2014 ICD REU research projects

Click the title below for more information about these research projects for the summer 2014 ICD REU program.  Also, check out student posters and presentations on past REU projects here.

Trading agent competition

Professor Michael Wellman, Computer Science and Eng., U-M; Professor Daniel Grosu, Computer Science, Wayne State Univ.
In one large, multi-team and ongoing project we design autonomous software agents that trade (on behalf of human designers) in complex electronic markets.


Endogenous preference formation in human social networks

Erin Krupka

Assistant Professor Erin Krupka, School of Information, U-M and Assistant Professor Stephen Leider, Operations and Management Science, Stephen M Ross School of Business, UM
This project investigates the effect that social relationships have on a student’s behavior not just today, but the effect of those friendships over time.  Students who participate in this project will read/learn about how experimental economists and computer scientists have tried to map friendship networks (and their effect on behavior). They will also gain experience in all phases of the research process.


Using virtual world modeling to guide the exploration of ancient landscapes

Professor Robert G. Reynolds, Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University and Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, U-M
The goal of this project is to use virtual world models of ancient sites to predict "hot spots" or regions on the site that are most likely to yield certain types of artifacts when explored by archaeologiests.  An example of an ancient site underneath modern Lake Huron is employed in this project.

 


Modeling the effect of changing weather patterns on traditional fishing economies

Professor Robert G. Reynolds, Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University and Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, U-M
The student will participate in a project that will use fishing data taken from coastal Peru.  The project will use GIS software and agent based modeling techniques to predict the impact that climate change, such as an El Nino, will have on the local fishing economy.

 


Machine learning application: open-source RNA folding computer game engine

Professor Robert G. Reynolds, Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University and Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, U-M
We hypothesize that humans can outperform the state-of-the-art RNA secondary structure prediction algorithms.  The student will contribute to the development of an open-source RNA folding computer game engine, deploy it as a free mobile app and web server, collect and analyze human performance data, and educate users particularly high school students who visit science centers.


Designing technologies to create resilient communities

Tawanna Dillahunt, Research Fellow and Research Investigator, School of Information, U-M
Barriers such as distrust of community members and the local government has created a significant need to foster social capital in areas like Detroit, MI.  The goal of the project is to identify opportunities for and ways in which technology can increase social capital among individuals with little or no social capital.


Visualizing participant data around the world

 Katharina Reinecke, Assistant Professor of Information, School of Information, U-M
More than 1.5 million people from a variety of demographic backgrounds have previously participated in experiments on LabintheWild.org. In this project, we aim to develop interactive visualizations, which demonstrate how the data grows with increasing numbers of participants, and what the trends and differences are in the experiment outcomes. We will answer how data can be best presented for such a diverse audience, and how participants can be empowered to understand possible trends in the data.


Do people's subjective responses to colors differ?

Katharina Reinecke, Assistant Professor of Information, School of Information, U-M
Color is one of the first features that users notice when looking at a webpage. The goal of this project is to design and implement an online experiment, which tests participants' responses to a large set of color stimuli. The experiment will be hosted on LabintheWild.org, our experimental online platform, which allows us to reach a diverse audience across the world.


Assessing the role of social media for addressing college access challenges

Nicole Ellison

Nicole Ellison, Associate Professor of Information, School of Information, U-M
19 social media apps, games, and websites were created this year with funding from the College Knowledge Challenge project; these include the Zombie College game, the College Abacus website (https://collegeabacus.com/), Raise (https://www.raise.me/) and College Connect (https://collegeconnect.us/). We are looking for students to join our research team exploring the effectiveness of social media apps designed to address college access issues especially for first generation students.


Evaluating the Effectiveness of Citizen Interaction Design

Clifford Lampe

Cliff Lampe, Associate Professor of Information, School of Information, U-M
City managers, urban planners, and information professionals have recently invested in creating information tools that can help improve the way people engage with their local cities. The Citizen Interaction Design project at the UM School of Information is an innovative educational program where we are working closely with the City of Jackson to allow Information students to design and create a series of information tools and services intended to solve a range of problems faced by the city. The goal of the REU research project will be to study how effective this model of civic media design and creation has been from the perspective of the community of Jackson.