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.

Make Your Own Website

In this project, you will learn the fundamentals of web development by creating your own website. You will deploy this website to the world wide web, and create several different pages with content of your choice. Will you make a professional page with your resume and bio? A site with games for your friends? Maybe a blog or collection of articles?

Comp Sci, AI/ML, Math, Statistics, Comp Sci - Game Design

Sam
Sam

There is an app for that!

If you have an idea for an app, you can create that. Learn to design and create an app from the idea to share it with family and friends. App development will occur using MIT's App Inventor or Code.org's App Lab.

Comp Sci, Comp Sci - Game Design

Abigail
Abigail

Audiovisual Toys in Unity and ChucK

Ever wanted to make an instrument on your computer? It's super easy! Using Unity for the computer interaction and ChucK for the audio synthesis, you will learn how to make an instrument that you, your friends and family can play. It will look awesome, too (example in picture)!

Comp Sci, AI/ML, Math, Music, Comp Sci - Game Design

Nolan
Nolan

Develop your Portfolio

For most art / design schools, admissions are competitive and a strong portfolio can be a key requirement. I have maintained a design portfolio for more than 10 years, and have gone through many iterations and discovered the key components they need to have to be: 1. Relevant and specific to your career objectives 2. Simple and easy to navigate through 3. Thorough, showing your entire design / thought process I can help you not only design and curate your portfolio but suggest the kinds of personal projects that will round it out and give you a competitive edge.

Comp Sci - Game Design

Blake
Blake

Integrate Computer Science and Art

Are you an artist with an interest in coding? Discover how to use the power of Processing to create dynamic computer-generated art and visualizations.

Comp Sci, Comp Sci - Game Design

Abigail
Abigail

An interactive timeline of modern art

How can we visualize data that is messy and intertwined? The modern art era--a period that spanned approximately one century-- is full of brilliant diverging and similar ideas. This project deals with how to create an interactive visualization that allows viewers to understand the general timeline as well as dig deeper to see trends in art styles and show how art periods and artists inspire one another.

Music, Comp Sci, Comp Sci - Game Design

Samantha
Samantha

Design Web Sites for Impact

Learn to design a website from scratch with beautiful design and a social impact message. Learn how HTML, CSS, and Javascript work together to create websites.

Comp Sci, Comp Sci - Game Design

Abigail
Abigail

Design-Based Research: Creating a (Very Small!) Game

Developing games can be research too! Through design-based research (DBR), you can make a game that has educational value, or a game that helps players contribute to science (called citizen science games), or even just a game that does something unique that hasn't been done in a game before! Making a game is a usually a huge undertaking, so this project would have a very small scope and focus on time management, workflow, design, and iteration, with a proof-of-concept outcome. Some example game ideas could be: - a puzzle game about practicing algebra - a citizen science game about identifying birds - a game you play with your toes - a story-rich game about OCD - a party game you can play on Zoom

Cognitive, Comp Sci - Game Design

Josh
Josh

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

Alex
Alex

Create a graph database from unstructured data

Journalists and social scientists are turning to NLP to understand complex relationships among documents and the entities they reference. An example is a story I worked on for WIRED, for which we built a graph database out of Twitter posts, and used this to discover mistakes in Twitter's disinformation policy. https://www.wired.com/story/how-americans-wound-up-on-twitters-list-of-russian-bots/

Arts, Comp Sci - Game Design, AI/ML

Alex
Alex

Creating Player Investment through Character Dialogue

(This is inspired by an independent study I did during my master's program.) The average gamer is only truly invested in a video game for the first 30 minutes of gameplay. Does character dialogue contribute or detract to that player experience? Does the player need to be an active participant or do they prefer to be a passive observer? Using narrative scenes featuring two or more characters, I will gauge multiple player factors for liking characters (such as what character archetypes players gravitate towards, and how to establish character arcs for players to take interest in).

Creative Writing, History, Social Science, Literature and Languages, Comp Sci - Game Design

Tyler
Tyler

Code the Enigma Cipher in Python!

Want a challenging, yet fun introduction to coding in Python? In this project, you will learn how to code (and break) the famous Enigma cipher from World War II. You will learn the fundamentals of cryptography, encryption, and decryption and even learn a little bit of the history of spies and secret codes!

Comp Sci, AI/ML, Math, Music, Comp Sci - Game Design

Nolan
Nolan

Making Machines Make Art - Procedurally Generated Content

Computers and people can cooperate to make infinite varieties of creative content. In this project, you will learn how to create infinite images, music, video game levels, 3d objects, or text using techniques like neural style transfer, genetic algorithms, rejection sampling, Perlin noise, or Voronoi tessellation. You will create a functioning content generator that can be showcased on a website or at a research conference.

Comp Sci, AI/ML, Math, Statistics, Comp Sci - Game Design

Sam
Sam

Digital Closet App

Create an app to sort the clothes in your closet. The function of the app will be to take photos of each individual piece and the app will classify it into tops/bottoms/etc. You can star you favorite pieces, sort by new tags like season and color, etc. This app will teach you how to create a database to log clothes, an API for clothing recognition, use tags to sort clothes, and learn an app development language.

Music, Comp Sci, Comp Sci - Game Design

Samantha
Samantha

Game-User Experience Research Study

Explore the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) and games user research (GUR) with a small research study that you design. We'll go through forming a research question and hypothesis, designing a qualitative and/or quantitative experiment, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up a report. This could even result in a scientific publication! Some example research questions could be: - How can game developers avoid unhealthy, "dark", and exploitative patterns of game design? - Are games becoming more open to LGBTQ+ topics? - What do players think about moral systems in games?

Cognitive, Comp Sci - Game Design

Josh
Josh

Machine Learning - "For Science!"

In this project you will learn about the fundamentals of machine learning (including techniques like Deep Learning) by analyzing a dataset of your choice. You will write a scientific paper in the style of a major AI conference where you apply existing machine learning algorithms to this dataset, and possibly invent your own!

Comp Sci, AI/ML, Math, Statistics, Comp Sci - Game Design

Sam
Sam

Design an Educational App

If you have an idea for an educational app I can guide you on the design process from discovering user needs through research, generating design requirements, creating low-fidelity mockups, usability testing with users, and creating high-fidelity mockups that can be handed off to engineers for development.

Comp Sci - Game Design

Blake
Blake