The Media Laboratory (and its associated academic program, Media Arts and Sciences) is housed in buildings E14 and E15 on the east side of campus. Research projects at the Media Lab focus on the interplay of media and computers with communication, human interface, personal expression, and cognition. For example, current research initiatives include: storytelling technologies, personal robotics, music technologies, tangible computing, new camera technologies, civic media, educational technologies, speech interfaces, and many more. The Media Laboratory has traditionally offered a large number and variety of UROP positions. Interested students should contact faculty members in particular research groups directly (see list below).
For general questions and information, contact Bill Tilden (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Media Arts and Sciences headquarters. Follow all UROP procedures for pay or credit.
Faculty Research Descriptions
- Prof. V. Michael Bove Jr., Object-Based Media, E15-448, x3-0334, email@example.com
- We conduct research into the future of electronic visual communication and expression, and ways to make a richer connection among the people at the ends of the system, whether a broadcast system or a peer-to- peer environment. We also develop hardware and software technologies to support the requirements of such a scenario, with particular focus on new input and output technologies (especially 3-D television), advanced interfaces for consumer electronics, and self-organization among smart devices. We are particularly looking for undergraduates with experience in image processing, graphics programming (especially GPU hackery), RF electronics, PC board design, cameras, optics, or user interfaces.
- Prof. Ed Boyden, Neuroengineering & Neuromedia Group, E15-430, x4-3085, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our brains and nervous systems mediate everything we perceive, feel, decide, and do- and act as our ultimate interface to the world. An outstanding challenge for humanity is to understand the brain at a level of abstraction that enables us to engineer its function- repairing pathology, augmenting cognition, and revealing insights into the human condition. We are inventing and applying tools for the analysis and engineering of brain circuits in both humans and model systems, with a current focus on devising technologies for interfacing to specific circuit targets, and controlling the processing within. We hope that our research will help us better understand- and engineer improvements upon- the nature of human existence. Prerequisites: ability to learn quickly and deal with complex information, basic knowledge of PCR/cloning/molecular biology, basic electrical engineering and/or optics knowledge, interest in serving humanity, entrepreneurial spirit and drive, team player and hacker-type.
- Prof. Leah Buechley, High-Low Tech, E14-548L, x3-2870, email@example.com
- The High-Low Tech group integrates high and low technological materials, processes, and cultures. Our primary aim is to engage diverse audiences in designing and building their own technologies by situating computation in new cultural and material contexts, and by developing tools that democratize engineering. We believe that the future of technology will be largely determined by end-users who will design, build, and hack their own devices, and our goal is to inspire, shape, support, and study these communities. To this end, we explore the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design.
- Prof. Hiroshi Ishii, Tangible Media, E14-464F, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Tangible Media Group is working to bridge the gap between the physical world and cyberspace by developing ways to make bits (digital information) accessible through physical surfaces, everyday objects, and ambient media such as light, sound, or air. The goal is to move away from the current model of human-computer interaction (now represented by graphical user interfaces bound to a display, keyboard, and a mouse) and create a new set of "Tangible Interfaces." Tangible Media Group is looking for UROPs with strong programming skills, analog/digital electronics design skills, or machine shop/mechanical engineering experience. Also, anyone with media design experience (web design, video editing, sound design, graphics design, product design, or multimedia database) would be valuable.
- Dr. Henry Lieberman, Software Agents, E15-384A, x3-0315, email@example.com
- The Software Agents Group uses techniques from Artificial Intelligence to improve the Human-Computer interface across a wide range of application areas. Current research concentrates on using Commonsense knowledge -- simple knowledge about people and everyday life -- to provide intelligent defaults in interfaces; to adapt interfaces to users' needs; and to support interaction based on peoples' goals rather than specific functions of hardware or software. We have a number of projects, including, but not limited to: *Collecting and organizing Commonsense knowledge and creating tools for application development; *Natural language and speech interaction; *Easier ways for non-technical users to program and modify software; *Interfaces to consumer electronic devices, phones, other mobile devices; *Personal information management: Calendars, social networking, personal finance, etc. See http://agents.media.mit.edu/
- Prof. Pattie Maes, Fluid Interfaces Group, E14-548G, x3-7442, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The goal of the Fluid Interfaces research group is to radically rethink the way we interact with digital information and services. We design interfaces that are more intuitive and better integrated in our daily physical and social lives. We investigate ways to augment the everyday objects and spaces around us, making them responsive to our attention and actions. We also design new interfaces to facilitate communication and collaboration among small and large groups of people. Interested undergraduates should have an interest in Human-Computer Interaction, have a strong background in EECS, as well as an interest in design, arts and entertainment.
- Prof. Neri Oxman, Mediated Matters, E14-433, x2-5671, email@example.com
- The Mediated Matter group is dedicated to the development and application of novel processes that enable and support the design of physical matter, and its adaptability to environmental conditions in the creation of form. Our research integrates computational form-finding strategies with biologically inspired fabrication. This enables mediating between objects and environment; between humans and objects; and between humans and environment. Our goal is to enhance the relation between natural and man-made environments by achieving high degrees of design customization and versatility, environmental performance integration, and material efficiency. We seek to establish new forms of design and novel processes of material practice at the intersection of computer science, material engineering, design and ecology, with broad applications across multiple scales. We are looking for exceptionally motivated undergraduate students with a strong interest in helping pioneer and advancing bio-inspired
fabrication technologies in construction scales, assigned to specific design environments. Strong technical backgrounds in one or more of the following disciplines is required: Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, CS/EE, Design Computation and Synthetic Biology. Design projects include but are not limited to multi-axes layered manufacturing, CNC weaving and robotic construction with biomaterials.
- Prof. Alex Pentland, Human Design, E15-387, x3-0648, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The human dynamics group focuses How social networks can influence our lives in business heath, and governance, as well as technology adoption and diffusion. This work provides governments and other organizations with better tools for internal management, and better ways to interact with their customers
- Prof. Ramesh Raskar, Camera Culture Group, E14-474G, x3-0329, email@example.com
- Research in Computational imaging, Signal processing, Applied optics, Computer graphics and vision, Medical Imaging, Thermal and ultrasound sensing, Hardware electronics, Art, Online photo collections and Visual social computing.
- Prof. Mitchel Resnick, Lifelong Kindergarten, E14-445A, x3-9783, firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are developing new technologies that enable people (particularly kids) to engage in creative learning activities. Our goal is to empower everyone to design, create, experiment, and explore with new technologies. For example, our Scratch programming language and online community (http://scratch.mit.edu) makes it easy for kids to create and share interactive stories, games, and animations. We also collaborate with the LEGO Company on the development of new robotics construction kits (such as Mindstorms and WeDo). We are looking for UROPs to help in the design, development, and field-testing of these new technologies.
- Mr. Chris Schmandt, Speech Research, E15-355, x3-5156, email@example.com
- Applications, user interfaces, and software architectures to support speech i/o (recognition and synthesis) and digitized speech as a computer data type, integration of computers and telephones, voice mail, and remote information retrieval.
- Ethan Zuckerman, Center for Civic Media, E15-349
- How to create technical and social systems that help communities create, share and act on information.