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.

12/9/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Sangeeta Bhatia

Project Title: Liver regeneration

Project Description: The Bhatia lab is currently looking for a motivated undergraduate to pursue research in liver regeneration. You will be working under the guidance of a postdoc in the lab, Arnout Schepers. The project is focused on liver regeneration and enhancement of hepatic function of liver models. Techniques used in the project include mammalian tissue culture, fluorescence microscopy, cloning and several other molecular biology techniques.

Prerequisites: Previous wet lab experience in either lab or course setting. Schedule is flexible; a 10 hour per week commitment is expected. Participation can be compensated via academic credit.

Contact: Arnott Schepers (arnouts@mit.edu). If interested, please email your CV/resume and a short paragraph about yourself, your lab experience and future interests. Also indicate the hours per week you have available and your potential start date.


12/9/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Alex `Sandy' Pentland

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

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

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

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

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

Optional skills:

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

Other prerequisites: we are looking for students that are able to contribute a minimum of 20 hours per week during IAP.

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


12/9/16
IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Matthew A. Wilson

Project Title: Computational Video Analysis to Study Sleep Architecture

Project Description: During sleep, mammals and birds cycle through two very different behavioral states (REM and non-REM) that are linked to different functions and neuronal computations (dreaming, memory consolidation). Scientists often use brain activity recorded from electrodes to track REM and non-REM sleep; this method is very precise, but it is not always practical, and it limits sleep detection to the times that the recording equipment can be plugged in. Developing a state tracking method based on video analysis would provide a flexible, low-cost, and non-invasive method to track sleep architecture. This approach would have important applications in sleep research and technology, including human sleep studies. We are looking for motivated students that are interested in applying computational techniques (video analysis) to neuroscience. One of the main goals of this project is to use matlab to test the feasibility of using video to track sleep architecture. As part of this project, you will learn about sleep physiology and computational neuroscience, and you will also explore other techniques used in the lab (primarily electrophysiology). If you have a strong interest in these topics this could be a great match.

Prerequisites: Strong matlab skills. Dedication of at least 12h/week, with the possibility of extending through the Spring semester and beyond.

Contact Name: Carmen Varela
Contact Email: carmenv@mit.edu


12/9/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Educational Simulation Designer/Creator

Project Description: The MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program is looking for 1-2 UROP(s) to help us design and build simulations of science concepts for an NSF-funded study about model-based reasoning. We have a list of science topics from the partner school district, and some draft simulations, but need to think carefully about how to simplify these simulations so that they can be used (or even created!) by children in grades 4 and 5. We are using the StarLogo Nova simulation platform, which combines a block-based visual programming language with a 3D renderer and powerful agent-based execution engine. No prior programming experience is necessary (although it is welcome!), but you will learn how to program in StarLogo Nova to create the simulations and/or to think about how students can create their own simulations. The UROP(s) working on this project will take on a key role, interacting with research staff both at MIT and in our partner organizations, and thinking about learning goals, research goals, simulation design, research design, and more. This position is perfect for someone with an interest in education and educational design, regardless of MIT major or past experience.

Contact: If interested, please email the research manager, Daniel Wendel (djwendel@mit.edu), with a brief statement about your interest, your IAP availability, and a copy of your resume if available.


12/9/16
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Lotte Bailyn

Project Title: Retirement Study

Project Description: The project is based at the Harvard Business School (I am on the research team) and consists of interviews of people in 3 organizations (both employed and retired) about their feelings and attitudes toward work and retirement. The work consists of classifying the transcribed interviews into pre-set categories using a qualitative data analysis program. The initial training is done at HBS, but thereafter the program is downloaded on the student's laptop and the work can be done anywhere and any time.
Expectation is 10-15 hours/week. A group of students, from Harvard and MIT, are involved in this effort.

Prerequisites: Interest in the topic; willingness to learn the program and the category scheme

Contact Name: Lotte Bailyn
Contact Email: lbailyn@mit.edu


12/9/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Tauhid Zaman

Project Title: Social Media Sensor for Food Safety in China

Project Description: The goal of this project is to collect Chinese social media, such as Weibo or WeChat, to monitor food safety issues in China. People may post information on social media about bad food at a restaurant or getting sick from eating something. Our aim is to map out potentially contaminated food suppliers using this data, creating a real-time social sensor of food safety in China.

Prerequisites: The focus here will be on Chinese social media, so ability to read and understand Chinese is essential. Also, we will be using APIs to crawl social data, so familiarity with Python or experience in using such APIs will also be necessary.

Contact Name: Tauhid Zaman
Contact Email: zlisto@mit.edu


12/9/16
Physics (Course 8)
Faculty Supervisor: Lindley Winslow

Project Title: Supernova Neutrino Search with KamLAND

Project Description: This is a great starting project for a UROP with interests in physics and astronomy. Neutrinos are fundamental particles made in the decays of particles and nuclei. In a supernova, so many neutrinos are made that they actually blow apart the star. The ultimate goal of this project will be a joint search for supernova using neutrinos and gravitational waves. The project will start by simple manipulation of candidate lists and comparisons of supernova models and advance towards a more complicated statistical analysis of multiple experiments and gravitational wave data.

Prerequisites: some python.

Contact Name: Lindley Winslow
Contact Email: lwinslow@mit.edu


12/7/16
IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: Fabricating Electronics Tattoos

Project Description: This project is a fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly on their skin. Using gold metal leaf, a material that is cheap, skin-friendly, and robust for everyday wear, we demonstrate three types of on-skin interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output, and wireless communication. It draws from the aesthetics found in metallic jewelry-like temporary tattoos to create on-skin devices which resemble jewelry. These on-skin devices enable users to control their mobile devices, display information, and store information on their skin while serving as a statement of personal style. The UROP will assist with creating and testing these on-skin user interfaces, and creating demo setups.

Prerequisites: We are seeking a UROP with:
1. Craft and hand-making skills, excellent care with details.
2. Graphic design experience (Illustrator, Photoshop).
3. Arduino and programming experience.

URL: duoskin.media.mit.edu

Contact: To apply: Please describe your experience in the above three categories, along with your resume/portfolio send to Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao cindykao@media.mit.edu


12/06/2016
Term: IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Linguistics and Philosophy (Course 24)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Martin Hackl
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: hackl@mit.edu

Project Title: Child Language Development Research

Project Description: We investigate the nature of human language, by studying immature language in the child (the development of language). The research interweaves current linguistic theory and empirical work. The current research areas include quantified statements, focus operators, and presuppositions. Your work will involve (i) running experiments with children (mainly 3-6 years old), (ii) data entering and assisting with interpretation, (iii) interacting with day cares and parents for consent. It might also involve (iv) assistance in experimental design and preparation of experimental materials. UROP's main goals will be: engagement with cutting edge theoretical developments in language acquisition and acquiring hands-on experience with behavioral research with children.

There are a few UROP positions for IAP and Spring 2017: Work hours are flexible. There is a possibility of continuing working in the subsequent semester(s). Applications received by Tuesday, 12/20/16 will be given full consideration.

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

Contact: If you are interested, please email Prof. Martin Hackl (hackl@mit.edu), and also CC Leo Rosenstein (leaena@mit.edu) with your resume/CV.


12/06/2016
Term: IAP and Summer
Mathematics
Project supervisors: 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 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. Participants will be paid.

Website: www.mit.edu/~kepner/

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

Contact: Dr. Jeremy Kepner, kepner@ll.mit.edu


12/06/2016
Term: IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Comparitive Media Studies (CMS)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Federico Casalegno
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: casalegno@mit.edu

Project Title: Chat Bot Serving the MIT Community

Project Description: The Mobile Experience Lab has built a comprehensive database of information across the MIT campus, including data about classes, buildings, faculty, and events. We are looking for a UROP to make this information easily accessible for the first time to students through a chat bot. This is a great opportunity to design and build this chat bot, exploring into human-computer interactions and, as the project starts to incorporate artificial intelligence, natural language processing. This is a great project for students who are individually driven and who are ready to see a project through to completion.

Prerequisites: Experience in Node.js/Express and Javascript, Sophomore or higher

Contact Name: CK Ong & Hyungie Sung
Contact Email: ongck@mit.edu & hyun94@mit.edu


12/5/2016
Term: IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Bradley Olsen
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: bdolsen@mit.edu

Project Title: Nucleus-inspired materials as artificial protein gatekeepers

Project Description: Nature provides the inspiration for many biomimetic materials developed in our lab. The cell nucleus is known to act as a biomolecular gatekeeper, and our group has engineered artificial proteins that replicate this behavior. This project will (1) study nucleoporin-like proteins to understand how molecular gatekeepers work, and (2) engineer new materials with superior gatekeeper performance. These new materials will revolutionize biotechnology and improve cancer therapies, gene delivery, and defense against biological warfare agents. The UROP involved in this project will have opportunities to learn experimental skills including, but not limited to: gene design, molecular cloning, recombinant protein engineering, recombinant protein expression and purification, bioconjugate chemistry, and materials characterization (gel electrophoresis, fluorescence microscopy, light scattering techniques, rheology).

Prerequisites: Students with an interest in chemical engineering, bioengineering, biology, biochemistry, biophysics, and/or materials science are encouraged to apply. No prior lab experience is required, and training will be provided in all areas. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to working at least 20 hours per week during IAP and 10 hours per week during the academic year. We are offering academic credit for new UROPs.

URL (if applicable): cheme.scripts.mit.edu/olsenlab

Contact Name: Dr. Danielle Mai
Contact Email: djmai@mit.edu


12/5/2016
Term: IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biology (Course 7)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Tyler Jacks
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: tjacks@mit.edu

Project Title: Mechanisms of T Cell Suppression in Lung Cancer

Project Description: New immunotherapies that activate killer T cell responses against tumors have shown impressive clinical benefit across multiple cancer types. However, only a small fraction of patients respond and the reasons for this remain unclear. One potential explanation for tumor resistance is immunosuppression active in the tumor microenvironment. Combination therapies aimed at breaking down immunosuppressive barriers might significantly improve clinical responses. The goal of this project is to develop a CRISPR-Cas9 based system to rapidly interrogate novel mechanisms of tumor immunosuppression in vivo. These studies will be carried out in a physiological genetic mouse model of lung cancer, where tumors develop in the context of normal surroundings. Tumors will be modified to express putative immunosuppressive factors and we will study how this impacts tumor progression and the T cell response. This project would be perfect for someone with an interest in both immunology and cancer biology. You will gain exposure to a variety of concepts and techniques as you progress through the project, including: complex mouse genetics, T cell biology, molecular cloning, CRISPR-Cas9, RNA and protein expression analyses, cell culture, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and microscopy.

Prerequisites: Prior biology research experience is preferred, but not required. A time commitment of at least 12-15 hours a week is a must. Ideally, this UROP will start during IAP and continue into the spring semester, with the potential to become a long-term appointment.

Contact Name: Megan Burger
Contact Email: mlburger@mit.edu


12/1/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Ann Graybiel

Project Title: Testing the role of striatal processing in learning and decision making

Project Description: Project The striatum is an important brain region for movement, procedural learning and motivation but its exact role and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. In this project we will record and manipulate parts of the striatal microcircuitry in order to test existing hypotheses about the way the striatum contributes to learning and behavioral control. Requirements We are looking for a highly motivated student who is serious and eager to learn state of the art research methods. Work will take between 9 and 18 hours a week. We strongly prefer a student who wants to commit to this project for at least a year. Credits will be given for this UROP.

URL: http://www.graybiel-lab.com/

Contact: Please send you CV and a cover letter to Bernard Bloem (bbloem@mit.edu)


11/29/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (WI)
Faculty Supervisor: Hidde Ploegh

Project Title: Novel chemokine conjugates for cancer immunotherapy

Project Description: This project will explore new methods to improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Specifically, we are interested in utilizing chemokine-based novel protein conjugates for active and immunomodulatory cancer immunotherapies. The goals are to provide new vaccine constructs for effective cancer immunization and increase effector cell infiltration into the tumor microenvironment. The project is highly interdisciplinary in nature. The student will have opportunities to gain intensive lab experience in protein engineering, cancer immunology, organic synthesis and molecular imaging. The Ploegh lab has moved from Whitehead Institute to Boston Children s Hospital. The research location will be at Karp research building, BCH. Students will have (with BCH badge) free shuttle from MIT campus to Karp and access to BCH/Harvard Medical School educational recourses.

Prerequisites: No lab experience is required, but basic understanding of biochemistry or immunology is desired. The individual should be self-motivated and have good data management habit.

Contact Name: Dr. Tao Fang
Contact Email: fangtao@wi.mit.edu


11/29/16
IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Mitchel Resnick

Project Title: Sphyria - A VR map of Syria

Project Description: Sphyria is a prototype that Media Lab students produced with students from the Middle East during a workshop in Dubai. We are looking for a UROP over IAP to add features and complete the demo implementation. Sphyria is a VR application for Google cardboard that lets users access 360 photospheres of Syria. The user can navigate over a virtual map to find and open 360 pictures from various locations in Syria. Within each photosphere the user can hear recordings of memories that Syrians in the diaspora have recorded, or add a personal story of their own. You can view a demo here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0QKmC0imjs).

We are looking for an MIT student to continue the development process of Sphyria over IAP. The application is built with Unity, so experience with game or VR development will be very helpful. The ideal candidate will commit 20 hours per week over IAP.

Prerequisites:

Contact Name: Noor Eddin Amer
Contact Email: namer@mit.edu


11/28/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Redox-electrodes as electro-catalysts for organic transformations

Project Description: Redox-electrodes can act as efficient heterogeneous electrocatalysts for mediating important reactions, both organic transformations for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, as well as pathways for renewable fuels. We are currently exploring a set of immobilized, heterogeneous catalysts based on polymeric redox-species for a series of chemical transformations. 1) As a first major task, the student will assist in current on-going research for characterization and synthesis of our materials. The student will be expected to both assist researchers in the project as well as work independently. Materials synthesis and characterization technique will be developed (microscopies techniques such as TEM, SEM as well as BET surface area analysis), as well as extensive electrochemical characterization. 2) In the second aspect of the project, we are aiming to explore the electrochemical performance of these electrodes and their activity towards converting various substrates, for reactions of importance to environmental chemistry, and the chemical industry.

Prerequisites: Commitment of 15-20 hrs a week for spring, motivation in learning molecular design, organic chemistry and materials characterization, interest in energy and environmental science, prior experience in lab is recommended. We strongly encourage the students to engage in the lab starting during IAP.

Contact: Please contact Xiao Su (x2su@mit.edu) and Johannes Elbert (jelbert@mit.edu) with resume.


11/28/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Alan Jasanoff

Project Title: Protein engineering approaches towards novels tools for brain imaging

Project Description: Current light-based tools for brain imaging provide high-resolution images but their depth of view is limited. On the other end of the spectrum MRI-based tools provide whole-brain coverage in living animals but have limited spatial resolution. In our lab we engineer proteins to make MRI-readable tools that retain the whole-brain coverage and could potentially provide circuit-level information. The project involves molecular cloning, protein purification, bioassay development, and fluorescence microscopy.

No prior lab experience is necessary. A commitment of 12hr/week is expected during semester.

URL: http://web.mit.edu/jasanofflab/

Contact: If you are interested in the position please include in your email the following to Soprano Ghosh (souparno@mit.edu):
i) what you expect to get out of this experience
ii) bio-related courses you have taken
iii)CV


11/28/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Klavs Jensen

Project Title: Collaborative flow chemical synthesis robot

Project Description: We are developing a novel robotically reconfigurable chemical synthesizing robot utilizing microfluidics. The two unique capabilities are decentralized reaction modules for chemical synthesis monitoring and a fluidic manifold / reactor interface for robotic manipulation. This work is being carried out by a cross-disciplinary team (chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering) focused on overcoming limitations of chemical synthesis through the design of reactor modules which have integrated control electronics and process analysis technology to collect data and optimize reactions. UROPs will be involved with the design and testing of new parts, electronic circuits, and components. We are also working on developing a new user interface for path planning and optimized reactor stacking.

Tasks Include:

Prerequisites: The major requirements are motivation and an eye for detail. Knowledge of (or interest in) programming an Arduino/PSoC, PDB layout using Eagle/Upverter, experience with LabVIEW/Matlab/Python for UI development, mechanical component design experience would be helpful (solidworks, 3dp.

URL: http://web.mit.edu/jensenlab/research/chemistry/

Contact Name: Dale Thomas
Contact Email: dt3@mit.edu


11/28/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Michael Cima

Project Title: Development of Cell Screening Platform

Project Description: The Cima Lab is looking for an undergraduate researcher to participate in the development of a cell screening platform. The student on this project will focus on development of data analysis techniques and processing software (MATLAB), development of new tooling and fixtures (Solidworks), and assisting with execution of experiments. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about expanding their general knowledge and will be committed to making an impact on the project.

Prerequisites: Past experience with MATLAB and Solidworks is strongly preferred. Experience with general laboratory practices would be beneficial. We will give preference to candidates who can commit to working at least 12 hours per week during the academic year. This position is available starting immediately.

Contact Name: Greg Ekchian
Contact Email: gekchian@mit.edu


11/28/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Tod Machover

Project Title: Collaborative Symphony -- Developing Mobile Apps That Enable Musical Participation for Everyone

Project Description: Prof. Tod Machover s group, Opera of the Future, at the Media Lab is looking for UROPs experienced in Android and iOS mobile app development to be an integral part of the City Symphony project (upcoming in Miami and other cities in the U.S and abroad). UROPs will gain hands-on experience in both the technical and creative aspects of app development and will see their products be deployed and used in the real world.

Prerequisites:

URL: https://www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/opera-future, http://opera.media.mit.edu/projects/city_symphonies/

Contact: Please send resume and/or portfolio to Sizi Chen (sizichen@media.mit.edu).


11/22/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Title: Building a database for evaluating speech recognition systems

Project Description: UROP team forming for a project in speech analysis, IAP and Spring term Interested in the links among speech signal processing, linguistics and human speech recognition? Have some background (or strong interest) in either phonetics/phonology, computer science or cognitive science? In this UROP you will learn to label the individual cues to speech sounds in the speech signal by hand, to create a database for evaluating a prototype automatic speech analysis system that is in development. In the process you will learn to recognize the many ways in which a word or sound can vary in different contexts, and why this is important for understanding human speech processing, as well as for improving automatic speech recognition systems, and potentially designing interventions for speakers who are experiencing speech difficulties due to disease, injury or developmental delay.

The position involves 20 hours per week of training during the 4 weeks of IAP, and then 10 hours per week during the spring term, applying the training to labelling the acoustic cue patterns in samples of speech from many different speakers and several different domains. Possibility of advancing to coding modules for the developing speech analysis system, in the later stages of the project. Pays $12 per hour.

Prerequisites: some background in phonetics/phonology, machine learning or psycholinguistics desirable but not required

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


11/16/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Ahmed Ghoniem

Project Title: UROP for renewable energy and rural development

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

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

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


11/16/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Langer

Project Title: Gastroretentional Device for Prolonged Release of Artemisinin

Project Description: Gastrorectional Device provides a potential solution to prolonged release of orally adminstrated drugs. We develop drug loading, highly tough hydrogels that will be able to retain in the gastric cavity for at least 3 days. The prototype will eventually be used to develop oral formulation of artemisinin - an first line anti-malaria drug.

Contact Name: Heng Zhang
Contact Email: hengzhan@mit.edu


11/15/16
Term: IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Outdoor VR experience

Project Description: We are working on an outdoor location-based Virtual Reality experience that will allow one or more users to be present in the same physical and virtual space for a shared experience. Developing the system involves tasks which will be assigned based on aptitude and interest including but not limited to editing the existing VR world, creating 3D animations, exploring outdoor position tracking with devices such as the Google Tango tablet or the HTC Vive. If interested, please send an email, providing a short description of why you are the right candidate, stating relevant past or ongoing work (include links if applicable).

Prerequisites: We are looking for medium level skills in 3D modeling animation (Blender, Maya etc) and various levels of programming experience in Unity. Experience with HTC Vive would be a plus.

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


11/15/16
Term: IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Redirected Walking in VR

Project Description: We are working on a few redirected walking techniques in VR that allow users to explore immersive virtual spaces like buildings or even whole cities on foot in head-mounted displays. Redirected Walking works by imperceptibly rotating the virtual scene about the user, such that the user thinks they are walking in a straight line in VR when they are actually walking around in circles in the real world. Developing the techniques involves working in Unity with the HTC Vive. If interested, please send an email, providing a short description of why you are the right candidate, stating relevant past or ongoing work (include links if applicable).

Prerequisites: We are looking for various levels of programming experience in Unity. Experience with HTC Vive would be a plus.

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


11/15/16
IAP-Spring 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab Fluid Interfaces Group
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Hyper-personal Cues: Emotional Beasts

Project Description: Virtual reality at its current condition can bring people around the world and re-localize them in digital space to a near proximity. However the actual experience and the feeling of being in the same room with other people are quite not there yet. Hyper-personal cues, looks to explore computer mediated communication to achieve greater levels of intimacy in VR, through the use of physiological data we explore new representation of what it means to bring this type of informational data into a virtual avatar.

The specific focus of this UROP project is to assist with the development c++ or blueprints pipelines to bring sensor data into Unreal, develop responsive particle systems driven avatars.

Prerequisites: We are looking for medium-high level skills in 3D game engine (unreal engine preferred, unity ok) and experience with particle systems. Prior experience with physiological data processing is a plus. We are interviewing students who are interested in working for the IAP and Spring semester.

Hours per week: 20

Contact: Guillermo Bernal (gbernal@media.mit.edu) You are expected to show previous projects or portfolios that showcase your skills for this project.


11/15/16
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Ahmed Ghoniem

Project Title: UROP for renewable energy and rural development

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

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

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


11/9/16
Term: IAP - Spring 2017 - Summer 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Ron Weiss

Project Title: 2017 International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition

Project Description: We're looking for applicants to join the 2017 MIT iGEM team. iGEM is a collegiate synthetic biology competition: you will join a team of MIT students in designing and building synthetic gene networks to solve real-world problems, then present your results at the iGEM International Jamboree next fall.  Past MIT projects have involved topics ranging from biomaterials to DNA computing, Alzheimer's disease to biofuels and endometriosis.

The primary commitment is the summer of 2017, though there are (optional but highly recommended!) components over IAP and Spring 2017.

More info: http://igem.mit.edu

Prerequisites: Enthusiasm for programming cells with DNA!  We'll teach you all the skills you need.

Contact: Brian Teague (teague@mit.edu)


11/9/16
Term: IAP
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Alan Berger

Project Title: The Edge Condition

Project Description: This research project examines the various  edge  conditions in urban areas globally and theorizes design of these  edges  for future cities. The final product of the research is a book, first authored by Prof. Alan Berger. The chapter of the book that this position is for deals with green belts in cities globally. The chapter explores existing green belts established for urban growth control, ecosystem services, and provision of recreational space, in cities all over the world. It uses a comparative case study analysis to identify typologies and patterns that yield lessons for future green belts globally.   The UROP position will focus on the green belt case studies   gathering relevant data including historic green belt designations, critiques of the green belt, and satellite images of the city, and using the data to perform robust analytical studies of each of these case studies. This would include data mining to find historic maps of green belt designations, using satellite images to trace urban development within the designated green belt, and performing quantitative analysis of the various parameters associated with these green belts. Cases include international cities of various scales.  The UROP on the project will gain technical skills of working with softwares such as Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and/or AutoCAD, as well as be part of a team thinking critically about green belt policy throughout the world. They will gain experience working on a book project with an inter-disciplinary team to understand the process of research qualitative and quantitative.

Time: Up to 20 hours a week   

Prerequisites:

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


11/9/16
Term: IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Douglas P. Hart

Project Title: Multispectral Camera Characterization and Calibration

Project Description: Multispectral cameras can be used to detect crop health by measuring the reflectance of light off of a plant at different wavelengths. To maximize the precision of this measurement, the camera must first be characterized and calibrated.  This project involves the design and manufacture of small point-source light boxes (probably using a laser cutter, soldering iron, etc.), and then the testing and calibration of the camera in the Edgerton Center Strobe Lab, using manufacturer's software and the camera's C++ programming interface.

Prerequisites: some fabrication and programming experience

Contact Name: Mark Jeunnette
Contact Email: mnj@mit.edu


11/9/16
Term: Fall
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Bevin Engelward

Project Title: Create animations to show how CRISPR works

Project Description: The Engelward laboratory has previously created animations to explain how double strand breaks are repaired in mammalian cells. See http://web.mit.edu/engelward-lab/animations.htm  These animations are very popular, but their impact could be far greater if they were used to show how CRISPR works. The original CRISPR approach, and the most widely used, involves the creation of a double strand break. The reason CRISPR works is because it exploits the normal responses that cells have to double strand breaks.  For this project, the goal is to create new animations that clearly show the various ways that CRISPR can be used to modify genomic sequences. This is a much needed tool for both academia and industry. At present, there is nothing like it, making this an exciting opportunity.  Ultimately, successful animations will be linked to many websites in order to make them broadly useful.

Prerequisites: Need to have the ability to create simple animations. In this case, the animations can be simple line drawings such as those made by Justin Loh and Bevin Engelward http://web.mit.edu/engelward-lab/animations.htm or animations can be hand drawn

URL: http://web.mit.edu/engelward-lab/animations.htm

Contact Name: Bevin P Engelward
Contact Email: bevin@mit.edu


11/9/16
Term: Fall
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Bevin Engelward

Project Title: Website and App for Disaster Preparedness in Boston

Project Description: What would happen if there were a flood in Boston?? Are we ready?  What can MIT do to help?  The goal of this project is to create a website and an app that makes it possible for disaster response personnel (firefighters, police etc.)  to find MIT researchers who can help in the case of a large-scale disaster.   Make a difference - save lives through preparation.

Prerequisites: ability to create an advanced website with data bases and ability to create an app

Contact Name: Bevin P Engelward
Contact Email: bevin@mit.edu

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