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

Current Research: Project Openings

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

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

Available UROPs

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

2/23/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Christian Catalini

Project Title: Using Machine Learning to Predict Startup Success

Project Description: The objective of this project is to develop new code and tools to predict startup growth. Please only apply if you have strong programming skills in machine learning and python. Knowledge of SQL and basic statistics are a plus. Students will have access to a unique, large-scale dataset of startup founding and growth events. They will also learn about the economics of early-stage entrepreneurship and startup fundraising (equity crowdfunding, angel financing, venture capital). If you are interested in getting hands-on experience in machine learning, economics research and data analysis as well as to understand the dynamics of startup success, this would be a great learning opportunity.

Prerequisites: Please only apply if you have strong programming skills in machine learning and python. Knowledge of SQL and statistics are a plus.

URL: http://crowdfunding.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Prof. Christian Catalini
Contact Email: catalini@mit.edu


2/23/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Christian Catalini

Project Title: Predicting Scientific Impact

Project Description: The objective of this project is to develop new code and tools to predict scientific impact (both positive and negative, e.g. retractions and breakthrough ideas). Please only apply if you have strong programming skills in python and databases (e.g. MySQL). Knowledge of XML, natural language processing and machine learning are a plus. Students will have access to a unique, large-scale dataset of scientific articles, and will help gather and process the full text of the articles needed for the analysis from multiple sources (e.g. APIs, PDFs). They will also learn about the economics of science. If you are interested in getting hands-on experience in big data, economics research and data analysis as well as to understand the dynamics of scientific knowledge production and impact, this would be a great learning opportunity.

Prerequisites: Please only apply if you have strong programming skills in python and databases (e.g. MySQL). Knowledge of XML, natural language processing and machine learning are a plus.

Contact Name: Prof. Christian Catalini
Contact Email: catalini@mit.edu


2/23/17
Spring 2017
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Build control system for a custom mechanical rig for testing bioresorbable scaffolds

Project Description: Cardiovascular stents are implanted in millions of patients each year. The most advanced technology utilizing bioresorbable material to eliminate long term concerns associated with metal stents. However, it leads to a higher rate of clinical failures. Our work seeks to understand the dynamic behavior of these devices to provide insights for future device development. There is an opening for an undergraduate interested in control systems, system level circuit building, programming and image acquisition and processing. The control system will direct function of a mechanical strength testing configuration. The project will involve hands-on experimentation and assembly of trial designs both mechanical and electrical. Spring term applicants would need to commit to 10 hours per week (in 2-3 slots per week). The successful applicant will be given the opportunity to continue full-time over the summer (commitment of 40 hrs a week for summer project).

Prerequisites: System design, programming (C#) and circuit building experience are preferred. Ability to read electrical drawings and good documentation skills are also preferred. Candidates must be reliable, organized, and independent with strong communication skills. Please send a pdf of your CV and why you would like to join this project.

URL: http://edelmanlab.mit.edu

Contact Email: Peijiang Wang
Contact Email: wpj@mit.edu


2/21/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Langer

Project Title: CRISPR Nanoparticle Delivery

Project Description: The Anderson/Langer Lab is looking for a student to assist in the development of novel nanoparticle formulations to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 systemically in vivo. The UROP will be involved in formulating nanoparticles, in vitro testing of various constructs, as well as in vivo analysis.

Prerequisites: Previous wet lab experience such a cell culture and basic molecular biology techniques is preferred (eg ELISA, Western blots, flow cytometry).

Contact Name: Andrew Ryan Bader
Contact Email: arbader@mit.edu


2/21/17
Summer
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Myron Spector

Project Title: Novel Neuropathological Imaging in the Development of a Treatment for Stroke

Project Description: The goal of the project is to apply new processes and imaging techniques for the development of an injectable, biomaterial-based treatment for stroke. The project is being carried out in collaboration with a neuropathology lab in Switzerland, and there is an opportunity to spend some time in the summer in the Swiss lab (contingent on applying through MISTI). The core techniques of the project are immunohistochemistry of rodent brain tissue, imaging using confocal and light-sheet microscopy, and image processing. The position is open immediately with a focus on the summer and the potential to continue into the following academic year.

Contact Name: Christopher Love
Contact Email: cjlove@mit.edu


2/17/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Charles M. Oman

Project Title: Evaluation of a Smart Electronic Procedure Interface for Space Telerobotic Operations

Project Description: We are looking for a UROP to help us with a NASA sponsored project examining the effect of different system automation levels on the ability of human operators to do space telerobotic tasks. Current space telerobotic operations on the ISS use a procedure interface that cannot sense or command system states, several separate computers for information display, and a large support team on the ground. But, future missions beyond low Earth orbit will have mass and power constraints and no access to real-time ground support. Therefore, we are running an experiment to investigate single operator space telerobotic operations using our already developed "smart" Robotic Work Station simulator. This system can "sense" and "command" system states, and can be run with different automation levels, including full automation (the computer does all procedure steps), full manual (the human operator does all procedure steps), and levels in-between (e.g, the computer changes system states and the human operator verifies correct changes were made). The UROP will learn about space station robotics operations and gain valuable experience in administering a human subject experiment, modifying simulation code (python) as needed, and organizing and analyzing data.

Prerequisites: Experience in python, MATLAB, and Microsoft Excel. Desire to be an experimenter in human subject research test sessions. Experience and/or interest in data organization and data analysis.

Contact Name: Dr. Raquel Galvan-Garza
Contact Email: rgalvan@mit.edu


2/16/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Dick K.P. Yue

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

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

Prerequisites: Ideal candidates should be hands-on, have some experience with Python and Arduino, and have a background in controls and mechanical design (e.g. drones and AUVs).

The appointment is available for credit, or for direct UROP funding.

Contact Name: Grgur Tokic
Contact Email: gtokic@mit.edu


2/16/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Jinhua Zhao

Project Title: Urban-Scale Social Responsibility in China: Behavioral Perspective in Real Estate and Transportation

Project Description: Social responsibility has become a maxim of urban development in Chinese cities, yet there is no consistent set of actions that social responsibility must entail. The drive for social responsibility has not coalesced into coherent norms governing personal, corporate, and governmental actions. To better understand the behavioral constituents of social responsibility, in this research project funded by the STL MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Laboratory, we will measure and analyze behavioral perspectives on urban-scale social responsibility. This project investigates how urban residents in China perceive and enact socially responsible behavior across two urban policy domains: real estate and transportation. We will inventory essential features of social responsibility in these systems and assess how social categories and self-associations with the city affect residents beliefs about social responsibility and corresponding actions. In the first stage of the project, we will analyze a multi-year survey to quantify trends of social capital and social trust in the Contemporary Chinese society. We are looking for a UROP to help with the survey data analysis.

Prerequisites: Statistical analysis experience and working knowledge of multivariate analysis techniques are required. Skilled in running statistical models. Self-motivated and fast learner of new software tools (e.g., Mplus) for Structural Equation Modeling. 10 hours per week. Knowledge of Chinese is a plus.

URL: https://mobility.mit.edu/

Contact: If interested, please send your resume (including a list of relevant courses and experiences) and a short description of why you would be a strong candidate to Shan Jiang at shanjang@mit.edu.


2/16/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Alex 'Sandy' Pentland

Project Title: Cooperation in presence of inequality: a game theoretic view

Project Description: Theoretical and empirical research has shown that cooperation will emerge in a population with a sufficiently severe disciplinary mechanism that punishes frequent defectors.Theoretical models have identified the conditions for emergence of either cooperators in public good games. However, most of these studies have assumed a homogeneous population in which all agents receive the same endowment and payoff. In contrast, inequality is abundant in our social structures where people differ in their income and their ability to take advantage of public infrastructure. In this study, we investigate the ramifications of inequality in public good games. We will extend the existing models with player inequality, study its effect on cooperation and implement punishment strategies that restore cooperation in existence of severe inequality.

Prerequisites: Basic game theory, strong mathematical background, python, C++

Contact Name: Eaman Jahani
Contact Email: eaman@mit.edu


2/16/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: VR Locomotion

Project Description: Implementation of new navigation techniques in VR. The system consists of design of a circuit that communicates with VR to achieve new capabilities in VR. We already have a functional prototype. Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering students with hardware experience preferred. Some Unity experience would be useful but not necessary. Please email me if you would like more details on the project.

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


2/16/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Maria Loumioti

Project Title: Assessing the informational and emotional content of credit reports

Project Description: In this project, we explore whether the tone in loan officers credit reports for consumer loans predicts ex-post lending outcomes. To do so, we have obtained access to a credit union s proprietary credit reports (notes), where employees report and describe their regular interactions with the borrowers. Research assistants (RAs) are expected to read and classify the content of these notes based on two dimensions: i) their informational content, i.e. whether notes convey positive, negative or no news, and ii) their emotional content (e.g., joy, sadness, anger etc. or no emotion). There are about 1.2m notes where the credit union s loan officers reported their opinions, assessments and information collected through their interactions with borrowers. RAs will work on about 5,000 notes in total. We will then use their inputs to feed a na ve Bayesian model in order to classify the remaining notes. Two RAs will work on a note independently, without observing how the other party (RA) rates the same note. In case of disagreement, the note will be sent to a third RA. We expect each RA to complete around 1.5k notes.

Prerequisites: For this project, we are looking to hire 5-8 RAs in economics/business/finance, which should complete this task by mid-May. RAs will have guidance, i.e. we will share with them examples of how we classified the content of a small sample of loan officers notes. RAs will work independently, remotely and are expected to report to us on a weekly basis.

Contact Name: Maria Loumioti & Laura Brentrup
Contact Email: loumioti@mit.edu; brentrup@mit.edu


2/15/2017
Department: Institute for Medical Engineering & Science
Faculty Supervisor: Jose Gomez-Marquez

The Little Devices lab of researchers turns toys into medical devices for international and domestic healthcare systems using design strategies such as affordability, modularity and DIY. Our lab aims to design technology that is robust and economical, yet intelligent using advanced sensors and smart materials. Projects from the group have been launched in Germany, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Ethiopia and New Zealand. The work has been featured by the New York Times, Wired, CNN, and TED.

UROP positions for Spring 2017 are listed below. All positions have the option for pay or credit. There is a 2-day fabrication and design orientation to be scheduled upon assigment. You will be joining a fast paced, interdisciplinary group who focuses on hands-on ideation and prototyping.

Contact: Please send a statement of interest to littledevices@mit.edu

  1. Science Policy UROP: Exploring the Science and Policies of DIY Medical Technologies:

    Work closely with DIY medical device developers and assist in exploring the legal, ethical, and sociotechnical drivers that affect the development of informal medical device development. You will be part of a team analyzing and uncovering information from the MakerNurse project, our network of medical makerspaces, the Fair Trademedtech initiative, and the Open Diagnostics Project.

    Contribute to our understanding of how underground networks of creators are changing medicine and biotech and learn about the tools that make it happen. We will measure disparities in access to life saving medical devices and the create scenarios involving real world tools developed in ours labs that can address them.

    Prerequisites: An interest in medical device, maker culture, and democratized fabrication. Experience in literature reviews, data gathering and analysis, and an writing ideal.
  2. Tinkering with Chemistry

    Work at the intersection of materials science and chemical engineering on next generation therapy technologies. Build upon our work in MIT’s multiplexed zika and ebola diagnostics, portable sensing, and environmental testing using microfluidics.

    Contribute to our Open Diagnostic Initiative to enable anyone in the world to create rapid diagnostics for infectious diseases using lab-developed construction sets.

    Prerequisites:
    Strong understanding of organic chemistry and biochemistry. Wet lab experience a plus. You will learn any fabrication skills required for the projects.

Direct funding deadline: Thursday February 16.

Credit deadline for lab interviews: February 23.

Contact: Please send a statement of interest to littledevices@mit.edu


2/15/2017
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Charles M. Oman
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: coman@mit.edu

Project Title: Just-in-time Training for Telerobotic Operations in Long Duration Spaceflight

Project Description: We are looking for a UROP for pay to help us with a NASA-sponsored project examining effective methods to conduct Just-In-Time Training for astronauts during a mission. Astronauts on long-duration missions will face complex tasks for which they may not have received specific training but have achieved proficiency with generic skills that are required for the required task. The project uses the MVL s Robotic Workstation Simulator, which recreates the environment of International Space Station robotics operations. The goal of this UROP is to build the customizable and expandable interface to display task procedures that subjects will follow to perform various robotic operations. The interface will be coded in Java and will also tracks how subjects have expanded the steps in the procedure. The UROP will also contribute to the design and execution of the human-in-the-loop experiments. The time commitment needed is approxima
tely 5 hours per week.

Prerequisites: Background in Software Engineering and significant coding experience in Java. Desirable experience: building GUIs using Swing, experience with JTree implementations.

Contact Name: Inderraj Singh Grewal
Contact Email:inderraj@mit.edu


2/15/2017
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Dick K.P. Yue
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: yue@MIT.EDU

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

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

Prerequisites: Ideal candidates should be hands-on, have some experience with Python and Arduino, and have a background in controls and mechanical design (e.g. drones and AUVs). The appointment is available for credit, or for direct UROP funding.

Contact Name: Grgur Tokic
Contact Email: gtokic@mit.edu


2/15/2017
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Neri Oxman
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: neri@mit.edu

Project Title: Biomaterial Pavilion

Project Description: The Mediated Matter Group is currently undertaking research on robotic fabrication of biologically-augmented biomaterial-based composites. This work expands on the capabilities of previous research on the Water-based Digital Design and Fabrication Platform, an enabling technology for additive manufacturing of sustainable materials of the future. Production of new medium-scale products and architectural constructs demonstrate hierarchical control of shape inspired by naturally occurring leaf venation and insect wing structures. The team is using materials, such as cellulose and chitosan, the two most abundant biopolymers on Earth, which act as biocompatible scaffolding for engineered microbial growth. We raise the question, how can we print living trees ? In other words: how can we print a complex ecosystem like a tree ? We are experimenting with creating both the living container and templating microbial growth within. We are looking for 1-2 UROPs !
that can assist with the fabrication of a pavilion made of these biomaterials. Work will involve mixing and testing of composites and the robotic extrusion of the biomaterials in 2.5 dimensions, as well as assembling the pavilion for an exhibition in April. We would love students with Material Science and/or design background, with preference towards Material Science students.

Prerequisites: We would like someone that could be available for at least 8 hours a week if possible. Experience with creating and testing new materials, especially biomaterials, to meet performance requirements is desired. Aptitude and interest in design as well as fabrication experience, especially with wood-working, are assets. Rhino-3D and grasshopper skills are also useful.

URL (if applicable): http://matter.media.mit.edu/environments/details/water-based-digital-fabrication-platform

Contact Name: Andrea Ling
Contact Email: asling@mit.edu


2/15/2017
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Sepandar Kamvar
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: sdkamvar@media.mit.edu

Project Title: Developing a Web App to Aggregate IoT Mobile Sensor Data from Urban Cyclists

Project Description: Come experience the dynamic and exciting environment at the Media Lab! In this UROP project with the Social Computing group, we are looking for a student to develop a web app that collects and stores data from sensors attached to bicycles. The web app should include user profile creation, the ability to collect and store data from distributed IoT sensors, some minimal data processing, and a simple view page for each user. The web app the UROP develops does not need to be user facing; it is for research purposes and analysis. With the web app in place, the UROP will have the option of creating geographic and graph-based data visualizations of the data in the second half of the semester.

Prerequisites: Candidates should be motivated, hard working, and excited about web programming and data analysis. Experience with backend and frontend web development is a must, experience with visualization technologies (e.g. D3) is a bonus. There will also be the opportunity to learn technologies and tools during your time as a UROP.

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


2/14/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Kripa Varanasi

Project Title: Polyelectrolyte precipitation for increased retention of agricultural sprays

Project Description: Many plants naturally repel water. This makes it difficult to spray pesticides and fertilizers on them since droplets bounce and roll off their hydrophobic surfaces. Studies showed than only 2% of sprayed chemicals end up on their intended target. To overcome this problem, we have developed a new technique that prevents the impinging droplets from bouncing, thereby enhancing the retention. We simultaneously spray two oppositely charged polyelectrolytes that create surface precipitates and pin the droplet to the surface. Following up, we want to experiment this process on various plants and different polymers to understand the polymer-leaves interactions. The objective of this project is to help with experimentation with polyelectrolyte solutions on plant surfaces.

For this, the student will need to:

Prerequisites:

URL: http://news.mit.edu/2016/reducing-runoff-pollution-making-spray-droplets-less-bouncy-0830

Contact Name: Maher Damak
Contact Email: mdamak@mit.edu


2/14/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Cullen R Buie

Project Title: Studies of Electroactive Bacteria under Shear and for Sensors

Project #1: Background A special class of bacteria exist that directly produce electricity, known as exoelectrogens. These bacteria oxidize hydrocarbons and transport electrons extracellularly to an external electron acceptor, typically forming thicker biofilms than other bacteria. Thus, exoelectrogens can produce power in microbial fuel cells when the electron acceptor is an electrode. Power production is limited in fuel cells by the bacteria s inability to eliminate protons near the insoluble electrode not used in the wild. This limitation may be overcome by enhancing convective mass transport while maintaining substantial biomass within the biofilm. Increasing convective mass transport increases shear stress. A biofilm may respond to increased shear by changing biomass, matrix, or current production. In this study, a rotating disk electrode is used to separate nutrient from physical stress. Our ultimate objective is a framework relating biofilm thickness, porosity, shear stress and current generation for the optimization of microbial fuel cells.

Tasks for 5 hours per week, this project involves:

Tasks for a more committed (10 hours per week):

Experience required: For the shorter commitment, no experience required, willingness to learn, time commitment and time management skills. For the longer time commitment, fabrication (or design for fabrication) experience required. We will apply for direct funding through the UROP office.
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Project #2: Background We are developing a microbial fuel cells as a self-powered biosensor to diagnose the health of the gut micro biome.

There are two key objectives to the proposed work; (1) Establishing the baseline performance (e.g. time dependent current/voltage profile) of a microbial fuel cell supplied stool from healthy individuals. (2) Determining if the current/voltage profile of a microbial fuel cell is sensitive to the health of a patient s microbiome using healthy patients and those with Clostridium difficile infections.

The deliverables from this project will be; (1) A working prototype microbial fuel cell capable of interrogating clinical stool samples. (2) A detailed report outlining microbial fuel cell performance on stool obtained from healthy patients and those with C. difficile infections.

Tasks: Design, fabricate and test a microbial fuel cell outside of a traditional anaerobic chamber in a small footprint that can operate outside a traditional lab, safe from contamination, but accessible inside a lab, using non-pathogenic, strict anaerobes. This can be used towards a thesis and/or extended into the summer

Contact Name: Andrew Jones
Contact Email: andrew3@MIT.edu


2/14/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiromi Ozaki

Project Title: Mind Controlled Microbes

Project Description: Looking for passionate EE/CS engineers to work on a project translating the EEG signals from the brain to a system used to control the movement of microorganisms.

Prerequisites: For the CS candidate, programming experience is required. For the EE candidate, experience designing and fabricating PCBs a must. Experience with programming for wearable sensors a plus, familiarity with microorganisms a plus. Must be able to devote 5+ hours a week and meet weekly.

Contact Name: Ani Liu
Contact Email: wonder@mit.edu


2/15/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Casalegno, Federico

Project Title: Identifying Telecom Strategies for Implementing Industry 4.0

Project Description: Produce a strategic report that can guide change on Smart Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) and identify opportunities for the telecommunication sector. Mobile Experience Lab (MEL) seeks to radically reinvent connections between people, information, and places. To accomplish this, the Mobile Experience Lab uses advanced research to produce innovative solutions. Current MEL research is investigating and generating future visions of large-scale technological change. More specifically, Industry 4.0 refers to the integration of several major digital innovations aiming to revolutionize the manufacturing sector. From advanced robotics and machine learning to software-as-a-service and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), these advances facilitate a powerful new way of organizing intelligent industrial operations and cyber physical production. Main characteristic of such production is that it is based on constant real-time communication, enabling an intelligent, self-adapting industrial process to emerge that is faster, more flexible, more efficient, and produces goods with higher quality.

Main Tasks: The successful candidates will examine the features and integration of technological innovations and services, such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Embedded Systems, Cyber Physical Systems, Edge/fog computing, 3-D Printing, data analytics, and Robotics, and they will explore how, these can enable the growth of factories with higher IQ and decentralized production logic, leading to more productive and safer operations. Vertical case studies (factory-store-users) related to smart automotive industry, business-to-business and business-to-client operations, as well as applications on the production of consumer goods, like electric appliances, food and beverage, textile and clothing, would also be of interest. As part of the research team, the successful candidates will produce a strategic report that will help manufacturing and telecommunications leaders to identify emerging opportunities, by providing the facts and variables of Industry 4.0 and by enabling them to overcome obstacles to deployment of productive technologies.

Prerequisites: Candidates with strong background and interest in Smart Manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Embedded Systems, Cyber Physical Systems, Edge/fog computing, 3-D Printing, data analytics, and Robotics, as well as with interest in understanding existing systems and their contexts, and in decoding cultural and workforce factors, will be ideal for the position. A strong past record of participation in pertinent research is wanted (please send link to research experience in application). In addition to being incredibly rigorous and skilled, the right candidate is a team player, self-motivated and has a demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.

URL: http://mobile.mit.edu

Contact Name: Sotirios Kotsopoulos
Contact Email: skots@mit.edu


2/14/17
Spring
Multiple Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project #1: Augmented reality data visualization, and data visualization analysis for Urban Dynamic Innovation

Project Description: Project: Data visualization analysis for promoting Cultural Heritage The goal of this project is to find new insights about Cultural Heritage, 30% of the economy of Andorra is constituted by tourism. Monuments in andorra are open finding opportunities to promote cultural tourism and local knowledge of the heritage. We believes that culture is The goal of the project is to find a new ways to valorize Cultural Heritage as a potential for tourists and citizens and put the culture as the foundation of the transformation and innovation process. The goal is to combine data human mobility with create visualizations that can lead to innovative

Project Description: Andorra Living Lab Project The Andorra Living Lab project combines different research topics (Tourism, Innovation, Energy & Environment, Mobility, Dynamic urban planning) for the future urban challenges of the country. We are collaborating on a unique initiative providing Andorrans research, knowledge, methods and tools to carry out such transformation. Cultural Heritage The goal of the project is to find a new ways to valorize Cultural Heritage as a potential for tourists and citizens and put the culture as the foundation of the transformation and innovation process. The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of augmented reality data visualization, data visualization analysis, and data science methodologies on Andorra's data, for enabling an understanding of the country's dynamics, opportunities and potentialities on cultural tourism, human mobility as well as to shed light on technological and systems innovation towards radical improvements in these domains.

Data: this is a unique opportunity to work on a rich dataset that includes mobile phone records (CDRs) of the entire country, spatially specified logs to the national network of public WIFI, disaggregated energy consumption data from the national utility company, pollution and environmental data. We are seeking a UROP for the Fall term, with the possibility of continuing during following terms.

The task: Be a part of the team that is going to think and design an Innovation District, a Dynamic Square and a Smart Street based on the Andorran needs and the their big data, integrating the main lines of the CP Group research: big data Urban Planning (physical 3D model with data projection), PEV (Autonomous Electric Vehicle), etc. Help in the diagram and representation of the Andorra big data environmental, energy, mobility flows, etc. in dynamic presentations. To model, in 2D and 3D, urban and commercial events, urban elements, urban areas, dynamic maps, etc. in order to provide a base for modeling with Java, Processing (Grasshopper or other), dynamic presentations of Andorran flows (mobility of cars, people, energy, goods, etc.), and for plugging it in the CityScope (a physical interactive platform for information visualization and exploration) Academic papers will be elaborated on selected topics along this project. UROPs are welcomed to participate and co-author. These will be discussed on an ad hoc basis depending on student s interests, skills, and availability.

Candidates profiles: Ideal candidates will have sharpened data science skills (2+ years computer science), and should be able to develop a thoughtful and creative understanding on how the models, analysis and visualizations can generate value in the contexts of Andorra s tourism and culture, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We need candidates with medium-high level skills in Java, and Processing. We are looking for a curious candidate with a particular sensibility for art, architecture, culture Traveling,

URL: http://cities.media.mit.edu/andorra-about/
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Project Title #2: Flybits. Build your most creative mobile experience. Design and deploy an App-experience for the tourist (and for the big data gathering and research) experience of the XXI century.

Project Description: This is a rather unique collaboration project between the Media Lab and Andorra's government, largest private companies (e.g., energy and telecom), and academic institutions The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of machine learning on Andorra's big data and data visualization for enabling an understanding of the country's dynamics on tourism and commerce, economy, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact; as well as to shed light on technological and systems innovation towards radical improvements in these domains. The specific project involves the design and deployment of an App-experience for the tourist (and for the big data gathering and research) experience of the XXI century. Using Flybits educational platform (https://flybits.com/product.html) the goal is to build your most creative mobile experience in Andorra. By correlating data gathered form the users mobile phone, and eternal data like the CDR data from the telecom, data from the social-networks, etc. we aspire to create the new Andorra-Experience for visitors and tourists. An academic paper will be come out of the project and you will be co-authored.

Skills you need to already have:

At least two of:

Others:

What you will get out of the UROP experience:

URL: http://cities.media.mit.edu/andorra-about/
__________

Project Title #3: Data Analysis. Big Data -- Applied Machine Learning for an Innovative Future in Andorra

Project Description: This is a rather unique collaboration project between the Media Lab and Andorra's government, largest private companies (e.g., energy and telecom), and academic institutions The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of machine learning on Andorra's big data and data visualization for enabling an understanding of the country's dynamics on tourism and commerce, economy, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact; as well as to shed light on technological and systems innovation towards radical improvements in these domains. The specific project involves exploring in de CDR and RNC data how human dynamic events impacts on mobility, innovation and economic issues at a macro level. Besides, how wellness and happiness level of the local communities and tourists are improved with these mixings at a microlevel. An academic paper will be come out of the project and you will be co-authored.

Skills you need to already have:

What you will get out of the UROP experience:

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


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Alvar Saenz-Otero

Project Title: ZRMS17.Spring: Game Programing & Testing and Resource Development

Project Description: UROP for pay or credit, 10-12 hours/week A team of 4-6 students will review the ZR game used during the 2016 High School competition (SpaceSPHERES) and simplify it for middle school students. The team will re-program the game and test it during Spring 2017. Testing includes preparing "unit tests" to be run aboard the International Space Station once the game re-programing is complete. In addition, the team will create several "standard players" which the middle-school students will be able to compete against. The ZR UROP team will also work closely with our Education consultants and the ZR Leadership Team to review the middle-school curriculum and supporting documents and make necessary edits. This work includes developing the 2017 game manual, informing the creation and editing of 2017 game specific materials for coaches and students including, but not limited to tutorials, teacher training resources and field day activities. It is preferred that students will continue into the summer, becoming the mentors of the middle-school teams. This means these positions are especially encouraged for students interested in being with the team for both Spring and Summer.

Application Process:
- Indicate which position(s)/term(s) you are applying for
- Before interview send a resume/intro of yourself to spheres@mit.edu
- We'll schedule a 15 minute interview during February for all Spring candidates

Prerequisites: Previous experience:
- Programming in C/C++ (or similar language) a plus
- Working knowledge of MATLAB helpful
- Experience with JavaScript, ActionScript, HTML5 helpful
- Experience with Linux based systems (programing, configuring) helpful
- Strong verbal and written skills - Interest in education or youth development helpful
- Alum of a FIRST robotics team a plus

URL: http://zerorobotics.mit.edu

Contact Name: Alvar Saenz-Otero
Contact Email: spheres@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Alvar Saenz-Otero

Project Title: ZRHS17.Spring: Zero Robotics Game Programing

Project Description: UROP for pay or credit, 10-12 hours/week During the Fall, a team of UROPs worked with the MIT GameLab to create a new game concept for the upcoming Zero Robotics High School Tournament. While the game has been designed, it has not been programed. A team of up to 4 UROPs (including some returning UROPs from the Fall design team) will complete the programing of the new 2017 game and test it by creating multiple simulation competitions among yourselves. The team may also organize an internal MIT competition to test the game with other MIT students (but keeping the game secret within MIT, as it will not be announced until September of 2017). The game is deployed in "phases" to the High School students, therefore the UROP team will have to program and test all phases of the game. UROPs who participate in the Spring programing will have first right of refusal (based on their performance during the Spring) to have a summer UROP with the team. Additionally, UROPs will be responsible for developing a draft 2017 Game Manual.

Application Process:
- Indicate which position(s)/term(s) you are applying for
- Before interview send a resume/intro of yourself to spheres@mit.edu
- We'll schedule a 15 minute interview during February for all Spring candidates

Prerequisites, Previous experience:
- Programming in C/C++ (or similar language) a plus
- Working knowledge of MATLAB helpful
- Experience with JavaScript, ActionScript, HTML5 helpful
- Experience with Linux based systems (programing, configuring) helpful
- Strong verbal and written skills
- Interest in education or youth development helpful
- Alum of a FIRST robotics team a plus

URL: http://zerorobotics.mit.edu

Contact Name: Alvar Saenz-Otero
Contact Email: spheres@mit.edu


2/10/17
Summer
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Alvar Saenz-Otero

Project Title: ZRHS17.Summer: Game Programing, Testing, and Kick Off Coordination

Project Description: UROP for pay, 20-40 hours per week A team of up to 4 UROPs will complete the programing of the new 2017 game and perform thorough testing by creating multiple simulation competitions amongst yourselves and potentially with outside volunteers. Testing includes preparing "unit tests" to be run aboard the International Space Station in the Fall. In addition, the team will create several "standard players" which the high-school students will be able to compete against. UROPs who participate in the Spring programing will have first right of refusal (based on their performance during the Spring) to have a summer UROP with the team. Additionally, UROPs will be responsible for developing the new 2017 Game Manual, designing a new 2017 Game Logo and developing any necessary tutorials, materials or resources relative to game implementation in the United States or abroad. The team will also be responsible for coordinating the logistics associated with the International Kick-Off of the new tournament via WebEx.

Application Process:
- Indicate which position(s)/term(s) you are applying for
- Before interview send a resume/intro of yourself to spheres@mit.edu
- We'll schedule a 15 minute interview during February for all Spring candidates

Prerequisites, Previous experience:
- Programming in C/C++ (or similar language) a plus
- Working knowledge of MATLAB helpful
- Experience with JavaScript, ActionScript, HTML5 helpful
- Experience with Linux based systems (programing, configuring) helpful
- Strong verbal and written skills
- Interest in education or youth development helpful
- Alum of a FIRST robotics team a plus

URL: http://zerorobotics.mit.edu

Contact Name: Alvar Saenz-Otero
Contact Email: spheres@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: J. Christopher Love

Project Title: Serverless Application System for Storage and analYsis of -Omic Data (SASSY-OD)

Project Description: We are developing a new framework to store and analyze biological ( -omic) datasets and securely share them across labs and institutions, based on cutting-edge tools provided by Amazon cloud. Recent advancements in "serverless" computing and container technology let us implement infrastructure-as-a-code that scales with our demands, is friendly to most users, and removes the burden of server administration.

If you enjoy doing big things with third-party APIs, or invent your own, we invite you to join in! We're actively working on back-end APIs, and expect a front-end to follow soon. Knowledge of Node.js, TypeScript or JavaScript in general would be very helpful, but not required (and we know you learn fast!). We'd also like to borrow your experience designing and implementing sleek single-page applications (SPAs) in Angular or similar web frameworks, as well as general practice of test- and behavior-driven development and continuous delivery. And if you are familiar with intricacies of AWS and following its latest developments, we'll pick you yesterday!

Timeline: We aim to move fast and break things, while also getting a full production system ready by the end of this term. And researchers at the Koch Institute are looking forward to use it for an exciting new technology in RNA sequencing of single cells that will likely cross academic institutions, and beyond.

Contact Name: Denis Loginov
Contact Email: dloginov@mit.edu


2/10/17
Summer
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Joel Voldman

Project Title: Developing an Automated Imaging Platform to Monitor Cells in a Microfluidic Disease Model

Project Description: We have developed a microfluidic platform which models atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease that is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. This platform replicates blood flow profiles directly upon human cells, which allows us to learn about human disease biology, as well as provides opportunities to test out potential drug candidates within the device. We are looking for a summer UROP student to assist in developing software that interfaces with the microfluidic device, its control hardware, and an automated microscope. This automation will control the device functions and record movies of cells in the device. Next, the student will perform image analyses of these movies to gain insight on how the disease develops and progresses, and implement a graphical user interface to present the data. These analyses will be carried out within a MATLAB programming environment. The student will also have opportunities to learn about how we m!
ake these devices, and assist in device fabrication.

Prerequisites: Experience with MATLAB is required. Knowledge from 6.03, 6.S08, 6.115, and 20.345/6.123, or at least some familiarity instrument automation would also be useful for this UROP. Additionally, experience with image processing or GUI design is a plus.

Contact Name: Sarvesh Varma
Contact Email: sarvesh@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Bob Langer

Project Title: exploring the sequence space for oligopeptide self-assembly

Project Description: This project aims to discover peptide-based nanomaterials for biomedical application by exploring the sequence space of oligopeptides that can self-assemble into nanostructures. The project requires the UROP to evaluate pre-selected peptide candidates for self-assembly and then characterize them by DLS, rheometer, and TEM, etc.

Prerequisites: basic wet lab experience

Contact Name: Jiaqi Lin
Contact Email: jqlin@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kevin Slavin

Project Title: Holobiont Urbanism

Project Description: About Holobiont Urbanism: We are in constant symbiosis with the 100 trillion microbes in our gut and the complex system of bacteria around us in our environment. Within the field of metagenomics, it clear that understanding the built environment is necessary in order to learn more about ourselves as participants in this microbial ecosystem. By understanding the cities which we inhabit in from a bacterial point of view we can begin to discern the invisible q! ualities of cities. We want to understand the city as a biological organism, understand its bacterial ecosystem and visualize the invisible microbial world within the built environment. We propose a method of sampling biological material from cities by using honeybees (Apis mellifera) as a proxy to swab-based sampling methods. Playful Systems is seeking a UROP interested in data visualization. We are exploring new methods for data visualization involving web, VR, AR, custom hardware displays, and experimental narratives. Come dive deep into our metagenomic data and help develop new experiences for biological information within the built environment!

Prerequisites: HTML, CSS, Javascript

Contact Name: Miguel Perez
Contact Email: mperez4@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Multiple Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Patrick Henry Winston

Project #1: Research on Spatial Intelligence

Project Description: In this research, we develop models for exposing the relationships between our perceptual and symbolic skills to better understand how human intelligence operates spatially. Particularly, we collect data from human subjects while they explore virtual environments and develop artificial intelligence systems that can perform similarly in virtual environments by answering questions and composing stories. We are looking for students who are interested in understanding human and machine intelligence, in particular spatial perception and storytelling. Students may take part in experiment design, data collection or model development. Experience with Java and / or Python is a plus. Students will be expected to commit 10 hours / week.

Prerequisites: 6.034 or 6.036
___________

Project #2: UI / UX Design for Virtual Reality

Project Description: We are looking for students to work on UI and UX of an AI driven VR system. Students will work with a team to design and develop spatial interface components that react to different types of inputs including speech and gestures. Tasks will include designing 3D interface components, programming interactions and user testing. General programming experience is required and experience with 3D software packages and game engines is a plus but not required. Students will have access to a variety of VR hardware and software and will work in a dedicated office. 10 hours of commitment is required.

Prerequisites: 6.813
___________

Project #3: Contextual Speech Recognition in Virtual Reality

Project Description: We are looking for students to work on the backend of an AI driven VR system. Students will work with the team to develop machine learning algorithms for segmenting, recognizing and transcribing speech inputs based on spatial location and environmental context.Students will have opportunity to work with virtual reality systems, implement and test their algorithms with real user data. We are seeking for students with strong programming skills in Python and/or Javascript (Node.js) who may be also interested in virtual reality, cloud computing and machine learning. Experience with artificial intelligence, machine learning and back-end service development are plus.

Prerequisites: 6.034/6.036

Contact Name: Cagri Hakan Zaman
Contact Email: zaman@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Jinhua Zhao

Project Title: Build an automated texting Chatbot to communicate with participants in a study that will provide discount MBTA cards to low-income Bostonians

Project Description: Policymakers and advocates are increasingly concerned with the impacts of growing inequity on the poor and underserved. The burden of transportation costs on the poor is increasing, limiting access to important goods and services, such as medical care, health food options, and training programs. With the poorest in urban areas relying mainly on public transportation, it is central to the discussion of equity. Rapidly increasing public transportation fares across the US is making accessibility more and more unaffordable for low-income riders. Despite these concerns, relatively little is known about how low-income households manage their transportation costs while also preserving their desired level and quality of mobility. When low-income households do find ways to cover their transportation expenditures, many of these strategies create hardship. We will be running a 2-month study providing 100 Boston transit riders with discounted CharlieCards to gain insights into changes in travel patterns and quality of life of the participants. Though many low-income residents own a mobile phone, many do not have a data plan. Therefore, texting is preferred over smartphone apps as a method to engage with participants. We are looking for a UROP to help design and program an automated SMS/texting Chatbot to interact with participants to gather data on the purpose of their transit trips during the study. The technology that powers bots, artificial intelligence software, is improving dramatically.

Prerequisites: Programming experience is required. Must be comfortable working with APIs, interest in investigating what s out there, and willingness to integrate different pieces of software together. 10-15 hours per week. An enthusiasm in public transportation and social equity a plus.

URL: https://mobility.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Jeff Rosenblum
Contact Email: jeffreyr@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Azra Aksamija

Project Title: Future Heritage Lab - Inventions in the Refugee Camp Azraq, Jordan

Project Description: Refugee camps should not be understood just as makeshift shelters, but as civic spaces where crucial social healing and cultural encounters can take place. This project explores how art and design could inform a new understanding of refugee camps as spaces for transcultural exchange and creation of new heritage dynamics. We will collaborate with a group of inventors from the Syrian refugee camp Azraq in Jordan; this group includes artists, artisans, fashion designers, craftsmen, poets, writers, journalists, computer scientists, recycling experts, toymakers of all ages and genders. We will document the problems, inventions, memories, and craft of the Azraq camp residents, helping them to produce four books about their experiences of living and working in the camp. To that end, we will also research and analyze inventions from other refugee camps and equivalent environments across the world. These books will provide a basis for collaborative design interventions in the Azraq camp, including new cultural spaces, cultural fabrics, mobile solutions, and water and food projects. Our research is aimed at demonstrating more efficient, ethical, and culturally sensitive approaches to humanitarian relief. You will learn artistic methods that engage with historical, cultural and political contexts, focusing on inventions by Islamic societies.

Potential tasks include:

Relevant skills needed:

Prerequisites: Arabic speaker

Contact Name: Raafat Majzoub
Contact Email: rmajzoub@mit.edu


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Azra Aksamija

Project Title: Palimpsest of '89

Project Description: Carpet iconography functions like a form of writing and storytelling. This project involves pattern design for carpets that would tell a story about shared cultural heritage in Bosnia-Herzegovina. These carpets will be exhibited in a large exhibtion about Bosnia's artistic life before the 1990s war, which will take place at the Museum for Contemporary Art Ljubljana, Slovenia in the late Spring 2017. The patterns will be designed to represent societal unifying and disintegrating forces through selected monuments representing cultural institutions founded in each period. The underlying thesis is that Bosnia's cultural history has been "written and rewritten" through cultural institutions, which produced the space of the common: architecture and individual monuments of these institutions embody forces of integration and disintegration. Thus the conceptual focus of the carpet is the role of cultural institutions in shaping the sense of the common and the architecture of these institutions is the medium to represent this exploration.

Potential tasks include: Researching some architectural monuments Pattern design Simple animations

Relevant skills needed: Illustrator some animation skills are a plus, but not a must

Contact Name: Azra Aksamija
Contact Email: azra@mit.edu


2/1017
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Mitchel Resnick

Project Title: Building an Online Community in Support of Refugee Education

Project Description: As part of the Media Lab Learning Initiative, we are launching an online community that will develop tools for refugee education. To support the community we will develop a platform where students in the Middle East can take MITx courses, collaborate with MIT students, receive mentorship, and work on projects relating to refugee education. Successful students will be invited to a face-to-face prototyping workshop. We are looking for motivated MIT undergraduates who will be early adopters of the platform, and contribute to its design, UX, and curriculum. The UROPs will help select courses, mentor students in the Middle East who are working through these courses, and test all aspects of the experience. There will also be opportunities to contribute to the development of the platform.

Prerequisites: Experience with online educational platforms and curriculum design (bonus: experience taking MOOCs) Experience with user testing and reporting bugs Passion about online learning and refugee issues The ability to work with collaborators in other countries Bonus: Experience with full stack web development

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


2/10/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Robotic Symbiont

Project Description: Design and Implementation of Wearable Robots. The system consists of design of modular sensor/actuators that helps the modules sitting on the human body to achieve tasks/new capabilities. Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering students with CAD experience highly preferred. Students with 3D engine experience are also welcome for contributing in VR simulator for such a system.

Your main goals will be: 1. Design of user scenarios and corresponding mechanisms for a robot. 2. Implementation of robotic modules. - or - 3. Implementation of VR simulation with corresponding designs

Prerequisites: Mechanical Design/3D modeling or Electronics/Robotics or Programming with 3D engines

URL: http://www.sangww.net/2016/05/body-integrated-interface.html

Contact: For more information on our project, please feel free contact Sang Leigh (sangwon@mit.edu). I can give you more detailed explanation of what it is going to be.


2/8/17
Spring
Multiple Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Richard Fletcher

Project Title #1: Video Game Development for Mental Health

Project Description: Mental health is an important concern which touches most of our lives, yet this aspect of our health is often neglected. While there are many specific mental health disorders, our group has started developing a mobile-phone based video games to help monitor and assess some common aspects of our daily mental health, such as fatigue, working memory, stress level, and impulsivity. Our goal is to create mobile tools that are fun to use and can function as screening tools as well as biofeedback to help increase our self-awareness. Since very few commercially available mental health apps are actually clinically validated, Our research plan includes rigorous clinical testing of the tools we develop. Our lab has a strong connection to the psychology and behavioral medicine community as well as affiliation with UMass Medical School department of Psychiatry.

Skills and tasks: We are seeking students with software and mobile programming skills, who may also have an interest in psychology or mental health, and who are motivated to create new ways to revolutionize mental health assessment and treatment. Our initial video game prototypes have been developed using a specific framework called LibGDX (https://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/); however, we are open to using other development tools if the student has strong experience and motivation. Background in mobile app development or video game development experience and graphics is desired. At this time, we are interviewing students for spring UROP, and preferrably someone who would be interested to continue the project beyond that. We seek someone who is self-motivated and able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration.
__________

Project Title #2: Video Game Development for Mental Health

Project Description: Mental health is an important concern which touches most of our lives, yet this aspect of our health is often neglected. While there are many specific mental health disorders, our group has started developing a mobile-phone based video games to help monitor and assess some common aspects of our daily mental health, such as fatigue, working memory, stress level, and impulsivity. Our goal is to create mobile tools that are fun to use and can function as screening tools as well as biofeedback to help increase our self-awareness. Since very few commercially available mental health apps are actually clinically validated, Our research plan includes rigorous clinical testing of the tools we develop. Our lab has a strong connection to the psychology and behavioral medicine community as well as affiliation with UMass Medical School department of Psychiatry.

Skills and tasks: We are seeking students with software and mobile programming skills, who may also have an interest in psychology or mental health, and who are motivated to create new ways to revolutionize mental health assessment and treatment. Our initial video game prototypes have been developed using a specific framework called LibGDX (https://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/); however, we are open to using other development tools if the student has strong experience and motivation. Background in mobile app development or video game development experience and graphics is desired. At this time, we are interviewing students for spring UROP, and preferrably someone who would be interested to continue the project beyond that. We seek someone who is self-motivated and able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress. Pay or credit is available or UAP project consideration.
__________

Project Title: Advanced Android Development for health diagnostics

Project Description: Our group develops a variety of mobile technologies to diagnose disease and abnormalities in a person's health. Sample applications include: (1) scanning newborn babies in India, where many babies die because of the fact that health workers are not able to detect underlying problems although the baby might appear healthy; and when the condition and symptoms become obvious, it is often too late for treatment. (2) Cervical cancer screening -- this is the second leading cancer in India, and has a low-cost treatment, but the problem is access to simple diagnostics using machine vision tools implemented on a phone; (3) Diabetes -- this chronic disease is becoming increasingly common all over the world, including developing countries. We are exploring some early detection methods that can be implemented on a mobile phone to enable early intervention. A sample of our projects can be seen on our web page: http://mobiletechnologylab.org/portfolio Using a combination of mobile phone app with clever sensing techniques, machine learning algorithms implemented on the phone, 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. The tools we are creating shall provide decision support and feedback for health workers in the field.

Prerequisites: Our group's work combines machine vision, signal processing and machine learning to creating real-time diagnostic apps for health. We are looking for students with a solid programming background in JAVA/Android and preferrably also C/C++ using the Android NDK. Prior experience with writing multi-threaded apps and MATLAB is a plus. 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 Spring term and will hopefully be interested to continue beyond that. Pay or credit is available -- UAP projects also welcome! Opportunities to travel to developing countries (e.g. India, Colombia, etc.) are also available.

URL: http://www.mobiletechnologylab.org

Contact Name: Richard Fletcher
Contact Email: fletcher@media.mit.edu


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Political Science (Course 17)
Faculty Supervisor: Andrea Campbell

Project Title: Public Opinion, Political Parties, and the Environment: Developing a Contingent Theory of Issue Evolution

Project Description: Understanding the parties' role in shaping public opinion about the environment is critical to developing politically feasible sustainability solutions. Broadly, our project s motivating questions are: why did the environment-economy tradeoff become such a prevalent idea among Republican-party elites and members of the public, why did the Democratic party come to its position about environmental protection, and what effect have the party positions had on policy outcomes? We are looking for UROPs to help collect and analyze publicly available survey data, state and national party platforms, and state legislative bills. Tasks for one UROP will include identifying and collecting state party platforms from web sources; formatting these data for automated content analysis; and, if the student is interested, assisting in text analysis of the platforms. A second UROP will identify, format, and code surveys that have asked questions about environmental protection, immigration, and other issues. A third UROP will find and download state legislation, ideally by writing a web scraper.

Prerequisites: Since we have three discrete tasks, I seek UROPS with a variety of skills and interests. No prior experience with social science research is necessary, but ideal candidates will have an interest in political science or public policy and strong attention to detail. We would like to hire at least one UROP with experience using Python or another language for web scraping, but this is not a prerequisite.

Contact Name: Parrish Bergquist
Contact Email: parrishb@mit.edu


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiroshi Ishii

Project Title: Multisensory Force-Sensitive Pin Shape Display Tangible Interface

Project Description: This project is a multi-sensory VR/AR/haptic "shape display", building on previous work in the Tangible Media Group on pin displays and material rendering. It consists of an array of force-controlled vertical pins that approximate both the shape and the stiffness of a surface for tangible interaction, as well as robotic mobility and 3D tracking for spacial immersion and augmented reality visual overlays.

Technical aspects / potential tasks include:

Relevant topics/skills include:

Prerequisites: Significant background and experience in (Depending on project aspects of interest)

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

Contact Name: Daniel Fitzgerald
Contact Email: djfitz@media.mit.edu


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Cynthia Breazeal

Project Title: Game Design for Robotic Learning companions

Project Description: Our group focuses on building socially engaging robots and interactive technologies to help people live healthier lives, connect with others, and learn better. We are currently working on different platforms for learning including TEGA https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/tega-a-new-robot-platform-for-long-term-interaction/overview/ and TinkRBook https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/tinkrbook-reinventing-the-reading-primer/overview/ The UROP candidate will be working on modifications for a newer version of TinkRBook and collaborating in the design and development of 3D/2D interactive scenario-based games on Android tablets for child-robot interaction studies. Desired skills include Unity Mobile, Java and Android programming. Basic design or animation background are a plus.

Prerequisites: Unity Mobile, Java and Android programming

URL: robotic.media.mit.edu

Contact Name: Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar
Contact Email: pcuellar@media.mit.edu


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)
Faculty Supervisor: Maria Zuber

Project Title: Extreme Genomics on Earth and Beyond

Project Description: Life detection missions to Mars and beyond are becoming a reality, but one of the biggest challenges facing these types of missions is designing an instrument that makes the fewest assumptions about what life we might find, while being specific enough to unambiguously detect that life. We are currently building a low-powered DNA/RNA sequencer for a planetary exploration mission to search for life on Mars and on Ocean Worlds.

Projects: Immediate (March 2017): We need someone to help process a large quantity of samples collected from gullies within the Haughton Impact Structure, Devon Island, Canada. These samples must be sterilely weighed out, crushed, prepped and the DNA extracted, purified and cleaned in preparation for sequencing. Skills gained: General laboratory sterile technique, DNA extraction methodologies, and knowledge of cutting-edge sequencing platforms.

Long-term (Summer): Potential projects include:
1 Help design and execute an experiment exploring the potential evolved salt tolerance of halophilic organisms in order to determine the limit of life on Earth in salt dominated environments like Don Juan Pond, Antarctica.

2 Help design, build, and validate a life detection instrument for Mars, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG).

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

Useful skills: 3d design, rapid prototyping, electronics, molecular biology, genomics. We will be integrating nucleic acid isolation and nanopore based sequencing into a single instrument, tested in a thermal vacuum chamber.

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

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

URL setg.mit.edu

Contact: To apply, please send email with UROP in the subject line, resume/CV, and a short statement of interest by Feb 15th to Alexandra Pontefract (apontefr@mit.edu).


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Educational Content for Games

Project Description: Work closely with TSL research scientists to gather STEM content to make games for preservice teachers. For example, we are putting together a game called Eliciting Learner Knowledge, in which a teacher and student have a conversation about a STEM topic. UROPs will help us gather students ideas and preconceptions and misconceptions for that game on different topics like natural selection, genetics, and ecology. Sponsored research funding available.

Specific end of semester goal: Prepare content suitable for games for preservice teachers such as eliciting learner knowledge (ELK).

URL: tsl.mit.edu

Contact: If you are interested in this position, please send an email to Sarah Jane Vaughan svaughan@mit.edu and include: an overview of your programming experience (specific references to relevant courses and other development and programming projects would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs an overview of your research experience (specific references to courses and other projects or experiences would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs a summary of any previous UROP and work experience (attach a resume if you have one) the number of hours you could work on the project a short description of why you are interested in working on this project Please put the title of the project in the subject line of your email


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Engagement Across Political Difference in MOOC Discussion Forums

Project Description: In this study, we examine the promise of MOOCs to host civil discourse about controversial topics in an age of hyper-partisanship. An MIT-Harvard-Princeton research team is developing a series of computational measures to evaluate the degree and quality of engagement across political differences in MOOCs with controversial topics. In order to develop these computational measures, we are conducting a variety of human scoring exercises in MOOC forums to validate our computational measures. Researchers on this project will examine, evaluate, and score comments and threads from several online courses. As the research advances, UROPs will help to develop new approaches to measuring engagement across difference. UROPs will have the chance to work with researchers at Harvard, Princeton, and MIT. There are no pre-requisites beyond an interest in education, education research, political science, online learning or related fields. Work can be done remotely and on a highly flexible schedule. Previous UROPs have made substantive contributions to the intellectual direction of this project.

Interested students should reply with CV and short cover letter. An introductory paper about our research can be found at: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/dtingley/files/civicmooc.pdf If you are interested in this position, please send an email to jreich@mit.edu and include: an overview of your research experience (specific references to courses and other projects or experiences would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs a summary of any previous UROP and work experience (attach a resume if you have one) a short description of why you are interested in working on this project Please put the title of the project in the subject line of your email

URL: tsl.mit.edu

Contact Name: Justin Reich
Contact Email: jreich@mit.edu


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Creating Practice Spaces for Teacher Education

Project Description: One of the active lines of research and development at the MIT Teaching Systems Lab is to create new genres of practice spaces for teachers, drawing on models from games and simulations. Game designer Sid Meier has characterized engaging games as a series of interesting decisions, and we believe that games and simulations can provide learning experiences that help novice teachers rehearse for important interesting decisions in teaching when to ask a question versus when to clarify, when to provide help and when to insist upon independence, when to act and when to listen. Our work builds upon existing research into role-playing, simulations, and other forms of approximation in teacher education.

Specific goal by end of semester: This could be either a) helping research, conceive, design, prototype and playtest a new game that focuses on a key area of teacher practice or b) helping take existing projects forward and improve their engagement, usability or effectiveness as learning experiences.

Experience with product design and software development is preferred, and past experience with game development is required. Students who have taken CMS.610/6.073, CMS.611, CMS.590/11.127, CMS.608, CMS.301, and CMS.615 are strongly encouraged to apply.

Sponsored research funding available

URL: tsl.mit.edu

Contact: If you are interested in this position, please send an email to Sarah Jane Vaughan svaughan@mit.edu and include: an overview of your programming experience (specific references to relevant courses and other development and programming projects would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs an overview of your research experience (specific references to courses and other projects or experiences would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs a summary of any previous UROP and work experience (attach a resume if you have one) a short description of why you are interested in working on this project. Please put the title of the project in the subject line of your email


2/8/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Learning Experience Design and Testing

Project Description: Design student-centered learning experiences with an emphasis on visual thinking. Work with experienced learning designers to (1) design engaging learning materials, (2) research high quality resources, (3) visualize instructional graphics, and (4) conduct user testing and revise the materials according to the testing results (5) document design process for future referral.

Specific goal by end of semester: Create learning materials, resources, integrate into a thematic challenge unit, participate in user testing, document results of design process and user testing, modify unit as needed. Sponsored research funding available.

Sponsored research funding available.

URL: tsl.mit.edu

Contact: If you are interested in this position, please send an email to Sarah Jane Vaughan svaughan@mit.edu and include: an overview of your programming experience (specific references to relevant courses and other development and programming projects would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs an overview of your research experience (specific references to courses and other projects or experiences would be very helpful) including any pertinent URLs a summary of any previous UROP and work experience (attach a resume if you have one) a short description of why you are interested in working on this project Please put the title of the project in the subject line of your email.


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Eric Klopfer

Project Title: Chatbot to Provide Innovative Support for Online Teacher Professional Development

Project Description: One of the key challenges in online learning at scale is creating a sense of community to support learners, especially when the participants might number in the hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands. One of the opportunities, MIT and Harvard s development of edX has been giving us a chance to rethink how we do online teaching and at what scale is it possible. We think we ve come up with an innovative approach that links together mobile-based online instant messaging software (in our case Telegram) with online course content (available in an OpenEdX instance). We have a project where we re supporting K-12 teachers in under-resourced schools in India; we re helping them to learn how to use the curriculum we re developing and how to teach in ways that emphasize active and hands on learning. (In other words we re trying to bring a bit of MIT-style teaching to them.) We re looking for a UROP to help develop chatbots and other tools to allow teachers to ask questions via the Telegram messaging app and get responses back directing them to online resources. We ll be testing this approach with teachers across India beginning in April, so you ll be working on a project with a real world application. This project is part of the Connected Learning Initiative, a collaboration between MIT, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Tata Trusts in India to bring a contemporary curriculum in math, science and English to four states in India. Our goal is to reach 4,000+ teachers and through them 100,000+ students in 1,000 schools. The UROP will be working as part of team that spans the MIT Education Arcade as well as the Office of Digital Learning, with input from our Indian partners.

Prerequisites: Background in software development and significant coding experience in one or more of the following languages: Python, Javascript/NodeJS, Ruby, as well as experience using APIs. Additionally we hope for a time commitment on the average of 10-12 hr/week.

URL: https://clix.tiss.edu/

Contact Name: Brandon Hanks
Contact Email: bhanks@mit.edu


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Irmgard Bischofberger

Project Title: Collisions of solid fronts in a fluid system

Project Description: Have you ever played with a mixture of cornstarch and water? If so, you might have noticed a surprising behavior of this system: the mixture exhibits the properties of a fluid when moved slowly, but transforms into a solid-like material when handled more violently. This remarkable transition is an example of a jamming transition under the application of a stress, which can happen in systems where solid particles (cornstarch) are suspended in a liquid. We can form such a jammed state dynamically, where it starts locally from a small perturbation and from there continues to propagate through the entire system. In this project, we will create several dynamic jamming fronts simultaneously and ask the question of what happens when one front collides and interacts with a neighboring one. How will these interactions influence the flow in the unjammed surroundings? What is the role of the system s geometry for the flow properties? In this experimental project you will investigate the growth and interactions of jamming fronts and the transfer of information from the solid to the fluid region.

Commitment: 10-12 h/week

URL: mitfluidslab.com

Contact: Please contact Prof. Irmgard Bischofberger, irmgard@mit.edu


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: John Klein

Project Title: Mid-rise Heavy Timber Residential Building

Project Description: We are seeking strong candidates to design and engineer a mid-rise heavy timber sustainable building project. The project explores prefabricated processes and buildings as kits of parts.

Prerequisites: We are looking for candidates (3rd year and up) with structural and environmental engineering backgrounds:

1) Structural Engineering

2) Environmental Engineering:

Commitment: Position is for Spring 2017 - *serious candidates only*

Contact: If interested, please contact John Klein (j_klein@mit.edu) with a CV & PDF Portfolio. Interview is necessary and faculty references will be required.


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Alan Berger

Project Title: Abu Dhabi Scenario Planning & Design of New Sustainable Neighborhood Forms

Project Description: The Center for Advanced Urbanism is seeking a UROP to help with a year-long project in Abu Dhabi that aims to develop more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable residential and mixed neighborhood typologies. We are developing a suite of tools which measure, simulate, and analyze the impacts of technology, urban form, vegetative form, and human choice on resource flow intensity and carbon footprint. The ideal applicant will have a general interest in sustainability and city design, and a specific interest and skill in implementing existing algorithms for resource flows and cost. Applicants must also be able to design hybrid and novel algorithms for certain areas of the toolset. Potential topics and areas of measurement/simulation include: indoor water use; vegetation water demand (ET); agricultural production (specifically aeroponics) water conveyance; water capture, recycling and storage; walkability and discrete-choice for mobility; activity-based mobility simulation; driving cycle and traffic simulation; synthetic household/population generation; building energy; solar energy production; micro-climate; and others. The UROP will have opportunity to work within a few of these domains as interest and needs align. Learning Opportunity: As part of this position the UROP will learn how to code for Grasshopper and Rhinoceros, an industry leading 3-D software environment, and will gain an understanding of their SDK's and geometry engines. The Rhino SDK can also be used in conjunction with OpenGL to produce customized, interactive 3-D software.

Prerequisites: To be successful in this position, applicants should be highly proficient with Python and have experience researching, developing, and designing with quantified systems/metrics. Working knowledge of Grasshopper and Rhinoceros (or other 3-D software) is preferred, but not necessary.

URL: http://cau.mit.edu/project/abu-dhabi-scenario-planning-design-new-sustainable-neighborhood-forms

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


2/7/17
Summer
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Laura Schulz

Project Title: Individual patterns of physical intuition in infancy

Project Description: The Lookit project is a new approach to research in developmental psychology. Rather than bring families to the lab to participate in studies about cognitive development, we've developed a website where parents and children can participate from home at any time, with video of the child's responses recorded via webcam and sent to the lab for later analysis. We are currently conducting a preferential looking study of infants' individual patterns of physical intuition. There are many group-level results about infants' sensitivity to apparent violations of gravity, inertia, and support relationships at various ages. However, gathering much more data from individual children over many sessions will allow us to see how these abilities relate to each other and how individual children differ in their expression of knowledge. We are looking for a motivated, responsible undergraduate researcher to help with "video coding" for this study. Video coders record information such as direction of gaze, distractions, and parent interaction as they watch videos of infants completing a study. The UROP may also help with parent outreach and recruitment, and will select a small independent project of interest (e.g., in data analysis/display, comparison of coding approaches, or tools for video processing) to work on with guidance from the graduate student mentor.

Prerequisites: None, but must enjoy seeing babies smile. Experience or interest in programming (python or Javascript) or data analysis is a plus for longer-term involvement in the project.

Time commitment: At least half-time (20+ hours/week) preferred

Compensation: Credit

Contact: Interested candidates please send a brief statement of your interest and contact information for one reference (teacher, previous work supervisor, etc.) to Kim Scott (kimscott@mit.edu). We'll ask you to do a quick sample coding exercise in lieu of an interview.


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Linguistics and Philosophy (Course 24)
Faculty Supervisor: Suzanne Flynn

Project Title: Researching the Bi-/Multi-Lingual Brain

Project Description: We seek to investigate the neurological and behavioral underpinnings of the bi-/multi-lingual brain. Specifically, we seek to test the hypothesis that the more languages you know the easier it gets. Behavioral empirical evidence exists to support this hypothesis. This project will attempt to isolate neurological evidence in the form of fMRI data. The project is jointly sponsored between MIT and the University of Tokyo. The project is looking for a student interested in working at all stages in the development of the experiments. The Spring semester will involve isolating appropriate language tests, multilingual questionnaires, etc. All of this preparation will lead to the running of multilingual participants in Tokyo, Japan. The successful MIT UROP student will spend one week in Tokyo in July/August assisting in the running of the experiment followed by continuous analysis of the data at MIT.

Contact Name: Suzanne Flynn
Contact Email: sflynn@mit.edu


2/7/17
Spring
Multiple Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Design of Virtual Content for an Exhibition on NextGen IoT and Wearables

Project Description #1: MOTION GRAPHIC DESIGNER, PROJECTION MAPPING Mobile Experience Lab (MEL): We seek to radically reinvent and create connections between people, information, and places. To accomplish this, the Mobile Experience Lab uses research and user observation to develop innovative solutions in wearable computing. Current research is investigating the next generation of IoT and Wearables, to generate future visions for specific industries - see previous work at http://design.mit.edu/eni/

Main Tasks: Candidates will become adept in motion graphic design and projection mapping. Candidates will bring to life effective designs of innovative wearables and IoT systems, by generating digital graphics to be projected on physical prototypes by projection mapping techniques. As part of a team, they will support the design of innovative ways to represent digital contents on physical supports.

Prerequisites: Candidates should have strong passion for motion graphics, and should be comfortable working with professional software like After Effects and Illustrator. They should be interested in Projection Mapping applications. A strong design portfolio is ideal for the position (please send link to portfolio in application). In addition to being incredibly creative and skilled, the right candidate is a team player, self-motivated and has a demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
___________

Project Description #2: 3D MODELING, AUGMENTED REALITY Mobile Experience Lab (MEL): We seek to radically reinvent and create connections between people, information, and places. To accomplish this, the Mobile Experience Lab uses research and user observation to develop innovative solutions in wearable computing. Current research is investigating the next generation of IoT and Wearables, to generate future visions for specific industries - see previous work at http://design.mit.edu/eni/

Main Tasks: Candidates will become adept in 3D modeling, virtual rendering and Virtual or Augmented Reality applications. Candidates will bring to life effective designs of innovative wearables and IoT systems, by generating 3D models of objects and environments and embedding them into Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality applications. As part of a team, they will support the design of new wearable systems and they will specifically work on their representation in virtual environments.

Prerequisites: Candidates should have strong passion for 3D modeling and virtual rendering, and should be comfortable working with professional modeling software like Rhino, Maya, SolidWorks, etc. They should ideally have experience with Virtual Reality and/or Augmented Reality software (e.g. Unity, Unreal engine, Vuforia). A strong design portfolio is ideal for the position (please send link to portfolio in application). In addition to being incredibly creative and skilled, the right candidate is a team player, self-motivated and has a demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.

URL: http://design.mit.edu/eni/ https://vimeo.com/146432915

Contact Name: Sara Colombo
Contact Email: scolombo@mit.edu


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Persuasive Cities: Urban Behavior Engineering for Healthy Societies

Project Description: The Media Lab's Changing Places Research Group envisions improving quality of life in cities by reshaping and advancing spaces and electric vehicles to change what people think and do in urban environments. This vision is aimed at helping people to acquire healthy and resource-efficient everyday routines, which ultimately should lead societies to become happier and more productive. The main premise is that urban engineers and technology developers too often tend to forget about an overall picture of how their innovations are actually going to influence lives of many people. Therefore, we are developing and researching socially influencing systems designed to help people achieve better lifestyles in city context. During this UROP, a student will gain a comprehensive understanding of persuasive technologies and socially influencing systems that are going to transform our future cities and transportation, especially focusing on urban behavior engineering of persuasive systems for healthy and sustainable routines. Primarily, the expectation is that a UROP will work on developing socially influencing systems for health behavior change, including programming and UX/UI design. For example, to implement a system like this one on the screen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eb5VFDhxiA

TEDx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy23R1GIOsQ

Prerequisites: Programming skills, UX/UI design experience

URL: http://cp.media.mit.edu/agnis-stibe

Contact Name: Agnis Stibe
Contact Email: agnis@mit.edu


2/7/17
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: William Green

Project Title: Automatic Generation of Chemical Reaction Mechanisms

Project Description: Chemical kinetics can give valuable insight into various processes such as combustion, petroleum refining, or atmospheric chemistry. Determining the important reactions for a particular system can be very challenging, and requires significant prior expertise. Our group develops an open source software package called Reaction Mechanism Generator (RMG), which automatically identifies the chemical species and reactions that are important for a given system. This significantly lowers the barrier to constructing detailed mechanisms and expedites analysis of new systems. RMG is under continuous development to incorporate new chemistries, increase model accuracy, reduce computational time, and improve user accessibility. The main project will be to develop new web-based features for easy user access to RMG capabilities. The RMG website (rmg.mit.edu) provides access to many tools within RMG, as well as the large database of thermochemical and kinetic parameters that RMG uses. For this project, the student will choose a particular feature to work on, and take responsibility over implementing and testing the code. Depending on student interests, there are also opportunities to work on other aspects of RMG development. This project will give the student experience with open source software development, web development, and cheminformatics.

Prerequisites: Proficiency in Python required. Experience with Django and HTML recommended. Knowledge of basic chemistry recommended. Familiarity with git (version control) and command line helpful but not required. This UROP starts in spring 2017, but can continue into summer 2017.

URL: rmg.mit.edu

Contact Name: Max Liu
Contact Email: mjliu@mit.edu


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kevin Slavin

Project Title: Holobiont Urbanism

Project Description: Playful Systems is looking for a UROP to help develop a platform for data visualization using low power display technologies. We are working on visualizing metagenomic information found urban environments by installing display modules around cities. You will be design circuits using microcontrollers, display drivers, sd card readers, while thinking about optimal power consumption. You will be prototyping designs and learn about circuit prototyping in-house before sending it out for manufacturing. About Holobiont Urbanism: We are in constant symbiosis with the 100 trillion microbes in our gut and the complex system of bacteria around us in our environment. Within the field of metagenomics, it clear that understanding the built environment is necessary in order to learn more about ourselves as participants in this microbial ecosystem. By understanding the cities which we inhabit in from a bacterial point of view we can begin to discern the invisible qualities of cities. We want to understand the city as a biological organism, understand its bacterial ecosystem and visualize the invisible microbial world within the built environment. We propose a method of sampling biological material from cities by using honeybees (Apis mellifera) as a proxy to swab-based sampling methods.

Prerequisites: Eagle, fundamentals in circuit design and electronics.

Contact Name: Miguel Perez
Contact Email: mperez4@mit.edu


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Capillary microfluidics for anti-solvent crystallization of pharmaceutical ingredients

Project Description: Crystallization is a vital step in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Traditional crystallization methods, however, produce irregular and polydisperse crystals that are difficult to process or poorly absorbed. In collaboration with National University of Singapore, we are investigating capillary microfluidic methods for the anti-solvent crystallization of pharmaceutical ingredients to increase their processibility and bioavailability. We look for interested undergraduate students to participate in this project with a time commitment of 10-15 hr/week. Junior and senior students are preferred. Students must apply by Feb 16 for direct funding, or by Mar 16 for credits.

Contact Name: Tonghan Gu
Contact Email: tgu@mit.edu


2/7/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6)
Faculty Supervisor: Pete Szolovits

Project Title: Deep Convolutional Networks for drug prediction

Project Description: The Biomedical Cybernetics Laboratory is looking for a students to contribute to the recently opened funded machine learning project. As a part of team you will be training deep convolutional neural networks to address the issue of protein flexibility and drug-induced conformational change. You will have 3D images of drug-protein complex, and your task will be to classify them into drugs and non-drugs. We will provide you with a highly scalable code in Tensorflow, and a large dataset with over 2M images. After you finish training AlexNet 3D (which is a default network model in our initial code), you will have a chance to try training very deep > 100 layers residual networks, nested convolutional networks, generative adversarial models, and even try yourself with Q networks - the ones pioneered by DeepMind to play Go, and Atari video games.

About us: You will be working under the supervision of Dr. Gil Alterovitz who is an affiliated faculty at MIT and at Harvard Medical School. The project has its own team of two graduate and five undergraduate students who have started working on it since fall semester. We have recently won a large XSEDE grant and are almost unrestricted in GPU power.

About you: You have a keen interest and some experience in machine learning. Knowledge of python is an only requirement.

Workload: This project is different from other UROP projects because you will be required to build and execute your own research plan with other members of the team and meet the expectations that are typical for a student in graduate school. You can stay at home and study at the time of high workload, but we expect you to contribute most of your free time, at least 15 hours/week to the project.

Contact: Please, email Dr. Gil Alterovitz gil@mit.edu with your CV, and we might either call, or meet and chat with you.


1/31/17
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Michael S. Strano
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: strano@mit.edu

Project Title: Development of In Vivo Biosensors Using Carbon Nanomaterials

Project Description: Our lab specializes in creating sensors for various biomolecules. To date, we have developed optical sensors for fibrinogen, nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, riboflavin, dopamine, as well as other molecules relevant to human health. Our currents efforts on this front are comprised of two areas. First, we are developing new sensor constructs to recognize other molecules of human interest, including cortisol, the primary stress hormone that is ubiquitous in human metabolism and involved in various mental health conditions. This involves synthesizing novel polymers, coupling them to carbon nanomaterials, and performing spectroscopic measurements. Second, we are translating our already developed sensors into form factors appropriate for real-time, continuous monitoring of these molecules in model organisms, including rodents and fish. This involves encapsulating our carbon nanomaterials in biocompatible form factors for implantation, delivering the materials to the animal, and testing in vivo sensor functionality. This project offers several research opportunities, depending on the individual student's interest. The student can work on synthesizing and testing various sensor constructs against various molecules to determine sensor sensitivity and selectivity. The student may also work on developing novel form factors for in vivo translation of the sensors into either mice or fish. This project provides the opportunity to learn polymer science, animal handling, optics, and various types of spectroscopy.

Prerequisites: Ideally, the student would be planning to stay more than one semester. Skills with MATLAB are a plus but not required.

Contact Name: Michael Lee Contact Email: manl3354@mit.edu


1/31/17
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jeff Hoffman
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: jhoffma1@mit.edu

Project Title: Augmented reality for Mars human exploration

Project Description: The day we put people on Mars, they will require a significant higher level of autonomous aids; Lunar and near Earth space missions have always relied on the near real-time communication link we have with Earth, where expert technicians and engineers can immediately return their advice on different challenges the crew in space might face. But a mission to Mars could have communication delays as long as 20 minutes one way, requiring a paradigm shift towards autonomy. One of the aids currently being researched is that of human path planning, how do we safely and energy efficiently get a person from point A to point B on Mars? A second question is how do we make navigating a planned path as easy as possible? The goal of this UROP is exploring the second question with augmented reality. You will be working with a Microsoft Developers Edition HoloLens and code a custom application using the Unity game engine. The goal of the application is to overlay colored paths, specified by GPS coordinates, on top of an outdoors environment. Additionally, time permitting, this UROP will include testing on how well the HoloLens can render the overlaid paths in different environments (for example: flat terrain, rugged terrain, low lighting or intense lighting).

Prerequisites: Background in Software Engineering and significant coding experience in one or more of the following languages: python, C, C++ or Java. Experience with Unity Game Engine/working with the HoloLens is a big plus, but not required, as long as you will have enough time to quickly catch up with it. Additionally we hope for a significant time commitment on the average of 10 hr/week.

Contact Name: Johannes Norheim
Contact Email: norheim@mit.edu


1/31/17
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Rahul Mazumder and Colin Fogarty
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: rahulmaz@mit.edu,cfogarty@mit.edu

Project Title: Analytics for S3 services

Project Description: Student support services (known as S3) serves as an invaluable resource for students seeking assistance with concerns of any type, be they academic or personal. Among the many ways in which S3 provides support to the student population, S3 offers walk-in hours from 10-11 and 2-3 every Monday to Friday for students whom would like to talk to a member of the S3 staff without having previously scheduled an appointment. Demand for slots during these walk-in hours varies for a number of reasons, ranging from day of the week, time of the year, etc. This project will involve analytics techniques to investigate data made available by S3. The aim is to use this data to understand student demands, frequency of student visits and providing recommendations of staffing levels for walk-in periods, etc. The ideal UROP candidate will substantially contribute to the analysis of available data and corresponding recommendations for improving service.

Prerequisites: (preferred) Introductory knowledge of statistics, data visualization, data processing skills. Working knowledge of R or Python or SQL. Interest in analytics and data-analysis.

Contact Name: Rahul Mazumder, Colin Fogarty Contact Email: rahulmaz@mit.edu, cfogarty@mit.edu


1/31/17 Course 2
Faculty Advisor: Tonio Buonassisi
Research Area(s): Photovoltaics, Materials

Title: Antimony-based thin-film materials as lead-free absorbers for solar cell applications

Description: Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have achieved certified power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 22.1% by low cost and low temperature solution processing. However, these materials are based on toxic lead and pose a threat to the commercialization efforts. Our work focuses on screening criteria for defect-tolerant photovoltaic (PV) absorbers, identifying several classes of semiconducting compounds with band structures and dielectric constants similar to lead-halide perovskites. Further, we evaluate the carrier lifetimes of several Pb-free PV absorbers using a consistent combined experimental and theoretical approach. The carrier lifetimes of five candidate materials exceed 1 ns, a threshold for promising PV device performance. However, there are variations between these materials, and none achieve carrier lifetimes as high as those of the lead halide perovskites, suggesting that the understanding of defect-tolerant semiconductors is incomplete. Additional work is ongoing to add more complexity to our models to obtain Pb-free materials with charge carrier lifetimes that exceed 1 ns. In particular, we are working with antimony halide materials that seem to be promising absorbers. The UROP will assist in thin film preparation, solar cell fabrication and characterization under close mentorship.

Prerequisites: The successful candidate should have a willingness to learn and be comfortable working in a lab setting, know basics of material science and enjoy making new compounds. No prior knowledge of solar cells needed. Labview programming experience would be a plus for modifying an existing program to measure solar cells.

Please contact Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena at jpcorrea@mit.edu if you are interested in the opportunity.


1/31/17
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Takehiko Nagakura
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: takehiko@mit.edu

Project Title: Design Heritage

Project Description: The goal of the Design Heritage project is to create a platform for community-based modeling or crowd-sourced modeling of important historical locations. Our lab is developing a Digital Heritage Platform, a 3d web collaboration environment and digital repository for placing 3d models generated from photos using photogrammetry that capture segments of buildings. Each photographic 3d model segment is captured by several different users who contribute to the assembly of a complete digital 3d model on the web. We are seeking a student interested in web development (back/front end) and/or programming 3D applications. An example of our project is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5RH_jzPS60

Prerequisites: Knowledge of Python and Javascript/HTML, PHP and MYSQL is a plus. Students from any department with experience in web development and/or dynamic 3D computer graphics for the web. We expect the student to commit at least 8 and preferably 10-15 hours a week, with flexible scheduling.

URL (if applicable): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5RH_jzPS60

Contact Name: Rachelle Villalon
Contact Email: rvill@mit.edu


1/31/17
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Urban Studies and Planning (Course 11)
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Jinhua Zhao
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: jinhua@mit.edu

Project Title: China's Transportation Policy Landscape

Project Description: This project is part of a large MIT energy initiative (MITEI), which consists of more than ten research teams from MIT. The overarching goal is to generate ideas about future mobility patterns to deal with challenges such as energy consumption, air pollution, and carbon emission. Our team focuses on transportation policies in Chinese cities. We explore the structure of Chinese cities, and set up a framework to analyze transportation policies adopted by each city government. We are particularly interested in what factors drove local governments to take actions to address sustainability and mobility challenges. We will also use models to predict China s transportation policy landscape for 2050. We are looking for a candidate who is interested in the intersection of data analysis and public policies. The ideal candidate would have experience distilling large datasets into clear narratives and be proficient with basic data analysis skills, using R, Python, or Stata. Expected time commitment is 10 hours/week. If interested, please send your resume and a short description of why you would be a strong candidate to Shenhao Wang at shenhao@mit.edu.

Prerequisites: Strong data management & data analysis skills Data visualization skills desired Strong organizational and teamwork skills are essential Ability of reading Chinese is preferred but not required

Contact Name: Shenhao Wang
Contact Email:shenhao@mit.edu


1/31/17
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ramesh Raskar
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: raskar@media.mit.edu

Project Title: Deep Learning applications in simulated environments

Project Description: We will use semi supervised approaches in feature extraction and apply them in simulated environments. We will focus on deep neural network applications primarily, and explore current state of art. We will use either tensorflow/caffe/theano for development and testing. The UROP candidate will develop deep learning algorithms for automated classification in simulated environments. Final desired outcome is a working pipeline written in Python/C++ and a publishable quality paper.

Prerequisites: Signal Processing, Computer Vision

Contact Name: Otkrist Gupta
Contact Email:otkrist@mit.edu


1/31/17
Term: Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ramesh Raskar
MIT Faculty Supervisor Email: raskar@media.mit.edu

Project Title: Deep learning for volume segmentation

Project Description: We will work on deep learning techniques for 4D segmentation in space-time. We will develop methods which create invariants for motion in 3D volume segmentation. The urop will focus on developing deep learning based algorithms for segmenting real world volumes in deformable non-rigid objects.The student will work on both development and data side.

Prerequisites: Candidates should be proficient in Matlab/Python/C++/Java. Candidates should have ideally taken courses in Computer Vision, Machine Learning experience is a plus.

Contact Name: Otkrist Gupta
Contact Email:otkrist@mit.edu


1/30/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Autonomous Shared Bike Platform (Multiple Roles)

Project Description: The Changing Places Group at the Media Lab is developing a new generation mobility platform for urban commuting and logistics. By combing robotics, electrification and vehicle-sharing, we aim to create a new category of vehicles that addresses the common last-mile commuting gap and is compatible with the pedestrian, car-lite urban environment of the future.

Join our team if you like the following:

Ideal Qualifications:

URL: https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/mod/overview/

Contact Name: Phil Tinn
Contact Email: ptinn@mit.edu


1/27/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Chris Schuh

Project Title: Mesoscale Computational Modeling of Metallic Glass and Shape Memory Ceramics

Project Description: Our lab (and its affiliates) have developed well-respected mesoscale computational models for metallic glass and shape memory ceramics over the last decade; the slowest part of these models is execution of the finite element method. In the last several months, we have developed strategies that speed up this finite element execution step by 100x or more. This speed-up enables us to study larger problems in greater detail than ever before. We are seeking a student to take ownership of one of these models, to implement new speed-up strategies, and to run new experiments with the accelerated model. This is a chance for a student to hone their scientific computing skills and understanding of the finite element method (and other numerical methods), and to learn the details of a computational materials model.

Compensation: .This UROP is paid or for credit depending on the student's preference. Potential for middle authorship on one or more groundbreaking journal articles

Timeline: This is a computational project, so work hours are very flexible, but the student is expected to work at least 10 hours per week.

Required Skills:

Preferred Skills:

Contact Name: Thomas Hardin
Contact Email: hardin@mit.edu


1/27/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Ramesh Raskar

Project Title: Urban Computing using Deep Learning and Big Visual Data

Project Description: You will be working on a follow-up project for Streetscore (streetscore.media.mit.edu). The project includes a combination of machine learning, computer vision and data visualization. We already have a strong team in place and you will get an opportunity to make substantial contributions to the project.

Prerequisites: You need to have strong programming skills in Python/ MATLAB. Javascript/HTML is a plus but not required.

Contact Name: Nikhil Naik
Contact Email: naik@mit.edu


1/26/17
Spring
Multiple Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Neri Oxman

Project #1: DCP: Developing a Simulink toolbox for KUKA robots

Project Description: The Digital Construction Platform (DCP) project seeks to develop a new approach to architectural-scale digital fabrication, particularly focused on the construction of commercial/residential structures. Our approach combines a large hydraulic boom arm with a smaller conventional robotic arm to produce a micro-macro manipulator arm system with a large workspace. Past work by the Mediated Matter group has resulted in two prototypes of the DCP system, and culminated in a large-scale (15-meter diameter) printed structure produced earlier this year. The project s focus has now shifted to refining the DCP s control architecture and interaction interfaces, with the goal of developing a robust, accessible system that researchers across disciplines can use to explore architectural-scale robotic fabrication. We are seeking a student to expand the Simulink-based kukaslxctrl toolbox developed by Mediated Matter (http://matter.media.mit.edu/tools/details/kukaslxctrl). This toolbox enables real-time control of KUKA robots via the Robot Sensor Interface (RSI) package. The toolbox currently enables basic task-space position control of the robot, but we would like to expand it to enable joint-space control; monitoring and control of additional robot parameters; and develop example joint- and task-space controllers as part of the toolbox.

Required qualifications: Experience with MATLAB + Simulink; basic robot modeling & control experience (kinematic structure modeling, forward/inverse kinematics, basic motion control)

Desired qualifications: Experience with KUKA robots, esp. control via RSI; experience with RVCToolbox for MATLAB.

This opportunity is intended for junior and senior students with prior robotics experience, although other applicants will be considered if they demonstrate particularly strong backgrounds. The student must be able to commit at least 12 hrs/week to this project, with 60% of time spent on-site at the Autodesk BUILD Space in the Boston Seaport.
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Project #2: DCP: Safety systems for construction robots

Project Description: The Digital Construction Platform (DCP) project seeks to develop a new approach to architectural-scale digital fabrication, particularly focused on the construction of commercial/residential structures. Our approach combines a large hydraulic boom arm with a smaller conventional robotic arm to produce a micro-macro manipulator arm system with a large workspace. Past work by the Mediated Matter group has resulted in two prototypes of the DCP system, and culminated in a large-scale (15-meter diameter) printed structure produced earlier this year. The project s focus has now shifted to refining the DCP s control architecture and interaction interfaces, with the goal of developing a robust, accessible system that researchers across disciplines can use to explore architectural-scale robotic fabrication. We are seeking a student to lead design & integration of new safety systems for the DCP, including emergency stops, enabling switches, light curtains, and others. Depending on the degree of student engagement, there may be opportunities to collaborate with other robotics researchers on the development of standards for robotic safety systems in collaborative environments.

Required qualifications: basic electronics design, fabrication, debugging and safety training; basic familiarity with MATLAB; basic mechanical design & fabrication experience.

Desired qualifications: familiarity with Simulink; advanced electronics design/fab experience, including noise mitigation; industrial automation systems integration experience.

The student must be able to commit at least 8 hrs/week to this project, with 60% of time spent on-site at the Autodesk BUILD Space in the Boston Seaport.
_________

Project #3: DCP: Designing a sensor system for a construction robot

Project Description: The Digital Construction Platform (DCP) project seeks to develop a new approach to architectural-scale digital fabrication, particularly focused on the construction of commercial/residential structures. Our approach combines a large hydraulic boom arm with a smaller conventional robotic arm to produce a micro-macro manipulator arm system with a large workspace. Past work by the Mediated Matter group has resulted in two prototypes of the DCP system, and culminated in a large-scale (15-meter diameter) printed structure produced earlier this year. The project s focus has now shifted to refining the DCP s control architecture and interaction interfaces, with the goal of developing a robust, accessible system that researchers across disciplines can use to explore architectural-scale robotic fabrication. We are seeking a student to design, fabricate and implement a new sensor system to measure and control for backlash present in the base revolute joint of the DCP system. In addition to mechanical design and implementation of the system, students with appropriate experience may also be asked to develop control architectures for joint on bench-scale model, and then transition controller to full-scale system.

Required qualifications: Extensive mechanical design & fabrication experience is mandatory. Experience with MATLAB + Simulink; basic linear systems modeling & control experience.

Desired qualifications: Electronics experience, esp. sensor noise mitigation; advanced controls experience. This opportunity is intended for junior and senior students with prior mechanical design experience, although other applicants will be considered if they demonstrate particularly strong backgrounds.

The student must be able to commit at least 12 hrs/week to this project, with 60% of time spent on-site at the Autodesk BUILD Space in the Boston Seaport.

Travel costs will be compensated.

URL: http://matter.media.mit.edu/environments/details/3d-printed-hemi-ellipsoidal-dome

Contact Name: Julian Leland
Contact Email: jleland@mit.edu


1/25/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Amar Gupta

Project Title: Digital Health and Telemedicine for Global Health: A Multi-Pronged Approach

Project Description: The remote delivery of healthcare services and analytics, fueled by advances in communication and mobile health technologies, holds great potential to provide improved outcomes and quality at a reduced per-capita cost. This shift motivates research into how the evolving technologies and processes can be deployed in developed and developing environments, how issues related to interoperability can be addressed, and how costs and benefits can be objectively compared between the conventional environments and the emerging ones. This UROP provides opportunity for multiple students to be involved to study technical, business, policy, and public health issues. Previous researchers have published their findings in technical, business, medical, and legal journals. The focus and scope of the UROP can be potentially tailored to the background and interest of the concerned student.

Potential UROP projects can focus on: Technical issues such as interoperability in hardware and software; Business issues such as analysis of costs and benefits, as well as nucleating startups; or Strategic Issues such as the deployment strategy. Applications are invited from students at MIT and Wellesley College, with preference for individuals with demonstrated interest or background in the subject matter.

Prerequisites: None.

URL: https://learning-modules.mit.edu/materials/index.html?uuid=/course/HST/sp17/HST.S58#materials

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


1/25/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: John Ochsendorf

Project Title: Biologically-Inspired, High Performance Envelope Design in Tropical Buildings

Project Description: We are looking at metabolic pathways found in tropical plants as inspiration for high performance building facade systems. Using a custom thermal testing box, we’ll be testing how moisture and heat move through various materials and assemblies. Products tested will include Phase Change Materials (PCMs) and other dynamic materials. This is a good project for someone who likes to work with their hands and to see results beyond the computer screen.

Prerequisites: UROP should be able to maintain and repair thermal the testing chambers, which are currently built using a temperature/humidity sensor and is connected to a relay to control heater and humidifier. Built using a home made PCB and programmed using Arduino. Embedded programming and electronics design skills required. Interests in plant physiology and biology are a plus, but not required. Preference will be given to EECS or Material Science majors.

Contact Name: Liz McCormick
Contact Email: emccormi@mit.edu


1/25/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: John D.E. Gabrieli

Project Title: The effect of a bilingual home environment on young children's brain structure and function

Project Description: The goal of this project is to determine how a bilingual home environment contributes to the neural structure and function underlying children's linguistic and cognitive development. We are specifically interested in how bilingualism may provide a "protective" buffer for children of low socioeconomic status. The Gabrieli lab has acquired a large database of naturalistic observations of parents and children interacting, standardized assessments cognitive ability, and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. We are seeking a UROP to help us transcribe bilingual interactions and relate this data to neural patterns. We have a specific need for UROPs who are fluent in at least one of the following languages: Haitian Creole, German, Russian, Greek, Catalan, or Mandarin.

Position is very flexible regarding hours of commitment, as well as compensation in terms of course credit, pay, or volunteer.

Contact: Please contact Rachel Romeo (rromeo@mit.edu) to state your interest, and list which foreign language you speak.


1/25/17
Spring
Multiple Openings
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Joi Ito

Project #1: Open Agriculture: Machine Learning for Plant Growth Optimization

Project Description: OpenAg is developing Food Computers robotic adaptive environments for agriculture that monitor and control plant growth. Advances in open hardware and software have recently made it possible to develop open source robotic farming tools that anyone can build, hack and improve upon. The purpose of this project is to conduct research on different machine learning techniques (e.g., deep learning, SVM, genetic algorithms, etc.) in order to optimize the different environmental conditions applied during plant growth (a.k.a climate recipes). To obtain this information, the UROP will participate in the design and implementation phases of these machine learning models.

Prerequisites: The UROP should be comfortable with experimental and statistical work. Previous experience in Python/C++, R and Matlab is highly recommended. Applicants should be self-motivated and pay great attention to experimental details.
__________

Project #2: Open Agriculture | Characterization of Vegetation Structures with Depth Image Sensors

Project Description: OpenAg is developing Food Computers robotic adaptive environments for agriculture that monitor and control plant growth. Recent advancements in computer vision and image processing have the potential to assist plant optimization methods, achieving more autonomous, efficient and intelligent plant growth models. The purpose of this project is to conduct research on depth image sensor integration (e.g. Microsoft Kinect) to obtain quality-related metrics such as plant biomass or plant structure. To obtain these metrics, the UROP will participate in the design of the computer vision models as well as the testing and implementing phases in real-hardware.

Prerequisites: The UROP should be comfortable with experimental and statistical work. Previous experience in Python/C++, R and Matlab is highly recommended. Applicants should be self-motivated and pay great attention to experimental details.
__________

Project #3: Open Agriculture | pH measurement methods based on Computer Vision

Project Description: The purpose of this project is to conduct research on computer vision algorithms to measure pH levels in water. Currently, pH measurements in water are accomplished with sophisticated devices that need to be repeatedly calibrated. This compromises their ease of use. However, recent advancements in computer vision and image processing have shown great potential to measure complex metrics in a seamless and non-invasive manner. To measure pH levels, the UROP will participate in the design of the computer vision models as well as the testing and implementing phases in real-hardware.

Prerequisites: The UROP should be comfortable with experimental work. Previous experience in OpenCV, ROS, Python/C++, 3D printing is highly recommended. Applicants should be self-motivated and pay great attention to experimental details.
__________

URL: openag.mit.edu

Contact Name: Eduardo Castello Ferrer
Contact Email: ecstll@mit.edu


1/20/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Wanda Orlikowski

Project Title: Big Data Research on 9-1-1 Emergency Coordination

Project Description: Emergency management organizations play an important role in the functioning of a city. Specifically, these centers manage the coordinated dispatch of police, fire, and emergency medical services, among others. The emergency communication call-takers and dispatchers act as the “first” first responders to emergencies of various kinds. They do this through answering 9-1-1 calls and other requests for help, quickly gathering the required data from callers and other real-time information technologies, synthesizing the data to make sense of what is going on, categorizing the incidents and entering information into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, and coordinating various activities during emergency response.

Despite the importance of dispatch and emergency communications centers, very few research studies have examined the coordination and decision-making challenges and complexities involved in this work. Moreover, the 9-1-1 emergency field is undergoing several changes due to shifts in the technological and institutional regime. With the profusion of mobile phones in the United States, the volume, type, and pattern of 9-1-1 calls have significantly increased (including a significant increase in the % of redundant calls, prank calls, missed dials, and non-emergency requests) which is impacting both the staffing and management of these emergency centers as well as increasing the percentage of time that police officers and EMTs spend in responding to 9-1-1 calls for service.

Therefore, the motivating question for this research is to understand how does one organize a 24x7 emergency center in the digital age, where the constant connectivity of mobile devices and social media are changing public expectations regarding response times and service levels? As a part of this research, we will be analyzing “big data” related to 9-1-1 call logs and Utilization data to understand the volume, type, and the flow of calls across multiple cities and years. We will also be building models to predict call-volume and call-patterns, which could in turn help the centers to organize accordingly and plan their staffing & patrol deployment.

If you are interested in (a) getting hands-on experience in collecting and analyzing high-volume data (e.g., city-level 9-1-1 calls, crime reports) (b) convert unstructured data into structured data and do analysis, (c) participate in interesting and relevant social science research, this would be a great learning opportunity. UROP will closely participate in research related to a number of questions related to the application of big data/analytics to the field of emergency response. Specifically, we have three types of UROP positions:

Position 1: Candidates with knowledge of intermediate statistics (e.g., regression analysis), and experience with statistical tools (such as STATA or R). Responsibility for this position include managing and analyzing data using statistical software. The ideal candidate is a highly motivated student with strong background in statistics/econometrics and with good data analysis skills.

Prerequisites for Position 1:

Position 2: Candidates with strong programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python), Responsibility for this position include writing code to collect data from a variety of sources, converting unstructured data to structured data, data management, and a sincere interest in the phenomena of big data and analytics.

Prerequisites for Position 2:

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

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

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


1/20/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Bernhardt Trout

Project Title: Machinery for Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Position Overview: The MIT Chemical Engineering Department is seeking mechanical engineering UROP in the Trout Group at MIT as part of a Novartis sponsored project. The successful candidate will work with MIT researchers to develop novel machinery including pharmaceutical material handling and manufacturing devices that can be reconfigured to perform a variety of tasks. A hands-on, motivated engineer is needed to work on the translation team to design, build, and test our next generation of equipment modules and integrated systems.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions**):

Supervision Received: Will report to PI weekly throughout the year

Collaboration: The Mechanical Engineer must be able to function effectively in a multidisciplinary team of engineers and chemists.

Qualifications & Skills:

URL: http://novartis-mit.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Keith Jensen
Contact Email: kdj@mit.edu


1/20/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Tod Machover

Project Title: Spaces That Perform Themselves

Project Description: Building on the understanding of music and architecture as creators of spatial experience, this project aims to create a novel way of unfolding music s spatial qualities in the physical world. The UROP will help design a complete embodied experience that changes how we think about sound and its relationship to space. The objective is to create a new type of architectural typology that morphs responsively with a musical piece. Presenting spatial and musical composition as one synchronous entity. The project's goal is to create a multisensory environment where music s perpetually changing characteristics reconfigure the spatial organization of a space, thus creating multiple rooms along the way. The multiple rooms will be constructed by specific choreographies of sound, architecture, light and color. The physical space will be affected by a mechanical system that will move flexible fabric walls, so they can adopt different shapes and positions. The sound will be projected from an array of speakers and the light and color from LEDs that will be embedded on the structure. These will control sound position and intensity, along with light, color and brightness. This system will respond to the input of music, which will deploy a performance by a dynamic Space that is alive and in constant flux. The project aims to give shape to a novel music-spatial aesthetic expression, where the piece is an experience of sound that is choreographed by a dynamic space and embodied in a person s relationship to it. Along with opening the possibilities of a new experimental music composition model, the project will explore the virtues of architecture as a medium not for a purpose, but for an effect.

Prerequisites:

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


1/20/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Alex Pentland

Project Title: Dynamical analysis of human behavior and its application to credit scoring

Project Description: Most of the studies of human behavior are based on social, mobility or activity features extracted from aggregated static datasets. The idea behind those analysis is that data collected and aggregated from a given window can reveal behavioral patterns in the past that in turn could predict future behavior. For example, the static picture of our social network could reveal something about our future relationships. However, human activity is highly dynamic, constantly evolving to meet new people, visit new places or starting new tasks. Thus, the temporal analysis of the data might reveal new patterns that an aggregate picture blurs and neglects [1]. The purpose of this project is to build those dynamical metrics on the social, activity and mobility data of users to incorporate them in the models to credit risk prediction. There exists some literature that shows the importance of temporal variables in link prediction in social networks, churn in telco/bank! companies, credit card fraud, employment, and, in general, in any CLC (customer life cycle). Our group has a wide experience (see references in [1-5]).

We propose: 1. To build temporal metrics a. on the social behavior (rate of change of social interactions, temporal clustering, temporal diversity, characterization of social explorer/keeper behavior, see [2]), b. activity along the day and weekend (morning activity, eigen-behaviors, see [3,4]), c. mobility (predictability of temporal movements, radius of giration, etc. see [5]). 2. Train new models using static + temporal features.

Deliverables:
1. Report about the importance of temporal metrics in credit scoring.
2. (Ideally) general scientific article about dynamical human behavior.

Required Skill: Proficiency in Python or R, Good knowledge in machine learning and statistics, Experience in big data analysis.

Contact: Please send email to Xiaowen Dong (xdong@mit.edu) or Esteban Moro (emoro@mit.edu) with your CV/resume and a short description (~200 words) that explains why you are interested in this project and summarizes your relevant experience.


1/20/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Alex Pentland

Project Title: Understanding social influence in human behavior via large-scale behavioral data

Project Description: We are looking for UROP students for Spring 2017, who would help us conduct research in the subject of understanding social influence in human behavior via big data analysis. Specifically, utilizing a large collection of credit card purchase records made by hundreds of thousands of individuals, we are interested in understanding how social influence might affect people in making purchases, accepting campaign offers, etc. The research outcome of this project may provide guidance in applications such as merchant allocation and campaign optimization, and on understanding urban economy in general.

Required Skill: Proficiency in Python, Good knowledge in machine learning and statistics, Experience in big data analysis.

Contact: Please send email to Xiaowen Dong (xdong@mit.edu) or Yoshihiko Suhara (suhara@mit.edu) with your CV/resume and a short description (~200 words) that explains why you are interested in this project and summarizes your relevant experience.


1/20/17
Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Industrial Performance Center
Faculty Supervisor: Richard Lester

Project Title: Publications, Patents, and Professional Activities Data Analysis for Studying Socio-Economic Impacts of Universities

Project Description: This project investigates how research universities impact economies and societies. We are conducting research on creating a framework for studying effects of universities in emerging economies that have historically limited activities in scientific and technical higher education research, and innovation. This project will help obtain quantitative data to conduct analysis of socio-economic impacts.

Tasks for Research Assistant: The research assistant will create scripts for data scraping and data collection of publications records (from Web of Science, Scopus etc.), patents records (from online databases), LinkedIn web portal, and other online sources. The RA will collect and analyze data, (including data visualization techniques such heat maps and network graphs) and contribute to publication of the results in a peer-reviewed journal.

Required skills: (1) Experience using Python (or another programming language) in creating scripts or using existing scripts for web scraping; (2) Knowledge and experience in creating and using databases (such as SQLite); and (3) Preferred: Knowledge of creating network graphs, graph analysis (using packages such as gephi).

Prerequisites: Prior programming experience is preferred (Javascript, JSON), familiarity with bibliographic databases and/or LinkedIn APIs is a plus.

Contact Name: Scott Kennedy
Contact Email: sknndy@mit.edu


1/17/17
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Hiromi Ozaki

Project Title: Design, Engineer and Build the Future of the Human Body

Project Description: Design Fiction creates speculative, sci-fi design that imagines alternative and evocative futures. If you have a passion for hardware or mechanical engineering, storytelling and design, come join Design Fiction for this unique UROP position. Our research group is designing prosthetics for a future where humans live underwater. Hardware and mechanical engineers have an opportunity to work on a highly polished and functional prototype of this technology. Previous work in Design Fiction has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, BBC and more. Your contributions will be part of a multi-institutional public exhibition in September 2017 and will be highly appreciated.

Prerequisites: Course 2 students strongly encouraged to apply

Contact Name: Miriam Simun
Contact Email: simun@mit.edu


1/17/17
IAP-Spring
Department/Lab/Center: Research Lab for Electronics (RLE)
Faculty Supervisor: M. A. Srinivasan

Project Title: Development of Blood Pressure Imager Funding: National Institute of Health (NIH)

Project Description: We are developing a new technology to measure blood pressure (BP) called the Blood Pressure Imager (BPI) that does not require cuffs or expensive equipment, and that can be used by untrained individuals. The primary innovation rests on the application of cutting-edge optical tactile sensor technology, the GelSight, to the basic observation that BP has a direct relationship to the outward force on the arterial wall, which, in turn, affects the deformation and forces imposed on the tactile sensor array by the skin surface above, particularly at locations such as the region above the radial artery in the wrist. By integrating high-resolution GelSight optical tactile sensor patch together with signal processing software, BPI can provide precise measurement of skin surface motions and forces exerted by the underlying pressure wave and provide an accurate measure of systolic and diastolic BP. The development and validation of the BPI will be a collaborative project between researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University School of Medicine.

The specific aims of the initial phase of BPI development will include:

Aim 1. Optimize the hardware and software of the BPI: The GelSight hardware and software will be optimized to measure intra-luminal pressure in artificial arterial phantoms encased in silicon rubber (simulating skin and subcutaneous soft tissue), under various hemodynamic simulations in a mock circulatory loop (a bench-top setup that will mimic human circulation). The experiments in the mock circulatory loop will help to (a) standardize the hardware to reliably and consistently image the GelSight surface motions to a precision of a few microns due to skin surface forces, (b) optimize the signal processing and (c) fine-tune the algorithm to derive both systolic and diastolic blood pressures that accurately reflect the intraluminal pressures in various hemodynamic and anatomical simulations.!

Aim 2. Validate the portable BPI in animal models: With the help of animal models, the BPI will be further calibrated and optimized so that the processed signal from the GelSight will provide high resolution measurement of the underlying BP wave continuously all through the beat-to-beat timeline. UROP Role: Help setup the bench-top, mock human circulatory system and conduct experiments to validate BPI. Help optimize the GelSight Hardware and software. Help with animal and human validation studies.

Contact Name: Mohan Thanikachalam (M.D.)
Contact Email: mohant@mit.edu

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