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

Current Research: Project Openings

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

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

Available UROPs

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

3/5/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Chemistry (Course 5)
Faculty Supervisor: Gabriela Schlau-Cohen

Project Title: Exploring Energy Transport in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting using Synthetic Membranes

Project Description: In photosynthetic light harvesting, absorbed sunlight is converted to chemical energy with near unity quantum efficiency. This remarkably efficiency is achieved by transporting absorbed sunlight through a protein network over a distance of 20-200 nm. We still do not understand, nor can we reproduce, the efficient and directional energy flow found in natural systems. To disentangle this process, we will build synthetic membranes and insert photosynthetic proteins in selected combinations and in a controlled membrane environment. With this approach, we will be able to probe the structural and functional changes that arise when photosynthetic proteins associate in the membranes. There are two potential projects: (1) One project will involve constructing the synthetic membrane systems. This includes learning protein expression and purification and the self-assembly reactions to build the synthetic membranes; (2) A second project will involve measuring the femto- to picosecond energy transfer dynamics. This includes learning optics and writing code to synchronize the lasers, time delays, and detectors to perform this measurement.

The UROP position is available for the spring and/or summer of 2015. Preference will be given to students who can commit for at least through the summer. Credit or pay available, must apply for direct funding through UROP office for pay.

Contact: Gabriela Schlau-Cohen (gssc@mit.edu)


3/5/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Mathematics (Course 18)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Alan Edelman

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

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

Website: www.mit.edu/~kepner/

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

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


3/5/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Kinetic Objects: Geometric Primitives as Building Blocks and Augmented Interactive Tokens on Shape Displays

Project Description: The MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group is looking for a student with Computer Vision skills for help with ongoing research around shape changing pin displays (see link). The focus of this project is to explore the possibilities and limitations of inter-material interaction. We will use the shape display to automatically translate and stack geometric primitives to assemble larger structures. Additionally, we will investigate how these building blocks can be used as interactive tokens. Moving the geometric primitives within the shape display environment can trigger different actions. We are looking at how we can seamlessly blend passive physical objects with the virtual dynamic physical objects. For that endeavor we need help with the camera tracking using the Microsoft Kinect and implementing different interactive scenarios. The position is open immediately.

Prerequisites: Experience in C++ and OpenCV (blob detection, color tracking, fiducial marker tracking) Experience using openFrameworks or Processing is a plus but not necessary.

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

Contact: If interested or you have additional questions please contact Philipp Schoessler (phil_s@mit.edu)


3/5/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Basheer Tome

Project Title: Shape changing automotive interiors

Project Description: Physical objects can have a layer of expression through it's physical form. We seek to use a dynamic texture to manipulate physical form and enhance emotional experiences. The goal of this research is to connect a user with their environment through enjoyable emotional experiences. As a UROP, you will be working with us, alongside auto manufacturers from the industry as we look to manipulate aspects of a vehicle interior in order to convey vehicle emotions. Interested students should be independent workers and able to commit 10-15 hours/week in the Media Lab. Responsibilities: The UROP will be asked to help with the software and/or hardware prototyping of a demo piece able to showcase this compelling user experience.

Prerequisites: We are seeking an experienced and motivated student, most likely from course 6 or related. Experience with electronics, programming, device prototyping (software & hardware) and use of Arduino platforms is encouraged. Past experience of shop and rapid prototyping equipment (laser cutter etc) is a benefit but can be learned on the job.

Contact: Basheer Tome (basheer@media.mit.edu)


3/3/15
Spring and Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Christian Catalini

Project Title: Classification of Citations in Scientific Literature

Project Description: Citations are an integral part of the scientific process. However despite their importance, little is known about their collective usage patterns. Recent advances in computerized natural language processing and machine learning have allowed researchers to meaningfully study these citations en masse. We are researching the contexts in which different types of citations are used, and investigate any prevailing patterns.

One possible area of application is in the ranking of papers in journal databases. Currently papers are ranked without a systematic process, and even when they are, they rely on inaccurate heuristics like total inbound citations. By understanding the metaphorical anatomy of citations, we can build robust paper ranking systems that give extra credit to inbounding positive citations, and discount inbounding negative citations.

We are looking for candidates to help us build a catalogue of scientific citations and their associated properties. Candidates will read a wide array of cutting-edge scientific literature and track citation patterns. This catalogue will serve as our machine learning models’ source of objective truth or “golden standard” during training. All of our results will depend on the quality of this curated catalogue.

Ideal candidates should have:
• Strong ability to read and understand scientific literature
• Strong organizational skills
• Basic understanding of statistics or machine learning

Responsibilities will include:
• Reading cutting-edge scientific literature
• Track patterns of citation usage in journals

Steering the direction of machine learning feature engineering

Contact: Please email Christian Catalini (catalini@mit.edu) with your resume/CV and copy Edward Kim (edwardk@mit.edu).


3/3/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Aude Oliva

Project Title: myMemory: Understanding and Improving Human Memory

Project Description: The goal of this project is to develop an application (desktop or mobile) to help people understand and improve their memory using the concept of 'memorability', (see http://facemem.csail.mit.edu). Our goal is to develop a variety of "games" that help people better understand their own memories (e.g. Person A might be better at remembering cats, while Person B is better at remembering dogs), and how they compare to the average of the population. We would also like to collect information about people playing these games to identify the factors that contribute to similarities and differences in memory. To attract users, we will do media outreach to generate interest in our application. If it takes off, this will provide a lot of extremely valuable data for further analysis. This project is quite flexible and once the initial application is developed, it can take a direction that best suits your goals. In general, we would like to work with you to best adapt the project to your liking while working towards a common end goal.

Prerequisites: Our ideal candidate would have experience in web and/or mobile development and should have taken, or be planning to take the computer vision course (6.869).

Contact: Aditya Khosla (khosla@mit.edu)


3/3/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering – Physics
Faculty Supervisor: Pr. Nicholas X. Fang

Project Title: Acoustic response of two elastic spheres in contact

Project description: Active acoustic metamaterials, in which the effective material properties are modulated or controlled by external signals, offer the opportunity to push material functionality in applications such as medical ultrasound imaging and surgery.

The static contact between two elastic spheres is well described by nonlinear theory of Hertzian contact. It gives the deformation of the two spheres, when loaded, proportional to the applied force to the power of 2/3 (Theory of Elasticity, Landau). Other configuration that has already been given attention is that of the nonlinear propagation of acoustic wave in a one-dimensional infinite granular chain or random arrangement of beads in contact.

Here we are interested in the acoustic -dynamic- response of a “dimer” made of two elastic spheres in contact under acoustic disturbance. Indeed, it can be expected to have two very different behaviors, depending on whether the incident acoustic wave is along the axis formed by the two spheres, or perpendicular to that axis.

The short-term component of the project is the design of one dimer (choice of material, dimension, choice of surrounding material) followed by the experimental characterization of its acoustic response. The long-term component is mass production of identical dimers and their incorporation in a fluidic matrix. The successful candidate should be comfortable with experimental work. He/She will get familiar with lab bench work and laboratory equipment such as oscilloscope, generator, acoustic emitter/receiver, translation stage. CAD software might be used for the design.

Avaibility: Spring 2015, Summer 2015, Fall 2015

Contact: Interested students are asked to email Prof. Nicholas Fang (nicfang@mit.edu) or Dr. Nicolas Viard (nviard@mit.edu) with your CV.


3/3/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: TRIBE: iOS mobile app development to enable behavior change experiment on strengthening human connections.

Project Description: Strong relationships enable you to live your life to the fullest. Unfortunately, when faced with major life changes like moving to a new city or graduating from school many people struggle to prioritize time for the relationships that matter most. TRIBE is an envisioned iOS mobile app that makes it easy to sustain relationships with up to 9 close friends and family. Major elements of the app will include making it easier to find convenient times to connect with loved ones through calendar synchronization and one-click scheduling, and making it easier to share moments at the end of your day through push notifications. While the objectives of the experiment are clear, we are looking to work with a UROP who can creatively translate those objectives into features. This initiative is being developed as part of the Media Arts & Sciences Course Behavior Change Lab. We are looking for a motivated UROP to build and test this app in March in preparation for launching the app in April as part of a behavioral experiment.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have knowledge and experience with front and back-end iOS mobile app development. Experience or knowledge of how to merge app databases with e-mail engines is a plus. An entrepreneurial mindset and ability to work well in a team are a must.

Start Date: Immediate opening

Hours per week: Total of approximately 20 hours between March 2nd and March 27th. This will be a paid position.

Contact: You will be working most closely with Chetan Jhaveri (cjhaveri@mit.edu). If you are interested, send an email with your CV (plus website and/or portfolio).


2/27/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Patrick S. Doyle

Project Title: Synthesis of Functional Particles by Microfluidic Devices

Project Description: The use of polymeric particles has spread from applications requiring bulk quantities of particles to niche applications in photonics, diagnostics and tissue engineering where the properties of each individual particle are critical to their technological function. We are working on the preparation of non-spherical functional particles by Stop-Flow-Lithography based on microfluidic devices. This project involves synthesis and characterization of the particles, and their applications.

Prerequisites: No previous experience and backgrounds are required. There is a possibility for extending this project into the summer and/or into the Fall semester.

URL: https://doylegroup.mit.edu/

Contact: If you are interested, please send your CV to Seung Goo Lee (seunggoo@mit.edu) and Hyundo Lee (hyundo@mit.edu).


2/27/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Engineering Systems Division (ESD)
Faculty Supervisor: Edgar E Blanco

Project Title: MIT Megacity Logistics Lab: KM2 and Compass

Project Description: The MIT Megacity Logistics Lab conducts innovative theoretical and applied research to help companies operate better logistics for cities and government to design better cities for logistics. Learn more at http://lastmile.mit.edu We have developed prototype web tools that allow analysis and visualization of relevant urban logistics data at the square kilometer level (KM2) and at the company operational level (Compass). We are looking for two UROPs to help us implement new user interfaces, enhancements and visualizations.

Prerequisites: Technologies used in building these websites include Ruby on Rails, Yii Framework, Google MAPS API, Javascript (including HighCarts Library) with a PostgreSQL. Experience with some of them highly desired. Candidates with web development experience are also encouraged to apply.

URL: http://lastmile.mit.edu

Contact: Daniel Merchan (dmerchan@mit.edu)


2/27/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Engineering Systems Division (ESD)
Faculty Supervisor: Edgar E Blanco

Project Title: Megacity Logistics Lab: Big Data in City Logistics

Project Description: The MIT Megacity Logistics Lab conducts innovative theoretical and applied research to help companies operate better logistics for cities and government to design better cities for logistics. We have access to very large data sets of logistics activity in cities. We are looking for a UROP to help us analyze, implement prototypes algorithms and develop visualizations to help extract valuable insights from these data.

Prerequisites: Python and Relational Database Management Systems (MySQL, SQLLite, PostgreSQL).

URL: http://megacitylab.mit.edu

Contact: Edgar E Blanco (eblanco@mit.edu)


2/27/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Engineering Systems Division (ESD)
Faculty Supervisor: Edgar E Blanco

Project Title: Megacity Logistics Lab: Building Megacity Profiles

Project Description: The MIT Megacity Logistics Lab conducts innovative theoretical and applied research to help companies operate better logistics for cities and government to design better cities for logistics. We are looking for a team of 5-10 UROPs that will help us build profiles of the top 25 megacities in the world: Tokyo, Delhi, Seoul, S o Paulo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Karachi, Mexico City, Beijing, Jakarta, New York City, Osaka, Manila, Cairo, Dhaka, Los Angeles, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Kolkata, London, Bangkok, Lagos, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Teheran. Creating these profiles requires reviewing secondary information on regulation, public transport, population, GDP, infrastructure, land use, retail sector and Open Street Maps. Minimum 8 hours per week, starting as early March 15th for 6-8 weeks. Please indicate multi-lingual skills (with level of knowledge) in your application. All backgrounds welcome. At least one students from Urban Studies and Planning will be part for the team.

Prerequisites: Preference will be given to students that can read the local language of any of the target cities. Familiarity with GIS systems a plus, but not required (you will be trained during the UROP).

URL: http://megacitylab.mit.edu

Contact: Edgar E Blanco (eblanco@mit.edu)


2/27/15
Department: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Member: Prof. Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Mobile context classification using optical features. Mobile context classification using optical features.

Project Description: Surface and object recognition is of significant importance in ubiquitous and wearable computing. While various techniques exist to infer context from material properties and appearance, they are typically neither designed for real-time applications nor for optically complex surfaces that may be specular, textureless, and even transparent. These materials are, however, becoming increasingly relevant in HCI for transparent displays, interactive surfaces, and ubiquitous computing. We developed a new sensing technology for surface classification of exotic materials, such as glass, transparent plastic, and metal. The technique extracts optical features by employing laser and multi-directional, multi-spectral LED illumination that leverages the material's optical properties.

We are looking for multiple motivated Junior or Senior UROP to help continuing this effort by creating novel applications and making the device ands system compact, robust, and wireless.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have knowledge and experience with some of the following items: Image processing, machine learning, and classification. Rapid prototyping skills, including Arduino, Processing, 3D printing, analog circuit design, circuit board fabrication/assembly, and ARM Cortex programming. Human Computer Interaction, interaction design, photography, video editing, 3D CAD, and website design.

Start Date: Immediate opening

Hours per week: commitment of 10-20 hours/week

Contact: You will be working with Munehiko Sato, PhD
(munehiko@mit.edu). If you are interested in joining the team, send an email with your CV (plus website and/or portfolio). Depending on the progress, funding is available for subsequent terms.


2/27/15
Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: A. Ghoniem and A. Slocum

Project Title: Waste management / renewable energy for rural development

Project Description: In many parts of the developing world, agricultural and other biomass waste is simply burned in the open air, creating much toxic pollution. Thermochemical treatment (torrefaction) is a process whereby this waste can be converted into solid fuel. This has the potential to provide renewable energy, create new income and jobs, reduce waste, and in some cases cut down pollutions and greenhouse emissions. You will help develop analytical tools to design and optimize a low-cost biomass-to-fuel conversion process described above. Scope of the work, depending on your background, may involve modeling combustion processes and reactors, with subsequent prototype testing. You will learn the fundamental process of engineering design and modeling tools that are widely applicable to other areas of engineering. Successful projects will have potential follow-on travel opportunities (India, Kenya, etc.) to test viable prototypes.

Prerequisites: Multi-semester engagement strongly preferred. Prior experience with Matlab is preferred.

Contact: Kevin Kung (kkung@mit.edu)


2/27/15
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title: HearingBand: Enhancing social behavior of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Project Description: CAD/Fabric manufacturing (mechanical engineering): The student will research wearable technology designs, come up with a good form factor for the wrist band and manufacture it through 3D printing or fabric. Bonus experience: PCB design and manufacturing to fit in the mechanical prototype. The project is expected to be deployed and tested with real users.

Project Abstract: Due to social implications of disability, disabled people are known to exhibit behaviors that can be termed as "weird" or "socially unacceptable". We aim to develop a technical product to improve social behavior of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Specifically, we would create a wrist band which shines and vibrates if the sound emitted from an object kept on the table is too loud. The long term hope is to educate a person with hearing loss "with a polite way" of keeping the objects on the table.

Requirements: Proficient with CAD and/or fabric design and manufacturing. Some hardware experience (Arduino) preferred. Preferably an undergraduate from course 2 but others are encouraged to apply. If interested, please send us a mail with your resume and description of the relevant project with your role in it.

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


2/27/15
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schmandt

Project Title JogCall: Increasing collaborations between local couples by persuading them to jog together.

Project Description: Mobile application development (Software engineering): The student is expected to research the psychological and design factors involved to (i) develop a compelling and interactive mobile application interface, and (ii) improve the backend module for interacting with hardware over wireless networks. The results are expected to culminate in a work-in-progress submission to a conference on persuasive technologies.

Project abstract: Many technologies are designed to promote collaborations between remote couples like Skype, Pillow talk etc., allowing them to share their intimate experiences. However, there are very few projects which enhance interactions between couples in close proximity. This project aims to increase the collaboration between local couples by instrumenting their homes with a series of carefully planned sensors and physical artifacts. Using a series of alarm triggers and a small sculpture, it motivates couples to interact with each other by performing some form of a group activity like cooking, jogging or gardening.

Requirements: Proficient with android application design and development with some orientation towards design based research. Some hardware experience (Arduino) preferred. Preferably an undergraduate from course 6 but others are encouraged to apply. If interested, please send us a mail with your resume and description of the relevant project with your role in it.

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


2/23/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Joshua B. Tenenbaum

Project Title: Web Game Development for Cognitive Game Theory

Project Description: How does cooperation spontaneously emerge in competitive environments? What computational principles underlie the scale and sophistication of human social behavior? This project focuses on testing models from artificial intelligence and computational game theory that enable cognitive agents to coordinate on socially optimal outcomes in the absence of top-down signals.

To test these theories, the UROP student will design and build a series of simple *multiplayer* web games and automatically collect data using Amazon Mechanical Turk on human behavior. We will be building these games using Javascript and Node.js.

Prerequisites/Requirements: Experience with web development is required. Interest in cognitive science, behavioral economics or experimental game theory highly preferred. This position is available starting now and students who want to continue over the summer and do a deeper project will also be considered.

Contact: To apply, send your CV/Resume and a brief description of previous web development experience (coursework or otherwise) to Max Kleiman-Weiner at maxkw@mit.edu


2/23/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Engineering Systems Division (ESD)
Faculty Supervisor: Dava Newman

Project Title: Earth Operating Manual (EOM)

Project Description: Spring 2015 UROP Needed: We are looking for an undergraduate interested in environmental engineering, climate change, architecture, urban planning, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, policy, and more to help develop the concept, and design an Earth Operating Manual (EOM). We will research sustainable appropriate applied technologies, and systems in the areas of architecture, energy, transportation, space, oceanography, agriculture, food production, and more. The EOM will serve as the go to portal for architects, engineers, farmers, and others to search for information, and get feedback on the impact on the planet of materials and systems before they select them for projects. It will also be a forum to discuss and analyze new technologies systems and technologies.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have an inquisitive mind, web and apps design abilities, excellent communications skills, and design experience. Extensive software development, coding, and visualization experience is a plus.

URL: trottistudio.com

Contact: If you are interested in participating on this exciting project please send your resume to: Alexandra Hilbert (ahilbert@mit.edu)


2/18/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: MIT Sea Grant College Program
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Chrys Chryssostomidis

Project Title:  Climate Adaptation in Coastal Cities

Project Description: 

Chelsea, Massachusetts is a coastal city north of Boston which is densely populated with the most diverse population in the state.  Almost 50% of  its 2.5 square miles is in the federally designated 100-year flood plain, making the people, businesses, and infrastructure highly vulnerable to flooding from storms, tides, and sea level rise. 

The Chelsea Planning Department is interested in reducing risk to its population and providing adaptation options for current buildings and new construction.  This project would focus on (1) identifying adaptation options and evaluating their successes in areas where they have been implemented,  (2) reviewing existing modeling results to identify vulnerable areas, (3) evaluate the economic benefits and costs of adaptation options in the short- and long-term, and (4) conduct a vulnerability assessment for Chelsea’s municipal buildings and properties.  Depending on the student’s interests and abilities, they will assist with any of the above projects and should be willing to work with city planners and the public.  The overarching goal is to provide the Planning Department with tools that will enable them to ensure new development will protect the health and safety its citizens and to develop options for retrofitting current buildings at risk.

Students from all departments are encouraged to apply.   Applicants should be enthusiastic about being able to effect positive change working with a municipality that has limited resources.  Prior experience with GIS, economic risk and vulnerability analysis, or flooding and inundation models (e.g., SLOSH, SLAMM, ADCIRC) would all be desireable but not required.

Contact Name: Juliet Simpson
Contact Email: simpsonj@mit.edu


2/17/15
Term: Spring
Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Julie Shah

Project Title: Robotic Systems for Airplane Final Assembly

Project Description: Till recently, most robots worked in isolation of people in factories. We are developing robotic systems that are capable of sharing the workspace and co-operating with human collaborators to build airplanes. We are looking into deformable object manipulation with the specific application being, installation of cable harnesses during aircraft fuselage assembly. We are seeking a sophomore or a junior UROP. We currently have a planning environment in MATLAB and a task environment in a robotic simulator VREP. The position entails working with VREP and bridging it with the planning environment in MATLAB. You would have to go into the details of dealing with object constraints and object representations in VREP and involves quite an extensive amount of working with VREP scripts. The language is very similar to MATLAB/python interface.

Prerequisites: 1) Programming in object oriented programming (C++/java) and scripting languages (python, MATLAB) 2) Ability to implement algorithms in code 3) Familiarity with basic Linear Algebra and Matrix operations

Contact: Ankit Shah, ajshah@mit.edu


2/17/15
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: 2D Nanosheet/Polymer Hybrid Materials for Catalysis, Separation and Energy Storage/Conversion.

Project Description:
Two-dimensional materials (graphene, MoS2, WS2, etc) exhibit tunable electronic structure, and when combined with electrochemically active polymeric materials, can have the potentials towards applications in a variety of applications such as energy storage/conversation, and electrochemically mediated catalysis and separation. In this project, the student will have the opportunity to work on synthesis and characterization of 2D nanosheet/conducting polymer or redox polymer hybrid material systems. The student will also learn important material/electrochemical characterization and data analysis methods to assist the engineering design. The main applications we are exploring using these hybrid materials include energy conversion in dye-sensitized solar cells, energy storage, organic synthesis and liquid phase separation. The student can be actively involved in designing and conducting experiments to evaluate the performance of the resulting materials in those applications.

We are seeking a highly motivated and self-driven UROP to join this project. No prior 2D materials or polymer or electrochemistry knowledge is required, but the student should have the desire to learn new concepts and deliver in a fast paced environment.

Details: Minimum 10 hours per week, 12 hour per week preferred. Basic Excel/Matlab skills are preferred for data analysis. Prior laboratory experience is preferred, but not required. Students who can continue after this spring semester are preferred. Credit or pay available, must apply for direct funding through UROP office for pay.

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


2/13/15
Spring 2015
UROP Department: Urban Studies and Planning
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: P. Christopher Zegras (czegras@mit.edu)

Project Title: Exploring urban energy use and emissions using mobile technologies

Project Description: Consumer-oriented information and communications technologies (ICTs) are changing how urban citizens interact with energy services and create carbon emissions; in turn, place-based and interest-based communities can use ICT tools to influence how their constituents contribute to local and global environmental impacts. In this project, we are investigating how ICTs, and mobile technologies in particular, can help make sense of energy use patterns domains of mobility, residential, and commercial energy services.

This project builds on the Future Mobility Sensing platform (FMS, happymobility.org), developed by the FMS team at SMART, and the Energy Proforma neighborhood energy assessment tool (energyproforma.mit.edu) to log and analyze users' daily patterns of energy consumption and emissions. Examples of data logging include digital activity diaries, mobile thermal comfort tracking and environmental sensing, and home electricity load monitoring. The web- and phone-based applications will then provide users with feedback on their own emissions compared with aggregate patterns of emissions, with data visualizations designed to help individuals and communities understand the climate impacts of everyday activities. Finally, we will use these applications to pilot strategies for influencing users' energy consumption.

Responsibilities: The student will collaborate with MIT researchers and the Singapore-based FMS development team to prototype and develop software for data collection and user feedback. In the near term, the work will focus on (1) integrating new data logging strategies into FMS and (2) app prototypes and data visualizations for extending FMS to include energy feedback, using data we have already collected from FMS. The student can also participate in piloting the apps and conducting energy analysis.

Prerequisites: Candidates should be proficient in Java and Javascript. Web and Android UI development experience, with an interest in data visualization, is desirable. We also welcome students who are willing to experiment with mobile sensors, signal processing, and classification. An interest in GHG emissions assessment is helpful, but no previous experience with energy and emissions analysis is necessary for this position.

UROP Type: For credit or pay during the spring semester. Work hours can be discussed.

Contact: Professor Chris Zegras (czegras@mit.edu) and Cressica Brazier, PhD Candidate (cressica@mit.edu)


2/12/15
Spring UROP
Little Devices Group
Faculty Supervisor: Jose Gomez-Marquez

Project Title: Electronic bioinstrumentation toolkits for extreme environments

Project Description: The Little Devices group is seeking a motivated UROP to develop the electronic instrumentation for robust health sensing platforms. You will be working with a multidisciplinary team of mechanical engineers, chemists and biologists that create medical devices for international and domestic healthcare systems. Using advanced sensors and smart materials, the team is fabricating unconventional platforms that permit accessible and modular health monitoring. A successful UROP will design and test a suite of biosensors for physiological and biological diagnostics while incorporating room for future user customization. Interested students should be independent workers and able to commit 10-15 hours/week.

Prerequisites: 6.002 preferably with 6.115. Experience with device prototyping using Arduino platform or Raspberry Pi. Familiarity with health and wellness. Interest in sensor development. Demonstration of creative and resourceful thinking.

Contact: Please send your CV and statement of interest to akyoung@mit.edu


2/12/15
Spring UROP
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Alan Grodinsky

Project Title: Detecting mechanical properties of biomaterial in micro, micro and nanoscale

Project Description: The objective of this research is to quantitatively assess the role of aging and running on the degradation of cartilage tissue and progression of osteoarthritis. At macro scale classical mechanical indentation testing will be used on hydrogels and tissues including mouse or cow cartilage. At micro and nano scale a novel atomic force microscopy (AFM) system will be used to measure the micro-mechanics and nano-dynamics of hydrogels and cartilage tissue. This unique project, implements state of the art measurement techniques as well as classical methods to measure both elasticity and visco-poro elasticity of biomaterials and hydrogels at different scales (e.i. Macro, micro and nano scale).

Prerequisites: Applicants will be Junior or Senior students from Mechanical Engineering (Course 2) or Materials Science and Engineering (course 3) Departments with strong interests in instrumentation and experimental methods. Previous experience in experiments and research is a plus.

Applicants should be able to commit at least 10-12 hours per week during the spring term. Please email Dr. Azadi (azadi@mit.edu) to request a brief interview if interested.

URL (if applicable): http://web.mit.edu/continuum/www/Research.html


2/12/15
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Azra Aksamija

Project description: The Future Heritage Collection [FHC] is a collection of stories about heritage that provide different perspectives on its origins, its past, present or future politics and relevance, and contemporary threats. FHC is comprised of stories collected though interviews with ‘experts’ on varied subjects that may range from Egyptian architecture, Islamic manuscripts and the memory of the Holocaust. Interviewees are asked to propose an example of that they consider to be ‘future heritage’ through and object that could be photographed. These objects could be recognizable artifacts of art and culture, but also of everyday life, household goods, furniture, items of clothing, handicraft, books, poems. The introduced objects are photographed and cataloged and then returned to their owners. Stories about the objects are distributed online. The Future Heritage Collection is aimed at fostering a discussion about the relationship between global citizenship and ownership of cultural heritage.

Responsibilities: You will be helping identify and conduct interviews with various experts. You will also be photographing objects and cataloguing them.

What you will learn: You will learn about meaning of culture and politics of heritage.

Requirements: Basic in photography are required, as well as the use of WordPress. Interest in contemporary art is a plus. There is a possibility for extending this research into the Fall semester, for subsequent phases of this project.

Contact: If interested, please email to azra@mit.edu


2/12/15
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Azra Aksamija

Project Title: MENAM Art Map - Social network visualization

Project Description: Call for UROP Position MIT Program in Art, Culture, Technology Project description: MENAM Art Map is an interactive visualization of the institutional connections, life trajectories and centers of prominent members of the Middle Eastern art scene exhibiting in the west. The geo-spatial network representation is based on information extracted from a large corpus of artist biographies. The project aims to investigate the relationship between the contemporary art scene in the Middle East with the international art world, but also to reveal characteristics of the institutional context artists are embedded in.

Responsibilities: Conduct content analysis of artist biographies to detect common features and patterns. You will be working on creating a database, identifying dates, locations, personal trajectories, and institutions such as museums, galleries, festivals and academies. What you will learn: You will learn about computational text analysis a!
nd visualization. You will also learn about contemporary art from different parts of the world, with the focus on the Middle East, Europe and USA

Requirements: Interest in contemporary art is a plus. There is a possibility for extending this research into the Fall semester, for subsequent phases of this project.

Additional information: You will be working in an interdisciplinary team of artists, designers and computer scientists software developers.

Contact: If interested, please email to azra@mit.edu


2/12/15
Spring UROP
Department/Lab/Center: Biology (Course 7)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Barbara Imperiali
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: imper@mit.edu

Project Title: Examination of the N-linked glycosylation pathway of Campylobacter jejuni.

Project Description: Protein glycosylation is an important posttranslational modification required for the pathogenesis of Campylobacter jejuni, a common Gram-negative food-borne pathogen. Many of the proteins that are selectively modified with a glycan are surface proteins that contribute to host colonization. While the enzymes involved in glycan biosynthesis and transfer onto a protein substrate are known, it remains unclear whether proteins are modified before or after protein folding and how the glycosylation enzymes organize within the cell. The research project will address these topics by 1). examining how the structure of protein substrates contributes to efficient glycosylation and 2). determining the subcellular localization patterns of the glycosylation enzymes. The student will learn to design and construct plasmids containing genes that encode N-linked glycosylation protein substrates and enzymes, using molecular biology techniques. These plasmids will be used for E. coli and C. jejuni based protein expression and purification experiments to determine the glycosylation status of the substrates. The student will also generate plasmids and perform subcellular localization studies using fluorescence microscopy. Hours per week: A minimum of 10 hours/week is required.

Prerequisites: 7.05/5.07 or equivalent biochemistry course is required. The student should be enrolled in a biology related program at MIT. Preference will be given to students who can commit for at least two semesters or longer.

Please email a CV/resume, schedule availability and potential start date to Julie Silverman, Postdoctoral Fellow, silverjm@mit.edu.


2/12/15
Man Vehicle Laboratory, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Charles Oman

Project Title: iOS Programming and Development of Script for Train Conductor

GE Global Research Center and MIT are doing a human factors project exploring human and automation roles in rail operations. The project is supported by the US DOT Federal Railroad Administration and will utilize the Volpe Research Center CTIL locomotive cab simulator. The experiments at CTIL will involve an experienced train engineer in the simulator who interacts with a conductor. The team is looking to develop a system to prompt the conductor on what to say in various operating scenarios. This scripted information will be conveyed on an iPad, so the student should have experience in iOS programming and development. The student will be expected to spend approximately 6-10 hours per week on this project. The student will have the opportunity to learn about trains, freight rail operations, and will get to visit the locomotive simulator at Volpe. As this is a project in the Man Vehicle Lab, the student will also gain exposure to the other interesting projects related to space and aviation going on in the lab as well!

For further information, please contact Hannah Groshong (groshong@mit.edu) or Dr. Andrew M. Liu (amliu@mit.edu) providing a copy of your resume, with cc to Dr. Charles M. Oman (coman@mit.edu).


02/11/15
Space Systems Lab/Course 16
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero,
alvarso@mit.edu
Direct Supervisor: Todd Sheerin, tsheerin@mit.edu

Project Description: SPHERES INSPECT – The Integrated Navigation Sensor Platform for EVA Control and Testing
The Integrated Navigation Sensor Platform for EVA Control and Testing (INSPECT) system is a testbed for EVA payload and control systems that builds off of the Synchronized Position Hold Engage Reorient Satellites (SPHERES) facility at MIT and the International Space Station (ISS). INSPECT’s payload includes a stereo-vision optical camera, an optical range finder and a thermal IR imager. Enhanced pointing precision and slew control is provided by an external array of control moment gyroscopes (CMGs). The Space Systems Lab seeks a highly motivated electrical engineer to aid with circuit integration and testing activities related to INSPECT. The system has recently flown on NASA’s parabolic aircraft and has been invited for a second experimental flight campaign in the coming months. Integration work will focus on providing reliable power and data flow between the SPHERES system and CMGs to improve the system for the next flight campaign.

Knowledge of C/C++ or robotics background recommended but not strictly necessary.

If interested, please contact Todd Sheerin (tsheerin@mit.edu) or David Sternberg (davister@mit.edu).

UROP Type: Credit


2/11/15
Space Systems Lab/Course 16
Faculty Supervisor: Rebecca Masterson (
becki@mit.edu)
Direct Supervisor: Pronoy Biswas (pbiswas@mit.edu)

Project Description: REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) Flight Software Testing

The Space Systems Lab (SSL) is looking for a Course-6 UROP to develop and conduct flight software testing for the REXIS project. REXIS (http://ssl.mit.edu/newsite/research/REXIS.php) is an X-ray spectrometer that will fly on board NASA’s OSIRS-REx spacecraft (http://www.asteroidmission.org/) to characterize the surface of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. The OSIRIS-REx mission is a NASA New Frontiers Mission that will collect and return a sample of Bennu to Earth.  REXIS is the student instrument on board and scientific data generated by REXIS will provide context to the sample return and will allow for categorization of Bennu among the known meteorite groups.

The REXIS flight software is responsible for interpreting commands from the spacecraft, managing power in the instrument, and processing the X-ray images into a format suitable for low data-rate transmission back to Earth. To be successful, the REXIS software must be methodically and thoroughly tested. This testing at MIT is facilitated with the use of a Python and web-based based spacecraft simulator.  The simulator needs additional upgrades and regular maintenance in the areas of:

We are looking for a student who is proficient with Python, web programming, and C. You will be challenged to find and fix software bugs, develop a sophisticated testing suite, and participate as a member of the REXIS avionics team.  Your will have the opportunity to make significant contributions to software that flies into inter-planetary space onboard REXIS.

Previous experience:


UROP type:

Contact: Pronoy Biswas (pbiswas@mit.edu)


2/11/15
Space Systems Lab/Course 16

Faculty Contact: Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero, alvarso@mit.edu

Project Description: Accelerated SPHERES Software UROP for In-Space Satellite Docking Operations

SPHERES is a long duration zero-gravity testbed that we operate on the International Space Station. The SPHERES facility enables development of high-risk spacecraft technologies in the fields of control and autonomy. The MIT SPHERES team is seeking highly motivated undergraduate researchers to first learn and then lead a variety of satellite docking and computer vision test sessions through the Spring and Summer terms. The UROP(s) will work closely with multiple graduate students during the Spring months and follow an accelerated SPHERES Training Program. The UROP(s) will learn everything they need to know about operating the SPHERES hardware and developing code that will eventually run on the ISS.

This UROP opportunity requires the student to participate in the spring training and the student must be available to work during the summer. The student should have proficiency in at least one programming language.  Experience in Linux or with Computer Vision is a plus.

UROP Type: For credit during the Spring semester. For pay during the Summer term.

Contact: Duncan Miller, duncanlm@mit.edu


2/10/2015
Undergraduate Research Project, Spring 2015
Graduate Student Mentor Dr. Jeong Jae Wie (Postdoctoral Research Associate, MechE)
Supervising Faculty Prof. John Hart, Mechanical Engineering (http://mechanosynthesis.mit.edu)

Project: Flow-induced crystallization of conductive polymer films

Description: High quality conducting organic films will be instrumental to a next generation of energy-efficient and flexible electronic systems. Crystallization of semicrystalline polymers occurs via stepwise nucleation and growth which generates isotropic spherulites under quiescent conditions. The introduction of shear flow can accelerate crystallization kinetics and manipulate molecular configuration to be highly aligned. Our group is performing research on flow-induced crystallization processes that use a unique custom-built instrument to achieve high crystallinity in conducting polymeric films.

This UROP project will have two main parts: (1) fabrication of highly crystalline conducting polymer films by optimizing material and mechanical parameters; (2) characterization of crystalline structure and quality. The results from this research will help us understand how strain fields influence the structural and morphological evolution of crystalline phases as well as charge transport phenomenon of the conducting polymer. The films will be used to fabricate high-performance electronic devices.

To express your interest, please email Prof. Hart (ajhart@mit.edu) and Jeong Jae Wie (wie@mit.edu) and attach your resume. Knowledge and/or experience in thermodynamics, kinetics, and polymer physics is desirable but not required.


2/10/2015
Spring 2015 and Summer 2015
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Christian Catalini

Project Title: Machine Learnt Classification of Citations in Scientific Literature

Project Description: Citations are an integral part of the scientific process. However despite their importance, little is known about their usage patterns. We will use a combination of natural language processing and machine learning to study the context in which different types of citations are used.

We are looking for candidates to help us build the machine learning models and supporting infrastructure from the ground up. If you are interested in getting practical software engineering and machine learning experience, this is a great opportunity to do it.

Ideal candidates should have:

Responsibilities will include:

Contact: Please email Christian Catalini (catalini@mit.edu) with your resume/CV and copy Edward Kim (edwardk@mit.edu).


2/10/2015
Spring
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Prof. Rohit Karnik
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: karnik@mit.edu

Project Title: Transport across atomically thin membranes

Project Description: Atomically thin 2D materials like graphene have zero bulk and consist of only a surface. Pristine graphene is impermeable to most molecules unless defects are introduced. This project will focus on controllable defect creation in graphene for making atomically thin membranes. A combination of gas and liquid transport through these membranes will be studied using a combination of pressure and diffusion flow experiments. The project offers UROP students the possibility of exploring the ultimate paradigm in length scales transcending beyond Nanotechnology to probing single atom thick membranes with simple, easy to perform table top Nanofluidic experiments.

Prerequisites: No prior experience is needed and all skills can be easily learned within a few weeks of supervision. However, a willingness to learn new experimental techniques, enthusiasm for research and a scientific work ethic is highly appreciated.

If you are interested, please email Piran Kidambi (krpiran@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. There are a few UROP positions for Spring 2015. Work hours are flexible and can be discussed in a pre-meeting. There is a possibility of continuing working in summer and/or subsequent semester(s).

Contact Name: Piran Kidambi
Contact Email: krpiran@mit.edu


2/10/15
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: John Durant
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: jdurant@mit.edu

Project Title: Combining Physical Objects and Digital Information for Exhibition

Project Description: The project takes place in the MIT Museum Studio/Compton Gallery, located at center of campus at 10-150. The MIT Museum Studio is a newly purposed space that connects MIT students with the unique learning opportunities of the MIT Museum. Students work on original technology projects that advance the Museum s multi-sensory learning environment. The UROP opportunity is to work with digital projectors and displays, hacking and adapting them for experimental exhibition purposes. The objective is to find ways of interrelating physical objects and digital information that contribute to a flexible and visually seamless gallery experience. We're developing the Compton Gallery as a "3D Blog", a continuously evolving display of student prototypes and models, informed by updateable (and perhaps interactive) digital information using, e. g. LED Matrix, small display/controller, mini-projector, etc. Work in the Studio requires experimentation and creative problem solving. Students should be self-motivated and able to work independently toward original solutions.

Prerequisites: We are seeking students with skills in mechanical device construction, programming, digital media, interactive media, use of cameras and/or Kinect as input devices, etc.

URL (if applicable): http://mitmuseumstudio.mit.edu/urop/

Contact Name: Seth Riskin
Contact Email:riskin@mit.edu


2/10/15
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: John Durant
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: jdurant@mit.edu

Project Title: Holocam: Flying Through Holographic Image Spaces

Project Description: The project takes place in the MIT Museum Studio/Compton Gallery, located at center of campus at 10-150. The MIT Museum Studio is a newly purposed space that connects MIT students with the unique learning opportunities of the MIT Museum. Students work on original technology projects that advance the Museum s multi-sensory learning environment. Work in the Studio requires experimentation and creative problem solving. Students should be self-motivated and able to work independently toward original solutions. The goal of this project is to build a robotically positioned camera that can be set in front of a hologram, providing the means for a remote exploration of the holographic image by an online user. This is an ambitious goal, and in pursuing it we ve developed a number of intermediate steps and have further articulated our desire to provide access to not only our extensive collection of holograms via the internet, but to also provide access to data about the holograms. One very successful result of our work has been the discovery that we can use Microsoft s Photosynth software to turn photographs of holograms into 3-dimensional, internet-accessible views of the holograms. The ability to do this has led us to further research into the development of full 3D CAD models of select holograms. With complete 3D models, we would be able to provide a richer remote viewing experience, and pursue novel ideas such as producing a physical model of a holographic image. We are currently developing the robotic platform and software needed to run it, as well as the web server that will allow remote visitors to control the robotically positioned camera. We have a basic camera motion platform that needs to be updated and refined.

Prerequisites: We are seeking experienced and motivated students. Skills needed for this UROP are Arduino and/or Rasberry Pi control of stepper motors, web application programming with a framework like Flask, Django, RoR, etc., and some familiarity with low-latency delivery of real-time web video and/or images.

URL (if applicable): http://mitmuseumstudio.mit.edu/urop/

Contact Name: Seth Riskin
Contact Email:riskin@mit.edu


2/10/15
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: John Durant
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: durant@mit.edu

Project Title: Robotic Light Ballet

Project Description: The project takes place in the MIT Museum Studio/Compton Gallery, located at center of campus at 10-150. The MIT Museum Studio is a newly purposed space that connects MIT students with the unique learning opportunities of the MIT Museum. Students work on original technology projects that advance the Museum s multi-sensory learning environment. Work in the Studio requires experimentation and creative problem solving. Students should be self-motivated and able to work independently toward original solutions. The Robotic Light Ballet project is an art and engineering collaboration featuring the artwork of the late MIT Professor Emeritus Otto Piene. Light Ballet uses perforated sculptural objects from which environmental light effects extend into the surrounding space. Through the changing articulation/motion of light, the Light Ballet sculptures shape the space and time perception of viewers. A robotic platform has been developed that brings driving moti! on control to the Light Ballet art. Three robots have been created and are now being prepared for performance/exhibition at a museum in Muenster, Germany. The current UROP project is to further develop and refine the control system and interface of the Light Ballet robots. The project focuses on the dialogue between artistic and engineering processes and requirements leading to a robust system for repeated public display. In addition to the engineering, the work will include performance development including driving and choreography of the three robots. Technical challenges: A Raspberry Pi is used to control three DC motors, and to provide WiFi access to the platform for control via a tablet interface. The system must be able to boot up in a new environment and be usable with no technical intervention. The system must be simple enough for non-technical museum staff to use. Prerequisites: We are seeking experienced and motivated students. Skills needed for this UROP are use of Rasberry Pi to control DC motors, Python web application programming with a framework like Flask or Django.

URL (if applicable): http://mitmuseumstudio.mit.edu/urop/

Contact Name: Seth Riskin
Contact Email:riskin@mit.edu


2/10/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Pattie Maes

Project Title: Using Drones for Assisting in Remote Task Completion

Project Description: We are looking for students skilled in control or robotics for our drone-based project. Our goal is to use drone for completing tasks in remote location. The UROP will be asked to work on the control of the drone in flight. (Path planning, PID control).

Prerequisite: Control (Fabrication/Computer Vision skills are a plus)
Development Environment: Windows, C++, Openframeworks, ARDrone API

More specifics can be discussed if you contact Sang (sangwon@mit.edu)

For more information on our project, please feel free contact Sang (sangwon@mit.edu).


2/10/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan
MIT Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Carroll

We are in the process of analyzing some important dataset in healthcare specifically about diabetes management. Chronic disease management and prevention is one of the most popular topics in healthcare management nowadays. Students who plan to go into medical school or healthcare management fields should apply for this position. It will be an excellent learning experience.

We might acknowledge the UROPS in the papers published who would help us in Spring 2015 starting from February 8th, if they showed honesty, responsibility, dedication and interest in their work. If we liked their work we might keep them for the summer as well and write them a good recommendation for their graduate school applications in the future.

Duties of the UROP:

1) Helping with the data analysis from surveys and interviews (student will be able to learn social sciences related research methodology skills)
2) Dedicate hours to help clean the dataset consisting of patient electronic medical records and creating folders and files for the relevant information.
3) Looking up various databases for relevant research project related articles.

Any prerequisites or requirements for the position

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

We will be interviewing candidates starting February 9th 2015. Please email me if you are interested and have the skills.

Contact: Sahar Hashmi, drhashmi.mit@gmail.com


2/6/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan
MIT Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Doyle

Project Description:We are in the process of analyzing some important dataset in healthcare specifically about diabetes management.

We will be interviewing candidates starting February 5rd 2015. Please email me if you are interested and have the skills.

Duties of the UROP:

1) Helping extract required data from a dataset platform that uses Unix language.

Prerequisites: We require the applicant who knows 'Unix' language. It would be a plus if he/she knows 'R' and 'SAS' as well but its not required. We want a student who takes his/her work seriously. Willing to dedicate sincerely and honestly up to 10-15 hours/week in the beginning of semester and it may come down to 5-10 hours/week later in the semester.

We will be interviewing candidates starting February 5rd 2015.

Contact: Sahar Hashmi, drhashmi.mit@gmail.com


2/6/15
Spring UROP
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
MIT Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Larry Sass

Project Title: Interactive Physical Design Computing

Project Description: The Interactive Physical Design Computing UROP project will explore how physical computation technologies, including a robotic arm manipulator, environmental sensors, integrated electronics, can support and enhance creative design processes. The goal of the UROP project is to empower designers to work interactively with a robotic arm instead of through programming predefined static motion paths. We will simplify the design task to one of picking and placing extruded 2D shapes such as squares, triangles, and circles in creative patterns. Creating robotic operations such as mirroring, rotating, and arraying will be the primary mode of pattern development by which the designer works with the robotic arm.

By addressing three technical challenges we believe we can meet this exciting goal:
1. Object Recognition: Refining shape/object recognition algorithms (in Matlab) that were developed in the lab last semester. Additionally we may decide to pursue motion tracking both for safety issues and for interfacing with the robot arm via human action.
2. Dynamic Programming: Setting up real-time communication link between robot arm and object recognition algorithms. This will be achieved through a custom software package called Robot Sensor Interface developed by Kuka Robotic Arms. The UROP student will be working with Kuka engineers to setup the software with our robotic arm.
3. ROS packaging: Developing and sharing open-source ROS inverse kinematic packages for real-time motion planning.

Prerequisites: We are seeking experienced and motivated course 2 or 6 programmers to work with our PhD research student (course 4) and our current UROP from course 2. Skills in Matlab, ROS, robotic arm manipulator (software and hardware) are strongly desired. Demonstrated experience is required such as completed coursework or other UROP projects.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or funding.

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.


2/5/2015
Spring UROP
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Wesley L Harris
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: weslhar@mit.edu

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 Name: Yonatan Tekleab
Contact Email: ytekleab@mit.edu


Spring 2015
Dept: Opera of the Future, MIT Media Lab
Faculty: Prof. Tod Machover

Project Title: Web and Mobile Development for Collaborative Symphonies

Description: Opera of the Future is producing two collaborative symphonies for the cities of Detroit (www.symphonyind.com) and Lucerne (www.symphonyforlucerne.ch) which rely on submissions from the general public via geotagged uploads, as well as web-based activities that allow users to remix and mash up content that has been collected. Positions are available for several iOS, Android, and web developers to contribute to these projects and others.

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

Research Roles: Working with project producers to design, build and refine web and mobile platforms, maintaining a code base, testing and evaluating user experiences, designing and implementing new features. Programming proficiency in Objective C, Javascript (HTML/CSS), Swift, Python preferred.

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


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Data Analytics and Application Development for Coordinate and Pressure Sensitive Surfaces

Project Description: The Internet of Things is a powerful paradigm in current technology for its ability to connect a multitude of distinct devices and provide high-volume collection of data for optimization, quantification, and enhancement.  Single devices and appliances have already found a comfortable place within this construct but the scope of “things” can be expanded even further.  In particular, the largest surfaces in any given space such as the floors, walls, tabletops, and countertops have the least amount of sensing associated with them.   These vast spaces are significant capture areas that are underutilized as a location of data collection. 

Our group has developed a prototype hardware system of modular sheets, which can transform these inactive surfaces into useful input devices for capturing user-based data.  By placing these strips or assemblages of strips under carpets, tablecloths, countertops, seat cushions or even on the walls, a developer can begin to design applications that make use of these now aware locations within a space.  The inspiration for this project was to design a system that could inexpensively monitor elderly or disabled individuals within their home.  But additional applications for entertainment, education, or fitness, for example, could all be achievable from the same base hardware. 

This semester we are looking for highly motivated and skilled UROPs who are interested in both analyzing data coming from such a system and who are interested in developing novel applications that can demonstrate the system’s potential. 

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

EE/CS--Have relevant prior experience with electronics design, signals processing, algorithms, computer vision, embedded systems, Python (and related languages), or MATLAB.

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

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. We have both paid and credit positions available. 


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science
MIT Faculty Supervisors: Chris Warshaw and Devin Caughey

Project Title: American Democracy Project

Project Description: Professors Chris Warshaw and Devin Caughey are interested in hiring 2–4 UROPs to work on the American Democracy Project. This project is designed to assess the relationship between public opinion and state policy outcomes in the United States between 1900 and 2012. We will examine questions such as: When state public become more liberal, do state policies move in the same direction? What is the relative importance of the public’s partisanship and its policy preferences? How much does partisan control of state governments affect policy outcomes? This is an exciting way to learn more about state politics and how democracy works in the United States.

The UROP will collaborate with a team including MIT faculty and graduate students. Some of the tasks that UROP students may work on include:
• Gathering information about each state’s policies on specific issue areas, such as abortion, gay marriage, and gun control.
• Gathering public opinion data from surveys in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
• Gathering election data, such gubernatorial election results.
• Gathering information about the media coverage of state elections and congressional elections.
• Writing literature reviews about previous research on state politics and representation.

Skills Required: Internet research skills and familiarity with Excel. Advanced students with statistical skills in R or Stata may be able to take a larger role in the project.

Contact: Melissa Meek (mmeek@mit.edu)


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Krystyn Van Vliet

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

Project Description: Adult bone marrow stromal cells, a subset of which can be classified as stem cells, have been involved in hundreds of clinical trials to date. Potential treatments broadly range anywhere from autism to multiple sclerosis to graft-versus-host disease. However, functional heterogeneity in MSC populations imposes limitations for large-scale expansion as well as for many potential clinical applications, and this challenge has yet to be overcome by conventional culture protocols or cell isolation devices. The overall goal of this project is to elucidate the extent to which cell signaling and mechanical cues influence intraclonal heterogeneity and to use this understanding to prototype devices and methods to minimize this heterogeneity. We are currently seeking 2-3 highly-motivated UROPs to participate in this high-impact, interdisciplinary project. Students will first gain experience in image analysis using MATLAB, CellProfiler, and Image J. Additional training on key techniques in the fields of biological engineering, materials science and engineering, and computer science including (but not limited to) cell culture, biochemical assays, polymeric material synthesis, time-lapse microscopy, and programming are available to dedicated students interested in participating in a longer-term position with this project.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be highly motivated, have strong communication skills, and have a positive attitude toward learning. No prior experience in image analysis is needed.

Contact: Deena Rennerfeldt, deenaar@mit.edu


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab/Center for Civic Media
Faculty Supervisor: Ethan Zuckerman

Project 1: Media Meter

Media Meter is a tool for visualizing and analyzing the coverage of over 40,000 online news sites and blogs. We've already launched 1.0 and are looking for a UROP to help implement new user interfaces and visualizations. The project is built with JavaScript (jQuery, backbone.js, d3.js).

We're seeking someone with front-end (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) experience. This project is a great chance to learn about single-page, asynchronous web programming, as well as visualizing large data sets with d3.js.

Project 2: Action Path

Action Path is a mobile tool for civic engagement. This Android app uses GPS to help citizens monitor and impact. The UROP involves building portions of the app and/or back end.

This project is a good match for a student with Android experience who would like to learn about GPS, geo-fencing, and integrating an app with a back-end server.

Contact: If you're interested in either of these UROPs, please send a resume/CV and code sample to elplatt@mit.edu.


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning (in collaboration with the SENSEable City Lab)
Faculty Supervisor: Jinhua Zhao

Project Title: Call Me Maybe?

Project Description: A network is nothing more than a collection of individuals. But beneath this seemingly simple proposition is a rich, complicated, and revealing set of data. Understanding how and why individuals are connected allows us investigate how and why these connections proliferate across economic and political landscapes. By quantifying the connections between communities and comparing them with political and economic outcomes, this project seeks to investigate the possibility of a predictive relationship between strength of connection (vis a vis communication over telecom networks) and the likelihood of exchange of economic activity (trade, employment), and political and social ideology (such as voting outcomes).

Despite the terrible working title, this project is offering motivated students interested in computation and social sciences an opportunity to work with some big, but interesting data. This is a very interdisciplinary project as it draws from economics, urban studies, and political science. Interested students need not be experts in any one of these fields but should express general interest in the intersection of these disciplines.

Responsibilities: Help us explore how our social connectivity is telling a bigger story about citizens. The team is looking for students to be part of the team--testing approaches, challenging ideas, and getting into the data. We’re looking for team members who have experience with databases (SQL) and MatLab. A mathematics background is a plus, as is experience with or interest in the social sciences (particularly economics, political science, or urban studies).

Contact: Lyndsey Rolheiser & Anthony Vanky (socialconnect@mit.edu)


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies & Planning / SENSEable City Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Carlo Ratti

Project 1: Human Interactions in Physical Environments

Project Description: 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 bank card 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 MIT SENSEable city laboratory and one of the largest Spanish banks, BBVA.

Contact: Stanislav Sobolevsky, stanly@mit.edu


Project 2: Analytical and Computational Modelling of Complex Human Mobility Patterns at Urban Scale

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

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

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

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

Contact: Mohammad Vazifeh (mvazifeh@mit.edu)


2/4/15
Spring 2015 & Summer 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Brian L. Wardle

Title: Structural Evolution and Mechanical Behavior of Aligned Carbon Nanotube Carbon Matrix Nanocomposites

Project Overview: High temperature operation and enhanced mechanical properties motivate the integration of a carbon ceramic matrix into highly scalable aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays. While previous work has shown that further processing can lead to more than 100% increases in the strength of the aligned CNT carbon matrix nanocomposites (A-CMNCs), the physical origin of this enhancement is not currently known. In this project, we aim to evaluate the impact of thermal processing and CNT nanoconfinement on the structure and crystallite morphology of the carbon matrix, and to study how such modifications can be used to engineer the mechanical properties of these nanostructured materials. The knowledge gained from this proposed study could enable the application of A-CMNCs in high value industrial applications, such as airplane brakes, thermal shields on re-entry vehicles, etc., where precise prediction of the mechanical behavior of the material structures is required.

UROP’s Responsibilities: During this project, the student will be trained on a variety of characterization techniques that include but are not limited to:
• Raman Spectroscopy
• Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
• Wide and Small Angle X-Ray Diffraction
• Vickers Microhardness

These approaches will be used to characterize nanocomposites that the UROP will be trained to synthesize by the graduate student mentor using an industry compatible polymer derived ceramics technique.

Qualifications: The successful candidate should have an interest in working on fundamental science of engineering materials on the nanoscale. Previous experience in materials processing and/or characterization is desired but not required. We are specifically seeking students to work with our group for multiple projects, and will prefer candidates who are Sophomores or Juniors with from Course 2, 3, 10, and 16 (or a related discipline), though others are welcome to apply.

This position is available for either credit (Spring Term) or pay (Spring and Summer Term).

URL: http://necstlab.mit.edu/

Contact: Interested students are invited to contact Itai Stein (iys@mit.edu) to request an interview. Please include a recent copy of your resume/CV, a brief statement of interest in the work, and dates/time slots you will be available to meet.


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: HST
Faculty Supervisor: Roger Mark

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

Abstract: 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.

Project Description: 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: tamhok@mit.edu


2/4/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Electrospun Polymer Nanofiber for Sensing and Gas Separation Applications

Project Description:
Polymer materials can be engineered into nanostructured fibers and then be functionalized for various applications such as sensing and gas separation.  In this project, the student will have the opportunity to work on functionalization and optimization of polymer nanofibers and obtain hands-on experience of chemical- and electro-polymerization. The student will also learn important material/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 nanomaterial. The student can be actively involved in designing and conducting experiments to evaluate the performance of the nanofiber composites in those applications.

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

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

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


2/3/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Economics
Faculty Supervisors: Prof. Parag Pathak & Prof. David Autor

Project Title: Effects of the end of rent control in Cambridge on gentrification

Project Description: Professor David Autor and Parag Pathak seek UROPs for project studying the effects of the end of rent control in Cambridge on gentrification. The project builds on earlier work studying house price appreciation across neighborhoods in Cambridge following rent decontrol, which was recently published in the Journal of Political Economy. UROP will gain familiarity with empirical economic research using frontier econometric methods. Attention to detail and a minimum of 10 hours of a week are required. Please include a transcript and cover letter as part of your application.

Contact: Professor Pathak, ppathak@mit.edu


2/3/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: CMS/W Design Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: synthetic biology interaction design and prototype

Project Description: We want to extend the interaction space around smart objects by sensing the world around us beyond sensor electronics. Can we utilize passive interaction that occurs in the exciting field of Synthetic Biology and Chemistry to inform this thought? How do we design and prototype interactive objects with this new paradigm in mind?

Our goal is to come up with new ways to design with bio-inspired sensors and actuators that can be used to prevent accidents in the industrial setting. If you are excited about biology, synthetic biology, chemistry and sensing the world; this would be a great opportunity.

UROP tasks:
The student will work on literature and scientific papers search, will collect and classify existing projects and technologies. In the second phase, The student should be confident building conceptual and physical prototypes.

Hours per week: 15-20 hours/week, for pay or credit. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday, February 9. This is an ongoing project, if the 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.


1/30/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Roger Mark

Project Title: Big Data in Healthcare: MIMIC Preprocessing Module

Project Description: MIMIC is a large open ICU dataset used for the secondary analysis of health data. The next phase of this NIH supported research initiative is to merge and connect critical care data across institutions and countries. The Lab for Computational Physiology (LCP.mit.edu) is seeking a UROP researcher to assist in designing and developing an application module to connect and import multicenter datasources to the MIMIC data structure. An interest in healthcare and data analytics is desirable.

Prerequisites: Python, SQL, Databases. HTML/CSS/Django a plus.

URL (if applicable):mimic.physionet.org

Contact: Kenneth Paik, kepaik@mit.edu


1/30/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Richard Fletcher

Title: Mobile Phone App and Machine learning for Health Diagnostics

Our group develops a variety of mobile technologies to diagnose disease and abnormalities in a person's health. Besides creating the basic GUI for the mobile app, we also need to implement some machine learning (classification) on the phone itself to be able to distinguish between different disease states (i.e. do you have disease A or B? healthy or abnormal? etc.)
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) printed/lab diagnostics -- we have a portable device that plugs into an Android phone that can do DNA/antibody testing on patient blood samples. We are looking for a student to develop an Android app for that as well. (4) scanning pregnant mothers in the last trimester to assess the health of their unborn baby.

Using a combination of mobile phone app with clever sensing techniques, machine 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. 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 spring term and possibly interested in summer UROP as well. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration. Opportunities to travel to India is also available.

Contact: Richard Fletcher, fletcher@media.mit.edu


1/30/15
Spring 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Jose Gomez-Marquez

Project Title: Mobile App development for Diagnostic Construction Sets

Project Description: The Little Devices lab has an opening for a motivated UROP to assist in a a medical image recognition project for hard to reach clinics. Our research team works on hard to detect pathogens that require image recognition and processing algorithms to drive patient diagnostics. You will be working with a group of mechanical engineers, virologists, and chemists.

UROP Tasks will include: Join us our diagnostic team to work on mobile phone software using Android SDK, Java libraries, Javascript and database software (Mango, django, or node.js) Working with medical engineering team to brainstorm new ways of interpreting images, pattern recognition of large data sets, and design for remote populations. An interest in global health will be rewarding but not a requirement. We want to you solve interesting problems. International travel opportunities available.

Contact:littledevices@mit.edu


1/30/15
Spring 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Mathematics
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Philippe Rigollet

PROJECT 1

Title: Fitting Sparse Additive Models Using Thresholded Basis Expansion

Description: Additive models have proved to be a powerful alternative to linear regression models. In the high-dimensional setting several sparse variants of this model have been proposed and analyzed. The purpose of this project is to study the optimality a remarkably simple procedure to fit such models and its numerical performance. This project will blend many of the basic tools employed in nonparametric and high-dimensional statistics such as thresholding, wavelets, Fourier analysis, minimax optimality and approximation theory.

Qualifications: The student should have taken a course on introductory probability and statistics and real analysis. Experience with coding is mandatory, preferably with Matlab or R.

Contact: Professor Philippe Rigollet, rigollet@math.mit.edu

PROJECT 2

Title: Revisiting the Network Scale-up Method

Description: The network scale-up method has been successfully employed by sociologists to estimate hidden or hard to reach populations (drug injectors, sex workers,…). This method consists in sampling a population by asking the question “How many people do you know in population X?” rather than “do you belong to population X?”. Surprisingly, this problem has connection to the matrix completion problem that arises in recommender systems (e.g. the Netflix problem). The goal of this project is to understand and simulate new methods for this kind of data in light of this connection. Other statistical applications, beyond estimation of hidden populations are foreseeable.

Qualifications: The student should have taken a course on introductory probability and statistics and linear algebra. Interest in graph theory is a plus (for secondary goals) but is not required. Experience with coding is desirable, preferably with Matlab or R.

Contact: Professor Philippe Rigollet, rigollet@math.mit.edu


1/30/15
Spring 2015
UROP Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Christian Catalini

Project Title: MIT Bitcoin Study - Big data and blockchain analysis

Project Description: The objective of this project is to develop new tools to analyze and understand transactions taking place on the Bitcoin blockchain. We will use a mix of machine learning and network analysis to understand patterns, describe and visualize activity taking place on the blockchain.

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

Ideal Candidates have very strong programming skills in python, R, machine learning, SQL, and basic knowledge of statistics. Responsibility for this position include (a) writing code to collect data from the blockchain; (b) managing and analyzing data; (c) network and graph analysis; (d) visualizing data on the web.

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 Christian Catalini (catalini@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet.


1/30/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Economics
Faculty Supervisor: Daron Acemoglu

Project Title: Experiments on the cognitive foundations of strategic behavior

Project Description: Game theory has been incredibly successful in modeling strategic behavior; for example: prices in markets, auctions, and school matching. However, there is still much to be known about the neural and cognitive basis of strategic behavior.

Three experiments will shed light on three different aspects of strategic decision making: cooperative vs. competitive reasoning;  costs of cognition; and the role of self-control in strategy. These experiments will involve subjects recruited from MTurk as well as lab participants.

Responsibilities: The student will play a key role in the experiments, serving the double task of programmer and designer of the technical aspects of the experiment:

1) Take the main role in programing the experiments to be carried on MTurk, using the PsiTurk framework (psiturk.org), from a given blueprint of the experimental design

2) Assist in the design and realization of lab experiments (contribute to the design of the experiment's blueprint, be present during the lab experiment and provide material to participants, etc.)

Key Qualifications:

1) Programming experience and a willingness to use JavaScript and Python. Flexibility is a plus: other languages or frameworks might be needed as the experiments progress.

2) Highly motivated; interested in understanding and designing experiments for research in economics, psychology or cognitive science.

Project Timeline: The position requires a minimum commitment through the end of the Spring semester. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Contact: David Jimenez-Gomez (jimenezd@mit.edu)



1/26/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Ram Sasisekharan

Project Title: Design, optimization and testing of monoclonal antibody therapies for the study and treatment of infectious diseases

Project Description: Glycans (sugar chains) have important functional roles in many diseases. The Sasisekharan Lab builds and integrates a variety of experimental and computational tools to study protein-glycan interactions involved many important biomedical problems, including cancer and infectious disease. One focus of our lab is to use these tools to help design antibody therapies that target glycoproteins for the treatment of viral infections, including dengue fever, influenza (Swine flu, Avian flu, etc.), HIV, and even viral infections caused by the Ebola virus in the current (2014) outbreak. As a UROP student on this project, you will work directly with a graduate student to produce, purify and test these antibodies on a variety of biological assays, as well as carry out experiments to help optimize these antibodies for improved effectiveness

Prerequisites: We are seeking enthusiastic, motivated UROP students for Spring of 2015 and beyond. Ideally, applicants will be in their Sophomore year in Courses 20 or 7, though students from other departments with a general understanding in biology and biochemistry may also apply. Previous research experience is not required.

URL: sasilab.mit.edu

Contact: Devin Quinlan (dquinlan@mit.edu)


1/26/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Researcher (Urban Studies)

Project Description: The MIT Design Lab seeks a UROP researcher to join its Caring City Lifestyle Observatory. The Caring City is an in-depth international research project aimed at visualizing Millennials ideal city. The researcher will find, read and annotate secondary sources. He/she will read authoritative studies related to Millennials in the US, Europe and worldwide, as well as reports on architecture and urbanism, and prepare regular research reports for the rest of the Caring City team that synthesize his/her findings. He/she will also maintain an extensive and updated project bibliography. The position can be for credit or pay. The position is ideal for a student who is interested in architecture, urbanism, or city design, and wants to do further research in architecture and urbanism. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required, as is the ability to accurately and concisely synthesize large amounts of information. The MIT Design Lab (formerly the Mobile Experience Lab) takes a human-centered, multicultural and hands-on approach to design challenges, on behalf of major clients around the world.

Prerequisites: Excellent written and oral communication skills

URL: http://mobile.mit.edu/trends/

Contact: Anika Gupta (anika@mit.edu)


1/26/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Chemistry (Course 5)
Faculty Supervisor: Troy Van Voorhis

Project Title: Developing new Problem authoring tools for Online Chemistry Education

Project Description: Online education has witnessed explosive growth over the past few years, in part due to the advent of massively open online courses (MOOCs). In this context, significant effort has been put into content delivery providing media that introduce material and review problem solving strategies. In order to realize the expected student learning outcomes, these sophisticated content delivery approaches need to be coupled with student assessments quizzes, problem sets and examinations. The need for regular, varied evaluations is highlighted by several factors: students tendency to cram; the proven benefits of spacing as a retention tool; and the correlation between the variety of assessment and perceived learner satisfaction. Unfortunately, online assessment problems are often relatively primitive compared to content delivery. In many cases, entire online courses are assessed using only multiple choice or numerical response questions. This situation might be acceptable for a strictly quantitative field, like statistics. But it poses a serious challenge for chemistry, which involves a mix of the quantitative and the qualitative. The tools developed by the student will be designed to interface with the edX platform, an open source, freely available package4. Some of the tools described above may require expansion of the edX platform itself. In these situations, the PI will coordinate with the edX staff to ensure that the necessary updates will become a part of future edX releases. Beyond that, we will create a library of sample problems, illustrating how various problems of each type are constructed and giving step-by-step instructions about how variants could be authored. edX has an extraordinary reach it currently collaborates with 28 universities, offering over 70 courses to over a million students in 192 countries. Thus, deploying these tools within edX will have a wide audience both in terms of the number of potential instructors and the number of potential students. The PI has experience working with the edX codebase, having used it to assign ~100 homework and tutorial problems in MIT's general chemistry course (5.111) in Spring 2013. At present, edX has a number of problem types that can be used for assessment. In addition to simple numerical response and multiple choice, responses can involve typing a mathematical formula, clicking the relevant part of a schematic, or dragging potential responses into blanks. There are also some discipline-specific problem types. For example, there is a framework for fairly sophisticated electrical engineering problems that involve assembling different components (resistors, capacitors, etc.) into a working circuit. However, edX currently lacks any problem types specific for chemistry, a deficiency in the platform we hope to (at least partially) remedy. We are designing and implementing several new problem types for teaching chemistry using edX. At present we are mainly chemists (with some programming skill) and we are interested in adding one or two programmers (with some chemistry skill) to the team.

The goal is to create several new problem types in the edX environment. We currently have many tools (mostly Pythonic) outside the edX platform that perform the functions we desire; however, getting these tools to work inside the (HTML and Javascript) edX environment is reaching beyond our expertise as chemists. Many problems in chemistry require students to be facile with connecting the structure of a molecule to its properties; thus, first and foremost, we are working on several ways to allow students to submit chemical structures as an answer to a problem. Already implemented in the edX platform is the ability for a student to submit a molecular formula (e.g. CH3COOH) as the answer to a problem; however, evaluation of the correctness of the students answer is less functional. At present, edX only allows for (essentially) string comparison. We have a Python tool that checks for permutations of the same molecular structure (e.g. CH3COOH should be graded equivalently to H3CCOOH), but we desire assistance implementing this tool on the edX platform. Perhaps more ambitiously, we are implementing the ability for a student to submit Lewis structures as the answer to problems. We are currently experimenting with several open-source Javascript applets which allows students to draw molecules, and developing a codebase surrounding these applets to extract text-based equivalents to drawn structures (e.g. SMILES strings). Challenges ahead involve comparing different equivalent structures, assigning partial credit, and tailoring the assignments for different levels. We hope that this tool will be useful one day in all chemistry classes not just general chemistry! Outside the realm of grading molecular structures, we are aiming to implement automatic grading of short answer questions. Common in the general chemistry curriculum are questions requiring a one- or two- sentence answer, like explain a periodic trend or answer the question what is entropy? We have developed a prototype Python script based on natural language processing as a first stab at solving this problem. We are looking for assistance in refining the grading script, linking it to the edX platform, and developing an API for course designers. Short answer questions are common in all disciplines and not just chemistry, so this tool could have wide-reaching uses!

We are looking for a student with passion and expertise in programming with interest in online chemistry education. As we are trying to link a lot of libraries and scripts we have written in Python with Javascript that runs client-side through the edX platform, experience with Python, Javascript, and AJAX is ideal.

Contact: Troy Van Voorhis (tvan@mit.edu)


1/26/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Transformable / Robotic furniture project

Project Description: The new MIT Design Lab has an open UROP position for this Spring 2015. We are seeking help researching, designing, and prototyping transformable or robotic furniture for a new space around MIT. Initially the project would include background research and design/3D modelling the furniture, with the hope to build a prototype in late spring. This is an exciting project that could be featured on campus for years to come.

Prerequisites: Desired skills include interest in transformable objects, basic mechanical systems as well as ability to design in 2D or 3D software. Experience with electrical engineering and/or digital fabrication would be a plus but not required.

Contact: Ryan Mclaughlin (rmclaugh@mit.edu)


1/26/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: James Collins

Project Title: Understanding Bacterial Stress Responses via Network Biology

Project Description: Antibiotic induces stress responses in bacteria that can greatly affect the success of treating infectious diseases. These stress responses are highly complex and are managed by complex gene regulatory networks. This UROP project seeks to infer the induction of bacterial stress responses from 'big data' microarray gene expression profiles from different bacteria. This student will complete the assembly of a gene expression compendia and apply various systems biology methods to generate hypotheses which can be tested experimentally. Depending on interest and progress, the student may have an opportunity to be trained in doing followup experiments to test his/her own model predictions. This bulk of this work will be completed at the Broad Institute. The ideal UROP student is a Course 20 or Course 6, 7 sophomore or junior who is very comfortable with MATLAB and interested in computational biology.

Prerequisites: Comfort working with MATLAB is required. Course completion in Linear Algebra, Cell/Molecular Biology, Signals and Systems and/or Control Theory preferred.

Type and Hours: Project is 10+ hours/week and for credit to start. May become a full-time project for pay during the summer.

URL: http://collinslab.mit.edu

Contact: If interested, please email Jason Yang (jasonhy@mit.edu) with aCV, list of completed coursework and brief statement (2-3 sentences) indicating your goals in pursuing a UROP.


1/26/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Matthew Amengual

Project Title: Business Preferences for Labor Regulation

Project Description: Labor regulations throughout the world play a crucial role in distributing economic benefits and protecting basic human rights. At the same time, they can also impose costs on business and be politically controversial. What determines which businesses find labor regulations burdensome? Answering this question is key to understanding the political role of businesses in shaping labor regulations, as well as the impact of economic changes (such as flows for foreign direct investment and outsourcing) on policy. To answer this question, a UROP will assemble data from a variety of sources, including micro-level data from a survey of over 100,000 companies throughout the world, and perform statistical analyses to determine what variables are associated with firm preferences for labor regulations.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of STATA and advanced coursework in statistics/econometrics. Familiarity with multilevel modeling.

Contact: Matthew Amengual (amengual@mit.edu)


1/20/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Seeking UROP for Internet of Things project

Project Description: The Fluid Interfaces Group (http://fluid.media.mit.edu) is looking for a UROP student who has interest in robotics, industrial design and the Internet of Things. The UROP student will participate in building "smart" physical objects that have a virtual augmented interface for enabling advanced connected functionality. Your first task will be to add actuation and sensors to an office chair, desk lights and general purpose rotation knobs. Next you will define virtual interfaces for these objects using our "Reality Editor" toolkit.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have knowledge of electronics, Arduino and Web (javascript, html and css).

Contact: If interested, send your resume to Valentin Heun (heun@mit.edu).


1/20/15
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture
Faculty Supervisor: Les Norford

Project Title: Designing and implementing user interface 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. Once created, it will be a first of its kind to integrate energy- and thermal comfort- based concepts in urban design. More information on the project can be found on http://urbanmicroclimate.scripts.mit.edu/umc.php.

We’re looking for a highly motivated student who will be responsible for designing and implementing the user interface in our current desktop GUI. The program has been written in C# using WPF in the .NET environment. You will be working on visualizing the simulation outputs as well as improving our current beta prototype for a better user interaction.

Requirements: C# programming skills required. 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)


1/14/15
IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Magnetic nanoparticle synthesis for application in neuronal stimulation

Project Description: Electrical deep brain stimulation is used to treat drug-resistant psychiatric and neurological disorders but is surgically-invasive and not specific to cell type. We seek to develop a new neuromodulation method using magnetic fields for wireless neuronal excitation. By dissipating the energy in alternating magnetic fields into heat using nanoparticle transducers, heat-sensitized neurons will depolarize on-demand. The specific focus of this UROP project is to assist with optimizing the synthesis of the magnetic nanoparticles to achieve high heating efficiency and its material characterization. Surface functionalization and integration into in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical models will also be demonstrated.

Prerequisites: The UROP will begin during spring and must be available to work in the summer. Sophomores and Juniors are strongly encouraged to apply. Coursework in Bioengineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Materials Science may provide suitable background although not required. While previous lab experience is desired, we are open to providing students at various skill levels opportunities to broaden their research skill set. Students are expected to work at least 12-15 hours during the spring semester and full time (30 hours, with pay) during the summer.

Contact: Ritchie Chen (rchen627@mit.edu)


1/14/15
Spring 2015
Multiple UROP Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. John E. Fernandez

Project Title: Resources and Urban Africa

Project Description: Predictions assert that Africa and Asia will account for 85-90 percent of growth in urban population in the coming four decades. Currently, the African continent hosts nine of the fifteen fastest growing national economies in the world . By 2050 the African urban population will exceed 1.2 billion, an increase of 786 million new urban residents . The research project A Typology of African Urban Resource Consumption seeks to understand this growth in terms of the physical resources consumed at present and required in the future. The main element of this work is the development of a typology of African cities using Material Flow Analysis and statistical analysis to establish a classification of cities based on distinct urban resource consumption profiles. The typology is based on the overall and per capita consumption of key resources including: water; materials; fossil fuel energy carriers; and CO2 emissions. Complementing this continent-wide typology research, this project has developed detailed resource maps showing the paths and volumes of resource extraction, acquisition, delivery and waste dispersal in six countries and the primary city/region in each: Cairo, Egypt; Gauteng, South-Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; Kinshasa, DRC; and Luanda, Angola. Based on this information, and with the cooperation and engagement of local partners, the team aims to define specific strategies to guide sustainable development of African Cities in terms of energy and material flows.

Tasks and Responsibilities: We are looking for different profiles of UROPs to join our team: - Data-mining and statistical analysis (Math or other): As UROP you will assist in the collection of data for a large set of cities spread over the African continent. You will cluster cities with similar resource consumption profiles based on the collected data, using R and other statistical methods/software, which will lead to the Typology of African Cities.

- Infrastructural challenges analysis and new technology potential (MechE, CEE or other): As a UROP you will assist on the continental scale in developing specific insight in the industrial, infrastructural and technological aspects of resource consumption defining the Typology of cities. On the national/urban scale you will assist the team in more detailed analysis of the existing infrastructures guiding resource flows and you will identify potential new technologies that can guide cities to an efficient and sustainable future of resource consumption.

- Environmental policy & economic impact (CEE, Planning, Econ or other): As a UROP you will develop an analysis on the continental scale of International African policies related to resource consumption in African cities. On the urban scale, you will develop a similar analysis for the 6 case study cities. You will develop policy change proposals that can be discussed with local authorities and identify the potential economic impact related to them.

- Spatial implications of natural resource flows (Arch, Planning or other): As a UROP you will assist in the spatial representation of resource flows for the 6 case study cities. You will engage in GIS-data collection and mapping as well as graphical representation of resource flows in diagrams. Depending on the development of the project you will potentially define strategic urban sites for which you will define stakeholders and key challenges to inform our discussion with local actors.

Prerequisites: No specific prerequisites are required. We are seeking students with special skills (as per the descriptions above) but will consider each applicant and their skill set on a case by case basis.

URL: http://www.urbanmetabolism.org/projects/resources-and-urban-africa/

Contact: Phebe Dudek (phdudek@mit.edu)


1/14/15
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Christoph Reinhart

Project Title: Developing Efficient GPU-Based Daylighting Simulations

Project Description: Daylight in buildings is both aesthetically pleasing and a sustainable means of offsetting heating and electric lighting costs. However, poor use of daylight can lead to veiling glare on monitors and discomfort glare that impedes worker productivity. Traditional means for predicting the lighting quality of indoor spaces through simulation are time-consuming, which inhibits exploration of daylighting potential in new buildings. The goal of this project is to speed up architectural lighting simulation using GPU-based parallel ray tracing. The work produced from this project will be incorporated into publically-available lighting simulation software produced by the lab.

Tasks of UROP: The student will develop CUDA code for efficient lighting simulation and implement new modules into an existing code base. The student will also carry out performance testing and may be involved in collecting data from physical settings to use in validation. As work progresses, there may be opportunities for original research.

Prerequisites: Applicants should be motivated and have strong programming backgrounds with experience in CUDA or C/C++ programming. The ability to write and assess efficient code is key to this project. Prior experience with graphics programming is a strong plus.

Hours per week: 10+ hrs/week during spring semester; potentially full time for summer 2015.

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


1/14/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kevin Slavin

Project Title: Domestic Biology Visualization

Project Description: Domestic Biology is a project of Julie Legault the Playful Systems group, directed by Professor Kevin Slavin. This project invites users to grow their own synthetic organisms in a custom built bioreactor. This bioreactor uses arduino based sensors (pH, Oxygen, Temperature) to monitor the growth of the organism and visualize it on-screen. We are seeking dedicated, creative, and highly motivated students to fill UROP positions (for pay or credits). You will be collaborating to create the visualization of data from the sensors. The visualization will need to run and be displayed on an android tablet.

Prerequisites: Android mobile development and visualization skills.

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


1/14/15
IAP-Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering/LMP
Faculty Supervisor: Tonio Buonassisi

Project Title: Automated Materials Discovery Project in Python

Project Description: Seeking a highly motivated UROP student with a computer science background and familiarity with Python.

MaterialsProject.org is a growing database of structural and electronic materials properties, and holds a tremendous wealth of data for materials scientists. We are using this database to discover new materials for solar energy, based on fundamental physical properties of these materials. We would like to be able to screen through a large number of materials using a script and the existing API.

This project will require knowledge of writing scripts in Python, and ideally some experience working with Python APIs and databases. It will also require some understanding of concepts in chemistry (3.091 is sufficient). The time period will be through the winter and spring of 2015, or until work is completed.

Contact: Riley Brandt (rbrandt@mit.edu)


1/14/15
Spring 2015
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ethan Zuckerman

Project title: Build the next generation of publishing tools

Project Description: The Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab is seeking UROP candidates for Spring 2015 to help build an open-source authoring and publishing platform.

Jumping into complex news stories is difficult, particularly stories requiring historical, political, or technical context. The overwhelming complexity of some topics can cause readers to turn away from important news stories altogether. Here at the Media Lab, we are trying to solve this problem. FOLD is a tool for reading, authoring, and publishing modular stories wrapped in contextual information like photos, maps, videos, tweets, interactive visualizations, and more. More information can be found at http://fold.media.mit.edu.

As a UROP, you will be working on developing crucial features of FOLD alongside MIT Media Lab graduate students and a professional developer. Some development tasks include building authoring capabilities, authentication systems, database design, and interaction design.

We aim to release a beta version of FOLD by the end of Spring 2014, so you can see your work out in the wild and tested by a diverse set of users.

Responsibilities: Help us build an awesome experience for our authors and readers. This includes: writing production code, integrating with different APIs to allow authors to bring in context, and contributing to conversations about the user experience.

Prerequisites: We are looking for students with full-stack web development experience, preferably with Coffeescript, LESS, and Meteor or a similar Javascript framework. MongoDB experience is a plus. A bigger plus is if you’re excited to help build a web application that will be released into the world.

This UROP is available for either pay or credit (up to you), with the possibility to continue over summer 2015.

Contact: Please send your resume to Alexis Hope at fold@media.mit.edu


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