Research Projects

This is a list of research projects that may have opportunities for undergraduate students. You can browse all the projects, or view only projects in the following categories:

Innovative Technology/Design


Development of a new wind sensor

Research categories:  Agricultural, Electronics, Environmental Science, Innovative Technology/Design, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Professor: Jiqin (Jee-Chin) Ni
Preferred major(s): Electrical engineering; computer engineering; mechanical engineering
Desired experience:   Hands-on and technical writing skills, knowledge and experience in electronics.
Number of positions: 1

This project is to develop an innovative and compact wind speed and direction sensor. It is expected to have wide applications. The student’s contribution will be (1) select materials for the sensor and an electronic device; (2) build a prototype sensor and the device that acquires, converts, and displays sensor output; (3) test the sensor and the device; (4) assist in preparing an invention disclosure.


Optimization of antibody penetration for 3D tissue imaging

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Innovative Technology/Design, Life Science
School/Dept.: Biomedical Engineering
Professor: Sarah Calve
Preferred major(s): BME/Biology
Number of positions: 1

Recent advances in tissue clearing have increased the depths to which conventional confocal microscopy can image by at least an order of magnitude. Unfortunately, researchers are limited by the ability to only image endogenous fluorescence as passive diffusion of antibodies into intact tissues, to specifically label molecules of interest, can take weeks. Our lab is developing a method to actively promote the diffusion of primary and secondary antibodies into biological tissues to better take advantage of these new clearing techniques.

We are looking for a student to help optimize this method to better label key extracellular matrices expressed during tendon and muscle development in the mouse. The student will be directly involved in harvesting embryos from mice in which the muscle or tendon progenitors endogenously express green fluorescent protein, optimizing the active antibody staining protocol being developed in our lab and imaging the specimens using confocal microscopy. The overall goal of this research is to characterize the 3D composition of the extracellular environment during muscle and tendon assembly inform the design of artificial scaffolds to promote tissue regeneration.


VACCINE-Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments

Research categories:  Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Innovative Technology/Design
School/Dept.: ECE
Professor: David Ebert
Preferred major(s): Computer Engineering, Computer Science, other Engineering majors with programming experience
Desired experience:   Programming experience in C++, other as described below
Number of positions: 5

We are currently searching for students with strong programming and math backgrounds to work on a variety of projects at the Visual Analytics branch (VACCINE) of the new Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence in Command, Control and Interoperability. Students will each be assigned individual projects focusing on developing novel data analysis and exploration techniques using interactive techniques. Students should be knowledgeable in C++ on entering the program and will be expected to learn skills in R, OpenGL, and/or a variety of other libraries over the course of the summer.

Current project plans will include iPhone programming for criminal incident report analysis, incorporating local statistics into volume rendering on the GPGPU, and healthcare data analysis. If you have iPhone programming experience or CUDA programming experience or an intense interest to learn either of those, please indicate this in your application form. We also plan to have a project that will assist first responders in accident extrication procedures.

The ideal candidate will have good working knowledge of modern web development technologies, including client-side technologies such as HTML5, SVG, JavaScript, AJAX, and DOM, as well as server side components such as PHP, Tomcat, MySQL, etc. Experience in visualization or computer graphics is a plus. The project will likely be based on the D3 ( web-based visualization toolkit; prior experience using D3 or other visualization APIs for the web is particularly welcome.

Of the past undergraduate students that have worked in the center, five of their research projects have led to joint publications in our laboratory and at many of our areas' top venues. Our goal is to continue the center of excellence this summer. Sample projects include visual analytics for law enforcement data, health care data and sports data. Students will be assigned individual projects based on the center's needs which will be determined at a later date. To learn more about the VACCINE Center go to the website provided below.

More information: