MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

Current Research: Project Openings

Below are currently advertised UROP projects available to MIT, CME and cross-registered Wellesley College undergraduates. All projects, regardless of mode (pay, credit, or volunteer) are expected to be worth MIT academic credit and be supervised by MIT faculty. Projects appear on this list in the order they have been received.

These projects do not represent all available UROPs as many faculty do not submit project listings for this site. Rather, they expect interested students to contact them based on their general research to discuss potential UROPs.

Available UROPs

UROP Project listings are posted for approximately one month before they are removed, unless we are asked to re-post

10/27/14
Fall 2014-IAP 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Aero/Astro
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Wesley Harris

Project Title: Local, Off-Grid Power Solutions for The Republic of Liberia

Project Description: About 2/3 of the population of The Republic of Liberia live in regions of the country that are not on the country s small power grid. Much of the power infrastructure outside of the capital city of Monrovia, is in a degraded or inoperable state. Rebuilding the existing infrastructure or extending the power grid in new, remote areas is costly and will take many years. The government is looking to identify inexpensive, off-grid power solutions to deliver energy to many remote and isolated regions of the country. We are seeking a UROP to help us survey potential technologies at MIT that can potentially help solve these problems quickly and at a low cost.

Prerequisites: Sophomore year or higher. Preferably Junior or Senior, with an interest in developing nations, energy, and low-cost emerging technologies.

Contact: Yonatan Tekleab ytekleab@mit.edu


10/27/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Jim Utterback

Project Title: Investigating the Ecology of Innovation

Project Description: Prof. Jim Utterback at MIT ‘s Sloan School of Management and Prof. Fernando Suarez of Boston University are pursuing a broad research project on “the ecology of innovation.” Questions being addressed in this work include: How do new industries begin? When do a variety of ideas become a concept for a new product, process or service? How are the building blocks assembled and brought together? What are the dynamics of transformation from novelty to commodity? Further, how are the boundaries of innovation and industry changing? When might one expect the convergence of separate functions, as in the combination of the telephone, camera, watch, music player and so into the mobile device industry? And what in general might we expect from the dramatic reduction in materials use in the provision of such functions: a pervasive movement from analog to digital, from real to virtual, from products to services, from ownership to sharing and so on?

One might consider each firm's investments and product introductions as experiments, which provide corrective and stimulating feedback to that firm and to the industry about product and market requirements. The earliest period in the development of a product line or industry, in which few firms participate, would necessarily be a period of relatively slow technical progress and productivity advance. Within the rich mixture of experimentation and competition at the start of a cycle some center of gravity eventually forms, usually in the shape of product standards or production practices. Before too long, the ecology of competing firms changes from many competitors to few. The bases of competition change radically, and firms are put to tests that very few pass. This pattern seems to occur repeatedly as in, for example, vacuum tubes, the transistor, and integrated circuits.

Requirements: The work required in this project is the documentation of a number of cycles of innovation and change with particular emphasis on phenomena at the beginning of one cycle and the decline of a previous one. Data are to be gathered at multiple levels; industry, firm, product design and product performance, variety and cost. Work to date includes data gathered on computer mainframes, minicomputers, the PC and mobile devices; and film, digital and cell phone cameras.

Deliverables: Data are to be gathered over a period of decades to a century on industry start-ups and other entrants as well as failures or other exits, industry and firm sales, product performance and cost. While some of the required recent data are available electronically, much of the desired data reside only in archival form, so this project will require much work with MIT and other local libraries.

Arrangements: This project may be pursued for creditor for compensation depending on the preferences of the student selected. We would prefer it be for credit during the spring term and payment during the summer, but arrangements can be flexible.

Contact: If interested please contact Stephanie Taverna to set up an interview staverna@mit.edu or 253-2676.


10/27/14
Department: Comparative Media Studies
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Bringing the wearable revolution to the work environment.

Project Description: How could wearable technology help workers in industrial plants increase the safety and lower the error margin in this type of dangerous and extreme environment.

Tasks of UROP: The student will work with us, helping to develop a design sensible suit and help us to represent ideas and data graphically at the user end and control room in conjunction with a developer.
Later on, we will develop the physical prototype, which will happen at the user end and control room. The student will research, collect and synthesize information on the best examples in the above area, as well as work with other team members to brainstorm and propose projects based on the researched cases.

Prerequisites: Adobe Suite skills, data visualization knowledge required. Experience in soft electronics/digital fabrication/smart materials is welcome but not required.

Hours per week: 12-15 hours/week, for credit or paid. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday, October 27. This is an ongoing project, if student’s interest aligns with the project, there is a possibility to continue on the project in the following semester.

Contact: Guillermo (gbernal@mit.edu) and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, samples of relevant work (portfolio of projects related to the above topics), and an up-to-date resume.


10/27/14
IAP & Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Laura Schulz

Project Title: Learning and Exploration in Early Childhood

Project Description: Our lab studies how infants and young children learn about the world. Specifically, our research projects investigate how young children learn about causal relationships through active exploration. In addition, we study other topics in cognitive development such as language and moral reasoning. We have a partnership with the Boston Children's Museum where most of our experiments take place. As a research assistant in our lab, you will be involved in the full research process, including recruiting families to participate in research, conducting behavioral experiments with young children, coding behavioral data, and building stimuli (toys!) for research projects. We are looking for UROPs who are curious and who would be comfortable interacting with children and their parents. For more information, please visit our website: eccl.mit.edu The lab is not accepting applications solely for IAP-- research beginning in January will continue through the Spring semester. Applicants solely interested in the Spring semester are also welcome.

Details: 9.00 and 9.85 are preferred but not required. Minimum requirement is 6 hrs/week, 9-10 hrs per week during IAP.

Contact: samfloyd@mit.edu if interested.


10/27/14
Fall 2014-IAP 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Research Lab for Electronics (RLE)
Faculty Supervisor: Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Title: Speech, rhythm and tongue twisters

Project Description: UROP project for Fall/IAP: speech, rhythm and tongue twisters Interested in speech? In models of cognitive processing? In the role of intonation and rhythm in human behavior? In this project we are studying what makes a tongue twister hard to say, because we believe that the answer will tell us a lot about the process of planning and producing speech. Our hypothesis is that word lists (like top cop top cop top cop) elicit different patterns of errors than sentences (like The top cop saw a cop top), because the planning processes for these two types of utterances are very different. The audio recordings have been made, and the project involves analysis of these recordings: learning to use a speech display tool called Praat (freeware for either Mac or Windows) to view and measure certain aspects of the recorded speech waveforms. You will learn how to use Praat, what speech waveforms and spectra look like for different words and sounds, and how to use acoustic data to test models of cognitive processing. Some experience with signal processing, phonetics or experimental design is desirable but not required; we can train you.

This UROP requires a commitment of 6-8 hours per week during the remainder of the fall term, and 20 hours per week during the 4 weeks of IAP. Pays $10.50 per hour.

Contact: Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, Speech Communication Group, RLE, sshuf@mit.edu


10/20/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Mriganka Sur

Project Title: Virtual Reality navigation system for behaving mice

Project Description: The Sur lab aims to elucidate the neural mechanisms responsible for visually-guided behavior in mice. We use a host of sophisticated imaging techniques, spanning from two-photon imaging of single dendritic spines and axonal boutons to populations of thousands of neurons in awake, behaving mice, to answer basic questions about how the structure and function of the nervous system gives rise to complex behaviors.

We are particularly interested in:
1) How learning modifies the representation of visual information in early sensory areas
2) How visual information flows between cortical areas to sustain short-term memory
3) The effect of active engagement on the processing of visual information
4) How reward expectation and value modulates encoding of visual information

We are seeking a UROP to help advance these goals by designing and implementing a MATLAB/Python-based virtual reality system. In this system, the movement of a head-fixed mouse on a linear or circular treadmill will be translated to navigation in a virtual environment as the mouse performs specific behavioral tasks.

Key requirements:
1) Solid programming background -- must be fluent in either MATLAB or Python
2) Basic experience in computer game development software (e.g., Unity, jMonkeyEngine, Unreal Engine 4).
3) Experience with 3D (e.g., Blender) and 2D design (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, Gimp) software.

Successful applicants will be able to work in a team, be highly motivated and willing to learn. EECS students (Course 6) are particularly encouraged to apply. Pay or credit is available. Immediate start date.

Contact: If interested, email Rafiq Huda (huda@mit.edu) or Rajeev Rikhye (rvrikhye@mit.edu). Candidates will be invited for an on-site interview on a rolling basis.


10/20/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Joshua Tenenbaum

Project title: How do we recognize faces when we only partially see them?

Project description: The Computational Cognitive Science group is looking for a UROP to help design, implement, and analyze web experiments studying how humans recognize faces when they are partially visible, when they are viewed from unusual angles and under unusual light. These studies are motivated by computational theories of object recognition, and thus involve exciting interdisciplinary connections between psychology, computer science, and neuroscience.

Prerequisites: image and/or video processing and experience with web programming (HTML, javascript).

Contact: please e-mail Ilker Yildirim (ilkery@mit.edu) with a brief description of your background and interests.


10/20/14
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 and for freshmen from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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)


10/16/14
Department: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Les Norford

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

Project Description: We’re developing an urban design simulation tool that provides climate-specific advice for cityscape geometry and land use to assist the development of energy-efficient cities that are also thermally comfortable. The goal is to create a stand-alone tool as well as to integrate the tool into umi, an energy simulation tool in the CAD modeling environment Rhinoceros. Once created, it will be a first of its kind to integrate energy- and thermal comfort- based concepts in urban design.

We’re looking for a highly motivated student who will be responsible for designing and implementing user interaction in our current desktop GUI. The program has been written in C# using WPF in the .NET environment. The second goal of the project is to migrate the software within Rhino – you will be working with our backend developer to design a user interface for our software that would fit into the existing design for umi.

Requirements: C# programming skills required. Experience in creating a Rhino plug-in using RhinoCommon preferred. Knowledge in energy simulations and interest in sustainable urban design are a plus.

Contact: If interested, please send an updated resume/portfolio to Aiko Nakano (anakano@mit.edu)


10/13/14
Department: Chemistry
Faculty Supervisor: Matthew Shoulders

Project Title: Elucidating the role of host cell proteostasis on buffering influenza evolution.

Project Description: RNA viruses like influenza rapidly mutate and therefore produce new mutant viral proteins. In order for the virus to be infectious, these mutant proteins must be properly folded such that they are functional. Viruses are minimalist pathogens and do not have their own protein folding and homeostasis machinery. We are exploring how components of the human hosts protein folding machinery influence viral evolutionary trajectories using deep sequencing of evolved influenza and HIV populations.

Tasks of UROP: We are seeking a UROP with Python experience to design and write a program to help analyze our sequencing data. This project involves aligning sequencing reads to determine true mutations, and subsequent alignment to the influenza genome to model how the mutations influence the stability/functionality of influenza proteins. There are also opportunities to participate experimentally in wet lab aspects of the project if the UROP is interested in both computation and the biological sciences.

Prerequisites: Python experience, some background in computer science/biology/biophysics would be helpful.

Contact: Angela Phillips (a_phill@mit.edu)


10/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab (MAS)
Faculty Supervisor: Ramesh Raskar

Project Description: Computer science meets fabrication in the exciting field of computational fabrication. This UROP would be focused on 3-D printing specific, computational structures that will be used in ultrafast imaging. This is an excellent UROP for undergraduate students who are looking to publish their research in top venues and continue to CS graduate schools and careers.

Prerequisites: Successful candidates should have experience or be willing to learn how to use 3-D printers.

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!


10/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Erik Brynjolfsson

Project Title: Automation and Jobs: Making Sense of Challenging Trends

Project Background: Rapid advances in digital technologies have profound implications for work. Popular wisdom says that robots are eating our jobs, but the situation is more complex than that. Many middle and low skill jobs have disappeared, contributing to increasing inequality, falling labor force participation and stagnating median incomes. Yet other jobs are increasing in demand, while still others are being created through new technologies. At the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, we are investigating the changes that have occurred in technology and jobs to (1) understand the drivers of change in job demand over the past two decades and (2) model how these trends may play out in the future. We are seeking two students to help us in this effort.

Project Description: Government agencies have documented the nature of specific jobs in great detail: requirements to hold different jobs, the activities performed in those jobs, and how many people have held those jobs. Unfortunately, many of these agencies have devised their own in-house methods of categorizing jobs, and even within an agency the categorizing criteria have changed over time. Since no single agency collects all of the information relevant to our research, and our period of interest spans longer than any single version of categories, it will be necessary to build crosswalks that allow the sources to be combined into a comprehensive dataset for analysis. The UROPs we seek will help to integrate and analyze datasets on occupations, skills, and industries as part of our research project. They may also have the opportunity to engage in qualitative text coding or online surveys to gather new data. The work can begin immediately, and is expected to run from Fall 2014 to Spring 2015. There may also be the possibility to continue working on projects for the Initiative on the Digital Economy in Summer 2015 or beyond.

Prerequisites: Deep experience is not required, but deep interest is; if you are passionate about the work, we can train you for skills that you may be missing. Ideally, we are looking for facility with Excel for building crosswalks, and potentially experience in using statistical analysis tools such as Stata or R. Students will need excellent English skills in order to work with data and job descriptions from US datasets. In addition, one of the datasets we may use is in German, so finding one student proficient in reading German would be a plus.

Contact: Interested students should send!
an email to Dr. George Westerman (georgew@mit.edu) and Erik Brynjolfsson (erikb@mit.edu) containing 1-2 paragraphs that explain how their background and interests make them a good candidate for the position. They should also include their resume, major, year in school, and GPA.


10/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: John Ochsendorf

Project Title: Structural material quantities & their environmental impact

Project description: Within the department of architecture, the building technology program has built a database of material quantities in building projects in order to quantify the environmental impact of buildings. The key question of this research project is “What is the embodied carbon for different structures?” The aim of course is to build literacy around weight of structures and their embodied carbon, by collecting data on the embodied carbon equivalent (Global Warming Potential, or GWP, measured in mass of CO2e/m2) for structures.

Three primary ways will conduct the research.
1) Collect data from the published LCA literature over the last few decades.
2) Collaborate with leading firms to build a useful database of their projects.
3) Create an interactive growing database (similar to a Wikipedia page) where others can input projects
to include thousands of buildings worldwide.

Inputs are the amounts of steel, concrete, wood, etc.; the specifications on the material compositions; the area (gross and useable floor area) of the building, the type of building, the year of construction, the location, etc. Calculations are the Carbon Intensity Factors (kg CO2 / kg material), considering the material specifications and countries. Outputs are the Global Warming Potential (kg CO2e/m2) of the buildings and graphs that comparebuildings with others previously entered in the database.

The UROP will work on displaying graphs of the results using different filters: for example, we can
choose to show only tall office buildings in the area around Boston. The interactive online tool allows architects, engineers and researchers to input their data in a database and compare with other similar buildings.

You’ll be doing:
1. Adapting the web-based interface for inputting the data into the relational database of building projects
2. Working on the graphical and interactive display of the results

Students and skills preferred: Students interested in this project are required to have knowledge in website design and programming as well as in working with relational databases. A background or interest in computer science is necessary. Familiarity with relational databases, extensible markup languages, Microsoft sequel server, .Net, Java & html5, Lamp, Wiki, MongoDB etc. are strongly
recommended. Skills in computer aided design softwares such as Rhino and Revit are a plus. Interest in Sustainable Design is also a plus.

Time: 5 hours/week

Contact: Catherine De Wolf - cdewolf@mit.edu


10/16/14
Fall 2014-IAP 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Dava Newman

Project Title: Pathways for the future Manned Mission to Mars: A Decision Making Web Application

Project Description: Recently, the National Research Council has published a report explaining the different pathways to Mars, committing the US into an ambitious space exploration program. This new and innovative report received a large interest in the Congress. However, further steps need to be made to increase the general public awareness about this ambitious report. Developing an interactive web application version of the report is a way to better promote the report, to take the public along for the ride and help the politicians decision making process. It is a very topical subject with the recent NASA commitment in commercial spaceflight and the latest success of space exploration. The web application is a unique opportunity to have a broad impact both among the general public and the politicians. The work for this project would be to help developing a prediction model of Mars mission through an interactive web application, using new visualization tool (like d3).

Prerequisites: Familiarity with web application programmation languages: JavaScript, HTML, CSS

Contact: Pierre Bertrand (pjbertra@mit.edu)


10/7/14
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Moshe Ben-Akiva

Project Title: Smart-phone based travel survey

Project Description: Traditional paper based travel surveys have many known issues such as trip under-reporting, incorrectly reported times, etc. In this project, we develop a smartphone based travel survey system, Future Mobility Sensing (FMS), that uses GPS/GSM/Accelerometer/WiFi data collected by the phones to facilitate more accurate data collection (see http://happymobility.org for an example). The system consists of a smartphone application that collects sensor data from the phones; a backend server that processes the raw data to infer users' stops, activities, and modes of transportation; and a user interface (web or on-phone) that allows users to validate their activities, and provide feedback. The FMS system is a comprehensive platform to facilitate study of users’ travel behaviors and it is being extended to collect travel well-being information, social interactions information etc.

We are looking for a highly motivated and proactive UROP who will be responsible for development of the FMS iOS app, and also take part in other activities related to the project. The range of responsibilities includes:

- Development and testing of the iOS application
- Programming and testing of other mobile sensing devices (e.g. GPS loggers, On-board Diagnostic devices etc.)
- Assist in the development and testing of other components (backend, web-interface) of the system
- Assist in user support for survey participants

Requirements:
- Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or relevant field
- 1-3 years of related working experience preferred
- Independent and self-motivated, yet able to work as part of a multidisciplinary team.
- Familiar with iOS development
- Experience with ruby on rails, relational database, javascript is preferred

Contact: Katie Rosa <krosa@mit.edu>


10/7/14
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lydia Bourouiba

Project Title: Interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission

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

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

A strong Physics or Math-Physics background and experience or courses in fluid dynamics will be also considered to be assets.

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


10/7/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Allan S. Myerson

Project Title: The Design and Build of a Miniature Processing Plant for the End-to-End Production of Active Pharmaceutical Compounds.

Project Description: The current paradigm in pharmaceutical manufacturing is dominated by the use of batch process engineering. Very recent work on the continuous processing of pharmaceuticals has shown that lower costs, greater flexibility, better sustainability and novel production pathways of drugs can be achieved. Miniaturization of a pharmaceutical processing plant for the end-to-end production of bioactive compounds provides a greater response-to-demand flexibility to supply urgent medicines for those in remote locations facing crisis such as in regions of natural disaster or war.

In this project, the student will have the unique opportunity to engage with a multidisciplinary team of mechanical and chemical engineers working on downstream unit operations. Electrical engineering development and application is necessary to achieve control of miniaturized stirred tank reactors, valves and pumping systems for continuous unit operations. In addition implementation of level sensors and concentration sensors with feedback/feed forward control will also be required. The implementation of microelectronic circuit engineering to minimize the scale of plant electronics will be of great benefit.

The project requires a motivated electrical engineering student with proficiency in circuit design and the use of LabVIEW software.

Position available for credit or pay (willing to commit 5-10 hours a week).

Contact: If interested, please send your CV/resume to Marcus O’Mahony (omahonym@mit.edu).


10/7/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Peter So

Project Title: Optical elastography of biological cells using quantitative phase microscopy

Project Description: Optical elastography is an emerging new field to non-invasively distinguish various tissue pathologies based on biomechanical properties. The Laser Biomedical Research Center (LBRC) at MIT is developing an optical elastography setup for applications ranging from label-free stem cell sorting to understanding the origin of cardiovascular diseases at single cell level. We seek an undergraduate student interested in developing a cell culture chamber with an acoustic transducer (for mechanical loading). This device together with a state-of-the-art optical microscope will be used for various biological studies.

Prerequisites: The student should have a strong foundation in one of the scientific or engineering disciplines, and fluency with programming in Matlab (or related software packages). In addition, the student must be self-motivated, and capable of working both independently and within a group. The student is expected to fully participate in LBRC group meetings, and will be directly supervised by a Research Scientist in the Center. Experience with optics is preferred but not required.

Contact: Dr. Zahid Yaqoob (zyaqoob@MIT.EDU)


10/7/14
Department: Comparative Media Studies
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Blending craftsmanship and technology: smart materials and digital fabrication for artisans in Tuscany, Italy

Project Description: Hand stitched leather, marbled Florentine paper, and wool textile are some of the products made by artisans in the region of Tuscany in Italy. With the advent of smart materials and digital fabrication tools, can we rethink the craft process and push the boundaries in the product design? What are the existing tools, and what new tools, fabrication methods, and materials can be introduced to artisans of Tuscany to enhance their creativity?

Tasks of UROP: The student will work on researching the potential use of smart materials and digital fabrication in the areas of leather, wool, and paper (both manufacturing process and consumer product). The student will research, collect, synthesize information on best examples in the above area, as well as work with other team members to brainstorm and propose projects based on the researched cases for a series of hands-on workshop with local Tuscan artisans. The student may travel with the team to Italy to organize and conduct the hands-on workshop with local artisans. Examples of possible research topics are use cases in conductive ink, flexible electronics/soft circuits, digital fabrication tools, conductive fiber, wearable electronics in the above mentioned industry sectors.

Prerequisites: Adobe Suite skills, knowledge and experience in soft electronics/digital fabrication/smart materials is a required.

Hours per week: 10-12 hours/week, for credit or volunteer. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday October 13. This is an ongoing project, if student’s interest aligns with the project, there is a possibility to continue on the project in the following semester.

Contact: Yihyun Lim (yihyun@mit.edu) and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, samples of relevant work (portfolio of projects related to the above topics), and an up-to-date resume.


10/1/14
Department: HST
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Roger Mark

Project Title: Development of a Sana Mobile health app for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Project Description: Write code that matters and make a difference in the lives of refugees! We are looking for passionate, motivated, and skilled Android or Django developers to work on a mobile health application to treat non-communicable diseases in the Syrian refugee population. The project will be deployed and piloted on the ground in a year. Opportunities for travel and publications in journals exist.

As a result of brutal fighting in the Syrian Civil War, millions of Syrians have been displaced from their homes and forced to seek refuge in the surrounding countries. This has led to a massive influx of refugees to countries such as Lebanon. With a population of only 4 million, refugees account for almost a quarter of the population, placing tremendous strain on the health system. Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are major sources of disability and death. This project seeks to improve care to the refugee population by developing and deploying a mobile health system that will guide doctors in treatment with a decision support system and provide consistent care across clinics in this migratory population. It is a joint public health project between MIT, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and the International Organization for Migration. This is a pilot study to test for efficacy of such mHealth tools, and if successful, the system may be deployed in other locations as well by the IOM.

Prerequisites: We are using the codebase of an open-source mHealth platform called Sana Mobile (http://sana.mit.edu) developed here at MIT that has been deployed in many countries around the world. It consists of an Android app frontend, a dispatch server communication layer built on the Django framework, and a data storage backend on Android with cloud synchronization. Previous experience with Android development or Django is strongly preferred and UI/UX skill is a positive. With satisfactory performance and 2+ semesters of involvement, there will be opportunities for travel and publication in peer-reviewed journals. You will also have the opportunity to work with international leaders in the field of mobile health and people involved with healthcare IT startups. If interested, apply for this UROP by sending your CV to tamhok@mit.edu.

Contact: If interested, apply for this UROP by sending your CV to tamhok@mit.edu.


10/1/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Renée Gosline

Project Title: Consumer Behavior ins Social Media

Project Description: Sloan faculty member seeks UROP for credit and pay for Fall semester with possible continuation in Spring 2015. UROP student would serve as a Research Assistant for studies on the effects of social media on consumer tastes.

Responsibilities include: literature review, collecting data from an internet site (data entry, coding), assisting with online experimental sessions, and preliminary data cleaning and analysis. Weekly time commitment will be 10-15 hours per week and can be flexible.

Pre-requisites: Must be highly motivated, highly responsible, and creative. Proficiency with collecting internet data and/or a statistical data package is a plus. Experience with Qualtrics, social media and/or Amazon Mechanical Turk is a plus.

Contact: Interested students should e-mail Professor Gosline at rgosline@mit.edu. Your e-mail should include a copy of your resume and a brief note indicating your background, interests, year in school, major, and any relevant experience.


10/1/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisors: Juan Pablo Vielma and James Orlin

Project Title: JuMP: software for modeling optimization problems in Julia

Project Description: From combinatorial problems like the traveling salesman and airline scheduling to convex model fitting in machine learning and statistics mathematical optimization is a broad field with many applications. JuMP, written in the numerical computing language Julia, is an open-source software package designed to make it easy for users to express such optimization problems using a natural, mathematical syntax. Both Julia and JuMP began development at MIT and have a growing user base in both research and courses at MIT and internationally. The goal of this project is to further the development of JuMP and help develop JuMP homework exercises and a JuMP tutorial for 15.053/8. Multiple UROP positions are available, and depending on your interests there are projects oriented towards usability (documentation, user interfaces), course development (homework problems for 15.053/8), theory (algorithms, formulations), and implementation (benchmarking, improving data structures, interfacing with existing optimization codes).

Prerequisites: Familiarity with mathematical optimization at the level of 15.053/8. Strong programming and/or writing skills. Experience with Julia is helpful but not required.

Contact: Please contact Jessica Olumets, jolumets@mit.edu


10/1/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty member: Joshua Tenenbaum

Project title: How do we recognize objects when we cannot see them?

Project description: The Computational Cognitive Science group is looking for a UROP to help design, implement, and analyze web experiments studying how humans recognize objects when they are partially visible. These studies are motivated by computational theories of object recognition, and thus involve exciting interdisciplinary connections between psychology, computer science, and neuroscience.

Prerequisites: experience with web programming (HTML, javascript) and image processing.

Contact: please e-mail Sam Gershman (sjgershm@mit.edu) with a brief description of your background and interests.


10/1/14
Department: Biology/Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Faculty Supervisor: Angelika Amon

Project Title: The role of aneuploidy in cancer development and progression

Project Description: Aneuploidy, or an abnormal number of chromosomes, is found in greater than 90% of human tumors. Yet, how aneuploidy affects tumorigenesis is poorly understood. Our lab is interested in studying the effects of aneuploidy on cell physiology and division. Understanding the ways in which aneuploid cells differ from normal, or euploid, cells will shed light on the biology of cancer and may elucidate genetic pathways that can be targeted to specifically kill aneuploid cells while leaving euploid cells unharmed.

In this project, we will be investigating the interactions between oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and the aneuploid state. We will be introducing genetic alterations commonly observed in cancer cells into euploid and aneuploid cells and then analyzing the resultant cell populations. We will attempt to determine whether aneuploidy has a synergistic or antagonistic interaction with these genetic drivers of cancer. As part of this project, the student will learn many common biology lab techniques, including cell culture, microscopy, RNA preps, and more.

Prerequisites: A schedule that allows the student to spend 10 or more hours a week in lab, and an interest in reading and engaging with the primary literature on cancer biology.

Contanct: Interested students should submit a cover letter, CV, and transcript (unofficial is fine) to Jason Sheltzer (sheltzer@mit.edu<mailto:sheltzer@mit.edu>).


10/1/14
Department/Lab/Center: 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 with these issues, our lab is custom-building high-capacity 3D printers 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.

Prerequisite and Requirements: The candidate(s) should hold background in mechanical engineering, programming (e.g., MATLAB), and microfluidics.

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.

 


9/25/14
Fall 2014
Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Evan Apfelbaum

Project Title: Race, Gender Differences in Negotiation

Project Description: Sloan faculty member and doctoral student seek UROP for credit during Fall semester of 2015 (with continuation into the Spring 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, and potentially run live, in-person experimental sessions, among other tasks related to the research projects.

Prerequisites: 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.

Contact: 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?


9/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Glenn Flierl

Project Title: software development for spherical display

Project Description: Develop software for an innovative spherical display which can portray all kinds of earth data and models for teaching about climate, plate tectonics, planetary data, even planetariums (see http://lake.mit.edu/~glenn/iglobe/flyer.pdf). We want to couple this with a flat screen show that we can show synchronized information such as cross-sections, time history graphs, movies, etc. Use your imagination to make your own displays! Required: familiarity with OS-X development, xcode, and objective-C. Could be either UROP or part-time.

Prerequisites: familiarity with OS-X development, xcode, and objective-C

URL: http://lake.mit.edu/~glenn/iglobe/flyer.pdf

Contact: Glenn Flierl (glenn@lake.mit.edu)


9/25/14
Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty supervisor: Prof. Antoine Allanore

Project Title: Development of a microfluidic device for soil science

Project description: We are recruiting one student to work in the laboratories headed by Prof. Antoine Allanore within the department of Materials Science and Engineering. We work in collaboration with a mining company with the ultimate goal to provide local sources of fertilizers to agriculture-intensive countries in the southern hemisphere. Specifically, the candidate will be involved in the design, realization and testing of a microfluidic device to study the dissolution rates of several mineral sources. This UROP project is suited for a motivated and committed student willing to learn and explore science at the boundaries between materials science, geochemistry and microfluidics. The student will learn the use of analytical techniques such as Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS), thin-section microscopy and possibly other such as Raman spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), X-Rays Diffraction spectroscopy (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). This project can be easily modulated towards the interests of the student with the possibility to focus more on theoretical (microfluidic design and data modelling), experimental (device construction and chemical analysis) or both aspects.

Students from Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and possibly Mechanical Engineering (with prior chemistry experience) are welcome to apply. This UROP will be paid or used for credits depending on the student choice.

Contact: Interested candidates please send a short cover letter expressing your interest in the position and a CV to both Dr. Davide Ciceri (ciceri@mit.edu) and Prof. Antoine Allanore (allanore@mit.edu).


9/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Chris Caplice

Project Description: Supply chain management is one of the fastest growing global jobs right now. The Center for Transportation & Logistics works with more than 40+ companies to assist them in the design and management of their supply chains and logistics systems. As part of its efforts here and on the educational front, CTL is creating an online course on supply chain management. We already have a team which is working on the development and launch of the first of a series of supply chain management online courses as part of MITx. We are looking for one more UROP to join the team, to help with the course upon launch next week. The UROPs will work directly with a graduate student (Santosh Stephen) and Dr. Chris Caplice to run this course to an audience of more than 18000 students worldwide.

Pre-requisites: Basic math skills coupled with curiosity and energy to help us create a world-class program.

Contact: Mr. Santosh Stephen (ssantosh@mit.edu)
972-510-8383


9/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC)
Faculty Supervisor: Donna Rhodes

Project Title: Model-Centric Systems Engineering Methods

Project Description: The Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative SEAri) research group program is investigating methods, processes and tools to accelerate the transition of systems engineering to a more model-centric discipline. This UROP project involves the design, development, and application of model-based methods involving human-model interaction in exploring the design tradespace. The goal of these methods is to rapidly conceive of systems and interact with models in order to make rapid trades to decide on what is most effective given present knowledge and future uncertainties, as well as what is practical given resources and constraints. The Fall semester UROP project will involve investigating the literature, gathering and analyzing research data, applying model-centric methods to a specific system case, and developing/testing of model-centric prototypes. It may include participating in writing of reports and technical papers. Candidates should have !
interest in working with a mixed team of research staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students as part of larger research program.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of MATLAB and Microsoft Office. Commitment to the work, good analytic, and systems thinking skills are needed to participate in collaborative research.

URL: seari.mit.edu

Contact: Donna Rhodes (rhodes@mit.edu)


9/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Bradley Pentelute

Project Title: Automated Peptide Synthesizer Control systems and software

Project Description: The Pentelute group in Course 5 is seeking a motivated UROP to help develop the software control for automation of a next-generation peptide synthesizer. The use of peptides as therapeutic agents is an exciting, high-growth area in medicinal research. The project would be coordinated by an experienced graduate mentor and involve:

1) Using microcontrollers such as the Arduino or Raspberry Pi to control robots that prepare the peptide reactor for automated synthesis.
2) Developing a backend control system to control electrical heating of the reactor, as well as monitor real-time data about the chemical process.
3) Developing a user interface for the system.

URL: http://www.pentelutelab.com/index.html

Contact: Alex Mijalis (mijalis@mit.edu)


9/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science (Course 17)
Faculty Supervisor: Evan Lieberman

Project Title: Votes and voices: Elections, protests, and service provision in South Africa.

Project Description: South Africa has recently become known as the “protest capital of the world”. Almost daily, many South Africans engage in active, sometimes violent, opposition to a lack of basic public service delivery including sanitation, running water, refuse disposal, and electricity. How and why do these protests occur? What are the political and service delivery consequences of those protests? Do protests act as a complement to electoral resistance (votes), or as a substitute? To study these questions systematically, we are building a database of “protests” that have happened in South Africa in the last ~15 years. The student(s) will assist in the creation of this database, and with analysis.

Prerequisites: The student should, first and foremost, have a keen interest in issues related to development, public goods provision, social science, or the region. Programming skills (Python, R) valued, as is competence with Excel. Please apply if you can work at least 9 hours a week for at least this semester, and possibly next semester.

Contact: Daniel de Kadt (ddekadt@mit.edu)


9/25/14
Term: Fall 2014 - IAP 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Alfredo Alexander-Katz

Project Title: Advancing Moore s Law: directed self-assembly of block copolymer for nanoscale manufacturing

Project Description: Self-assembly behavior is prevailing in nature. It is this autonomous organization of organic molecules that enables the existence of life. Now in the semiconductor industry, there has seen a strong trend to adopt this bottom-up self-assembly process by the use of block copolymer for fabricating ever-smaller patterns and for further advancing the Moore s Law. We have been working on the design principles for fabricating these block copolymer-enabled nanoscale features, and are now expanding the self-assembled system to many varieties of metal/semiconductor materials. In this specific project, we will be focusing on fabricating organic/inorganic hybrid materials through directed self-assembly of block copolymers. This project will be mostly based on experiments, with the major focus on cleanroom fabrication (e.g., spin-coating, developing, reactive ion etching, electron beam lithography) and characterization (e.g. scanning/transmission electron microsco!
pe, atomic force microscopy, etc). Although this project will be experiment-oriented, the expertise of our group (Laboratory for Theoretical Soft Materials) also lies in simulation and theory. This project will therefore be in line with an ongoing research for the reverse design of the self-assembly patterns based on self-consistent field theory. Therefore, a basic understanding of statistical mechanics is preferred (not required).

Prerequisites: Expected background in materials science and engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering or other related areas. Previous lab experience preferred (not required).

Contact: Yi Ding (yding@mit.edu)


9/25/14
Term: Fall 2014-IAP 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Ian Hunter

Project Title: Rapid web development for robotics

Project Description: The way that humans interact with robots today is being rethought with the emergence of the Internet of Things. Instead of designing hardware to interact with robots, it is much easier to use web connected smartphones or laptops, which are now ubiquitous. The goal of this project is to develop a suite of web apps that act as the interface between humans and the sensors, actuators, and controllers of a robot. Job Description: Web apps will be rapidly developed using the Meteor framework in conjunction with the Famo.us framework as the graphics engine. Experience with Meteor and Famo.us is highly desired, but not required. The UROP position will be responsible for helping design web apps, then implementing them from start to finish utilizing test driven development. Example apps include teaching demonstrations for various sensors and actuators, a database manager for hardware, and an app for remote controlling a robot. A focus of the position will be on fast pace development.

Prerequisites: Required experience in: Web application design and implementation Test Driven Development Javascript Preferred experience: Meteor framework Famo.us

Contact: Craig Cheney (ccheney@mit.edu)


9/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (WI)
Faculty Supervisor: Rudolf Jaenisch

Project Title: high throughput electrophysiology in patient derived neuronal cultures

Project Description: We are looking for a highly motivated student, to help with the data gathering and analysis of electrophysiological recordings from human neurons. We have generated several models of neurodegeneration (alzheimer's) and psychiatric disorder using induced pluripotent stem cells, and established a new platforms to mature these cells rapidly, and measure their electrical properties non-invasively, over time.Primary project definition would include performing the recordings, and analyzing the output for any signatures of disease state or maturation. Experience with packages such as MATLAB is desirable. There will be opportunities to be involved in upstream experiments, including novel molecular biology and cell culture.

Prerequisites: Previous experience with bench science, basic molecular biology techniques, cell culture and programming/analysis is highly recommended. This can be done as a volunteer, or taken for credit. Funding may be available through SCSB, with applictions deadline of 9/23.

Contact: Julien Muffat (julien@wi.mit.edu)


9/25/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Peter So

Project Title: Bioimaging of neuronal structures using harmonic generation microscopy

Project Description: Harmonic generation microscopy is a power method for 3D imaging of biological systems. For neurobiology, it can provide structural information but may also enable functional assay such as monitoring action potentials. We seek an undergraduate interested in instrumentation development and its application in biomedical problems.

Prerequisites: The student should have a strong foundation in one of the scientific or engineering disciplines, and fluency with programming in Matlab (or related software packages). In addition, the student must be self motivated, and capable of working both independently and within a group. The student is expected to fully participate in So lab group meetings, and will be directly supervised by a Visiting Scientist in the So Lab. Experience with optics is preferred but not required.

Contact: Prof. Kimani Toussaint
(ktoussai@MIT.EDU)


9/25/14
Department of Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisors: Dr. Ram Sasisekharan

Position Available:
- 20.07x: Biotechnologies of Infectious Disease
- Educational Resource & Website Developer

Project description: The department of Biological Engineering is currently developing a new MITx class; 20.207x: Biotechnologies of Infectious Diseases. We are currently seeking highly motivated UROP students to assist with the development of the MITx’s. 20.207x is an upper-level undergraduate and graduate course which integrates basic science and engineering principles for an in-depth exploration of current and emerging technologies used in the surveillance, diagnosis, understanding, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. UROP students will assist a team of professors in developing 20.207x into a world-class course to be launched on the edX platform Spring 2015. Tasks for the UROP student will include, but are not limited to, developing the curriculum and educational resources for the course, designing online graphics, creating and scripting NOVA-style video sessions, and implementing course material onto the edX.

Prerequisites: Course 6, 6/7, 7, and 20 are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidate should have basic knowledge of Biology, Chemistry and Math and preferably have some web design and programming experience (HTML). Familiarity with the edX platform would be beneficial.

Contact: If you are interested contact Nathan Stebbins (nstebbin@mit.edu)


9/19/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Synthesis and Functionalization of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Energy and Environmental Applications

Project Description: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are novel micro-porous (pore size < 2 nm) and meso-porous (2nm < pore size <50 nm) materials developed in the past decade for separations and catalysis. MOFs are composed of metal centers coordinated by organic linkers. MOFs rank amongst the materials with the highest surface areas up to date, and due to their modular synthesis, allow for a high degree of molecular versatility. Within our group, we are studying the chemical and materials properties of MOFs for separating target gases (e.g. CO2) and volatile organic compounds, as well as their catalytic activity.

We aim to impart functionalities additional to a framework through post-synthetic modification – in particular creating additional chemical groups on the metal center or linker yet preserving the lattice structure. Careful design of the post-synthetic modification procedure is necessary, since it must be carried out under conditions in which the porous framework maintains its stability.

The student will assist in current on-going research for characterizing the MOF particles, and most importantly, helping to setup a separation system for understanding the MOF host-guest interactions. Currently, a custom column with a GC system has been developed to test the different MOF-particles. The student will be expected to both assist researchers in the project as well as work independently. Materials characterization technique will be developed (microscopies techniques such as TEM, SEM as well as BET surface area analysis), as well as engineering skills in designing separation systems. This project is expected to integrate functional materials design, surface analysis and engineering process integration.

Pre-requisite: Commitment of 12-15 hrs a week for the fall and spring, motivation in learning molecular design, organic chemistry and materials characterization, interest in energy and environmental science, prior experience in lab is recommended. Further involvement during IAP encouraged.

Contact: Please contact Xiao Su (x2su@mit.edu) with resume.


9/19/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Thomas Kochan

Project Title: Creation of online version of Course 15.662 “How the Next Generation can Secure its American Dream.”

Project Description: We are joining the MITx online offering of MIT courses by developing a digital, MOOC version of Course 15.662. Using emerging, digital technologies, we will collaborate with the MITx team of project managers, video production specialists and technicians to transform Course 15.662 into a scalable, online course offered through the edx platform.

The course is aimed at members of the workforce of the future and those starting out their careers. There is broad-based concern that young people today face a shortage of good quality job and career opportunities and need to take actions to overcome them. This course will provide young workers with an understanding of what they need to do individually and collectively to build successful careers and sustainable businesses.

Position Description: Under the guidance of Professor Thomas Kochan and Post-doc John McCarthy you will join the team as an MITx UROP. You will participate and contribute to a host of cutting edge, online programming and research activities to support the creation of the digital, MOOC offering this course. Examples of activities include: programming of course content and assessment problem components, preparation and evaluation of IP (intellectual property) content, development of course assessment questions, and participate in the recording and review of video and transcripts. The MITx UROP may also participate in the analysis of course data.

As a member of the course team, you will also benefit from additional mentorship from the Office of Digital Learning through training opportunities and MITx Fellow community and knowledge sharing events. You will also have open access to MITx classes and privileged access to MIT leaders.

Position Requirements: Applicants should be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Applicants should have a demonstrated, active interest in online learning and domain-specific knowledge about the course material. Time management skills, team collaboration, solid communication and writing skills are important.

Position terms: MITx Fellow/UROP positions are paid positions and are one-semester appointments. Hours are flexible averaging 10-15 per week.

Contact: Thomas Kochan: tkochan@mit.edu


9/19/14
Multiple Projects
Department/Lab/Center: Aero/Astro (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero

Project Title #1: INSPECT

Project Description: The SSL SPHERES team is looking for UROP assistance (1-2 individuals) to continue working on the INSPECT sensor suite that recently flew aboard the NASA Reduced Gravity Aircraft. UROPs will be tasked with maturing the sensor integration software so that sensor/actuator interaction effects can be determined, devising a three modal calibration scheme (the INSPECT sensors include a stereo camera, optical rangefinder, and thermographic camera), and conduct testing on the low friction surfaces within the SSL to demonstrate full INSPECT operations. In addition, UROPs will be expected to contribute to test data analysis efforts and will likely also be expected to work collaboratively with graduate students and other UROPs working on SPHERES and INSPECT-specific projects.

UROP Type: Direct funding or credit. Any year is welcome to apply, upperclassmen preferred.

Contact: David Sternberg, davister@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #2: SPHERES AIRBUS D&S America cooperation for the conception and design of collector satellites systems

Project Description: The SPHERES team is working with AIRBUS D&S to make the first basic study of a collector satellite system based on tethers. The project goes from the dynamic and cinematic analysis of the system to the test design and coding. At the moment, hardware tests are going on in parallel with a Matlab- Simulink model design. The UROP will work closely with a graduate student performing hardware tests on SPHERES test-bed and doing further data analysis. The student will learn about and help with the hardware setting and experimental model verifications and have more insight in the development of Matlab-Simulink model. The student should know, or have a strong desire to learn Matlab-Simulink. Experience with the previously mentioned software is a plus.

UROP Type: Either for-pay from the UROP office (direct funding), or for-credit.

Contact: Marina Gràcia March, mgraciam@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #3: SPHERES InSPIRE-II Software UROP

Project Description: The SPHERES team has developed a fleet of docking ports and Halos to establish the world’s first on-orbit reconfigurable controls testbed. The SPHERES Docking Port has been designed with advanced sensor suite of UltraSound, InfraRed, and computer vision sensors to determine its relative state to the target SPHERES. Many of the algorithms needed to perform the spacecraft rendezvous and control after docking still need to be implemented in software, both on and off the Halo. The UROP will work closely with a graduate student in coding the VERTIGO-side software (Linux environment, C++)) to be used for science operations in space.

The student will learn about and help implement advanced computer-vision techniques (OpenCV). The student should know, or have a strong desire to learn, C++, Matlab, and the Linux environment. Experience with computer vision is a plus.

Type: Either for-pay from the UROP office (direct funding), or for-credit

Contact: Duncan Miller, duncanlm@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #4: Free-Floating Robotic Arm For SPHERES

Project Description: SPHERES are used as a 6-degree of freedom testbed for experimental space technologies--such as robotic arms. On a small scale, robotic arms can assist astronauts during spacewalks, and on a larger scale, autonomously construct multipart structures in space. Controlling a robotic arm attached to a satellite can be a complicated problem because the entire satellite will move in reaction to the arm moving. At MIT, we now have a prototype arm (Lego MindStorms) working and almost communicating with a SPHERES. We’re looking for UROP help to upgrade the MindStorms software to the EV3 unit. The UROPs will work with both Lego MindStorms and the SPHERES satellites to test out new control algorithms on our flat floor testbed that have never been tried before. We may also work on upgrading our robotic arm simulation to 3D. Basic programming skills are required. C++, Lego NXT, SolidWorks, Matlab, and electronics experience also a plus.

UROP Type: Either for-pay from the UROP office (direct funding), or for-credit

Contact:
Duncan Miller, duncanlm@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #4: Zero Robotics competition

Project Description: The Zero Robotics (http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/) competition allows high-school students to program the SPHERES satellites (http://ssl.mit.edu/spheres), competing first in simulation, then in a live tournament run by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The Zero Robotics platform is a fully online programming environment including a web-based integrated development environment. As a UROP, there will be opportunities to contribute improvements to the system, including:

- Real-time collaborative programming tools
- Dynamic simulation of robotic satellites
- 3D visualization and animation of simulation data
- "Big Data" aggregate analysis of tens of thousands of simulation runs * Game theory and AI programming, including design of games for future seasons

Zero Robotics has openings for two teams:
- One or two UROPs to support the current High School Competition
- Three to four UROPs to join the "game development" team to start creating the game for 2015

Current Competition responsibilities will include:
- Developing and improving "Standard Players" that act as the game AI
- Performing adjustments to parameters to balance the game in different phases of the tournament
- Assisting with basic technical support for the competitors
- Improving the existing website infrastructure (front-end and back-end)

Game Development team responsibilities include:
- Create a highly engaging game within the constraints of the SPHERES operational environment
- Design the game for high-school student programming an autonomous player
- Tie in the game to current or planned space research missions
- Design a game with multiple winning strategies and a balanced set of 'obstacles'
- Ensure the game works in a "leaderboard" environment

Time: 6 to 12 units (can discuss credit or pay)

Experience: Strong knowledge of at least one programming language, ideally Python, Java, or C/ C++, and comfort with picking up other languages. Experience with web application development in Python or Java will be a big plus. Familiarity with C/C++, MySQL, MATLAB, Java, HTML/JavaScript, and ActionScript a plus; alum of a robotics program such as FIRST also a plus.

Contact: spheres@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #5: CubeSat Deformable Mirror Demonstrationu

Project Description: The Deformable Mirror Demonstration project is looking for one or two UROPs for the fall semester. The overall goal of the project is to design a CubeSat to perform an in-space technology validation and demonstration of deformable mirrors for high contrast imaging applications. The focus of work during this semester will be on the mechanical layout of the optical payload. We are looking for students excited about and interested in learning and working with optics hardware and mechanical design. Work will primarily involve setting up, performing, and analyzing data from a series of optical experiments. Experience with any or all of Matlab and LabView is helpful but not necessary.

Previous experience:
* Working knowledge of MATLAB helpful
* Working knowledge of LabView helpful
* Working knowledge of Solidworks helpful
* Working knowledge of optics helpful UROP type: For pay or for credit

Contact:
Anne Marinan, marinana@mit.edu
____________

Project Title #6:
Opportunities in STARLab

Project Description: The Space, Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation Lab (STARLab) does a variety of research in small satellites, space systems, optical communications, space weather, and exoplanet detection and modeling. We are looking for UROPs to support several different projects (areas of focus are indicated under each opportunity – previous experience in these areas is helpful but not strictly necessary):

• Microwave Radiometer Technology Acceleration CubeSat (marinana@mit.edu)
– CAD/Structures (Solidworks, Thermal Desktop)
– Software (embedded programming on microcontroller, Salvo RTOS, MATLAB, Python)
– Science Data Analysis (coding in MATLAB)
• Free Space Laser Communications CubeSat Module (kingryan@mit.edu)
– Optics, communications (coding in C, MATLAB)
• Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (marinana@mit.edu)
– Optics, controls, mechanical design (coding in MATLAB)
• Geostationary Communications Satellite Anomalies (acarlton@mit.edu)
– Space weather data retrieval and analysis (coding in MATLAB)
• CubeSat cluster formation flight “Mothercube” (tamz@mit.edu)
– Communications, sensors, GPS (coding in C)
• Exoplanet Modeling and Data Analysis (mwwebber@mit.edu)
– Working with FORTRAN and C models
• Trapped Energetic Radiation Satellite: Deployable Antenna (tsheerin@mit.edu)
– Mechanical testing and data analysis (coding in MATLAB)

Applicants with matching interests and skill sets are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in a specific project please contact the lead at the indicated address directly.

UROP type: For pay (direct funding) or for credit

Contact: Kerri Cahoy (kcahoy@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Michael S. Strano

Project Title: Carbon Nanotube Sensors for biomolecule detection

Project Description: Carbon Nanotubes are receiving a lot of attention due to their excellent optical, electronic and mechanical properties. Amongst the various application that are possible using this unique nano-material, a growing field is that of developing various sensors for biomolecules such as glucose and insulin. The primary goal of this project will be to develop glucose sensor for in vivo glucose detection using carbon nanotubes and synthesized polymers. The student will be an author on any work enabled by their efforts if they spend reasonable amount of time on the project.

Prerequisites: The student should have introductory Physics and Chemistry. Additional class/lab experience is not necessary. Enthusiasm and willingness to see tasks to completion are important. Sophomore and junior students are preferred. Please apply if you can work at least 15 hours a week regularly for a minimum of two semesters.

Contact: Jiyoung Ahn (jyahn@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Rapid Prototyping of Electrochemical CO2 Capture Device

Project Description: Looking for a motivated UROP with strong design and machining skills to work on prototyping an exciting novel energy technology. Our lab invented a new electrochemical technology for carbon dioxide separation with applications in power stations, spacecraft and submarines. We developed an automated small-scale proof of concept device that shows promising performance. UROP will focus on aiding the design of optimized systems based on simulations, as well as building and testing prototypes. The position can be for credit or competitive pay depending on skills.

Prerequisites: Motivation. Creativity. CAD. Strong prototyping skills. Commitment of 8-10 hrs a week for the Fall and/or IAP.

Contact: Aly Eltayeb (aeltayeb@mit.edu) with resume.


9/18/14
Department: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Tanja Bosak

Project Title: Sulfur isotope fractionation during microbial sulfate reduction.

Project Description: Interested in interactions between the microbial world and the environment or chemical traces that microbes leave in the rock record? We are looking for a student (fall semester, with the potential to continue into spring) to investigate the sulfur isotopic fractionation associated with microbial sulfate reduction. The student will be responsible for preparing of bacterial growth media and sample analyses by microscopy and chemical assays. The student can also be responsible for his/her own mini-experiments. Hours are flexible, but a commitment to 10 h per week is expected.
Implications: Microbial Sulfate reduction (MSR) is the primary mediator of the sulfur biogeochemical cycle. Sulfate reducing microbes have versatile metabolisms and habitats and have played a key role in the marine cycles of carbon and sulfur from the early geological time onward. MSR prefers the lighter (S32) isotope over the heavy ones (S33, S34, S36) and produces sulfur isotopic fractionation. In general, large sulfate-sulfide isotopic fractionations are found in the geological record, but these values have rarely been produced in the laboratory setting. In this project we are investigating microbial metabolic pathways and growth conditions that and their effect on the sulfur isotopic fraction. This will assist in understanding both the geologic isotopic record and the metabolic pathway of these microbes.

Contact: Shikma Zaarur: shikma@mit.edu; Ana De Santiago Torio: anast@mit.edu


9/18/14
Department: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Tanja Bosak

Project Title: Microbial fossilization by the precipitation of clay and calcium carbonate minerals

Project Description: Interested in microbiology/mineralogy? Have you ever wondered how fossils are formed? We are looking for a student (fall semester, with the potential to continue into spring) to investigate the fossilization of living cyanobacteria. The student will be responsible for preparing media for cyanobacteria, as well as collecting samples for electron microscope imaging. If further work is desired, the student can also be responsible for his/her own mini-experiment, investigating the formation of mineral precipitates around cyanobacteria living under various conditions. Hours are flexible.

Implications: Cyanobacterial fossilization changed through time, possibly reflecting variations in sea water chemistry. However, specific factors which contribute to the nucleation of CaCO3 and clay minerals around the filaments of living cyanobacteria are still debated. We investigate cyanobacterial fossilization in enrichment cultures of cyanobacteria in artificial sea water. The investigation of clay and CaCO3 precipitation around cyanobacterial filaments enhances our understanding of microbial fossilization in shales and other siliciclastics.

Contact: sharon.newman@mit.edu


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science (Course 17)
Faculty Supervisor: In Song Kim

Project Title: BIG Data and International Trade

Project Description: This BIG Data project investigates how the patterns of global international have changed over time by analyzing more than 10 trillion observations. We develop a clustering algorithm to study the effects of WTO (World Trade Organization) on facilitating trade of goods and services. Specific tasks for RA: The ideal candidate will be familiar with scripting languages such as Python, and know how to scrape web-documents and manage big-datasets with query languages such as sql, etc. The work will involve automated data collection from various web pages, and APIs.

Time: UROPs will work approximately 10 hours per week for the either or both of the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 terms.

Prerequisites: Background and skills required of RA: Knowledge of python SQL Toolkit such as SQLAlchemy will be helpful although not necessary.

Contact: Interested applicants should send a short statement of interest indicating preferred start date, along with a resume/CV to Daniel Guenther (dsguenth@mit.edu)


9/18/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Alex `Sandy' Pentland

Project Title: Measuring Interaction in Innovative Teams

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 projects. 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.

Over the course of the semester, UROP’s will have the ability to take part in analyzing micro-interaction data, developing new software to improve how we detect interactions, and participate in planning and executing field experiments. The different positions are described below.

Position #1 – Data Analyst

Help researchers clean and analyze location and interaction data from a series of experiments beginning with new data from MIT’s GFSA Startup Accelerator. During the experiment, an app was install on ~45 Android devices in order to collect data from various sensors.

UROP will help analyzing the data, studying correlations between social interaction and success measures, and visualize the data on a map

Skills: Python, SQL, Mongo or equivalent, familiarity with Linux

Requirements: Experience or strong interest in working with location data and visualization using maps
___________

Position #2 –Mobile + Backend developer

We are looking for a student interested in developing software to improve our ability to measure human interactions from sensor data. The student should also be ready to help deploy the software in a series of experiments conducted in hackathons around the Boston/Cambridge area.

UROP will help developing the data collection framework and support researchers during data collection at 1-3 hackathons during the semester. In addition to software development, the UROP would help at the events with sensor set-up and support.

Requirements:
· Experience with Android development, familiarity with Linux, and Django or equivalent
· Experience with iPhone development a plus
· Familiarity with hackathons a plus

Time Commitment: We are looking for students that are able to contribute a minimum of 10 hours of work a week. For students applying to the developer position, we also ask that they have availability to help deploy their software during a few hackathons.

Contact: Oren Lederman with a short description of your background or your resume at orenled@media.mit.edu


9/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Ian Hunter

Project Title: Robotics - Development of Rolling Spherical Robots

Project Description: The goal of this project is to create rolling robotic spheres that can traverse a variety of different terrains. Each sphere will have a suite of sensors to detect their environments and will communicate with each other to relay information back to their host. An emphasis will be placed on developing a modular core of the robot that can be applied to a number of different robots.

Job Description: The UROP will be responsible for creating, modeling and implementing different modules for use in the core of the robot, which primarily consists of a controller, communications, and power electronics. UROPs will be designing and modeling simple Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in CAD, and prototyping mechanical parts using a laser cutter.

Prerequisites: All applicants should have a strong interest in robotics, specifically mechanics and electronics. Required skills: Proficiency in Solidworks, or equivalent CAD (2.007 level and up) Basic knowledge of electrical circuits (2.678 or 6.01 or 6.002 and up) Preferred but not required experience: EAGLE or equivalent electronic CAD Microcontrollers e.g Arduino Programming, e.g. Python or C (6.01 and up) Prototyping with Laser cutters

UROP can be for credit or for pay. Please note the Sept. 25th deadline for direct funding.

Contact: Craig Cheney (ccheney@mit.edu)


9/16/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Project Title: Leak Detection Robot for 2-inch-diameter Water Pipes

Project Description: At Mechatronics Research Laboratory, we design underwater robotic vehicles for performing missions in confined environments. An example of the tasks is the leak detection in city water pipe networks. As those pipe networks are made of small diameter pipes, the robot and all its components must be very compact. We are looking for new members to further develop the robot for 2-inch-diameter water pipelines.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be able to commit at least 10 hours per week during the academic year and have experience with and strong interests in mechanical design, electronics and programming. Experience in computational fluid dynamics will be a plus.

Laboratory: Mechatronics Research Laboratory, Building 1, Room 010.

Contact:
Please send your CV to You Wu (youwu@mit.edu) and Dimitris (dchatzis@mit.edu) visit Mechatronics Research Laboratory at 1-010.


9/16/14
Department: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Neil Gershenfeld

Project Title: Robotic Nano-Assembly

Project Description: We are developing pick-n-place nano-assembly system for making semiconductor devices and optical elements. This system consist of a nano-tweezer to pick nano-parts which is mounted on scanning probe microscope for nano-positioning and assembly. The system is designed to be fitted inside scanning electron microscope for real-time imaging of nano-assembly. We have two UROP opening for this project for automating pick-n-place assembly and developing nano-positioning stage.

Position #1: Software developer to automate nano-assembly

Prerequisite: Python programming, eager to hack and play with instruments (expensive toys!!)

You will write python (or any other language) programs to automate nano-assembly process. This program will control position of nano-tweezers mounted on a state-of-the-art Agilent 5500 atomic force microscope (AFM) for assembly. You will be using easy to use scripting language and functions provided in AFM SDK to develop automation program.

-----------------
Position #2:
Develop control system for nano-positioning stage

Prerequisite - Experience with micro-controllers/Arduino, motor drivers and eager to hack and play with instruments (expensive toys!!)

You will be working on nano-position stage fitted inside a scanning electron microscope. This nano-positioning system consist of DC motors, gears and wheel encoders. You will be developing system to control DC motors using arduinos and motor drivers. You will also have access to electronics workbench, arduinos, shields, full electronics component inventory and workshop.

Pay: For pay or credit; possibility of extension into IAP 2015.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated student who is willing to work at least 10 hours per week. Student should have a creative mindset and expect to engage in challenging and independent work. Freedom will be given to the student to craft the direction of this project.

Content: Please write a short description (<200 words) that explains why you are interested and summarizes your relevant experience. Please send this information to Prashant Patil (prashant.patil@cba.mit.edu). If you are super motivated and willing to learn but do not have all the required skills, feel free to get in touch and we can talk about it.


9/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: John Lienhard

Project Title: Next-generation Liquid Concentration Technology for the Beverage Industry: Completion of Proof of Concept Tests

Project Description: Benefits for you: - Hands-on experience with membrane filtration technology - Hands-on experience with gas chromatography - Experience working on applied/near-industry-ready research The Project: This project will involve the production and characterisation of various concentrated beverages using procedures and experimental equipment that have recently been developed.

Prerequisites:
Applications are particularly encouraged from those: - currently in junior or senior year - with hands on experimental experience - available to work 10-15 hours per week

Contact: Ronan K. McGovern (mcgov@mit.edu)


9/16/14
Department/Lab/Center: Anthropology (Course 21A)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Erica Caple James

Project Title: Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative

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

This Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) posting will provide key support to Professor James, the Department's Postdoctoral Associate, and her Administrative Assistant through the following activities (among others):

- Managing GHMHI's social media presence including development and maintenance of a new website
- Researching contemporary topics in global health in specific regions of the world
- Researching global health and/or medical humanities programs in the United States and across the globe Identifying (and outreach to) existing student residential houses and organizations on campus to bring academic programming outside of the classroom
- Conducting literature reviews on research topics of interest to GHMHI staff

GHMHI welcomes applications from all interested students, but those applying should have a background or demonstrated interest in the subject matter and have some prior research experience (quantitative and/or qualitative).

GHMHI is pleased to offer this opportunity to undergraduate students for either academic credit or volunteer credit; financial compensation through the department is not available at this time.

Contact: Brittany Peters (bapeters@mit.edu). Please include an up-to-date resume along with a brief statement of interest in the work of GHMHI in your submission.


9/16/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ramesh Raskar

Project Description: The intersection of large well curated datasets with computation is an exciting emerging trend in Machine Learning. In this project, a potential UROP will be designing a new web-based interface to create labeled data sets of medical images. This is an excellent UROP opportunity for a senior undergraduate with an interest in web development and medical imaging to make a meaningful impact in health-tech.

Prerequisites: Web app development and design experience with Javascript/HTML5/CSS and hosting solutions like Heroku, a plus if familiar with Node.js or MongoDB. Interested in web user interaction and problems in organizing data. Excited about improving healthcare around the world by building big crowdsourced datasets.

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 Karin Roesch (kroesch@mit.edu). Depending on progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisors: Prof Klavs Jensen

Project Title: Mechanical Design and Testing of fluidic components

Project Description: We are developing small scale advanced liquid handling components to be used in aggressive environments and demanding conditions. Work will be focused on the mechanical analysis and design of the components. After design, component manufacturing is mostly outsourced. Parts are then tested in house. Iteration on the design may be done to achieve required performance.

The position can be for credit or competitive pay depending on skills.

Prerequisites: Solid works. Original thinking and motivation. General knowledge of fabrication methods and mechanical design.

Contact: Dr. Andrea Adamo (aadamo@mit.edu)


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Christopher Schuh

Project Title: Cu-based Shape Memory Microwires: Towards Complex Structures

Project Description: The project is focused on developing complex structures made of shape memory alloy (SMA) microwires with controlled surface and grain boundary properties to obtain superior superelasticity, fatigue and damping performance. Cu-based SMA microwires can be utilized in a number of novel applications, such as intelligent textiles, once they are manufactured in large quantities via continuous melt spinning technique. In this project, we focus on production and characterisation of continuous wires, assembly of complex structures, such as weaves, fabrics and foams, made of these wires through new technologies. We study the collective behavior, in particular damping properties of these complex structures. We also work on SMA foam production.

Lab Work and Responsibilities include: Thermomechanical and calorimetric characterisation of the melt-spun wires (@ISN). Alloy preparation, microstructural and chemical characterisation, quality control, surface and thickness control via electropolishing, assembly of the wires, SMA foam production (Schuh Labs @DMSE).

Prerequisites: Minimum of 10 hours per week and at least 1 academic year dedication to the project is expected. We are looking for a highly motivated student with creative ideas who is able to work and make decisions independently in the lab.

Contact: Prof. Schuh (schuh@mit.edu) or Nihan Tuncer (nihant@mit.edu) along with a resume and the list of relevant courses taken and internship/research experiences you have.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Ann Graybiel

Project Description: We are seeking a student this semester to help to investigate the role of signaling imbalances in the part of the brain involved in motivation and movement. The student will primarily work to identify the localization of particular RNAs, which we have recently identified as modifiers in drug addiction and Huntington’s Disease, in mouse forebrain via in situ hybridization. The experiments will require time and dedication; we would like the student to also work full time over IAP and to continue working with us longterm.

Contact: Hilary Bowden (hilaryb@mit.edu) and Cc Jill Crittenden (irc@mit.edu)


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Andrew Lippman

Project Title: Ethos - revolutionizing the bitcoin protocol

Project Description: Ethos is a decentralized bitcoin-like network for storing and sharing personal data.

Our Vision: We think that the paradigm for personal data storage is changing. Instead of online companies storing our personal data in non transparent ways, people should have transparency, control and ownership of their data. What Bitcoin has done for currency and BitTorrent for media, Ethos does for personal data.

We just won first-place the MIT Bitcomp competition!

What you'll do
1) Help us work on the core protocol and clients
2) Build your own apps on top of Ethos. Think decentralized Facebook, Google, and such.

Prerequisites: We are looking for smart, motivated and independent students. Experience in C++, cryptography, distributed systems or Bitcoin is a plus, but we believe that grit and wit are more important.

Contact: Send resumes and two line introductions to ethos@media.mit.edu


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Armando Solar-Lezama

Project Title: Synthesizing Provably-Correct Programs

Project Description: We are developing a program synthesizer that synthesizes provably-correct programs from program sketches and logical specifications. We are looking for one or two UROPs to work with us on building a translator that encodes user inputs into Sketch, a synthesis-enabled language.

Prerequisites: Programming experience with your favorite language. Familiarity with compilers and parser generators such as Yacc or Antlr, is a plus.

Contact: Xiaokang Qiu (xkqiu@mit.edu


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Nicholas Fang

Project Title: Digital Optical Pulse Shaping

Project Description: We are looking for two UROP students to develop an optical function generator that can program ultrafast optical pulses with a digital spatial light modulator. This project consists of two mutually dependent parts that can be executed in parallel (10hr/week each).

Part 1: Optical Setup: You will work us to construct and align separate optical set-ups to manipulate the Fourier contents of an optical pulse, to retrieve femtosecond features in the pulse shape of an ultrafast laser, and interface optical signals into electronic control software.

Part 2: Computer/Electronic Interface: You will extract detector readouts and to digitally manipulate opto-electronic equipment by scripting Python codes, and to build rigorous control algorithms.

We are looking for students with solid knowledge of optics (experience in 6.161 is a plus), programming skills in either Matlab/Pytheon/C++, and hands-on skills in machining. We expect the project to start as soon as possible.

Contact: Interested students should email graduate student Zheng Jie Tan (zjt@mit.edu) with your CV.


9/12/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Design and synthesis of redox polymer/nanocarbon hybrids for sensing, catalysis and energy applications

Project Description: This project focuses on the design and synthesis of novel redox polymer/nanocarbon hybrids systems. The student will on the microstructural manipulation of the hybrid systems by using different synthesis conditions, obtain hands-on experiences in a wide range of electrochemical characterization techniques, and potentially will have the opportunity to explore a few important applications such as energy storage, heterogeneous catalysis, and electrochemical sensing. We are experienced in synthesis and characterization of several types of polymer/carbon hybrids. This project is a follow-up of our previous work. Thus we will provide well-defined objectives with specific guidelines.

We are looking for a self-motivated UROP to join this project. The student needs to be a faster learner. No prior electrochemistry knowledge is required, but the student has to have the desire to learn new concepts and deliver in a fast paced environment.

Details: Minimum 10 hours per week. Basic Excel skills and Matlab coding experience is needed for data analysis. Prior laboratory experience is preferred, but not required. Students who can continue after this fall semester are preferred.

Contact: Please send your CV/resume and a brief discussion of your interest to Xianwen Mao (xmao@mit.edu)


9/10/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Christian Catalini

Project Title: Big Data Research on Crowdfunding and Entrepreneurship

Project Description: The recent rise of crowdfunding - raising capital from many people through online platforms – poses a number of interesting questions for the economics of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as for social welfare. In this research project, we are collecting and analyzing quantitative data on crowdfunding to examine a range of issues, including the role of human capital in driving entrepreneurial experimentation, the influence of geography and spatial proximity on funding activities, what are the characteristics of projects that get funded as opposed to those that don’t get funded, and more.

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

Specifically, we have two types of UROP positions:

Position 1: Candidates with a Mechanical Engineering background whose responsibility would be to (a) assist in data collection and analysis; (b) review crowdfunding projects for their technical feasibility. Though programming knowledge is not needed, candidates with programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python) and machine learning would be given priority.

Position 2: Candidates with strong programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python), machine learning, 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; (b) managing and analyzing data using statistical software.

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

Contact: Please email Arvind Karunakaran (arvindk@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet.


9/10/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Thomas W. Malone

Project Title: Crowdsourcing business innovation

Project Description: Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI) seeks 3-4 UROPs to search leading publications (such as MIT Technology Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wired, Fast Company) and tech-oriented web sites (such as BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, etc.) to identify new technologies and practices that could reshape business activities that involve intensive processing of information. Examples include big data, social network analysis, wearable computing.

The team will translate press and web reports into brief summaries, with links, which will be placed into a web repository. Executives, analysts, and others with industry knowledge will then be invited to contribute ideas about how these new technologies/practices could be applied in innovative ways in real organizations. The UROPS will engage with the community by responding to comments and encouraging members to extend their thinking.

Prerequisites: We seek UROPs who can work on average 10 hours per week during the school year and attend weekly team meetings. Candidates should have strong analytic skills, creativity, and an interest in emerging technologies.

Contact: Send CV, cover letter, and 1-3 page excerpt from a course paper to Robert Laubacher, rjl@mit.edu.


9/10/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Matthew Amengual

Project Title: Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Latin America’s Extractive Industries

Project Description: 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.

Tasks: I am looking for one or two UROPs to help assemble and analyze political and economic data from various Latin American countries. Students will examine the relationship between mines and a variety of social, economic, and political variables. The initial responsibilities will be compiling and cleaning data from a variety of sources. Once these data are compiled, we will begin analysis. Proficiency with MS Excel and the ability to read basic Spanish is essential. Basic coding capabilities and/or knowledge of STATA or GIS are a plus, but not necessary. Weekly commitment of 10 hours, but can be flexible.

Contact: Students should email Professor Amengual, amengual@mit.edu


9/10/14
Multiple Projects
Department: Urban Studies & Planning
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

UNDERWORLDS: Researcher/Developer

The Underworlds Project is offering motivated students in CEE, ME, EE, CS, Design and Urban Studies a research opportunity to join our team! Students will contribute to the research and development of cyber-physical prototypes for real-time sensing, bio and urban informatics analysis, and geospatial data visualization. A vast reservoir of information on human health and behavior lies in our sewage, and yet it remains untapped. We imagine a future in which sewage is mined for real-time information that can inform policy makers, health practitioners, designers, and researchers alike.  Such is the idea behind Underworlds: a cross-disciplinary, open-data platform for monitoring urban health patterns, shaping more inclusive public health strategies, and pushing the boundaries of urban epidemiology. 

Pioneered by the Senseable City Lab and the Alm Lab, a prototype smart sewage platform is being developed at MIT consisting of a cyber-physical infrastructure, biochemical measurement technologies, and the downstream computational tools and analytics necessary to interpret and act on our findings.

Today’s real-time smart city infrastructure is made possible by the combination of rapidly evolving sensor technology and data analytics strategies, with recent advances in information communication technologies. Combining genomics and bioinformatics with real-time sensing and urban informatics, this initiative adds an entirely new dimension to our current ability to learn from the behavior and provide for the needs of urban populations.

LOCAL WARMING: Electrical Engineer/Mechanical Engineer

Senseable City Lab is looking for 1-2 electrical or mechanical engineers to join their Local Warming Team. Local Warming is a dynamic heating system that uses motion tracking and infrared technology to direct radiation, which heats building occupants. This allows for the building's overall inside temperatures to be kept, in turn, at a lower level creating significant energy savings. We are in the last stages of refining an existing system consisting of a series of infra-red lenses that are activated based on the detection of people's location using computer vision technology. Some of the tasks include optimization of python code, designing casings for circuit boards and camera modules, designing installation mounting gear, designing and fabricating bulb cover plates for improved heat dissipation. We are also looking for someone who is responsive, responsible and who can work with a certain degree of independence. This project was recently presented at the 14th Architecture Venice Biennale and will be deployed again in one or two different venues before the end of the year. 

SENSING ENVIRONMENTS: Architect with Strong Computational Background

Senseable City Lab is looking for an architect/designer with a strong computational/parametric background to work on a project, which will be looking at responsive architectural scale systems that mediate people's perception of the environment. Some of the sensorial elements that we will be looking at are: modulation of light, temperature, sound or texture. Some of the activities that will be performed will be: research of these sensorial elements, design of system, and prototyping. We are also looking for someone who is responsive, responsible and who can work with a certain degree of independence. This project is part of a Collaboration with AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) which looks at Perception Based Modelling and the study of People's Behavioural Response to different kinds of stimuli.  

SENSING ENVIRONMENTS: Electrical/Mechanical Engineer with Sensors Experience

Senseable City Lab is looking for an Electrical Engineer to work on a project involving to make and use sensors (i.e., wifi, bluetooth, 3G/4G) to detect people's presence and track them in the built environment. We will be deploying sensors within MIT and potentially within urban sites to detect people's presence and response to changing conditions. This project is part of a Collaboration with AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) which looks at Perception Based Modelling and the study of People's Behavioural Response to different kinds of stimuli. If you have previous experience with sensors and are excited about this opportunity, we would love to have you on board!

AIR QUALITY SENSING: Researcher/Developer With Strong Concentration on Air Pollutant

Concern about the impact of air pollution concentration has increased substantially in recent years particularly within rapidly developing countries. Monitoring of air pollution within a large city is commonly determined by using a small number of fixed sensors spread throughout the city leading to inadequate spatial sampling.

At the same time the availability of small inexpensive samplers is rapidly increasing, but with attendant errors in accuracy. The increased sampling possibilities also lead to a somewhat altered perspective on what we may want to measure within the pollutant concentration field. One possibility could be to look at aspects more closely related to the impact of the pollutants. Many pollutants are thought of as “safe” for concentrations below some specific levels. However others may have no lower limit.

Thinking along similar lines we might want to consider more useful questions to ask. For example, what is the spatial overlap between the concentration field and the “people occupancy” field and how does this vary with externally imposed variables such as the wind speed? That is, are there regions where we anticipate/predict persistent high levels of overlap between the “people” and the “pollution”?

Until recently, such problems would be put into the “too hard” or “ too little available information” baskets. But this may change quite dramatically when, for example, people can purchase (very) inexpensive sensors and hook them up to their own (well calibrated) sensor network otherwise called “their home”.

This can obviously be extended to many aspects such as home/transport/ recreation etc. To this author it seems to be a very short step to the required provision of quantitative data on the air quality in a neighbourhood on a very fine scale (that is house size scale) and an even shorter step to putting a “price” on the magnitude of this air quality data when buying and selling property.

The Senseable City Lab wishes to investigate the reality or not of such conjectures and this requires development and testing. In a sense it is providing information somewhat equivalent to the energy leakage from houses determined from thermal radiation drive-by measurements.

This leads to some interesting questions that can be asked e.g. what is the size of hot spots, where do they occur and what sensor spacing size is appropriate for determining such information and many more.

We would work with one or two UROPS and exploit where possible the existing fixed air quality sensor array currently on the MIT campus (CLAIRITY) together with one or more movable sensors. Depending on the skills and interests of the students could also help with some simple analysis and/or visualization if they wanted to.

URBAN LENS: Data Miner/Data Analytics

Human interactions in physical environments are increasingly leaving digital traces behind them in a form of big data created by human activity through digital media. One of the examples of such a dataset, which is now available for research purposes, is countrywide anonymized bankcard spending data in Spain over the course of last several years. 

Through analyzing this dataset, for the first time in modern history, we are able to gain insight into a very large portion of small-scale economic behaviors—from households to the level of the individual. With the aid of data analytics, individual behaviors can be scaled up with varying degrees of resolution with the aim of uncovering macro trends: for instance how economical success or failure propagates through a network of businesses, locations and individuals emerging all the way from smaller individual happenings into bigger widely recognizable events? One of the particular objectives of the project is to come up with a new metrics of current economical success of a geographical area or local neighborhood and more importantly it's existing opportunity, through the dataset of individual economical transactions. 

MIT students experienced or interested in big data mining and analytics are very welcome to join this multidisciplinary research initiative of the MIT Senseable City Lab and one of the largest Spanish banks, BBVA.

SANDSCAPE: Developer

The Senseable City Lab is searching for a self-motivated student for a new development of SandScape - a tangible human computer interface.

SandScape is a tangible interface for designing and understanding landscapes through a variety of computational simulations using sand. Users view these simulations as they are projected on the surface of a sand model that represents the terrain. The users can choose from a variety of different simulations that highlight either the height, slope, contours, shadows, drainage or aspect of the landscape model.

The users can alter the form of the landscape model by manipulating sand while seeing the resultant effects of computational analysis generated and projected on the surface of sand in real-time. The project demonstrates an alternative form of computer interface (tangible user interface) that takes advantage of our natural ability to understand and manipulate physical forms while still harnessing the power of computational simulation to help in our understanding of a model representation.

http://senseable.mit.edu/sandscape/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpyJcN3Tyzg

Responsibilities include 1. explore, identify, and develop new ways of sensing, three dimensional topographies of a 3D model (such as LIDAR, ZCAM, Kinect, laser range finders..), 2. develop software that integrates libraries of landscape analyses functions (elevation  models, shadow casting, water drainage) to analyze the sensed topographies, 3. develop visualization for projecting the result of the analysis back onto the 3D model and 4. build and install the system at MIT.

SandScape has received multiple design awards. The previous versions of the project have been installed in prominent venues throughout the world including the Boston Museum of Science, the Venice Biennial, MIT Museum, Ars Electronica Center's permanent exhibition. Its further development and installation at MIT is expected to draw significant attention from the scientific and design communities, as well as from the general public.

Qualifications include basic knowledge of image processing, proficiency with Open GL, WebGL, Aleegro, GDI or equivalent, knowledge of GIS and of rapid prototyping (laser cutting, waterjet cutting, etc) are a plus.

CAPE TOWN: Hardware Developer

The Senseable City Lab has several exciting research projects around the world. We focus our research in envisioning and understanding the impact of digital technologies in the future of cities.

In South Africa, we are working with the City of Cape Town in using smartphone technologies to give a voice to vulnerable populations and improve the service of public transportation networks such as minibuses. We are also exploring the use of automated optical sensors and wireless integration to create high resolution mapping of real-time urban mobility flows.

We are looking for motivated students with experience or interest in learning Android development and hardware integration. If you are looking to work with digital technologies and solving real world problems, this might be the opportunity for you!

UAV TECHNOLOGY: Researcher/Developer

Looking for highly motivated UROPs to help develop exciting new urban applications for UAV technology at the Senseable City Lab! Ideally suited to candidates with backgrounds in CS, EE, Robotics, ME, AeroAstro and design/fabrication. Students will help develop novel UAV sensing and communication capabilities, and integrate these into the autonomous closed-loop systems, with a high-visibility demonstration at the end of the project. Students will gain exposure to all aspects of the project, and will preferably have experience in one or more of the following areas: machine learning, computer vision, multi-rotor flight controls and path planning, embedded development & micro-controller experience, digital fabrication techniques (lasercutting, waterjet, 3D printing), back-end server & web development.

Contact: Erin Baumgartner, embaum@mit.edu


9/10/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ram Sasisekharan

Project Title: Bioinformatics Tool Development for Genomics Applications

Position Description: Under direction from senior research associates, must spend 20 hours/week to continued development and maintenance of bioinformatics software and databases for genomics applications; responsible for maintaining/sharing data between group members; coordinate ongoing software development activities in the lab with a computer programming team; must be able to work outside normal hours to meet project deadlines; must be prompt at responding to work related questions.

Project Description: The Sasisekharan lab is developing bioinformatics tools for systems biology and genomics applications. We are looking for a highly motivated and dedicated individual to write computer programs to automate the key elements of the database and tool development.

Prerequisites: Strong background in computer science with an interest in integrated approach to biology; knowledge about programming languages (Python preferable, familiarity with Django a strong plus) and MySQL.

Contact: djcain@mit.edu


9/10/14
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: George Stiny

Project Title: Broadened Drawing-Scape: A Platform for fusing Analog and Digital Means of Drawing

Project Description: Can it be possible to merge the visual richness of algorithmic drawings with intuitional foundations of hand-drawing? How can the traces that are created via hand-drawing be used in real-time rule-based explorative drawings? If drawing is making, seeing, understanding and getting immersed in thoughts, how can we elaborate on limitations and potentials of drawing using contemporary computers?

The goal of this project is to develop a broadened drawing environment in which computational means of drawings (such as coding) meets analogue means (hand & material) of drawing. During the course of the study the student will find a chance to work with the current hardware/software setup and s/he will ideally develop it further while producing a collection of exploratory drawings.

Tasks of UROP: The student will assist Onur Yüce Gün’s ongoing research project that consists of both hardware (digital camera, projector, etc) and software (Processing) components. The student will bring and further develop his/her programming and visual composing skills. Student will also assist future planning and documentation process of the project.

Prerequisites: This UROP is best suited for upper-classmen and women who are interested in visual design practices and visual arts and who have some sort of programming or scripting background. Experience with Processing is a plus; however experience in other programming languages is also welcome. Experience in Adobe Photoshop/After Effects is a plus but not mandatory.

Workload and Location: Approximately 10 hours/week, for credit or direct funding through the UROP Office. Studies will be undertaken in offices of Design and Computation Group.

Contact: Please contact Onur Yüce Gün at oyucegun@mit.edu with a brief statement of interest. Include descriptions (and if applicable images) of relevant previous work, and a summary of skills.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Ezra W. Zuckerman Sivan

Project Title: The role of status, reputation, and quality in an online market

Project Description: When analyzing an audience’s set of evaluations of an actor’s quality, it is hard to disentangle how external factors, such as the individual’s past performance and their affiliations, affected their decisions. Using a unique setting this project hopes to disentangle this problem employing a field experiment. For this field experiment, a website will have to be built along with a well-structured data collection process.

We are looking for smart and strong developers that can work independently, and have intermediate to strong Python, JavaScript, HTML, and SQL programming skills. Experience with building a website from scratch as well as setting up a data collection process and database is strongly preferred. If you possess some but not all of these skills please still apply, as multiple UROPs will likely be hired.

Additionally, if you are curious about social science research, crowd funding or the investment management industry, this project may be of added interest.

Contact: Please contact Tristan Botelho (tbotelho@mit.edu) and include your CV, and a ~200 word explanation of your interest and skills for the project


9/9/14
Department: Comparative Media Studies
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Health and Safety Wearable devices for extreme environments.

Project Description: Wearables beyond fitness trackers. We want to rethink how we interact with information around us, by using bio-signals and sensors that can provide information in extreme environments. We can create safer environments where life and death is only one mistake away. Our goal is to develop a network of nodes that provide the right amount of feedback to those who work in extreme environments.

Tasks of UROP #1: This student will work on helping to develop the communication between the sensors and google glass or ARM processor. The student should have solid experience with C/C++ and Micro-controllers and some Android experience. The student should also have some understanding of or interest in machine learning especially for gesture / pattern recognition.

Tasks of UROP #2: If you are excited about writing optimized code for real-time signal processing and background on mobile devices, this would be a great learning opportunity.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or direct funding through the UROP Office. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday September 15th.

Contact: Please contact Guillermo Bernal gbernal@mit.edu, and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, samples of relevant work, and an up-to-date resume.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Designing and Creating Applications for Coordinate and Pressure Sensitive Floors

Project Description: One of the areas of interest to the Changing Places Group is the idea of pervasive computing; where computational intelligence is not centralized in a desktop or mobile phone, but rather in the environment itself. From furniture to lighting fixtures the Media Lab is working to embed computation and connectivity into devices and items that have historically been passive. Recently, our group created the CityHome prototype, which incorporates transformability via robotics into the furniture and space itself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8giE7i7CAE).
While individual objects within common spaces like the home or office are usually candidates for computational upgrade, a frequently overlooked part of any space are the large surfaces that enclose it: the floor, walls and ceiling. The floor in particular is a highly trafficked surface that contains little to no sensing capability.

A prototype flooring system was created this summer with the ability to track a person or people over a 9’x4’ area with a spatial resolution of 6”x6” and ability to monitor the pressure applied at each sensing point. This semester we are looking for highly motivated and skilled UROPs who want to be a part of answering the question “what can you do if your floor is listening?”. Creating meaningful applications for an accurate, but low cost sensing floor system could have a positive impact in the areas of entertainment, healthcare, and interaction to name a few.

Candidates: We are looking for Junior or Senior EE/CS and Interaction Design students that:

EE/CS--Have relevant prior experience with electronics design and signals processing. Skills in one or more of the following: pcb design with eagle or similar CAD programs, circuit design, data collection and filtering, data analysis and pattern recognition, machine learning.

Interaction Design--Have relevant prior experience with human computer interaction, game design, visual programming.

Skills in one or more of the following: Processing or similar visual programming languages, video game design, graphic design, and persuasive design.

Lab: http://cp.media.mit.edu

Hours per week: commitment of 10 to 20 hours per week

Contact: If you are interested please write an email to Daniel Goodman, dhgood@mit.edu, and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, examples of previous relevant work, and your current resume/CV. There will only be one funded slot this semester, but depending on progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


9/9/14
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: Ability to read Chinese. Intermediate programming skills for webcrawling and databases are desired.

Duration and Commitment: Start as soon as possible. Commit to 15 – 20 hours per week. End date is negotiable.

Wage: $15/hour

Contact:
Professor Karen Zheng, yanchong@mit.edu


9/9/14
Department: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Caitlin Mueller

Project Title: Structurally Informed Additive Manufacturing: Roboprinting Stress Fields

Project Description: This project focuses on developing a new method for additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) at the building component scale. In contrast with the conventional approach of depositing material in horizontal layers, which results in poor structural performance across layers, this project focuses on new ways to deposit material in response to the three-dimensional flow of forces, leading to structures that are highly efficient, stiff, and strong.

Student Roles: The project is in its beginning stages, and UROP students are sought to help with two components. The first component is computational, and involves using 3D modeling, structural analysis, and topology optimization software to identify and model three-dimensional stress trajectories to inform additive manufacturing tool paths. The second component is mechanical, and involves working with a six-axis robotic arm and material extruder to experiment with the digital fabrication of structural forms. There is also the possibility to participate in structural load testing experiments and analysis.

Required Background and Skills: Students interested in Component I should be familiar with basic structural analysis (have taken 1.050, 2.001, 4.440J/1.056J, or equivalent) as well as 3D modeling using Rhino and Grasshopper. Students interested in Component II should have some background in electronics and mechatronics, basic 3D modeling, and fabrication shop experience (2.007, 2.008, 2.009, or equivalent).

Contact: Professor Caitlin Mueller (caitlinm@mit.edu) and James Coleman (colemajr@mit.edu)


9/9/14
Department: Materials Science and Engineering/Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Michael Cima

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

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

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

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

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


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Kevin Slavin

Project Title: A 21st Century Portrait, and Landscape, of the Human Body

Project Description: Homeostasis is a project of the Playful Systems group, directed by Professor Kevin Slavin. It is a large scale sculpture that (literally) brings to life the eleven biological systems that represent and embody human life.

This is a unique opportunity for dedicated, creative, and highly motivated students to work as UROPs, collaborating with two Research Assistants on the design and implementation of a living synthetic organism.

This organism, built on 11 intertwined bacteriological systems, will be sustained in part through their interactions with the architectural systems of the building they're embedded in. Its design and deployment will demand thoughtful experimentation in the wetlab, materials fabrication, and experience design.

This is a unique opportunity for UROPs with bio backgrounds to collaborate with artists and designers at the Media Lab.

Skills: Microbiology, MicroFluidics &/or Chemostat bacterial cultivation.

Contact: Interested candidates should send their resume and a brief paragraph about their background to Julie Legault (jlegault@mit.edu).


9/9/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Kevin Slavin

Project Title: Chess Computation Web Programming

Project Description: Media Lab group Playful Systems is looking for a UROP with web programming skills to help with our work on the Millionaire Chess Open. We're collaborating with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley to produce tools that analyze chess matches to help make the game into an exciting spectator sport. Our work will be deployed at a large tournament in Las Vegas this semester.

We need a UROP to help with the web programming portions of this effort. We're looking for someone with experience in the following areas:

* Node.js (extra-credit for experience with the serialport package)
* Front-end javascript (with jQuery)
* Deploying code to Heroku
* Git
* HTML/CSS (extra-credit for having worked with Blueprint or another grid-based layout system)

Further extra-credit if you have experience with these areas:

* Ruby and Sinatra
* Data science/statistics knowledge, including work with NumPy/SciPy

Contact: Greg Borenstein (gregab@mit.edu) MIT Media Lab, Playful Systems


9/9/14
Department: Biology/Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Michael Hemann

Project Title: Mechanisms of tumor microenvironment-mediated chemoresistance.

Project Description: Our lab is interested in the mechanisms by which tumors resist chemotherapy treatment. This project investigates the role that cells in the tumor microenvironment play in promoting cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy. We have found that chemotherapy-induced damage causes the secretion of cytokines and growth factors from cells in the tumor microenvironment that can promote tumor growth, invasiveness and resistance to chemotherapy. This project is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which chemotherapy promotes these microenvironment changes with the goal of targeting growth factor secretion and improving chemotherapeutic efficacy.

Students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of cell and molecular biology techniques including tissue culture, microscopy and basic molecular genetics and biochemical techniques. Undergraduates should be motivated and excited about research. Must be able to commit to 10+ hrs/week in lab and preference will be given to those interested in continuing through next summer.

Contact: Eric Bent, ehbent@mit.edu. Please attach a CV/resume with any relevant coursework or experience.


9/9/14
Multiple Positions
Department: Media Arts and Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Autonomous-Shared Electric Vehicles

Project Description: The Media Lab’s Changing Places Group is exploring the impact of self-driving vehicles on shared mobility in cities. We will investigate how new forms of urban mobility can positively and negatively affect existing mobility systems like the private automobile and mass-transit networks. This term we will be developing an autonomous, shared, and electric multipurpose mobility system that transports people during the day, goods at night, and perform completely different tasks at other times such as holidays. The project consists of a radically new vehicle type, a novel user interface and a self-learning operations system that is capable of managing the complex logistics of a hybrid people-goods mover.

UROP Positions: During your UROP, you will get insights into the future of transportation and will learn about technical, urban and business innovations in this field. You will help to create the system described above and you will be exploring ways in which machines can adapt to a user of this system - based on their environment, history, profile and social network.

Work packages in the project include the design of interfaces between user, vehicles and a back-end system, optimization of fleet operations, designing the new vehicle, and building control systems for the new vehicle. We will be working closely with manufacturers by using their systems to explore new concepts in the area of vehicular environments, systems, and networks.

UROP 1: Computer Programmer (UROP for pay position)

• You have developed mobile device applications on iOS
• You are experienced in Objective-C, C++ and Java
• Prior experience in simulation, transportation or other areas is a plus

UROP 2: Illustrator / Graphic and Storyboard designer (UROP for credit position)

• You have great conceptual design skills and are able to develop different scenarios
• You are able to refine your thoughts, illustrate them and build a storyboard
• You can create compelling results with the help of graphic software (Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator) and/or video software (After Effects/Premiere)
• You have basic 3D modeling skills (AutoCAD, Rhino, or Sketchup)

UROP 3: Electrical Engineer (UROP for credit position)

• You are familiar with motor controllers
• You have already designed and worked with embedded systems (PCB design)
• You are experienced with Arduino/Raspberry-PI and have at least some programming knowledge

About us: http://cp.media.mit.edu/

Contact: Please email Carson Smuts (carson@studionu.net). Include "UROP application" and your name in the title of the email. Include a link and or attachment with examples of previous projects and your CV/resume.


9/9/14
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Emery Brown

Project Title: Interactions in thalamocortical networks during propofol-induced loss of consciousness.

Project description: The overall project consists in assessing the effect of general anesthetics in thalamocortical networks during loss and recovery of consciousness. We have observed that in humans, loss of consciousness induced by propofol is heralded by a prominent 10 Hz oscillation in the electrical activity of the brain. We hypothesize that such rhythmic activity appears because the thalamocortical network enters in “free-running” mode, as a result of the inhibition of sensory experience by the anesthetic. We are testing this hypothesis by simultaneous recording of thalamic and cortical activity in awake rodents, while they are slowly induced into loss of consciousness using the anesthetic propofol.

Students roles/responsibilities: Two UROP positions are open: The first position requires implementing a system for controlled anesthetic delivery though a syringe pump using Simulink. The pump can be controlled through the RS-232 serial standard. The second position will require implementing Matlab algorithms to display brain electrical signals in the time domain and the time-frequency domain, and port them to video format.

Prerequisites: For the first position, previous experience with Simulink is required. Some experience with serial control will be helpful, but not required. For the second position, knowledge of Matlab, in particular graphic handles, is required. Knowledge of signal processing is not required but will be helpful. Interest in graphic design is welcome. Application for direct funding will be encouraged.

Contact: Francisco J. Flores, Ph.D. (fjflores@mit.edu)


9/4/14
Department: Biology/Whitehead Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Gerald Fink

Project Title: Controlled DNA sequence swapping in yeast

Project description: Pathogenic yeast are a serious public health problem. To address the differences between infectious and baker’s yeast, we will be looking at the timing and function of controlled DNA recombination in the two yeast species.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be able to commit at least 10 hours per week during the academic year and have a strong interest in genetics, molecular or cell biology.

Contact: Please send your CV to Dr. Hannah Blitzblau (blitzblau@wi.mit.edu).


9/4/14
DepartmentLlab/Center: Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Matthew Wilson

Project Title: Interactions in thalamocortical networks during propofol-induced loss of consciousness.

Project description: The overall project consists in assessing the effect of general anesthetics in thalamocortical networks during loss and recovery of consciousness. We have observed that in humans, loss of consciousness induced by propofol is heralded by a prominent 10 Hz oscillation in the electrical activity of the brain. We hypothesize that such rhythmic activity appears because the thalamocortical network enters in “free-running” mode, as a result of the inhibition of sensory experience by the anesthetic. We are testing this hypothesis by simultaneous recording of thalamic and cortical activity in awake rodents, while they are slowly induced into loss of consciousness using the anesthetic propofol.

Students roles/responsibilities:Two UROP positions are open: The first position requires performing histological analysis of brain samples, using both histological and image processing techniques. The second position requires implementing an open-source electrophysiological recording system (www.open-ephys.org), to be used for recording of thalamocortical signals.

Prerequisites: For the first position, previous experience in histology is required. Previous experience with Photoshop and/or Illustrator is not required but will be helpful. For the second position, experience with C and C++ is required. Knowledge of signal acquisition and processing is not required but will be helpful. I will encourage application to direct funding.

Contact: Francisco J. Flores (fjflores@mit.edu)


9/4/14
Department: HST
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lee Gehrke

Project Description: A UROP position is available to work on the development of a rapid diagnostic device to detect viruses in the field. The individual will join an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers to prepare reagents and assemble devices for field testing. Requirements for the position include prior laboratory research; familiarity with gel electrophoresis, western blotting, DNA preparation, ELISA is a benefit. Ability to work as a member of a team is important, as are careful attention to detail, critical thinking, and reliability.

Contact: Lee Gehrke (lgehrke@mit.edu), 617-253-7608


9/4/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Jared Curhan

Project Title: Behavioral Research Lab and Negotiation Research

Project Description: Sloan faculty member and Lab Manager seek UROP for credit for Fall 2014 with possible continuation in Spring 2015. UROP student would serve as a Research Assistant for studies on the dynamics of negotiation as well as support other studies that take place in the Behavioral Research Lab.

Responsibilities may include data entry, coding, subject recruitment and outreach and assisting with experimental sessions. Weekly time commitment will be 10-15 hours per week and can be flexible.

Pre-requisites: Applicants must be highly motivated, highly responsible, creative and entrepreneurial. No prior knowledge of above topics is required. Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, online survey software, audio/video equipment, social media and/or the MIT libraries is a plus. Basic understanding of statistics and research methodology is not necessary, but also would be welcome.

Contact: Interested students should e-mail Jenn Walker at jlwalker@mit.edu.Your e-mail should include a copy of your resume and a brief note indicating your background, interests, year in school, major, and any relevant experience. Finally, please provide a list of ALL courses you have taken at MIT (course number and name, organized by year) and the final grade you received in each course. (A copy of your official transcript may be requested at a later date.)


9/4/14
Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Karen K. Gleason

Project Title: Development of advanced desalination membranes

Project Description: The goal of this project is to develop new membranes for membrane distillation desalination systems. Membranes are produced using initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) and characterized using SEM, AFM, FTIR etc. The UROP student is expected to assist graduate students in producing and characterizing the membranes.

Prerequisites: Self-motivated, committed to doing lab-work, prior lab experience preferred. Training will be provided for any new techniques.

This position is available for credit or pay for the fall semester (minimum of 10 hours/week) with the possibility of continuation.

Contact: Amelia Servi aservi@mit.edu


9/4/14
Department: LIDS, EECS
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Devavrat Shah

Project Description: This UROP consists of two mutually dependent parts that can be executed in parallel.

Part I - Scheduling: this is the research component of this project and is expected to continue for multiple semesters (students are only expected to commit one semester at a time). Scheduling, in its various forms, is a hard problem to solve. From finding the most optimal time slot for people to meet for a meeting/course/interview etc to finding the "best" chunk of time to execute compute jobs, this is an active area of research. Our aim is to begin to work on the "meetings" aspect of this problem to start with. The goal is to eventually develop an open-source interface that will allow people and organizations to define parameters of "optimality" under constraints to determine the best periods of time (to meet). We also intend to publish our results. The work shall involve the following components (roughly):

· Research: define how to determine "optimality" (i.e. the best time to meet), how to mathematically model "constraints" (e.g. chunks of time that do not work; other resource constraints) and survey existing literature for ideas and context.

· Implement a functional version as a web-interface (see Part II).

· Iterate extensively to come up with a simple interface that makes our work accessible to a broad audience. This could involve conducting studies to improve the "out-of-the-box" user experience (UX).

Part II - Web Portal: our goal is to showcase (and embed) the open-source portal described in Part I on a live website. To tie this to a concrete goal, we will align this project to the Umaer Basha Foundation (UBF) who will use and propagate the utility of our Scheduling interface(s). UBF and MIT exist as a collaborative venture.

Apart from learning to use state-of-the-art animation software and gaining experience in software engineering / web-design, student(s) who work on this UROP will gain first-hand experience in measuring and optimizing page-load times across different browsers and devices. Conventional wisdom for optimizing page load time(s) (e.g. see https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/) does not always yield optimal performance due to rapid evolution of browsers and diversity of web clients. The UBF website is representative of the websites needed by small businesses and foundations across the globe, and should allow student(s) to determine the effectiveness of standard performance techniques in such scenarios. Student(s) may be able to innovate / document new performance optimizations and instrumentation techniques.

To this end, student(s) will be expected to create a brand new web portal (likely a Django-based web project) for the UBF. Here are the goals for that portal:

· The UBF website will need to prominently display and showcase the Scheduling work from Part I.

· The UBF website needs to be highly interactive and responsive. The home page for the website will contain a high-quality animation that will first show the globe, zoom into Cambridge and show a sketch of the MIT campus and subsequently zoom to Karachi in Pakistan and show a sketch of the UBIT campus. The animation's purpose will be to highlight the similarity in the two buildings and the inspiration UBIT draws from MIT.

Contact: Graduate Student: Muhammad J Amjad (mamjad@mit.edu)


9/4/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Nancy Kanwisher

Project title: Unraveling visual cognition in people with autism

Project description: We are currently leading a large-scale fMRI project investigating visual cognition in people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. Our project is testing a hypothesis that enhanced visual sensitivity often observed in autism can be pinned to differences in particular neural circuits in the brain. Specifically, we are trying to understand why the rate at which information transitions into visual awareness is slower in autism, and how visual perception in autism is sharply enhanced in attended regions of space. We will use behavioral testing (visual psychophysics) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) to probe these questions.

Your roles: You will gain experience with: working with people with autism, learning how to run fMRI scans, analyzing fMRI data, designing and conducting visual experiments. Position may be taken for credit or payment. In order to be eligible for a paid UROP through the Simons Center for the Social Brain, please contact us by September 15th so that we can develop a research proposal (to be submitted on September 23rd for the Simons Center for Social Brain funding mechanism).

We're specifically looking for candidates who:
1) Will be able to help with my research for the full upcoming academic year (hours/week preferably > 6).
2) Have some experience with MATLAB (flexible).
3) Are willing to help with the human (interacting with / schedule participants) as well as the technical (experimental/analytic) side of experiments.
4) Are fascinated by neuroscience and the brain!

Contact: Please feel free to reach out to me (Caroline Robertson) at cerw@mit.edu with any questions.


9/4/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Fiona Murray

Project Title: Measuring Interaction in Innovative Teams

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 projects. 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.

Over the course of the semester, UROP’s will have the ability to take part in analyzing micro-interaction data, developing new software to improve how we detect interactions, and participate in planning and executing field experiments. The different positions are described below.

Position #1 – Data Analyst

· Help researchers clean and analyze location and interaction data from a series of experiments beginning with new data from MIT’s GFSA Startup Accelerator. During the experiment, an app was install on ~45 Android devices in order to collect data from various sensors.

· UROP will help analyzing the data, studying correlations between social interaction and success measures, and visualize the data on a map

· Skills – Python, SQL, Mongo or equivalent, familiarity with Linux

· Experience or strong interest in working with location data and visualization using maps

Position #2 – Mobile + Backend developer

· We are looking for a student interested in developing software to improve our ability to measure human interactions from sensor data. The student should also be ready to help deploy the software in a series of experiments conducted in hackathons around the Boston/Cambridge area.

· UROP will help developing the data collection framework and support researchers during data collection at 1-3 hackathons during the semester. In addition to software development, the UROP would help at the events with sensor set-up and support.

· Experience with Android development, familiarity with Linux, and Django or equivalent

· Experience with iPhone development a plus

· Familiarity with hackathons a plus

Prerequisites: We are looking for students that are able to contribute a minimum of 10 hours of work a week. For students applying to the developer position, we also ask that they have availability to help deploy their software during a few hackathons.

Contact: Daniel Fehder with a short description of your background or your resume at dfehder@mit.edu


9/4/14
Department: Simons Center for the Social Brain (SCSB)
Faculty Supervisor: Varies (see below)

The Simons Center for the Social Brain (SCSB) will support full-time UROPs during Fall 2014 for pay.

Project description: Undergraduate research topics may address any aspect of the social brain and its disorders, importantly including autism and related neurocognitive disorders. Topics may include but are not limited to: genes and genetic analyses; other risk factors; epidemiology; developmental time course; animal models; human stem cell models; human brain imaging; behavioral studies; mathematical modeling; biological and cognitive therapies; sensors and aids; and diagnosis and biomarkers.

Applications for Fall 2014 Simons UROPs should include a brief proposal with a clear focus on the social brain and autism spectrum disorders, developed with a faculty mentor who will supervise your work.

If you have a faculty advisor in mind, please work together to develop a two to three page proposal which describes the context and scope of the project, a tentative work plan, your role in the UROP, and what you hope to get out of the experience, both academically and personally. If you do not have a faculty advisor in mind, you can find potential advisors via the SCSB UROP Faculty website http://web.mit.edu/scsb/uropfac.html and contact them directly.

If you are an MIT student, please submit your proposal to the UROP office no later than 12 noon on Tuesday, September 23. Importantly, you should select the SCSB (Simons Center for the Social Brain) option associated with your faculty mentor’s name during the process of completing your online application. The application should be entered as Sponsored Research. Should your project not be among those funded by the Simons Center, it will be automatically considered for Direct Funding through the UROP office.

If you are a Wellesley student, please submit your proposal and signed cover letter to my office, no later than 12 noon on Tuesday, , September 23. Please note, only MIT students, Wellesley undergraduates (through the MIT-Wellesley Exchange Program), and students participating in the Cambridge-MIT Exchange (during their semester(s) of study at MIT) may participate in the MIT/SCSB UROP program.

Simons Center UROPs are supported by the Simons Center for the Social Brain, the mission of which is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying social cognition and behavior, and to translate this knowledge into better diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Simons Center seeks proposals from undergraduates interested in studying ASDs from a diversity of perspectives including life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Contact: Eleana Ricci, ericci@mit.edu, 617-253-9340


9/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: Economics
Faculty Supervisor: Daron Acemoglu

Project Title: Empirical Projects in Political Economy

Project Description: We are seeking UROPs to contribute to answering the following political economy questions:

(1) How do political parties reward politicians for legislative effort? We have access to uniquely rich data on UK politicians from 1918-2015 and will investigate whether internal party rewards (e.g. Cabinet positions) exist for those MPs that submit bills.

(2) Political hierarchies in India: how strong are the linkages between high-level and low-level politics in India? Our preliminary evidence for West Bengal suggests surprisingly that the spillovers from high-level to low-level can even be negative. Future work will investigate why.

(3) Decentralization and selection of low-level politicians in India: does the size of village councils affect the quality of politicians selected? Does size influence effectiveness of policies? We are collecting data for Himachal Pradesh where a quasi-experiment enables us to identify effects.

(4) How has the growth of Mormonism influenced politics in the US since 1950?

Interested students are free to work on the project that interests them most. For each project, the UROP will help in the following tasks:

- Data compilation (which may involve some web scraping)

- Background research (e.g. into the institutional history of panchayats in Himachal Pradesh)

- Regression analysis (including regression discontinuity)

Required Skills: The ideal candidate will have a strong background in Economics, an interest in development and political economy topics, experience using Stata and the ability to work independently. Web scraping and ArcGIS skills would be assets (though not necessary).

Commitment: 5-10hrs/week, fall term (with possibility for extension)

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


9/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Itai Ashlagi

Project Title: Organ donation and acceptance

Background: Anyone in the US can become an organ donor (this can be done by signing to become a donor when registering for driver license).
However, once deceased and the time of donation arrives, the donor’s family should still agree to donate his/her organ and indeed it is often the case that the family refuses.

Description: This project goal is eventually to come up with mechanisms to increase acceptance rate. The first crucial step, in which the UROP will be mostly involved in is the collection of data and surveys about the acceptance rate of families in the US as well as other countries. While technical skills are not needed, creativity and initiative will be important to make this successful.

The work time is flexible and up to about hours a week.

Contact: Itai Ashlagi iashlagi@mit.edu


9/4/14
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Industrial Performance Center (IPC)
Faculty Supervisor: Elisabeth Beck Reynolds

Project Title: Scaling Innovative Firms in Massachusetts

Project Description: A key aspect of our understanding of the opportunities and challenges for increased economic growth in the U.S. is the role of entrepreneurial firms. We need to understand more deeply how the bridge from early stage idea to full-scale production is made in these firms given their limited human, physical and financial capital. While the U.S. is strong in innovation and in starting companies, it is important that new technologies and companies grow to scale for the country to capture the full benefits of its innovative capacity.

The Scale Up research agenda, led by MIT’s Industrial Performance Center (IPC), focuses on the growth trajectory of innovative start ups to understand how and where these companies acquire the skills and know-how to scale their operations and what the implications are for U.S. innovative capacity long term.

Some of the key questions we ask in this research are:

· What are the typical steps along the pathway from idea to full-scale production?
· How do these steps differ across different firms and across a range of different sectors?
· What are the sets of capabilities – that companies need to be able to bring a fully integrated product to end users and the market?
· What are the strategic decisions made by entrepreneurial firms at each of these stages?
In the first year of the project, we conducted case studies with companies that have licensed technology from the MIT Technology Licensing Office. In the second year of the project, the PIE Scale Up module will expand the research to look at regional and national data to determine whether we can speak to larger trends regarding scaling production. The research will focus on a broader sample of U.S.-based early-stage firms centered on two groups of firms – those who have received at least Series A venture funding (as recorded in VentureXpert) and those who underwent an Initial Public Offering.

The UROP engaged on this project will be working with these data sets, analyzing the data from MIT, Massachusetts and a national perspective. Using Excel (and possibly Stata), the UROP will help identify companies that have either received venture capital investments and/or have gone public and track their growth trajectories over time. Beyond working with the data sets, the UROP will help research the impact of mergers and acquisitions on these companies, learn more about the founders of the companies, and help conduct interviews with several of the companies.

Work will begin Fall of 2014 and with the possibility of continued work into the fall semester. The UROP will report directly to Elisabeth Reynolds, Executive Director of the Industrial Performance Center and work 10+ hours a week depending on his or her availability. He or she will be paid the standard UROP amount per hour ($10 per hour) leading to a maximum of $2,600 for the semester.

Skills: Skills required include knowledge of Excel, and knowledge of Stata is an asset. Strong analytical and interpersonal skills also required.

Contact: Elisabeth Beck Reynolds <lbr@MIT.EDU>


9/4/14
Department: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Larry Sass

Project Title: Blocks World Redux: Interactive Computation for Enhancing Creative Tacit Knowledge

Lab: International Design Center

Project Description: Physical computing technologies such as robotic manipulators, integrated electronics and motion sensing are poised to enhance and extend how humans use their bodies to interact with materials, tools, and their work environment. However, little is known about how humans ‘think with their hands’ to develop creative ideas. Perhaps we can make robots that drive our cars and clean our houses, but will they replace the creative maker? What goes on in the interaction between mind, body, and world that enables us to generate novel physical and spatial ideas?
The goal of this project is to explore and develop an interactive computational environment for investigating the embodied cognitive abilities of designers. We will revisit an old artificial intelligence problem – Blocks World – from the perspective of an architectural designer who sees blocks not as a sorting or optimization problem, but as a playful opportunity that affords the emergence of creative ideas.

Tasks of UROP: The student will assist PhD candidate Dan Smithwick in ongoing research into the tacit know-how exhibited by designers. The student will bring and further develop his/her technical knowledge and skills for programming the integration of a Kuka robotic arm with a Kinect vision system and integrated Arduino electronics. In addition, the student will assist with setting up and conducting design protocol analysis experiments, including video documentation, editing, and annotation.

Prerequisites: This UROP is best suited for upper-classmen and women with self-initiative who have demonstrated experience with programming the above listed and/or similar technologies. Skill with Adobe Creative Suite and 3D modeling is desired but not required. This is a multi-disciplinary opportunity for Course 2, 6 and any others with strong programming backgrounds to apply and develop their skills outside of their own department.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or direct funding through the UROP Office. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday September 15th.

Contact: Please contact Dan Smithwick, djs2@mit.edu, and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, samples of relevant work, and an up-to-date resume.


9/4/14
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Dick K.P. Yue

Project Title: Design, Construction and Tests of Intelligent Marine Systems for Renewable Energy Applications

Project Description: Vortical Flow Research Laboratory is looking for three UROPs who are interested in working on a novel design project for deployable, autonomous, non-moored buoys for various renewable energy-related applications. The applications include autonomous, persistent operation as sea environment measuring buoys; tunable buoys as members of wave energy arrays; swarming buoys that use networking concepts to achieve reconfigurable, autonomous networked sensory arrays. The UROPs will assist VFRL researchers in developing the mechanical design, take a large part in constructing the prototypes and testing their performance, work on developing and implementing control algorithms for buoy operation, and conduct some hydrodynamic calculations.

Ideal candidates have some experiences with AUVs and hands-on work and have backgrounds in controls and mechanical design. The appointment is available for credit, or for direct UROP funding.

Openings: Multiple

Availability: Fall 2014, Spring 2015

Contact: Grgur Tokic (gtokic@mit.edu), Yuming Liu (yuming@mit.edu), Dick K.P. Yue (yue@mit.edu)


9/3/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Alan Jasanoff

Project Title: Investigate brain regions activated by reward and aversion pathway stimulation

Project Description: A UROP position is available in the lab of Prof. Alan Jasanoff in the Departments of Biological Engineering at MIT. The successful candidate should be enrolled in a biological, neurobiological, or engineering program at MIT.

The goal of the project is to determine how the brain responds to stimulation of the reward and aversion pathways. Components of the research involve animal surgery, characterization of behavior, brain imaging using fMRI, and data analysis. The UROP would be primarily involved in behavioral and imaging experiments. Depending on the UROP’s interest, there might also be opportunities to work on programing or engineering subprojects.

Primary responsibilities: The UROP will assist graduate student Sarah Bricault in the lab of Prof. Jasanoff in the some or all of the following:

1. Running behavioral tests on experimental animals. This will involve animal handling.
2. Assisting in performing fMRI imaging of experimental animals.
3. Assisting in the design, construction, troubleshooting, and use of relevant experimental systems.
4. Other associated projects.

Contact: If you’re interested contact me, Sarah Bricault (sbricau1@mit.edu). Please include a recent CV and a statement of interest


9/3/14
Fall 2014
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Neri Oxman

Project Title: Design of Innovative Digital Fabrication & Manufacturing Systems

Project description: What will the future of digital fabrication and automated construction look like? Could large-scale robots on wheels construct buildings? Might building skins and wearable devices be biologically grown? If these questions interest you, please read on!

The Mediated Matter Group (directed by Prof. Neri Oxman at the MIT Media Lab) conducts research at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science and synthetic biology and applies that knowledge to design across scales from the micro scale to the building scale with a focus on additive manufacturing. We design products, wearable devices and architectural building components and also invest in the development of new technologies - such as robotic printing - to design and build them.

Our previous projects have been featured at major museums (MoMa, Pompidou) and scientific journals. Recent projects include a 50-foot robotic 3D printer for buildings, a Silk Pavilion fabricated by 6,500 silk worms, a body armor inspired in a prehistoric fish, and a 3D printed dress featured at the Paris Fashion show.

We are seeking dedicated, creative and highly motivated students to fill UROP positions in our group. The research will focus on the development of a large-scale 3D printing platform and will include improvements of precise pneumatic and electro-mechanical tools incorporating multi-material mixing on-the-fly. We will operate these tools in synch with our computer-controlled machines, such as a 6-axis robotic arm and/or 3-axis CNCs.

Position: Course 2: Mechanical Engineering (preferably 2+ years)

Students who wish to apply should have strong digital fabrication experience and mechanical design background. They should be proficient with 3D modeling and have experience with precision mechanical systems. Previous work with material deposition tools is a plus.

Contact: Interested candidates should send their resume and a brief paragraph about their background to Laia Mogas-Soldevila (dumo@mit.edu)

Please contact us if you’re interested and we would be delighted to show you the project in more depth!


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Polymer Electrode Material Design and Optimization for Energy Storage and Separation Applications

Project Description: Polymer materials, such as conducting polymers, can be engineered into nanostructured composite materials to increase their charge storage capacity for energy storage applications. In this project, the student will have the opportunity to work on polymer electrode design and optimizations and obtain hands-on experience of polymer electropolymerization and electrode preparations. The student will also learn important electrochemical characterization and data analysis methods to assist the engineering design. The other aspect of the project involves exploring the energy and environment applications of the novel polymeric composite material. The student can be actively involved in designing and conducting experiments to evaluate the electrode performance in those applications.

We are looking for a self-motivated UROP to join this project. The student needs to be a faster learner. No prior electrochemistry knowledge is required, but the student has to have the desire to learn new concepts and deliver in a fast paced environment.

Details: Minimum 10 hours per week. Basic Excel skills and Matlab coding experience is needed for data analysis. Prior laboratory experience is preferred, but not required. Students who can continue after this fall semester are preferred.

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


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Joe Paradiso

Project Title: ChainAPI

Project Description: The barriers to building internet-connected sensors, actuators, and other "things" are getting lower and lower. Once the data leaves your device, where does it go? Chain API is an open-source hypermedia API for working with sensor data, developed in the Responsive Environments group of the MIT Media Lab. It includes an HTTP interface supporting request/response interactions, as well as a Websockets streaming API for realtime "push" updates. Focusing on relations and hyperlinks goes beyond the "Internet of Things" and into the "World-Wide-Web of things", enabling API clients to easily browse, discover, and stream data from disparate sensor networks that may span across many servers. This architecture also creates a substrate for an ecosystem of crawlers and search engines to index and organize data for different applications and use cases.

ChainAPI is built in Python using Django and Flask, with clients in Python, Java (Android), and C# (Unity). We try to strike a balance between discipline and pragmatism, i.e. we write unit tests and design thoughtfully, but working code is king.

Position: We're looking for an enthusiastic developer who wants to learn more about sensor data and web APIs. Experience in Python will come in handy, but a willingness to dive in and work independently is primary. You will be writing client-side and server-side code in collaboration with grad students to support the research goals of the project, as well as building a useful system. You will get experience with important skills like distributed systems, API design, and unit testing.

Contact: Please contact Spencer Russell (sfr@media.mit.edu) with:
- 1-page resume/CV
- Short description of why you're interested in this project, what you hope to learn, and how you can best contribute
- Links to any prior work you're proud of


9/3/14
Fall 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Wanda Orlikowski

Project Title: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Platform-based Ecosystemsi

Project Description: Platforms are increasingly becoming prevalent in many markets, ranging from software operating systems and search engines to electric vehicles, cloud computing, smart grids and more. Popular examples include Apple iOS (and its iTunes appstore), Google Android (and its Google Play appstore), Salesforce’s Force.com (and its AppExchange appstore) and more. Increasingly, many companies – not just the ones in the software domain – are establishing and opening up “platforms” to allow users, app developers, and third-party entrepreneurs to tinker and build complementary applications (e.g. Ford’s OpenXC platform).

An important aspect of platforms is that they allow third-party complementors – ranging from established firms to nascent entrepreneurs – to innovate via enabling them build extensions and complementary applications. These platforms are said reduce barriers to entry and provide a fertile ground for new firm creation, offering entrepreneurs with access to a customer base, variety of technological toolkits, channels for marketing and brand-building and more.

The purpose of this research is twofold: (a) to understand how open platforms actually emerge, how they evolve over time, and how an ecosystem of users, app developers, and entrepreneurs galvanize around the platform; (b) to unpack various types of challenges and tensions faced by entrepreneurs who build their business around platforms and examine why some entrepreneurs are able to successfully navigate these challenges, while others are not able to.

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

Responsibilities: The UROP will closely participate in research that involve gathering and analyzing data related to a number of questions (e.g. how a community of users/customers, app developers, and third-party entrepreneurs come “on-board” to a platform, when do they “leave” a platform, factors that affect their level of trust with the platform-provider, various tactics and strategies taken by app developers etc.). This includes writing programs to collect data from a variety of places, managing and analyzing data using statistical software, and if interested, be involved in the writing of the research.

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 platforms and appstores.

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

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


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science
Faculty Supervisor: Professors Daniel Hidalgo and Chappell Lawson

Project Title: Online Governance Project

Project Description: This project is designed to understand how elected officials around the world use the web to communicate with and serve their constituents. We will examine questions such as: how do local governments and officials vary in the level of services that they offer through government websites and the degree of transparency they offer on budgets and salaries? What factors explain which governments are more responsive through their online presence than others? This is an exciting way to learn more about democracy works around the world, how governments can be made more responsive to citizens, and how communication technologies are transforming governance.

Each UROPer will collaborate with a team including MIT faculty and graduate students. He or she will be responsible for gathering data on government websites, coding samples of website content, and adapting web scraping and machine learning code for the project.

Skills Required: Internet research skills and familiarity with Excel. Advanced students with statistical or programming skills in R, Stata, and Python may be able to take a larger role in the project. Foreign language ability is not required, but students from other countries will have the option of working on their home country if they wish.

Contact: If interested, please contact Professor Daniel Hidalgo at dhidalgo@mit.edu.


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: History
Faculty Supervisor: 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)


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Description: Do you have interest in connecting the physical world around you with the world wide web?

We have an Augmented Reality Web System that can be used for games and programming tasks
for the physical world. Help us to research how such a system can work reliable in everyday environments. You will work on a team that builds up on 2 years of research.

All you need to know: C++, Objective-C

Things that are beneficial to know of: OpenGL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Lab: MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group

Contact: If you are interested, mail your resume to Valentin Markus Josef Heun: heun@mit.edu


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Description: The MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group bring the Web to the physical world with our Augmented Reality Web System. Help us with researching new interfaces between physical objects and the web. How can we build these bridges so that they are seamless? How do we interact with them? You will participate in research that builds a foundation for these questions.

All you need to know: HTML, CSS, JavaScript.

Things that are beneficial to know of: Web Sockets, Node.js

Contact: If you are interested, mail your resume to Valentin Markus Josef Heun: heun@mit.edu


9/3/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Ann M. Graybiel

Project Title: Experiments on brain activity and behavior using optogenetics

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

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

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

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

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


9/3/14
Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Mitchel Resnick

Project Title: Computer Clubhouse Village: A Creative Learning Community for underserved-youth

Project Description: The Computer Clubhouse Village is creative learning community where youth can connect with members from all the Computer Clubhouse (http://www.computerclubhouse.org) locations around the world. At Computer Clubhouse after-school centers, young people (ages 10-18) from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Users of the website share their projects, find new project ideas, discover new ways to do things and interact with other youth who share common interests.

Position - Web Programmer(s)

This student will be working in Ruby on Rails to design and implement new features for the Clubhouse Village website, including personal project portfolios and a drag and drop interface for adding projects to galleries on the site. At a minimum, the student should have 6.005 or equivalent programming experience, and be a highly motivated and independent problem solver. More significant software and web development experience (e.g., 6.170, 6.148) is preferred along with experience working in Javascript, HTML and CSS. The student must be able to devote a minimum of 8 hours a week to the project and should be interested in continuing the project for more than one semester.

Contact: Please contact Direct Supervisor Chris Garrity (chrig@media.mit.edu) with a paragraph describing your interest and relevant experience, a copy of your resume and include links to any previous projects you developed.


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: RLE/EECS
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Description: The Speech Communication Group at RLE has several positions in a research project on differences in rhythmic behavior between speaking and tapping, with implications for the role of sentence prosody in speech production planning. Some familiarity with behavioral experiments, linguistic phonetics or with speech acoustics is a plus for this position, but we can train you. The position will familiarize you with designing and running experiments, software for displaying and analysing sound signals, and the ways in which speech, music and other structured behaviors may be similar and different.

Pay: $10.50 per hour; possibility of extension into IAP 2015.

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


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: RLE/EECS
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Description: The Speech Communication Group at RLE/EECS conducts research on speech signal analysis and processing, which includes:

1) Landmark and Acoustic Cue Extraction system development: construction and integration of modules that detect acoustic patterns in the signal that correspond to linguistic and paralinguistic information, such as phonemes, words, prosody, etc.

2) Database annotation with landmarks and acoustic cues: annotation and configuration of multi-speaker databases with landmarks and acoustic cues

3) Application of Landmark and Acoustic Cue Extraction to analysis of speech of different populations: analysis of speech from different speaking styles, from typically and atypically developing children, from dysarthric speech, etc.

The group plans to hire several UROPs in the fall term 2014 for the following tasks:

Project #1 - Module Development: Develop one or more modules that implement signal processing/detection algorithms for extracting and integrating acoustic cues for a) vowel place, b) vowel tense/lax distinction, c) glide identification, d) nasal place, or e) obstruent consonant voicing

Skills (required): Matlab, C++, Java, Python or similar Skills/coursework (preferred): familiarity with WaveSurfer or similar speech analysis software / Signals and Systems or Digital Signal Processing, Probability, and/or Phonetics
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Project #2 -System integration/management and experimentation: Oversee integration of the component modules and the overall maintenance of the Landmark and Acoustic Cue Extraction system, as well as running the system in various configurations on multiple databases; may also be asked to run experiments involving the HTK speech recognition toolkit

Skills (required): Matlab, C++, Java, Python or similar/ familiarity with popular platforms such as Linux, MS, MacOS Skills/coursework (preferred): familiarity with HTK toolkit / Signals and Systems or Digital Signal Processing, Probability, and/or Phonetics
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Project #3 -Database development and analysis (entry level position): Annotate speech data with landmarks and acoustic cues, and/or prosody markers, and if desired, may progress to analysis of the data by tabulation or by using decision tree analysis software

Skills/coursework (preferred): Python, Excel / Phonetics Positions pay $11 per hour, with some possibility of extension into IAP and beyond.

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


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: Half-implant Wearable Technologies for Nail & Hair

Project description: We will be creating half-implant wearable technologies for fingernails and hair. These half-implant wearables will not only be highly functional; they will be aesthetic, fashionable and appealing to wear. The UROP will be working with grad students to explore novel sensing modalities and create prototypes. We will also experiment ways to make our hardware solutions "aesthetic". Using the developed nail and hair sensors as input technology, we are also planning to develop applications connected to Google Glass and mobile devices.

Requirements: (UROP departmental funding/UROP for credit): Ideal candidate will have strong hardware background and/or software experience. An artistic eye will be a plus. However, we welcome anyone with interest to submit their resume, as other aspects of the project with may fit different skill sets. There is a possibility for extending this to the Spring semester, for subsequent phases of this project.

Contact: If interested, please send resume to cindykao@media.mit.edu


9/3/14
Department/Lab/Center: McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Ed Boyden

Project Title: In Vivo Robotics For Understanding Brain Function

Project Description:
UROP positions are available in the Synthetic Neurobiology Group at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the MIT Media Lab, working with post-doctoral fellow Dr. Annabelle Singer and graduate student Giovanni Talei Franzesi under the guidance of Dr. Ed Boyden. While neural codes have long been examined at the spiking level the significance of a particular neural code ultimately depends on how it is perceived and processed by the cells that receive these codes via synaptic inputs. We aim to understand the computations that occur inside neurons, how neurons receive and respond to their inputs, during behavior using cutting edge methods to perform automated patch clamp recordings in awake behaving animals. Undergraduates working on this project will perform animal handling, behavioral training, and data analysis. As time permits, students will analyze intracellular neural signals recorded from awake behaving animals. Students may also participate in other aspects of the project, including surgery, histology, and electrophysiology. Data analysis will involve signal processing and visualization in Matlab, though other programming languages could be used as appropriate. UROPs also participate in lab meetings including presenting their research. For more information about the lab see: http://www.syntheticneurobiology.org.

Prerequisites: Qualified applicants must have a strong work ethic, commitment to doing research, and an interest in neuroscience. We are seeking individuals who are detail oriented, reliable, and work well with others. Prior research experience, especially in biology or neuroscience, is a plus but not required. Experience with Matlab or similar coding languages is preferred. We require the student to work 15-20 hours/week during the semester and full time over the summer and IAP with a minimum 1 year commitment. We highly suggest being open to a multi-year commitment as that can result in co-authorships and publications.

Contact: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and transcript (unofficial is ok) to Annabelle Singer (asinger@mit.edu) and Giovanni Talei Franzesi (geggio@mit.edu).


9/3/14
Department: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Josh McDermott

Laboratory for Computational Audition

Project Title: Recording Environmental Sounds for Auditory Perception Studies

Project Description: Our lab studies the computational abilities of the human auditory system. We are interested in how people derive information about the world from sound, and in particular the process by which humans identify everyday sounds; a task that humans find relatively effortless but that remains challenging for machine systems. We are looking for a UROP to help in these studies by recording different types of sounds that people frequently hear (e.g. telephone ring, computer typing, etc.). These recordings will be useful for a variety of ongoing projects in the lab, and will eventually be made public for other research groups to download and use.

We are looking for a student who can work independently, and is interested in sound and perception. No specific prerequisites are required. Experience with programming and with audio recording would be a plus. This position is available for pay or for credit.

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


9/2/14
Multiple Openings
Department: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Rosalind Picard

The Affective Computing group, Media Lab is looking for highly motivated and responsible UROP students who work on the following projects this fall.

Project #1: Help us to run exciting experiments to understand stress, sleep and social network data from MIT students using mobile phones and wearable sensors

We are running long-term ambulatory measurement experiments in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, Brigham Women's Hospital for MIT students to understand their stress, sleep, academic performance and social networks.

You will be a part of our "College Sleep" team and
help us to prepare for experiments, conduct the experiments and analyze data, You will learn how to design and run large-scale human experiments and collect and analyze the data.

The students must have interests in doing human experiments in health/wellness research fields. Experience in human experiments or data analysis skill, python matlab experience is plus.
_________

Project #2:
Long-term ambulatory physiological and behavioral data analysis (statistical analysis and machine learning) to understand the health condition (mood, sleep, stress etc.)

The students will analyze data (e.g. electroencephalogram, skin conductance, activity, phone logs etc) to understand stress, mood and sleep. The students must have experience in MATLAB or python and have interests in signal processing/data analysis and health/wellness research fields.

Experience in statistical analysis, signal processing or machine learning is plus.
_________

Project #3:
Develop an android phone application to monitor sleep and provide advice to improve sleep

The students must have experience in android programming and also have interests in sleep. health/wellness fields.

Contact: If you are interested in the project(s) above,
please send an email to Akane Sano at akanes@mit.edu with the following information:

- Subject line: “UROP – first name, last name – years in college, the name of the project you wanna work on
- Content: Please write a short description (<200 words) that explains why you are interested and which project you are interested in and summarizes your relevant experience.
- Attachment: CV/resume


9/2/14
Department: Biological Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Linda Griffith

Project Title: Developing biomaterials for tissue engineering with emphasis in the small intestine.

Project Description: UROP opportunity for a student interested in developing biomaterials with applications in cell polarization and organogenesis. The small intestine is the prime site for drug absorption thus we are interested in developing biomaterials that can favor tissue formation and polarization using primary cells. We then would use this biomaterial to build a microphysiological system to test drug toxicity/absorption in vitro. As such we envision the student will learn how to culture human organoids (miniguts) in 3D culture. In parallel the student will learn how to assemble PEG-based hydrogels harboring different cell adhesion sequences to favor cell polarization of the primary cells.

Candidates: We are looking for a highly motivated, independent, and naturally curious student. Experience with biomaterial fabrication, biological assay and cell culture techniques are a plus.

The Lab: The lab is located in the Center for Gynepathology Research, Building 16 room 436.

Hours per week: Commitment of 10 or more hours per week is expected with some flexibility during exam week.

Contact: Please send your CV and reference to vhernand@mit.edu to set up a meeting to discuss the projec


9/2/14
Multiple Openings
Department: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Rich Fletcher

Project Title #1: Augmented Reality on Mobile Phones for Health Applications

Project Description: Augmented reality provides powerful new ways to represent and display information on mobile phones and tablets. We have several mobile health applications where augmented reality could provide an innovative solution to make the user interface more intelligent and simple to use. Tracking specific features in the camera field of view and overlaying dynamic annotations of objects and sensors in the camera view are among the design features that we are exploring. Our team includes Harvard School of Public Health and Boston Childrens Hospital as well as top hospitals and NGO's in India (AIIMS Hospital and Public Health Foundation of India). Projects include applications for consumer health, here in the US, as well as global health projects in developing countries.

UROP tasks include:
- We are currently seeking 1-2 UROP students to help develop augmented reality applications using the Qualcomm Vuforia SDK for Android.
(https://developer.vuforia.com/)
- This powerful SDK enables a wide variety of useful augmented reality functions (see for example: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP5le6lZ_bw).
- We are looking for students with a solid programming background in JAVA and/or C++. Prior experience with Android or image processing is a plus. No biomedical experience or knowledge is necessary, but of course general interest in creating technologies to help people is desirable. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working fall semester and will hopefully continue through the IAP and beyond. Pay or credit is available, or UAP project consideration.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience
______________

Project Title #2: Efficient power amplifier design for inductive stoves

Project Description: Believe it or not, most of the people in the world still use biomass fuels for cooking and/or heating. Burning biomass (wood, coal, dung, etc.) produces smoke which is extremely harmful for family members, particularly pregnant mothers. One of the largest causes of death and most common public health concern around the world is this so called "Household Air pollution. We are currently developing a new efficient design for a cooking stove using magnetic induction, which is commonly found in commercial restaurants and starting to appear in consumer kitchens in urban india and africa. This "out of the box" design represents a huge revolution in the way most of the world cooks their food.

UROP tasks include: We are currently seeking 1-2 UROP students to help design and test efficient FET amplifiers that can drive a 1KW load with very high efficiency. We are looking for students with a solid analog design background with knowledge of transistor amplifiers and circuits. Coursework in and Analog and power electronics, and control systems is a plus. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working fall semester and will hopefully continue through IAP and beyond.

Pay or credit is available, or UAP project consideration.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience
______________

Project Title #3: Mobile Phone App Development for Health Diagnostics

Project Description: Our group develops a variety of mobile technologies to diagnose disease and abnormalities in a person's health. Sample applications include:
- (1) scanning newborn babies in India, where many babies die because of the fact that health workers are not able to detect underlying problems although the baby might appear healthy; and when the condition and symptoms become obvious, it is often too late for treatment.
- (2) pulmonary disease -- this is a second leading cause of death in India and 4th world-wide. Many forms of pulmonary disease (COPD, asthma, cancer) can be treated or prevented if early signs are detected.
- (3) Diebetes -- this chronic disease is becoming increasingly common all over the world, including developing countries. We are exploring some early detection methods that can be implemented on a mobile phone to enable early intervention.

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

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

We are looking for students with a solid programming background in JAVA and/or C++, preferably in the context of Android. Prior experience with Android and/or image processing is a plus. In parallel with signal processing, we are also developing machine learning algorithms to assist with decision support and feedback for the health workers and doctors. Software will be implemented on Android phones and tablets using the JAVA SDK along with the native C NDK. No biomedical background is necessary, but of course general interest in developing technologies that help people is important. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working this Fall term and will hopefully continue through the IAP and beyond. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration. Opportunities to travel to developing countries are also available.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience
______________

Project Title #4: Mobile App Development for Psychological Assessment and Treatment

Project Description: Mental health is an critical health concern which touched most of our lives, yet this field is often underappreciated and overlooked in terms of general health care and also technology development. In the US, top mental health disordes include substance abuse, depression, and anxiety disorders. Although the number of mental health disorders is vast, our group is focused on a new key areas of mental health where early detection and better therapy are of great need. Our group is developing several innovative techniques to help detect and diagnose mental health conditions and disease. Some of these techniques involve analyzsing a person's eyes (gaze, pupillometry) as well as a variety of games that measure stress or impulsivity or cognitive bias. We are also exploring innovative and personalized ways to treat mental health conditions that does not require drugs -- which are highly over used in this country. Our projects are designs to help not only everyday consumers, but also targeted for working with homeless shelters and drug-rehab programs. Our lab has a strong clinical phychiatry ties to UMass Medical School as well as doctors in the Boston area.

UROP tasks include: We are seeking students with an interest in mental health, cognitive science, and psychology who are motivated to create new ways to revolutionize mental health assessment and treatment. Aside from an interest in psychology/psyuchiary and brain function, we are looking for students with programming backgrounds to help develop software for mobile devices in JAVA and/or C++, preferably in Android. Experience with game design or image processing is a plus. Alternatively, we also welcome students who are interested/capable of assisting with server-side programming to provide services via a web site with integration to VOIP and SMS. (experience with DRUPAL or VOIP, Twitter, or text messageing servers is a plus). The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working this Fall term and will hopefully continue through the IAP and beyond. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration.

EECS Student (6.x) or anyone with relevant experience

Contact: Dr. Rich Fletcher (fletcher@media.mit.edu) (and mention for which project you are applying)


9/2/14
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Amy Glasmeie

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: 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.

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