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.

4/29/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Langer

Project Title: Ultrasound-Based Drug Delivery

Project Description: This project aims to investigate the use of ultrasound for drug delivery in the gastrointestinal tract. This project will also involve development of novel formulations/carriers and drug depots for enhanced and extended delivery. Work will be conducted in the Langer Lab in the Koch Building in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team composed of biologists, chemists, and engineers.

Lab Environment: The team is fast-paced, innovative, and highly multidisciplinary. The project and working dynamic reflects this. Culture can feel like a start-up. Experimental independence is preferred. Benefits: We are looking for a junior or rising senior level undergraduate that is highly motivated and is interested in working on a high-impact project. There is significant potential for authorship of high-impact papers and development of novel intellectual property. Our group is also highly supportive and is a great environment for mentorship. The student will have access to state-of-the art equipment and will be involved in an exciting project with real-world translational potential.

Prerequisites: Previous lab experience required Great attention to detail. Comfortable with independent work Optional: previous experience with biological material

Requirements: A driven, enthusiastic, and collaborative student Availability on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons At least 12-hour commitment per week

Contact Name: Carl Schoellhammer
Contact Email:cschoell@mit.edu


4/29/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Michael S. Strano

Project Title: Single walled carbon nanotubes sensors for protein targets

Project Description: Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) have great potential for biomedical applications due to their unique optical properties and their ability to fluoresce in the near-infrared (nIR) range. They are preferable in vivo imaging agents as they can be rendered biocompatible with proper surface wrapping, and due to their lack of photobleaching or blinking. An additional advantage of SWNT is that tailored functionalization of the nanotube s surface can result in a selective fluorescent modulation upon the interaction with a specific analyte, rendering the SWNT an optical sensor. We are aiming to find new optical nanosensors for protein targets, to enable continuous monitoring of analytes and biomarkers in vivo. The project will focus on the discovery, characterization and optimization of SWNT sensors, as well as exploring form factors for in vivo implantation.

Prerequisites: Previous lab experience is an advantage. Students who can start working during the semester and are committed to stay for a long term are preferred.

URL: http://srg.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Gili Bisker
Contact Email: bisker@mit.edu


4/29/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Economics (Course 14)
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Townsend

Project Title: Analyze data from online P2P lending markets

Project Description: We are looking for an undergraduate research assistant to help analyze data from online P2P lending markets. The ideal candidate would work 40 hours/week over the summer.

Responsibilities: The UROP student will be working on a project analyzing borrower behavior in online P2P markets, one of the fastest-growing areas at the intersection of finance and technology. Responsibilities will include searching for and cleaning data on both loan performance and economic indicators which might predict repayment, running regressions to analyze this data, and preparing reports on the findings. These tasks will involve close collaboration with the professor and PhD candidate running the study, and provide a valuable opportunity to learn about P2P markets, data analysis, and conducting economic research.

Prerequisites: A candidate must be highly motivated, detail-oriented, and able to meet deadlines. Knowledge of Stata and econometrics is strongly preferred; ArcGIS, web scraping or general programming aptitude is helpful.

Contact: Please send a resume, transcript, and brief statement of interest to Professor Robert Townsend (rtownsen@mit.edu) and John Firth (jfirth@mit.edu).


4/29/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab, CSAIL, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Sandy Pentland and Joshua Tenenbaum

Project Title: Web development and social artificial intelligence for social experimentation

Project Description: Are you interested in using data science to understand society? An exciting area at this intersection is the use of online experimentation for answering social science questions. Experimentation is a key methodology for scientific understanding, yet the social world is highly dynamic and complicated, and social experimentation is therefore difficult. Large-scale social experiments have recently become possible because of online social media, but so far the experiments that researchers have performed in this area have been limited in their scope and complexity. We are interested in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in online social experimentation via the use of embedded social actors powered by social artificial intelligence.

The main project we are hoping to pursue now is to build a website, partially populated by bots we program, in order to examine the effects of anonymity in online spaces, as well as to understand the causal mechanisms behind demographic correlations.

A second ongoing project involves programming Twitter bots in order to study social biases and the effects of stereotype violation.

We are therefore looking for motivated hackers with experience in web development and a keen interest in social issues.

Useful skills for you to have: web programming, web scraping, natural language processing

Skills you will likely learn/hone: experimental design, data analysis, artificial intelligence .

Contact Name: Peter Krafft
Contact Email:pkrafft@mit.edu


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Doug Lauffenburger

Project Title: Phosphoproteomics data visualization and web based resource development

Project Description: The wealth of biological information available from high-content datasets (e.g. phosphoproteomics) presents new challenges in data visualization and interpretation. Surpassing these challenges presents the opportunity for improved understanding of cellular function and ultimately development of therapeutics to minimize disease. Having acquired proteomic and phosphoproteomic datasets from a variety of cancer tissue models, we are presently seeking a student who can investigate novel methods for users to visualize and interpret this data through a web interface. This entails building both a webserver that can store this information in a database and a web front-end thru which the user can query and visualize information. This project will be co-supervised by Doug Lauffenburger (Biological Engineering, MIT) and Kevin Haigis (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School)

Prerequisites: Enthusiasm for applying existing skillset in web development and data visualization to biology. Applicants should have experience building a simple webserver and knowledge of SQL (or other relational database language). While not required, some experience with web-based visualization tools (e.g., D3.js) is preferred.

URL: http://web.mit.edu/dallab/ and http://www.haigislab.org/

Contact Name: Samantha Dale Strasser
Contact Email:sdstrass@mit.edu


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Bruce Rosen

Project Title: Methods for analyzing human neural signals

Project Description: We measure human brain activity during wake and sleep to understand how the brain transitions between different states and how this influences neural information processing. This project involves acquiring simultaneous EEG and fMRI data in human subjects. A major problem is how to recover neural signals from EEG data that contains large amounts of noise due to the presence of a strong magnet. In particular, low frequency (<2 Hz) oscillations are challenging to measure due to contamination from the cardiac cycle. The student will test different signal processing approaches to cleaning contaminated EEG data, and will help with modifying the EEG cap to improve signal quality. If interested, the student could also work on understanding how brain activity patterns are altered during different stages of sleep. Project will combine signal processing, data analysis, and hands-on experimental sessions.

This project is located at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, in Charlestown, and will involve some late night work (11pm-3am) for data acquisition.

Prerequisites:
- ability to help with experiments that sometimes take place at night (up to 2 am)
- familiarity with Matlab or other programming experience
- interest in signal processing as it applies to neuroscience
- availability of at least 10 hours per week throughout summer, and interest in continuing into the fall

Contact Name: Laura Lewis
Contact Email: ldlewis@mit.edu


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Visual Design and Information Design for a Research Report

Project Description: Job Posting: Flex-Contract Information Designer The MIT Mobile Experience Lab is looking for a part-time information designer UROP. This role is explicitly focused on visualizing design research, and making figures and diagrams that are beautiful, clear, and impactful for a report. Hours for the engagement are flexible, with compensation based on experience. The engagement runs through the end of May. This opportunity may also be a starting point for working further as a visual or information designer UROP with the Mobile Experience Lab, either through the summer or otherwise. This position is ideal for you if you are visually oriented, have a passion for communicating conceptual information, and have a strong interest in making rich content easy to understand.

Suggested background: Strong experience in Information Design, Graphic Design, New Media, or professional equivalent.

Suggested knowledge, experience, and technical skills:
- Previous experience visualizing research or developing diagrams.
- Able to translate multi-dimensional information into visual form in order to derive or illustrate conclusions.
- Comfort with relevant software including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
- Previous experience developing layout of large report or book is not necessary, but definitely a plus.

URL: http://mobile.mit.edu

Contact: If this sounds like you, please send a CV, portfolio link, and/or letter of introduction via mail to Yao Tong tongyao@mit.edu to have a conversation with us. We are looking forward to hearing from you!


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Engineering Systems Division (ESD)
Faculty Supervisor: Noelle Selin

Project Title: Quantifying Mercury Contamination of Rice & its Impact on Food Security in China

Project Description: The main objective of this project is to quantify mercury contamination of rice and assess its impact on food security in China using multiple modeling approaches. Mercury contamination of rice is becoming an emerging food security issue in China. Mercury is a toxic and bioaccumulative element, which is most often emitted into the environment via anthropogenic activities. While humans are primarily exposed to mercury through fish consumption, recent measurements of mercury levels in rice grains in China show levels elevated enough to cause significant human health impacts. China is currently the largest producer and consumer of rice, and also the largest source of mercury pollution in the world. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the sources and biogeochemical processes governing mercury bioaccumulation to rice grains.

Our project addresses the fundamental scientific questions about the dominant sources and processes by which mercury contaminates rice, and assesses potential future public health and socioeconomic consequences from mercury contamination of rice in China. We are using a global atmospheric chemistry transport model known as GEOS-Chem to simulate anthropogenic mercury emissions and deposition to rice paddies in China. We are then developing and using a biogeochemical box model to simulate the processes and bioaccumulation of mercury in rice paddies. Finally, we will use a state-of-the-art China Regional Economic Model (C-REM), developed at MIT, to assess the potential public health and socioeconomic consequences of mercury contamination of rice in China.

Tasks: The major tasks that the student will undertake are divided into three parts.

1) Create a comprehensive database of mercury levels in geochemical reservoirs (i.e., soil, water, air), rice, and humans in China by conducting thorough literature review of relevant scientific papers. This database will become the major framework for the biogeochemical box model and for conducting exposure assessments of mercury for Chinese rice consumers.
2) Identify important environmental factors affecting mercury deposition and cycling in rice paddies in China by analyzing various meteorological variables included in GEOS-Chem.
3) Develop an interactive visualization database in which members of the public can easily access and visualize the database created from the first task.

Benefits: We expect that, through this project, the student will gain strong fundamental knowledge of the sciences behind the sources, cycling, and fate of pollutants, and the ability to assess impacts from a multidisciplinary standpoint. The student will also have the opportunity to familiarize him/herself with environmental and health relevant models. Depending on the level of contribution and ability to successfully accomplish the tasks outlined above, the student will have the opportunity to share the co-authorship of published scientific papers.

Prerequisites:
1) Some understanding of environmental cycling and human health impacts of pollutants.
2) Some coding ability/experience using python or similar languages that can be used to develop an interactive visualization database.

URL: http://www.selingroup.org/

Contact Name: Sae Yun Kwon
Contact Email:saeyunk@mit.edu


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Energy performance data visualization, and analysis for Urban Dynamic Innovation

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 energy performance, consumption-production, data visualization and analysis, and data science methodologies on Andorra's telecom and Energy big data for enabling an understanding of the country's dynamics on tourism and commerce, 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. 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 summer, with the possibility of continuing during following terms.

The task: Be a part of the team that is going to think and design tools that predicts energy consumption, linking tourism and human behavior with energy consumption and process in order to make 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. and how are linked with energy, 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 knowledge on energy consumption and production, energy grids, building energy performance, simulation and modeling complex systems tools. Also 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 commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We need candidates with medium-high level skills in Java, and Processing. Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis, or on data visualization and communication. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains. You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Necessary Skills: Java, 2+ years computer science and Processing. Can be useful: Energy simulation program (DesignBuilder, Trnsys, or similar) Other important skills: HTML,CSS,JS, JQuery,D3.js, Database, Web Framework, Grasshopper

Additional Skills: (Open CV) Computer Vision, Machine Learning

About us: Changing Place is exploring the impact of tangible design tools for urban city planning.

Contact: Please send us your resume/portfolio and a short paragraph on your interest in the project to Luis Alonso alonsolp@mit.edu. Thanks for your interest!!


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Karen Gleason

Project Title: Developing thin film polymer hydrogels for electrochemical devices

Project Description: Aqueous electrochemistry is becoming increasingly important in a variety of applications including water desalination and sodium ion batteries. Polymer hydrogels can serve a variety of roles including improving device performance by obviating side reactions or serving as a primary electrolyte. The goal of this project is to develop novel chemistries and coating techniques to form polymer hydrogels that can serve in various electrochemical applications. The coatings are polymer based and simultaneously synthesized and deposited through Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). They are further analyzed using a variety of surface, microscopic and spectroscopic techniques including contact angle, SEM, and FTIR before transfer to collaborating research groups for device performance.

Prerequisites: This project is best suited for students in Course III, V, or X. The student should be motivated and comfortable working independently after sufficient training. A time commitment of at least 10hrs a week is preferred with at minimum one >4 hour block available, since CVD depositions can be long. Previous lab experience, either through UROP or lab-courses, is preferred but not necessary.

URL: http://web.mit.edu/gleason-lab/

Contact Name: Priya Moni
Contact Email:pmoni@mit.edu


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof John Hansman


Project Title: Agent-Based Modeling for Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System

Project Description: Regulations and procedures for the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) are currently being developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). UAS provide unique challenges based on their fundamental differences compared with manned aircraft for full integration and access. Our group is working with the FAA to analyze current and national procedures and develop policies that will govern the airspace in the future. Although some human-in-the-loop experiments have been conducted on a small scale, agent-based modeling techniques will allow us to investigate both large-scale environments and emergent patterns.

We are currently seeking a UROP student to help develop an Agent-Based Model (ABM) for the National Airspace System that models the environmental structure, aircraft, pilots, and most comprehensively, the air traffic controller. This will be accomplished using AgentFly, a Java-based ABM. The student must therefore have strong experience in Java. In addition, prior experience with ABMs and modeling human agents is a plus. The student should also 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 for the summer and open to the possibility of continuing in the fall semester. Pay or credit is available.

Contact: Brandon Abel, abelb@mit.edu


4/27/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center (EC)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Rich Fletcher

Project Title: Video Game Development for Mental Health

Project Overview: 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 summer UROP, and preferrably someone who would be interested to continue the project after the summer. 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.

UROP for Course 6, Course 9 or anyone with appropriate skills

Contact: Rich Fletcher (fletcher@media.mit.edu)


4/19/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Polina Anikeeva

Project Title: Flexible materials for neural interfaces

Project Description: Restoration of motor and sensory functions in paralyzed patients requires the development of tools for simultaneous recording and stimulation of neural activity in the spinal cord. In addition to its complex neurophysiology, the spinal cord presents technical challenges stemming from its flexible fibrous structure and repeated elastic deformation during normal motion. To address these engineering constraints, we seek to develop highly flexible fiber probes, consisting entirely of polymers, for combined optical stimulation and recording of neural activity. The specific focus of this UROP project is to assist with the optical characterization and electrical characterization of the fiber probes. The fiber probe will be implanted to mice and the goal is to stimulate the spinal cords optically, get the neural recording simultaneously, and control the limb movements on demand. Besides characterization, students will learn how to fully assemble the fiber probes from a piece of polymer fiber into an implantable device. The UROP will begin during summer and in the Fall and Spring semesters as well (at least one year and can be continued).

Prerequisites: Sophomores and Juniors are strongly encouraged to apply. Coursework in Chemical Engineering, EECS, or Materials Science background required. While previous lab experience is desired, we are open to providing students at various skill levels opportunities to broaden their research skill set. Students are expected to work12-15 hours during the regular semesters and 30 hours during the summer.

URL: http://www.rle.mit.edu/bioelectronics/

Contact Name: Chi Lu
Contact Email:chilu@mit.edu


4/15/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Azra Aksamija

Project Title: STAR DOME - Stadium for Video Art

Project Description: We have been given an opportunity to play with an unused stadium, so we are putting together a team of mobile developers, animators, generative video artists, and other creatives to reanimate the colossal structure. With the help of over a TON of industrial projectors we will be lighting up the roof of the derelict stadium to produce an environment of media on an unprecedented scale. Visible from the inside and the exterior, it will be the world's largest media display - 5.2 ACRES with a resolution of nine 4K screens - and we need your help during the summer here at MIT to create more content, design and fabricate the interactive elements, and build the infrastructure to serve it all to the public.

This is a huge opportunity to implement experimental and interdisciplinary work at an unprecedented and public scale. UROPs will play an integral roll in the creative and generative processes and be working directly with the project directors. The project will be a great way to build experience working with and ensemble teams with diverse skill sets. In addition to cranking out deliverables we expect the process to be a lot of fun and full of experimentation and invention.

Here are the main objectives for the Summer: Generate video content. First and foremost we will be creating lots of beautiful video art. Some of this will be done with the aid of physical models and practical effects, and some will be animated or completely generated by computers. This calls for a proficiency in programs like: Ideally we're looking for someone with an artistic touch who is highly experienced with digital modeling, lighting, animating, and rendering. However, we are also interested in other forms of computer-generated video and data visualization, so reach out!
- AfterEffects
- Premiere
- 3DS Max
- Blender
- Programming/other visualization environment
- Application & Web Development

Our simplest goal is to develop and publish an application and/or website that allows users to control basic arcade games on the stadium roof from their phones.

This will involve: We are looking for people who are familiar with application development and server-side, and are experienced enough to think creatively with the platforms. Aside from this basic functionality, we are also interested in creating other ways in which users can interact with the dome via the mobile application. Again, if you have skills and an idea, reach out!
- Re-writing classic games to be played on the unique grid of skylights on the roof
- Mobile control interface design and programming for iOS and Android
- Rendering user input to graphics
- Developing server-side support

Work The work will require 6-10 hours/week, but will be highly flexible depending on your skill set and involvement. We will primarily be meeting in the afternoon or evenings. We will work with the applicants to decide on the best time. Most of the work will be around the Media Lab and Kendal Square, but will include work that can be done anywhere or anytime.

Contact Name: Joshuah Jest
Contact Email:jahoos@mit.edu


4/15/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab (MAS)
Faculty Supervisor: Joe Paradiso

Project Title: inSkin

Project Overview: Many types of butterflies use light-interacting structures on their wing scales to produce color. Their wings are composed of nano-sized, transparent, chitin-and-air layered structures. By transforming the skin structure using nano techniques and creating novel biosensors, this project aims to create an interactive device within the epidermis.

Role & Responsibilities:
* Support in the prototype, develop and tests a kit of biosensors.
* Create nano structures.
* Design tattoo and makeup illustrations.

Prerequisites:
* Strong understanding of biochemistry and nano technology.
* Experience in a clean room is a plus.
* Knowledge of design tools such as Illustrator and Photoshop and of laser cutter and 3D printers.
* Being motivated to create a novel wave of wearable computers.

URL: katiavega.com

Contact Name: Katia Vega
Contact Email:katiav@media.mit.edu


4/15/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)
Faculty Supervisor: Steven Flavell

Project Title: Developing code to image neuronal activity in a simple nervous system

Project Description: We examine how the brain generates persistent behavioral states like sleep/wake and emotional states. In mammals, the circuits controlling these states include millions of neurons, making them challenging to study. Using the nematode C. elegans, which has only 302 neurons, we have identified neural circuits that generate long-lasting locomotor states that animals display as they forage for food. We are developing tools for monitoring the activity of all of the neurons in these circuits simultaneously in moving animals, with the goal of understanding how activity within these circuits drives long-lasting behavioral states. We also hope that these studies will provide a platform for a mechanistic analysis of how persistent neural activity arises in circuits.

Current projects are centered around the imaging technologies and data analysis pipelines that will enable this project. Current challenges that need to be addressed include:
(1) Developing a closed feedback loop where a microscope stage is controlled by animal movement to keep the animal in field of view,
(2) Developing image analysis tools to identify and track each neuron throughout long multi-neuron video recordings in moving animals,
(3) Applying analysis tools from dynamical systems theory and machine learning to relate neural activity to behavior.

Related projects are also available for the Fall term.

Prerequisites: Students should have a fairly strong background in computer programming. Experience in C and/or Matlab is preferable. Familiarity with statistical analysis tools (PCA, hierarchical clustering, network inference, etc) and/or experience with image processing (e.g. image enhancement, pattern recognition, particle tracking algorithms) would also be helpful. Students should also be detail-oriented and have an interest in learning about cellular and systems neuroscience. Preference will be given to students who are able to commit ~10 hours per week. For sophomores and juniors, this position could be open to a longer-term commitment.

URL: https://bcs.mit.edu/users/flavell

Contact Name: Steven Flavell
Contact Email: flavell@mit.edu


4/13/16
Multiple Openings
Summer 2016
Department: MIT-Harvard Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Jose Gomez-Marquez

Project Description: 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 Summer 2016 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 hire. You will be joining a fast paced, interdisciplinary group who focuses on hands-on ideation and prototyping.

Project #1. 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 for dengue, zika, and other viruses.

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

Project #2.
Programming Biosensors (Course 2, 6, 20, 4)

Design and test a suite of biosensors for physiological and biological parameters. Successful designs will plug and play with the rest of our prototyping platform and will be easily embeddable into unconventional diagnostic systems.

Prerequisites: Experience with designing, prototyping (such as Arduino) testing and debugging electronic circuits (e.g. embedded systems combining analog circuitry, digital circuitry, microcontrollers and wireless communications). Experience with wireless sensors or protocols helpful (e.g. Bluetooth, WiFi)
_________

Project #3. Digital Fabrication and Design (Mechanical, Course 2, Course 10, Course 20, etc)

Invent new ways of reusing over the counter electronics to make medical devices using digital fabrication tools. Create modular components for users to remix and customize these medical devices.

Prerequisites: Experience with Solidworks or other 3D modeling software, fabrication experience (machine tools, waterjet, laser-cutter).

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


4/12/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab (MAS)
Faculty Supervisor: Hugh Herr

Project Title: Creation of a Peripheral Nerve Interface (Biomechatronics and Surgery)

Project Description: Current limb prostheses for amputees do not allow one to control their limbs with their native neural signals. Non-invasive sensors have been developed to provide a control system, but none are highly sensitive. The biomechatronics lab is currently developing a novel peripheral neural interface that will allow patients to directly control prostheses and receive proprioceptive feedback. Over the summer my focus will be on validating the new surgical paradigm that will be incorporated in the neurally-controlled lower extremity prosthesis in a rat model. We will be performing surgeries in rats, stimulating muscles and recording nervous signals. Then, we will characterize the muscular remodeling and physiological changes using histology and other techniques. For this multidisciplinary project, work will take place in the Media Lab and animal facilities with a team of mechanical engineers, biomedical engineers, electrical engineers, and clinicians.

Prerequisites: Previous experience with animal work, immunohistochemistry, or electronics would be very helpful - but not required. (This UROP can also be extended into the Fall term and beyond.)

URL: http://biomech.media.mit.edu/#/portfolio_page/neural-interface-technology-for-advanced-prosthetic-limbs/

Contact Name: Shriya Srinivasan
Contact Email: shriyas@mit.edu


4/12/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Dynamic Transformable Furniture for Future Co-working Spaces: CITY-OFFICE

Project Description: The workplace of the future is urban. More than 50% of the world s population lives in cities. In the U.S. this number is 80%. Cities are once again hubs for innovation. This presents incredible opportunity, but there are challenges: Urban Space is at premium with supply outstripping demand and ever escalating rents. Additionally, millennials who will make up the majority of the workforce demand personalized workspaces and collaborative opportunities. These dilemmas mean the Workplace of the future will need to be hyper efficient AND responsive to users needs. City Office is a solution for small and medium sized enterprises that make up the majority of businesses and face these pressures most significantly.

The task: Design Architectural robotics enable a hyper-efficient, dynamically reconfigurable co-working space that accommodates a wide range of activities in a small area. Be a part of the team that is going to think and design:
i) The architectural space and transformation of typical office multifunction room (approx.46ft*29ft) to enable it to adjust its function effortless between to conference room separated meeting/board room space, team-work space, gala space and etc.
ii) The mechanics of robotic furniture allows itself to fold, expand, move and connect with other furniture part, ideally with the use of actuator.
iii) The sensor system that can allow the new furniture system to sense force, gesture, speech, distance and etc.
iv) The computer vision system and user interface collaborating with the sensor system that enable furniture pieces to autopilot and users to control effortless.

Candidates profiles: We are looking at integrating 3-4 UROPs to the project. As mentioned above, our Ideal candidates should be proficient in at list one of following discipline: architecture, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science. And should be able to develop pragmatic and creative ideas on the mechanism, design and prototyping of this dynamically transformable co-working space system. You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Required Skills:
i) architecture: Rhino+Grasshopper, Sketchup, 3DsMAX animation, After Effect, Adobe suite, AutoCAD and 3d printing. ADDITIONAL: Processing and Arduino IDE.
ii) mechanical engineering: SolidWorks, Rhino, Sketchup, Proficient prototyping skill with waterjet, 3dprinting and casting. ADDITIONAL: C++, Python, Processing and Arduino IDE, MATLAB.
iii) cs & ee: Computer Vision, Sensor and UI design. Processing, Arduino IDE, HTML, CSS, JS, Grasshopper. ADDITIONAL: JQuery, D3.js, Web Framework, Machine Learning.

URL : http://cp.media.mit.edu/cityhome/

Contact: Please send us your resume/portfolio and a short paragraph on your interest in the project to Luis Alonso alonsolp@mit.edu. Thanks for your interest!!


4/12/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Sangbae Kim

Project Title: Force Sensing Shoes for Athletes, the Elderly, and the Disabled

Project Description: We are developing the next generation of the wearables in the form of shoes that are capable of real-time in-situ measurement of force data. This work will involve integrating the lightweight multi-axis force sensor that have been developed for use on the MIT Cheetah robot. The force sensor has a larger force sensing range in both the normal and shear directions, new calibration algorithm (LSANN), as well as an onboard ARM microcontroller for data processing. The ultimate goal is to use these force sensing shoes to help assist the elderly and disabled during walking and for fall prevention and mitigation. Athletes can also benefit from the data collected during training to better optimize their workouts. We are looking for undergraduate students (Course 2 or 6) to improve on the current shoe prototype, and explore different ways of integrating the force sensors into a wearable shoe prototype and ways to fabricate it. The research will take place in the Biomimetic Robotics Lab under the supervision of Michael Chuah (PhD candidate) and Prof. Sangbae Kim.

Requirements: Experience and interest in mechanical design (Solidworks), and making working prototypes. Substantial time commitment. Nice-to-haves or interested in learning: Please highlight experience with or interest in any of the following: 3d printing, polymer molding, FEA simulations (Abaqus), LabVIEW, Android (Java) programming, CNC machining (G-code), PCB circuit design, microcontroller programming, signal processing, wireless communications, sensors, and electronics.

Contact: If you are interested in being involved in this project, please contact Michael Chuah (mcx@mit.edu) indicating your year, relevant experience, and any other questions you may have.


4/12/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center (EC)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Rich Fletcher

Project Title: Augmented Reality on Mobile Phones for Health Applications

Project Description: Augmented reality provides powerful new ways to represent and display information on mobile phones and tablets. We have several mobile health applications where augmented reality could provide an innovative solution to make the user interface more intelligent and simple to use. Applications include point of care diagnostics and also maternal and child health in India. Our group is working with several different clinical partners in India, as well as in New York.

UROP tasks include: We are currently seeking a UROP students to help develop augmented reality applications using the Qualcomm Vuforia SDK for Android. (https://developer.vuforia.com/) This powerful SDK enables a wide variety of useful augmented reality functions (see for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP5le6lZ_bw).

We are looking for students with a strong experience with either Android or iOS. Prior experience with Android, augmented reality, or image processing is a plus. No biomedical experience or knowledge is necessary, but of course, a general interest in creating technologies to help people is desirable. The student should be able to work independently, and attend weekly group meetings to check on progress.

At this time we are interviewing students who are interested in working for the summer and open to the possibility of continuing in the fall semester. Pay or credit is available, or UAP project consideration. MEng funding is an option for UROP students continuing into 2017.

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

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


4/11/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Otto X. Cordero

Project Title: Modeling biological evolution with genetic algorithms

Project Description: The Cordero lab is looking for an undergrad interested in learning how to use genetic algorithms to model biological evolution. The UROP will be in charge of creating a computer program that simulates the evolutionary dynamics of 10^5-10^6 digital organisms. These digital organisms will have complex internal structures (e.g. networks) that determine their fitness and will be evolved using genetic algorithms. Candidates should have a good handle of programming and of how to make use of data structures to optimize code.

Prerequisites: 6.006 (ideally, not if condition)

URL: corderolab.org

Contact Name: Otto X. Cordero
Contact Email: ottox@mit.edu


4/11/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Rosalind Picard

Project Title: Human big data visualization or analysis for improve wellbeing

Project Description: The Affective Computing group, Media Lab is looking for summer UROP students who join us to visualize and analyze our very unique big data from our SNAPSHOT study to improve wellbeing (stress, sleep, and mood). We have run the SNAPSHOT study to measure Sleep, Networks, Affect, Performance, Stress, and Health using Objective Techniques.(wearable sensors and mobile phones) for MIT undergrad students. We aim to understand the associations among mood, stress, sleep and social networks, and forecast/predict and improve mood. You will work with us to visualize and analyze the collected data.

Prerequisites: The students must have interests in programming in python and dealing with human big data. Experience in Javascript, or D3 programming, signal processing, statistical analysis or machine learning is plus.

URL: http://snapshot.media.mit.edu/

Contact: If you are interested, please send an email to Akane Sano at akanes@media.mit.edu with the following information:
* Subject line: UROP 2016 summer
* first name, last name
* years in college
* Content: Please write a short description (<200 words) that explains why you are interested and summarizes your relevant experience.
* Attachment: CV/resume


4/11/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

Project Title: Big Data -- Applied Machine Learning for an Innovative Future in Andorra

Do you seek to test how your machine learning and data science skills can generate real value out there? Are you interested on the intersection of big data with urbanism, marketing and tourism, energy, climate change, or transportation? Interested in working with an interdisciplinary team at the Media Lab, among statisticians, urban experts, electronic engineers, designers and software developers?

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 (please see this link for more context). The overarching paradigm of our work is the application of machine learning and data science methodologies on Andorra’s big data, for enabling an understanding of the country’s dynamics on tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact; as well as to shed light on technological and system’s innovation towards radical improvements in these domains.

Data: this is a unique opportunity to work on a rich dataset that includes pseudonymized 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 from the national network of environmental sensors, etc.

Tasks: Overall, we work both on conceptualizing and implementing high value data analysis, data processing, exploration, modeling, prediction, supervised and unsupervised learning tasks, etc.; as well as on high value data visualization and communication to project s stakeholders and Andorran citizens! For the latter task we use 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. Please see this link for examples on the line of exciting research we are interested on.

Candidates profiles:
* Ideal candidates will have sharpened data science skills, 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 commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact.
* Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact.
* We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis, or on data visualization and communication. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains.
* You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Added Value for You:
* You will learn how your machine learning, data science, and\or data visualization skills can generate real value for all public, private, and civil sectors.
* You will acquire experience working with a unique set of big data : from mobile phone records (CDRs) of an entire country, and spatially specified logs to the national network of public WIFI, to disaggregated energy consumption data at the national level, to pollution and environmental data from a national network of environmental sensors. o You will significantly build up your data science CV/portfolio.
* You will be able to participate and potentially co-author exciting academic research.
* You will live and breathe the fun and interdisciplinary culture of the MIT Media Lab.

URL: cp.media.mit.edu

Contact: Please send us your resume/portfolio and a short paragraph on your interest in the project to Luis Alonso alonsolp@mit.edu. Thanks for your interest!!


4/11/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Kent Larson

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

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 augmented reality data visualization, data visualization analysis, and data science methodologies on Andorra's big data, for enabling an understanding of the country's dynamics on tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact; as well as to shed light on technological and system s 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 commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We need candidates with medium-high level skills in Java, and Processing. Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact. We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis, or on data visualization and communication. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains. You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Necessary Skills: Java, 2+ years computer science and Processing.

Other important skills: HTML,CSS,JS, JQuery,D3.js, Database, Web Framework, Grasshopper

Additional Skills: (Open CV) Computer Vision, Machine Learning

About us: Changing Place is exploring the impact of tangible design tools for urban city planning.

URL: http://cp.media.mit.edu/city-simulation/

Prerequisites:
* Ideal candidates will have sharpened data science skills, 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 commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact.
* Interest or experience in the aforementioned domains is required: tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, energy and environmental impact.
* We are looking at integrating more than one UROP to the project. It is OK for candidates to have skills focusing on either machine learning, data processing and analysis, or on data visualization and communication. We also welcome candidates that have particular interests and/or experience in one of the aforementioned domains.
* You will be asked for previous experience, class projects, relevant courses, internships, etc. that support your knowledge and skills germane for this project.

Contact: Please send us your resume/portfolio and a short paragraph on your interest in the project to Luis Alonso alonsolp@mit.edu. Thanks for your interest!!


4/11/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Faculty Supervisor : Prof. Martin Rinard

Project Title: Warp + TensorFlow

Project Description: Embedded system implementations of machine learning algorithms are an exciting and important component of many applications, ranging from drones to wearable health-tracking systems. Embedded sensor-driven systems can produce large amounts of data from sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and temperature sensors. This rich stream of multi-dimensional data can enable retrospective system analyses (e.g., in aircraft black boxes), and can also serve as input for training and inference in predictive models (e.g., predicting turbine failures). However, despite the volumes of data that can be produced, most systems can not make complete use of the data collected: Not all the data collected is relevant to the analysis or prediction tasks, and the relevant data is computationally-challenging to analyze in situ. The type of data is also fundamentally different from the data stored in traditional databases: The data are noisy signals from the real world, and often have a temporal component. The goal of the Warp project is to develop a system that combines data storage, model training, and inference, for energy-efficient embedded sensor systems. The Warp system is being developed for the Lax hardware platform, a research platform developed at MIT. The goal of the UROP is to develop an implementation of TensorFlow's inference engine to run on resource-constrained low-power processors.

Tasks:
* Develop a thorough understanding of the TensorFlow implementation.
* Re-engineer the TensorFlow implementation as necessary to enable inference on systems with limited memory (e.g., 32KB RAM) and limited code storage.
* Re-engineer the TensorFlow implementation as necessary to enable training on systems with limited memory and limited code storage.

Prerequisites: Strong C/C++ programming skills, familiarity with Python, and a strong understanding of machine learning (or a willingness to learn the necessary background).

Contact: Phillip Stanley-Marbell <psm@mit.edu> to learn more.


4/11/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Elazer Edelman

Project Title: Development of cardiovascular system models

Project Description: The Edelman Lab at the institute for Medical Engineering and Science of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing a computational fluid dynamics framework of the human cardiovascular system. These models are used to investigate the effects of cardiovascular disease on the flow domain.

Hours: Minimum commitment of 10 hours per week.

URL: For more information see http://edelmanlab.mit.edu

Prerequisites: We are looking for one undergraduate motivated in performing cardiovascular system geometries using medical images and SOLIDWORKS. The models will be used to perform computational studies of cardiovascular system.

Contact Name: Dr. Zahra Keshavarz-Motamed
Contact Email:zahra_km@mit.edu


4/11/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Alex `Sandy’ Pentland

Project Title: Creating an open-source social sensor and feedback tool to understand and improve human communication.

Project Description: Understanding how groups of people interact, and exploring how to improve group collaboration, communication, and decision making is paramount to the creation of successful human societies and organizations. However, exploring the social dynamics of small groups is a challenging problem. The majority of group collaboration studies have been limited to in-lab experiments with small numbers of participants, and do not capture the full variation or long term dynamics of real-life teams.

We are interested in creating open-source software-based social sensors that capture these complicated dynamics in online interactions that use video conferencing tools, pushing the boundaries of what social information may be quantified. Our objectives for the summer are to deploy a production-ready software system that integrates into a major online learning provider and measures the interactions of real-life student groups. We will also be developing real-time feedback tools for the students to explore ways of improving their group’s performance, learning, and communication. You will gain experience with production-level software development, data analysis, designing experiments, and cutting-edge web development tools.

Skills you should have already: Modern web development (Javascript/HTML5/CSS)

Skills you will learn or improve: data visualization, data science, real-time web, reactive applications, node.js

Pluses: experience with real-time web apps, data visualization (d3.js in particular), and experience with node.js

Additional limits: We are looking for students that are able to commit around 20 hours per week to the project.

Contact: Please send a short description of your background, why this UROP is interesting to you, and your resume to: Dan Calacci dcalacci@media.mit.edu


4/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: James W. Swan

Project Title: Simulating Life at Low Reynolds Numbers: Development of educational games simulating the swimming of micro-organisms on smart devices (iOS/Android phones and tablets)

Project Description: Everybody likes smartphone games, and many of them involve the simulation of the familiar macroscopic world. What about the microscopic world? How do micro-organisms thrive in the in such diverse environments as the ocean and the human body? Their experience is quite unfamiliar indeed. The physics of small living things is governed by the motion of their surroundings. It’s all FLUID DYNAMICS!

In this project, we will develop a smartphone application/game simulating swimming, hunting, and eating micro-organisms with an accurate facsimile of the fluid mechanics that govern the way they move. The application will be educational and entertaining, and designed to make the microscopic world familiar to a lay audience. The UROP student will work together with a graduate student, to develop initial requirements for the simulator, implement accurate and fast physical models for micro-organisms, create a new graphical and interactive paradigm for depicting the simulation on smart devices, and design challenging and fun tasks for users of the simulation to complete and learn from. Learning development in new languages relevant for mobile Apps is a perk (Swift if the student has no preference), though some programming experience is necessary.

Prerequisites: Basic programming skills in any language and linear algebra knowledge are required. Smartphone application development experience will be a plus.

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

Contact Name: Gang Wang
Contact Email:gangwang@mit.edu


4/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Physics (Course 8)
Faculty Supervisor: Max Tegmark

Project Title: The Physics of Intelligence

Project Description: How does your brain work? Can we use recent breakthroughs from artificial intelligence to understand your mind better, or vice versa? In this project, we tackle such big questions with calculations, simulations and state-of-the-art neuroscience data from MIT and Harvard. You don't need to have a background in neuroscience or AI to work with me as long as you're eager to learn and share my interests: You love big questions such as how the brain processes information and why some but not all quark blobs are conscious. You're interested in learning and using advanced tools from condensed matter physics, field theory and information theory. You enjoy working with computers and state-of-the-art data to put theories to the test.

Prerequisites: You like math and you're good with computers. You're able to watch this video without falling asleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzCvlFRISIM

URL: http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/technical.html

Contact Name: Max Tegmark
Contact Email: tegmark@mit.edu


4/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Linguistics and Philosophy (Course 24)
Faculty Supervisor: Suzanne Flynn

Project Title: Running experiment using an eye-tracker for psycholinguistic study

Project Description: We are conducting an eye-tracking experiment in order to collect data from adult native speakers of English. These data will be compared to those data collected from an eye-tracking experiment with native Japanese speakers learning English as a second language (L2). We are looking for someone who is interested in experimental psycholinguistic research and learning how to use an eye-tracker. No experience is necessary. You will be trained to use the eye-tracker in the ESSL lab in Building 32, and will be in charge of running a series of experiments for data collection.

Contact: If you are interested in the project, please email to Prof. Suzanne Flynn (sflynn@mit.edu) or her post-doc Chie Nakamura (chienak@mit.edu), and provide a brief introduction about yourself.


4/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Jean-Francois Hamel

Project Title: Production of isotopically-enriched serum albumin for biomedical research using Pichia pastoris as a biosynthetic host

Project Description: The project focuses on the development and optimization of the substrate yield of a novel process that uses [13C6]glucose and [15N2]ammonium sulfate to produce isotopically-labeled serum albumin from the yeast Pichia pastoris, with robust and consistent quantity and enrichment for biomedical research applications. Background Serum albumin is one such molecule of scientific interest for which a stable-isotope-labeled form is not currently commercially available. Human serum albumin (HSA), a 66.5 kDa single polypeptide, is the most abundant protein in blood plasma. It is crucial for maintaining the proper osmolarity of blood and transporting a variety of compounds through the body. Therapeutically, it is administered to patients for treatment of hypoalbuminemia or traumatic shock to restore fluid retention10. In addition to its traditionally-recognized roles, it has more recently been identified as a potential nutrient source for rapidly-growing tumors through the mechanism of micropinocytosis, and the use of [13C]- and/or [15N]-labeled forms of serum albumin in cell culture or mouse infusion systems could help give validation to this hypothesis. The yeast Pichia pastoris provides an ideal platform for the production of isotopically-labeled serum albumin. P. pastoris has been shown to be readily capable of producing appreciable quantities of properly-folded recombinant HSA, and no adverse responses were observed when the recombinant protein was administered in clinical trials (with administration of non-recombinant HSA as a reference). In contrast to E. coli, P. pastoris can readily secrete expressed protein products, which greatly facilitates purification.

Student Work Plan
1) Transform P. pastoris with basic and protease-deficient serum albumin expression plasmids, and screen colonies for production using Bradford assay or Bioanalyzer.
2) Optimize small-scale protein yield on glucose and ammonium through varying culture parameters (e.g. temperature, media compo!
sition) in shake flasks.
3) Use 2 L bioreactor to scale up culture using optimized conditions from shake flasks and develop production protocol with unlabeled substrates.
4) Perform bioreactor culture using developed protocol using [15N2]ammonium sulfate and [13C6]glucose to produce labeled serum albumin.
5) (Time permitting) Concentrate labeled protein using membrane filtration and purify using affinity chromatography.

Prerequisites: Enthusasism!

Contact Name: Dr. Hamel
Contact Email:jhamel@mit.edu


4/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Erik Brynjolfsson

Project Title: The Economic Implications of Digital Reputation Systems

Project Description: The inability to verify the quality of a service provider represents a major challenge to the functioning of markets. One traditional solution to this problem is for the government to regulate services through certification or mandatory licensing. These regulations are meant to ensure that consumers receive quality service by excluding unqualified sellers. However, occupational licenses also have the potential drawbacks of raising the prices consumers face and rationing workers out of the market. Relatedly, digital reputation systems have made it much easier to track the quality of service providers. Consumers are now able to verify the credentials of a service provider and whether that service provider has positive online reviews. This raises the question of whether online reputation systems substitute or complement occupational licenses. In this paper, we use proprietary data from transactions and reviews on Thumbtack.com to study how licensing and reputation interact in determining how well this market functions. We are looking for a UROP to help process the data from this marketplace, to obtain auxiliary data regarding licensing regulations through web scraping, and to help us conduct statistical analyses. We expect this work to be a great introduction to the way data science is done within technology companies.

Prerequisites: Candidates must have at least some experience in programing (there is flexibility in which language to use but at least one of Python, R, or Matlab is a requirement), data analysis, and statistics. Candidates must also be interested in economics, data science, and digital platforms. It is preferred but not required for candidates to have experience in web scraping and server (cloud) computing.

Contact Name: Andrey Fradkin
Contact Email:afradkin@mit.edu


4/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Benjamin Kocar

Project Title: Photochemical Reactions of Particulate Organic Matter

Project Description: Terrestrial organic matter (OM) is the second largest stock of carbon on earth, and carbon flux between the Earth s critical zone and atmosphere is enormous: approximately 120 Pg of carbon is exchanged between these systems on an annual basis. However, these flux estimates are among the most poorly constrained of the Earth s environmental systems. A multitude of chemical, physical, and biological processes conspire to transform terrestrial organic carbon into forms with enhanced or diminished recalcitrance thus altered potential for biologically mediated oxidation-reduction to carbon dioxide. In particular, it is well known that irradiation by sunlight is one of the dominant controls on the transformation of dissolved (aqueous) organic carbon to forms with altered recalcitrance. Despite this dominance, the effect of irradiation on particulate organic matter (POM), one of the major forms of carbon in terrestrial/freshwater systems, has not been thoroughly investigated.

As a UROP you will work independently to identify the role of photochemical processes on the transformation of POM on a molecular level (changes to functional group identities, abundances, etc.) as well as how this impacts the cycling of metal contaminants. You will conduct photochemistry batch experiments and gain experience with running advanced chemical instrumentation (FTIR, ICP-MS, NMR, etc.) as well as analyzing the collected data. Successful completion of this UROP project has the potential to culminate in co-authorship on a major peer-reviewed publication. We are available to meet and discuss specific details of the project at any time.

Prerequisites: Undergraduate students of all years with a solid foundation in chemistry are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of basic organic chemistry (familiarity with nomenclature and structures) is helpful but not required, as well as previous lab experience.

Contact Name: Anthony Carrasquillo
Contact Email:acarrasq@mit.edu


4/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Economics (Course 14)
Faculty Supervisor: Frank Schilbach

Project Description: Frank Schilbach is an assistant professor of economics at MIT. He is looking for one or two undergraduate research assistants to work on two research projects at the intersection of development and behavioral economics. The ideal candidate would work 40 hours/week over the summer.

Responsibilities:
The UROP student will be working on developing measurements of cognitive ability among low-income individuals. This will require programming visual tasks that are commonly used in behavioral research using Unity or another game engine. The UROP will have the opportunity to learn about digital data collection, data analysis, and conducting economic research.

Prerequisites: A candidate must be highly motivated, detail-oriented, and able to meet deadlines. Candidates should have knowledge and experience using Unity or another game engine and/or be proficient using C# or Java. While not necessary, the ideal candidate should be familiar with RCTs and have an interest in development and behavioral economics.

Project 1: The Impact of Physical Pain on Productivity and Cognitive Function

Description: Chronic physical pain is highly prevalent among low-income workers in developing countries, and it may have widespread negative consequences for individuals’ cognitive function, decision-making, and productivity. Yet physical pain has largely been overlooked in development research and policy. This project seeks to understand the causal impact of physical pain on the lives of the poor. Using novel pain-measurement techniques in a randomized controlled trial of 400 low-income participants in India we examine how pain-reducing medication affects individuals’ productivity and cognitive function.

____________

Project 2: The Economic Effects of Sleep Deprivation Among the Poor

Description: Poverty and health are closely linked. We study sleep, an important health behavior and outcome, and its impact on decision-making, cognitive function, and economic outcomes among the urban poor in a developing country. The medical literature has demonstrated the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on health and cognitive function in the lab. Given the challenging sleep environments found in urban areas in developing countries, these effects could matter greatly for the poor in their everyday environments. This study aims to: 1) measure the prevalence and causes of sleep deprivation among low-income individuals in India, 2) assess the effectiveness of interventions to alleviate sleep deprivation in a real-world environment, and 3) estimate the causal impact of reduced sleep deprivation on cognitive function, decision-making, including “behavioral” tendencies such as framing effects, and economic outcomes.

Contact: If you are interested in the position, please send an email to Frank Schilbach (fschilb@mit.edu) and Emma Dean (emmacboswell@gmail.com) including your CV and a brief description of your background and interest in the position. Please send your CV as soon as possible given our upcoming application deadline.


4/5/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Faculty Supervisor: Daniela Rus

Project Title: Printable origami robots with integrated sensors and controllers

Project Description: In this project, we focus on automated design and fabrication of origami robots for miniature-scale operations. With the successful development of magnetically-controlled, self-folding, origami robots in our group, the goals of the project are (1) to advance the robot’s design and control with integrated sensors, (2) to develop an idea for a robot with adaptive mechanisms for variable environments (printable robot brain), and (3) to develop a capsule-like origami robot for medical applications, for example drug delivery in stomach or intestine.

Topics:
* Origami robot design (MATLAB, C, SolidWorks, AutoCAD)
* Fabrication (laser cutter, 3D printer, electronics)
* Control & Programming (Electromagnetic actuation, motor drivers, PID, Arduino)

Prerequisites: Mechanical design skills (course 2); Programming skills (course 6); Microcontroller/circuit skills (course 6)

Contact Name: Shuguang Li
Contact Email: lisg@mit.edu


4/5/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Physics (Course 8)
Faculty Supervisor: Marin Soljacic

Project Title: Designing quantum photonic systems from electronic-structure calculations.

Project Description: Low-dimensional and topological materials hold promise for novel optical properties and new architectures in photonics. Traditional approaches in photonics theory of treating the material as a medium with a refractive index are no longer applicable in these systems, where the quantum mechanics of the electrons and photons can interact strongly. Our team is working on understanding the link between exotic electronic and photonic properties in new materials, developing appropriate theoretical and computational methods where necessary.

Candidate Role: Possible projects in our team include analytical calculations of the optical properties of model topological materials, computational methods to calculate optical properties of real topological materials, and design of photonic structures to exploit exotic optical properties.

Prerequisites: Undergraduates across all years with a strong background in quantum mechanical calculations as well as analytical optical/photonic approaches are encouraged to apply. Basic programming skills and mathematical methods are preferred.

URL: http://www.mit.edu/~soljacic/

Contact: Please email Prineha Narang (prineha@ab-initio.mit.edu) with your CV and a short description of your interests.


4/5/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Physics (Course 8)
Faculty Supervisor: Marin Soljacic

Project Title: New materials for nonequilibrium charge transport.

Project Description: Nonequilibrium transport of charge carriers in nanoscale systems can either be a boon, as in solar energy systems, or a challenge, as in the channels of transistors. Design of electronic materials, however, largely focuses on conventional quasi-equilibrium charge transport due to the challenges in predicting or quantifying these non-equilibrium phenomena. Our team is developing theoretical and computational methods to calculate nonequilibrium charge transport properties of materials starting from the quantum-mechanical electronic structure of materials.

http://www.mit.edu/~soljacic/Possible projects in our team include code development for realistic solutions of the Boltzmann transport equation, and applications of such methods for optimizing materials for beyond-equilibrium properties.

Prerequisites: Undergraduate students of all years with a strong background and interest in materials theory, quantum mechanics and/or statistical mechanics are encouraged to apply. Prior experience with scientific computation and programming (Python/C++) preferred.

URL: http://www.mit.edu/~soljacic/

Contact: Please email Prineha Narang (prineha@ab-initio.mit.edu) with your CV and a short description of your interests.


4/4/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Brett Bouma

Project Title: Circuit design and fabrication for optical coherence tomography application

Project Description: The aim of this project is to develop novel optical instrumentation and methods that address challenges in clinical medicine and basic biological research. Optical coherence tomography is widely utilized in preclinical and clinical studies. Our work focuses on the continued development of frequency-domain OCT and its applications to intracoronary and gastrointestinal imaging. To further optimize our systems we need to design, fabricate and validate electronic circuits for specific elements of the OCT system. Among others, the refinement of a microcontroller, combined with an electronic circuit, used to provide synchronized drive signals for a Fabry-Perot (F-P) tunable filter and semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA).

Prerequisites: The ideal candidate has a background in electrical engineering and programming and has familiarity with microcontrollers and analog circuits.

Contact Name: Brett Bouma
Contact Email:bouma@mgh.harvard.edu


4/4/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sea Grant Program
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Chrys Chryssostomidis

Project Title: Teaching Engineering with Underwater Robots

Project Description: You will assist Dr. Thomas Consi (Sea Grant Education Specialist and robot builder) in preparing and running a summer program in underwater robotics for high school students. You will learn about the Sea Perch Remotely-Operated Vehicles (ROVs): how they work and how to build and "fly" them underwater. You will then prepare Sea Perch kits for the students and help Dr. Consi in other aspects of the course logistics. You will be a teaching assistant for the course and help the students build and run Sea Perches. In doing all of this you will gain a lot of hands-on technical skills in mechanical assembly, electronics and marine engineering. In addition you will take-on a small project of your own that will involve the development of a new device (e.g. sensor) for the Sea Perch that can be used in future courses. No experience is necessary, I am looking for an enthusiastic student who enjoys working with his/her hands, teaching and is curious about und!
erwater robotics and/or marine science in general.

Prerequisites: Enthusiasm

URL: http://seaperch.mit.edu/index.php

Contact Name: Dr. Thomas R. Consi
Contact Email: consi@mit.edu


4/4/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Juejun Hu

Project Title: Chip-scale optical spectrometers

Project Description: Optical spectroscopy has long been established as a gold standard technology for chemical analysis in complex environments. Conventional spectroscopic interrogations, however, have to be performed in a dedicated laboratory environment using costly, fragile bench-top instruments, which severely limits application of the technology. The project is developing a disruptive spectrometer-on-a-chip technology which uniquely combines high performance, small footprint, low cost and superior ruggedness. Upon success, our technology is expected to enable a wide array of defense, industrial, and consumer applications. The student will help construct an analog control platform for testing and measuring novel photonic integrated circuits.

Prerequisites: Experience with circuit design, micro-controllers, and programming in C or Python are preferred but not required.

URL: http://web.mit.edu/hujuejun/www/

Contact Name: Juejun (JJ) Hu
Contact Email:hujuejun@mit.edu


4/4/16
Summer 2016
Department/lab/center: Picower Center for Learning and Memory (PILM)
Faculty Supervisor: Matt Wilson

Project Title: Development of real-time data acquisition and stimulation system for closed-loop control of rodent memory

Project Description: We now have the tools required to both measure and manipulate activity in neural circuits with great precision. Additionally, our lab and others have developed decoding algorithms to accurately read the neural code from the brain of freely moving rodents as it functions during waking behavior and during sleep. This project will focus on the development of code, hardware, and algorithms required to "close the loop" based upon decoded neural activity. In short, we wish to be able to influence the formation of memory by perturbing neural circuits only when they are "thinking" about certain previous experience. From a technical perspective, this requires low latency acquisition from and decoding of hundreds of electrodes in order to trigger stimuli with low enough latency and jitter to selectively affect memory formation. Specifically, the student will be working along with team of open-source developers to develop hardware and firmware to enable low latency acquisition from hundreds of recording channels (Verilog implementation and synthesis to a Xilinx Kintex FPGA and PCIe Linux device driver). Additionally, the student will be working to develop the user-land interface to integrate this real-time data stream with other IO (e.g. computer vision streams for monitoring animal location and output data streams to triggering stimulators). This project will integrate with the open-ephys electrophysiology data acquisition system system, which was started in our lab and is now in use in hundreds of labs around the world.

URLs:
* Open ephys: http://www.open-ephys.org/
* Next gen data acquisition system WIP: https://github.com/open-ephys/next-gen-system
* Rough hardware and driver spec: https://open-ephys.atlassian.net/wiki/display/OEW/PCIe+acquisition+board

Requirements: The UROP student should be interested in learning about low level driver development, FPGA development, and enjoy hacking on hardware. Existing skills with Linux device driver development, PCIe, FPGA programming, etc are a huge plus.

Commitment: Work will require ~10 hours/week. Some work can be done remotely (e.g. for code development, although weekly progress meeting are required). Position would begin in Summer 2016 and pre-preemptive work for the fun of it is welcomed!

Credit/Volunteer/Pay: UROPs are eligible for credit or volunteer positions during their first semester. Paid positions may be available during future semesters depending on performance and availability of funds.

Contact: Email Jon Newman (jpnewman@mit.edu). Include a few sentences about your interests and goals, thoughts on the project, and a copy of your resume.


4/1/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Faculty Supervisor: Edward Adelson

Project Title: Object property recognition with a high-resolution tactile sensor

Project Description: We are working a most promising new tactile sensor called GelSight, which can get a supreme high resolution of high-resolution tactile image. Currently we are applying the sensor on robots, which can greatly expand a robot s ability in learning and interacting with the world through touch. In this project, we wish to explore the possibility of using GelSight to recognize objects physical properties from touch, such as friction, reflection, or local shapes. We plan to use statistic methods to predict one or multiple properties from tactile images.

Candidate role: The candidate for this project will mostly work on software part, including image processing and implementing machine learning methods on data. We want highly motivated students that can work full-time, and a longer term of cooperation is preferred. This project can be scoped for UROP, AUP or MEng (but it is not funded for MEng).

Prerequisites: The candidate should be experienced in machine learning or computer vision, and a good skill in Python is preferred.

Contact Name: Wenzhen Yuan
Contact Email: yuan_wz@csail.mit.edu


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Alex `Sandy’ Pentland

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

Project Description: Innovative work is gradually shifting towards collaborative efforts by larger, multi-disciplinary teams, making team efficacy an increasingly important field of study. Our group’s prior studies show that team performance can be predicted based on non-verbal social signals, such as turn-taking, response patterns, and conversation balance.

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

This summer, as we move from a small prototype to a fully functional system, we are planning several large deployments in online courses and in a large MIT program. We are looking for exceptional people to join us and help us improve the system, enable it to support thousands of simultaneous users, analyze the data and design the next versions.

Skills you need to already have: Javascript, knowledge of Node.js and frameworks available for it (Express in particular), familiarity with real-time web frameworks and tools (such as Meteor, deepstream.io, or socketcluster.io) and Git Familiarity.

Optional skills:
Basic understanding of front-end tech (HTML5, CSS3)
Knowledge or familiarity with D3.js
Familiarity with PhoneGap/Cordova
Familiarity with NoSQL databases (MongoDB, RethinkDB)
React.js or ‘web components’
Familiarity with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

What you will be doing: depending on your exact skills, you will assist in developing different parts of the system, such as the data collection and data analysis core, mobile app to communicate with wearables, or develop new visualizations.

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

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


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Robert Langer

Project Description: This project aims to investigate the creation of novel drug delivery devices via alternative fabrication processes such as 3D printing. It involves the design of the device's structure, chemical formulation of the printable inks, as well as the optimization of the fabrication related processes. Work will be conducted in the Langer Lab in the Koch Building in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team composed of mechanical engineers, chemists, chemical engineers and physician.

Prerequisites: Any student who is passionate in the design and fabrication of biomedical devices. Enthusiastic in learning experimental techniques and exploring research direction. Students who are committed to stay for a long term are preferred.

Requirements: At least 12 hours per week dedicated to project work. IAP/Spring/Summer 2016. A long term commitment is preferred.

Contact: Please send you resume/CV to Dr. Yong Lin Kong, yongkong@mit.edu


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Economics (Course 14)
Faculty Supervisor: Frank Schilbach

Project Description: Frank Schilbach is an assistant professor of economics at MIT. He is looking for one or two undergraduate research assistants to work on two research projects at the intersection of development and behavioral economics. The ideal candidate would work full-time (40 hours/week) over the summer.

Project 1: The Impact of Physical Pain on Productivity and Cognitive Function

Chronic physical pain is highly prevalent among low-income workers in developing countries, and it may have widespread negative consequences for individuals’ cognitive function, decision-making, and productivity. Yet physical pain has largely been overlooked in development research and policy. This project seeks to understand the causal impact of physical pain on the lives of the poor. Using novel pain-measurement techniques in a randomized controlled trial of 400 low-income participants in India we examine how pain-reducing medication affects individuals’ productivity? and cognitive function.

Project 2: The Economic Effects of Sleep Deprivation Among the Poor

Poverty and health are closely linked. We study sleep, an important health behavior and outcome, and its impact on decision-making, cognitive function, and economic outcomes among the urban poor in a developing country. The medical literature has demonstrated the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on health and cognitive function in the lab. Given the challenging sleep environments found in urban areas in developing countries, these effects could matter greatly for the poor in their everyday environments. This study aims to: 1) measure the prevalence and causes of sleep deprivation among low-income individuals in India, 2) assess the effectiveness of interventions to alleviate sleep deprivation in a real-world environment, and 3) estimate the causal impact of reduced sleep deprivation on cognitive function, decision-making, including “behavioral” tendencies such as framing effects, and economic outcomes.

Responsibilities: The UROP student will be working on a variety of tasks, including literature search, assisting ongoing fieldwork (e.g. survey design)? and data cleaning. The literature search will involve ?developing and ?writing overviews on the literatures in economics and psychology on cognitive and economic effects of sleep deprivation and physical pain. Data cleaning will include combining data from multiple sources, ?reconciling duplicates and flagging any data errors, and assisting with preliminary data analyses. The UROP will have the opportunity to learn about digital data collection, data cleaning and analysis, as well as strengthen their Stata skills.

Prerequisites: A candidate must be highly motivated, detail-oriented, and able to meet deadlines. While not necessary, the ideal candidate has taken 14.73, 14.74, or 14.75. Knowledge of Stata and econometrics is a plus. Additionally, the candidate should be familiar with RCTs and have an interest in development and behavioral economics.

Funding: Must apply for Direct Funding

Time Commitment: 40 hours/week

Application deadline: Friday April 8

Contact information: If you are interested in the position, please send an email to Frank Schilbach (fschilb@mit.edu) and Emma Boswell, direct supervisor, (emmacboswell@gmail.com ) including your CV and a brief description of your background and interest in the position.


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Patrick Doyle

Project Title: Hydrogel beads for biopharmaceutical formulation and delivery

Project goal: Synthesis and optimization of bio-compatible microbeads for the storage and controlled delivery of monoclonal antibody therapeutics Background: Monoclonal antibody (mAb) based therapeutic drugs are the most prevalent and fastest growing form of biologics within the biopharmaceutical industry. These proteins are highly effective as treatments for various cancers and auto-immune diseases. However, designing formulations for these products remains a major challenge due to their susceptibility to denaturation and/or aggregation, which would ruin their biological activity and may even cause severe adverse reactions. To facilitate both long-term stability during storage and a broader variety of drug delivery options, it is advantageous to encapsulate mAbs in a stable gel matrix rather than the typical formulation strategy of including additives to dilute mAb solutions.

Project Description: This project is aimed at producing bio-compatible beads with a well-defined internal 3-D structure to encapsulate proteins at high concentration. Throughout the project, the student will gain experience in producing nanoemulsions, using microfluidic devices, and material characterization techniques. The nanoemulsion is used as the pre-cursor material for hydrogel matrix synthesis, which will take place using microfluidics to control bead size and morphology. The student will also gain one-on-one mentorship of the practical and theoretical aspects of each method. Hence, the work will be hands-on and require a motivated student to dedicate time several days a week to make any significant progress.

Prerequisites: Some experience with lab work and understanding of surface chemistry is preferred

URL: http://doylegroup.mit.edu/

Contact Name: Doug Godfrin
Contact Email: godfrin@mit.edu


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: T. Alan Hatton

Project Title: Preparing micro and nano particles in a microfluidic system

Project Description: Microfluidics is at the forefront of the chemical engineering technologies. The efficiency, versatility, and the ability for precise control on physical parameters has enabled its applications in a tremendous amount of systems, including bio-assays, pharmaceuticals, and material synthesis. We look for a highly motivated UROP to further explore new opportunities in the preparation of micro and nano particles in a novel "emulsion-for-emulsion" microfluidic system our lab has recently developed. The student will learn the fabrication and characterization skills in microfluidics as well as other basic material synthesis and characterization knowledge. We expect the UROP to quickly build his/her own direction and work towards high impact research.

Prerequisites: The student needs to have a strong background in chemistry and will work as a full time summer UROP. The student may apply for direct funding for pay before Thursday, April 14, 2016.

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


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sea Grant Program
Faculty Supervisor: Chrys Chryssostomidis

Project Title: The effects of ocean acidification and warming on the calcification of New England mollusks

Project Description: Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (pCO2) increases since the Industrial Revolution has caused the acidity of surface seawater to decrease by 30% or 0.1 pH units. As this increase in atmospheric pCO2 is largely due to the anthropogenic combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation the pH of high latitude surface seawater will likely decrease by another 0.3 0.4 units by the end of this century. This, in turn, will result in a nearly 50% reduction in the carbonate ion concentration of seawater, making it more difficult for many calcifying organisms to produce and maintain their shells and skeletons. This research seeks to advance our understanding of the combined effects of pCO2 and temperature on critical aspects of shell/skeletal mineralization during the juvenile stage for five economically and ecologically important species of mollusks found in Massachusetts waters. This area has among the highest sensitivity to the potential effects of ocean acidification in the US due to its economic dependence on the shellfish industry and strong use of shellfish resources. This highlights the importance of understanding the impact of acidification on the early life stages of the mollusks that support these shellfish industries. Lab training will be provided in at least two of the following techniques: carbonate chemistry analyses, maintenance of living organisms in seawater, 3-D stereomicroscopy (to measure key shell morphometric parameters), Bulk powder XRD analysis of CaCO3 and X-ray diffractometer (for polymorph mineralogy), TESCAN scanning electron microscope and petrographic microscope (for analysis of ultrastructure and of shell/skeletal thin-sections).

Prerequisites: The most important attributes are interest in the project, self-motivation and reliability. If possible, I would like to extend the UROP into the 2016 Fall semester. Prior lab or image analysis experience preferred but is not required.

Contact Name: Carolina Bastidas
Contact Email: bastidas@mit.edu


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Rox Anderson

Project Title: Pharmacologic and device-based approaches for non-carcinogenic skin tanning

Project Description: We are recruiting students to work on special projects at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at MGH headed by Brandon Law and Dr. Rox Anderson. Our interdisciplinary work takes two approaches to activate skin pigmentation without cancer-causing UV radiation: 1) a light-emitting medical device and 2) a novel pharmacologic topical lotion.

Depending on preferences and skillset, the candidate has the choice of being involved in one or both of these approaches. Specifically, the candidate may be involved in device prototyping and/or molecular skin sample analysis pre- and post-treatment. As work progresses, there will be opportunities to be involved in publication. Motivated students with interest in the medical applications of novel devices and therapeutics are strongly encouraged to apply. This UROP can be for pay, credit or volunteering, depending on the student choice. This UROP can start immediately and/or be a full time UROP during the summer break. Our cross-disciplinary UROP experience emphasizes working closely with engineers, physicians, and chemists and will culminate in a letter of recommendation.

Prerequisites: None. Previous experience with cell culture and immunohistochemistry may be helpful. OR Knowledge of basic electronics may also be helpful. Previous experience with Arduino a plus, but not required.

URL: https://hst.mit.edu/news-and-events/news/hst-md-student-wins-mit-healthcare-innovations-second-prize

Contact Name: Brandon Law
Contact Email: blaw@post.harvard.edu


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Biological Engineering (Course 20)
Faculty Supervisor: Forest White

Project Title: Understanding the changes in signaling network during epithelial to mesenchymal transition

Project Description: 80% of cancer related deaths are due to cancer metastasis. Tumor cells metastasize by re-activating a critical developmental process called epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). During EMT, cells lose their tight cell-cell junction contacts and cobblestone morphology and acquire elongated shape with higher migratory potential. Rewiring of cellular networks during EMT also causes mesenchymal cells to exhibit resistance to commercially available anti-cancer drugs. Inhibition of EMT provides the most promising opportunity to block metastasis; however we do not have a complete understanding of cellular networks regulating EMT. We have been using mass spectrometry based phosphoproteomics approach to investigate changes in signaling networks and better understand the underlying mechanism of EMT.

Prerequisites: I am looking for a student who is motivated and committed towards research, willing to work full-time in summer and is interested in continuing working in fall semester also. Some experience with tissue culture and running western blots will be a plus.

Contact Name: Vibhuti Agrawal
Contact Email: vagrawal@mit.edu


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Andrew Lippman

Project Title: PubPub - Open Academic Publishing

Project Description: We are building a system to promote totally transparent publishing. We focus on three main goals:
1. A rich and modern writing experience - Support for dynamic assets, large datasets, and live visualizations.
2. Distributed Review - Distributed across many communities and done in the open. Rewarding constructive reviews and incentivizing progress rather than elitism opens the process to all that are capable.
3. Grassroots Journals - Journals serve as curators rather than gatekeepers.

Pubs can be submitted to and featured in as many journals as is relevant. No more silos. Journals can be run for large or small audiences, by institutions or individuals. Everyone can be a journal. We hope that PubPub can provide scientists, designers, and all with tools for reproducible and beautiful communication.

What you'll do: This project is geared towards those with an interest and experience in programming. According to your skills and preference you will either build front-end technologies to help facilitate writing and discussions of academic papers, back-end tools to help manage the data created and uploaded or design our interfaces to promote usability and happiness. You will learn how to make modern applications using cutting edge technologies and participate in a close-knit group all working on the same project.

URL: http://pubpub.org

Contact Name: Thariq Shihipar
Contact Email: thariq@media.mit.edu


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Christian Catalini

Project Title: Using Machine Learning and Big Data 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.

Contact: Please email Christian Catalini ( catalini@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet and past experience with machine learning projects.


3/31/16
Summer 2016
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.

Contact: Please email Christian Catalini ( catalini@mit.edu) with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet and past experience with python projects.


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Aero/Astro (Course 16)
Faculty Supervisor: Alvar Saenz Otero

UROP Overview: The Space Systems Laboratory is hiring a collective of innovative and mission driven MIT Undergraduates (any year) to be part of the Zero Robotics Team during the Spring and Summer 2016 terms. Zero Robotics (ZR) is a computer programming competition in which middle school and high school students learn to control satellites aboard the International Space Station. ZR competitions allow high-school students (in the Fall) and middle-school students (in the Summer) to program the SPHERES satellites and compete first in simulation; and then finalists have a chance to go head-to-head against teams from across the world as astronauts run their code and referee the competitions live from space! Learn more about SPHERES: http://ssl.mit.edu/spheres and the ZR Competitions: http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/ .

Position: ZRHS16.Summer: Game Programing and Kick Off Coordination

During the Fall and Spring, a team of UROPs worked with the MIT GameLab to create a new game for the upcoming High School Tournament. A team of up to 4 UROPs will complete the programing of the new 2016 game and test it by creating multiple simulation competitions amongst 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 2016). 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. Game testing will continue throughout the summer. 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 high-school students will be able to compete against. UROPs who participate in the Summer will have first right of refusal (based on their performance during the Spring) to have a Fall UROP supporting the actual tournament. Additionally, UROPs will be responsible for developing the new 2016 Game Manual, designing a new 2016 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 designing and coordinating the logistics associated with the International Kick-Off (Sat 2016-Sep-10) of the new tournament via WebEx.

Previous experience: - Strong programming in c/c++ (or similar language) or python (for website) a plus
- Working knowledge of MATLAB helpful
- Experience with JavaScript, ActionScript, HTML5, and/or FLASH 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

Dates: 2nd Half of Spring & Summer Term (now – 2016-Sep-10)

Pay type: Spring: Student Employee for pay (starting ASAP), ~6 hours per week Summer: Student Employee or UROP, for pay, min 20 hours per week, up to full time

(Looking especially (but not exclusively) for students interested starting ASAP in Spring 2016 and continuing throughout the Summer.)

Target Years: This position is open to any year and opportunity for ongoing participation and advancement is possible.

Application Process: Interested candidates should request a 15-minute interview at: ( http://doodle.com/poll/6z6it69rbtzrq3c4) and indicate which position(s)/term(s) you are applying for. Before interview send a resume/intro of yourself to spheres@mit.edu.


3/31/16
Summer 2016
Multiple Openings
Department: Architecture and Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Leon Glicksman

Project Title #1: Evaluating the benefit of mechanically assisted ventilation in commercial building in New England

Project Description: Low energy load buildings are the key to reducing the climate impact of the built environment. Whether the target is energy efficiency or even zero net energy, innovative commercial scale buildings in the US are integrating operable windows with advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The question is, what is the potential savings that can be achieved and are the most advanced buildings achieving success.

For this project, the student will evaluate the potential benefits of mechanically assisted natural ventilation to reduce the energy loads of an office building in central Massachusetts. The student will then analyze the first state office building to be designed and constructed with the intent to be produce as much energy, on site, as it uses of the course of a year. The results of this study will be an analysis of the system and recommendations about how the system might be refined for greater success.

Requirements: introductory thermo/ fluids/heat transfer subject

Duration and Commitment: Summer 2016, 10 weeks, 30 hours per week

Contact: Prof. Leon Glicksman (glicks@mit.edu)

_______________

Project Title #2: Energy efficient campus buildings

Project Description: MIT has made a long term commitment to substantially reduce its carbon footprint. A large portion of carbon emissions are due to the energy used in campus buildings. In this project the student will focus on one or two typical MIT buildings, for example laboratories or classrooms. The goal is first to determine by measurement what are the most important energy consumption activities. The focus would then be on means to substantially improve the energy efficiency of those activities. This would include the pilot demonstration of those improvements.

Requirements: introductory thermo/ fluids/heat transfer subject

Duration: Summer 2016, 10 weeks

Contact: Prof. Leon Glicksman (glicks@mit.edu)


3/23/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center:Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Pindyck

Project Title: Revision of Microeconomics textbook

Project Description: I am looking for one or two students to help me revise my textbook, Microeconomics.  This is an intermediate microeconomics textbook that is currently in its Eighth Edition, and I plan to complete the Ninth Edition by the end of this summer.  The work will involve updating many of the examples in the book, developing new examples, developing new end-of-chapter exercises (along with solutions), creating  new graphs and tables, reviewing old and new material for clarity, and generally assisting with the new edition.  The work can begin as early as May, and will continue through the summer.

Prerequisites: Candidates for this position should have a strong background in economics, and at the very least should have completed Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (14.04) or the equivalent.  They should also be able to work independently.

Contact: Please send a resume and transcript to: Professor Robert Pindyck, Sloan School of Management, Room E62-522, rpindyck@mit.edu.


3/23/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sea Grant Program
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Chrys Chryssostomidis

Project Title: Investigation of bioluminescent algae responses to water motion produced by various excitations such as vibrations, bubbles, sound and music.

Project Objectives: This MIT Sea Grant project is an investigation of the response characteristics of dinoflagellates (bioluminescent marine algae) to various excitations related to motion waves such as vibrations, bubbles, sound and even music. A dinoflagellate culture system will be set-up to provide the proper light, temperature, salinity and O2/CO2 and to continuously monitor key culture parameters. A source of mechanical excitation will be developed to generate controlled waves with known, measurable characteristics. Finally, a system to simultaneously record the mechanical stimulation waves and the resultant bioluminescent responses of the dinoflagellates will be developed. Experiments will be carried-out to measure: the response characteristics to different types of excitation sources, the threshold excitation for bioluminescence, the frequency response, and the responses to complex stimulation such as music.

Outcomes:
- Dinoflagellate culture protocol and the design of the culture system.
- Design of the stimulation apparatus.
- Design of the experimental and data recording apparatus.
- All data recordings from the experiments including: discrete measurements, video records, and written records in lab notebook
- Conclusions about the dinoflagellate bioluminescent response, its characteristics and potential practical applications in sensor design, environmental monitoring and STEM education.

Prior Knowledge: Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism and it occurs in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as microorganisms and terrestrial animals. Luciferins, a class of light-emitting heterocyclic compounds, are responsible for bioluminescence. Luciferin reacts with oxygen in the presence of Luciferase or photoprotein - an enzyme catalyst - and this reaction produces photons of light. Bioluminescent dinoflagellates are a major group of marine algae, and are one of the most common types of phytoplankton. Dinoflagellates were studied in the past as environmental indicators in three bays on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Home growing of bioluminescent algae for fun, seems to be quite common and easy nowadays and it s really interesting to read about their Light Cycles and how these could be controlled. Other growing instructions can be also found. Suppliers of bioluminescent algae are: No research has been found about sensitivity of bioluminescence on sound or vibration excitation although sensitivity to motion is reported a lot.

Links:
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioluminescence
-http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/all-about-animals/bioluminescence3.htm
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinoflagellate
-http://keckgeology.org/files/pdf/symvol/20th/puertorico/hunter.pdf-http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/organism/dinohome.html#EX-http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Bioluminescent-Algae-at-Home
-http://www.instructables.com/id/Grow-Your-Own-Bioluminescent-Algae/
-http://empco.org/edu/
-http://seafarms.com/html/products.html

Contact Name: Prof. Chrys Chryssostomidis
Contact Email: chrys@mit.edu


3/23/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Project Description: The aim of the project is to plan complex tasks cooperatively using multiple robots. The project is in the intersection of artificial intelligence, task/motion planning, control theory and robotics. UROPS would be exposed to theoretical modeling and design of algorithms. In addition they would also implement the designed algorithms on robots which are 6 DOF armed manipulators. As implementation of designed algorithms is a major part of the project, knowledge of object oriented programming (either C/C++, Java, Python) is required.

Time: The project can start immediately and we are looking for potentially 2 UROPS.

Preferred majors: Course 2,6,16

Contact: For further details interested candidates should contact Amith Somanath (amith@mit.edu ) and copy (cc) Prof Kamal Youcef Toumi ( youcef@mit.edu) with a CV and relevant background.


3/23/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Professor John J. Rosowski

Project Title: Development of 3D models of human middle ear

Project Description: Project Description:The middle-ear group of the Eaton Peabody Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is developing finite-element models of the human middle ear. These models are used for interpretation of the vibration and acoustical data that we collect using various experimental methods. The models are also used for developing prostheses.

Prerequisites: We are looking for an undergraduate motivated in learning and performing 3-D reconstruction of complicated biological structures using medical images and segmentation software. Prior exposure to anatomical concepts, CAD, image processing, segmentation software (like 3D Slicer, ITK-SNAP, AMIRA, ScanIP, etc ) are advantageous.

Time Commitment: Minimum 9 hours per week

Contact Name: Dr. Nima Maftoon
Contact Email:nima_maftoon@meei.harvard.edu


3/21/16
Department/Lab/Center: Architecture (Course 4)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Leslie K. Norford

Project Title: Development of a graphical user interface for CoolVent

Project Introduction: Ambient air quality in India has recently come under a great deal of scrutiny as the largest Indian cities struggle with increasing urban development and maintaining air quality. In addition, buildings contribute 35% of India s energy demand. Natural ventilation has the potential to reduce this demand by as much 15 % even in hot climates. However, as most Indians spend over 70% of their day indoors and yet, India has no indoor air quality standards at the national level, outdoor-indoor pollutant transport associated with natural ventilation carries many implications for the exposure of building occupants to various pollutants. At the Building Technologies Lab and the Tata Center, we are developing a methodology based on building modelling and simulation using CFD and CoolVent (a building analysis tool) to study how indoor-outdoor pollutant exchanges occur. The goal is to be able to provide a method for building designers and architects to visualize and understand intuitively the impact of outdoor air pollution on the indoor air quality of their building designs and help them design technology strategies to deal with this phenomenon.

Project Description: CoolVent is a tool developed at the MIT Building Technologies laboratory to help building designers conduct analyses of buildings thermal performance and energy consumption, with particular implications for natural ventilation. In addition, thanks to recent work funded by the Tata Center, CoolVent now has the ability to assess the outdoor-indoor transport of suspended particular matter (PM2.5) and can build scenarios to model the time-varying nature of indoor PM2.5 concentration under different parametric inputs of airflows, building geometries, filter installations, occupancy schedules, outdoor concentration and natural ventilation strategies. This project would involve developing a graphical user interface for CoolVent, expanding on its current GUI, that can incorporate the pollutant transport analysis aspects of the program into a communicative, intuitive platform for users. As the final interface will be used by architects and building designers, such an interface could be directly integrated into their workflows, empowering the primary decision makers of building designs in India in maintaining indoor air quality.

Prerequisites: Some front-end coding and design skills. The basic interface is in Visual C++ and .NET, so prior familiarity would be helpful, though not necessary.

URL: http://coolvent.mit.edu

Contact Name: Chetan Krishna
Contact Email: ckrishna@mit.edu


3/21/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Media Laboratory
Faculty Supervisor: Pattie Maes

Project Title: Skin-Mounted Interfaces — Fluid Display

Project Description: The project will take place with the Fluid Interfaces Group of the Media Lab during the summer of 2016. Fluid Interfaces Group is interested in producing novel form factors and interactions with digital platforms. The goal of the specific project will be to fabricate soft, thin electronics and devices that can be mounted on skin. These conductive, liquid tattoos provide the potential for devices to be used as natural extensions of people. The UROP responsibilities on this project include working on the fabrication process, which involves 3D printing, soft material molding, and 3D modeling. In addition, the student will design and test different soft device topologies with regard to their mechanical and electronic performances.

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge in 3D modeling (at least one of rhino, solidworks and fusion360)

Contact Name: Xin LIU
Contact Email: xxxxxxin@mit.edu


3/16/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Chemical Engineering (Course 10)
Faculty Supervisor: Patrick Doyle

Project Title: Dynamics of knots moving along granular chains

Project Intro: Knots are found in our everyday lives, whether they are used to fasten objects together or used for decorative purposes. However, knots have recently been found in a large range of biological contexts as well. For example, knots in genomic-length DNA alter the transcription of the chain. This phenomenon is so important that nature has evolved a specific family of enzymes whose job is to prevent long-term knot formation. In addition to DNA, knots have also been found in protein and other organs as well. Driven by these examples, researchers are now trying to understand how the topology of polymers affects its overall dynamics.

Project Description: One fundamental question researchers are trying to answer is how friction is generated when polymer segments in the knotted core slide over each other. This topic not only has applications for knotted chains, but could provide insight into how entanglements alter the motion of polymers, a situation often found in high-density polymer solutions and melts. A simple system to examine these effects is a granular chain a chain of metallic beads connected by thin strings. By varying the bead size, one can systematically vary the roughness along the chain s backbone and see how this effect alters the friction on the chain. We ask a UROP to visualize the motion of a knotted, granular chain on a vibrating bed (a system that provides random motion via mechanical agitation). We will ask the student to determine the motion of the knot, track the knot size, and see how this motion varies in the presence of boundaries and external tension. There are quite a few theories that predict the dynamical behavior of these chains, and it will be interesting if experiments can corroborate these claims. This work will provide deep insight onto how roughness gives rise to friction, and ultimately how this friction affects the motion of polymer chains.

Prerequisites: None. Some coding skills for image processing are a plus.

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

Contact Name: Vivek Narsimhan
Contact Email:vivekn12@mit.edu


3/16/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
Faculty Supervisor: Antoine Allanore

Project Title: Digital-images analysis of geological samples

Project Description: We are recruiting one student to work in the laboratories headed by Prof. Antoine Allanore (DMSE). We work in collaboration with a mining company, with the ultimate goal to characterize microstructures and morphologies of rocks, minerals and other geological samples. Specifically, the candidate will be involved in the analysis of microphotographs of feldspar samples with the software itk (http://www.itk.org/).

Students from the MIT community with interest in the application of digital imaging and programming in science are strongly encouraged to apply. This UROP will be paid or used for credits depending on the student choice. This UROP can be extended to a full time UROP during the summer break.

Prerequisites: Prior knowledge of programming and interest in digital imaging.

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


3/16/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Research Lab for Electronics (RLE)
Faculty Supervisor: Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Project Title: Acoustic phonetic variation in spoken words: perception by machine and by human listeners

Project Description: When we listen to speech, we recognize the words even though their acoustic form varies widely from one utterance to another. These patterns of variation are systematic and depend on the surrounding context. This UROP provides an opportunity to learn and use a system for transcribing surface phonetic variation in word form, as part of a larger project to develop a speech recognition system based on principles of human perceptual processing and linguistics. Additional opportunities for system development and experimental testing of the system are also available.

Background in phonetics/phonology, machine learning or signal processing is desirable but not required---we can train you. 20 hours per week in June-July-August; preliminary training during last half of Spring Term 2016, approx 5 hours per week.

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


3/16/16
Department/Lab/Center: Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lydia Bourouiba

Project Title: Fundamental fluid dynamics and disease transmission

Project Description: Seeking a motivated and driven UROP student interested in both experimental and mathematical modelling to tackle problems at the interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission. The goal is to evaluate how fluids and various forms of pathogens could interact to shape disease transmission in various contexts and populations (human, animal, and plant diseases). Seeking students who are self-motivated, creative, and enthusiastic about 1) problem solving and hands on activities or 2) problem solving and mathematical modeling.

Prerequisites: Interests in art and photography, Matlab, latex, and ImageJ are considered to be a plus. A strong Physics or Math-Physics background and experience or courses in fluid dynamics will be also considered to be strong assets.

URL: lbourouiba.mit.edu

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


3/7/16
Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar

Project Title: Personalized Learning Engine for free test-prep platform for the West African Senior Secondary Certification Exam (WASSCE)

Project Description: The WASSCE is the SATs of West Africa - and for many students, it is a ticket to university, and consequently, a ticket to a well paying job. Private test prep is extremely expensive, and many students end up paying several hundred dollars a year on preparing for the WASSCE. Because of lack of broadband infrastructure, no there s real major online offering for free or low cost test prep in West Africa. dot Learn is a new project started out of MIT, and aimed at making online education accessible in low/no bandwidth settings. dot Learn has developed algorithms to compress online educational content (videos, etc ) up to 10,000x compared to traditional web video. Leveraging this technology, we are piloting a free test prep platform for students in the region. For this project, we are developing a personalized learning engine for students to improve their score on the WASSCE. We are looking for a computer science student, or a student with equivalent programming experience, to help us design a personalized learning engine for our free test prep service.

Prerequisites: The student should be familiar with algorithm theory, optimization and machine learning. Java / Android experience is preferred, and web development skills with the MEAN stack is a plus.

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


3/7/16
Department/Lab/Center: Edgerton Center
Faculty Supervisor: Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar

Project Title: Video Vectorization algorithm for ultra-low bandwidth delivery of online education for base-of-the-pyramid mobile internet users.

Project Description: dot Learn is a new project started out of MIT, and aimed at making online education accessible in low/no bandwidth settings. dot Learn has developed algorithms to compress online educational content (videos, etc ) up to 10,000x compared to traditional web video. We are looking for a computer science student, or a student with equivalent programming experience, to help us create an implementation of this algorithm for an Android fronted.

Prerequisites: Java / Android experience is required, and web development skills with the MEAN stack is a plus.

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


3/7/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Catherine Tucker

Project Title: The targeting and monetization of children in the app economy

Project Description: The app economy allows firms in unprecedented ways to collect data and directly monetize the actions of children. We are exploring how apps that target young children (including toddlers, preschoolers) monetize their offerings. Are they more likely to sell data or rely on in-app payments than regular apps? We also would like to relate the extensiveness of data that is collected by these apps with the comments that they receive on the app store. You can read about some of the policy issues in this space at http://www.campaignlive.com/article/why-marketing-apps-kids-largely-unregulated/1373276

This project is joint work with the Mobile Innovation Center at Stanford: http://mig.stanford.edu/ We need an undergraduate to compile and analyze data from a large database we have collected on both android and iphone apps to answer these questions. To do this the UROP will need to know both Python and have experience with MongoDB (https://www.mongodb.org/). In the ideal world they would also have some experience with natural language processing. I have posted this for the Summer semester but if you are able to start earlier that would be great. This can be for credit or pay. Just specify which you are interested in.

Prerequisites: Must know Python and MongoDB. It would be ideal if you had some experience of natural language processing.

Contact Name: Catherine Tucker
Contact Email: cetucker@mit.edu


3/2/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management (Course 15)
Faculty Supervisor: Thomas W. Malone

Project Title: Establishing Determinants of Idea quality in Citizen Science Open Innovation.

Project Description: The MIT Climate CoLab (climatecolab.org), is a large-scale citizen science project founded at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, with an online community of over 50,000 members, focused on developing ideas for dealing with climate change. This UROP position is aimed to help us research two important questions that will help us in the ongoing design and evolution of the Climate CoLab: what factors lead participants to develop better proposals? And how can we identify the best proposals (out of hundreds, and even thousands of submissions) faster and with fewer resources. These questions are important not only to the Climate CoLab, but also to other organizations such as Google, the X-prize, InnoCentive and many others who run Crowdsourced Innovation challenges, in other to find novel ideas and solutions to tough problems.

Task Description To answer these questions, we need to pull and analyze data from the CoLab database. We therefore seek a student who has experience working with MySQL, who can quickly learn the intricacies of our system, extract data, and help with some slicing, dicing, and analyzing.

Required skills:
- Superb control of SQL
- Experience working with MySQL, spreadsheets (Excel/Google)
- Comfortable working independently in a distributed environment with little guidance

Not required, but a plus: experience with Python and/or Java, experience with R. You will be working with PhD candidates at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, assisting with data extraction and manipulation, and according to your skills, interest, and availability with data analysis and the design of further studies.

Time requirements: Flexible, to be discussed. 5-10 hrs/wk sounds reasonable.

Contact Name: Erik Duhiame
Contact Email: eduhaime@mit.edu


3/2/16
Spring 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies (21 CMS)
Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: Tangible and physical interactions for the hospitality space (prototyping)

Project Description: The MIT Mobile experience lab seeks a part-time UROP or contractor with prototyping skills to work on a cutting edge research project focusing on rethinking consumer loyalty programs for the hospitality industry. The UROP will gain experience with design, rapid prototyping, embedded system implementation and mobile application development. The position can be for pay or for pre-approved academic credit.

Qualification:
1. Product design and fabrication skills including 3D printing and laser cutting (metal fabrication in machine shops would be a plus)
2. Project experience with Arduino programing (Raspberry Pi/LabVIEW would be a plus, wireless module usage with blue tooth or wifi would also be a plus).
3. Programing with C/C++ and Java (mobile development experience on Android or IOS would be a plus).

Responsibility:
1. Participate in concept generation and technical feasibility analysis
2. Fabrication of proposed design with rapid prototyping techniques
3. Embedded system implementation
4. Mobile application development

URL: http://mobile.mit.edu

Contact Name: Yao Tong
Contact Email: tongyao@mit.edu


2/29/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Sea Grant Program
Faculty Supervisor: Chrys Chryssostomidis

Project Title: A bathymetric chart of the lower Charles River by and for recreational boaters

Project Description: The lower Charles River is one of the most heavily-used recreational boating waterways in the country, yet is threatened by sediment deposition. To address this problem, the Charles River Alliance of Boaters (CRAB) has developed a partnership with the MIT Sea Grant College Program to create a chart of the river depth between Science Park and the Watertown Dam, and to monitor changes in the river bottom in the future. The CRAB-MIT Chart Project (http://www.charlesriverallianceofboaters.org/chart.html) will use inexpensive sonar to determine bathymetry and water level loggers to develop a model of the river. The selected student will be directly involved in all aspects of data processing, from field data collection to data preprocessing and qualification to final production of the finished chart in ArcMAP. The UROP will interact with the members of the boating community during this project, as well as personnel of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Lab.

Hours per week: 20-30 hours/week, for pay or credit, Summer 2016 semester

Prerequisites: The student must have ArcMAP\GIS experience, a strong interest in cartography, keen attention to detail, and ability to work independently. Experience with Python or similar scripting language helpful. Small power-boat handling skills and field collection experience are strong pluses.

Contact Name: Michael Sacarny
Contact Email:msacarny@mit.edu


2/29/16
Summer 2016
Department/Lab/Center: Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)
Faculty Supervisor: Wai K. Cheng

Project Title: Friction measurements between piston rings/ skirt and piston liner in a Floating Liner Engine

Project Description: Engine friction is an important contributor to the reduction of the overall efficiency of internal combustion engines. A Floating Liner Engine (FLE) helps us in experimentally determining the friction between the piston rings and skirt and the piston liner. As a UROP, you will help with conducting experiments on the FLE and analyzing the results against the computer simulations developed. Input parameters will include skirt roughness and design, using the three-piece Oil Control Ring and developing a test matrix to suggest new designs to the consortium sponsors.

Contact Name: Sarthak Vaish
Contact Email:svaish6@mit.edu

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