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.
Project Title: Redesigning Fitness Experience
Project Description: The Design Lab is working on the next generation of running shoes in partnership with a global athletic wear brand. Our innovative approach is to merge the concept of auxetic metamaterials to the everyday foam midsole, creating running gear that is lighter yet offers superior programmable performance. This fall we will be working with our industrial partner to fine tune our design for manufacturing by meeting with materials suppliers and mold-makers. See the project page at http://design.mit.edu/projects/redesigning-fitness-experience
Prerequisites: We’re seeking a student with Mechanical Engineering skills who is eager to work on simulation and optimization of design patterns. Familiarity with complex material simulation program and methods (such as Abacus) is strongly preferred. Coursework in materials science would be helpful but not necessary. Background work and interest in 3D printing, injection molding and fabrication is also a plus.
Design Abacus or equivalent simulations using lab computer to better understand the deformation of performance footwear. Design simulations and prototype experiments to solve complex questions. This is an ideal position with someone with a strong eye for detail, who is eager to work on real-world problems in a production environment.
What Do Past UROPs Have to Say About Their Experience with CMS/W?
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.