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.

2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Paula Hammond

Project Title: Development of a 3D microenvironment to support self-renewal of stem cells

Project Description: We are developing a three-dimensional cell culture system to mimic the key biophysical and biochemical features of the innate environment of stem cells. The 3D cell microenvironment will be composed of cell-sized soft polymeric microbeads that are modified with a combination of cell surface receptors, growth factors, and tissue-specific-ECMs to support stem cell renewal. Tasks of UROP: The UROP will learn how to make microfluidic devices and produce microbeads from different polymers. He/She then will coat extracellular matrix components on the surface of the microbeads via the layer-by-layer technique. The functionalized microbeads will be co-cultured with the stem cell and the student will investigate the viability and function of the stem cells in the 3D environment using confocal microscopy.

Prerequisites: No prior experience is required, but you must be highly motivated, conscientious and able to work independently. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to continue the work for the summer.

Contact Name: Samin Akbari
Contact Email: sakbari@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Paula Hammond

Project Title: A 3D microenvironment for sustained delivery of messenger RNA Project descriptio

Project Description: We are developing a three dimensional cell culture system to promote differentiation of stem cells towards insulin secreting cells. The 3D microenvironment is composed of cell-sized polymeric microbeads that contain messenger RNA on their surface. The cells will be co-cultured with the microbeads and uptake the RNA and induce the desired genome. Tasks of the UROP: The UROP will learn how to make microfluidic devices and produce microbeads from different polymers. He will learn to use the Layer-by-Layer technique to coat the microbeads with messenger RNA. He will study the release kinetics of the mRNA of different microbeads. The modified microbeads will be co-cultured with cells and the transfection efficiency of the cells will be investigated.

Prerequisites: No prior experience is required, but you must be highly motivated, conscientious and able to work independently. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to continue the work for the summer.

Contact Name: Samin Akbari
Contact Email:sakbari@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Mark Goulthorpe

Project Title: Environmental Robotically Fabricated PlasticHaus

Project Description: We will be designing prototype housing using composite materials, and developing CAD-CAM models that permit quasi-automated fabrication using robots or CNC machines. The project is looking to develop novel material and fabrication protocols that offer a radical alternative to current steel/concrete/aluminum building norms, which are heavy and energy intensive hence highly polluting. Here we are ultra-lightweighting and automating buildings, targeting developing world mass housing markets. Prototypes will be built at full scale and tested for fire and structural performance using novel fire retardancy chemistries (testing at WPI fire engineering lab). I could use 2 or 3 students if possible. The students will learn a great deal about composite materials and automated manufacture, as well as housing design and the host of cost, performance, code, etc issue that apply. Its an interesting moment at which a good deal of thinking translates into production, so it should be rewarding in seeing things get built. For some further introduction, see http://news.solve.mit.edu/node/12

Prerequisites: Students will need decent CAD skill as a minimum, preferable in Rhino (Solidworks also possible), and it would be a bonus if they have parametric, scripting or programming skills (e.g. Grasshopper) - but not essential

Contact Name: Mark Goulthorpe
Contact Email:mg_decoi@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Richard Larson

Project Title: VA Procurement and Logistics Policy Improvement

Project Description: Do you want to work on an important results-oriented project that seeks to analyze and improve policy for Veterans Administration (VA) across the country? The VA is the largest hospital network in the USA, and they have many problems getting medications and medical supplies where they re needed, when they re needed, in an affordable way. In this project we are studying the complex set of policies and guidelines that govern procurement and logistics across the country, in order to provide recommendations so that they may better serve patients, doctors, nurses, and administrators. The project presents substantial opportunity to affect positive change in the VA.

Most of the work can be done at MIT, although there will be a few trips to the Boston (Jamaica Plain) facility, as well as possible rare trips to other sites or the national office in Washington, D.C. In order to deconstruct, assess, and then re-engineer the set of policies that govern VA procurement and logistics across the country, we are using a combination of pre-existing and custom-built natural language processing (NLP) algorithms in python. These algorithms allow us to extract patterns both within and between documents and highlight areas of potential weakness (e.g. missing content, difficult to read, poorly organized). Machine learning, both supervised and unsupervised, is at times used to help identify these patterns. Statistics and visualization tools are critical in enabling us to make sense of the results coming out of this massive data-set. Results are rapidly presented back to VA stakeholders as a way to guide our analyses. We are seeking an MIT undergraduate who would be interested in such problems and be able to contribute, not only for general project support, but also for some technical issues in NLP algorithm design and coding, statistics, and policy design.

Position responsibilities likely include:
- Background research and familiarization with open-source NLP libraries
- Organizing, processing, reading, and tagging of policy documents
- Assisting with the development and application of custom NLP algorithms (this includes significant python coding)
- Conducting linguistic and statistical analyses via NLP
- Supporting analyses of related processes and stakeholder interests
- Interview note-taking and transcription from recordings
- Weekly meeting attendance

Relevant skills or interests:
- REQUIRED: Basic understanding of statistics
- REQUIRED: Proficiency in python
- Natural language processing, computational linguistics
- Machine learning, data mining, text mining
- Algorithm design, computational efficiency
- Data visualization, network visualization
- Supply chain, logistics, purchasing
- Healthcare

Note: This is a 8-15hr/week paid position for the spring and possibly summer term (Feb 2016 - Aug 2016) To apply, send an email with CV to Cory Stasko: cstasko@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab / Lifelong Kindergarten Group
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Mitch Resnick

Project Title: Android Developer UROP Position @ Lifelong Kindergarten Group

Project Description: We are looking for an experienced Android developer to help build an Android app for Spin [http://spin.media.mit.edu/], a DIY photography turntable system for capturing GIFs of design projects. Since its launch 6 months ago, Spin has been used in over 20 makerspaces around the world, where kids are using it to document and share what they make [spin.media.mit.edu/examples]

We currently have a fully functioning iOS version of the app that we would like to build an equivalent version of for Android. The app involves the following features:

Facebook and Twitter authentication
Camera integration (image capture)
Video and GIF generation
Audio recording and playback
Instagram and Twitter sharing integration

The UROP should already have experience developing for Android, as we would like this app to be complete by the end of the spring semester.

Contact: To apply, please email Tiffany Tseng (ttseng@mit.edu) with a description of your interest, a copy of your resume, and a link to an APK for an Android app you've previously built.


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Krystyn Van Vliet

Project Title: Quantifying heterogeneity in mesenchymal stem cells via time-lapse image analysis

Project Description: Adult bone marrow stromal cells, a subset of which can be classified as stem cells, have been involved in hundreds of clinical trials to date. Potential treatments broadly range anywhere from autism to multiple sclerosis to graft-versus-host disease. However, functional heterogeneity in MSC populations imposes limitations for large-scale expansion as well as for many potential clinical applications, and this challenge has yet to be overcome by conventional culture protocols or cell isolation devices. The overall goal of this project is to elucidate the causes of heterogeneity onset in vitro and to use this understanding to prototype devices and methods to minimize this heterogeneity.

We are currently seeking two highly-motivated UROPs to participate in this high-impact, interdisciplinary project. Students will first gain experience in image analysis using MATLAB, CellProfiler, and Image J. Additional training on key techniques in the fields of biological engineering, materials science and engineering, and computer science, including (but not limited to) cell culture, biochemical assays, polymeric material synthesis, time-lapse microscopy, and programming are available to dedicated students interested in participating in a longer-term position with this project.

Prerequisites: Applicants must be willing to dedicate a minimum of ten hours per week to this project. Applicants should be highly motivated, have strong communication skills, and have a positive attitude toward learning. No prior experience in image analysis is needed. MATLAB experience is a plus.

URL (if applicable): http://vvgroup.scripts.mit.edu/WP/

Contact Name: Deena Rennerfeldt
Contact Email: deenaar@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Robert Stoner

Project Title: Low-cost Pocket Braille Device Manufacturing Design

Project Description: Braille-It is a low-cost mechanical braille label maker, that enables blind users to produce raised braille dots on adhesive tape. This pocket-sized device allows one to create braille labels quickly and frequently, without interrupting the flow of everyday life, for application to food and medicine packaging, media devices, household appliances, keyboards, switches, drawers, doors, etc. Users may also jot down names and contact info, and compose brief notes or reminders.

The Braille-It device was initially developed during a 2010-2012 collaboration between an MIT student and a team of blind men in Tamil Nadu, India. The current model was physically prototyped by those blind men, using local materials and construction methods developed in their blind-accessible workshop.

This UROP project will develop this device into a mass manufacturable design with a cost target of a few dollars. This will require substantial redesign and iterative prototyping, culminating in a low volume production run for testing.

Requirements: Experience in hands on mechanical design, CAD and prototype fabrication. Skills include: Machining, sheet metal fabrication, 3D printing, design for injection molding and design for assembly.

Interested? Please send CV / website link and a few words on why this interests you to: Ted Moallem, moallem@mit.edu

URL (if applicable):http://blindlead.org/introducing-braille-it-2-0/

Contact Name: Ted Moallem
Contact Email:moallem@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Robert Langer

Project Title: Development of dermal in vitro test system for drug discovery using tissue engineering

Project Description: This project involves the development of techniques for the maintenance and cultivation of dermal stem cells within the natural tissue environment. In a second stage these techniques will then be translated in a new in vitro test system for dermal drug discovery.

Prerequisites: Wet lab experience and experience in cell culture required. Ideally bioreactor cultivation.

Contact Name: Thomas von Erlach
Contact Email:thomasve@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Robert Langer

Project Title: High throughput screening for drug delivery applications

Project Description: The goal of this project is to develop ground breaking oral drug formulations for insulin by using newly developed high throughput screening assays. The first part of the project involves the generation of a large library of nanoparticle based formulations of insulin. These new formulations will then be tested using various cutting edge assays. The best performing insulin formulations will then further analyzed by in vivo experiments. This is a very exciting opportunity to get first hand experience in state of the art research in drug delivery and get exposed to a wide range of different techniques and assays.

Prerequisites: Preferably previous wet lab experience. In order to get the most out of this project we would require the candidate to start in spring and continue the UROP during summer.

Contact Name: Thomas von Erlach
Contact Email:thomasve@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: Robotic Accessories: On-Body Jewelry Robots

Project Description: We will be creating jewelry and accessories that move on the human body. As we self-express though the things we wear, we are interested in creating robotic jewelry that crawls and moves; changing its location and appearance as fitting to the wearer’s social scenario. We are seeking a Mechanical Engineering UROP to support the CAD and assembly for the miniaturized robots. The UROP will work closely with MechE researchers to support the structural design.

Requirements: We are seeking an Mechanical Engineering UROP with:

- Solidworks CAD experience

- 3D printing and assembly experience

- Able to solve structure design problems on their own

- Detailed oriented, as the robots we are creating are small and intricate

- Taken 2.008 Design and Manufacturing I is not required, but a plus.

- Experience in Robotics is a plus.

Contact: If interested, Please send resume and portfolio with past work to Cindy Kao, cindykao@media.mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Professor John J Rosowski

Project Title: Development of 3D models of human middle ear

Project Description: The middle-ear group of the Eaton Peabody Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is developing finite-element models of the human middle ear. These models are used for interpretation of the vibration and acoustical data that we collect using various experimental methods. The models are also used for developing prostheses.

Prerequisites: We are looking for an undergraduate motivated in learning and performing 3-D reconstruction of complicated biological structures using medical images and segmentation software. Prior exposure to anatomical concepts, CAD, image processing, segmentation software (like 3D Slicer, ITK-SNAP, AMIRA, ScanIP, etc ) are advantageous.

Time Commitment: Minimum 9 hours per week

Contact Name: Dr. Nima Maftoon
Contact Email: nima_maftoon@meei.harvard.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Daniel G. Anderson

Project Title: Polymer and Lipid Nanoparticles for Novel Nucleic Acid-Based Therapies

Project Description: As the genetic basis of disease becomes more and more clear thanks to technological advances, nucleic acid therapy holds the promise to treat these maladies at the source. However, these nucleic acids (siRNA, mRNA, DNA, etc.) require delivery vehicles in order to be effective in the body. The Anderson Lab is a leader in developing such materials for therapeutic delivery of nucleic acids.

This project involves using two separate delivery platforms for two specific applications:

1) mRNA and DNA Delivery using polymeric nanoparticles. Interest in using mRNA delivery to replace non-functional proteins has recently been renewed. Traditionally, DNA has been used for this purpose. Our lab has developed a class of polymeric materials capable of both mRNA and DNA delivery, and we are interested in comparing the two. More specifically, we would like to see if certain materials are more effective with mRNA over DNA (or vice versa) and what the therapeutic advantages of either nucleic acid are (in terms of time of efficacy, peak expression, etc.).

2) Subcellular trafficking of lipid nanoparticles. Our lab has developed highly potent lipid nanoparticles for siRNA and mRNA delivery, but the reason that some materials are more successful than other similar materials is still being investigated. Recently, we have discovered that changing the way in which we make our nanoparticles has a selective increase on mRNA delivery. Additionally, we have observed that this change results in a difference in efficacy with respect to a certain regulator protein in cells. We are interested in knowing why this change has occurred, and if discovering the mechanism behind this change can lead us to a greater understanding of what makes a nanoparticle most effective.

The UROP will learn basic material synthesis and characterization techniques, nanoparticle formulation, and in vitro cell culture and transfection techniques. At the Faculty and UROP Advisors discretion, the UROP may also be involved in in vivo aspects of the work. The UROP will both assist the UROP advisor with day-to-day experiments and move towards working independently in a specific project area that interests the student.

Prerequisites: No class prerequisites are required, but the student should be self-motivated and organized. The student is not expected to know any laboratory techniques upon coming in, but should be willing to work towards being independent in the lab.

Contact Name: James Kaczmarek
Contact Email: jkaczmar@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiromi Ozaki

Project Title: Body Controlled Bodies

Project Description: The Design Fiction group explores how to spark imagination and discussion about the social, cultural, and ethical implications of new technologies through design and storytelling. The group also explores alternative ways to encourage debate using social/viral media and popular culture. The project that you will be working on explores the use of muscle sensors to transfer actuation of bodily movement to another person through electrical signals, causing one person to become an embodied physical controller towards another.

Tasks: Seeking UROP students to test/build circuits and program microcontrollers with wearable sensors and actuators. You will be given assignments and check-ins weekly. Given nature of the project, pairs of friends encouraged to apply.

Prerequisites: Ideal candidates are thoughtful, creative, think outside the box, comfortable with being uncomfortable. You should enjoy hands-on making. Looking for EE, CS, ME, but all are encouraged to apply. Skills I am looking for include electrical engineering, computer science, biology.

Added Value for You: You will learn design thinking, fabrication skills (laser cutting, 3d printing, shop tools), CAD skills (3d modeling), post processing (Adobe Creative Suite, documentation). We will have thoughtful conversations about how to critically think and reflect about culture, politics, ethics through design.

Contact Name: Ani Liu - Please include a summary of previous relevant work experience; a short description of why you are interested in working on this project; and your availability during this semester.
Contact Email:wonder@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biology (Course 7)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Michael Laub

Project Title: Regulatory Principles of Cell Cycle Control in Bacteria

Project Description: We are seeking a motivated undergraduate student to work in the lab of Dr. Michael Laub in the Biology Department. The Laub lab (http://laublab.mit.edu/) is generally interested in how bacteria process information; projects in the lab include high-throughput approaches to identify evolutionary principles guiding regulatory interactions as well as dissecting molecular mechanisms of cell sensing and cell cycle control. The undergraduate will work directly with Dr. Jayme Dyer, a postdoctoral fellow, on principles of cell cycle regulation in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. Specifically, we are working to understand the molecular mechanism underpinning a DNA replication checkpoint that prevents cell cycle progression when DNA replication is blocked. The project will include traditional molecular biology and bacterial genetics, and may include microscopy, flow cytometry, sequencing, and other current methods.

Initial position is for the Spring 2016 semester with the potential to extend into the summer and beyond. Position is for credit, with the potential for pay in the future. Interested students should send a CV and a cover letter to Dr. Jayme Dyer (jayme@mit.edu) explaining their interest in the project, relevant coursework and prior research experience (if any), and how a UROP in the Laub lab will contribute to their educational and career goals.

Prerequisites: 7.01 and 7.02, preference for 7.03

URL (if applicable):http://laublab.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Jayme Dyer
Contact Email:jayme@mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (WI)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hidde Ploegh

Project Title: Investigating Toxoplasma gondii's ability to invade mammalian cells

Project Description: Toxoplasma is a unicellular parasite that causes a disease known as toxoplasmosis and is related to the parasites that cause malaria. Toxoplasma encodes a vast number of genes that are completely uncharacterized. Until recently, genetically manipulating Toxoplasma has been labour-intensive, and researchers have had to study this parasite s genes individually. All this has changed over the last few years as a new method for targeted gene disruption, known as CRISPR, has become widely used. By adapting this method to Toxoplasma, we have been able to disrupt every gene in the parasite s genome at the same timein parallel. Using this technique, we discovered a gene that is indispensable for Toxoplasma to grow in mammalian tissue culture, and we subsequently showed that mutating this gene renders Toxoplasma unable to invade mammalian cells. This gene is conserved among all related parasites, and likely important for the analogous process throughout this parasitic phylum. We are now looking for an undergraduate student to assist with further characterizing the protein encoded by this gene by examining its topology and its interacting partners.

Prerequisites: Candidates must be pursing a degree in biology, microbiology, biochemistry or a related discipline and be available for 10 to 15 hours per week for at least two hours at a time.

URL (if applicable):http://louridolab.wi.mit.edu

Contact Name: Sebastian Lourido
Contact Email:lourido@wi.mit.edu


2/5/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Kent Larson

Project Title: Human mobility inference and urban sensing based on big data in Andorra

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 The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of data science methodologies and spatial analysis 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 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. We are seeking a UROP for the Spring term, with the possibility of continuing during following terms.

The task: Be a part of the team that is going to think and design an Innovation District, a Dynamic Square and a Smart Street based on the Andorran needs and the their big data, integrating the main lines of the CP Group research: big data Urban Planning (physical 3D model with data projection), PEV (Autonomous Electric Vehicle), etc. Help to in process, analysis and integrate Andorra big data environmental, energy, mobility flows, etc. in dynamic presentations. 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.

Prerequisites: Ideal candidates will have sharpened programming data science skills (2+ years computer science), and should be able to develop a thoughtful and creative understanding on how the models, analysis and visualizations can generate value in the contexts of Andorra s tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We need candidates with solid and hands-on programming skills in Python. Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: machine learning, spatial analysis, tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains. You are welcome to share your previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Necessary Skills: 1) Skilled Python programming 2) Past experiences in data science projects. 3) Statistics. Other important skills: 1) Database; 2) Spatial analysis. Additional: (Open CV) Computer Vision, Machine Learning

URL (if applicable):http://cp.media.mit.edu/city-simulation/

Contact Name: Luis Alonso - Please send us your resume/portfolio and a short paragraph on your interest in the project to alonsolp@mit.edu. Thanks for your interest!!


2/5/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Sep Kamvar

Project Title: Bicycle Study Design, Deployment & Analysis

Project Description: We would like to test the hypothesis that giving bicycles to people who live and work in cities can effectively change their transportation behavior. We believe that giving somebody a bicycle will not only make it much easier for them to use a bike for transportation, but may also prompt them to change established commuting and transportation habits. We will assess travel behavior through surveys and a series of deployed sensors that will help us develop a better understanding of participants' travel behavior, the psychology of urban cyclists, and the benefits and challenges of city cycling. We hope to develop a social process for selecting participants who can optimally benefit from this intervention, and plan to support this experiment with an economic analysis of the benefits of implementing such a system. We hope this research will revolutionize the way that cities approach the issue of sustainable urban transportation.

This UROP project could take several different forms: analyzing and visualizing survey data, helping design and deploy a sensor-based bicycle usage study, or researching the economics of transit mode choice. Prospective UROPs should have a skill set that is compatible with at least one of these tasks (e.g. data analysis and visualization, familiarity with survey and study design, or knowledge of transportation economics and engineering). UROPs will be required to check in regularly for biweekly group meetings, but must be able to work independently and meet deadlines. This is a position for a minimum of 10 hours per week and can either be a paid position or taken for credit. You will start work in the spring with the possibility of extending your position through the summer or next fall. Please send along a project or two to demonstrate your abilities and background.

Contact Name: Caroline Jaffe
Contact Email: cjaffe@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
MIT Media Lab Changing Places Group & Human Dynamics Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Kent Larson

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

Project Description: Dear all, o Do you seek to test how your machine learning and data science skills can generate real value out there? o Are you interested on the intersection of big data with urbanism, marketing and tourism, energy, climate change, or transportation? o Interested in working with an interdisciplinary team at the Media Lab, among statisticians, urban experts, electronic engineers, designers and software developers? Please read along this UROP opportunity, and contact us with interest or questions (contact info below). Feel free to pass this post along your social networks.

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. o 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.

Prerequisites: Candidates profiles: Ideal candidates will have sharpened data science skills, and should be able to develop a thoughtful and creative understanding on how the models, analysis and visualizations can generate value in the contexts of Andorra s tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis, or on data visualization and communication. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains. o You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Added Value for You: You will learn how your machine learning, data science, and\or data visualization skills can generate real value for all public, private, and civil sectors. You will acquire experience working with a unique set of big data : from mobile phone records (CDRs) of an entire country, and spatially specified logs to the national network of public WIFI, to disaggregated energy consumption data at the national level, to pollution and environmental data from a national network of environmental sensors. You will significantly build up your data science CV/portfolio. You will be able to participate and potentially co-author exciting academic research. You will live and breathe the fun and interdisciplinary culture of the MIT Media Lab.

URL (if applicable): http://cp.media.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Luis Alonso

Contact Email: alonsolp@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Rafael Jaramillo

Project Title: Discovering new materials the old fashioned way

Project Description: In the Jaramillo group we make new and better semiconductors for information technology and renewable energy. The ultimate aim of this project is to discover new chalcogenide semiconductors. We will synthesize target materials using bulk ceramic processing techniques, and evaluate their physical properties in light of theoretical predictions. UROP Tasks You will carry out ceramic processing steps with the aim of synthesizing theoretically predicted chalcogenide materials. The materials will be evaluated using X-ray diffraction and analytical techniques. We will study the thermodynamic stability and electronic properties of the new materials using appropriate methods.

Prerequisites: You should be interested in semiconductor physics and inorganic chemistry. You should enjoy patient, hands-on work. Experience with ceramic processing, X-ray diffraction, or analytical techniques are pluses.

URL: http://jaramillo.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Rafael Jaramillo
Contact Email: rjaramil@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Rafael Jaramillo

Project Title: Solution synthesis of semiconductor thin films for application to solar cells

Project Description: Project Description In the Jaramillo group we make new and better semiconductors for information technology and renewable energy. The ultimate aim of this project is to understand, control, and use electronic metastabilities in II-VI thin films. We synthesize CdS and other II-VI thin films by chemical bath deposition, and evaluate the films based on their electronic response to light. Once we understand these relationships on an empirical basis (3-6 months) this project will expand in two directions: more advanced characterization of the relevant defects, and demonstration of device technologies that are enabled by these effects. UROP Tasks You will carry out standard and non-standard synthesis of II-VI thin films using chemical bath deposition. You will work under the supervision of a graduate student who is developing these synthesis routines. You will then develop experience with and responsibility for one of several film characterization techniques such as X-ray diffraction and electronic transport.

Prerequisites: You should be interested in semiconductor devices, inorganic chemistry, and thin film characterization. You should enjoy patient, hands-on work. Experience with chemistry is a plus.

URL: http://jaramillo.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Rafael Jaramillo
Contact Email: rjaramil@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring 2016
Supervising Faculty Prof. John Hart, Mechanical Engineering
Graduate Student Mentor Adam G. Stevens (Ph.D. student, MechE)

Project: Freeform Robotic Stereolithography

Description: Conventional additive manufacturing via stereolithography s restricted to creating planar build layers on planar substrates. Using an industrial six-axis robot, we have designed and built an automated machine for building three-dimensional objects on freeform substrates. Undergraduate researcher(s) with strong mechanical design and programming skills are sought to work on this system. The tasks include designing new additive manufacturing end-effectors, identifying and implementing new toolpath algorithms for six-degree-of-freedom additive manufacturing, running experiments to demonstrate functionality, implementing real-time imaging in the system. Experience with some or all of the following is desirable: precision mechanical design; basic optics concepts; OpenGL computer graphics; multithreading in a C++ environment; machine vision; network communications, including TCP/IP and serial protocols. A minimum 10 hour/week time commitment is expected. Multiple positions available based on applicant experience.

Contact: Please email Adam Stevens (agstev@mit.edu) with cc. to ajhart@mit.edu and attach your resume along with a brief statement of your interests in the project.


2/04/2016
Funding: UROP Direct
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics & Astronautics
Faculty Supervisor: Jeff Hoffman
Direct Supervisor: Christopher Carr & Nikhil Vadhavkar

Project Title: Wearable Resource-Constrained Path Planning for Analog Mission Activities

Project Description: The goal of this effort is to develop and test a wearable interface for SEXTANT, a resource-based path planning software suite that optimizes traverses based on distance, time, or energy consumption. SEXTANT uses digital elevation models and real-time feedback to optimize the concurrent paths of multiple astronauts and rovers and allows users to visualize terrain in 3d including excessive slopes, sunlit area, and user-defined boundaries.

Anticipated contributions:

1. Provide an interface for the existing SEXTANT system on a mobile device.

2. Enable bioenergetics feedback using wearable monitoring of location, activity, and physiological signals, calibrated via in-lab comparison to pulmonary gas exchange measurements.

3. Test this system in the lab and field.

Prerequisites: You must be highly motivated, technically excellent, with strong analytical and problem solving skills, able to work independently and contribute to an interdisciplinary team, and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Prior work with human subject experimentation, bioenergetics, interface design, app development, and mathematical modeling highly valued.

Contact: To apply, please send email with “UROP” in the subject line, resume/CV, and a short statement of interest to Christopher Carr (chrisc@mit.edu) and Nikhil Vadhavkar (nvadhavk@mit.edu).


2/04/2016
IAP-Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15) MIT
Faculty Supervisor Name: George Westerman

Project Title: Case research on digital transformation

Project Description: This UROP opportunity will assist research at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. We seek help to write mini-case studies of digital transformation (e.g. changing customer experience, operations, or business models through social, mobile, analytics and machine intelligence) in different companies. The UROP candidate will support the project by identifying likely organizations, conducting secondary research into selected organizations, and documenting each organization's activity in a templated format. Scope of UROP: 8-10hrs/week with weekly deliverables.

Prerequisites: Interest in the transformative power of digital technologies in the new economy. Basic understanding of business and management concepts. Excellent written English.

Contact: George Westerman, georgew@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Professor Robert Langer
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: rlanger@mit.edu

Project Title: The fabrication of personalized 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. Background: chemical engineering/ chemistry/ material science / mechanical engineering / electrical engineering or similar Preference may be given to students with experience in one or more of the following: Chemical synthesis/formulation of polymers, printable inks, biomaterials and the relevant characterization techniques. Mechanical and/or electrical characterization of devices. Familiarity with programming language for instrumentation control is a plus (Matlab, Python, LabVIEW etc) 3D modelling experience (e.g. Solidworks), experience with simulation such as COMSOL.

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


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Andy Lippman
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: lip@media.mit.edu

Project Title: NewsClouds

Project Description: We are working on a way of analyzing trends and biases in a news story over time by creating descriptive visualizations. The first iteration of this can be found at: http://newsclouds.media.mit.edu/ (it's currently designed for big screens and won't look good on a laptop). This method has generated a large amount of interest and we're trying to create tools that anyone can use to visualize stories like this. What you'll do: This project is geared towards those with an interest and some experience in programming. According to your skills and preference you will either build front-end technologies to help visualize stories or backend code to help scrape and analyze them before display. You will learn how to make modern applications using cutting edge technologies and participate in a close-knit group, we have 6 grad students and a number of urops working on a wide variety of projects.

Prerequisites: Required: Proven programming experience. Preferred (any of): Python, Javascript, HTML5 Nice to have: d3, React, node, mongoDB

URL (if applicable): viral.media.mit.edu

Contact Name: Thariq Shihipar
Contact Email:thariq@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mediated Matter Group, MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Neri Oxman

Project Title: Digital Construction: large-scale 3D printing and more!

Project Description: The Mobile Digital Construction Platform (MDCP) project seeks to develop a new approach to architectural-scale digital fabrication, particularly focused on the construction of commercial/residential structures. Our approach combines a large hydraulic boom arm with a smaller conventional robotic arm to produce a compound arm system with a large workspace. With audacious goals of robotically fabricated buildings, swarm construction of cities, and disrupting centralized fabrication with distributed growth, the MDCP project has the potential to revolutionize the field of building construction.

Past work by the Mediated Matter group has demonstrated the feasibility of the Mobile Digital Construction Platform paradigm, and developed a basic control methodology for the system. A short video of previous work can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/MDCP-2015

We are currently working to develop a new system with an updated hydraulic lift platform, robotic arm, and associated sensing and control components. We aim to work both on the computational side and on the experimental side with a full-scale robotic platform. We have opportunities for either paid or credit UROPs, which may extend over the summer and to future semesters based on UROP performance.

Prerequisites: We are seeking students with experience in robotics, sensor fusion and controls to help implement new control systems and streamline the MDCP2 toolchain. Desired qualifications include:
*C/C++, MATLAB and/or Python
*Familiarity with KUKA robots and RSI programming
*Familiarity with controls and system design for hydraulics
*Sensor integration experience
*Experience with programming for real-time applications
*Course experience in controls, programming, electronics, robotics

We are also open to other backgrounds/areas of expertise: please contact us to discuss further.

Location: Mediated Matter Group, MIT Media Lab, E14-333

Contact: Please send resumes (and portfolios/links to websites, if available) to Julian Leland at jleland@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Department/Lab/Center: Device Research Lab, MechE at MIT
MIT Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Evelyn Wang (enwang@mit.edu)

Project Title: Designing and Building a Daytime Radiative Cooler

Project background: We are designing and building a proof-of-concept outdoor radiative cooler that runs without any input power, even under direct sunlight. Our recent heat transfer modeling efforts have shown promise of achieving cooling powers up to 100 W/m2 and temperatures up to 17 ºC below ambient during daytime. Unlike previous work on daytime radiative cooler designs that rely on complex photonic structures, we propose a simple blackbody cooler that exploits geometric optics and nanoparticle-infused polymer membranes to reflect the incoming solar radiation. The spectral properties of the blackbody cooler, reflector and polymer membranes will be characterized using UV-Vis and FTIR spectrophotometers.

Desired skills: Knowledge and past experience of using 3D design software such as SOLIDWORKS and basic machining recommended. Familiarity with Matlab and FEA analysis software like COMSOL will be helpful, although not required.

Contact: Bikram Bhatia (bikram@mit.edu)


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Harry Asada
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: asada@mit.edu

Project Title: Wearable Robotic Fingers

Project Description: We are looking for enthusiastic and resourceful undergraduate students to assist us with experiments that will lead to the design of the next generation wearable robotic fingers. The main responsibilities include designing a force sensing glove for human grasping tests and working with 3D cameras to capture posture data of both arms and hands. Results from the experiments will be used to narrow down design parameters for the new robotic finger prototype and develop effective control schemes. The research will take place in the d Arbeloff Lab, under the supervision of Faye Wu (PhD candidate) and Prof. Harry Asada. This is a paid UROP position, and exceptional undergraduate students could be invited to co-author conference papers. Interested students may also extend their work into a summer UROP or thesis project.

Prerequisites: Some experience with OpenCV or other image processing SDK. Experience in circuits and performing experiments may be helpful.

Contact Name: Faye Wu
Contact Email: yfwu@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Robert Stoner
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: stoner@mit.edu

Project Title: NewbLabs Maker-Powered Science Education for Indian Public Schools

Project Description: NewbLabs aims to facilitate authentic, hands-on science learning and exploration in Indian government schools via a multi-pronged maker approach, optimizing use of local and low-cost resources, while cultivating and engaging students curiosity, enthusiasm, ambitions, and social-mindedness. Curricular science concepts are explored in terms of life-relevance and practical applications, with emphasis on low-cost model making, small group explorations, and addressing personal and community-based challenges. UROPs will engage in content development in two key areas: 1) Classroom Activities --- Compile and develop pedagogically appropriate, hands-on science activities, addressing key concepts from 7th-10th grade science curriculum. Focus on active, cooperative learning activities, real-life (authentic) applications, scientific methods and design thinking, emphasizing relevance to social issues, community-based challenges, and fun. 2) Maker Protocols -- Using text, photo, and video, specify methods for self-motivated 7th-10th graders to construct science and engineering equipment, models and demos, using low-cost, locally available materials. These kids will be working in an extracurricular context, without guidance from expert makers, so construction protocols must be clear and produce robust results. Note that this UROP involves substantial manual prototyping, testing, and documentation; methods must be simplified to the extent possible and conveyed clearly/concisely in both text and visuals. UROPs will have opportunity to learn about - Constructivist pedagogies, including authentic/connected, cooperative, active learning strategies - Instructional Design - Design for BOP demographic / resource optimization - Low-cost makerspace development and ICT4D - Inclusive education Seeking students who are passionate about education and youth empowerment, motivated to understand and innovate around complex social and practical developing world challenges.

Contact: Please email Dr. Ted Moallem (moallem@mit.edu), summarizing relevant background and describing your motivations in this project area. Include dates of availability and number of hours you expect to commit per week.


2/04/2016
Term: Summer 2016 (with option to begin in Spring)
Department/Lab/Center: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mechanosynthesis Group (http://mechanosynthesis.mit.edu/)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. A. John Hart
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: ajhart@mit.edu

Project Title: Carbon nanotube surfaces for enhanced boiling

Project Description: As the most efficient means of heat transfer, nucleate boiling is extensively used in power generation, refrigeration and electronics cooling. In nucleate boiling there exists a critical value of heat flux (CHF) beyond which a film boiling regime develops and causes catastrophic burnout and failure. This CHF sets the maximum heat flux that can be dissipated safely from the heat source, and thus limits the efficiency of boiling processes.

The goal of the project is to design and fabricate carbon nanotube (CNT) microstructures to achieve record-high CHF for nucleate boiling. The design is based on our fundamental understanding of liquid wicking dynamics on the nanoporous CNT structures, along with modifications to the structures that make their properties suited for enhanced boiling heat transfer.

We are seeking a full-time summer student who will be involved in the synthesis of CNT microstructures, assembly of the test chips, boiling experiments, data (including images and videos) analysis, and modeling of the fluid dynamics and heat transfer characteristics of the CNT microstructured surfaces.

Owing to the unique properties of CNTs, and their scalability based on the novel manufacturing processes developed in our group, successful research has strong potential for commercial application and high-impact publications.

Prerequisites: Coursework in fluid mechanics and heat transfer; experience with materials lab work, microscopy and methods of micro/nanofabrication a plus.

Contact: Please email Hangbo Zhao hbzhao@mit.edu (cc: ajhart@mit.edu) along with your resume and a few sentences explaining your interest. If available, you may begin anytime during the spring semester.


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Antoine Allanore
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: allanore@mit.edu

Project Title: Characterization of a new type of mineral fertilizer

Project Description: We are recruiting one student to work in the laboratories headed by Prof. Antoine Allanore within the department of Materials Science and Engineering. We work in collaboration with a mining company, with the ultimate goal to provide local sources of fertilizers to agriculture-intensive countries in the southern hemisphere. More specifically the candidate will be involved in the characterization (and possibly synthesis) of a new type of fertilizer material. Experimental techniques might include X ray diffraction (XRD) with interpretation and analysis of crystal structures, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), surface area and porosimetry analysis and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). Students from Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and possibly Mechanical Engineering (with prior chemistry experience) are welcome to apply. This UROP will be paid or used for credits depending on the student choice. This UROP can be extended full time into the summer break.

Contact: Interested candidates please send a CV and a short cover letter expressing your interest for one of the position to Dr. Davide Ciceri (ciceri@mit.edu).


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ezra Zuckerman
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: ewzucker@mit.edu

Project Title: Compliance rates for favor requests

Project Description: When are people more likely to do you a favor? We are investigating the limitations of the norm of reciprocity by looking at how the language used in a brief interaction can make a person more or less likely to do a favor for a stranger. We plan to pilot and conduct several experiments in MIT s Behavioral Research Lab during the Spring 2016 term and are looking for several UROPs to assist us in the lab. One UROP will act as the experimenter and will be in charge of explaining and disseminating survey materials to recruited subjects. The other UROPs will act as confederates (i.e. a plant ) in the lab, pretending to be another study participant. Your work will mostly involve interaction with subjects in the Behavioral Lab. As you will also be participating in the pilot phase, your experiences and feedback will be critical in shaping the final experimental design. As such, this position is well-suited for those looking to pursue a career in social science research. The expected commitment is approximately 10 hours a week, but will vary depending on the stage of the research and lab availability. This position can be taken for credit or as a volunteer.

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites, but applicants with a strong interest in social science research, previous UROP or research experience related to the social sciences, and coursework in psychology or sociology are preferred.

Contact Name: Simon Friis Contact Email: simonf@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring/Summer
UROP Department/Lab/Center: HST, Chemical Engineering & Koch Inst
Faculty Supervisor(s): Prof. Robert Langer

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.

PREREQUISITE: 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.

Background: chemical engineering/ chemistry/ material science / mechanical engineering / electrical engineering or similar

Preference may be given to students with experience in one or more of the following:
*Chemical synthesis/formulation of polymers, printable inks, biomaterials and the relevant characterization techniques.
*Mechanical and/or electrical characterization of devices.
*Familiarity with programming language for instrumentation control is a plus (Matlab, Python, LabVIEW etc)
*3D modelling experience – (e.g. Solidworks), experience with simulation such as COMSOL.

REQUIREMENTS
At least 12 hours per week dedicated to project work. Spring/Summer 2016. A long term commitment is preferred.
Contact: Please send you resume/CV to Dr. Yong Lin Kong, yongkong@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Mark Bathe

Project Title: Drop-Seq for Viral Genome and DNA Origami Architecture

Project Description: We are interested in implementing Drop-Seq (http://mccarrolllab.com/dropseq/) using an existing microfluidic system and set-up in our lab. Application of this technology in our lab will be to several projects involving investigation of viral genome and programmed DNA origami architectures. Please e-mail your CV plus list of references for more information.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with microfluidics and ideally nucleic acid biochemistry including PCR.

URL (if applicable): http://mccarrolllab.com/dropseq/ Contact Name: Mark Bathe

Contact Email: mbathe@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Physics (Course 8)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Max Tegmark

Project Title: The physics of intelligence

Project Description: How does your brain work? Can we use recent breakthroughs from artificial intelligence to understand your mind better, or vice versa? In this project, we tackle such big questions with calculations, simulations and state-of-the-art neuroscience data from MIT and Harvard. You don't need to have a background in neuroscience or AI to work with me as long as you're eager to learn and share my interests: You love big questions such as how the brain processes information and why some but not all quark blobs are conscious. You're interested in learning and using advanced tools from condensed matter physics, field theory and information theory. You enjoy working with computers and state-of-the-art data to put theories to the test. You can watch this video without falling asleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzCvlFRISIM

Prerequisites: Programming experience

URL (if applicable): http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/technical.html

Contact Name: Max Tegmark
Contact Email: tegmark@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiroshi Ishii
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: ishii@media.mit.edu

Project Title: Handheld Metal Extrusion Gun

Project Description: Are you interested in large-scale fabrication with metal ? What if you had a hand-held gun that extrudes metal? How about exploring the interaction between the machine and it's user. We are building a handheld metal extrusion gun (a handheld CNC that extrudes metal). With the gun, users can sketch large architecture scale metal objects. The main goal of the project is to explore the relationship between the user (human) and the machine. We are also exploring possible scenarios this portable fabrication is suitable for. UROP tasks include: Build electronics for the device: Interface with Joystick, develop firmware for Arduino. Develop software for controlling the device. Interface the device with a computer program such as Rhino or Sketchup. Skills: Programming in C/C++ and/or Arduino and/or Python Experience in 3D graphics programming and scripts for CAD environments (Sketchup or Rhino) would be a plus. UROP can be Pay! or credit.

Prerequisites: C/C++, Python, Arduino, Sketchup/Rhino or any CAD modeling

Contact Name: Udayan Umapathi
Contact Email: ishii@media.mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Martin Polz; Stefan Thiele
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: mpolz@mit.edu

Project Title: Le grand buffet Amoeba grazing rates on different Vibrio strains

Project Description: Within the microbial loop bacteria are preyed upon by a broad variety of eukaryotic microorganisms. However, some of them can avoid predation by growth, biofilm formation, motility, or chemical protection. In this project, we want to investigate the latter, using very closely related Vibrio breoganii strains and challenge them against a predatory amoeba. V. breoganii is mainly found attached to the macroalgae Fucus sp. where it is preyed upon from amoeba. We now want to use simple predation experiments, using agar plates to determine the fitness of 44 strains of V. breoganii, by measuring the length of the grazing path of the amoeba Vannella anglica. This gives us an overview over the different predation fitness of the strains. The fittest will be chosen as candidates to determine the defence strategy in follow up experiments, like SDS-PAGE or genome analyses of the cell surface structures. The project can be followed up into summer and fall, if results are promising.

Prerequisites: This project starts from almost 0, so it is a good way to learn basic microbial lab techniques. However, if you have experience in SDS-PAGE,similar protein analyses, or bioinformatics it will be helpful in the later stages of the project.

Contact Name: Stefan Thiele
Contact Email: thiele@mit.edu


2/04/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Robert Langer
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: rlanger@mit.edu

Project Title: Mechanical design of encapsulated drug delivery systems

Project Description: This project aims at mechanical modeling of various encapsulated systems designed for gastrointestinal drug delivery. We are particularly looking for a second-year or higher Mechanical Engineer student for this project. The work will be conducted at Langer's Lab in the Koch Building in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team composed of mechanical and chemical engineers, biologists and physicians.

Prerequisites: Experience in nonlinear finite element modeling, specially with ABAQUS and COMSOL. Familiarity with mechanical concepts, continuum mechanics and elasticity. Skills in multiphysics finite element modeling and computational fluid dynamics. Knowledge in Matlab, Python and Fortran programming languages.

Contact Name: Farhad Javid
Contact Email: fjavid@mit.edu


2/02/2016
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Advisors: Prof. Benjamin Weiss, Dr. Rona Oran, MIT Paleomagnetism Laboratory

Project title: Investigating the Formation of the Lunar Magnetic Field

Project description:
In this project, the student will participate in on-going activities in the MIT Paleomagnetism Laboratory, which are aimed at studying the formation of the lunar crustal magnetic field. The student will be part of a team investigating the interaction of the solar wind with vapor clouds that are formed during impact cratering. The project is aimed at determining the level of ionization inside the vapor, and the effects of the ionization on the evolution of the surrounding magnetic fields. The student will be guided in using state-of-the-art numerical models and other software tools as needed, and will gain experience in a variety of space-environment phenomena.

Requirements:
Knowledge and experience with computerized data analysis (processing data sets, simple scripting/programming, visualizations) Preferred background: fluid dynamics, plasma physics and/or electromagnetism.

Please contact Dr. Rona Oran is interested, roran@mit.edu.


02/02/2016
Term: Spring Semester
Department: MIT Media Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor: Rosalind Picard
Contact: Karthik Dinakar karthik@media.mit.edu
UROP: For Credit

Project Title: Hermes: Understanding Cardiac Related Symptoms by Gender

This project is a collaboration between MIT, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Microsoft Research.

Project Description: The student will spend time on site at Brigham and Women's Hospital, conducting interviews on cardiac patients immediately before the patient undergoes an angiogram investigation. (1) the student will acquire informed consent from the patient prior to conducting the interview. (2), the UROP student will be required to interview the patient using a semi-structured questionnaire of their clinical history and cardiac symptoms. (3) the student will record the conversation between the patient and the cardiologist (4) the student will extract angiographic outcomes from the patients' medical record after the angiogram procedure. Both interviews will be captured using audio recording. The project will expose students interested in pursuing medical careers by gaining experience and interacting with patients in a clinical setting, and interact with top cardiologists and researchers.

Prerequisites: (1) Availability to spend at least two half-days a week during hospital hours (two six hour slots in a week), (2) Interested in pursuing clinical/medical careers or exposure or pursuing a pre-med offering at MIT.

Contact: Karthik Dinakar (karthik@media.mit.edu)


2/02/2016
Spring-Summer
Start Date: Immediately
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Retsef Levi at the Sloan School of Management

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

Project Description: Data-driven healthcare optimization is a growing and exciting field. We are at work with teams of clinicians and administrators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) on the analysis and (re)design of patient care processes in areas such as the Operating Room Administration, the Department of Medicine, the Neurosciences Units, and Primary Care.

Responsibilities:

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

Key qualifications:

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

Project timeline:
The position requires a minimum commitment of the Spring semester and the summer (paid positions are available). In the long term, a student can become an important member of the team and become an expert in data driven healthcare improvement. Specific goals and deadlines will be discussed at the beginning of and throughout the position. Early applications are encouraged; submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Contact information: To apply please email Aleida Braaksma (braaksma@mit.edu) and Kimia Ghobadi (kimiag@mit.edu). Send us your CV, tell us why you are interested in the position, and describe your most complex programming project undertaken to this date or any relevant experience.


2/02/2016
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Maria T. Zuber

Project Title: Human Mars Mission Landing Site Study

Project Description: Human missions to Mars are now under active consideration by NASA and SpaceX. Our group contributed to NASA’s ongoing effort to select candidate locations where humans could land, live, and work on the Martian surface. Criteria for site selection include (a) science return (e.g., search for life), (b) resources for human habitation, and (c) safety and other logistical considerations. We are now developing an algorithmic framework to systematically analyze the Martian surface and identify “optimal” sites for future human settlements.

Your contribution will be to:

1) Formalize a utility (or cost) function that will quantify different desirable site selection criteria. Examples include density of RSLs (recurring slope lineae, relevant to the search for life on Mars), “good” topography (landing site, protection from wind, proximity to caves, etc.), ease of access from space, proximity to regions of geological interest (e.g., useful minerals, study of the stratigraphy for a better comprehension of the history of Mars), access to resources in case of further outpost expansion, access to energy (wind, solar), ease of exploration, transportation and communication, etc.;

2) Code a “map analyzer” that will translate the available Martian data (e.g., spectral, topography, insolation, atmosphere, etc.) to the previously defined utility terms, associating global utility values to each region of the Martian surface allowing for the identification of the “best” site(s) – where best is defined through different weighting of the terms in the cost function – for future human settlements.

Prerequisites: Mathematical modeling skills, fundamentals of image processing and previous experience with Matlab. Students will work under the guidance of engineers, geologists, and astrobiologists.

This is an off-campus project located at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where our joint MIT-MGH team is building a life detection instrument for Mars (setg.mit.edu).

Contact: Please send resume/CV and statement of interest to Christopher E. Carr, chrisc@mit.edu.


2/02/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: DIY Conductive Temporary Tattoos

We are creating a fabrication process for makers to create temporary tattoos that are conductive, enabling wearers to place circuitry on their skin. Resembling the aesthetics of decorative metallic jewelry tattoos, the tattoos are not only functional, but also decorative. We will work on experimenting various materials to make the tattoos more robust, and also create interactive applications with the tattoos.

Requirements: We are seeking a fabrication UROP with

Contact: If interested, please send resume and portfolio of past work showcasing your maker or craft abilities, especially projects requiring care towards details to cindykao@media.mit.edu


2/02/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Kevin Slavin
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: slavin@media.mit.edu

Project Title: Hello, Operator!

Project Description: Playful Systems is actively developing an experimental game about being a telephone switchboard operator, played on an actual vintage 1920s telephone switchboard. We’re looking for a UROP to help us re-wire the switchboard for modern use. This is a great opportunity for someone interested in either designing custom physical controllers for games, or simply dealing with historic technology. Some general information on the project is available at http://lazerwalker.com/hellooperator, but that doesn’t show the vintage hardware you’ll be working with. The project is being shown at a very large game festival fairly soon; this means that you’ll be doing high-profile work, but also that we’re looking for someone to start immediately. This position is available for either pay or credit, depending on your preference.

Prerequisites: Electrical engineering, PCB design and fabrication

URL: http://lazerwalker.com/hellooperator

Contact Name: Mike Walker

Contact Email: mslw@media.mit.edu


2/02/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: John Carroll
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: jcarroll@mit.edu

Project Title: Diabetes Management Project

Project Description: We are in the process of analyzing some important dataset in healthcare specifically about diabetes management. Chronic disease management and prevention is one of the most popular topics in healthcare management nowadays. Students who plan to go into medical school or healthcare management fields should apply for this position. It will be an excellent learning experience. We might acknowledge the UROPS in the papers published who would help us in Spring 2016 starting from February 3rd, if they showed honesty, responsibility, dedication and interest in their work. If we liked their work we might keep them for the summer as well and write them a good recommendation for their graduate school applications in the future. We will be interviewing candidates starting February 9th 2015. Please email me if you are interested and have the skills.

Duties of the UROP: 1) Dedicate hours to help clean the dataset consisting of patient electronic medical records and creating folders and files for the relevant information. 2) Looking up various databases for relevant research project related articles. 3) Help analyze qualitative data sets and create maps and figures.

We require the applicant to know Microsoft office skills like writing formulas in excel sheet. We are interested in students who are responsible and reliable and take his/her work seriously. Willing to dedicate sincerely and honestly up to 10-15 hours/week.

Contact Name: Sahar Hashmi
Contact Email: drhashmi.mit@gmail.com


2/02/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Engineering Systems Division (ESD)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Chris Caplice
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: caplice@mit.edu

Project Title: Data collection for high-resolution urban freight modeling in Cambridge, MA

Project Description: Field study to collect primary data related to urban logistics in Central Square surroundings. Data collection will consist of delivering tracking data. The data collected will allow us to estimate the freight intensity in the area and propose freight polices accordingly. This research is part of a New England University of Transportation Center's project. Data will be collected using a mobile App and all data collected should be uploaded to MIT Megacity Logistics Lab website: KM2 (http://lastmile.mit.edu/km2). Compensation: $12/hr.

Prerequisites: Prior experience on urban logistics is helpful but not necessary. Highly motivated and independent student interested in logistics, and field surveys based on observations. Offered only to MIT students.

Contact Name: Sergio Caballero
Contact Email: sergioac@mit.edu


2/01/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ann M. Graybiel
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: graybiel@mit.edu

Project Title: Experiments on brain activity and behavior

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 Name: Alexander Friedman and Leif Gibb
Contact Email: afried@mit.edu and lgibb@mit.edu


2/01/2016
Spring

Department/Lab/Center: Art, Culture and Technology
Faculty Supervisor: Azra Aksamija

Project Title: Memory Matrix - An Installation for MIT Centennial

Project Description: Participate in creating a futuristic art installation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the MIT campus! With the imminent MIT Centennial festivities in mind, this UROP offers students the opportunity to reflect on the past and future 100 years of MIT by exploring how different conceptions of time and memory are encoded in material culture. We will work on the production of an art project called "Memory Matrix" - an experiment to preserve the world's cultural memory. The project will be exhibited at MIT campus in form of an installation at the E15 building during the MIT Open House (Apr. 23) and the Moving Day (May 7).

Memory Matrix involves contributions of students across the world though a participatory design process - from students at MIT, to the Maker Faire in Cairo and the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan - to address the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East and beyond. The project takes form of a giant canopy made of intricate elements that will be laser cut from fluorescent Plexiglas, forming outlines of vanished and vanishing cultural heritage.  These elements will be flexibly connected to form larger matrix-like screens, allowing for a textile-like appearance of the structure. The arrangement of all the elements references specific Middle Eastern architectural forms, such as the traditional Arabic window lattice or Mashrabiya. Overall, the canopy will reveal an image of the recently destroyed Arch of Triumph in Palmyra. During the day, this image is only visible through the movement of light and wind. At night, the illumination of the Plexiglas edges creates a spectacle of light. The project is meant to translate the idea of the lost cultural heritage into new mobile architecture, using new materials and fabrication methods that are coded with memory of that loss, but also provide a form of memory preservation for the future.

The work will require 6-10 h/ week.

The tasks for UROP students involved in this project include:

Required/desired skills for this project include:

The position is offered through Direct Funding or for Credit.

Contact: Prof. Azra Aksamija, azra@mit.edu


2/01/2016
Term: Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mathematics Department
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jeremy Kepner and Prof. Alan Edelman

Project Title: Spreadsheets, Big Tables, and the Abstract Algebra of Associative Arrays

Project Description: Spreadsheets are used by nearly 100M people every day. Triple store databases (e.g., Google Big Table, Amazon Dynamo, and Hadoop HBase) store a large fraction of the analyzed data in the world and are the backbone of modern web companies. Both spreadsheets and big tables can hold diverse data (e.g., strings, dates, integers, and reals) and lend themselves to diverse representations (e.g., matrices, functions, hash tables, and databases). D4M (Dynamic Distributed Dimensional Data Model) has been developed to provide a mathematically rich interface to triple stores. The central mathematical concept of D4M is the “associative array” which combines spreadsheets, triple stores, sparse linear algebra, and fuzzy algebra. This projects seeks to strengthen the abstract algebraic foundations of associative arrays. The student will work with the faculty advisor to develop the basic theorems of associative arrays by building on existing work on fuzzy algebra and linear algebra.

Prerequisites: Strong mathematical background (the student should have completed 18.701 and 18.702). Experience with Matlab is helpful, but not a requirement. Participants will be paid.

Contact: Dr. Jeremy Kepner (kepner@ll.mit.edu), http://www.mit.edu/~kepner


2/01/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Timothy Gutowski
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: gutowski@mit.edu

Project Title: GUI for modeling Material Recovery Facilities

Project Description: The goal of this project is to improve the recovery of recyclable materials from mixed-waste streams. The current phase of the project is to develop a user-interface for the front-end of a modeling tool for Material Recovery Facilities. This will build upon an existing engine which computationally models and optimizes different configurations of the equipment layout in such facilities. In particular, we are looking to develop an applet for user visualization in the modelling of Material Recovery Facilities. You will work with Mechanical Engineering graduate students and the collaborating industry partner managing such facilities. We are open to providing this opportunity for credit or pay. Please send resumes and any questions to Karine, karineip@mit.edu

Prerequisites: Seeking creative students with programming experience, familiarity with JAVA and C#/C++ programming preferred.

Contact Name: Karine Ip
Contact Email: karineip@mit.edu


2/01/2016
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Maria Zuber
Direct Supervisor: Christopher E. Carr

Project Title: Extreme Genomics on Earth and Beyond

Project Description: Sequencing of life’s basic building blocks, RNA and DNA, has undergone a revolution over the last decade, with the $1000 human genome now in sight. Nucleic acid sequencing technologies are now becoming small enough to enable their use in aerospace and ocean applications such as: searching for life on Mars, mapping the global diversity and transport of life using unmanned aerial/underwater vehicles (UAVs/UUVs), or diagnosing astronauts during long duration space missions. We are building a miniature low-power DNA/RNA sequencer for these applications; remaining challenges focus on sample acquisition and preparation.

Potential projects include: Help design, build, and validate a life detection instrument for Mars, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG). Useful skills: 3d design, rapid prototyping, electronics, molecular biology, genomics. We will be integrating nucleic acid isolation and nanopore based sequencing into a single instrument, tested in a thermal vacuum chamber.

Study the environmental metagenomics of terrestrial analogs of Mars, Enceladus, or Europa, such as samples from acid hot springs at Volcan Copahue, hypersaline environments such as Spotted Lake, or synthetic analogs of Mars. Can we successfully extract genomes from these samples using novel bioinformatics approaches paired with long-read nanopore sequencing?

Engineer an aerospace system to sample atmospheric microbes from the surface to the stratosphere, for use onboard a UAV or high altitude balloon.

Demonstrate the potential to sample life while orbiting Saturn’s moon Enceladus: Show whether we can successfully sample particles from plumes emanating from the South Polar Terrain of Enceladus while preserving organics including, possibly, nucleic acids.

You will have an opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team, to gain expertise in a variety of disciplines, to develop skills applicable to future research and industry, carry out experiments, build hardware, test under space-like conditions in a thermal-vacuum chamber, and ultimately, deploy space hardware. The sky is not the limit.

Prerequisites: Biology background desirable. You must be highly motivated, technically excellent, with strong analytical and problem solving skills, able to work independently and contribute to an interdisciplinary team, and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Experience in aerospace / mechanical / electrical / biological engineering, biology, geology, or a related field is a plus. We also highly value creativity, drive, and dedication to the search for life beyond Earth. Experience with molecular biology, high throughput sequencing, embedded systems, microcontrollers, mechanical design, thermal modeling, space instrumentation, and other relevant skills highly valued but not required. Freshman welcome.

Time Commitment and Location: 10+ hours/week during semester, or full-time during summer, based one T-stop from MIT at the Massachusetts General Hospital (185 Cambridge St, Boston MA 02114).

URL: setg.mit.edu, carrlab.org

Contact: To apply, please send email with “UROP” in the subject line, resume/CV, and a short statement of interest by Feb 7 to Christopher Carr (chrisc@mit.edu).


2/01/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Mathias Kolle

Project Title: Development of biological materials in Lepidopteran cells

Project Description: The Laboratory for Bioinspired Photonic Engineering uses insights from biological light manipulation strategies to design and realize multifunctional bio-inspired optical materials for 21st century technology applications. We are currently developing techniques for studying the cells responsible for the brilliant colors on butterfly wings. This project approaches materials from a biological perspective - how do cells realize material morphology - and biology from a materials perspective - what are the forces that drive a cell s position and shape. The student will be involved in developing techniques to obtain in vitro, ex situ, and in vivo samples for observing scale cell development. Other work will include raising and monitoring butterflies, and imaging live cells. There is potential for developing new cell lines as well as material characterization.

Prerequisites: Previous biological or chemical laboratory experience or class are desirable. Cell culture experience will be beneficial. Student should be ready to find practical solutions for broad problems. Fine motor skills involved.

URL: bioinspiredoptics.mit.edu

Contact Name: Mathias Kolle
Contact Email: mkolle@mit.edu


2/01/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Kent Larson
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: kll@mit.edu

Project Title: CityScope: Augmented reality data visualization, and data visualization analysis for Urban Dynamic Innovation

Project Description: 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 The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of augmented reality data visualization, data visualization analysis, 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 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. We are seeking a UROP for the Spring term, with the possibility of continuing during following terms. The task: Be a part of the team that is going to think and design an Innovation District, a Dynamic Square and a Smart Street based on the Andorran needs and the their big data, integrating the main lines of the CP Group research: big data Urban Planning (physical 3D model with data projection), PEV (Autonomous Electric Vehicle), etc. Help in the diagram and representation of the Andorra big data environmental, energy, mobility flows, etc. in dynamic presentations. To model, in 2D and 3D, urban and commercial events, urban elements, urban areas, dynamic maps, etc. in order to provide a base for modeling with Java, Processing (Grasshopper or other), dynamic presentations of Andorran flows (mobility of cars, people, energy, goods, etc.), and for plugging it in the 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.

Prerequisites: Candidates profiles: Ideal candidates will have sharpened data science skills (2+ years computer science), and should be able to develop a thoughtful and creative understanding on how the models, analysis and visualizations can generate value in the contexts of Andorra s tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We need candidates with medium-high level skills in Java, and Processing. Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis, or on data visualization and communication. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains. You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project. Required Skills: Necessary Skills: Java, 2+ years computer science and Processing. Other important skills: HTML,CSS,JS, JQuery,D3.js, Database, Web Framework, Grasshopper Additional: (Open CV) Computer Vision, Machine Learning

URL: http://cp.media.mit.edu/city-simulation/

Contact Name: Luis Alonso
Contact Email: alonsolp@mit.edu


2/01/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Sanjay Sarma
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: sesarma@mit.edu

Project Title: Hacking Human Memory

Project Description: Homer (http://homer.meteor.com) is an application that makes it possible to remember everything you learn, both in class and beyond. Homer incorporates research on human memory and learning science, in particular spaced repetition learning (for an explanation of how this approach works, see here: http://www.wired.com/2008/04/ff-wozniak/). We are working on making this learning technique a more accessible and seamless experience for students, to remember the content they learn from their classes and on the web. We need UROPs to work on web development and/or machine learning to make photographic memory a reality. We are preparing to integrate Homer into edX courses, improve the student / faculty collaboration experience, incorporate this learning experience into any web site through a Chrome extension, and automatically generate questions from existing web pages or online courses.

Prerequisites: UROPs should have interest and basic familiarity with at least one of the following: (A) web development (we are currently using Javascript and Meteor) and the Git version control system, (B) machine learning, neural networks and/or automatic question generation, (C) a passion for making online education excellent, and remembering everything you learn.

Contact Name: Blake Elias
Contact Email: eliasb@mit.edu


1/28/2016
Term: IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Linda Griffith
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: griff@mit.edu

Project Title: A Comprehensive Interrogation Device for Quantifying Dynamic Islet Response

Project Description: Goal: To develop a fully integrated platform capable of exposing pancreatic islets to various solutions with minimal human intervention. Initial use will be in automating glucose stimulated insulin secretion assays. The device will ultimately be used for studying the dynamic response of islets to any number of stimulatory solutions. The Griffith laboratory focuses on novel ways of designing and synthesizing biomaterials, scaffolds, devices and micro-physiological systems (organs-on-a-chip).

A new project in the lab involves the development of a pancreas-on-chip model. Related to this project several interesting questions have arisen. Pancreatic islets are responsible for regulating blood glucose levels in a healthy individual. Specifically, β-cells within the pancreatic islet release insulin in response to glucose stimulation. Extended culture of islets while assessing viability and functionality is a challenge.

The goal of this project is to develop a platform that allows the culturing of islets under flow 1 while being individually separated, while at the same time be able to automatically assess functionality via a programmable platform that allows for automated glucose stimulation assays with no user intervention along with automated cell media exchanges. The main emphasis of this part of the project will be in the development of the hardware associated with this. We have recently designed and are in the process of fabricating a microfluidic device that was based on a previously published design from another group 2.

It is expected that the first semester will be spent as follows:

  1. Validating the ability to load and culture islets within the PDMS based device
  2. Developing Arduino (or Python) code to control a micropump and solenoid valve for automation
  3. Show the system capable of conducting a glucose stimulated insulin secretion assay with no human intervention
  4. Validate long term culture within the device

The student is expected to conduct a thorough literature review within the first month and write a 2-page proposal motivating the project along with the proposed methodology. The student is also expected to deliver a 15-minute final presentation to lab members and a final report at the conclusion of the semester. A minimum of an average of 10 hours/week is required on a credit or volunteer basis. Only students willing to commit for at least 2 semesters will be considered with the potential of being paid in the 2nd semester depending on funding availability.

At the end of this project the student will have developed the following:

Prerequisites: Mechanical/electrical know-how including good understanding of circuits and signals Willingness to learn and excellent communication skills Arduino, C or Python programming language Experience with either Arduino based microcontrollers or the Raspberry Pi CAD experience using Inventor, AutoCAD, Solidworks or Fusion 360 An understanding of basic fluid mechanics including laminar flow Experience with basic wet-lab skills including sterile technique, pipetting and biological safety

Contact Name: Timothy Kassis
Contact Email: tkassis@mit.edu


1/28/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Linda Griffith
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: griff@mit.edu

Project Title: Investigating Intra-Islet Communication in Response to a Glucose Stimulus Using a Laminar Flow Microfluidic Device

Project Description: The Griffith laboratory focuses on novel ways of designing and synthesizing biomaterials, scaffolds, devices and micro-physiological systems (organs-on-a-chip). A new project in the lab involves the development of a pancreas-on-chip model. Related to this project several interesting questions have arisen. Pancreatic islets are responsible for regulating blood glucose levels in a healthy individual. Specifically, β-cells within the pancreatic islet release insulin in response to glucose stimulation. The pancreatic islet is a spheroid comprising multiple cell types. It has been shown that β-cell insulin response is different when in a 3D spheroid vs dispersed in a 2D culture 1,2. The goal of this project is to investigate intra-islet communication by stimulating half of a single islet with high glucose and reading the insulin secretion from the other half in order to answer the question whether cells within the islet activate other neighboring cells which might not necessarily have been exposed to glucose. In addition, real-time Ca2+ signaling will be measured using a fluorescent indicator. We have recently designed and are in the process of fabricating a microfluidic device that utilizes laminar flow to expose an islet that is centered in the device to two different glucose solutions (high and no glucose). It also allows us to collect samples from both halves of the islet. It is expected that the first semester will be spent as follows: 1- Validating the flow profile in the device 2- Validating the glucose profile around and within an islet using a fluorescent glucose indicator 3- Running experiments to test islet adhesion in the device and quantifying the insulin secretion profile 4- Iterating the device design if needed The student is expected to conduct a thorough literature review within the first month and write a 2-page proposal motivating the project along with the proposed methodology. The student is also expected to deliver a 15-minute final presentation to lab members and a final report at the conclusion of the semester. A minimum of an average of 10 hours/week is required on a credit or volunteer basis. Only students willing to commit for at least 2 semesters will be considered with the potential of being paid in the 2nd semester depending on funding availability. At the end of this project the student will have developed the following: An appreciation for using microfluidic devices to answer biologically motivated questions An understanding of the pancreas and islet physiology Research skills including ELISA, soft-lithography, device design, islet handling and data analysis Valuable insight into microscopy and image analysis, and its uses in a biomedical setting Communication skills through a proposal, presentation and reports Team-working skills Independent research experience

Prerequisites: Willingness to learn and excellent communication skills Attention to detail CAD experience using Inventor, AutoCAD, Solidworks or Fusion 360 An understanding of basic fluid mechanics including laminar flow Experience with basic wet-lab skills including sterile technique, pipetting and biological safety Good biological background

Contact Name: Timothy Kassis
Contact Email: tkassis@mit.edu


1/28/2016
Term: Summer
Department/Lab/Center: Economics (Course 14)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Benjamin Olken
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email:

Project Title: Research Associate, J-PAL Southeast Asia (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Project Description: The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab's (J-PAL) Southeast Asia office is currently looking for an IROP to work in its office, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is an opportunity to gain first-hand analysis experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. You will assist in the development of data collection protocols, prepare requests for approval to relevant internal review boards (IRB), clean data collected from the field and help with preliminary data analysis, write project reports, and support other research assistant tasks as needed. Applicants must speak Bahasa Indonesia.

Contact Name: Annie Weiss
Contact Email: anniew@mit.edu


1/28/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Chris Schmandt
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: geek@media.mit.edu

Project Title: 3D Worlds for Virtual Reality

Project Description: We are working on a social Virtual Reality system using the Samsung GearVR devices and/or Oculus Rift DK2 devices that allows multiple users to be present in the same VR space, allowing people to watch Netflix/Twitch etc or play games together. We are looking for someone who has experience in 3D modeling and animation using tools like Blender, Maya etc (knowing Python would be helpful) and is excited about creating amazing 3D worlds for Virtual Reality. If interested, please send an email, providing a short description of why you are the ideal candidate, stating relevant past or ongoing work (include links if applicable)

Contact Name: Misha Sra
Contact Email: sra@media.mit.edu


1/28/2016
Spring
Edgerton Center

Title: Wearable Sensors and Modelling Human Behavior

Do you have an interest in wearable sensors and clinical research? Our group does clinical research using wearable sensors and mobile devices. We are currently working on a grant with MGH hospital to study risk factors for obesity and cardiometabolic disease in children (age 6-12). Using wearable sensors, we are monitoring specific behaviors (sleep, nutrition, TV-time, physical activity) and designing a real-time intervention to improve these behaviors.

UROP tasks include:

We are currently seeking UROP students to help design algorithms to analyze and model data from our wearable sensors. Tasks include testing existing sensors and developing MATLAB code on a PC or JAVA code for server-side analysis in the "cloud."

We are looking for students with at least some programming background, and some experience with MATLAB and/or JAVA. No biomedical background is necessary, but of course, general interest in clinical research is important. Pre-med students and UAP students also welcome. Students should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress. At this time, we are interviewing students who are interested in working Spring term, with summer UROP available as well.

UROP can be Pay or credit.

Please contact: Dr. Rich Fletcher (fletcher@media.mit.edu) and state to which UROP posting you are responding. Thank you!


1/28/2016
Department/Lab/Centre:
Department of Chemical Engineering
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Professor Allan Myerson

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: Naomi Briggs, e-mail: naomib@mit.edu


1/28/2016
Spring
Department/Lab/Center:
Department of Chemical Engineering
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Professor Allan Myerson

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:  CAD for continuous manufacturing. The current prototype is comprised of multiple custom vessels some of which need modifications for process optimization. This work would involve improving upon current CAD designs. There is also scope to be involved with optimization and/or redesign off a variety of parts including mechanical overhead agitation, jacketed vessels, impellers, drying chamber, in addition to assembly and testing of prototype parts.

Prerequisites: CAD software, Mechanical Engineering background.  Mature students desired.

Contact: Naomi Briggs, e-mail: naomib@mit.edu


1/28/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Miho Mazereeuw

Project Title: Mesh Networks for Post Disaster Communications

Project Description: PREPHubs are a new kind of off-grid infrastructure created at MIT being developed for cities around the world. They are designed to both improve preparedness before and provide critical services after a disaster. This project will integrate the CATAN communications system into new PREPHub prototypes. The CATAN system allows a low power, ad-hoc network of nodes to provide a flexible communications network to replace traditional cell and wi-fi systems potentially damaged after an earthquake or hurricane. The primary task will be to build and program CATAN hardware/software prototypes. There will also be the chance to collaborate with the Urban Risk Lab team on ways to adapt and expand and add functionality onto the current network design as well as with members of the Lincoln Lab team collaborating on this project. The built systems will be integrated into two or three full PREPHub prototypes to be deployed in either Boston or San Francisco by the end of!
the year.

Prerequisites: Candidates should be self motivated and passionate about working on projects with a small, multidisciplinary team, and able to commit for the duration of the Spring semester. Expected time commitment is 6-8 hours a week. They should have experience related to Raspberry Pi and wireless radio hardware, along with python scripting and coding on Linux platforms. Experience with physical prototyping of hardware is a major plus.

URL: http://urbanrisklab.org/PREPHub (Urban Risk Lab and PREPHub)

Contact Name: Miho Mazereeuw
Contact Email: mmaz@mit.edu


1/27/2016
UROP Department: The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Lander

Title: Understanding infectious diseases through computational analysis of genomic datasets

Project Description:The Infectious Disease Program at The Broad is an integrated and highly collaborative team of scientists, engineers, and clinicians working to understand how microorganisms cause human disease; how they evolve to become resistant to drugs; and how we can use this knowledge to develop more effective therapies and tests to treat and diagnose infectious diseases.

One particularly active area of research at The Broad is to transform and accelerate research in what is now the single deadliest infectious disease in the world – Tuberculosis (TB). We seek a highly motivated student to assist in the computational analysis of large-scale genomic studies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb), the pathogen that causes TB. A faculty member and a Senior Computational Biologist will mentor the person filling this position to develop and implement visualization and computational strategies for the analysis of large data sets that profile MTb. The goal of these studies is to find molecular and/or functional characteristics associated with specific clinical outcomes, such as a genetic biomarker that predicts susceptibility to a drug. This is a unique opportunity to engage in cutting edge science that has a substantive impact on global health.

A strong preference will be made to students who can start as soon as possible and work through Summer 2016. This position is also open to a longer-term commitment.

Prerequisites

Contact: If you are interested, please send the following to Noam Shoresh at noamshoresh@gmail.com:

  1. Your resume
  2. Contact information for 2 references
  3. A few sentences describing why you are interested in working on this project
  4. Availability during the semester
  5. Availability for a 20-minute call over the next week

1/26/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Reining Petacchi

Project Title: Corporate Political Activities and Tax Strategies

Project Description: Seeking a motivated UROP student to help with a project where we explore whether companies use their political activities to influence the amount of tax breaks they receive from governments. This is a good learning opportunity for students interested in getting hands-on experience in collecting and analyzing corporate filings with the SEC as well as in understanding how companies may use political connections as part of their tax planning strategies. The student will closely collaborate with the MIT faculty and be responsible for writing code to collect and link textual data from a variety of datasets. Knowledge of econometrics is a plus. This UROP is available for either pay or credit, depending on the needs of the candidate.

Prerequisites: Strong programming skills with experience in matching textual data (e.g., fuzzy matching) and scripting languages (e.g., Perl, Python, or Ruby). Preferences will be given to students who can commit to at least 12 hours per week.

Contact Name: If interested, please send your CV (or a brief intro) to Reining Petacchi (rnchen@mit.edu)


1/26/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Amar Gupta
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: agupta@mit.edu

Project Title: Telehealth for Enhancing Global Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges

Project Description: Conduct research in one or more of the following areas: (i) delineation of different niches of this evolving industry; (ii) evolution of telehealth concepts in the US and the impact of divergent and patchwork regulations in US states; (iii) strategies for surmounting the challenge of integrating and analyzing medical data from heterogeneous systems and formats; (iv) licensing and credentialing issues in the context of developing new approaches for nationwide telehealth data systems; (v) identifying technical solutions to current barriers in evolving telemedicine concepts; (vi) assessing telemedicine prototype systems that have been deployed in other parts of the world and the funding models used to sustain them.

Prerequisites: The student must register for the Spring 2016 MIT course "HST.S58 Telehealth for Enhancing Global Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges" or alternatively demonstrate substantial prior experience of telemedicine.

Contact Name: Amar Gupta
Contact Email: agupta@mit.edu


1/26/16
Spring 2016
Developing Quality Metrics for Architectural Visualization and Simulation
Faculty Supervisor: Christoph Reinhart, Sustainable Design Lab (Course 4)

Project Description: Daylight in buildings is both aesthetically pleasing and a sustainable means of offsetting heating and electric lighting costs. A variety of simulation techniques, both new and emerging, allow us to predict the availability of daylight in buildings. However, our understanding of how to effectively present information for effective design decision making remains limited. The goal of this project in the MIT Sustainable Design Lab will be to develop visualization methods that allow effective interpretation and comparison of lighting simulation results, and to use these methods to compare daylighting results from various simulation engines against physical measurements.

Tasks of UROP: The student will develop and code visualization and comparison tools for high dynamic range images. The student will be encouraged to be creative in finding or inventing measures of comparison. The student will also carry out validation testing and may be involved in collecting data from physical settings to use in validation. As work progresses, there may be opportunities to be involved in publication.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be motivated and have strong programming backgrounds with experience in C/C++, Java, and/or Python programming. Prior experience with statistical methods, CAD software, software repositories, and graphics programming are a strong plus.

Hours per week: 10+ hrs/week during spring semester with potential for full time over the summer.

Contact: Please contact graduate student Nathaniel Jones (nljones@mit.edu) to set up an interview.


1/26/2016
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: Health data analytics and distribution network optimization

Project Description: Human interactions are becoming increasingly tractable as individuals in urban environments are leaving more digital traces of their everyday activities. Moreover, the growth of cities brings increased employment opportunities and investments, but at the same time, rapid urbanization brings environmental and air quality challenges that bring health risks, and a density that increases risks for epidemic diseases. The goal is to uncover the hidden information buried in these vast data streams to address the urgent health and societal issues of our time.

Tasks: In this project we focus on the intersection of future health and urban trends. In particular we are interested in:

Candidates should have good knowledge of Probability Theory, Statistics and coding skills in Python or Java.

Contacts: Dr. Dimitrios Milioris / milioris@mit.edu; Dr. Remi Tachet des Combes / rtachet@mit.edu


1/26/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Martin Rinard
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: rinard@csail.mit.edu

Project Title: Warp

Project Description: Embedded system implementations of machine learning algorithms are an exciting and important component of many applications, ranging from drones to wearable health-tracking systems. Embedded sensor-driven systems can produce large amounts of data from sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and temperature sensors. This rich stream of multi-dimensional data can enable retrospective system analyses (e.g., in aircraft black boxes), and can also serve as input for training and inference in predictive models (e.g., predicting turbine failures). However, despite the volumes of data that can be produced, most systems can not make complete use of the data collected: Not all the data collected is relevant to the analysis or prediction tasks, and the relevant data is computationally-challenging to analyze in situ. The type of data is also fundamentally different from the data stored in traditional databases: The data are noisy signals from the real world, and often have a temporal component. The goal of the Warp project is to develop a system that combines data storage, model training, and inference, for energy-efficient embedded sensor systems. The Warp system is being developed for the Lax hardware platform, a research platform developed at MIT. The goal of the UROP is to develop an embedded data storage engine running directly over a low-power processor. The data storage engine will interface directly to sensors over I2C and SPI, and will store retrieved data in flash storage. The data storage engine will also provide an external interface for both data injection and querying.

Tasks for the UROP:

Prerequisites: Familiarity with embedded software development, C, serial interfaces such as I2C and SPI.

Contact: Please contact Phillip Stanley-Marbell psm@mit.edu to learn more.


1/26/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Martin Rinard
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: rinard@csail.mit.edu

Project Title: Analog-to-digital converters with accuracy versus communication power tradeoffs

Project Description: The goal of the project is to implement an accuracy-tunable analog-to-digital converter using a combination of an FPGA, comparator, and custom encoder. The accuracy versus communication power tradeoff will be achieved by encoding the ADC s output to reduce dynamic power dissipation.

Tasks for the UROP:

Prerequisites: Familiarity with VHDL/Verilog, FPGA tools (Lattice, Xilinx, or Altera), and familiarity with C programming and embedded firmware development.

Contact: Please contact Phillip Stanley-Marbell psm@mit.edu to learn more.


1/25/2016
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Kevin Slavin
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: slavin@media.mit.edu

Project Title: Cordon Sanitaire

Project Description: Playful Systems is actively developing an experimental realtime cooperative game, and is looking for a UROP with interest and experience in game development. The game is a web based application written in Javascript and utilizing Meteor to maintain synchronized state. Applicants with prior Javascript experience, both backend and frontend will be of use, will be particularly well suited to hit the ground running. Some of the planned areas for development include procedural world building, balancing game mechanics, and building for large scale play tests. This is a great opportunity to get experience developing and deploying an app in an iterative design process. For more information on the project, a process blog is kept here: http://cordonsans.tumblr.com/.

Prerequisites: Github, Javascript, HTML, CSS

URL (if applicable): http://cordonsans.tumblr.com/

Contact Name: Jonathan Bobrow

Contact Email:jbobrow@media.mit.edu


1/22/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning/Senseable City Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: Underworlds

Project Description: Underworlds is a smart-sewage platform being developed at the Senseable City Lab (DUSP) together with the Alm Lab (Bio Engineering) consisting of a sensor-enabled sampling device to detect pathogens in sewage water (basically a sewage robot). We are also developing the downstream computational tools and analytics necessary to interpret our findings, and building a data platform communicating our research to guide public health policy, municipal strategies, urban planning, and epidemiological science. You will be working on a high exposure project funded by the Kuwait-MIT Center for Natural Resources and the Environment developing the robot, collecting / programming / visualizing data, and more!

Learn more about the project: underworlds.mit.edu

Role/Tasks:
We are looking for 3-4 students with any of the following experience. We don’t expect you to have all these skills! This is just a guideline of what we’re looking for and the tasks you’ll be completing. Students of all majors encouraged to apply: EE, CS, ME, Architecture…

Experience in Arduino development environment
Experience with any or all of the following a plus:
- Knowledge of how to design a prototype circuits
- Writing classes in C++
- Knowledge of Esp8266 module and Wi-Fi comunication or BT/BTLE

Experience in mobile applications
Experience with any or all of the following a plus:

- Development of control and display data system in JavaScript / PhoneGap to interact with microcontrollers

Design and fabrication experience
- Knowledge of Rhino / Solidworks
- Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite
- Experience laser cutting, 3D printing
- Comfortable using shop tools

GIS experience
- Python for GIS
- Network analysis toolbox

Contact: Newsha Ghaeli / ghaeli@mit.edu


1/21/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning/Senseable City Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: Fingerprint Map Completion for Indoor Localization / Mobility Problems

Project Description: Indoor localization is a significant task for many ubiquitous and pervasive computing applications, with numerous solutions based on IEEE802.11, bluetooth, ultrasound and infrared technologies. Most of these techniques use the fingerprint-based approach, which needs exhaustive collection of the received signal strengths in various positions of the physical space. The goal is to propose a framework that performs localization from a smaller number of signal strength measurements. The research results can also be applied to mobility problems in transportation by studying patterns in adjacent (symmetric) matrices.

Tasks: In this project we focus on the study of spatial correlation structure of the fingerprint maps and we want to:

Candidates should have good knowledge of Probability Theory, Linear Algebra and coding skills in Matlab and Python or Java.

Contact:  Dr. Dimitrios Milioris / milioris@mit.edu


1/21/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning/Senseable City Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: The Car as a Sensing Device

Project Description: The Senseable City Lab is partnering with Audi to understand the transformation of the car into an extremely powerful ambient sensing device. Indeed, today’s automobiles leverage powerful sensors and embedded computers to optimize efficiency, safety, and driver engagement. However the complexity of possible inferences using in-car sensor data is not well understood. More specifically we recorded more than 1000 in-vehicle sensors data on the controller-area-network (CAN) of a typical modern vehicle as each of 64 participants over 86 days. The CAN bus port recorded not only the location of a vehicle, but gathered input about virtually every action performed by the car from the opening of a window to the activation of the ABS breaking system. The goal of this project is to analyze and characterize the type of available data and show how it can be used for a variety of applications, from environmental sensing to road safety to driver behavior characterization. 

Role/Tasks:

Desired skills:

Contact: Emanuele Massaro/ emassaro@mit.edu


1/21/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning/Senseable City Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: Innovation at MIT!

Description: Revealing MIT’s collaboration and innovation ecosystem: we are part of one of the most innovative and collaborative research communities in the world – but the dynamics of this knowledge ecology are not well understood.

Be a part of the first-ever collaboration between the new Innovation Initiative (Lab for Innovation Science and Policy) and the Department of Urban Studies & Planning (Senseable City Lab). This project studies how physical space defines academic communication, collaboration and innovation, using social network analysis, and campus spatial data. Understanding how space shapes communication and innovation may serve as an important tool for both campus planning and institutional structure at one of the world’s top research environments.

Positions:
A. Visualization Expert
Tasks:
– work with directory, output and network data
– design a compelling static visualization
– design a dynamic, interactive web-based data browser
Goals:
– synthesize a rare dataset in a unique format that is simple, intuitive and attractive

B. Data Analyst
Tasks:
– work with academic output data (scholarly publications and patents) and social networks
– conduct 3 analyses:
a. Statistical (multi-layer regression)
b. Network (weighted network analysis)
c. Econometric (difference-in-difference based on an exogenous shift in dataset)
Goals:
– develop robust metrics for sited collaboration communities and apply these tools to understand MIT in an empirical way

Contact: Matthew Claudel / claudel@mit.edu


1/21/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Harry Asada

Project Title: Automated Selective Single Cell Harvesting

Project Description: This is multi-disciplinary research opportunity for undergraduate students within the d Arbeloff Lab under the supervision of Jacob Guggenheim (Masters student) and Prof. Harry Asada. The objective of this project is to develop and apply an automated single-cell harvesting system to relevant biological questions. The system consists of three major components: an image processing and analysis unit, a 3-axes positioning unit, and a cell harvesting unit. The image processing and analysis unit takes as input a time series of images from the microscope and analyzes them for cell shape and other cell phenotypes. When a phenotype of interest occurs, the image processing unit directs the 3-axes positioning unit to move the end effector into place. Finally, the cell harvesting unit grabs the single cell while minimally affecting the neighboring cells. As this project works in the intersection between robotics and biology, the scope of the UROP can be tailored toward the undergraduate s background and interests.

Prerequisites: For projects on the image analysis side: Matlab, OpenCV (or similar); For projects on the bio side: cell culture, aseptic technique; For projects on the meche side: CAD

Contact: Jacob Guggenheim, jguggenh@mit.edu


1/21/16
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Digital-Physical Tools for CAD Modeling and Wireframing

Project Description: Developing a modular tool for physical interaction with the wire framing component of 3D modeling software. The project seeks mechanical as well as software input, with the final outcome being a functional tool for physical resizing and shaping of 3D digital media. The project utilizes parametric software tools that can be directly interacted with in physical space. Seeking a UROP with a background in mechanical engineering and or software development to help in the design and construction of the tool, with opportunities for research into the system's mechanics, software and developing further functionality of the tool. Experience in Grasshopper would also be a plus but not necessary.

Prerequisites: Mechanical Engineering or Software Development preferable

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

Contact: Penny Webb, pewebb@media.mit.edu


1/21/16
Term: Spring

Department/Lab/Center: Sloan
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Christian Catalini

Project Title: Using Machine Learning and Big Data to Predict Startup Growth

Project Description: The objective of this project is to develop new code and tools to predict startup growth. Please only apply if you have strong programming skills in machine learning and python. Knowledge of SQL and basic statistics are a plus. Students will have access to a unique, large-scale dataset of startup founding and growth events. They will also learn about the economics of early-stage entrepreneurship and startup fundraising (equity crowdfunding, angel financing, venture capital).

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

Contact: Please email Christian Catalini (catalini@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet and past experience with machine learning projects.


1/21/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning/Senseable City Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Name: Smart Lights / Philips

Project #1: The Senseable City Lab is partnering with Philips to research the applications of smart street lighting systems. We are particularly interested in exploring how streetlights could be embedded with sensors and actuators, forming responsive urban systems. The goal of this research is to help the Senseable City Lab team to design use case scenarios to test smart lighting solutions, along with exploring different communication and visual representation of the technologies, uses and experiences that they will bring to cities.

Role/Tasks:

Required Skills:

Contacts: Fábio Duarte / fduarte@mit.edu & Alaa AlRadwan / alradwan@mit.edu

 

Project #2:
The Senseable City Lab is partnering with Philips Research to study the applications of distributed sensors and actuators embedded in street lighting systems. We want to create real time responsive urban systems that allow for new experiences in cities and transform current street lighting infrastructure into a distributed urban intelligence platform useful for planning purposes.

Role/Tasks:

Required Skills:

Contact: Ricardo Alvarez / jraf@mit.edu & Fábio Duarte / fduarte@mit.edu


1/21/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning/Senseable City Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: CityFlows / Philips

Project Description:
The Senseable City Lab is partnering with Philips Research to study the applications of distributed sensors embedded in smart street lighting systems in order to understand and map urban flows. We are developing omnidirectional cameras, computer/machine vision algorithms and deep learning methods to help us map public spaces use in real time.

The goal is to transform current lighting systems into pervasive data collectors and create a distributed urban intelligence platform useful for urban planning purposes.

Role/Tasks:

Required Skills:

Contact Persons: Ricardo Alvarez / jraf@mit.edu & Michelle Sit / msit@mit.edu



1/19/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Insurance of the Future

Project Description: The MIT Design Lab, Mobile Experience Lab is looking to determine what insurance will look like in the future. First we ask, how do millennials view and use different insurance products? An insurance claim is typically filed when something bad happens. With that in mind, how can we design an insurance claim system to that minimizes the pain of filing a claim? We are seeking a student to help us determine current UX trends in the insurance space as well as helping us to design insurance technologies of the future. This role will require secondary source research, trend mapping, user interface/user experience analysis, and journey mapping. The latter part of the project would also include creating wireframes and prototypes of a future interface.

The ideal student would have an interest in designing services, be familiar with concepts and applications in Human Computer Interaction/UX, and be excited about future speculation. Experience with UI design/front-end coding would be a plus.

Prerequisites: Course(s) in HCI/usability, excellent communication and organization

Contact Name: Vicky Zeamer
Contact Email: vzeamer@mit.edu


1/19/16
Spring 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 has a larger force sensing range in both the normal and shear directions, new calibration algorithm (LSANN), as well as an onboard ARM microcontroller for data processing. The ultimate goal is to use these force sensing shoes to help assist the elderly and disabled during walking and for fall prevention and mitigation. Athletes can also benefit from the data collected during training to better optimize their workouts. We are looking for undergraduate students (Course 2) 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. It is a UROP project which could be extended to be an undergraduate thesis. The research will take place in the Biomimetic Robotics Lab, under the supervision of Michael Chuah (PhD candidate) and Prof. Sangbae Kim.

Requirements: Experience and interest in mechanical design (Solidworks), and making working prototypes. Substantial time commitment.

Nice-to-haves: Please highlight experience with any of the following: 3d printing, polymer molding, FEA simulations (Abaqus), LabVIEW, Android (Java) programming, CNC machining (G-code), PCB circuit design, microcontroller programming, signal processing, wireless communications, sensors, and electronics.

URL: biomimetics.mit.edu

Contact Name: Michael Chuah
Contact Email: mcx@mit.edu


1/19/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Anthropology (Course 21A)
Faculty Supervisor: Susan Silbey

Project Title: 50 year analysis of law and society review

Project Description: Looking for one or more students to work on a project that must be completed during spring semester: analyzing the content of the Law & Society Review for the 50th anniversary of this scholarly journal. The work will involve searching digital files of the journal (on line), as well as hand coding some content for thematic patterns. This can be done for credit or compensation.

Contact: Ayn Cavicchi (acavicch@mit.edu), assistant to Professor Susan Silbey.


1/19/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: MIT-Singapore University of Technology and Design Collaboration (MIT-SUTD)
Faculty Supervisor: John Brisson

Project Title: MIT-SUTD GLP Spring UROP

Project Description: The IDC - MIT's International Design Center - is a product of a partnership with SUTD, Singapore's University of Technology and Design. The goal of the lab is to foster research collaborative focused on an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the methods, tools, and outcomes of diverse design activities. Part of this is seen in the Global Leadership Program, a 10-week summer intensive program that hosts 40 MIT and SUTD students, teaching them leadership, decision making, and team building skills across a variety of fields. See more information in the link below. We're looking for UROPs to help design the curriculum for the fabrication part of this program. During the spring semester, we will build and further develop a set of lessons that enables the students to learn about engineering and design through the process of building a boat. You will be researching education strategies, while at the same time familiarizing yourself with the process of making a boat and its associated components. You will also spend time in the IDC Fablab, learning fabrication techniques and the running of the shop itself.

The commitment is the same as a 12-unit class during the semester, and a follow-up into the summer to serve as a TA for the program - as a student employee.

URL: http://sutd.mit.edu/glp.html

Contact: If you are interested in design, enjoy teaching, and want to be a part of the IDC, please email Tobi Lanre-Amos (tsoma@mit.edu) with a quick paragraph about your interest and relevant experience.


1/19/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Data Science -- Applied Machine Learning for an Innovative Future

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: Ideal candidates will have sharpened data science skills, and should be able to develop a thoughtful and creative understanding on how the models, analysis and visualizations can generate value in the contexts of Andorra's tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact.

* Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact.
* We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis, or on data visualization and communication. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains.
* You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Added Value for You:
- You will learn how your machine learning, data science, and\or data visualization skills can generate real value for all public, private, and civil sectors.
- You will acquire experience working with a unique set of big data : from mobile phone records (CDRs) of an entire country, and spatially specified logs to the national network of public WIFI, to disaggregated energy consumption data at the national level, to pollution and environmental data from a national network of environmental sensors.
- You will significantly build up your data science CV/portfolio.
- You will be able to participate and potentially co-author exciting academic research.
- You will live and breathe the fun and interdisciplinary culture of the MIT Media Lab.

Prerequisites: Machine Learning, Data Mining, Inference R, Python,Matlab, SQL,

URL: http://cp.media.mit.edu/city-simulation/

Contact Name: Naichun Chen
Contact Email:naichun@mit.edu


1/19/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: CityScope: Urban Data Mining + Visualisation Analysis for Tourist Pattern

CITYSCOPE: URBAN INTERVENTION SIMULATOR The platform is a tangible-interactive urban rapid prototyping environment. Users from any background can collaboratively configure the neighborhood with their own vision for land use and density. All the while, users receive real-time feedback of different urban metrics including walkability, energy, daylighting, and trip generation.

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 The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of data visualization 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 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. We are seeking a UROP (Paid/Credit) for the IAP term, with the possibility of continuing during following terms.

Overview: We develop simulation systems that can predict and quantify the potential impact of disruptive technologies within new and existing cities. We place a special emphasis on augmented reality decision support systems (ARDSS) that facilitate non-expert stakeholder collaboration within complex urban environments.

Prototypes: Our researchers are actively exploring new technologies for realtime data visualization, tangible interaction, and simulation. Check out some of recent work below. The platform is a tangible-interactive urban rapid prototyping environment. Users from any background can collaboratively configure the neighborhood with their own vision for land use and density. All the while, users receive real-time feedback of different urban metrics including walkability, energy, daylighting, and trip generation.

REAL-TIME DATA OBSERVATORY Geo-located data is used to create "LEGO-tized," 3-dimensional representations of existing urban areas. The model is augmented with layers of information via projection mapping. Click through the above images to see various visualizations of Andorra La Vella in Europe.

Required Skills: Java, Processing, Database, or Web Framework

Additional Skills: (Open CV) Computer Vision, Machine Learning

URL: http://cp.media.mit.edu/city-simulation/

Contact Name: Naichun Chen
Contact Email:naichun@mit.edu


1/19/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: Social Virtual Reality

Project Description: We are working on a social Virtual Reality system using the Samsung GearVR devices that allows multiple users to be present in the same VR space, allowing people to watch Netflix/Twitch etc or play games together. We are looking for someone who has experience in Android development (Java and C/C++) and is super excited about virtual reality. We will be working with the Gear VR Framework and/or Unity. If interested, please send an email, providing a short description of why you are the ideal candidate, stating relevant past or ongoing work (include links if applicable)

Contact Name: Misha Sra
Contact Email: sra@media.mit.edu


1/15/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Ann Graybiel

Project Title: Mouse models of movement disorders

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

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


1/15/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Charles Harvey

Project Title: Environmental fate of radionuclides

Project Description: Flowback and produced water (referred to as flowback water) resulting from hydraulic fracturing contains a complex milieu of anthropogenic and natural chemical constituents including naturally occurring toxic inorganic elements such as strontium, barium and naturally occurring radioactive materials such as 226radium. Understanding the sources of the chemical constituents in the flowback water is fundamental to developing strategies for mitigating environmental risks associated with fracturing process. As a UROP student, you will have the opportunity to experimentally investigate the various geochemical and redox processes occurring in the sub-surface environment influencing the major ion chemistry of flowback water. The batch and flow-through experiments would be designed using the native shale rocks and the flowback water as received from the oil and gas companies.

Prerequisites: This position is ideal for students who have a strong interest in chemistry/environmental sciences.

Preference will be given to students who:
* Have experience in basic inorganic chemistry.
* Can commit to at least 10 hours per week.
* Experience in any programming language desired.
* Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to apply to this position.
* The position is open to longer-term commitment.

Contact Name: Neha Mehta
Contact Email:mneha@mit.edu


1/15/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Ram Sasisekharan

Project Title: Creating and testing novel antibody therapeutics for multi-targeted cancer treatment

Project Description: Many antibody-based targeted therapies for a wide variety of cancers have been approved, but often, patients need to be treated with more than one antibody in order to target multiple aspects/functions of the cancer tumors. This requires multiple dosing regimens, increasing treatment burden for the patient. In addition, in some patients, the antibody treatment is initially effective, but the tumor eventually evolves an alternate mechanism for function, rendering the treatment ineffective. Because of these reasons, single antibody treatments that are specific to multiple targets needs to be developed in order to 1) reduce patient treatment burden and 2) prevent treatment resistance from developing. Our lab has developed a platform to synthesize and test such treatments.

We are seeking an undergraduate student to assist with various aspects of the process, such as protein expression, protein purification, and binding assays. The student will gain a wide variety of lab techniques and a thorough understanding of the antibody production process. We are looking for a student who is willing to research over summer 2016, with the potential to start during the 2016 spring semester.

Contact Name: Ally Huang
Contact Email:ally@mit.edu


1/15/16
Spring 2016
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ann Graybiel

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

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

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

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

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


1/11/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Laura Schulz

Project Title: Learning and Exploration in Early Childhood

Project Description: As a research assistant in our lab, you will be involved in the full research process, including recruiting families to participate in research at the Boston Children's Museum, conducting behavioral experiments with young children, coding behavioral data, and building stimuli (toys and puppet shows!) 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

Our lab studies how infants and young children learn about the world. Specifically, our research projects investigate how young children learn about causal and social relationships through active exploration and inference. In addition, we study other topics in cognitive development such as language and moral reasoning.

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

Contact: Sammy Floyd samfloyd@mit.edu if interested and include two informal references (supervisors or teachers as well as professors are fine).


1/11/16
IAP-Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lydia Bourouiba

Project Title: Fundamental fluid dynamics and disease transmission

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

Seeking students who are self-motivated, creative, and enthusiastic about 1) problem solving and hands on activities or 2) problem solving and mathematical modeling.

Prerequisites: Interests in art and photography, Matlab, latex, and ImageJ are considered to be a plus. A strong Physics or Math-Physics background and experience or courses in fluid dynamics will be also considered to be strong assets.

URL: https://lbourouiba.mit.edu/

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


1/11/16
IAP-Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Wanda Orlikowski

Project Title: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Decision Making.

Project Description: Over the past few years, many organizations have begun implementing various initiatives in advanced analytics (e.g., predictive and prescriptive analytics), and piloting a number of “big data” projects within their business units. A number of researchers and practitioners have argued that such initiatives enable people to leverage data to make real-time decisions about several important aspects of operations. The growing rhetoric around big data and analytics has led to speculations about how these technologies are going to “fundamentally” change decision making practices within organizations.

Despite the substantial rhetoric, we know little about what happens once big data and analytics is put into action in organizations. Specifically, we have little understanding of the cognitive, cultural, and organizational issues around the implementation and usage of big data and analytics – for e.g., the interplay among intuitive, experiential, and data-driven modes of decision making, and the possible tensions that may arise among them. The purpose of this research is to explore these issues.

If you are interested in (a) getting hands-on experience in collecting and analyzing high-volume data (e.g., city-level 9-1-1 calls, crime reports, product pricing) (b) convert unstructured data into structured data and do analysis, (c) participate in interesting and relevant social science research, this would be a great learning opportunity.

UROP will closely participate in research related to a number of questions related to big data and analytics. Specifically, we have three types of UROP positions:

Position 1: Candidates with strong programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python), Responsibility for this position include writing code to collect data from a variety of sources, converting unstructured data to structured data, data management, and a sincere interest in the phenomena of big data and analytics.

Prerequisites:
*Programming skills with scripting languages (Python or Ruby or Perl)
^Experience with Microsoft Excel
___________

Position 2: Candidates with knowledge of intermediate statistics (e.g., regression analysis), and experience with statistical tools (such as STATA or R). Responsibility for this position include managing and analyzing data using statistical software. The ideal candidate is a highly motivated student with strong background in statistics/econometrics and with good data analysis skills.

Prerequisites:
*Intermediate Statistics (including STATA or R)
*Experience with Microsoft Excel (Macros, VBA)
*Good data analysis skills
___________

Position 3:
Candidates with good data management skills – someone who can cleanse and improve the quality of both quantitative and qualitative data.

UROP type: Paid, For Credits, as well as Volunteer.

Contact: Please email Arvind Karunakaran (arvindk@mit.edu) with a brief intro (or with a resume/CV). Also, please include which UROP position you are most interested in, your availability to meet and number of hours per week to work.


1/8/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ed Boyden

Project Title: Scalable Nanofabrication

Project Description: Recently, in the Synthetic Neurobiology group at MIT (Biological Engineering, Brain and Cognitive Science, Media Lab), we developed a new method of scalable nanofabrication, combining cutting-edge 3-d lithographic strategies, with highly novel chemistries capable of supporting 3-d sculpting of different kinds of materials, ranging from nanoparticles to biomolecules. We are now seeking a UROP to lead the way on optimization and application of this technique for various domains of impact, including devising novel strategies for nanoimprinting, as well as biofabrication.

Prerequisites:
- We will expect the UROP to lead the way on, and own one of the small number of key components of, the project (and potentially be a key author on the paper that results). Thus, we anticipate that a 1-year commitment (including summer) may be useful.
- Experience with chemistry (especially organic chemistry) and/or materials synthesis required.
- Experience with nanofabrication or microfabrication is a plus, but not required.
- This is a team project that also requires each member to be very independent, so high levels of responsibility and communication are essential.

URL: http://syntheticneurobiology.org/

Contact: Send a resume or curriculum vitae, and statement of interest, to Sam Rodriques (sgr@mit.edu) and Ed Boyden (esb@media.mit.edu).


1/8/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Glen Urban

Project Title: Consumer Storytelling in Social Media

Project Description: We are looking for a talented researcher with strong computer science skills, to assist Dr. Glen Urban with several research projects relating to the study of consumer behavior in social media.
This researcher will have the opportunity to participate in two major projects, both involving large-scale, consumer field experiments on behalf of a major, international car manufacturer as well as a major insurance company. Selected candidates will have the opportunity to build websites that simulate various social media experiences. We seek to collect text and behavioral data as participants experience and interact with the site, to gain additional insights on consumer behavior in social media.

Typical tasks on this project will require strong programming skills (e.g. Javascript, experience with Chrome extensions), web design, and data collection and monitoring. Additionally, candidates will have the opportunity to work with other marketing department members (Dr. Renee Gosline and Dr. Jeff Lee) who are affiliated with this project.

Requirements: Candidates must be available to assist us with website-development through February 2016, for a potential field experiment launch at that time. Much of the work can be completed off-site (i.e. at home), though the research assistant will be expected to attend weekly check-in meetings with other team members. The anticipated workload for this position is 10-15 hours per week. We are open to providing this opportunity for pay or for credit, depending on the needs of the candidate.

Senior undergraduate students who excel in this role may be invited to continue work with Dr. Urban in AY 2016-17, as master students. In AY 2016-17, candidates will be expected to continue work on social field experiments, and commence work on deep learning and machine learning applied to big financial data with Dr. Urban.

Contact: If you are interested, please send an email to tep-jobs@mit.edu and include:
* A summary of any previous UROP and relevant work experience
* A short description of why you are interested in working on this project
* Your availability during the semester to assist us
* Your availability for a short phone call over the next week
* Please put "Social Media Research Opportunity” in the subject line


1/8/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Bevil Conway

Project title: Neuroimaging investigation of color processing in adult humans

Project Description: We are looking for UROP students for Spring 2016 to assist with behavioral and neuroimaging studies of color processing in adult humans. In this project, we will use behavior, MEG, and fMRI to investigate how color is represented in the brain. You will gain familiarity with neuroimaging, as well as basic machine learning. This project is also a good opportunity to bolster your programming skills. Depending on your technical background (we will jointly decide on your duties), your time might be spent preparing for experiments, including performing color calibrations, creating experimental scripts in Psychtoolbox, and scheduling subjects; assisting with neuroimaging scans; running subjects on behavioral studies; managing data; and/or pre-processing and analyzing data. You will be mentored by a research assistant.

Technical prerequisites: Experience with MATLAB. Experience with the command line, Psychtoolbox, JavaScript, Python, human behavior and/pr neuroimaging; coursework in cognitive science or neuroscience; and/or familiarity with machine learning a plus.

Details: Minimum requirement is 10 hours/week.

Contact: Katherine Hermann khermann@mit.edu if interested. Please write a paragraph or two about why this position appeals, as well as your programming background and behavioral and/or neuroimaging experience (if any). Point to any class projects or prior research experience in which you gained experience with the technical skills mentioned above. Please also include the names and emails of two informal references (professors or supervisors). You may also attach a CV/resume if you have one available.


1/8/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemistry (Course 5)
Faculty Supervisor: Barbara Imperiali

Project title: Development of small molecule inhibitors involved in the synthesis of complex carbohydrates from human pathogens: new tools to investigate the roles of protein glycosylation in bacterial virulence

Project description: The study of microbial pathogens has demonstrated the prevalence of highly modified saccharides as constituents of bacterial N- and O-linked glycoproteins, which interact with the infected host and are intimately associated with the virulence of many medically significant Gram-negative bacteria, including N. meningitides, N. gonorrhoeae, and C. jejuni. Therefore, small molecule inhibitors of bacterial glycosylation may suppress pathogenic virulence. As the targeted pathways are not essential for survival, this tactic will likely evade the rapid resistance development which plagues current antibiotics and potentially introduce new therapeutic approaches to address infectious diseases.

We are currently pursuing a structure-based approach, using X-ray co-crystal (inhibitor bound to protein) and fluorescence based thermal shift assay data , to improve inhibitor potency and efficacy.

The student will perform organic synthesis to make new structural analogs using click chemistry and evaluate these compounds for their ability to inhibit the activity of the bacterial acetyl transferase enzymes. Besides synthesis and in vitro assays, there is the opportunity to learn protein expression and purification, enzymatic carbohydrate synthesis, X-ray crystallography, and other biochemistry techniques. If interested, the student can also learn some Maestro and Pymol basics.

Prerequisites: Basic organic synthesis skills required; 5.36 module 6, 5.37 module 7 OR previous laboratory experience. Strong preference for students who can commit to at least 10 hours per week for at least two semesters, starting as soon as possible. Open to a longer-term commitment.

Contact: Please send an email with a CV/resume, schedule availability, and potential start date to Amael Madec, Postdoctoral Fellow, madec_am@mit.edu


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