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 kyleb@mit.edu or take a look at the How to UROP at CSAIL document (pdf format).  

This program is available to MIT students only.


  • 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
  • UROPs in Mobile Computing and Educational Technology

    MIT App Inventor has opening for UROPs this summer. App Inventor is 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 runs a large-scale public Web service, with 3,000,000+ users, that lets people all over the world create their own mobile applications, and lets schools all over the world include mobile computing in school curriculum.

    Posted date: March 25, 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