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.


  • Spoken Language Interface

    This project involves the development of speech interfaces for mobile
    devices.  Members of the CSAIL Spoken Language Systems group are
    developing speech and language processing technologies that enable
    natural conversational interaction between humans and machines.  This
    urop project would be suitable for the student interested in
    developing intuitive human computer interfaces on mobile devices that
    enable speech, text, and touch as input modalities.  Depending on
    their particular skill-set and interests, the superurop would be...

    Posted date: March 12, 2015
  • Information Access using Natural Language

    The InfoLab group at CSAIL seeks students interested in investigating and creating natural language tools for artificial intelligence. The InfoLab works on question answering, parsing, generating, and more, using both symbolic and statistical techniques. The START question answering system (http://start.csail.mit.edu) provides advanced access to information on the Web and in other databases via natural language. Introductory projects range from integrating knowledge sources to expanding automated methods to...

    Posted date: March 10, 2015
  • Accountable Systems Research

    The traditional approach to privacy has been to prevent access to sensitive information. However, this does not prevent information leaks by those authorized to access it or by being inferred from public data. As an alternative, accountability is a means through we can address appropriate use. Information accountability makes the use of information transparent so it is possible to determine whether a particular use is appropriate under a given set of rules and that the system enables individuals and institutions to be held accountable for misuse. 
    We are developing tools and...
    Posted date: March 10, 2015
  • Common Robot Models and Interfaces for Resilient Space Systems

    Faculty Advisor: Brian Williams

    The Model-based Embedded and Robotic Systems (MERS) group is currently working with the California Institute of Technology, the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) on a project called Resilient Space Systems. The project relies upon model-based reasoning in order to come up with a course of action for the spacecraft which does not exceed a user-specified risk bound. Thus, good models are one of the core building blocks of the RSS project.

    The goal of this project is to...

    Posted date: March 10, 2015
  • UROPs in Human Computer Interaction, Information Management, and Social Media

    The Haystack group develops tools that help people do a better job managing the information they care about: personal information, collaborative information, and social information.  We apply techniques from user interface design, databases, and machine learning in tools that help people visualize data, organize information scraps, annotate online course materials, share content with friends, design web sites, hold better online discussions, and build web applications without programming.  A list of ongoing projects can be found at...

    Posted date: December 10, 2014
  • Analysis of Large Medical Imaging Datasets and Genetics


    We have an UROP availability to help in the development of new algorithms for analysis on large-scale clinical datasets.  Large clinical image collections offer new opportunities for extracting clinically relevant knowledge, but also present challenges due to lower quality of images. Their analysis has many applications in population studies and clinical practice. The project will involve learning and developing algorithms and machine learning techniques to improve image quality and automatically segment and analyze clinical...
    Posted date: September 30, 2014
  • The Bedrock Project: A New Software Platform with Integrated Formal Verification and Synthesis

    The Programming Languages and Verification Group is working on a number of research directions within the Bedrock project.  Briefly, Bedrock is about reimagining the software development process to take advantage of machine-checked mathematical proofs at every stage -- we aim for the highest levels of rigor in showing that programs really do what they ought to do.  Bedrock exists within the Coq proof assistant, drawing on ideas from such fields as functional...

    Posted date: September 22, 2014
  • Research Opportunities for MIT Students in Educational Technology and Mobile Computing

    Research Opportunities for MIT Students in Educational Technology and Mobile Computing

    The MIT Center for Mobile Learning (a joint project of CSAIL and the Media Lab) has fall 2014 RAs and UROP positions 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, including high school and middle school students, college non-computer science students, and hobbyists.

    Our group runs a large-...

    Posted date: August 14, 2014
  • THink: Investigating Cognition

    Human cognition is frequently explored with a variety of tests that involve some
    form of writing (e.g., solving mazes, drawing objects, etc.). With the ability to
    easily capture digitized pen strokes (e.g., with a digitizing ballpoint pen or a stylus
    and tablet), the data available from these tests has suddenly become hundreds of
    times more precise, opening up new windows into investigating cognition, both
    healthy and impaired. Our multi-site study, underway for the past several years,
    has been collecting data at 7 sites around the US, providing a robust...

    Posted date: August 08, 2014
  • Build Decentralized Software (With No App Servers)

    Social software has an inherent network effect, where people have to all use the same system in order to collaborate and interact online. This makes it hard for any new and creative applications to attract enough users to become useful. Even worse, because there is no single system that everyone is willing to use, it has become impossible to deploy any online tools that have the kind of universal reach we're used to with email and the Web.

    We are developing "crosscloud" protocols which allow user data to be managed separately from applications, resulting in...

    Posted date: April 14, 2014
  • Mobile life-logging using coresets at the Distributed Robotics Lab

    We at the Distributed Robotics Lab explore new ways of answering life-logging questions from mobile cameras, as part of the iDiary project.
    Our project uses the coresets framework, along with computer vision and machine learning tools, to do online data mining from android and Google glass devices.
    As part of the UROP you will work on building a UI for annotating user activities, and doing activity analysis from the video of the user, and use machine learning and metric learning techniques in order to get better understanding of the user activities.

    Lab webpage:...

    Posted date: April 03, 2014
  • Smart 3D scanning at CSAIL's Sensing, Learning and Inference group

    We at the Sensing Learning and Inference lab seek students who will build the next-generation 3D scanner! Our scanner uses ideas from robotics, computer vision, and computer graphics, and will explore the boundaries between accuracy, energy efficiency, and the interface of 3D scanners with high-level vision tasks.

    Lab webpage: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/vision/sli/
    Relevant skill-set: C++/CUDA, Arduino. Basic understanding of computer graphics / computer vision / probability...

    Posted date: April 03, 2014
  • Networking in the Future

    Background: The current design of the Internet is based on communications flowing between addresses. The underlying model is that communication is between identified or located “parties”. There are a number of novel research approaches that focus communication on “what” is of interest rather than who might be supplying it or where they are. In this project we examine several aspects of these novel designs in order to understand their possibilities and limitations.

    The projects: For this summer, we will focus on two distinct efforts. (1) The first is “naming” or identifying the...

    Posted date: April 02, 2014
  • Julia coding at CSAIL's Sensing, Learning and Inference group

    Do you know how to code in Julia?
    Do you also have some experience in either Python or Matlab?
    Are you interested in computer vision, applied statistics or machine learning?
    How about large-scale inference and scalable algorithms that can deal with "Big Data"?

    The Sensing, Learning and Inference (SLI) group, headed by Dr. John Fisher, is looking to hire a UROP
    for implementing and developing tools in the aforementioned fields.

    The role includes:
    1) Translating some of our in-house algorithms from Python or Matlab to
    2) Julia...

    Posted date: April 01, 2014
  • The Julia Project

    We are looking for a few select undergraduates to help transform the
    nature of technical and scientific computing as we know it.

    The Julia project wants to make it easier than ever to run massively
    scalable big data analytics in cloud computing environments. Imagine
    spawning a computation over 1,000 cores, with automatic load
    balancing, straightforward failure recovery, and simple interprocess
    communication. We already have the underpinnings of the system but we
    need talented programmers to help us round it out and build numerical

    Posted date: April 01, 2014
  • Programming Multicore Machines

    Our research is aimed at developing techniques that enable writing
    software for multicore machines that both works correctly and uses the
    available concurrency effectively. Earlier work in the group led to
    Silo, a very high performance in-memory database system, and work on
    Silo is continuing. In addition we are investigating Software
    Transactional Memory (STM), an approach that helps with the
    correctness problem but at the expense of performance. We are
    designing an extension of STM that overcomes the performance problem
    and we plan to study...

    Posted date: March 28, 2014
  • Rapid Visualization of Pictures and Medical Images

    The goal of this project is to build an interactive visualization tool
    to quickly explore large collections of pictures and medical
    images. The main idea is to use the movement of the pointer on a
    canvas to control the image being shown. Applications range from
    medical image analysis to photo collections and time lapse
    visualization. Aside from being usable as an artistic canvas, such a
    visualization tool will facilitate biomedical and computer vision
    research. We have several exciting directions to explore, and there is
    significant room for...

    Posted date: March 27, 2014
  • Information Access using Natural Language

    The InfoLab group at CSAIL seeks students interested in investigating and creating natural language tools for artificial intelligence. The InfoLab works on question answering, parsing, generating, and more, using both symbolic and statistical techniques. The START question answering system (http://start.csail.mit.edu) provides advanced access to information on the Web and in other databases via natural language. Introductory projects range from integrating knowledge sources to expanding automated methods to creating...

    Posted date: March 27, 2014
  • Mobile Geofencing

    The ubiquity of handheld computing technology has been found to be especially useful in disaster management and relief operations. Our focus is to enable developers to quickly deploy mobile applications that take advantage of key sources such Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, and government data, that empower citizens to contribute via crowdsourcing, and that provide up-to-date information to decision makers. As part of this project, we are interested in incorporating geofencing capability into our framework to enable users to define a geographic area of interest. This could be done by...

    Posted date: March 27, 2014
  • Privacy concerns of mobile apps

    With the advent of smartphones and wireless data communication technology, the pace at which people generate, access, and acquire data has accelerated significantly. Mobile phones are now rich deposits of memories and information that chronicle peoples’ lives. As a result, mobile privacy is rapidly emerging as a contested field of study for mobile developers, industry leaders and the public. There are several projects available that address different aspects of mobile privacy including the development of an app store that allows users to search for apps that comply with their...

    Posted date: March 27, 2014