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.

Using cBioPortal for multidimensional analysis of cancer genomics and clinical profiles

The cBioPortal is a tool to explore large-scale cancer genomic data sets, providing access to data from cancer cell lines to clinical studies. This tool will allow us to explore genetic alterations across genes and pathways. In this project we will first explore genetic alterations (including genetic mutations), and then formulate a hypothesis regarding the genomic context in cancerous cell lines. The genomic context includes genetic mutation, gene amplification, and changes in protein abundance.

Cancer, Music, Chemistry

Holly
Holly

Mentorship for a Work Already in Progress

Do you already have a project you are passionate about and need help finishing, or figuring out the next steps? If so, I would love to be your mentor!

My Life: The Musical

Do you ever think that your life would be better if you could sing and dance through it? We'll examine songs and scenes from musicals (from Broadway, TV shows, and TikTok) and consider their narrative purpose and structure. Then, you'll write your own song(s) and produce a music video to upload on your social media site of choice!

Music, Arts

Hannah
Hannah

Art is a Necessity

COVID-19 has led to a worldwide shutdown of theatres, concerts, and events. What resulted was a surge in online streaming such as Netflix and Hulu. According to USA Today, "worldwide viewing time grew 44% in the last three months of 2020, compared with the same period a year ago." Arts and entertainment play a critical role in our lives, and its accessibility is correlated to mental health. Let's investigate the intersections of art and health, and discover the ways that art can change the world.

Cognitive, Music

Chloris
Chloris

How to do Nothing

Activities and reflections geared around "doing nothing". To find cracks and gaps in a busy day to be nothing: not a student, not a sibling, not a friend, not even a member of society. Just be nothing. Just exist and everything else with unfold by itself. Do "nothing" and see what "somethings" can happen!

Psychology, Music, Creative Writing, Literature and Languages, Arts

Kelley
Kelley

Blood Lead Levels from an Rural-Urban Epidemiological Lens

Using CA blood lead level data from the past decade, I've partnered with a colleague to descriptively represent the current state of lead contaminated water, particularly in the state of California, and how that issue disproportionately impacts areas approaching greater rurality. The data used is openly published and underwent an audit.

Business, Social Science, Music

Chance
Chance

What does that even mean?

Word definitions change over time and evolve to mean wildly different things now than when they were written. Old texts often mean more than meets the eye!

Music

Anna
Anna

Writing and Recording a Song

I will work with the student to build out a song from the initial concept/harmony ideas to a fully recorded final project. In the process I will teach the student the basics of recording and mixing, along with how to structure a song and how to find the right chords and arrangement to express their vision.

Music, Arts, Comp Sci

Cody
Cody

Compose a detailed research proposal for your dream project

Your proposal could be anything! Having the experience to clearly communicate your ideas through writing is a highly sought after skill. Engineers and other STEM majors tend to lack in this skill so having mastery of will put you far head of your peers. Having a proposal will be very impressive when you are applying for jobs or schools in the future.

Music, Comp Sci

Nathaniel
Nathaniel

Inspired by Literature/history/poetry

When we look to the past, we tend to be inspired to develop something new. Our experience of history informs our movement towards the future. I love to listen to the past and let its stories permeate my creativity--both in musical composition and creative writing. Would you like to write and produce a song that expresses your experience with a particular piece of poetry? Or perhaps you want to write a story that is a continuation of your favorite classic novel? When connecting ourselves to previous human experience, the possibilities are unfettered.

Music, Photography, Psychology

Elyssa
Elyssa

Why Do the Arts Matter?

Why do the arts matter? Is there a correlation between progress in the arts and progress in society? What effects do the arts have on a community? Personal growth and development? Learning? In this project, students will consider the role of the arts not only in their lives, but in their community at large. Through research, students will present an argument for the arts in the format of their choosing.

Music

Shannon
Shannon

Audition Coaching

We all experience audition stress: from doing a great slate, to really nailing your character arc in your 1 minute monologue or 16 bar audition song, there's a lot of pressure! I can help you gain comfort and ease through all parts of your audition process, whether it's for a community theatre audition, auditions for college or conservatory, or your professional career. We will figure out the details of what you need to succeed together.

Cognitive, Music

Ellen
Ellen

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.

Music, AI/ML

Ross
Ross

Narrative or Systematic Review

Read and process current scientific papers in a topic area of your choice. There can be a variety of outcomes, including a formal paper aimed at a science audience (such as a narrative or systematic review) or something public-facing, like a video, blog post, or podcast. The point is to distill a huge body of information and communicate it in a clear way. What are some possible topics? For example, how are whole-brain networks altered during the progression of dementia? Why is the name and function of everyday objects difficult to identify, or personal memories hard to recall? Maybe your interest is more medical and you want to review current pharmacological or behavioral treatment. Maybe your interest is more theoretical and you want to understand how concepts are represented in the mind and brain. You decide the direction!

Biology, Music, Psychology

Matthew
Matthew

College Audition Preparation

It's a big project! I'll help you prepare a well-rounded audition with appropriate materials so you can feel confident on your audition day.

Music

Shannon
Shannon

Machine Learning for Autonomous Vehicles

There are many, many tasks involved in the realm of self-driving vehicles, which involve analysis of activities happening inside the vehicle, outside the vehicle, and even from a bird's-eye-view. Some projects you may want to explore: Driver activity analysis using inside-facing cameras, exploring a driver's eyes, attention, posture, hand activity, etc. Detecting pedestrians and other vehicles in the outside scene using machine learning. Path planning and trajectory prediction for intelligent agents. If your idea involves an intelligent vehicle, I'd love to connect and help guide your research!

Music, AI/ML

Ross
Ross

Synchrony, Stress, and Psychology

Can stress be unconsciously transmitted between people while they engage in a social interaction? In this project, we will investigate this question in the context of the parent-infant relationship to better understand how both the parent and child co-regulate each other's stress via physiological synchrony. We will use advanced statistical methods to model the dynamic patterns of reciprocal physiological activity between the parent and child. More generally, we will also examine the neuroscience of stress and how it affects psychological and brain development to impact cognition, emotion, and health.

Cognitive, Music

Stephen
Stephen

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

Personalized Music Therapy

Our favorite streaming services use wealths of data to predict, suggest, and present music to us that we may be interested in. Even if these services know the music we use for our 'self-care' playlists, would a behavioral health specialist agree with what we listen to? This project would require establishing the impact music can have on mental health, and how a technology could be designed to support this impact while maintaining clinical expectations of good health and privacy.

Public Health, Music, Organizational Leadership

Thomas
Thomas

Analyzing the Cultural and Political Implications of COVID-19 in the Performing Arts

Indefinite change across international industries is imminent at this time of systemic and structural development, after the world was (and continues to be) rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the notable sectors that is ripe for opportunity in this time of change is the non-profit performing arts sector. Questioning what the origins of where non-profit work came from and evolved to become is one of the initial questions a student can begin to uncover. We will move into the social outward actions that performing arts organizations have taken to maintain traditions while also questioning those very traditions in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students may emerge from this research and analysis with social/programatic pitches to performing arts organizations on how they may best enact development in this time. Whether this pitch is through a paper, presentation, podcast, short film/video series, etc., they will hopefully have added their thoughtful opinion into the modern conversation of an industry that remains a foundational representative of entertainment as we know it.

Music, Economics

Caroline
Caroline