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

Faculty Supervisor: Federico Casalegno

Project Title: aWEARness design wearable for safety in extreme environments

Project Description: Interested in VR and AR applications? Working and training for jobs in extreme environments is a challenge that we have yet to solve. aWEARness is a project in collaboration with an Italian company that deals with the challenges of working in extreme conditions. As part of our ongoing research and collaboration, we would like to develop a better emulator for the training. Our goal is to develop a simulator that can help trainers and trainees to learn and emulate real life challenges that the people working in those type of scenarios might face. We are planning to use Oculus Rift, MYO and potentially integrate with CAVE to create a simulator.

Position 2: We would like to see experience integrating multiple platforms to talk to each other, in this case we need someone to connect MYO SDK > Oculus Rift and leap motion SDK to mention a few. Also comfortable working with embedded system i.e Beagle bone black, Raspberry Pi, ARM or Arduino.

Prerequisites: We are seeking two experienced and motivated students, most likely from course 6 or related. Position 1: We would like to see experience with Oculus Rift and Unity and someone who has worked with AR or VR systems in the past. Student would also need to be comfortable with programming and device prototyping (software & hardware)

Contact: Guillermo Bernal (gbernal@mit.edu)

Faculty Supervisor: James Paradis

Project Title: Cultural history of Surveillance

Project Description: This is a study of the origins of modern social and cultural views about surveillance in the historical antecedents of emerging urban centers of the nineteenth century. Special attention is given to emerging communication technologies, visualization, legal history, print culture, and social institutions in nineteenth-century London and New York City. Research approach includes web-based research and archival work combined with statistical and content analysis.

Prerequisites: Some background in social sciences and design would be useful

Contact: J. Paradis (jparadis@mit.edu)

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.