Learning to Solve

Published in MIT News on February 1, 2016, by Audrey Resutek, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Hallmark program “SuperUROP” lets undergrad engineers dive into a year-long research experience.

From developing smart 3-D scanners, to refining desalination techniques, to designing football helmets that can prevent concussions — undergraduates across the School of Engineering are midway through the year-long research projects that are part of the Advanced Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, or SuperUROP.

Students participating in the now school-wide program, which was launched in 2012 in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), are immersed in a graduate-level research experience. Taking a deep dive into a single problem, participants work under the supervision of an MIT faculty member or researcher, and their projects often lead to published research or a prototype. 

“Engaging in research gives our undergraduates the confidence to push boundaries and solve problems that no one has ever solved before — and that’s the very definition of research,” says Ian Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering. “The skills that students gain from SuperUROP and other research-based programs continue to impact their lives well after research is finished..."

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