2,893 Inspirational Research Project Ideas
Turn inspirations into your passion project.
This collection of project ideas, shared by Polygence mentors, is meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.
- Comp Sci
- Comp Sci - Game Design
- Creative Writing
- Environmental Science
- Fluid Dynamics
- Literature and Languages
- Organizational Leadership
- Public Health
- Social Science
- Sports Analytics
Many questions aren't asked in order to get an answer, like "Are you trying to get yourself killed?". What do they communicate, and can we build models which help us understand this more precisely?
Build a Seizure Detection Algorithm
Interested in learning about the application of machine learning in medicine? Let's build a seizure detection algorithm using open source neural data and statement of the art machine learning algorithm. In this project, you can learn about neuroanatomy, neurophysiology of epilepsy, signal processing, and machine learning.
What makes a good catalyst?
In this project, we use the Cambridge Structural Database and the Crossref API to get the metadata for structures whose publications include keywords such as "catalysis" (or any other application of your choice). Then, we inspect the structures and use Python to better understand the commonalities between these structures.
In this project, we will go over classical tools in machine learning for regression and classification. Ideally, you would have a particular dataset that you would like to study, but this is something we can discuss and figure out together over time. Based on what you want to learn from the dataset, we will discuss which models are best suited to arrive at your desired conclusions.
These are just a few of many ideas. Shape animations, hitting a target, multiplayer games, and others will take your coding skills to the next level. For more examples, here are video demos of some of my students' mini-projects: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1utI-0TxkJTgKALPABYZru4x46hwjGpib
Biology, AI/ML, Neuroscience
The role of sleep in mental health and neurological disorders
In this project you will explore the complicated relationship between sleep disorders and a mental health or neurological disorder of your choosing, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, you will write a scientific review paper which synthesizes the relevant literature and key findings about this following topics: 1. The co-morbidity of sleep disorders and your chosen neurological/mental health disorder. 2. How sleep issues may cause or worsen symptoms of your chosen neurological/mental health disorder. 3. How symptoms of your chosen neurological/mental health disorder may cause or worsen sleep disturbances. 4. Whether the available scientific data favors a reductionist (i.e. one disorder precedes and causes the other) or emergent (i.e. the two disorders cannot be separated and are two aspects of a single disorder) model of the co-morbidity of your chosen neurological/mental health disorder and sleep disorders. Prerequisites: 1. This project is only available to 10th graders and above. 2. Strong high school background in biology and/or psychology Additional Information: If the student desires, they can also complement this literature review by performing a meta-analysis to provide evidence for their stance in part 4. However, students wishing to do so should have some prior coding experience in either MATLAB or Python.
Program the famous Breakout game
Hone your programming and animation skills by building the Breakout game where the goal is to use a horizontal movable paddle to bounce a ball upward and destroy a layer of bricks, maximizing your score. I'll introduce you to animation and objects in Python, and you'll have the opportunity to work on other features such as creating a score system and enabling a multiplayer mode. By the end of the program, you can share the game with your friends and family!
Biology, AI/ML, Neuroscience
Identifying temporal trends in online hate speech
Use topic modeling methods to extract the themes present in hate speech on twitter, and analyze how those themes change over time. Identify offline events that correspond to spikes in different types of hate speech.
Engineering, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Human-Powered Renewable Energy Source
Millions of people live without reliable electricity. They lack clean water, light, heat and many other luxuries we take for granted. Companies have provided small human-powered light sources which rely on pulling a cord. Our goal would be to design a similar system which stores enough elastic potential energy for useful applications such as powering electronics, cooking certain foods, or heating water.
Fake News Detector
The system should provide each of the following functionalities: Scrape news articles and fake news datasets from the web Wrangle data from various sources into a unified structure Labelling interface to enable a workforce to label newly scraped articles Extract linguistic features from the scraped articles Model support including training, validation, hyper-parameter tuning, and hosting Online model experimentation Extensive Logging
Computer Recognition of Directed Gestures
After spending a year in virtual classrooms, what are some of the small, nonverbal interactions you miss from in-person conversations? Eye contact & directed gestures are two modalities of communication we usually take for granted, but over Zoom, it can be very hard to tell to whom someone is waving or pointing. What if a computer vision system could help in determining & communicating this information? In this project, you can research methods in computer vision and machine learning that will allow for gesture recognition. Beginning from a standard desktop workstation, you can further experiment with your methods, extending to other poses and contexts.
We are constantly bombarded by ambient noise. People, cars, heaters, music, television, etc. create so much noise pollution that it can be extremely hard to find silence. What if we could design a system with speakers that can cancel all outside noise in an entire room? The short wavelengths of sound make this a very interesting technical challenge, both in terms of electronics design and understanding of physics.
Build an AI clone
Let's train an AI to mirror a specific style, such as the work of Mahatma Ghandi, or your chat history. We will gain experience collecting training data (which may be stored in hard-to-access forms such as chat logs or PDF's), training a machine model using this data, and potentially even deploying it somewhere. Along the way, we will learn how to use language models to interrogate the data that we trained it on. An example is this project I worked on, where we trained a language model to write like an Instagram influencer: https://www.instagram.com/myfriendsylvia/?hl=en
Arts, Comp Sci - Game Design, AI/ML
Text Classification using BERT
Learn and understand Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques and their possible applications (up to the student). How to preprocess data for BERT, fine-tuning BERT and other NLP models with PyTorch.
Math, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Introduction to Machine Learning
In this project we will walk through how to set up machine learning experiments and discuss foundational models that are used for regression and classification tasks. Topics include but are not limited to cross-validation and testing, overfitting/underfitting, feature selection and dimensionality reduction, linear regression, logistic regression, and neural networks. The culmination is to apply these techniques to a prediction problem of the student's choosing. Topics will be tailored and scoped to the interests and background of the student.
The Shape of Bones
Have you ever wondered why some bones are long and cylindrical while others are flat and irregularly shaped? Learn how a bone shape is influenced by its function and build bone-inspired structures in this project!
Training a Deep Reinforcement Learning Agent with TensorFlow Agents and OpenAI Gym!
Deep Reinforcement Learning is a rapidly growing field at the intersection of machine learning and robotics, and through this project, you will have the chance to implement deep reinforcement learning agents yourself! We will implement this project using TensorFlow-Agents, a powerful library for training agents to solve tasks such as getting a Half-Cheetah to walk, balancing an Inverted Pendulum, or teaching a car to race autonomously (all in simulation).
Art of Software Design
Have you ever wondered about what makes "good" software? What does it mean to design software systems in ways that they will be easy to maintain, bug-free, and accomplish your goals for the project? Thinking about the essence or philosophy of software design helps answer these questions – if you're interested in the interesting discussions that these questions would yield, you should contact me! However, this project is not all just thinking and discussion – far from it! Mastering the art of software design requires intense practice in designing and implementing your very own system, and that would be the core of this project. We would first meet to pick out a real world system that you want to implement – this could be an algorithm, an app, or a general technology. Then, I would help you with the process of decomposing this large system into manageable pieces to design and implement. You would develop your system in an iterative manner, consisting of a cycle of implementation, review, and revision. By the end, not only will you have implemented a full system on your own from scratch, but you will have also internalized and solidified all the components of what make for a great design and clean, well-documented code
Comp Sci, AI/ML
Real-Time Flight Tracking and Data Processing
For my current research, we deploy ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) collectors "in the field" to receive radio signals broadcast by planes flying overhead. All commercial and recreational aircraft are required to be equipped with an ADS-B transponder, which means that we have the ability to track live air traffic in a 100-150 mile radius of our current location! This provides a really interesting source of relevant data that can be analyzed to find all sorts of interesting trends. If you're interested in a project at the intersection of computer science, data science, and aviation, you can contact me and we would work to get you set up with your own data collection platform. In parallel, you would come up with a project proposal indication how you would like to use the data you collect to accomplish a relevant and impactful goal. Possible ideas could include: learning how to use visualization software to develop comprehensive plots of aircraft trajectories, making predictions about communities most likely to be impacted by noise from overhead flights, and many many more! Finally, I would help you dive into the coding techniques and skills you would need to accomplish your goal and would support you as you build your data collection/processing system.
Comp Sci, AI/ML
Waste Classification Using Computer Vision
Waste collection and rubbish disposal play an extremely important role in the global cleanliness and sustainability drive, with people’s health and the conservation of resources being the responsibility of everyone. The application uses computer vision and machine learning technology to help people to classify wastes quickly and accurately. With this app, people can simply scan the waste to be disposed of, and follow the instruction provided by the app to correctly dispose of them. This is a handy application, especially for those who live in countries that have evolving yet strict waste classification policies to comply.