UROP Research Opportunities

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) cultivates and supports research partnerships between MIT undergraduates and faculty. If you have any questions please contact tluongo@csail.mit.edu or take a look at the How to UROP at CSAIL document (pdf format).  

This program is available to MIT students only.

  • Automatic and Sound Caching for Web Applications

    Ur/Web is a specialized programming language for SQL-database-backed Web applications. Often, to maximize performance, programmers manually write code to cache results of common database queries, within the application. Mistakes in this code can introduce all sorts of zany bugs. The proposed project is to implement a compiler optimization that automatically finds and implements caching opportunities.

    Contact Adam Chlipala at adamc@csail.mit.edu for more information.

    Posted date: March 10, 2014
  • Computer Theorem-Proving for Undergrad CS Education

    We are building web-based software to teach courses centered on mathematical proofs. The idea is to build an IDE usable by MIT freshmen, where it is possible to state and prove mathematical theorems, such that the system catches logical errors, much in the way that a programming IDE catches syntax or type errors. Our backend is the Coq proof assistant software, which is based on functional programming; but we want to build something much more accessible to newcomers than the common Coq interfaces. There are many opportunities to work on the general infrastructure (which is implemented in...

    Posted date: March 10, 2014
  • Next-Generation Stellar Replacement in a Fancy Programming Language

    We are working on building a replacement for MIT's Stellar system, with more customization options and generally more neat stuff. We're using Ur/Web, a new functional programming language that supports unusual modularity features. The idea is that static type-checking will validate the reasonableness of the feature mash-up associated with each new class. There are many opportunities to test the limits of our architecture by implementing new feature plugins, which involves coming up with very expressive interfaces using static types. Contact Adam Chlipala at...

    Posted date: March 10, 2014
  • RAs and UROPs in Mobile Computing and Educational Technology

    The Center for Mobile Learning has Spring 2014 RAs and UROP slots for work in mobile computing and education. The research involves MIT App Inventor, a Web-based development environment for creating original apps for Android smartphones and tablets. The system is intended for people without programming experience, such as high school and middle school students, college non-computer science students, and hobbyists.

    Our group run a large-scale public Web service, with 3,000,...

    Posted date: December 10, 2013
  • A short-throw black-board camera

    The goal of this UROP is to create a camera that can record writing on a black board from a very short distance. For this, we will use the optics of a short-throw projector and will replace the projecting element by a camera. UROP candidates should not be afraid of tinkering with hardware and have basic notions of optics.

    Contact fredo@graphics.csail.mit.edu for more information.

    Posted date: September 24, 2013
  • Development of a "blended" (classroom and online) course in China on Evolutionary Processes, Systems and Computation

    How do you create a novel and interesting course in Computer Science with a scalable global delivery?

    In collaboration with Shantou University in China we are developing a "blended" (classroom and online) course on Evolutionary Processes, Systems and Computation. The first week will be taught in China, then 8 weeks are taught online and finally the last week is taught in China. The course aims are:
    - To extend the students understanding of evolutionary processes, systems and computation.
    - To expose the students to new or non-conventional ways of learning, given their...

    Posted date: September 09, 2013
  • Mining the edX data

    UROP - CSAIL, ALFA group

    Faculty Supervisor: Una-May O-Reilly

    We are looking for 2-3 UROPs for the fall, hopefully extending to a longer research partnership. We are a part of the ALFA group in CSAIL. We are doing data mining, analytics on large amounts of data emanating from massive open online courses, MOOCs (edX primarily and possibly coursera). We have spent about a year organizing and getting data. We are starting a few projects to build analytics framework to easily query and visualize this data. We...

    Posted date: August 28, 2013
  • MIT MERS Lab Summer UROP

    The MIT MERS Lab is currently working on designing algorithms and architectures for information gathering missions using multiple vehicles under time and safety constraints. We are seeking 1-2 UROP students for paid positions during the summer of 2013 to develop demonstrations of these technologies in both simulation and real hardware with air, and potentially ground, vehicles. Contact Pedro Santana psantana@mit.edu for more information.

    Posted date: May 07, 2013
  • 3D Print Preview

    Our group is building a novel, multi-material 3D printer with a modular hardware architecture and an extensive software stack that will allow both expert and novice users to fully exploit its printing potential. We seek a student to help implement a "print preview" feature that would allow for a rapid simulation of the print results before launching a 3D print. Print preview can dramatically improve the productivity of 3D printing since a typical 3D print takes hours or even days and uses high quantities of expensive materials. The perfect candidate would have taken 6.837 (...

    Posted date: May 01, 2013
  • 3D TV

    Three-dimensional TV that does not require glasses is expected to be the next revolution in the history of television. Our group is building novel systems that allow for real-time acquisition, transmission, and 3D display of dynamic scenes. We seek a student to help us with development of algorithms and software for scalable processing of 3D video. The perfect candidate would have taken 6.837 (Computer Graphics) or 6.815/6.865 (Digital & Computational Photography). Contact: Please, send questions or application with CV to Wojciech Matusik (...

    Posted date: May 01, 2013
  • Modeling and Material Design for 3D Printing

    Our group is building a novel, multi-material 3D printer with a modular
    hardware architecture and an extensive software stack that will allow both
    expert and novice users to fully exploit its printing potential. We seek a
    student to help us refine and further develop our software stack by creating
    user cases that will push the limits of what our 3D printer can do. You will
    use a modeling package to 3D model or improve an existing model, design and
    implement the material composition of the object and 3D print the results on
    a suite of 3D printers...

    Posted date: April 08, 2013
  • Scalable 3D Printing

    Our group is building a novel, multi-material 3D printer with a modular
    hardware architecture and an extensive software stack that will allow both
    expert and novice users to fully exploit its printing potential. We seek a
    student to help us dramatically improve the scalability and performance of
    our software stack by optimizing the scheduling of our 3D printer,
    parallelizing components of our architecture and modifying our internal
    compiler to generate SIMD/vector code. The ideal candidate would have taken
    6.035 (Computer Language Engineering) or/...

    Posted date: April 08, 2013
  • User Experience Design for Multi-Material 3D Printing

    Additive manufacturing and 3D printing exhibit great potential for
    dramatically reducing cost and turn around time for fabricating highly
    personalized objects. It also allows fabrication of materials with
    non-traditional internal structures that are difficult or impossible to
    manufacture with traditional manufacturing techniques. However, current
    commercial 3D printers ship with inadequate software that does not allow for
    the user to fully exploit their capabilities. Our group is building an
    extensive software suite for designing materials with...

    Posted date: April 08, 2013
  • Cloud computing for bioinformatics.

    he recent increase in quantity and complexity of high-throughput sequencing has made high-performance distributed computing important. This UROP would involve helping to design and implement a flexible high-performance computing infrastructure that can utilize both high-memory local compute clusters along with massively parallel cloud computing instances. Existing framework in our lab consists of a preliminary hybrid cluster architecture that opportunistically utilizes amazon ec2 nodes, as well as analysis tools which have been created to utilize primarily ec2 nodes. Our goal is to...

    Posted date: April 05, 2013
  • Computational yeast genetics

    Exploration of algorithms for model systems genetics, focusing on yeast. This study will use new high-throughput data from multiple sources to examine the inner workings of the cell. Depending on student interest, the project could focus more on the genetic history of a large population or specific questions of transcriptional regulation in a few individuals.

    Contact: Professor David Gifford, gifford@csail.mit.edu

    Posted date: April 05, 2013
  • Grammatical structure in developmental protein/DNA binding

    Cells choose their identity as a result of combinatorial expression of proteins called transcription factors that bind to specific DNA sequences and turn on and off sets of genes. Our understanding of this cellular programming is rudimentary, but a more complete characterization could enable the conversion of one cell type into another with transformative therapeutic consequences. We have devised a machine learning technique that identifies the genomic binding location of a large number of transcription factors in a given cell state based on an experimental dataset called DNase-Seq, and we...

    Posted date: April 05, 2013
  • Mechanisms of master regulator hand-off during red blood cell development

    So-called master regulators are transcription factor proteins whose individual expression can effect a change in cell identity by either directly co-binding with other factors to target specific gene regulation sites, or through the activation of broad signaling pathways. However, what precipitates the transition from one master-regulated state to another is typically not as well understood. For example, during the developmental transition from hematopoietic stem cells to red blood cells the Gata2 master regulator gives way to Gata1, binding different genomic sites despite their...

    Posted date: April 05, 2013
  • Reference-free genomics

    2 Developing and measuring algorithms for improved genomic studies. This project will use recently collected data that can improve on the standard and monolithic reference genomes that are currently employed. This project will seek to advance beyond that limitation and measure possible improvements on a wide variety of important experimental techniques.

    Contact: Professor David Gifford, gifford@csail.mit.edu

    Posted date: April 05, 2013
  • From Mockup to Web App: Building the Next-Generation Web Template Language

    Faculty Advisor: David Karger
    Mentor(s): Ted Benson
    Contact e-mail: karger@mit.edu
    Research Area(s): Graphics and Human-Computer Interfaces
    Think web frameworks like Node and Backbone are cool? Then help us develop the future of web templates. We are working on a web template language ( http://www.treesheets.org/ ) that continues to have benefits long after the page is rendered, including: rich copy-and-paste of...

    Posted date: April 04, 2013
  • Information Scraps, Quick Notetaking, and Personal Information Organization

    Faculty Advisor: David Karger
    Contact e-mail: karger@mit.edu
    Research Area(s): Graphics and Human-Computer Interfaces
    Our lives are filled with small, random scraps of information that seem to have no natural home. Where do we put them, and how do we find them later? We've created List.it (Link ), a fast, lightweight browser extension for capturing and organizing such scraps. Listit has over 25,000 active users who have recorded...

    Posted date: April 04, 2013