Research Projects by Subject

We will continue to post projects to this page as they are approved. Please check back periodically for updates.

Each research project will involve background reading for the interns provided by their mentors.
Each research project will involve a final presentation by the interns.

Interns are expected to work collaboratively on the
same project and/or data set.
This may preclude rising seniors from submitting papers based on such projects to the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition

Please feel welcome to research the projects and labs associated with the SIP Research Projects listed below, but PLEASE DO NOT contact any mentors or faculty. Mentors will reach out to admitted interns who have been assigned to their projects during the research preparation weeks of June 7–18, 2021.


Project code: ANT-01
Title: Technology and Oral Story Collection of Indian Immigrants in the USA
Primary mentor: Kati Greaney
Faculty advisor: Dr. Annapurna Pandey
Location: Remote/online
Number of interns: 4

Project description:
These days, one often hears that we human beings are primarily story tellers. We tell stories about ourselves as well as about others. What these stories tell us is the rich experience human beings have acquired in their life. The world in which we live today is largely created by technology. The mentor and SIP interns will use various tools provided by technology in their digital story telling research. This project will encourage SIP interns to collect stories about the immigrant experience in the United States. For the last three decades the mentor has been working on the Indian diaspora in the Greater Bay Area, California. The mentor has made two films, “Homeland in the Heart” and “Life Giving Ceremony of Jagannath” documenting the involvement of Odia people (people from the state of Odisha) in building a community and developing a sense of belonging to the United States. The mentor would like to broaden the scope of this research by incorporating the experiences of other Indian immigrants.

This project will give an opportunity to the SIP interns to collect oral history material about the experiences of immigrant parents, grandparents, and their American-born children. The material will include streaming audio and written transcripts accessible online in digital formats. The mentor and SIP interns will use various available technology tools. The mentor’s aim in this project is to collect interviews of Indian immigrants in the USA. The SIP interns will interview various members of the Indian community and collect their experiences in this country compared to their experience in their homeland that they have left behind. These interviews are a unique source of contemporary history through the experiences of the immigrants. Past studies have shown that this kind of research has revealing consequences for both the researchers as well as the subjects of their research. Students who have experience and interest in film making, video-making technology, and video editing are encouraged to apply.

Required skills for interns prior to acceptance: None
Skills interns will acquire/hone: Field work, statistical data analysis

Program week number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Mentor’s availability: ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON


Applied Artificial Intelligence

Project code: AAI-01 (EPS)
Title: Machine Learning and Mineral Identification on Mars
Primary mentor: Genesis Berlanga
Faculty advisor: Prof. Quentin Williams
Location: Remote/online
Number of interns: 3

Project description:
NASA’s Mars rovers take thousands of images and spectra every day. Analyzing this information is a massive task that takes months of work, but with the help of computers, scientists can shorten the time it takes to arrive at exciting results. In order to train a computer to be a geological assistant, the SIP interns will program a computer to automatically identify rocks and minerals found on the surface of the Moon and Mars. The interns will help build neural networks modeled after the circuitry of brain neurons to train the computer to accomplish this task using rocks we find on Earth. This research project will inform future research for Mars rovers like Curiosity or Perseverance, by finding ways to simplify rock and mineral identification while roving the surface of another planet.

The SIP interns’ tasks will include: (1) identifying spectra and images of rocks and minerals relevant to the Moon and Mars; (2) programming in Python, MATLAB, or R; and (3) building a neural network that automatically identifies minerals. Computer programming experience is encouraged but not necessary. The mentor will provide training.

Required skills for interns prior to acceptance: Computer programming
Skills interns will acquire/hone: Computer programming

Special age requirement: Interns must be 16 years old by June 21, 2021.

Program week number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Mentor’s availability: ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON