Mentored Project

Summer STEM Institute (SSI) applicants can optionally apply to the SSI Research Program. In addition to the bootcamp, students in the research program conduct their own research project under the guidance of SSI research mentors. In six weeks, students complete the entire research project lifecycle, from identifying a topic of interest to completing a final paper and presentation.

The research program was designed for a completely virtual setting. Students gain practice with modern technological tools such as open-source data analytics packages, publicly available datasets, and cloud computing resources while working on their research projects.

Students in the research program conduct research across a variety of fields, from biology to cybersecurity to quantum physics. To view examples of previous projects, please visit the Distinguished Projects page.

Virtual Labs

Students in the research program are assigned to a primary mentor that they work closely with over the course of the summer. Students are also assigned to a virtual lab of 1-2 other students with similar research interests. Every weekday, the mentor hosts a virtual lab meeting amongst all students. In addition, the mentor meets with every student individually for daily check-ins. Mentors use this time to discuss project updates, guide students through the next steps of the research process, provide assistance debugging code, and keep students on track towards completing project deliverables.

Weekly Milestone Deliverable

Students in the program are expected to complete six weekly milestone deliverables, which cumulatively build up to a final paper and presentation. On weekends, students present their weekly milestone deliverable to three research mentors and other SSI students. Weekend presentations give students the opportunity to receive feedback from mentors and other students to improve their projects.

Research Symposium

At the end of the program, students present their research to the SSI community at the SSI Research Symposium. At the symposium, students have the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback from mentors, instructors, staff, and other students in the program.

Research Mentors

Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to receive feedback and ask for guidance from the community of SSI research mentors. Please view a list research mentors below. The following list is subject to minor changes due to uncertainty in summer plans caused by COVID-19.

Abhijit Shankar Mudigonda

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Area of focus: Theoretical Computer Science, Mathematics, Probability/Statistics

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Mathematics at MIT, Classical and Quantum Complexity Theory and Algorithms Research at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Algebraic Geometry and Combinatorics Research at MIT Mathematics, Machine Learning and Mathematics Research at IBM Research Cambridge, Bioinformatics and Machine Learning Research at the Knight Cancer Institute, USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) Teaching Assistant, International Biology Olympiad (IBO) Silver Medalist, North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) US Alternate, US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) High Honors

Muntaha Samad

UC Irvine

Area of focus: Deep learning, Biology, and Healthcare

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering at UC Davis, M.S. in Computer Science at UC Irvine, Ph.D. in Computer Science at UC Irvine (in progress), Deep Learning on Healthcare Data at UCI Baldi Lab, Circadian Rhythms Research at UCI Baldi Lab, Machine Learning Research at UCD Tagkopoulos Lab, Machine Learning Research at UCD Eisen Lab, Robotics Education Research at UCD IEL Lab, Antibiotics Overuse Research at UCD iGEM, Deep Learning Intern at Syntiant, Software Engineering Intern Seagate Technology, Deep Learning Intern at Edwards Lifesciences, 3 papers published in Cell, NCWIT Aspirations Award - Northern California Chair

Gheric Speiginer

Georgia Institute of Technology

Area of focus: Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Systems

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science at Hampton University, Ph.D. in Human Centered Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology (in progress), XR Systems Research at Georgia Tech's Augmented Environments Lab, Mixed Reality Social Interaction Research at Microsoft Research, Real-time Guidance for Photo Aesthics UX Research at Intel Labs, Graduate Intern at Intel Labs, Analyst Intern at Goldman Sachs, First author papers published at International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, International Conference on 3D Web Technology, International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality Adjunct, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, National GEM Consortium Ph.D. Science Fellowship

Nithin Buduma

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Area of focus: Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering at MIT, M.Eng. with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence at MIT, Machine Learning Engineer and Data Scientist at XY.ai, Deep Learning/Chemistry Research at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Software Intern at Optimizely & Samsara, Quantitative Research Intern at Goldman Sachs, USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) National Finalist, USA Chemistry Olympiad (USAChO) Semifinalist, 5x AIME Qualifier, Co-Author of the 2nd Edition of the Fundamentals of Deep Learning

Matthew Tan

Stanford University

Area of focus: Aero/Astrospace Engineering, Robotics, Autonomous Systems

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Aero/Astrospace Engineering at Stanford University (in progress), Hardware Integrated LiDAR Simulation for Drone Collision Avoidance Algorithms at Aurora Flight Sciences, Generating Gaussian beams with high coherence by using Fourier Optics at Nir Davidson Optics Lab, Real Time Implementation of Acoustic Detection at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Research Science Institute (RSI) Scholar and Co-Rickoid of the Year, Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) Semifinalist, International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Finalist, ISEF NASA Special Award, Weizmann Institute of Science Scholar

Sydney Zink

Brown University

Area of focus: Human-Computer Interaction, Natural Language Processing

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science at Northwestern University, M.S. in Computer Science at Cornell University, Ph.D. in Computer Science at Brown (in progress), NLP and HCI research at Brown LUNAR Lab, Language Technologies Research at the University of Edinburgh Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation Research at the Cornell RPAL Lab, Distributed Computing Research at Cornell University, Technology Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs and at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Unmanned Ground Sensors Intern at the U.S. Army Research Lab, Economics Research Intern at the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), journal publication in ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, workshop publication in CoNLL

Harisankar Sadasivan

University of Michigan

Area of focus: ML and Bioinformatics, Health and Embedded Systems Design

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Electronics & Communication Engineering at NITK India, M.S. in Computer Science Engineering at University of Michigan, Ph.D. at University of Michigan (in progress), Hardware Engineering at Samsung R&D, Embedded System design at NITK, Engineering for Health in Precision Medicine at University of Michigan, Best Paper Award for first author paper at International Conference on Advances in Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering (ICAEES), First author paper at International Engineering Symposium (IES), Poster at IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society EMBC, NTSE scholar, INSPIRE fellow

Ethan Weber

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Area of focus: Robotics, Computer Vision, and Machine Learning

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, M.Eng. with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence (in progress), AI Research at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Augmented Reality Intern at Niantic, Computer Vision Contract Work, Software Engineering Intern at Microsoft, Computer Vision Intern at Skydio, First author papers under review in the EECV and NeurIPS, Planned submission to CVPR, Presented satellite imagery work in ICLR 2020 AI for Earth Science Workshop, FIRST Robotics Dean's List Finalist

Cierra Beck

Cornell University

Area of focus: Social Applications, Language Processing

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Operations Research Engineering at Cornell University, Software Engineer and Technology Analystat Goldman Sachs, Software Engineering Intern at Lockheed Martin, Founder and CEO of Dated, Robotics Mobility-On-Demand Systems Research at Cornell University, Hospital Readmissions Research at Cornell University, Yelp Dataset Challenge Winner

Eric Frankel

Stanford University

Area of focus: Machine Learning

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science at Stanford University (in progress), Computer Vision Research at Stanford Vision Lab, Machine Learning Research at Stanford DAWN Lab, Functional Analysis Research at Arizona State University, Researcher at Translational Genomics Research Institute and Ford Greenfield Labs, Software Engineer Intern at Lumi Labs, Autonomous Vehicle Intern at Ford GFL, ex-cofounder and CFO at Roadata, published author in Journal of Emerging Investigators, CalHacks BlackRock Prize, AngelHack San Francisco Trulioo Prize, Neuroscience Research Prize Finalist, Arizona Science and Engineering Fair 1st Place in Mathematics

Steven Okada

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Area of focus: Computational Epidemiology, Computational Social Sciences, Physics

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science at MIT, Machine Learning and Knowledge Graph Research at the MIT Media Lab, Gravitational Physics at the MIT Kavli Institute, Software Engineer at Samsara, International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Qualifer, National Merit Scholarship Recipient, U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO), Science Bowl, National Ocean Sciences Bowl, Presidential Scholars Program

Rahul Khanna

University of Southern California

Area of focus: Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science at Columbia University’s SEAS, M.S. in Computer Science at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering 2021 (in progress), Research at Columbia's WuLab, Data science Engineer at Vimeo, Data scientist at Forensiq, NLP Researcher at USC’s INK Lab, Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) 2020 Demo Paper, Columbia University's cFund Ignition Grant Recipient

Eric Xia

UC Berkeley

Area of focus: Machine Learning, High-dimensional Statistics

Experiences and Awards: B.A. in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, Ph.D. in Statistics at UC Berkeley (in progress), Bayesian Nonparametrics Researcher in Professor Michael Jordan's group at Berkeley, Random Forest Algorithms Research in Professor Bin Yu's group at UC Berkeley, Portfolio Implementation Intern at AQR Capital Management, Natural Language Processing (NLP) Engineering Intern at Unibit AI

Dhamanpreet Kaur

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Area of focus: Healthcare and Biostatistics

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science, Biology, and Mathematics at MIT, Statistical Modeling at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Data Analytics and ML at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Polio Diagnosis Model for World Health Organization, Machine Learning for Genomics Project in MIT Computational Biology Group, ML and Clinical Informatics Intern at Philips Research North America, AI Consultant for United Technologies Corporation, Data Analytics Intern at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, First author of paper published in Cancer, First author of paper published in International Journal of Medical Informatics

Nathaniel Lam

Princeton University

Area of focus: Computer Technology, Sustainability, Social Sciences

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Computer Science at Princeton University, Neural Network Research at the Seung Lab at Princeton University, Unsupervised Learning Research at the Gatsby Institute in London, Software Engineering Intern at Nova, Software Engineer at Yext, Software Engineer at Andrena

Pranav Warman

Duke University

Area of focus: Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and Medicine

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Biology and Computer Science at Duke, M.D. at Duke (in progress), Computer Vision and Ophthalmology Research at Duke, Machine Learning & Psychiatry Research at Duke, Mathematical Oncology Research at Moffitt Cancer Center, Graph Theory Research at the University of South Florida, Graduate Computer Vision Teaching Assistant at Duke, Investment Associate Internship at Bridgewater, Goldwater Scholar, Angier B. Duke Scholar, 3x International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Qualifier, I-SWEEP Bronze Medal, 2x 1st Place Florida Science Fair, Rigetti Quantum Computing Prize at HackMIT, 3x Papers Published

Stephen Yoo

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Area of focus: Probability, Number Theory, Algebraic Topology

Experiences and Awards: Mathematical Researcher at Renaissance Technologies, Theoretical Mathematics Research at University of California San Diego, Underwater Current Flow Research at Caltech

Javier Echevarría Cuesta

Stanford University

Area of focus: Mathematics and Computer Science

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Mathematics at Stanford University, M.S. in Computer Science at Stanford University, Mathematics Research at Undergraduate Research Institute in Mathematics at Stanford, Computer Vision Research at Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at the University of Cambridge, Researcher at Mathematical Physics Lab at Rockefeller University, Preprint in Comet and the ACM Conference on Automotive User Interfaces, D.E. Shaw Fellowship Recipient, Mathematics Undergraduate Research Award

Karen Ge

Stanford University

Area of focus: Psychology/Social Science, Theoretical Mathematics, and Digital Humanities

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Symbolic Systems at Stanford University (in progress), Algebraic Number Theory Research at the MIT Mathematics Department, Research Intern at the Stanford Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), Math Olympiad Program (MOP), Research Science Institute (RSI) Scholar, United States Presidential Scholar Nominee

Ross Teixeira

Princeton University

Area of focus: Data Science, Web Scraping, Internet Measurements

Experiences and Awards: B.A. in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, M.S. in Computer Science at Princeton University, Ph.D. in Computer Science at Princeton University (in progress), Network security and policy research at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP), Research on software-defined and programmable networks at Princeton University, Computer Science Education Research at Berkeley, Research Intern at Microsoft Research, Research Mentor at AI4All, First author submission to ACM Symposium on SDN Research, Siebel Scholar, SEAS Excellence in Teaching Award

Jordan Wick

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Area of focus: Evolution and Evolutionary Algorithms, Transportation, Biology

Experiences and Awards: B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at MIT, RL/Evolutionary Algorithms Research in the Human Dynamics Group at the MIT Media Lab, Evolutionary Algorithms for Program Synthesis Research at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Software Engineer at Loon, Software Engineer at Flexport, Software Engineer at NASA

Yatin J. Chandar

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Area of focus: Materials Science and Engineering

Experiences and Awards: B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science at MIT (in progress), Research at the MIT Space Propulsion Lab, Machine Learning Research at the MIT Center for Computational Engineering, Research at the Washington University Nano Research Facility, Research Science Institute (RSI) Scholar, International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2nd Place in Environmental Engineering, ISEF 3rd Place in Translational Medicine, published author in Advanced Biosystems and ACS Applied Nano Materials