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
Create a UX Design for Your own Phone App
Using design software, create a prototype of your own phone app. Use established design patterns like Google's Material Design to produce something familiar and easy for your users to understand. Create a usable prototype with figma that people can use as if it was a real application. Conduct user interviews and user research to understand the usability of your app, capture their feedback, and adjust your design accordingly.
How does technology help Wildlife
Research how technology is improving wildlife populations and connecting parks throughout the US
Comp Sci, Social Science
Build a simple app that functions as a calculator, allowing you to do simple operations such as addition and subtraction. We can add onto that and add in other operations like multiplication and division, or even modular arithmetic.
Robotic System Design
Robots have many electromechanical parts that keep them running. Create a robotic system while learning about design tradeoffs that balance hardware, software, and cost restrictions. Your main takeaways will be learning about the sensors and electronics needed in almost every robotic design, from self-driving cars to autonomous drones.
Physics, Engineering, Comp Sci
Machine Learning in Sports
First gain an understanding of how machine learning is used in sports and sport science today before attempting to implement new architectures and methods on available youtube data. Baseball has a fantastic array of data that can easily be used for projects and can teach web scraping skills as well as machine learning techniques.
Engineering, Comp Sci, Sports Analytics, AI/ML
Harness the Wind: DIY Hovercraft
Two opinions with for this project: 1. 3D model and design your miniature craft and use an Arduino to control the craft 2. Build a human size hovercraft to ride. (Tools needed) This project aims to teach students about design, 3D modeling, aerodynamics, programming, and problem solving.
Music, Comp Sci
Sentiment analysis of COVID-19 vaccine tweets
Apply data mining to query and synthesize hundreds of thousands of tweets and perform sentiment analysis to compare which COVID-19 vaccine is most promising in different geographic regions. Compare which side effects are most predominant among Pfizer vaccine recipients versus Moderna vaccine recipients. This project would likely culminate in a Medium article which takes the reader through the project from exploratory data analysis to code implementation, and finally a well-articulated discussion of research findings and limitations.
Comp Sci, Sports Analytics, AI/ML
Help catch bad guys, with image filtering!
One of the most common tasks in image processing is image denoising. From pictures on your cell phone to the notoriously low-quality images of gas station security cameras, a noise-free image is a desirable image. In this project, one will learn the basics of denoising images using a variety of modern image processing techniques for their desired imaging modality. This could be medical imaging, optical imaging, or even radar imaging!
Math, Engineering, Comp Sci, AI/ML
The world needs more scientists who can speak to the general public about their science. Pandemic science really showed a disconnect. Podcasts offer a unique area to showcase technical information in a public setting. You will gain research skills as well as production skills from editing up to production/distribution.
Biology, Public Health, Math, Comp Sci
Generating Images from Text with DALL-E 2
This is an advanced machine learning project, which involves the text to image generation program DALL-E 2. It's absolutely fascinating, and I highly recommend checking it out here: https://openai.com/dall-e-2/. While this AI is not yet public, there is a basic open-source version which we should be able to experiment with! Requires familiarity with: - GitHub - Linux command line - Python - Deep learning
Engineering, Comp Sci, AI/ML, Math
Barriers to Rare Disease Research
Rare diseases, collectively, make up a large percentage of the diseased population in America (30 million Americans suffer from a rare disease!) However, the research conducted to learn about and treat these diseases is lacking, and many rare disease patients live without any treatment options. This project seeks to uncover the sociological, technical, and economic barriers that may be affecting the limited rare disease research in America. What sort of biological challenges make it harder to study rare diseases than more prevalent diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's, and Diabetes? How does the term "rare" affect rare disease researchers from securing funding options? Does society consider rare diseases "not important", and could this have an effect on the research interest in these diseases? An optimal conclusion to this project would be to not only identify these challenges, but propose potential solutions to improve rare disease research in America.
Biology, Neuroscience, Biotech, Comp Sci
Research Review Paper: Brainwaves and Behavior - How certain states of mind are studied through patterns of brain activity
In this project, the mentee will pick one of many functions of the human brain that they are interested in (e.g. attention, meditation, emotion, listening to music, etc.) and explore some of the scientific literature on the topic. The mentee will produce a literature review that encapsulates as much as they are they are interested in, but must cover several brain imaging techniques such as EEG and fMRI. The mentor will provide educational resources for the mentee to further learn about these technologies. Finally, the mentee will turn their literature review into a polished paper (5-10 pages) that reviews the current status on the science exploring their topic.
Neuroscience, Psychology, Comp Sci, AI/ML
How safe are your selfies?
Cybersecurity and privacy is an incredible concern in the modern world. Whatever device you are reading this on undoubtedly has enormous amounts of information about you. Although the consequences of being hacked or having your online identity stolen are great, the average person does little to protect their data. How might we solve this? This project can take many directions depending on the student's interests. - Students interested in design may create digital privacy interventions to promote online safety. - Students interested in psychology may run a controlled experiment testing various privacy interventions. - Students interested in computer science may code an informational web page on privacy risks and practices. - Students interested in law&policy may write a report on how tech companies should approach consumer privacy.
Psychology, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Correlating The Cancer Genome Atlas data with sc-RNAseq data.
There has been an explosion of publicly available data for cancer, including at the single cell resolution. By combining scRNA-seq data with bulk RNA-seq data, a more robust image of tumor purity and the tumor microenvironment can be captured. This has implications for tumorogenesis, disease progression, and therapeutic intervention.
Biology, Math, Physics, Comp Sci, Chemistry
For this project, the student and I will come up with an interesting topic and pick a few research papers around the topic. We will discuss the papers and their scientific contributions as well as their downfalls. Once those are established, we will either write an article reviewing the literature and suggesting the next steps or we will make a presentation on the topic. The drawback analysis can focus on ethics, sustainability, bias, and other problems the student may want to discuss.
Math, Comp Sci
Designing a Game from Scratch
This is an intermediate game development project centered around game development and looking at the entire development process from start to finish. You get to make up your own game! For example, you could make a 3-D game where you fight zombies, or a 2-D platformer with a twist. While this project doesn't require a ton of background, it will require a lot of work, but you'll definitely have fun. :) Requires familiarity with: - Any programming language - Geometry/Trigonometry - Time management
Engineering, Comp Sci, AI/ML, Math
Writing a scientific review
Not ray for actual laboratory, or mathematical-computational research just yet? In this project, you will write a scientific review-style paper on a topic of your choice. Topics could range anywhere within STEM, from “how do computers work?” to “how do we know quantum mechanics is real?”. This process will teach you how to find, access, and critically analyze existing scientific literature and how to assemble primary literature into a scientific review. You will gain skills in writing and editing, as well as an in-depth knowledge of your chosen research topic.
Math, Physics, Comp Sci, Chemistry
Recreating Iphone’s Voice Memo App
Have you ever been curious about what it takes to build an App for mobile phones? In this project, we will work together to recreate Iphone’s Voice Memo App to learn the tools and skillsets needed to build a modern-day mobile application. I will break down the steps required to build an app into digestible pieces that we can cover in a single session. Although we will spend the first session going over the timeline of work required to finish this idea, here’s a rough idea of what you can expect: 1. Setting up your work environment a. Code Editor b. Required Software Components (Dependencies) 2. Getting Familiar with Front End Technologies a. HTML, CSS, JS, FlexBox 3. Getting Familiar with React Native a. Hooks, Props, Components, JSX 4. Learning State Management a. Context, Redux, Hooks 5. Creating Actionable Tasks a. We will breakdown the work required and create tasks we can cross off for the remainder of the app 6. Developing Functionality a. Creating/Deleting/Updating Audio b. Playing/Pausing/Resuming Audio 7. Styling The App a. Using CSS/flexbox to make the app look identical to Voice Memo
Sentiment Analysis: Twitter Data and Market Shifts
Analyzing tone and sentiment of prominent political and industry figures as they correlate with market movements, based on company and industry-specific tweet content.
Linguistics, Comp Sci, AI/ML
Use of Data Science / Stats techniques to answer interesting questions
What makes a popular song popular? What identifies fake news from real news? There are data everywhere and I am excited to help students apply stats and data science techniques to help answer questions like these and many more!
Engineering, Comp Sci