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

Project description: Developing online, interactive communication instruction for Engineering Project Labs. We are developing a variety of instruction, including interactive exercises and apps, to teach communication concepts such as genre analysis, discourse analysis, rhetorical situation, etc. specific to communicating engineering research.

Responsibility: You will work with lecturers in Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication to design interactive exercises and apps on the MITx system. Your role will be to write Python code for some of the more complex exercises, as well as perform data analysis on feedback. Javascript will also be useful for integrating apps. In addition, we’ll be looking for you to help us think through the design of the exercises and apps from the perspective of a student.

Commitment: 20 hours or more per week during the summer.

Key qualifications:
· Experience with Python (interest in pandas and NLTK is encouraged), Javascript, HTML, CSS;
· Interest in professional communication and online education
· Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team;
· Ability to meet deadlines and work independently

Previous experience with the MITx platform would be desirable, but is not necessary.

Contact: Suzanne Lane (stlane@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.