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.

6/26/15
Fall 2015-IAP 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Oral Buyukozturk

Project Title: Innovative Material Development for Sustainable Structures

Project Description: UROP students would be involved in the development of engineered construction materials, specifically for concrete for durability in aggressive environment by incorporating into the concrete mix various additives that can be obtained from sustainable local raw material resources. This work represents innovative material development part of an umbrella project dealing with the sustainability of the built environment. Concepts of nano-engineered construction materials along with various micro-characterization techniques as well as computational modeling methods will be introduced.

Specific Tasks: The candidate will have opportunities to work in any or combination of following areas given below: Preparation of cement paste and concrete using sustainable additives in Portland based cement systems. Involvement in preparation of samples for micro-characterization. Various micro-characterization techniques may include X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform Infra-red microscopy, Raman Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy of cementitious materials Opportunity to work and interact with the project team involved in computational modeling of cementitous gels and incorporation of experimental data in those models. Undergraduate students at all levels including freshmen are encouraged to apply. For successful candidates limited funding may be available from the project.

Note: Freshman students are encouraged to apply. Previous UROP Cheahuychou Mao won the distinguished freshman award for research.

Department Webpage: https://civil.mit.edu/cheahuychou-mao-receives-award-distinguished-achievement-research

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

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


6/22/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC)
Faculty Supervisor: Anthony Sinskey

Project Title: A Literature Search on the Effectiveness of Flash Pasteurization, UV-C Irradiation and Nanofiltration for the Inactivation and Removal of Viruses and Bacteria

Project Description: Join the Center for Biomedical Innovation and learn about the biopharmaceutical industry and a number of new technologies that the industry is beginning to implement! Preventing a viral or bacterial contamination in cell culture operations of biopharmaceutical manufacturing is of utmost importance. Such a contamination can cost tens of millions of dollars and impact the ability of patients to receive drugs. Biopharmaceutical companies are exploring a number of technologies that inactivate or remove viruses and bacteria to reduce the likelihood of a contamination. The MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation has a collaborative research project with 25 biopharmaceutical manufacturers and technology & service providers exploring the effectiveness of these technologies.

Responsibilities: The project will involve searching for and reading literature from a wide array of online sources and electronic databases, performing content analysis, creating a structured database of articles, and writing a basic review of relevant articles.

Prerequisites: Interest in the biomanufacturing industry. Start as soon as possible. Commit to 15 20 hours per week. End date is negotiable.

URL: http://cbi.mit.edu/research-overview/caacb/

Contact Name: Flora Keumurian
Contact Email:florak@mit.edu


6/17/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Tuneable and computationally controllable organic materials

Project Description: Our research involves the development of interactive, material systems that enable humans to interact with digital and biochemical information. Currently, we are developing materials that can change from smell to no smell, pink to blue and from one shape to another. We are seeking a collaborator / or UROP that can test and characterize new organic chemistries and convert them into dynamic, interactive material applications.

Prerequisites: We are seeking a collaborator / or UROP with a background in materials science, chemistry(organic, volatile or electrochemical knowledge), mechanical engineering, EECS (hardware, user interface software experience), or architecture/design. Experience with testing and measurement processes and equipment, or hands-on Making is a plus.

URL: tangible.media.mit.edu

Contact Name: Viirj Kan
Contact Email: Viirj@media.mit.edu


6/17/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Designing and making (micro)fluidic devices for interactive games

Project Description: We are making interfaces that enable people to interact with biochemical systems through fluidic devices. Some applications that you will explore through this UROP includes utilizing microfluidics to make displays, sensors, actuators for interactive play scenarios. The focus of this UROP position will be designing, fabricating, testing and digitizing microfluidic geometry and fluid flows. Creative ideas and game design skills will be encouraged. IMPORTANT! As the UROP deadline is due soon (6/18), please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested. Thank you.

Prerequisites: We are seeking a UROP or collaborator who is either has a mechanical engineering, EECS (with hardware + software experience), architecture/design, material science, chemistry (with organic or electrochemical expertise), or food science background. A plus if you have had hands-on experience with micro/nano fabrication, CAD, Adobe Creative suite, soft lithography, lasercutting, 3d printer or relevant fabrication techniques.

URL: tangible.media.mit.edu

Contact Name: Viirj Kan
Contact Email: Viirj@media.mit.edu


6/16/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: 11/Senseable City Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Carlo Ratti

Project  Title: Airscapes Singapore - Environmental Data Collection Using a Mobile Distributed Network of Wireless Sensors - Exposure Science Study

Project Description: Air pollution on an urban scale has typically been measured using sparsely located high fidelity air quality monitoring apparatus. These are expensive to set up and run, and only yield data in low spatial resolution. As a result of these limitations, pervasive (or ubiquitous) air quality sensing i.e. using a larger number of smaller sensors in space, has gained traction in recent times. The SENSEable City Lab recently initiated a project in Singapore entitled Airscapes Singapore. Please see this URL -137.132.22.82:15059. As part of this project, an air quality monitoring campaign was conducted using a distributed network of environmental sensors at a 'Singapore Smart Nation' site. 40 participants were recruited to collect data using portable air quality sensors and smart phones. A web application displayed the data collected in real-time.

The UROP candidate will analyze the data collected from this network of sensors. The data will be processed and analyzed in the context of a human exposure study: comparing personal exposure to air pollution as determined by the network of sensors to air pollution exposure as measured by the relevant district-level municipal monitors. There is also a possibility of doing other types of statistical analyses e.g. with the aim of identifying optimal sampling locations and sampling frequencies from the network of sensors, or other types of complex analyses to be determined. The research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Marguerite Nyhan and Prof. Rex Britter. 

Requirements:
- Interest in environmental engineering or environmental epidemiology (i.e. the impact of air pollution on human health).
- Enthusiam in data analytics for application in urban environmental research. Experience in working with data-sets and in statistical methodologies.
- Ability to program in either Matlab, Python or R. Some experience in working with SQL/PostgreSQL or other (not essential).
- Strong reporting skills as we are aiming for a top-tier scientific journals with the research.

Contact: Dr. Marguerite Nyhan (mnyhan@mit.edu) or Prof. Rex Britter (rexb@mit.edu)


6/16/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: 11/Senseable City Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Carlo Ratti

Project  Title: The Impact of Haze Air Pollution Episodes on Human Mobility Patterns and Exposure in Megacities

Project Description: Air pollution is recognized by the World Health Organization to be the world's leading environmental and human health threat. Population exposure to air pollution on an urban scale has typically been assessed using sparse or low resolution air quality data and has not characterized or accounted for spatio-temporal population mobility patterns in quantifying population exposure. Spatial and temporal human mobility patterns can be characterized based on mobile phone trace data or Call Detail Records (CDRs) as they are termed. We present a new perspective on population exposure to air pollution where exposure is quantified using not only spatio-temporal variations in air pollution levels but also in terms of spatio-temporal population mobility profiles as determined by CDRs. The first aim of this study is to investigate the impact of haze pollution episodes on human behavior in cities. This will be achieved by analysing human mobility patterns using CDR data during haze and non-haze days. We will then examine whether the behavioral change actually leads to more or less air pollution exposure than would occur if the population followed their regular mobility pattern. We will examine a case study for Singapore or another relevant city. The research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Marguerite Nyhan and Prof. Rex Britter.  

Requirements:
- Interest in environmental epidemiology (i.e. the impact of air pollution on human health).
- Enthusiam in big data analytics for application in urban environmental research. Experience in working with large data-sets and in statistical methodologies.
- Ability to program in one of the following: Matlab, Python or R. Some experience in working with SQL/PostgreSQL or other (not essential).
- Strong reporting skills as we are aiming for a top-tier scientific journals with the research.

Contact: Dr. Marguerite Nyhan (mnyhan@mit.edu) or Prof. Rex Britter (rexb@mit.edu)


6/16/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: 11/Senseable City Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Carlo Ratti

Project Title: Modelling Complex Patterns of Human Mobility

Project Description: Human mobility data obtained from position tracking sensors have opened a new avenue for doing quantitative research on the spatial and temporal human mobility patterns in a way which has never been possible before. Modelling and understanding these patterns enable us to propose smart strategies with the aim of improving the quality of urban life, reducing the costs associated with the different modes of transportation in a city and finally increasing the overall energy efficiency by turning the cities into smart environments which are equipped with efficient sensing-actuating systems.

Here at Senseable City Lab, we are studying several types of these spatio-temporal datasets obtained from mobile technologies such as cell phones. Building upon an inter-disciplinary approach encompassing computer science, physics, applied mathematics, our aim is to construct consistent models in order to better understand complex systems of human mobility at regional, urban and global scale. On the other hand, we would like to quantify impacts of using smart vehicle sharing/dispatching strategies and predict relevant future trends in this area to find new solutions for important urban-scale challenges. Finally, we are aiming at discovering underlying universal laws which may exist in this emerging field of “science of cities”.

Project Tasks:
• Working with and analyzing various datasets accessible to our lab, and extracting relevant subsets for use in various Senseable City Lab’s projects.
• Constructing and implementing network and transport models using python programming language, in collaboration with other team members and under the supervision of your supervisor.
• Frequent participation in weekly and bi-weekly lab meetings

Requirements:
• Being very enthusiastic about working with large datasets and collaborating with your supervisor and other lab members to construct useful mathematical/network models with global impact
• Strong communication (verbal, written) and team-work skills
• Fluency in python programming language
• Students with strong math (graph science and statistics), computer science, and physics backgrounds will be given priority

Contact (supervisor): Please send your CV along with a cover letter to: Mohammad Vazifeh (mvazifeh@mit.edu)


6/16/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: 11/Senseable City Lab
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Carlo Ratti

Project Name: CityFlows

Description: The Senseable City Lab is partnering with Philips to research the applications of distributed sensors embedded in smart street lighting systems. We are studying and developing urban applications using omnidirectional cameras and computer/machine vision along with a larger array of additional digital sensors that can help us map urban flows in real time. The goal is to transform current lighting systems into pervasive data collectors and create a distributed urban intelligence platform useful for planning purposes.

Role/Tasks: Development of back-end functionality for the system including:
- Development of file system
- Computer/machine vision techniques for monitoring urban scenes
- Optimization of video compression algorithms and net code for wireless transmission
- Fabrication of functional deployable camera prototypes
- Integration of hardware architecture
- Design and fabrication of prototype casing shell

Contact Person: Ricardo Alvarez / jraf@mit.edu


6/16/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Sep Kamvar

Project Title: You Are Here

Project Description: The Social Computing group at the Media Lab is looking for motivated UROP students to participate in research at the intersection of sociotechnical innovations, and social design and computation. Our lab strives to design, build, and deploy scalable social interventions that are data-driven. Project: The You Are Here project (http://youarehere.cc/) is a growing collection of interactive maps and data visualizations that depict social issues and the microstories of our life using data. 1. You will help scale from existing visualization prototypes to generalized toolkits or services for visualizating data for arbitrary locations 2. You will help design and code visualizations for two exhibitions coming up in this fall in California.

Skills: Data mining, analysis, and visualization skills. Prior experience with data mining techniques, web crawler APIs (generally Python), D3, and Javascript is what we are looking for in a candidate. If you lack some of these skills, we expect you to pick up within a very short period. Interest and motivation to analyze and visualize geo-located data. Send us your resume with a brief introduction of how your skills fit into the above description of the projects.

Prerequisites: python, d3, visualization experience

URL:http://youarehere.cc

Contact Name: Stephen Rife, srife@mit.edu


6/16/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ramesh Raskar,

Project Title: Oral health imaging and field studies

Project Description: This project involves prototyping a hand-held device to visualize and quantify oral health of individuals using cutting-edge medical diagnostics and imaging technology. At a higher level, this project is focused on executing a population-wide cross-sectional study of oral health.

Project Goal: Prototyping and designing clinic-ready hardware for oral imaging and diagnostics, cross-sectional and trend analysis of oral health across a large population.

Candidate Role: The student will play a key role in prototyping various iterations of the hardware. This would include CAD, 3D printing, basic electronics. Basic experience with CAD, Arduino and MATLAB is necessary. The project will include a large optics and clinical component - a background or interest in these fields is a plus.

Funding: Lab-sponsored research funds are available to support this project.

Contact: Interested students should contact Shantanu Sinha (sssinha@mit.edu) and Pratik Shah (pratiks@media.mit.edu). Include a resume, a list of relevant courses, CAD samples or other relevant data form previous projects.


6/11/15
Summer 2015
Department: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Thin Stiffness Changing Material

Project Description: Tangible Media Group at MIT Media Lab is recruiting a UROP or collaborator with fabrication and/or mechanical engineering background. We are working on a research project, "Thin Stiffness Changing Material". Application spans from haptic display, wearable devices, robotics, to shape-changing furnitures. Now we are trying to find a collaborator to help us to improve the material performance and build more applications. more information about the research please see http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/jamsheets/ We expect you are equipped with hands on skills in fabrication, especially laser-cut machine or 3d-printing. If you are looking for a project to collaborate during the summer, this can be a nice fit. It can also be a paid position. IMPORTANT! As the UROP deadline is due soon (6/18), please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested. Thank you.

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

Contact Name: Jifei Ou
Contact Email: jifei@mit.edu


6/11/15
Summer 2015
Department: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Elazer Edelman

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

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

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

Commitment: 40 hrs/week required for the summer.

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

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


6/11/15
Summer 2015
Department: Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Faculty Supervisor: Suzanne Lane

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

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

Commitment: 20 hours or more per week during the summer.

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

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

Contact: Suzanne Lane (stlane@mit.edu)


6/11/15
Summer 2015
Department: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Amy Glasmeier

Project Title: Characterizing dynamic object interactions in autism spectrum disorders

Project Description: Seeking a UROP with programming and web development experience to work on creating web-based games and other multimedia learning materials for a new textbook on economic geography and energy systems. The textbook (to be published in print and online) is geared toward students seeking to understand and analyze energy markets and policy at the global and national levels.

This project is led by Professor Amy Glasmeier in Course 11. Professor Glasmeier runs the Lab for Regional Innovation and Spatial Analysis. She works at the intersection of academic research and applied economics and policy. Her projects include An Atlas of Poverty in America, and the Living Wage Calculator, which made headlines most recently when furniture store Ikea announced it would be using the tool to increase the hourly wages it pays its employees across the US.

The UROP student will be responsible for designing and building out web-based, user-friendly educational tools and resources, such as interactive maps, simple animations and web-based games.

Key hard skills:
· Experience with Javascript, HTML, CSS;
· Experience with data visualization (working knowledge of D3 useful, but could also be learned on the job);
· Experience and/or interest in working on UI/UX

Key soft skills:
· Ability to work in an multidisciplinary team;
· Ability to engage in problem-solving aspects of the project;
· Ability to meet deadlines and work independently

Contact: Please contact Ksenia Kaladiouk at kseniak@mit.edu if you are interested in applying or have any questions. Please include a current resume, any relevant work samples and a few paragraphs about your background and interest in the project.


6/11/15
Summer 2015
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Pawan Sinha

Project Title: Characterizing dynamic object interactions in autism spectrum disorders

Project Description: Difficulty interacting with dynamic objects represents a salient, yet understudied, feature of the autism phenotype. These difficulties can present grave consequences for autistic individuals. Motivated by a theory we have recently proposed (Sinha et al., 2014), the overarching hypothesis guiding this proposal is that difficulties in interacting with moving objects may be an outcome of impaired prediction of the trajectory of moving objects as they unfold over time. This project aims to investigate these abilities across a range of motor tasks to test whether the difficulties seen clinically result from an underlying impairment in temporal prediction. The project uses computer vision and gaze tracking tools to create novel experimental protocols that yield rich quantitative data regarding movement of individuals relative to the objects in the environment, besides being safe and suitable for a broad spectrum of children. Deeper knowledge of the issue holds relevance for making environments safer for autistic children and adults, as well as for designing interventions that acknowledge and address the underlying neurocognitive issue (e.g., prediction), and not merely the manifestation of the underlying impairment (e.g., difficulty in catching a ball).

Position Description: The UROP will contribute to programming engaging experimental interfaces that involve interactive feedback components. Additional opportunities for design of other experimental stimuli and analysis of EEG data are available depending on the interest/skills of the candidate. The student will work closely with others as part of a team, with substantial opportunity to work independently. This position is available for pay or credit. The deadline to apply through the UROP office is June 18; please contact us by June 15 if you wish to apply.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate will have previous experience in C or other programming languages, MATLAB, engineering, and strong analytical skills. Availability of 20-40 hours per week during the summer. Background in computer science, engineering, brain and cognitive sciences, or related field. Knowledge of Kinect, Phidgets, Tobii,SMI, or other eye tracking technologies, and iPad programming would be helpful but are not required.

Contact: Please e-mail Annie Cardinaux, Technical Associate at anniec@mit.edu. Include your CV and a cover letter indicating your availability over the summer, and your interest in and qualifications for the project.


6/5/15
Summer 2015
Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Greg Stephanopoulos

Project Title: Promoter library screening

Project Description: This project deals with screening a range of promoters that span a broad range of transcriptional dynamics for combinatorial metabolic engineering. Degenerated ssDNA promoter library will be incorporated into plasmid vectors and expression of marker gene will be quantitatively assayed with microplate reader. Screened promoter libraries will then be used to optimize the expression level of genes involved in lipid pathway or natural product pathway. Design of experiment principles will also be used to guide the combinatorial optimization process.

Prerequisites: basic biochemistry and molecular biology

Contact Name: Peng Xu
Contact Email: pengxu@mit.edu


6/5/15
Summer 2015
Department: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ali Khademhosseini

Project Title: Integrated physical sensing platform for microfluidic organ-on-chip devices

Project Description: Microfluidic organ-on-chip devices are emerging technologies for drug screening and disease modeling applications. They provide enabling platforms for mimicking microenvironment of human organs outside of body (in vitro). Therefor, monitoring and regulating of physiochemical properties of cell culture medium, e.g. pH and dissolved oxygen, flowing through different organ constructs, built in microfluidic bioreactors, is of great importance.

However, currently available sensors are not suitable for integration with microfluidic organ-on-chip devices for employing in long-term applications. In order to address this issue, our lab is fabricating customized optical sensors for integration with microfluidic chips. The sensors are made of optical section and an electronic circuit for signal readout and amplification.

Prerequisite and Requirements: The candidate(s) should hold background in electrical engineering and programming (e.g., LabVIEW, C/C++, MATLAB).

Contact: Interested applicants should send your CV/resume to Ali Mousavi (mousavi@mit.edu), with a brief statement on your background skills that particularly fit our requirements and your overall expectations. Please also include your availability in conducting the researches.


6/5/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Nittai Bergman

Project Title: Liquidity and Market Freezes

Project Description: We plan to study financial market freezes -- i.e. large declines in the volume of transactions in both primary and secondary asset markets that occur over a non-trivial period of time -- within an historical context. To this end we would like you to help us collect and analyze data on issuances of bonds and stocks in the years surrounding major financial crises in the U.S. Data on issuance for the earlier years will be based on Moody’s manuals and other historic publications such as the Commercial and Financial Chronicles, while modern data (post 1970) will be based on SDC Platinum as well as the Moody’s dataset on fixed-income and structured finance.

Prerequisites: None, though some accounting, economics, and/or finance knowledge a plus. Early applications will receive priority due to project urgency.

Remuneration: $18 an hour

Contact Name: Nittai Bergman
Contact Email:nbergman@mit.edu


6/5/15
Summer 2015
Department: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ali Khademhosseini

Project Title: Innovative 3D Bioprinting

Project Description: 3D printing has become an enabling technique in biomedical research over the past few years due to its capability to generate precisely defined spatial patterns from cells and biomaterials in building functionally relevant tissues and organs that can greatly expedite the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. However, currently available commercial 3D printers all have their limitations such as the types of materials that are printable and the capability in complex fluid handling, etc. To tackle these issues, our lab is custom-building a high-capacity 3D printer that are able to handle a variety of biocompatible materials as well as to conduct multiplexed fluid extrusion and mixing for advanced tissue bio-fabrication. In order to have a user-friendly interface it requires to integrate in existing software the new g-code instructions to control the printing system. Our final goal is to generate the correct set of instructions for driving the 3D printer from a STL/OBJ file created with 3D design software such as CAD and SolidWorks.

Prerequisite and Requirements: The candidate(s) should hold background in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biological engineering or related fields, good programming skills are required (C/C++, python). Long-term dedication of at least 6-12 months preferred.

Contact: Interested applicants should send your CV/resume to Shrike Zhang (yszhang@mit.edu), with a brief statement on your background skills that particularly fit our requirements and your overall expectations. Please also include your availability in conducting the researches.


5/28/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Faculty Supervisor: Ruth Rosenholtz

Project Title: Color Aesthetics

Project Description: We are building an online platform for color palette design and recommendation. Consider a scenario in which the user wishes to create or select a color palette for their visual design (poster, magazine cover, blog, webpage). We want to help the user to find good color palettes based on their design concept, principles of design, and preference. We have collections of the color palettes, and models for color recommendations. What we want you to help us with is implementing both the server-side and front end programs. Therefore, knowledge of web programming is required.

Prerequisites: Web programming experience, understanding DOM, PHP, Javascript.

Contact Name: Ali Jahanian
Contact Email:ali-design@csail.mit.edu


5/28/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Retsef Levi

Project Title: Assortment Optimization Algorithms

Project Description: What selection of products should an e-retailer display for each search query? Motivated by online and offline retail, this research work addresses a fundamental optimization problem, with applications in revenue management. Assuming that the preference behavior of customers has been estimated from data, the retailer needs to adjust his portfolio of products to maximize some performance metric. The UROP student will implement a new optimization framework supported by strong theoretical results, to assess its practicality, potentially building up on existing code. In the course of the project, the UROP student will gain exposure to combinatorial optimization, dynamic programming as well as revenue management applications.

Prerequisites: Experience with C++ programming language, parallelization techniques and efficient data structures is necessary, as we seek for a fast and efficient implementation of the algorithm, applicable to large scale problems.

Contact Name: Ali Aouad
Contact Email:aaouad@mit.edu


5/27/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: Amphibian: Terrestrial Scuba Diving Harness Using Virtual Reality (Course 2, 6, 16)

Project Description: This is the state-of-the-art next generation project at the Media Lab that aims to develop a full-body mechanical harness coupled with a head-mounted display that lets you experience the wonders of scuba diving on land. The mechanical harness would contain various sensors to collect the movement data from body, and pulleys, motors, pneumatics, and other actuators to give a 'feel' of being in the ocean, without actually getting wet. The primary aim is to simulate the drag, buoyancy and the viscous forces acted by water, using the mechanical harness and also the complete ocean scene on a head-mounted oculus rift.

Requirements: The student would work closely with the researcher and develop the full-body mechanical harness using an assembly of body wearables driven by electronically controlled pulleys, weights and pneumatic actuators. The student should have good experience with building dynamic, macro scale, heavy duty mechanical projects. Proficiency with building large movable robots is preferred. Experience with ocean engineering is beneficial. A junior or senior from course 2 with thorough hands-on experience would be ideal, but others are encouraged to apply. If interested, please send us an email, providing a short description of why you are an ideal candidate.

Contact: Dhruv Jain, djain@media.mit.edu


5/27/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Wanda Orlikowski

Project Title: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Organizational 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 various “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 considerable rhetoric, we know little about what happens once big data and analytics are put into action in organizations. Specifically, we have little understanding of the cognitive, cultural, and organizational issues around the implementation and use of big data and analytics, for example, the interplay among intuitive, experiential, and data-driven modes of decision making, and the possible tensions that may arise among these. The purpose of this research is to explore these issues.

If you are interested in getting hands-on experience in social science research and data analysis, this would be a great learning opportunity.

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

Position 1: Candidates with strong programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python), knowledge of intermediate statistics (e.g., regression analysis), and experience with statistical tools (such as STATA or R). Responsibility for this position include (a) writing code to collect data from a variety of sources (e.g., data on 911 calls and dispatch); (b) managing and analyzing data using statistical software. The ideal candidate is a highly motivated student with strong programming, data analysis, and data management skills and a sincere interest in the phenomena of big data and analytics.

Prerequisites:
- Programming skills with scripting languages (Python or Ruby or Perl)
- Intermediate Statistics (including STATA or R)
- Experience with Microsoft Excel (Macros, VBA)
- Good communication skills

Position 2: Candidates with good data management skills who can clean and improve the quality of both quantitative and qualitative data.

Contact: Please email Arvind Karunakaran (arvindk@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include the number of hours per week you can work, and your availability to meet in the near future.


5/22/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Elsa Olivetti

Project Title: Training Machine Learning Algorithms for a Materials Science Database

Project Description: We’re working on an exciting materials science project that involves large-scale data mining of scientific literature. This data mining effort is largely powered by machine learning algorithms which require ‘training data’ to learn parameters for classifying and predicting new data. The overall goal of this project will be to build up a set of training data to improve the accuracy of these predictive models.

Work with us, and you’ll get to...

• Work with machine learning algorithms
• Gain exposure to a variety of materials science literature
• Use industry-standard software tools (e.g. Github, TravisCI)
• Work closely with a grad student; collaborate using Git, Asana, Slack

We’re looking for anyone who enjoys a high level of autonomy and is up to the challenge of working on an interdisciplinary project.

Prerequisites: Some experience reading scientific literature; basic experience with command line interfaces (e.g. Unix shell) is a plus

Contact: If interested, please contact edwardk@mit.edu with a resume.


5/22/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16), Mathematics (Course 18)
Faculty Supervisors: Prof. Karen Willcox, Prof. Haynes R. Miller

Project Title: Crosslinks, the wikipedia for MIT, that aggregates learning material for topics taught at MIT and maps connections amongst these topics

Project Description: As an MIT undergrad, you’ve been there - scared when your 2.004 professor assumes you know how to compute eigenvalues and eigenvectors on the first day of class. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could review all the prerequisite eigenvalue topics in one place?

Crosslinks is that place - a wiki of linkages and learning resources for any topic, authored by students, for students. It’s a place where you can find useful links to techniques for solving specific problems. It’s a place where you can get links to videos that other MIT students have found helpful. Ultimately, it’s a place where you can see how all the topics taught at MIT are dependent on each other.

We seek an enthusiastic student interested in education to join the Crosslinks group. You are a good fit if you like to read up on classes, review learning material and write about concepts well.

Responsibilities: You will be an Editor of Crosslinks and have primary editorial responsibilities:
- Create new topics in new courses
- Write good explanations for topics
- Map how topics connect across the MIT curriculum
- Search for and tag good learning resources

You will also learn about and participate in:
- Education research: We will be conducting classroom experiments in the upcoming school year. You will help design experiments, interact with students, collect and analyze data and draw recommendations from your findings.
- Marketing research: We will be launching different marketing initiatives throughout the year. You will join the team across campus and spread the word to your fellow students.
- Technology: If interested, you can learn about software architecture and hone 6.006 skills on real-life applications.

You will work with Prof. Willcox, Prof. Miller and Crosslinks’ technology lead (Luwen Huang).

Commitment: Hours are flexible; 20 hours per week preferred for Summer and 10 hours per week preferred for Fall. Start date is flexible; preferred start in June with continuance through Fall 2015.

Contact: Interested students are asked to email Prof. Willcox (kwillcox@mit.edu) and Prof. Miller (hrm@math.mit.edu) with their resumes.


5/20/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC)
Faculty Supervisor: Leslie Bromberg

Project Title: Engine-based chemical reactors for distributed manufacturing of liquid fuels

Project Description: The goal of the project is to develop technologies that will permit small scale manufacturing of liquid fuels (for transportation and cooking). The project uses conventional engines as chemical reactors. We are investigating the possibility of using mass-produced units (engines) in small scale to compete against technologies that so far are economic only in large scale. The work is mostly experimental at MIT's Sloan Automotive Laboratory, but there is the possibility of doing substantial modeling if there is interest. Some mechanical and/or electrical experience needed, some programming experience helpful.

The program also involves faculty from the Mechanical and Chemical Engineering Departments.

Contact: Leslie Bromberg, brom@psfc.mit.edu


5/20/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC)
Faculty Supervisor: Leslie Bromberg

Project Title: High temperature superconducting magnets for fusion applications

Project Description: High temperature superconductors enable very attractive coils for magnetic fusion. We are looking for help evaluating some of the options using high temperature superconductors. The work involves computer simulation and design. If time allows, the goal would be to benchmark the models using a small experiment, operating at liquid nitrogen temperatures.

Contact: Leslie Bromberg, brom@psfc.mit.edu


5/20/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Gloria Choi

Project Title: Deciphering circuit dynamics underlying social learning using optogenetics

Project Description: Oxytocin is a key molecule underlying social behaviors. It is intimately involved with an array of innate behaviors from pair bonding, social recognition, sex, to aggression. In addition to innate behaviors, we have shown that oxytocin changes the fundamental processes that underlie associative learning. In order to decipher how oxytocin is involved in associative learning, we use a combination of techniques including behavior and optogenetics. Our current work is centered around the oxytocin system between the hypothalamus and the olfactory cortex. We would like to take on motivated enthusiastic UROPS with strong work ethic and interest in neuroscience. Initial work will involve technical work including the construction of optic fibers for optogenetic experiments. For dedicated students, we are interested in increasing the duration of the UROP period beyond the summer. We ask that you work for school credit 10- 15 hours per week during the academic year for at least one year if possible. This will be a very enriching experience for UROPs interested in long term research in neuroscience.

For more information about the lab please visit our website: http://www.gloriachoi.org/

Contact: If you are interested and want more details about the research/project, please email Michael Reed (m_reed@mit.edu) or Han Kyoung Choe (choehank@mit.edu) with your CV and a brief message about yourself.


5/20/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Karen Zheng

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

Project Description: This is a project focused on using big data to develop a risk management framework for detecting non-traditional adulteration of food and drug products emanating from the global supply chain. As supply chains have become more globalized, such adulterations have become a serious issue and have prompted new strategic initiatives at the FDA. The aim of this initiative is to incorporate a wide array of big data sources such as online news sites, blogs, and academic articles into a set of analytic tools and capabilities which will automatically detect, manage and mitigate the risk associated with instances of imported adulterated food and drug products.

Responsibilities: The project will involve searching for and collecting data from a wide array of online sources and electronic databases, performing content analysis, converting unstructured text data into a structured database, and performing basic analysis on the data.

Prerequisites: Must be able to read and type simplified Chinese at the level of a native speaker. A background in biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical engineering, economics, or political science is preferred. Intermediate programming skills for web-crawling and databases are desired.

Hours: Start as soon as possible. 15+ hours/week during the summer. End date is negotiable. Work can be done remotely as long as the UROP has internet access. Up to 6 UROPs are needed.

Pay: Project for credit

Contact: Please send your resume to Professor Karen Zheng, yanchong@mit.edu


5/20/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Ki Goosens

Project Title: The role of ghrelin in fear acquisition in humans

Project Description: Recent work from the Goosens laboratory suggests that ghrelin, a hormone made primarily by endocrine cells in the stomach, is a stress hormone that plays a critical role in the regulation of fear in rodents. The aim of this project is to reproducibly measure circulating endogenous ghrelin levels around the time of fear acquisition in humans. Components of the research involve the organization of the study visits and data collection in healthy participants. The UROP would be primarily involved in the recruitment of participants for the study, running behavioral tests, collecting hormone samples and data analysis.

Prerequisites: Interest in cognitive science is highly preferred. This position is available starting in June 2015. There may be opportunities to work on brain imaging subprojects in healthy participants and translation to rodents.

Hours: 12 hours per week for academic credit. Schedule may be arranged on appointment to fit with classes.

Contact: To apply, please send your CV and statement of interest to Maria Dauvermann (mariad@mit.edu).


5/18/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Ramesh Raskar

Project Description: How can we create cameras of the future? This project will be devoted to embedded system design of an ultrafast (billion-fps) 3D camera. This 3D camera uses "echoes" of light to reconstruct high-quality 3D maps of scenes. In this UROP, the student will work with a senior engineer to improve the design of a PCB that interfaces a lock-in CMOS sensor with a controller system (Altera FPGA). Following completion of this task, the student will derive a signal acquisition model that characterizes the system and work toward publication of research results.

Prerequisites: Skills in Verilog or PCB Design preferred. A consistent time commitment of 30+ hours/week during the summer. Finally, a passion to publish academic research.

About us: We are the Camera Culture group at MIT Media Lab directed by Professor Ramesh Raskar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA).

Contact: To join, please contact Achuta Kadambi (achoo@mit.edu). Welcome!


5/18/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Research Lab for Electronics (RLE)
Faculty Supervisor: Muriel Medard

Project Title: Reliability Driven Optimisation: when Boole meets Shannon

Project Description: "Reliability Driven Optimisation: when Boole meets Shannon" Faculty Advisor: Muriel Medard Mentor(s): Emanuel Popovici (Engineering, University College Cork); Contact e-mail: e.popovici@ucc.ie Research Area(s): Design for reliability, Boolean Networks, Error control coding, Boolean Network Coding, Decoding using faulty decoders. Traditional logic synthesis methodologies are driven by timing, area or power consumption constraints. However, due to aggressive technology shrinking and lower power requirements, circuit reliability is fast turning out to be yet another major constraint in the VLSI design flow. Soft errors, which traditionally affected only the memories, are now also resulting in logic circuit reliability degradation. The classical optimisation techniques are making in fact the circuit more error prone by reducing the redundancy. Current techniques for reliability improvement are based on local transformations and combinatorial optimization techniques. In this project we propose a systematic and integrated methodology to address and improve the Boolean Network reliability that are fundamentally rooted in Shannon s theory. The project will involve the design and evaluation of methodologies of synthesis tools for reliable digital circuits and will benefit from initial results achieved as part of the i-RISC project (www.i-risc.eu).

The ideal candidate will have interest in coding and information theory, digital logic synthesis, design automation for reliability and will have the opportunity to spend a 12 week internship at University College Cork, Ireland in summer 2015. All the costs will be paid.

Contact Name: Muriel Medard
Contact Email: medard@mit.edu


5/18/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Maria Zuber

Project Title: The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG)

Project Description: Explore the limits of life and build an integrated genomics platform for life detection beyond Earth. This NASA-funded effort, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG, setg.mit.edu), has the potential to provide the first direct evidence for life on Mars and on icy moons, as well as enable diverse environmental and clinical applications. This is an opportunity to 1) develop, evaluate, and integrate technologies for bioseparation and sequencing, including nanopore-based single molecule approaches, to 2) design, develop, and validate the instrument in the lab, and in the field at terrestrial analogs of Mars or other extreme environments. This position is based in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. You will work closely with the Science PI, Christopher Carr (carrlab.org), in association with the project PI Maria Zuber at MIT, the MGH Institutional PI Gary Ruvkun, and other academic and industrial partners.

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. 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.

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 May 25 to Christopher Carr (chrisc@mit.edu).


5/12/15
Summer 2015
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: The striatum is an important brain region for movement, procedural learning and motivation but its exact role and the underlying circuit mechanisms remain elusive. In this project we will manipulate parts of the striatal microcircuitry in order to test existing hypotheses about the way the striatum contributes to learning and behavioral control.

Description of work: Your work will consist of performing behavioral tests on mice and manipulating specific parts of the striatal circuitry using optogenetics. In following experiments we will combine this with advanced electrophysiological recordings to unravel the underlying mechanism.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated student who is serious and eager to learn state of the art neurophysiological methods. Work will take between 9 and 18 hours a week. We strongly prefer a student who wants to continue working on this project after this summer. Initially it will be on a voluntary basis but later credits will be provided.

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


5/12/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Tod Machover

Project Title: Music Technology Systems Engineering

Project Description: Opera of the Future is looking for developers with at least 2 years experience working in NodeJS/Javascript, Objective-C, and C++, especially with experience in embedded programming, DSP, and computer vision. We are developing a number of projects for large musical performance commissions for the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. There is the potential that successful candidates will be invited to Switzerland to support customized performance systems.

Students should be self motivated and able to work independently. Those who do well in Opera of the Future are creative at finding answers and solutions even when they are not sure exactly what path to take.

Research Roles: Maintain a large codebase for several upcoming productions and working with Opera of the Future researches to develop performance capture, data processing and control systems. Proficiency with version control (git) and bug tracking platforms such as phabricator is preferred.

Contact: Please e-mail Simone Ovsey (sovsey@mit.edu) with your resume/CV and related experience.


5/12/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Sai Ravela

Project Title: Cooperative Autonomous Observing Systems

Project Description: The MIT CAOS project (caos.mit.edu) seeks to develop UAS based solutions for environmental monitoring with active deployments at the Popocatepetl volcano and for climatological study of shallow cumuli. In this project we seek to develop persistent multi-UAS autonomous mapping methods by combining gathering data and models of the environment to sample more effectively. The research opportunity is for the design and use of a new hybrid-wing, hybrid-propulsion, and adaptive sampling, and mapping algorithms with current aircraft and the new ones. For those interested, additional projects in tracking Sea Lions is also a possibility. We are both a methodological and experimental group so that your interest at many levels can be supported towards the project outcomes.

The project is for juniors or seniors in nearly any department with an interest in flying, machine learning, controls, and aerodynamics.

Contact: Sai Ravela (ravela@mit.edu).


5/12/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Sai Ravela

Project Title: Animal Biometrics

Project Description: The MIT Sloop project is a leading animal biometrics research program that develops vision, learning and community based algorithms to aid conservation. It does this by recognizing individual animals from photographs taken by biologists in natural habitats (sloop.mit.edu). Many species are of interest, jaguars, whale sharks, salamanders, skinks, toads, frogs, mosquitos to name a few. We are looking for seniors going on MEng, seniors and juniors. The research opportunity or assistantship involves you adopting a species and developing an algorithm to recognize individuals using available tools and others you might want to create. We then deploy it for the user, and watching them create biological inventories to solve conservation questions is simply precious. Students have published in excellent journals and conferences in the past. Deployments being of immediate value, they have sometimes found themselves mentioned in popular press.

If you are interested in algorithms, interfaces or intelligence and excited about conservation, and are looking for support, please apply!

Contact: Sai Ravela (ravela@mit.edu).


5/12/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Department of Biology, The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Faculty Supervisor: Aviv Regev

Project Title: Functional interpretation of genomes using biological networks

Project Description: The rapid improvements in our ability to interrogate genomes for variation associated with diseases, has lead to an explosion in genomic data. Systematically assigning function to variants in these large datasets, and understanding how variation in different genes converge on functional molecular networks, remains a major challenge. This limits our progress towards biological insight and therapeutic intervention. The specific goal of this UROP project is to participate in a team that develops large-scale computational methods to functionally interpret genomic data using biological networks (i.e., networks in which genes are connected if they are functionally associated in some experimental system). A dozen biological networks exist in the public domain that have been generated by weaving together data from tens of thousands of experiments and the student will make quantitative comparisons of these networks. Moreover, he/she will incorporate these networks into a computational pipeline being built at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for genome interpretation. The student will also be involved in testing the pipeline and running analyses on new genomic datasets. A pilot version of the pipeline is already being used widely in the genomics community and the student will have the opportunity to interact with computer scientists, computational biologists, software developers and researchers in areas such as cancer and psychiatric disorders where the pipeline is being implemented. The student is expected to continue into the summer after the spring semester, and the project can lead to scientific publications.

The project will be mainly supervised by Kasper Lage (Instructor, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School); and co-supervised by Aviv Regev (Director, Klarman Cell Observatory, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Associate Professor of Biology, MIT).

Prerequisites:
- Highly motivated student in computer science, bioinformatics, computational biology or the likes.

- An interest in the genetics of common disorders and cancers.

- Strong computational skills in R, Perl, C++, Python or Java.

- The ability and will to work in cross-disciplinary teams.

- Knowledge about biology and genetics is a plus, but not a must.

Contact: Please send your application to lage.kasper@mgh.harvard.edu. The application should contain a CV, your availability schedule, and a brief paragraph on your interests and expectation of the project.


5/12/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Roz Picard

Project Title: TIMagotchi : a digital pet for your health

Project Description: We re building a tamagotchi-style virtual pet mobile application, in which you use your diet and exercise to care for your creature. We re engaging people in a unique, gamified way to encourage them to manage their health and stress. Upon completion we will be launching this game in our undergraduate community in order to understand student health and experiment with positive behavior interventions. Currently, we ve mocked up a web-app version which has been tested with 20 users using Javascript. It connects to the Fitbit API to collect exercise data. We d like to build out the back end (integrating more device support) and build an entirely new front end (a new animated pet, new game mechanics, and new interactions with your pet, with your data, and with others pets). We re still in the brainstorming phase, so you can help shape the future of this project. We believe we can make a really compelling game experience that can change campus health with your help. If you re a self-starting programmer who is interested in game design and health tech, please reach out to us!

Prerequisites: The ideal student would have a strong interest in health intervention and gamification, as well as:
-Cordova/PhoneGap Experience -(AND/OR) Front-End Experience in Javascript/HTML
-(AND/OR) Back-End Experience in Javascript/Node/DBs and RESTful APIs
-(AND/OR) Animation and Graphic Design Experience for Web
-(AND/OR) UI Design Experience -(AND/OR) is a Recovering/Relapsing Tamagotchi Addict

We re also open to going fully native (iOS or Android) with the application, if you have those skills. We re looking forward to hearing from you!

Contact Name: David Ramsay
Contact Email: dramsay@mit.edu


5/8/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ethan Zuckerman

Project Title: First upload: Finding the first breaking video uploaded on social

Project Description: The Future of News initiative, part of the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab, is creating software to help journalists verify the authenticity of videos uploaded to social media. Verification is hugely important because of the staggering number posts uploaded about important images of events, from the chilling to the amusing. Yet it can be incredibly difficult to authenticate these videos, greatly hindering journalists who are trying to inform viewers. Cases of outright fraud or deception are distressingly common. We are seeking a UROP to create a tool to help determine which viral video or photo was uploaded first, scanning social media sites ranging from YouTube to Facebook. Finding the first upload provides a vital piece in the verification chain that journalists create to prove authenticity. This is a joint project between YouTube, Bloomberg, and the Future of News. The developer would be working with a small group of advisors from all three organizations, and possibly others as well. The student would learn a lot about API integration, collaboration, verification, and journalism.

Prerequisites: The ideal student would have a strong interest in news and journalism, as well as skills in:
-Programming in Python and/or Java
-Experience in web programming
-Being able to work with public APIs of services like Twitter and Reddit
-Experience with data collection through scraping websites
-Experience in developing user-interfaces

Contact Name: Matt Carroll
Contact Email:matt54@media.mit.edu


5/6/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ethan Zuckerman

Project Title: Data Visualization Researcher

Project Description: We are seeking a UROP student to research data visualization tools, organize and add to our existing database, experiment with learning the tools and evaluating their documentation, conduct interviews with toolmakers and users, and help us develop a taxonomy and classification system for these tools. The ideal student would have a strong interest in data visualization, journalism & civic media, and democratization of technology. Our research seeks to come up with a systematic way of classifying and evaluating data visualization tools in order to guide practitioners in choosing data visualization tools and in order to create design recommendations for building new tools. You will come away with strong data literacy skills and a deep knowledge of tools and approaches to data visualization for beginners.

Prerequisites: This role requires good written communication skills. Experience with Wordpress is a plus. Technical skills desired include HTML/CSS, python, and basic data analysis or visualization.

Contact: Rahul Bhargava (rahulb@media.mit.edu)


5/4/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ethan Zuckerman

Project Title: Deepstream - a platform for curating livestreams

Project Description: The Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab is developing a new platform that lets people re-imagine the livestream experience. Based partly on FOLD (a reading, authoring, and publishing platform recently developed in the Center), Deepstream is a curation platform to present livestreams in context, and for connecting viewers to global events in ways that emphasize local perspectives and deeper engagement, while maintaining the experience of immediacy and authenticity that is at the core of livestreaming. We are looking for a summer UROP to work under the guidance our lead developer, with direction from our design team, to help build out the app and add and maintain features as development progresses. The work will include a mix of independent work and in-person collaboration with other members of the team at the Media Lab. We anticipate an average of 20 hours of work per week for the duration of the summer.

Prerequisites: The position requires a high level of programming ability, as well as experience with JavaScript or demonstrated ability to learn new programming languages quickly. Experience with Meteor is a plus. Much of the work to be done on Deepstream centers around the user interface, so attention to detail and ability to work towards a polished product is essential.

Contact: Interested students should send a resume and a statement of interest to Gordon Mangum (wgmangum@mit.edu). Portfolios, github links, etc. strongly encouraged.


4/29/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center:Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Alex (Sandy) Pentland

Project Title: Developing a behavioral data collection platform using customized hardware to study corporate innovation

Project Description: We are a joint Media Lab and Sloan team of researchers that are exploring how innovative teams interact to develop new projects and products. We are using technology from Sandy Pentland s lab to record real-time data on interactions between teammates to generate new insights into how different organizational practices drive team performance. Upon successful implementation, UROP will have an option to continue developing the platform, participate in planning and executing field experiments during the fall semester. We are looking for two developers:

Position #1: Arduino/Hardware developer

Description: UROP will develop the next generation of wearable device for connecting interaction data. This will include improving the prototype board design, enhancing Bluetooth capabilities to capture nearby devices, adding an ultra-low energy accelerometer and other sensors to capture new signals, and improving overall power consumption.

Required: Arduino or other lower level embedded programming

Advantage: familiarity with Low Energy Bluetooth, experience with PCB design, Python
_____________

Position #2: Android/iOS developer

Description: UROP will develop the next generation of wearable device for connecting interaction data. This will include improving the exiting board design, enhancing Bluetooth capabilities to capture nearby devices, adding an ultra-low energy accelerometer and other sensors to capture new signals, and improving overall power consumption.

Required: experience with Android development or/and iOS

Advantage: experience developing apps that communicate with Bluetooth Low Energy devices

Prerequisites: We are looking for students that are able to contribute a minimum of 10 hours of work a week.

Contact Name: Oren Lederman
Contact Email: orenled@media.mit.edu


4/29/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Laboratory for Information & Decision Systems (LIDS)
Faculty Supervisors: Professors Patrick Jaillet and Dimitris Bertsimas

Project Title: Simulating Manhattan taxis: Data-driven Online Optimization

Project Description: In 2013, the New York City Taxi Commission’s released the data on all yellow cab rides in the city. Our aim is to use this data to create and simulate efficient taxi behaviors and decisions. The UROP project will involve data-driven online optimization and computer simulation. First, the goal will be to extract the customers’ information from the dataset and to reconstruct the Manhattan network. Then, we will apply different strategies of the taxis actions on this network and analyze the results. The project will be supervised by professors Dimitris Bertsimas (Sloan, ORC) and Patrick Jaillet (LIDS, ORC).

Prerequisites: Experience in a programming language (Python, Java, C…). Knowing how to use R or Julia is a plus. Interest in Operations Research or Transportations is welcomed too.

Contact: Interested students should contact Sebastien Martin (semartin@mit.edu)


4/29/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: History (Course 21H)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Christopher Leighton

Project Title: China's Red Capitalists: Business under Mao

Project Description: China's resurgent reform-era economy has captured international attention since the 1980s; this project investigates the historical roots of this contemporary transformation by tracing the lives of prominent businessmen and women who lived through the founding years of the People's Republic, from 1949 to 1979. What was it like to live as a capitalist in an avowedly socialist China? How did China's business elite re-work their economic place and social position to transition from their bourgeois past to become accepted partners of a communist leadership? How did these people re-emerge and help guide China's reintegration into the global economy?

Tasks:
1) Collect biographical and memoir material written by and about Chinese business
2) Read, extract, and review primary material and secondary scholarship
3) Create mini biographies, genealogies, and life timelines of people and families
4) Analyze the above This task list is suggestive rather than comprehensive; UROPs are encouraged to suggest other work of mutual interest that will advance the project.

Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of Chinese highly desirable

Contact: Christopher Leighton (cleight@mit.edu)


4/29/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisors: Alberto Cavallo

Project Title: Validation of online prices as a source of high-frequency real-time data.

Project Description: Online prices have been attracting a lot of attention in economics and finance as a source of high-frequency data for the measurement of inflation and other macroeconomic indicators (see bpp.mit.edu). A common concern with the use of this type of data is that relatively few transactions take place online, so it becomes essential to compare the product-level behavior of online and offline prices. This project will be the first attempt to do it on a large scale in the US. We will form a team that will visit a number of offline retailers (also selling online) and, using an android app that we developed, scan products barcodes, take a picture of the tags and record the offline prices. The resulting database will then be compared with the prices collected by the Billion Prices Project at MIT.

During the Summer, the UROP will have to:
- Visit some retail stores every day (excluding Saturday and Sunday).
- Using a special android app, scan the barcodes of some products in each store, take a picture of the tags and record their prices (the same products must be scanned the following days in each store).
- Make on-the-spot decisions about product substitutions, coupon treatments, etc.
- Calculate and analyze some statistics using Stata (Data Analysis and Statistical Software).
- Provide feedback and help us to improve the mechanism used for offline-price collection.
- Per day, we estimate a total of 2,5 hours as maximum, plus 1 hour for travel if the location is not within walking distance of the MIT campus (or the place where the UROP resides during Summer). We will be paying the transportation costs.

Requirements:
- Must have access to an android smartphone to install and use the data collection app.
- Data or Wi-Fi connection are needed to send the information (you don’t need to have connection at the moment of scanning because you can send the data collected later).
- Minimal commitment of 2,5 hours per day during the Summer.

Contact: Please send resume to Maria Bernarda Fazzolari (mariabf@mit.edu) and Prof. Alberto Cavallo (afc@mit.edu).


4/28/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Matthew Amengual

Project: GIS Analysis of Mining and Communities in Latin America

Large-scale mining presents both an opportunity and profound challenge for developing countries throughout the world. Mines are both a driver of economic activity and a source of intense conflict. In many cases, the short-term interests of mining companies, scarce economic spillovers from mining activities, and the corrosive political impacts of fiscal windfalls have combined to undermine development. Yet, the actions of companies, governments, and communities are not predetermined and, therefore, neither are the developmental outcomes. This project seeks to understand differences in the developmental impacts of large-scale mines in Latin America. The results will inform strategies employed by various actors to make extractives more likely to foster inclusive and sustained development.

As part of this project, we need someone who is already skilled in GIS analysis who can undertake a series of spatial analyses. These analysis will be key inputs into the broader study. The key qualification is GIS proficiency and an interest in development. In addition, basic Spanish language skills will be helpful as much of the data is from government sources and in Spanish.

Contact Name: Matthew Amengual
Contact Email: amengual@mit.edu


4/28/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Chemistry (Course 5)
Faculty Supervisor: Bradley Pentelute

Project Title: Automated Flow Peptide Synthesis

Project Description: The Pentelute group in Course 5 is seeking a motivated UROP to help develop the a next-generation flow peptide synthesizer in collaboration with Klavs Jensen's group in Chemical Engineering. This project is extremely exciting we have lots of interest from industry and we're making lots of headway in the field. We are looking for a UROP in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering to help out on various aspects of the project, ranging from data processing in Matlab to aspects of the mechanical engineering and chemistry, depending on your interests. The UROP projects will be coordinated by an experienced graduate mentor.

URL: pentelutelabmit.com

Contact: If you are interested, please send a resume and an introduction to both mijalis@mit.edu and dt3@mit.edu. We look forward to working with you!


4/28/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Mathematics (Course 18)
Faculty Supervisor: Simona Socrate

Project Title: SketchInput: an extensible graphical input and grading tool for online courses

Project Description: Want to break new ground in online education while applying your software engineering skills? Think it would be cool if students could sketch graphs of mathematical functions or draw forces on free body diagrams in their browser and receive instant, targeted feedback? We are developing an open-source graphical input tool which could significantly improve the effectiveness of online courses by permitting this type of free-form assessment. The tool will first be used in a free AP Calculus course offered on edX, but we are also designing it with extensibility in mind: by using a plugin-based architecture, we hope to enable the use of graphical problems in fields ranging from aeronautics to zoology.

This is a full-time summer UROP, with details based on your particular interests and experience. Some possibilities include:
- Creating new drawing tools or other client-side plugins to support a wider variety of problem domains
- Researching the dynamics of mouse-based drawing and developing algorithms to improve the feel and accuracy of mouse-drawn sketches
- Developing interfaces to make the tool accessible to less tech-savvy instructors
- Implementing real-time sketch recognition algorithms -- Working on issues surrounding accessibility and assistive technologies
- Improving the functionality and ease-of-use of the back-end grading libraries, or developing grading libraries for new subject areas
- {Your idea here?}

Depending on your choice of topic, you'll also gain experience with some cool modern tech: front-end code is written in ES6 (next-gen Javascript) and transpiled using Babel, with Karma/Jasmine for unit tests and jspm for browser-facing dependency management. Back end grading libraries are being written in Python and will ideally feature fluent APIs for evaluating student input.

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate would be interested in both production-quality software development and online education. 6.005 is preferred, but we'll also consider applicants without it. Front-end projects require either familiarity with core web application concepts (the DOM, events, Javascript/CSS, etc.) or strong software skills and a willingness to learn quickly. Back-end projects (e.g., developing grading libraries and APIs) require a good knowledge of Python and a knack for problem solving.

Contact Name: Martin Segado
Contact Email: msegado@mit.edu


4/23/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Engineering polymeric matrices for local delivery of chemotherapeutic agents.

Project Description: We are looking for one student to help with research related to design and characterization of polymeric structures for local drug delivery applications. The goal of the project is to carry out structural characterization and drug release kinetics of such polymeric films. Typical analytical methods for testing include SEM, HPLC, Fluorescent microscopy, Spectrofluorimetry, etc. Student is expected to run experiments and material characterization. Ideal candidate is comfortable working both alone and in a group, committed to timeline and is driven by the passion to make an impact in translational research.

Prerequisites: The candidate should have previous research experience in biomaterials. Candidates with experience with HPLC and release studies are preferred. Hours: Student can start as soon as possible. Full time for summer 2015 (maximum 40 hours per week). This project also has an option of continuing during Fall 2015.

Contact Name: Laura Indolfi
Contact Email:lindolfi@mit.edu


4/23/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Broad Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Lander

Project Title: Cell Fate Plug-and-Play: Methods and Mechanism

Project Description: Interested in stem cells? Want to explore new designs for cell fate conversion? Want to be free to try out your BOLDEST, COOLEST, CRAZIEST ideas? Selected students will work closely with a postdoctoral associate in the labs of Eric Lander and Rudolf Jaenisch on several projects related to cell fate conversion. Most importantly, we welcome creative, innovative minds and ideas – here, anything is possible and no solution too wild!

Prerequisites (if any): Imagination and passion! Strong work ethic and commitment to research. We are seeking a highly-motivated student who is willing to work full time during the summer and can commit to continuing for at least one year.

Contact: Jian Shu (jianshu@broadinstitute.org)


4/23/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Cesar Hidalgo

Project Title: DIVE: A platform for semi-automatic and exploratory data visualization

Project Description: Come build the next-generation of tools for visualizing and communicating data. The Macro Connections group at the MIT Media Lab is developing a platform for semi-automatically generating web-based, interactive visualizations of arbitrary datasets. We aim to build a human-centered tool that allows anyone, whether they're a journalist or a scientist, to easily create beautiful data visualizations. The project, the Data Integration and Visualization Engine, has been in development for over a year and is approaching a beta release in Fall 2015. We are looking for an undergraduate who wants to play an active role across the stack in realizing the vision for the tool and getting it ready to deploy by Fall. You ll be working in a team environment, in collaboration with corporate sponsors, to make a platform that is useful and usable. We are looking for someone passionate, energetic, and disciplined that ideally continues working with us past the summer. You'll be funded through the MIT Media Lab, but can work for credit if preferred.

Prerequisites:
- Strong web development background (e.g. building RESTful APIs, designing user interactions, implementing auth and sessions)
- Comfortable with Python and Javascript
- Knowledge of AngularJS and Flask, or a willingness to learn
- Experience with D3 is a major plus

URL: macro.media.mit.edu, dive.media.mit.edu, pbpb.co/dive

Contact: Interested students should send a resume, links to relevant work (code is best!), and a statement of interest to Kevin Hu (kzh@mit.edu).


4/23/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Meditating with Oculus Rift

Project Description: We are looking someone to build an immersive meditation environment using Oculus rift and spire. The environment should attempt to calm the user down and aid in meditation through the use of music, visual aids, respiratory monitoring and head tracking. The researcher should determine the best ways to direct novice meditators and the best environments for successful meditation and try to replicate this digitally. Feedback should be given to the user to aid them throughout the process.

Prerequisites: Programming Experience - Javascript (required), Unity (preferred)
Game Design Experience (preferred)

Contact: Niaja Farve (nfarve@mit.edu)


4/23/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Bruce Cameron

Project Title: Understanding the Intellectual Property Architecture of Software

Project Description:Within complex sociotechnical systems there are many different architectures (physical architectures, functional architectures, formal architectures, etc.). However, intellectual property (IP) architecture is a little studied form of system architecture. This is counterintuitive because defects IP architecture are just as likely to cause cost overruns or life-cycle issues as any other architectural defect.

The goal of this project is to develop a process to map IP architecture in software. Specifically, we will develop code necessary to scrape copyright notices from the source code of an operational Air Force flight simulator program. Candidates will have the opportunity to work hands-on with a multi-million dollar code base and provide feedback directly to the Air Force on the finding .

Position is for credit and available for Summer 2015 (flexible work schedule) with a possibility of renewal based on mutual interests.

Prerequisites:
-EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience.
-Candidates must have strong programming skills (specifically, MATLAB and C++ is required)

Contact Name: Chris Berardi
Contact Email: cberardi@mit.edu


4/23/15
Summer 2015
Multiple Projects
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Mark Goulthorpe

Project Title: Designing a Fabrication Facility/Logic for Robotic/Composite Housing Manufacture as a contribution to the SOLVE Conference in Fall 2015 (in the Make category)

Project Overview: Provide an explanation/background of your UROP project that includes with whom and where you are conducting research.

This is part of an on-going research initiative that looks to bringing innovative composite material/fabrication methods to permit a radical new housing methodology. This involves liaising with some leading composite manufacturing groups (principally in Rhode Island, a center of global excellence), so students will gain insight into a range of emerging material-processing logics. We have been building prototype buildings with them, and we are testing them for fire and thermal performance (with Worcester Polytechnic Fire Dept), as well as working out a series of design-to-build protocols with a group of ex-Intel programmers (Asitazz, SF): this will give students insight into emerging CAD-CAM logics. We have also been validating the environmental and economic advantages that such a new material paradigm might offer, looking to address the stringent need for housing globally that seems to conflict with mounting environmental concerns (with Stanford Enviornmental Engineering Dept).

Goals: But the prime focus of the UROP will be the design of a manufacturing logic for a factory in Brazil where we intend to roll out this new manufacturing method. This will be a facility that initially builds itself using this quasi-automated composite fabrication method, but then looks to enable non-standard yet mass production of a diverse range of building types. This will benefit from students who have decent CAD skills, and either architecture or automation/manufacturing aptitude. So the project requires a combination of imaginative and pragmatic design skills.

The ultimate goal is to have a comprehensive design for a new house-building method to be showcased at the MIT SOLVE Conference in Fall 2015, as part of the “Make” challenges: “How to House 10 Billion?” So the design will get good exposure, and may even get built!

Personal Role & Responsibilities: I will steer the design (as an architect), but I always look for initiative and self-motivation from UROPs: most especially we will be seeking expertise in manufacturing processes and liaising with groups who supply equipment into such automated production processes (and doubtless inventing processes with them). You should emerge with keen insight into composite manufacturing, and with an understanding of global housing/manufacturing/environmental issues.

We will visit fabricators in RI, and you should witness some prototype manufacture and testing. You will end up with a factory/manufacturing process in your portfolio that you have been instrumental in shaping, and some insight into emerging architecture/design processes.

Contact: Prof. Mark Goulthorpe (mg_decoi@MIT.EDU)


4/23/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Evan Apfelbaum

Project Title: Race, Gender, Differences in Negotiation

Project Title: Sloan faculty member and doctoral student seek UROP for credit during Fall semester of 2015 (with continuation into the Fall semester, contingent on excellent work). UROP student would serve as a Research Assistant for social psychological studies on a large variety of topics focusing on race, gender, and class in life outcomes (e.g., do women/ people of color receive worse customer service than men/ white people?), as well as how to get people involved in environmental issues (e.g., what makes people want to compost, how do people tell what is "clean" and what is not).

Seeking a student to conduct literature reviews, create stimuli, create and finalize online surveys to administer on online populations, extensive proof-reading, clean data and conduct basic statistical analyses, among other tasks related to the research projects.

Pre=requisites: Applicants must be highly motivated, highly responsible, very attentive to detail, creative, and independent. No prior knowledge of above topics is required. Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, online survey software (such as Qualtrics), statistical program R, basic statistical analysis knowledge is a major plus. Must be able to work at least 8-12 hours per week throughout the Fall semester. Preference will be given to those who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in psychology or organizational behavior, as well as those who are interested in continuing research apprenticeship until graduation.

To Apply: Interested students should e-mail Heather Yang at hjy@mit.edu. Your e-mail should include a copy of your resume and a brief note indicating your background, interests, year in school, major, GPA, and any relevant experience. Applicants should also include a Word document (or open source equivalent) with 150 words (or less) answers to each of the following questions: 1) How would this research assistantship help achieve your future career goals?; 2) What do you aim to get from this research experience?; 3) What makes you an ideal candidate for this research team?


4/17/15
Summer 2015
Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (LMP)
Faculty Supervisor: Brian Anthony

Project Title: Design and construction and instrumentation - tomographic ultrasound system for human limb imaging

Project Description: Ultrasound, an inherently safe and low-cost imaging modality, is used widely in clinical settings. The overall goal of this project is to collect volume ultrasound data on muscle and to guide the design and fabrication of a device to do so. To this end, we are working to build a tomographic ultrasound imaging system, specifically designed to acquire volumetric and quantitative data of a limb. Your UROP project will involve aiding in the basic mechanical design and CAD of different aspects of the ultrasound system, as specified by the research mentor. Some expected deliverables by the end of the semester include: (1) Design brackets to hold different ultrasound probes, including a clipping mechanism to allow straightforward attachment and removal of the probe, (2) Design and fabricate setup to allow for volumetric imaging of a human limb, and (3) Work on automation strategies for quick image acquisition.

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

URL: http://devicerealization.mit.edu/

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


4/17/15
Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Juan Pablo Vielma

Project Title: Wearable Devices and Worker Productivity

Project Description: Sloan professors Tauhid Zaman and Juan Pablo Vielma need a tech-savvy UROP to entrust with managing an experimental study they will be conducting this summer. The study is related to the new wave of wearable technology (smart watches, etc.) and will involve a series of experiments involving human subjects.

The position requires:
- familiarity with Python
- experience working with data and performing statistical analyses
- strong communication skills
- professionalism and organization skills for running a study with human subjects

The positions consists of:
- training to run a study with human subjects
- 10 hours of work per week for at least 3 weeks during the study
- follow on work analyzing the results of the study
- potentially work on additional studies conducted later in the summer

Contact: Please contact Professor Zaman and Vielma's research assistant Carter Mundell (cmundell@mit.edu) with questions about the position.

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