MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

Current Research: Project Openings

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

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

Available UROPs

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

Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty supervisor: Prof. Antoine Allanore

Project Title: Development of a new type of mineral fertilizer

Project description: We are recruiting up to two students to work in the laboratories headed by Prof. Antoine Allanore within the department of Materials Science and Engineering. We work in collaboration with a mining company with the ultimate goal to provide local sources of fertilizers to agriculture-intensive countries in the southern hemisphere. More specifically:

1) One candidate will be involved in the design, realization and testing of a new type of fertilizer material by working with a high-temperature and high-pressure reactor. Mineral sources abundantly available in the Southern hemisphere will be used as a starting material and various type of processing used. This project suits a chemical engineering student with strong interest in chemical processing and chemistry.

2) One candidate will be involved in the characterization of the materials synthesized above. X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques with interpretation and analysis of crystal structures and morphological features will be an important part of this project. However, use of additional techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-rays Photoelectronic Spectrocopy (XPS) are highly envisaged depending on the interest of the student. This project suits a chemist with strong interest in crystallography and geochemistry.

This UROP will be paid or used for credits depending on the student choice.

Contact: Interested candidates please send a CV and a short cover letter expressing your interest for one of the position to both Dr. Davide Ciceri ( and Dr. Carole Gadois ( Make sure to include in the correspondence also Prof. Antoine Allanore by adding him in CC:

Department/Lab/Center: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Sangeeta Bhatia

Project Title: Disease Modeling in a Liver-on-a-Chip

Project Description: UROP opportunities are available in Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia’s laboratory under the guidance of Harvard-MIT HST student Arnav Chhabra. We are broadly involved in developing in vitro and on chip systems that utilize 3D-engineered tissue scaffolds to help predict liver metabolism and model various liver pathologies. These models are intended to function as reliable platforms for therapeutic testing and can radically enhance the translation of various treatment modalities into human applications. The selected UROP student will not only acquire additional hands-on skills in cell culture, biomaterials, biochemical assays, data analysis, fluorescence microscopy, and microfluidics, but will also have the opportunity to develop mathematical models of liver drug metabolism. Course credit is an option. Additionally, for students considering graduate school, guidance on making this decision and help with the application process will be available if desired. For more information, see

Prerequisites: Successful applicants will have prior research experience (outside of a lab course setting) and a strong interest in biomedical engineering, medicine and microfluidics. Experience with cell culture, molecular biology techniques and/or microfabrication is required. Candidates must be conscientious and self-motivated, possess strong communication skills, be available to start as soon as possible to begin training, and plan to continue through summer 2015 and the following academic year (20-25 hrs/week in the summer and 10-15 hrs/week during the semester). Students willing to commit 1+ year(s) will be preferred.

Contact: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and transcript (unofficial is fine) to Arnav Chhabra (, who will then schedule an in-person interview.

Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty supervisor: Prof. Antoine Allanore

Project Title: Development of a microfluidic device for soil science

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

This UROP will be paid or used for credits depending on the student choice.

Contact: Interested candidates please send a CV and a short cover letter expressing your interest to both Dr. Davide Ciceri ( and Prof. Antoine Allanore (

Department: Chemical Engineering / Koch Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Daniel Anderson

Project Title: Passive and Active Delivery of RNA Therapeutics

Project Description: RNA (siRNA, mRNA, etc.) have therapeutic applications to treat a wide variety of diseases but cannot readily cross the cell membrane to reach their site of action. To deliver RNA in vitro and in vivo, RNA can be encapsulated into nanoparticles (passive delivery) or directed to specific cell types with targeting ligands (active delivery). This project will explore and develop both types of delivery systems.

This project will involve the UROP student learning and performing the following experiments, among others: in vitro cell culture, RNA characterization/purification, nanoparticle characterization/purification, gel electrophoresis, basic chemical reactions.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with chemistry, biology and basic lab calculations (unit conversions, dilutions, etc.); ability to troubleshoot; independent worker; willing to read literature. Interest in potentially working for more than 1 semester is a plus. I cannot offer funding.

Contact: Please contact Kevin Kauffman ( with a CV.

Department: Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC)
Faculty Supervisor: Leslie Bromberg

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

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

Contact: Leslie Bromberg (

Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Patrick Doyle

Project Title: Development of Cell-Mimicking Synthetic Hydrogel Microparticles

Project Description:
We use stop-flow lithography (SFL) to fabricate biocompatible and responsive microparticles with independent control over size, shape, material chemistry, and surface functionality. We are investigating the use of these particles for applications in bioassays and drug delivery, as well as to study interactions between synthetic particles and biological environments. We are also interested in self-assembling particles of different shapes into mesoscale structures capable of bearing mechanical stress. The student will have the opportunity to design, synthesize, and characterize particles, study their flow behavior in microfluidic channels and microvascular networks, and investigate particle-cell interactions.

Engineering student with prior laboratory experience, interested in research. Available to start Fall 2014 for credit or pay (willing to commit at least 10 hours a week).

Contact: Please email Lilian Hsiao (lchsiao@MIT.EDU) and Lynna Chen ( with your CV

Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Andrew W. Lo

Project Title: Developing a financial software tool to measure and monitor systemic risk

Project Description: The MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering (LFE) and the Consortium for Systemic Risk Analytics (CSRA) are jointly working on a “systemic risk dashboard” to produce and publish live financial analytics for risk management. The goal is to provide real-time assessment of the systemic risk in the market. Building upon prior research, we are working to create a framework to monitor the financial system using real-time data aggregation and analysis. The main purpose of our framework will be to measure attributes at periodic intervals, and outputting a measurement of risk.

The dashboard has a classic 3-tier client server architecture; technologies currently in use include: Heroku platform, PostGreSQL, Python, and JavaScript (with Bootstrap framework).

Responsibilities: Develop software; work closely with project manager to understand the project requirements and priorities; able to devote an average of 10 hours per week and to participate in weekly status meetings (1 hour).

Preferred skills/knowledge: Background in computer science/programming; working knowledge of finance and financial concepts; strong analytical skills; familiarity with Github or another source control system a plus.

Contact: Please send statement of interest, unofficial grade transcript, and resume to Jayna Cummings,

Fall 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Edward Schiappa

Project title: Documenting Humanities Research Through Narrative Video

Project Description: Comparative Media Studies/Writing is investigating methods for the presentation of humanities research through narrative video. The UROP will become part of a year-long project to account for and test approaches that higher education has taken -- or can take -- to communicating the work of humanities scholars in a medium thus far largely dominated by the sciences and fine arts.

In the first semester, the UROP will 1) examine the production process and visual rhetoric of existing narrative videos produced by schools, non-profits, and foundations focused on the humanities, including interviews with a sample of those videos' creators, and 2) begin pre-production on several videos combining best practices that emerge from this initial research.

In the second semester, the UROP will assist in the end-to-end production of those videos and early tracking of their viewership, with a final research product being a jointly authored piece, appropriate for an audience such as administrators of the National Communications Association, describing the state of narrative video for the humanities and recommendations for humanities programs around best practices, capacity-building, and necessary resources.

This for-credit UROP for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 will require approximately 6 hours per week. The student should have experience with digital video equipment, lighting, audio, and Final Cut Pro. Past coursework in media studies is preferred but not required.

Contact: Andrew Whitacre,

Fall 2014
Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Juan Pablo Vielma

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

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

Prerequisites: Familiarity with mathematical optimization at the level of 15.053 or 15.058. Strong programming and/or writing skills. Experience with Julia is helpful but not required.

Contact: Please contact Azadeh Mirbod,

Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Lydia Bourouiba

Project title: Interface of 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. Some interest 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 assets.

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

Department: Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Ali Khademhosseini

Project Title: Google Glass Assisted Biomedical Data Acquisition and Analysis

Project Description:
The past decade has witnessed rapid development and expansion on the use of smart, compact, and portable electronic devices such as iPhone and touchpads. These devices enable wireless telecommunications among remote parties, and have thus been exploited for their potential in a wide spectrum of biomedical applications, from bench-top image and signal processing, to point-of-care diagnosis and surgical aids. However, one critical limitation on such applications is the required use of touch/gesture-based control. One promising solution, the wearable Google Glass, perfectly solves such issue by packing together a voice-controlled computing system with imaging and videotaping capabilities. Together with the on-screen display and wireless features the Glass becomes a powerful tool, allowing data acquisition/processing, and wireless communication with remote parties, all in a hands-free manner. As a pioneer in testing the Google Glass, our lab seeks to develop various functions for it based on our own research, including, but not limited to, miniature microscope for monitoring cell behavior in a microfluidic bioreactor, organ-on-a-chip platforms with continual electrochemical sensing of secreted biomarkers, and a smart wound dressing system. We have a dynamic and multi-disciplinary team trying to tackle these issues. Join us and a set of Google Glass will be provided to you for the research work.

Prerequisite and Requirements:
The candidate(s) should hold strong background in programming, specifically, JAVA and Android Development Tools (ADT) for Android operating systems, and/or Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE) Xcode and Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS, and LabVIEW. Experience in MATLAB and other languages will be additional advantages.

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

Department: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Klavs Jensen

Project Title: Catalytic hydrogenation in continuous flow system for pharmaceutical application and mass transfer study

Project Description: With continuous flow system, pharmaceutical processes can reach a new level of productivity. Many leading companies in the pharmaceutical industry are currently leveraging the potential of continuous production and are introducing continuous manufacturing into their facilities.

This project is funded by Novartis. The goal of this research project is to explore the catalytic hydrogenation performance, mass transfer and heat transfer in a micro-scale packed bed reactor and then scale-up. Currently, ?-methylstyrene hydrogenation is used as a model reaction to examine the mass transfer rate in the gas-liquid-sold three phase reactor in a co-current up-flow mode. The next step is to further study the mass transfer behavior of packed-bed reactor in different operation mode (e.g. down-flow), under various flow conditions, and with different packing materials. On top of the mass transfer study, a self-designed pharmaceutically relevant substrate will be applied for the selective hydrogenation study. Student will be expected to prepare chemical components, flow system operation, chemical analytics, and perform general cleaning and maintenance tasks. Student will get direct hands-on mentoring. A great opportunity to gain familiarity with chemical processes, chemical engineering fundamentals and chemical laboratory experience.

Prerequisites: Student with engineering or science major is required. Chemical engineering major is preferred. Student should be self-motivated, willing to commit time for lab-work and interested in research. Lab experience is a plus. Commitment to both Summer and Fall is welcome and preferred.

Contact: Please email Dr. Cuixian(Trisha) Yang ( with questions or to request a brief interview if interested.

Fall 2014
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Christian Catalini

Project Title: Big Data Research on Crowdfunding and Entrepreneurship

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

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

Specifically, we have two types of UROP positions:

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

Position #2: Candidates with strong programming skills in scripting languages (such as Python), machine learning, knowledge of intermediate statistics (e.g., regression analysis), and experience with statistical tools (such as STATA or R). Responsibility for this position include (a) writing code to collect data from a variety of sources; (b) managing and analyzing data using statistical software.

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

Contact: Please email Arvind Karunakaran ( and Cc: Christian Catalini ( with your resume/CV. Also, please include your availability to meet.

Department/Lab/Center: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Cynthia Breazeal

Project Title: Evaluating social robots as learning companions.

Project Description: Social robots are used as learning/teaching companions for young children. We develop social robots that can play and collaborate with children to teach language skills or programming. For this project, we seek someone to develop, run, and analyze user studies with preschool-age children that evaluate these robots.

We are seeking a motivated, hard-working summer UROP who would like to understand how technology can impact children's early education.

The project will include developing study protocols, preparing study materials, recruiting subjects, running experiments with children and robots (data collection), and data organization and analysis. This is an opportunity to learn about research in human-robot interaction. You'll gain experience running user studies and prototyping experimental designs.

- Must be comfortable working with young children
- Knowledge in cognitive science or psychology, and a love of technology
- Must be comfortable using technology - running studies requires handling robots

About us: More about the Personal Robots Group at the media lab can be found at:

Contact: To join, please contact Michal Gordon (

Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Tauhid Zaman

Project Title: Information Diffusion Dynamics in Twitter

Project Description: This is a project focused on developing predictive models for information diffusion in social networks such as Twitter. The vast amount of data posted on modern social networking sites is revealing fundamental models of human communication dynamics. We would like to study large amounts of data from one site, Twitter, to understand what models govern information diffusion and use these models to predict what is on the verge of going viral and what will die out.

Responsibilities: The project will involve searching a database of over 10 billion tweets for trending topics. The tweets associated with a trending topic need to processed into temporal data (when the tweets occurred) and network data (who retweeted who, who follows who, etc). We wish to construct a large number of these "structured datasets" for trending topics and then use them to develop models of Twitter dynamics.

Prerequisites: An interest in big data and intermediate programming skills. Should be familiar Python, probability, and Twitter.

Contact: Please contact Professor Tauhid Zaman,

Department/Lab/Center: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Tauhid Zaman

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

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

Responsibilities: The project will involve crawling online websites and social media platforms such as Weibo for various types of information, including commodity prices, relevant news stories, and other unstructured data. The data collected from these sites will then have put into structured databases for further analysis.

Prerequisites: An interest in big data and intermediate programming skills. Should be familiar with web-crawling and databases.

Contact: Please contact Professor Tauhid Zaman,

Department: Biological Engineering/Koch Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Langer

Project Description: The general field here in non-linear optics, which is a branch of physics and physical chemistry. Specifically, we will be measuring and analyzing surface specific sum frequency generation vibrational spectra, primarily looking at buried polymer-liquid interfaces. These data will be used to guide biomaterial design.

Prerequisites: This project requires a general sense of being comfortable with physics and math. Data analysis and interpretation will be a major focus of the work. As a result, it may be useful to be familiar with some mathematical analysis software, of your choice.

Contact: Dr. Roger L. York (

Summer 2014
Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Wanda Orlikowski

Project Title: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Platform-based Ecosystems

Project Description: Platforms are increasingly becoming prevalent in many markets, ranging from software operating systems and search engines to electric vehicles, cloud computing, smart grids and more. Popular examples include Apple iOS (and its iTunes appstore), Google Android (and its Google Play appstore), Salesforce’s (and its AppExchange appstore) and more. Increasingly, many companies – not just the ones in the software domain – are establishing and opening up “platforms” to allow users, app developers, and third-party entrepreneurs to tinker and build complementary applications (e.g. Ford’s OpenXC platform).
An important aspect of platforms is that they allow third-party complementors – ranging from established firms to nascent entrepreneurs – to innovate via enabling them build extensions and complementary applications. These platforms are said reduce barriers to entry and provide a fertile ground for new firm creation, offering entrepreneurs with access to a customer base, variety of technological toolkits, channels for marketing and brand-building and more.
The purpose of this research is twofold: (a) to understand how open platforms actually emerge, how they evolve over time, and how an ecosystem of users, app developers, and entrepreneurs galvanize around the platform; (b) to unpack various types of challenges and tensions faced by entrepreneurs who build their business around platforms and examine why some entrepreneurs are able to successfully navigate these challenges, while others are not able to. If you are interested in getting hands-on experience in social science research and data analysis, this would be a great learning opportunity.

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

The ideal candidate is a highly motivated student with strong programming, data analysis, and data management skills and a sincere interest in the phenomena of platforms, appstores, and ecosystems.

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

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

Department: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Faculty Supervisor: Tanja Bosak

Project Title: Cryogenian Microfossils

Project Description:
Interested in finding evidence of ancient glaciations? We are looking for a student (summer UROP) to investigate Cryogenian microfossils extracted from ~600 million year old rocks. The student will be responsible for prepping and dissolving rock samples as well as completing extensive microscopy work in order to identify and isolate fossil material.

Implications: Earth experienced at least two glaciation events during the Cryogenian (~850-635 Ma). By identifying microfossils present throughout this time, we will gain a better understanding of how these organisms (e.g. ciliates, testate amoebae) responded to global climate change.

Contact: Sharon Newman (

Department: Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Faculty Supervisor: Suzanne Lane

Project description: Developing online, interactive modules to support communication instruction in Engineering Project Labs. This is the first major research and development project of the new Writing, Rhetoric and Professional Communication program (formerly Writing across the Curriculum) aimed at developing the conceptual framework of a Professional Communication curriculum to be used within MIT residential education.

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

Key qualifications:
· Experience with Javascript, Python, HTML;
· Interest in professional communication and online education;
· Ability to work in an multidisciplinary team;
· Ability to meet deadlines and work independently

Contact: Suzanne Lane (

Department/Lab/Center: STS
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Louis Bucciarelli

Project Title: Investigating the Establishment of a Liberal Studies in Engineering Bachelor of Arts Program

Project Description: Seeking a summer UROP student to research colleges and universities to approach regarding the establishment of an innovative Bachelor of Arts degree program in "Liberal Studies in Engineering." The program's core idea is: Take exemplary, substantive content of the “traditional” undergraduate engineering program - the engineering sciences, the laboratory tests, the design projects - and subject this to study from the perspectives of the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Topics for research include:

Some Python skills/experience is desirable, but not required.

Paid Summer UROP Position

Contact: Interested students should contact Professor Louis Bucciarelli at:

Department/Lab/Center: Broad Institute
Faculty Supervisor: Aviv Regev

Project Title: Functional interpretation of genetic data in congenital diaphragmatic hernia using biological networks

Project Description: The rapid improvements in our ability to interrogate genomes for variation associated with diseases, has lead to an explosion in genomic data. Systematically assigning function to variants in these large datasets, and understanding how variation in different genes converge on functional molecular networks, remains a major challenge. This limits our progress towards biological insight and therapeutic intervention. The specific goal of this UROP project is to participate in a team that develops large-scale computational methods to functionally interpret genomic data from patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia – a relatively common and very severe birth defects seen in our neonatal units - using biological networks (i.e., networks in which genes are connected if they are functionally associated in some experimental system). A dozen biological networks exist in the public domain that have been generated by weaving together data from tens of thousands of experiments and the student will analyze data from patients at Massachusetts General Hospital by combining genetic pipelines (e.g., the genome analysis tool kit [GATK]) and a network-based computational approach. Moreover, he/she will be part of at team that is developing a next-generation web platform for analyzing genetic data using biological networks at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. A pilot version of the pipeline is already being used widely in the genomics community and the student will have the opportunity to interact with disease experts, biologists, computer scientists, computational biologists and software developers. The student is expected to continue after the summer in the fall semester and the project can lead to scientific publications.

The project will be mainly supervised by Kasper Lage (Director of Bioinformatics & Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School); and co-supervised by Dr. Patricia K. Donahoe (Director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories, and Marshall K. Bartlett Professor, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital); and Aviv Regev (Director, Klarman Cell Observatory, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Associate Professor of Biology, MIT).

- Highly motivated student in computer science, bioinformatics, computational biology or the likes.
- An interest in the genetics of birth defects, common disorders and cancers.
- Strong computational skills in R, Perl, C++, Python or Java.
- The desire to work in a cross-disciplinary team that includes clinicians, biologists, and computational experts.
- Knowledge about biology and genetics is a plus, but not a must.

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

Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Course 16), Mathematics (Course 18)
Faculty Supervisors: Prof. Karen Willcox, Prof. Haynes R. Miller

Project Title: Crosslinks: an MIT-wide wiki initiative to help students learn by linking connections amongst topics and aggregating learning resources

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

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

At least, it will be. That’s why we are seeking an enthusiastic student interested in education to help seed Crosslinks with initial content. You are a good fit if you like to read up on classes, review learning material and are a rising sophomore or beyond.

Responsibilities: You will be the initial seeder of Crosslinks and gain “first-person-there” glory when we launch Crosslinks (public beta) in Spring 2015. You will identify key topics that cut across subjects at MIT, pinpoint the relationships among these topics and map out where in the MIT curriculum they are taught and used. You will also search for and identify good learning resources for each topic.

As Crosslinks progresses and gain user adoption, you will engage in UX (user experience) analysis: you will analyze usage data, asking questions to hone in on user personas, determine the reasons behind user activity patterns and draw conclusions from findings to help improve Crosslinks.

You will work with Prof. Willcox, Prof. Miller and Crosslinks’ technology lead (Luwen Huang) on content creation, direction and usability experiments.

Commitment: Hours are flexible; 20 hours per week preferred for Summer and 10 hours per week preferred for Fall.

Start date: is flexible; preferred start in late July/early August with continuance through Fall 2014.

Contact: Interested students are asked to email Prof. Willcox ( and Prof. Miller ( with their resumes

Department: Sloan School of Management
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Jared Curhan

Project Title: Cultural Differences in Negotiation

Project Description: Sloan faculty member and doctoral student seek UROP for pay, for credit, or as a volunteer during summer (effective immediately) with a high likelihood of continuation for pay or credit in Fall semester of 2015. UROP student would serve as a Research Assistant for studies on the dynamics of negotiation. In particular, we're interested in cultural differences in when individuals feel it is appropriate to negotiate and how that affects negotiation outcomes.

Seeking a student to run experimental sessions among groups comprised of 2-20 people per group. In addition to collecting data, the student would also provide other project support as needed. Weekly time commitment during summer is roughly 20-30 hours per week (can be flexible), and during Fall semester is roughly 10-15 hours per week.

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

To Apply: Interested students should e-mail Heather Yang at Your e-mail should include a copy of your resume and a brief note indicating your background, interests, year in school, major, and any relevant experience. Also, please indicate whether you would prefer course credit or pay in Fall 2014. Finally, please provide a list of ALL courses you have taken at MIT (course number and name, organized by year) and the final grade you received in each course. (A copy of your official transcript may be requested at a later date.)

Department: Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (LMP)
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Karl Iagnemma

Project Description: We are looking for a student to explore and develop machine learning methods for detecting incipient embedding of a Mars rover driving in soft soils, as part of a NASA-sponsored project. The student would analyze data collected from flight-spare rover wheels (from both the MER and MSL rovers) operating in a Mars soil simulant developed at MIT. The student would then develop Matlab-based methods for supervised and unsupervised classification of the data, to detect when a wheel is undergoing dangerous slippage conditions.

Requirements: Candidate must be strong in:
- Matlab
- Clustering or classification methods (ideal requirement, not absolutely required if the student is willing to learn!)
- Must also have good writing and communication skills

Contact: Please send your resume/CV and brief statement of interest to both Karl Iagnemma ( and Carmine Senatore (

Department: Aero/Astro
Faculty Supervisor: Professor Jonathan How

Project Description: The Aerospace Controls Lab (ACL) is looking for a summer UROP to aid graduate students with a variety of research tasks, including testing the Robotic Operating System (ROS) infrastructure on a Windows-linux architecture, working with a new technology for visualization of belief-space for planning algorithms, hands-on testing of code for control and landing of quadcopters, and a number of other computer simulations and hardware experiments for planning and decision-making algorithms.

-programming experience, including familiarity with C/C++ and perhaps python
-experience working with Linux
-would be nice to have previous experience with ROS
-would be nice to have previous experience with robotics (control and coding)

Contact: If interested, please contact

Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Pattie Maes

Project Description: We are looking for you to help with an exciting research project at the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group ( This is a high profile project with a lot of media coverage and industrial collaborators. Please visit for more information. This is a paid summer UROP position.

The Smarter Objects project consists of two different platforms at this point. One on which we research our interactions, and one experimental version that has many functioning explorations but is not a full working system. You will help us to find solutions how to combine our explorations into a new Smarter Objects version. This version will be the foundation for all future research on Smarter Objects.

Candidate must be strong in:
- Javascript
- ObjectiveC
- C++

Good to have:
- Node.js
- OpenGL
- Arduino
- TCP/IP and UDP low lever Networking
- OpenFrameworks

Contact: Please send your resume and portfolio to Valentin Markus Josef Heun (

Department: Media Lab
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Pattie Maes

Project Description: We are looking for you to help with an exciting research project at the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group ( This is a high profile project with a lot of media coverage and industrial collaborators. Please visit for more information. This is a paid summer UROP position.

We want to research simple backends for connected objects. Your role will be to learn about the frameworks and technologies that we use and help us to change a server based backend into a peer to peer based backend. We will use the Intel Galileo platform and node.js for all explorations.

Requirements: Candidate must be strong in:
- node.js
- low level tcp/ip and udp knowhow
- linux

Contact: Please send your resume and portfolio to Valentin Markus Josef Heun (

Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Nicholas Fang

Project Title: Measurement and visualization of acoustic fields in metamaterials

Project Description: Do you recall seeing tiny beads flying in Kundt’ tubes under travelling sound waves? Are you curious about what happens when a wine glass is broken by sound from a loud speaker? In this project we are seeking an UROP student who will assist us in measurement of velocity and pressure fields inside a daisy chain of Helmholtz resonators filled with water or other liquids. These measurements will be compared then with the results based on a complete theoretical description of wave propagation. These structures will be used as novel medium for application in underwater acoustics and ultrasounds, for instance, in acoustic superlensing, imaging, cloaking, and noise isolation.

The UROP will participate in the design of the samples as well as their experimental characterization. For that, the UROP should be comfortable with experimental work and therefore familiar with the laboratory equipment: oscilloscope, generator, acoustic emitter/receiver, translation stage and Matlab. A good understanding of fluid mechanics and thermodynamics are highly desired.

Dates: We expect the project to start as soon as possible (Summer and Fall 2014, IAP 2015).

Contact: Interested students are asked to email Prof. Nicholas Fang ( or Dr. Navid Nemati ( with your CV.

Department: Center for Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Supervisor: Annete Hosoi

Project description: Photographing Science and Engineering for an MITx MOOC. We are developing photographic content for our tutorials showing how to photograph various materials and devices in research. It's going to be an amazing course.

Responsibility: You will work directly with course instructor and developer Felice Frankel. The project will focus on a hand's on approach to making images in science and engineering. We are emphasizing the imaging of details within the tutorials. Therefore, you mostly will be photographing small things (devices)=macro. Perhaps some micro (tbd). We will also need help in archiving research information, relevant to each image.

Pre-requisites: It would be terrific if you are REALLY interested in photography and have more than a superficial knowledge. We will want to see 5-8 images of anything you want to show off . Showing us your ability in macro work will help us see how you see.

Contact: Felice Frankel

Department/Lab/Center: Center for Transportation & Logistics
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Chris Caplice

Project description: Supply chain management is one of the fastest growing global jobs right now. The Center for Transportation & Logistics works with more than 40+ companies to assist them in the design and management of their supply chains and logistics systems. As part of its efforts here and on the educational front, CTL is creating an online course on supply chain management. We are looking for a few solid UROPs to join our team in the development and launch of the first of a series of supply chain management online courses as part of MITx. The UROPs will work directly with me (Dr. Chris Caplice) and others to build this course and eventually launch it across the globe.

Pre-requisites: Basic math skills coupled with curiosity and energy to help us create a world-class program. Any business background is preferred and some skill with Python or some sort of programming is a very nice to have.

Contact: Dr. Chris Caplice (, 617-258-7975



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