Students at MIT are invited to participate in the activities of the MIT Compassionate Tech Lab via MIT’s UROP Program.
Whether or not these internships are paid, for credit, or as volunteer experience depends on the applicant’s need and current availability of funding. See Internship page for more information on how to apply.
Current focus of the MIT Compassionate Tech Lab include:
- Research in the Neuroscience of Learning.
- Development of technologies to promote mindfulness (e.g., mediation).
- Neurological differences in game use behavior.
- Technologies to enhance reading (e.g., through e-readers).
In addition, we ALWAYS need people to help with organization, leadership, social media, and outreach.
Please write to Dr. Matthew Schneps for more information.
UROP/UAP/MEng OPPORTUNITY “Games for Literacy”
Introduction: Nearly a BILLION people in the world are functionally illiterate, many because of differences in neurology that make reading inherently difficult. We’re building mobile games and apps to address this problem and we need your help! We have openings for UROP, UAP, and MEng students for this spring, with options to continue into the summer.
: The MIT Compassionate Tech Lab (http://labvislearn.com/compassionate-technology/) does research in the neuroscience of reading, and has developed new technologies used worldwide to help people with dyslexia, ADHD, and other neurological differences to read. We are developing new tools based on the latest research, to help people who are persistently illiterate develop an ability read. We’re looking for people who are great programmers, app designers, and graphic artists who are interested in education, neuroscience, or both, to join our team!
We have many sub-projects available to suit a variety of interests and backgrounds, so talk to us if you’re interested, but here are a few examples of high-priority ones we are hoping a UROP or UAP student will tackle:
ACTION VIDEO GAMES
New research shows that exposure to action video games can help persistently poor readers. However, most games also convey unwanted side effects (e.g. exposure to violence) that limit their utility. We want the good effects without the bad, and will try to create an appropriate game redesign that serves this need.
ATTENTION TRAINING APP
Reading places unnatural demands on our ability to control visual attention. Many persistently poor readers are unable to manage this. But fortunately there are a number of known techniques to help people train their attention for reading. We will place these in the context of a game intended to encourage people to comply with the regimen.
People who are persistently poor readers find reading to be a highly stressful experience. The brain’s response to stress can interfere with many cognitive functions such as reading (and cause other ill-effects such as depression that exacerbate the reading problems.) Mindfulness training, such as guided meditation, can often help, and we will devise ways to incorporate these protocols into our training programs.
SOCIAL SUPPORT NETWORKS
Learning a new and difficult skill requires support, and we will develop ways to use social media and other technological systems for community building to help users through the rough spots in their training. This requires an understanding of how people interact via online social tools, some knowledge of behavior and psychology, and great graphic design to encourage people to access our tools, and make it easy and fun to use.
Department/Program: MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program / Education Arcade
Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Eric Klopfer
Direct Supervisor: Dr. Matthew H. Schneps
Project Name: Games for Literacy
Expected Time Commitment:
10-12 hours/week, for credit, or pay via application to UROP.
Many of these projects could potentially be expanded to M.Eng. projects.
HOW TO APPLY
If interested, please send an email to Dr. Schneps (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Prof. Klopfer (email@example.com) containing:
– – which focus area(s) you are interested in
– – a current resume if available, and/or a brief description of relevant interests and experience
– – an estimate of your availability (hrs/week)
– – a few times when you’re available for a 20-minute interview
– – a few sentences describing the reasons you are interested in this project
PLEASE be sure “Games for Literacy Opportunities” is in the subject of your email.
We hope to be able to put together a great team and produce a great program in a fast-paced, collaborative, and fun work environment. The STEP lab is a great place to work, with UROPs at the heart of almost everything we’re doing. We hope you’ll consider joining us!
Spring 2016 Deadlines
- UROP Direct Funding proposals: Thursday, February 11, 2016
- Supervisor/Sponsored Research Funding proposals: Thursday, March 17, 2016
- Credit and Volunteer proposals: Thursday, March 17, 2016
To receive credit, you MUST ALSO REGISTER your credit with the Registrar’s Office via Add form no later than Drop Date, April 21, 2016.