assist the engineering design. The other aspect of the project involves exploring the energy and environment applications of the novel polymeric material. The student will both assist the graduate researchers and also have the opportunity to perform independent studies in this project.

We are seeking a highly motivated and self-driven UROP to join this project. No prior polymer or electrochemistry knowledge is required, but the student should have the desire to learn new concepts and deliver in a fast paced environment.

Details:
-Minimum 10 hours per week.
-Basic Excel skill is needed for data analysis. Prior laboratory experience is preferred
-Students who can continue after this fall semester are preferred.

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


8/12/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: John Gabrieli

Project Title: Assessing School-based Mindfulness Training & Neurocognitive development

Project Description: Our goal is to study the potential effect Mindfulness training has on behavioral and neural correlates of cognition and emotional regulation for low-income 6th graders. This past spring, we ran an RCT for 8 weeks, teaching low-income students in a Boston charter school Mindfulness skills through a guided curriculum during the school day. We conducted pre and post evaluations of participating children exploring both neural (using function and structural MRI) and behavioral measures focused on executive function, attention, emotional regulation, memory, and mind wandering. Further, we are collaborating with schools to study far transfer of this intervention to academic outcomes. As a research assistant in our lab, you will help us clean and analyze this data. The first focus will be learning how to pre-process structural MRI images using FreeSurfer software and developing advanced knowledge of brain anatomy. After pre-processing is complete, you will be involved in the analysis of this structural data.

We are looking for UROPS who are curious about the intersection of education and neuroscience and are extremely detail oriented, reliable, and hard working (some programming experience is a plus).

Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of neuroanatomy is recommended, but not required. Minimum is 6 hours per week

Contact Name: Camila Caballero
Contact Email: csquared@mit.edu


8/12/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Economics (Course 14)
Faculty Supervisor: Daron Acemoglu

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

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

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

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

Commitment: 6-12 hrs/week, for credit or pay (Direct Funding)

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

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


8/12/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Daniel Greenwald

Project Title: Computational Toolbox for Nonlinear Economic Models

Project Description: Topics that are increasingly central to modern macroeconomics, such as financial crises, mortgage markets, and inequality, require nonlinear models that are highly computationally intensive and challenging to compute accurately, providing a major hurdle to researchers. The goal of this project is to develop an efficient and easy-to-use computational toolbox for solving a broad class of nonlinear economic models using sparse grid methods. The researcher would be primarily responsible for coding and extending new functionality for the library, which already has its basic functionality up and running.

Specific responsibilities include:
1. Extending the toolbox to allow for more general models, alternative solution methods, and different optimization routines and packages.
2. Improving the existing code to increase efficiency and extensibility.
3. Updating suitable portions of code to run on the GPU.
4. Creating interfaces to the toolbox in interpreted languages like Python and Julia.

This project can be done either for pay ($15 per hour) or credit, and requires 8-10 hours of work per week during the Fall Semester. Opportunities for further research are available upon completion.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate has a strong knowledge of C++ and a solid foundation in applied math. The candidate who will benefit most from this project has an interest in learning the theory and implementation of the math underlying the toolbox: numerical approximation of functions, sparse grid (Smolyak) methods, dynamic programming, and numerical optimization.

Contact Name: Daniel Greenwald
Contact Email: dlg@mit.edu


8/11/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Paula Hammond

Project Title: Controlled release transdermal HIV vaccine delivery with microneedles

Project Description: Vaccine administration via microneedles provides several key advantages over traditional intramuscular injections by targeting the abundant repertoire of immune cells in the skin, allowing for minimal pain and discomfort, and providing a way to encapsulate the bioactive molecules in a stable, lyophilized state prior to use. The release kinetics of vaccines from these microneedles and the majority of controlled release systems are initially large and then taper off temporally. However, recent work suggests that alternative kinetic patterns may promote stronger immune responses. Exponential release kinetics mimic how pathogens replicate by releasing increasingly large amounts of antigenic components over time. In this project, we aim to fabricate microneedles that release an HIV sub-unit vaccine at an exponential rate after applying the array in vivo, and we will then characterize the resulting immune responses in the experiments. This project is at the interface of chemical and biological engineering, emphasizing microneedle fabrication, characterization, animal work, and immunological assays. Experiments will be done in both Paula Hammond's and Darrell Irvine's labs as this is a co-advised project.

Prerequisites: Any motivated student with an attention to detail. Able to work in lab for 10hours per week. Most of the other skills can be picked up on the job!

Contact Name: Andrew Zmolek
Contact Email: zmolek@mit.edu


8/11/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE)
Faculty Supervisor: Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Description: How gestures and speech interact in spoken communication Speakers often move their hands, head and eyes as they talk, and growing evidence supports the view that these movements are timed with respect to the speech, that they contribute to the expression of meaning, and that they are part of the planning process for a communicative utterance. We have developed a gesture annotation system for quantifying the degree of similarity between pairs of successive gestures, which can be used to test the hypothesis that successive gestures are organized into groups. This project involves learning the annotation system, and applying it to the labelling of video samples of speech.

In addition to teaching you about the labelling system for gestures, this UROP offers the opportunity to learn about the phonetics and phonology of speech, and to become familiar with tools for displaying and analysing videos of speech-accompanying movements and speech wave forms. Future possibilities include learning to label the prosody of speech (intonation and timing), and analysing its relationship to gestures.

Prerequisites: An interest in learning about phonetics/phonology and about scripting for data analysis is a plus for this position.

Can be done for either pay ($11.00 per hour) or credit; requires commitment of 8-10 hours per week.

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


8/11/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Research and Design of NextGen Health and Safety Wearables

Background: We seek to radically reinvent and create connections between people, information, and places. To accomplish this, the Mobile Experience lab uses research and user observation - mainstays of design thinking - to develop innovative solutions in wearable computing. Current research is investigating the next generation of Health and Safety adaptations for workers in hazardous environments - see previous work at http://design.mit.edu/eni/

Main Tasks: Candidates will become domain experts in the fields of climate adaptation, worker stress and sensory technology through traditional and web-based research. As part of a team, candidates will identify emerging trends in the field, catalog research results and help design and draft engaging, beautiful visualizations of the data, as well as presenting the results of the research. By investigating topics in depth, we will identify technologies mature enough for deployment. Further work will involve developing strategies and concepts for products that may be physically or digitally prototyped.

Prerequisites: Candidates should ideally have some experience with professional design and layout tools, including Adobe Illustrator and/or Indesign. A strong design portfolio is ideal for the position, but not necessary (please send link to portfolio in application).

URL: https://vimeo.com/146432915

Contact Name: Will Walker
Contact Email: walkerw@mit.edu


8/11/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Prototyping NextGen Health & Safety Wearable

Project Description: Background: We seek to radically reinvent and create connections between people, information, and places. To accomplish this, the Mobile Experience lab uses research and user observation - mainstays of design thinking - to develop innovative solutions in wearable computing. Current research is investigating the next generation of Health and Safety adaptations for workers in hazardous environments - see previous work at http://design.mit.edu/eni/

Main Tasks: Candidates will be involved in designing next generation wearables and devices to increase safety for workers in remote or hazardous environments. Candidate will be involved in design of circuitry and programming of devices to create functional prototypes for on-site testing - taking a project from idea to product. Exploring and iterating innovative solutions may require testing unique mechanical solutions such as flexible sensors, boards and conductors. As part of a global team, candidate must be responsive to user defined needs and project requirements. This is an ideal opportunity to generate an impact with networked safety products from the ground up.

Prerequisites: Experience designing, prototyping, fabricating, programming and testing circuit boards & sensors. Familiarity with shop tools and rapid prototyping methods. Solid modeling CAD experience is desirable but not necessary.

Time Requirements: Flexible, based on sprint goals. 6-12 hours/week.

URL: http://design.mit.edu/eni/

Contact Name: Will Walker
Contact Email: walkerw@mit.edu


8/11/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Mechanical Design and Production of the Tangible Map

Background: With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, computer-human interfaces have widely standardized on 2 dimensional glass capacitive surfaces, which lack textural or haptic connections to the content on display. The Tangible Map, to be installed in the MIT Atlas center in 2017, will employ interactive 3D printed buildings to physically explore data events transpiring in our campus environment. Drawing on MIT s available APIs, the map will provide indexed search, directions and staff locations to new visitors and students on Campus. Additionally, the project will release the first 3D printable map of MIT s campus for open source use.

Main Tasks: Strong candidates should be excited about working on a seamless, production-level design. Responsibilities will include designing, prototyping and creating fixtures, details and fittings for the project. as well as equipment used to produce 170 optically transparent 3D printed models. Rapid iteration and design options will be presented at sprints and candidate will develop best practices in rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing. Opportunities exist to explore parametric design and to contribute to a built project (along with programmers, contract architects and fabricators) while leaving a lasting impact on the MIT campus. This will be a great experience for someone looking to take a project beyond research to completion.

Prerequisites: Students should have hands-on experience creating designs from digital designs. The project will require the basic use of CAD (Solidworks and/or Rhino/Grasshopper) to create designs and drawings. Familiarity with mechanical design and machining, including CNC tools is desirable but not mandatory.

URL: https://vimeo.com/164745667

Contact Name: Will Walker
Contact Email: walkerw@mit.edu


8/11/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Broad Institute (BR)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Lander

Project Title: Disrupting activities of “undruggable” proteins

Project Description: Many proteins have earned the moniker of “undruggable” as efforts to control their activities with small molecules (i.e. pharmacologic control) have failed despite their evident role in several diseases. You will join the Choudhary Lab to help develop a new class of small molecules that can potentially disrupt the activities of these “untouchable” proteins.

You will work closely with a small team of postdoctoral fellows in chemistry and biology and have the opportunity to learn fundamental techniques and principles employed in organic chemistry, molecular and cell biology.

Prerequisites: Some experience in cell and molecular biology desired, but not required. Fall term with IAP.

Relevant URLs: http://scholar.harvard.edu/c_amit/home

Contact Name: Amit Choudhary
Contact Email: achoud@broadinstitute.org


8/11/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Broad Institute (BR)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Lander

Project Title: Chemical Countermeasures for CRISPR-Cas9/Cpf1 enzymes

Project Description: The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) system is a microbial adaptive immune system that has furnished transformative biomedical technologies for targeted genome and epigenome editing, sequence-specific DNA recognition, targeted gene expression or repression, and genome imaging. The rapid ascension of CRISPR-based genome editing technologies (e.g., gene drives) has raised biosafety concerns. Further, much interest exists to diversify these enzymes. You will join the Choudhary Lab to help develop methods to control and diversify CRISPR-Cas9/Cpf1 enzymes for genome engineering applications.

You will work closely with a small team of postdoctoral fellows in chemistry and biology and have the opportunity to learn fundamental techniques and principles employed in organic chemistry, molecular and cell biology.

Prerequisites: Some experience in cell and molecular biology desired, but not required. Fall term with IAP.

Relevant URLs: http://scholar.harvard.edu/c_amit/home

Contact Name: Amit Choudhary
Contact Email: achoud@broadinstitute.org


8/7/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Sangbae Kim

Project Title: Force Sensing Shoes for Athletes, the Elderly, and the Disabled

Project Description: We are developing the next generation of the wearables in the form of shoes that are capable of real-time in-situ measurement of force data. This work will involve integrating the lightweight multi-axis force sensor that have been developed for use on the MIT Cheetah robot. The force sensor is capable of:

  1. Measuring large forces in both the normal and shear directions.
  2. Real-time in-situ data streaming (1kHz) using an onboard ARM microcontroller for data processing.
  3. High impact robustness, and immunity to inertial noise during large accelerations.

The ultimate goal is to use these force sensing shoes to help:

  1. Elderly to detect neurologic gait abnormalities, and facilitate earlier treatment.
  2. Disabled people for fall prevention and mitigation, when moving about with prosthetics or exoskeletons.
  3. Athletes to collect data during trainings to better optimize their workouts.

We are looking for undergraduate students (Course 2 or 6) to improve on the current shoe prototype, and explore different ways of integrating the force sensors into a wearable shoe prototype and ways to fabricate it. The research will take place in the Biomimetic Robotics Lab (biomimetics.mit.edu), under the supervision of Michael Chuah (PhD candidate) and Prof. Sangbae Kim.

Requirements:
Course 2: Mechanical design experience (Solidworks)
Course 6: Programming/electronics experience Substantial time commitment.

Nice-to-haves or interested in learning:

Please highlight experience with or interest in any of the following such as:

URL: http://biomimetics.mit.edu/footpad-sensor

Contact: If you are interested in being involved in this project, please contact Michael Chuah (mcx@mit.edu) with your resume, indicating your year, relevant experience, and any other questions you may have.


8/5/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Center for Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. David Paul

Project Title: Ferromagnetic Materials

Project Description: A theoretical approach to the problems associated with the use of thin film geometries of magnetic material. Incoming materials science student applications will also be considered.

Contact Name: Prof. David Paul
Contact Email: dipaul@mt.edu


8/5/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: T Alan Hatton

Project Title: Electrochemically mediated separations

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

The project is multipronged and involves: Electrochemical separation and concentration of CO2 Electrochemical separation of small molecules and nanoparticles Separation of metals via electrochemically mediated regeneration of ionic liquids The tasks include: Organic synthesis (optional) Synthesis and functionalization of nanoparticles Chemical characterization Electrochemical techniques Microscopy Modelling Data analysis

Prerequisites: Prior engineering or chemistry lab/research experience (UROP, lab course or otherwise). Basic understanding of organic chemistry and electrochemistry (preferred). Juniors and seniors are preferred.

Contact Name: Sahag Voskian
Contact Email: svoskian@mit.edu


8/4/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: John Akula

Project Title: Current legal developments

Project Description: Hi prospective UROPers, I teach law at the Sloan school, and am updating the materials for some major topics in my courses for next year. These topics include: the legal framework of innovation-driven entrepreneurship, both in the US and abroad, including the financing of new ventures; some current developments in financial services regulation; and competition policy in the US and abroad, especially as applied to the new economy" (e.g., Google).

I would like to involve one or two UROPers in that effort. Your role would include research into current sources; synthesizing your findings; assisting me in developing teaching cases, packets, and exercises; and - your schedule permitting - attending some of the classes in which these new materials will be used. Also looking for help developing some web-based teaching materials for my first undergraduate law course at MIT (on entrepreneurship), which will be offered spring 2017.

Pay or credit both options.

Prerequisites: None -- anything you need to know about law-related research I will taech you.

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

Contact: Please contact me jakula@mit.edu directly if interested. (Include a resume if you have one handy.)


8/3/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Development of cardiovascular system models

Project Description: The Edelman Lab at the institute for Medical Engineering and Science of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing a computational fluid dynamics framework of the human cardiovascular system. These models are used to investigate the effects of cardiovascular disease on the flow domain.

Prerequisites: We are looking for:
(1) two undergraduates for performing cardiovascular system geometries using medical images and/or SOLIDWORKS. The models will be used to perform computational studies of cardiovascular system;
(2) one undergraduate for advancing our existed lumped parameter model of cardiovascular system using MATLAB. The model is used to investigate the hemodynamics.

Hours: Minimum commitment of 10 hours per week.

URL: http://edelmanlab.mit.edu

Contact Name: Dr. Zahra Keshavarz-Motamed
Contact Email: zahra_km@mit.edu


8/3/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Steve Tannenbaum

Project Title: Biomarkers of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Project Description: My laboratory is engaged in research on neuropathologies in the brain, one of them being Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).We have recently developed a new proteomics approach using mass spectrometry that identifies proteins that are reversibly modified in a way that modifies their function. These proteins occur in neuronal synapses, so regulation of signaling between different types of neurons is affected by this Post Translational Modification (PTM), and altered synaptic transmission is viewed as a major component of ASD. In order to use our new approach one requires extremely fresh samples of brain, which is obviously not available in humans. Therefore we are using mouse models of ASD to develop biomarkers of ASD that could then be applied to preserved human brain. The tools we are using for this research are based upon antibodies to target proteins. We use these antibodies to localize and measure these proteins in slices of brain with a method called Immunohistochemistry (IHC), and we do quantitative analysis of the proteins with an electrophoretic method called Western Blotting. We would teach the person who is interested in this research the above methods, and in addition we would want that person to be involved with interpretation of the mass spec data, and with the overall biological problem.

Course Number: This UROP can be done through either Biological Engineering (Course 20) or Chemistry (Course 5).

Prerequisites: None

Contact Name: Steve Tannenbaum
Contact Email: srt@mit.edu


8/2/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Robert S. Langer

Project Title: Fabrication of ingestible drug delivery devices

Project Description: This project aims to investigate the creation of novel drug delivery devices via alternative fabrication processes such as 3D printing. It involves the design of the device's structure, chemical formulation of the printable inks, as well as the optimization of the fabrication related processes. Work will be conducted in the Langer Lab in the Koch Building in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team composed of mechanical engineers, chemists, chemical engineers and physician.

Prerequisites: Passionate in the design and fabrication of biomedical devices. Self-motivated in learning experimental techniques and exploring research direction. Students who are committed to stay for a long term are preferred.

Contact Name: Yong Lin Kong
Contact Email:yongkong@mit.edu


8/2/16
Fall 2016-IAP 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Robert Langer

Project Title: CRISPR-Cas9 Delivery

Project Description: The Anderson/Langer Lab is looking for a student to assist in the development of novel nanoparticle formulations to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 systemically in vivo. The UROP will be involved in formulating nanoparticles, in vitro testing of various constructs, as well as in vivo analysis.

Prerequisites: Previous wet lab experience such a cell culture and basic molecular biology techniques is preferred (eg ELISA, Western blots, flow cytometry).

Contact Name: Andrew Ryan Bader
Contact Email: arbader@mit.edu


8/2/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Picower Institute for Learning and Memory (PILM)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Troy Littleton

Project Title: Regulation of Glial-Neuronal Signaling

Project Description: Glial cells comprise 85% of human brain cells and regulate multiple aspects of neuronal development and function. Although several functions of glia have been identified, there is limited data on pathways by which glia can directly regulate neural activity. Recent data suggest that glial cells play important or even causative roles in several neurological disorders (epilepsy), neurodevelopmental disorders (Fragile X syndrome) and neurodegenerative diseases (SMA). Therefore it is essential to define how glia and neurons actively communicate in the nervous system. We are using Drosophila as a model system to dissect how glia can acutely activate and inhibit neuronal activity. We have recently found that Drosophila cortex glia, which share many similarities with human astrocytes, can trigger neuronal seizures following an acute change in calcium entry into these cells.

This study aims to dissect the mechanisms by which glial communicate with neurons to regulate their firing properties. Using a combination of techniques, including genetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology and imaging, we are searching for key players mediating glial-neuronal communication. By genetically defining the molecular machinery for glial-neuronal signaling, we will gain new insights into the role of glia in regulating neuronal activity in both native and disease states.

URL: http://littletonlab.mit.edu/home

Contact Name: J. Troy Littleton
Contact Email: troy@mit.edu


7/29/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Thomas W. Malone

Project Title: An iPhone/iPad Application for Crowdsourced Medical Image Analysis

Project Description: The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence has built a simple iPhone/iPad application for soliciting diagnoses on medical images such as mammograms. The goal of the project is twofold: 1) to improve how medical students learn to diagnose cases, and 2) to determine whether groups of medical students and machine learning algorithms can outperform experienced radiologists. In order to do this, we will run a number of A/B tests on the app. The job of the UROP will be to help improve the existing application, work on additional features, and work on implementing those A/B tests under the supervision of PhD students at the Center for Collective Intelligence. If you are interested in hands-on experience building, maintaining, and managing an iPhone app with real-world potential, this would be a great learning experience.

Required skills: Please only apply if you have experience with X-code / Swift programming language

Time requirements: Flexible, to be discussed. 5-10 hrs/wk sounds reasonable.

Contact Name: Erik Duhiame
Contact Email: eduhaime@mit.edu


7/29/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Tomaso Poggio

Project Title: MIT CBMM Machine Learning Team

Project Description: We would like to recruit MIT undergraduate and MEng students with excellent programming skills to implement state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms on various tasks. Hopefully we will jointly develop better understanding of the versatility of intelligence by working on a large number of tasks together as a team. We provide sufficiently large amount of computing resources (e.g., GPUs).

Potential projects include but not limited to:
1. language modeling, machine translation, conversation modeling with Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) and Memory Networks
2. question answering and reasoning with Memory Networks
3. visual recognition and segmentation using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs)
4. visual question answering with RNNs + CNNs
5. reinforcement learning with games
6. various machine learning challenges (e.g., ILSVRC, Microsoft COCO, WMT, etc.)

Prerequisites:
- Good programming skills with any of the following languages: Matlab, Python, Lua(Torch7) or CUDA/C++.
- Interest in Machine Learning.

Contact Name: Qianli Liao
Contact Email: lql@mit.edu


7/29/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Markus Buehler

Project Title: Hack the MIT Roof by Building an Algae Farm

Background: Solar energy in the form of sunlight represents a clean and environmentally friendly form of a sustainable energy source. However, the power of sunlight is relatively low and typically needs a large space to collect the energy. While solar cells can be used to convert the solar energy to electricity, agriculture, as what has been used by our ancestors for thousands of years, provides another efficient way to collect solar energy. Recent development of the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technique makes it possible to convert agriculture products into bio-crude-oil, which provides a feasible way to collect and store solar energy, and address energy needs in transportation, infrastructure, and manufacturing. Compared to batteries and capacitors that can only store energy up to ten years, crude oil can store the energy for tens of millions of years with much higher energy density. Another advantage is that it can be used with existing technologies including personal vehicles, airplanes, trains, manufacturing, and power generation.

Main tasks: For this study, the UROP student will work with other researchers in our laboratory to build a modern algae farm on the roof of Building 1 (the Pierce Laboratory). The project involves training in and use of laser cutter, 3D printers, machine shop, and Arduino (an open-source electronics platform) to achieve the design, manufacturing and control of the complete life cycle and operation of the algae farm. The innovative algae farm is designed to be self-supportive and self-optimized in terms of both energy and water usage. For energy usage, the major elements include air/water pumping and rotation, to be driven by electricity produced by a solar panel. Water will be cycled through different parts in the system and algae will be collected at the final container with minimum water content. All valves, pumps and servo motors will be centrally controlled by the Arduino chip. The production rate of algae will be optimized by controlling the air/nutrition/cycle-time as variables by the control software. The resulting algae product will be used by a HTL reactor to obtain further bio-products such bio-asphalt, bio-crude-oil, and other products.

This platform provides an example to achieve high-efficient, low-cost and low-waste agriculture production using purely solar energy. The platform, once built and operating, will be the first to be automatically running and producing algae in a sustainable and optimized way.

Prerequisites: We will offer rigorous training in all areas required. Interested students should have a strong desire in getting involved in innovative engineering system design, to improve the efficiency of energy harvesting, agriculture and environmental sustainability. Should have some basic knowledge of electronic and mechanical machine design and building, and most importantly, interest to learn. Some familiarity with simple hand and power tools will help. Experiences in a programing language Java, C, C++ or python will be desirable but not mandatory. We will train students through staff in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Location: The research will be conducted in the Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM), in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), under the direction of Prof. Markus Buehler and Dr. Zhao Qin.

Contact: Please contact Dr. Zhao Qin if you are interested (qinzhao@mit.edu).


7/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Roger D Kamm

Project Title: Microfluidic models of cancer-immune cell interactions during metastasis for cancer immunotherapy

Project Description: Most conventional therapies have limited success in containing metastasis, which is responsible for 90% of cancer-related deaths. Recently, immunotherapies have shown promising results for reducing metastasis in patients with several types of cancer. This warrants further research to develop new similar immunotherapies by using improved models that can better recapitulate metastasis. We propose that microfluidics systems are particularly powerful tools to replicate the metastatic environment; in this project, the student will work with a post-doc using microfluidic models to study interactions of cancer cells and immune cells. The student will learn to fabricate microfluidic devices, culture different cell types in 3D in the microfluidic assays, isolate immune cells and perform confocal imaging. More specifically, the student will routinely form 3D microvascular networks in the microfluidic platforms; subsequently, cancer and immune human cells are perfused in the networks, so as to image and analyze the cells migration through the vessels, as they would in metastasis in vivo. This system will enable investigation of the poorly understood role of immune cells in metastasis as well as screen for therapeutic agents that could modulate these interactions as a means to reduce metastasis.

The ideal applicant would have experience in cell culture and general biological experiments and an interest in cancer and microfluidics.

Contact Name: Alexandra Boussommier
Contact Email:abouss@mit.edu


7/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Development of Analysis System for Continuous Fitbit Data Streams

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

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

URL: https://edelmanlab.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Jonathan Brown
Contact Email:brownjy@mit.edu


7/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Synthesis of Clinical Data Streams into a Novel Clinical Research Tool

Project Description: The Edelman Lab is seeking a student to assist us in the development of clinical research based software which will integrate multiple clinical data streams (images, signals, electronic medical records data) to facilitate more granular diagnoses of several types of cardiovascular diseases. This UROP will involve optimizing / refactoring existing Matlab and Python code bases as well as developing novel features to advance the projects.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have experience in software development and testing, as well as a background in Matlab, Simulink, Python, and SQL. Experience in computer vision and /or machine learning, would be helpful but are not required. Please provide your resume in PDF form.

URL: https://edelmanlab.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Jonathan Brown
Contact Email:brownjy@mit.edu


7/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Optics at MIT Media Lab

Project Description: Light is a wave. When two beams of light collide they may interfere, constructively or destructively. Devices called interferometers analyze the interference patterns of light waves to do cool things (for example, interferometers are the world's most accurate ruler, are used in biology, and played a pivotal role in the famous LIGO project). Due to their optical complexity, interferometers are generally expensive and fragile instruments. Here at the Media Lab, we want to use math to simplify the optics, leading to the design of practical interferometers for everyday life. Please schedule an interview with the Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab to learn more about the project.

Prerequisites: A passion for optics. Experience with either optical or electronic hardware. Candidates interested in a multi-semester UROP are particularly encouraged to apply.

URL: http://web.media.mit.edu/~achoo/

Contact Name: Achuta Kadambi
Contact Email:achoo@mit.edu


7/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Ann M. Graybiel

Project Title: Experiments on brain activity and behavior (projects available starting now)

Project Description: Help us do experiments to solve the mysteries of the brain! In this project, you will assist us in performing experiments manipulating and/or recording brain activity and behavior in rodents using cutting-edge techniques such as optogenetics and calcium imaging. You may help us run experiments, perform neurosurgeries, train animals and/or build micro-devices for manipulating and recording neural activity. Students with strong programming and mathematics skills may also assist in data analysis. This is an excellent UROP for students seeking laboratory experience in preparation for medical school or a research PhD program. Students majoring in Course 9 as well as those majoring in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and other majors are welcome.

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

Prerequisites: No prior experience is required, but you must be highly motivated, conscientious and detail oriented. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to working at least 12 hours per week during fall and spring 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.

URL: http://graybiel-lab.mit.edu/

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


7/26/16
Fall 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: John Gabrieli, PhD

Project Title: Linking children's language exposure to brain development

Project Description: In this project we are investigating the effects of children s early language exposure on the neural mechanisms underlying their language development. Research shows that there is a strong, positive correlation between the quantity and quality of a child s linguistic input and his/her language abilities throughout childhood and into adulthood. Furthermore, cognitive neurosicence provides increasing evidence that early experience shapes key brain architecture. However, at this point in time there is little to no research examining the effects of individual differences in children's language environments on the structure and function of their brains.

Thus, the goal of this project is to (1) link the quantity and quality of children s parental language exposure to the neural structure and function in critical language regions, and (2) determine if there are differential susceptibilities to language exposure across socioeconomic backgrounds, thus highlighting the importance of targeted early intervention for at-risk populations.

Recently, we have acquired a large data set from nearly 100 families with young children, including behavioral assessments and questionnaires, structural and functional MRI scans of the children, and both video and audio recordings of parents and children interacting. Students will help researchers clean and analyze this data. The two main responsibilities will include transcribing short conversations between participating parents and children, and pre-processing structural MRI images. After pre-processing is complete, students will assist in all stages of analysis.

Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of neuroanatomy is recommended, but not required. Minimum is 6 hours per week.

Contact Name: Rachel Romeo
Contact Email:rromeo@mit.edu

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