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MIT student blogger Melis A. '08

It’s that time of the year again by Melis A. '08

If you want to do a UROP this semester, now is the time to contact professors and graduate students.

A reminder: Fall 2006 UROP Direct Funding (Funds from UROP) Deadline: Thursday, Thursday September 14, 2006.

Keep in mind that there are three options when doing a UROP:
UROP for Pay: Up to $1,250 per semester, which works out to $9.00/hour, when you are funded by the UROP office. Need to fill out some paperwork. Your project may also qualify for special funds, for example two years ago I was funded by the Cathy M. Comeau Memorial Fund which supports women UROP students pursing research in the School of Science. ItТƒфs pretty easy to apply for one of these awards, just write that you are applying for the award on your proposal coversheet. If you’re lucky, you can get supervisor funding.
UROP for Credit: Paperwork is due by November 2, 2006. Register on Reg. Day or fill out an Add/Drop form. You can register as a pass/fail UROP or as a graded UROP. But, note that if you are doing a Course 6 or Course 8 UROP or if you are a freshman, then you cannot get graded credit.
UROP for Volunteer: Paperwork is due on November 2, 2006. This is the easiest way to get a UROP, most people will be more willing to hire you and there is not a lot of hassle with filling out timecards.
All of this information can be found on the UROP Guidelines website.

If youТƒфre interested in doing a UROP this semester, now is the time to look. There are many very neat opportunities available, you can go to the UROP site for more detailed information. Here’s a summary of what’s available:
– Study contemporary culture by contacting and interviewing musicians
– Develop software for a machine that weighs nanoparticles
– Build a perceptually-based sound synthesizer
– Write software for educational role-playing games
– Collect data from bilingual children to learn about language acquisition
– Develop new MRI sensors
– Flight data analysis
And the list goes on and on.

But of course, doing a UROP is a serious responsibility. The UROP website reminds you to consider your commitment:

– Can you commit yourself to 6-10 hours of UROP research per week?
–  Can you afford the time away from your coursework?
–  Can you work on a project for more than one term? Most faculty want continuity in their research teams. One term may not be enough for both you and your faculty supervisor to benefit from a research collaboration.
– What area of research do you want to pursue? Do you want to explore a possible major? Gain experience in an area of interest? Exercise your creativity?

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