2,893 Inspirational Passion 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
- Creative Writing
- Environmental Science
- Game Design
- Literature and Languages
- Organizational Leadership
- Public Health
- Social Science
- Sports Analytics
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
Simulating a Memory Array to Understand Performance Characteristics
In this project, the student would simulate a memory array of their choosing, and try to make estimates on the performance based on circuit simulations. Additionally, the student could try to understand different options for improving these metrics by changing parameters such as the array size and device characteristics. This project requires a deep understanding of Physics E&M (AP Physics C + E&M is sufficient) and should be reserved for more advanced students who are comfortable with resistors/capacitors and calculating currents/voltages in circuits. Calculus is highly beneficial.
Physics, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Applications of Machine Learning in Graphic Design
How can we use computers to create art? From graphical user interfaces to beautiful landscape paintings, there are compositional patterns in all types of art. Using machine learning tools on massive art databases, we can find and apply those patterns to create art that is more efficient and perhaps even more creative than any singular human could ever achieve on their own. This project would be beneficial for video game development, corporate graphic design, and digital art innovation.
AI/ML, Business, Public Health
An electromagnet, which is simply a coil of wire, can be used to levitate magnets. It creates an alternating magnetic field, which will induce current in nearby coils and could thus be used to power a levitating circuit. We would design the mechanical setup and electrical circuit to create floating lights. Hopefully this could be both beautiful and practical.
Intro to Decision Making Under Uncertainty
Decision making is the process of selecting the most appropriate action to take in a given state. Humans do this naturally, but for computers or robots, humans must write the programs that lead to their decisions. In this project, we will first learn to model a toy decision problem (such as a robot in a 2D grid-world, or which move to play in a game of chance), how to represent it in code, and then how to solve it. If time allows, you can then come up with your own decision making problem to solve!
Arts, Physics, AI/ML, Math
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
Ancient Literature Deep Dive
You choose any work of literature from the ancient world (or the middle ages) and we delve deep on a particular aspect of the work. You can produce a research report and build high level research skills. Or, if you are creatively inclined, we can focus on helping you produce your own translation (even if you don't know the language of the original). In the process you would learn about translation studies and can start learning the basics of the original language as well as producing your own interpretation of the ancient work.
AI/ML, Literature and Languages
Why does sugar taste sweet?
Have you ever wondered why sugar tastes good and lemons taste sour? Spoiler alert: neuroscientists aren't entirely sure. In this project, we'll dive into the controversy and dissect the two leading theories. You'll learn the basics of how the taste and smell systems work and get some deeper insight into how the scientific process unfolds.
Psychology, AI/ML, Neuroscience
Using a clustering method such as K-Means or Gaussian Mixture Models, create different segments of customers based on their purchasing habits and see if there are meaningful differences between the segments that can be exploited to drive business value.
Biodiversity assessment with Next Generation Sequencing
Biodiversity assessment is so integral, whether it is for characterizing skin microbiome to better understand your skincare needs, or for investigating water quality by studying freshwater insect communities. The outcome of this project will be a report/research paper investigating bioassessment tools, with a focus on DNA sequencing technologies including Nanopore sequencing.
Localization is the problem of locating the source / object in a given scene and then demarcate it. It is a fundamental task in Computer Vision and used in many technologies like self-driving cars. In this problem we aim to localize a speaker and track them in a given video and draw a box around that person for the duration that person speaks.
Engineering, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Exploratory Research Paper
Deepfakes, Voice mimic attacks, etc. are all made possible because of the leakage of personal information. But what type of data is needed to implement such an attack? How much information about an individual is needed? More importantly, where does this data come from? Project formation: chose a motivating attack (i.e. voice cloning, face cloning, motion cloning) and perform a literature review to determine what type of data is needed to mount the attack. Then explore where this information can be collected from: examine common application/systems that might collect this type of data and investigate its security/privacy policies. This project is most likely thought of in terms of facial recognition, where photos can be easily scraped from public profile photos on the web. But where might systems collect voice data? motion data (i.e mimicking an individual's walk)? Even data capturing how a person speaks (what words, phrases, etc. represent them and their writing style) In this project you will write a research paper identifying and exploring in-depth an area of current privacy concern. You will gain skills reading top-tier research papers and discovering how to *independently* find a research are of interest. This project can easily be expanded in scope for future projects.
Engineering, Arts, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Optimizing a state-of-the-art k-medoids algorithm in C++
We've developed a state-of-the-art clustering algorithm for the k-medoids problem (similar to k-means, but where the cluster centers must be actual datapoints). Our work was accepted to Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) 2020. We have also released a Python package, written in C++, to enable others to use our algorithm. We are looking for someone to optimize this package. Experience with multithreading, caches, and profiling code is a plus.
Build toy machine learning model for an semi-autonomous vehicle
(Requires sufficient programming knowledge.) Use an open-source self-driving vehicle simulator to collect data. Use data to train a machine learning model for a vehicle to navigate an autonomous routine. Measure the performance of the model.
AI-Assisted Personalized Learning System (AIPLS) for Inclusive and Adaptive Education in Classrooms
Introducing the AI-Assisted Personalized Learning System (AIPLS), an innovative classroom solution designed to revolutionize the educational experience for both students and teachers. By seamlessly integrating with existing technologies and employing advanced AI algorithms, AIPLS crafts customized learning plans tailored to each student's unique needs, learning styles, and preferences. This cutting-edge tool promises to boost student engagement, comprehension, and retention while simultaneously reducing the workload for educators. Empower your students to reach their full potential and transform your classroom into a vibrant hub of individualized learning with AIPLS.
Prove blockchain security
Blockchain is an emerging idea / technology that is often said to be the most secure way to store digital assets. In this project, you can prove its security with mathematical proofs as well as investigate different blockchains.
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
Training an Artificial Intelligence to Play Your Favorite Game with Deep Reinforcement Learning
Have you ever wanted a friend to play your favorite game with or had a really hard game you wanted to beat? In this project we will make an Bot that can play a game using some modern AI techniques (specifically Deep Learning and Deep Reinforcement Learning).
Engineering, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Minecraft as an Environmental Education tool
Do different styles of play represent different environmental positions? There are a ton of different ways to investigate this question. We could use computational methods to examine existing data online (Reddit, blogs, etc.), conduct interviews, or send out surveys. The student and mentor would collaboratively design and investigate this question.
We have had consistent and accurate data collected about the Earth's surface for more than 3 decades now, but only in this new era of Big-Data are we able to leverage it. Understanding the qualities of the earths surface, detecting specific environmental features, and classifying the land use of different parts of the earths surface, is crucial to do in realtime. Computer vision has offered many techniques that can be explored to perform some of these tasks.