Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROPs)

You learn by doing, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities are how you do research at CMS/W as an undergrad.

MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROPs) are meant to connect students with faculty research. Arranging one for yourself with CMS/W can take a couple different paths. The most common is to have a great idea, related to CMS/W research or faculty interests, and approach a faculty member directly about his or her becoming your UROP sponsor. The other is to check out the list of available UROPs proposed by faculty—think of them as job openings—and apply.

A UROP can be for pay, for credit, or as a volunteer. Whichever it is, your work and CMS/W’s obligations to you use the same standard: the research done “must be worthy of academic credit”.

UROP proposals are welcome all year long, though there are deadlines.

Current UROP Openings

Department/Lab/Center: CMS/W Design Lab

Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: synthetic biology interaction design and prototype

Project Description: We want to extend the interaction space around smart objects by sensing the world around us beyond sensor electronics. Can we utilize passive interaction that occurs in the exciting field of Synthetic Biology and Chemistry to inform this thought? How do we design and prototype interactive objects with this new paradigm in mind?

Our goal is to come up with new ways to design with bio-inspired sensors and actuators that can be used to prevent accidents in the industrial setting. If you are excited about biology, synthetic biology, chemistry and sensing the world; this would be a great opportunity.

UROP tasks: The student will work on literature and scientific papers search, will collect and classify existing projects and technologies. In the second phase, The student should be confident building conceptual and physical prototypes.

Hours per week: 15-20 hours/week, for pay or credit. We’re looking for someone to start as early as the week of Monday, February 9. This is an ongoing project, if the student’s interest aligns with the project, there is a possibility to continue on the project in the following semester.

Contact: Guillermo (gbernal@mit.edu) and include a short statement of why you are interested in the project, the skills that you bring, samples of relevant work (portfolio of projects related to the above topics), and an up-to-date resume.

What Do Past UROPs Have to Say About Their Experience with CMS/W?

Christine Yu: past UROP, major in Writing - Digital Media Studies, minor in Biology, and MIT class of 2012

Christine Yu: past UROP, major in Writing – Digital Media Studies, minor in Biology, and MIT class of 2012

My work with the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Lab on Project Mimesis and AIR (Advanced Identity Representation) enhanced my experience as an undergraduate at MIT by allowing me to work directly with graduate students in the CMS department. I had previously UROP’ed for the Biology department, and so transferring over to CMS was quite the change; I found the CMS UROP experience to be more teamwork-based. I also enjoyed the change in scenery of the labs, and it has fostered my interest in the human experience in avatar generation and gaming.I would highly recommend UROP’ing for any undergraduate in fields of interest because it helps an individual to think about post-graduate plans, and it allows them to meet the future professionals of that field. While my post-graduate plans are currently medical school-based, I’ve been asked during interviews about my experience in the ICE Lab, and it’s always very fun to be able to talk about a broad range of my interests. I feel like my experience in the ICE Lab enhances my applications because it allows me to present myself as very personable, instead of just sitting behind a lab bench pipetting all day.