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.

Superconductivity

Superconductivity, especially in high temperatures, is one of the big unanswered questions of condensed matter physics and materials science. In this project you will review the work done in superconductivity leading to BCS theory which describes the behaviour of the electrons in a superconductor. If time allows, we could look at some of the current research on high temperature superconductors. The goal of the project is to write a short history of superconductivity, referencing some of the major breakthroughs along the way.

Physics

Ina
Ina

Point-of-Care Diagnostic Device Development

I have experience working with engineers and medical professionals in developing low cost point-of-care diagnostic devices. In this project, you will learn how to navigate the engineering design process from conducting a comprehensive literature search into existing POC devices, to speaking with industry leaders creating COVID-19 test solutions, to creating a proof-of-concept device at home.

Biology, Math, Physics, Engineering

Carolyn
Carolyn

Space Habitat Monitoring

As people travel into deep space, their dwellings will need to self-monitor to ensure the safety of the inhabitants. What measurements are needed and how can that information be presented to astronauts in a helpful way? These questions (and others) can be taken in many directions, all centered around how humans can better interact with their "smart home".

Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Comp Sci, Math

Adam
Adam

Analyzing Enforcement for Automated Vehicles

As automated vehicles become more prevalent in our society today, it is becoming more crucial to understand how we will enforce our current traffic laws and norms when there are driverless cars. The aim of this project would be to master an understanding of the types of automated vehicles, as defined by the SAE, and then perform a literature review of current ideas to enforce automated vehicles when they are on the roads. If time allows, the student can also suggest their own enforcement mechanism for AVs.

Physics, Engineering

Veronica
Veronica

Literature Review on Types of Drug Delivery Routes of Administration

In this project, a student would research the different routes of drug administration, including oral, nasal, parental, intramuscular, intravenous, and more. The advantages, drawbacks, and strategies for delivering different types of drugs via these routes will be reviewed and summarized in the final article. The student will identify future directions that could improve the viability of different delivery routes.

Physics

Lucas
Lucas

Medical Device Development

I have experience working with engineers and industry and medical professionals in developing effective medical devices that address a clinical need. In this project, you will learn how to navigate the engineering design process from establishing user needs through research and user interviews to creating a minimal viable product through electronic design and prototyping. Together, we will work on personal and technical skills you need to effectively identify and addressing gaps in current medical solutions.

Biology, Math, Physics, Engineering

Carolyn
Carolyn

The Strongest WIMPS - neutrinos as dark matter candidates

In this project, you will explore the source of one of the biggest mysteries facing physicists today: What is Dark Matter? It comprises nearly 75% of the observable universe, but doesn't fit descriptions ofWIMPS - Weakly Interacting Massive Particles - are a leading Dark Matter candidate

Physics

Julia
Julia

Visualizing Density Gradients with Schlieren Photography

Density gradients that are invisible to the naked eye exist all around us. They scale all the way from shock waves coming off supersonic jets to the breath coming out of out mouths. Construct an experimental Schlieren setup to visualize and image this otherwise hidden phenomenon.

Math, Physics, Engineering

John
John

Design of a Human-Powered Flying Machine

A student would investigate some of the physics and the mechanisms that allow birds to fly. A comparative analysis would then be conducted between various birds to discover why some are better flyers than others (e.g. peregrine falcon vs. turkey). Using this knowledge, the student would then design a theoretical device to enable human-powered flight.

Engineering, Physics, AI/ML, Math

Mitchell
Mitchell

Build a biophysical model of a neuron

Build a biophysical computational model of a neural activity with Python or MATLAB (or Octave).

Neuroscience, Physics

Akihiro
Akihiro

Coral Bleaching

Coral reefs are a vital part of the ocean's coastal marine ecosystem. They protect fragile coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, and are a recreational hotspot. The National oceanic and atmospheric administration (NOAA) has said over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection. In recent years, coral reefs have been facing increasingly episodic bleaching events that now pose a threat to both marine life and coastal communities. This project can either be a literary review of the coral bleaching events and the reasons behind them, or how human intervention has accelerated the coral reef deterioration or a brand new research idea to understand these events.

Physics, Engineering

Silpa
Silpa

Detect COVID-19 Infections in Chest X-ray Images

One way to diagnose COVID-19 is to look for inflammation and fluid in the lungs (pneumonia) with a chest radiograph (X-ray Image). Your task would be to design a computer vision model to detect pneumonias and help diagnose COVID-19.

Physics, Engineering, AI/ML

Matthew
Matthew

Wind Turbines in Maine? Clean Resource Assessment

By analyzing NOAA atmospheric data and using publicly available wind turbine specifications, we can estimate the power output of a wind farm in any US city to generate a feasibility report for clean energy in that area. Similar analyses are also possible for solar energy.

Physics, Engineering

Parker
Parker

Observation

One of the fantastic things about astronomy is the sheer amount of data that exists publicly. Whether amateur databases like AAVSO or ready-to-download Hubble archives, there's quite a bit of research that can be done without ever proposing for telescope time. There are a number of options for projects involving existing data, but to provide concrete examples: • Without much specialized software, it is possible to study stellar explosions at multiple wavelengths. This could be as simple as plotting light curves of the same event across the electromagnetic spectrum (and doing a dive into the literature about that class of event) or as complicated as trying to comprehensively review a class of explosion and discern population statistics (also involving a dive into the literature). • Alternatively, if there's interest in gaining familiarity with some specialized astronomical software, there are myriad data available from Hubble, SDSS, ... that can be used for analysis of a single galaxy or a population of galaxies. This project could look something like trying to better understand the stellar populations (via a surface brightness profile, photometry, ... it depends on the choice of galaxy) involved.

Physics, Comp Sci

Ava
Ava

Using neural networks to solve physics problems

Neural networks have remarkable predictive power for solving all kinds of dynamical systems, and their applicability to computational physics is only recently being explored. In this project, you would explore using neural networks to solve physics problems. A simple starting example could be writing a recurrent NN to predict the evolution of a double pendulum, but there are a lot of directions we could take this project, such as solving quantum or electromagnetic field equations, N-body simulations, or inverse design of electromagnetic components.

Physics, Comp Sci

Ben
Ben

Financial markets, stocks, and options

How do the public markets work? When I buy a stock, who am I really buying it from? Can I make money without having to predict the future? As it turns out, the answers to all three questions are not what you'd first expect! We'll explore these questions together, and begin to explore the foundational mathematics behind quantitative trading firms.

Finance, Business, Math, Physics, Engineering

Richard
Richard

Mechanical testing of various knit architectures

Students will understand the differences between knit architectures and relate these architectures to knit patterns. Students will learn the basics of mechanical/structural testing and understand mechanical property evaluation. Students will gain experience in designing experiments. Students will have the option to extend their study to pattern optimization.

Physics, Engineering, Fluid Dynamics

Hannah
Hannah

The Rebel Project

Have you ever wondered why we do things the way we do them? Why we drive on the left seat while riding on the right lane? Why we call it "going off" when the alarm sound is actually "going on"? It seems like we do certain things just because everybody does them in a standardized way. Well, no more! We are going rogue on these problems! \m/ @[email protected] \m/ While these are just silly examples, there are real questions and learning opportunities around using the "wrong" solution for a given problem. In this project, you'll pick a task in machine learning, scientific computing, programming, math, physics, or something else, that you'll solve using some unconventional approach, and we'll try to get an answer as to why a solution you propose may not be the best approach. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a better way to solve the problem in the end. Here are some examples, with varying degrees of difficulty. You can also propose your own problem: - How many components can we remove before a physics equation becomes useless (e.g., removing wind resistance in free-fall motion) - Arithmetic procedures using different approaches (e.g., multiplication starting with the most significant digit as opposed to the least significant digit) - Passing by reference vs passing by value for primitive values - Representing numbers in IEEE format with varying mantissa and exponent sizes - Using spheres for collision detection as opposed to cubes - Evaluating mathematical expression (e.g., sin, cos, exp, etc.) directly, as opposed to using series expansions

Math, Physics, Comp Sci, Fluid Dynamics

Pedro
Pedro

Low capital algorithmic trading

With small amounts of money, trading things on the stock market is very profitable and has very few restrictions. In fact, quant funds do this regularly, executing hundreds of trades every day holding onto investments for as low as minutes at a time. In this project, you would explore different methods of financial modeling ranging from fundamentals analysis to strictly technical cost-based analysis of securities and aim to implement an algorithm that could automate trading.

Math, Physics, AI/ML

Jerry
Jerry

Build an Autonomous Quadcopter Drone!

Want to learn to hover a quadcopter in space? Using simple PID control techniques in Python, we can build a small drone together and make it hover in space! Bonus rounds include installing a camera and seeing the world through the drone's eye!

Math, Physics, Engineering, AI/ML

Soha
Soha