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Spotlight on Thesis


Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014
Senior Thesis Title Video Still

The senior thesis is a defining moment in the lives of many Princeton seniors. In this video, Valerie Smith, Dean of the College from 2011-2015,  talks about the importance of independent work and graduating seniors reflect on their thesis journeys.

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014
Photo of Maura O' Brien

A video documenting Maura O'Brien's senior thesis in art and archeology follows her as she works with wood and paint.

Posted: Monday, June 22, 2015
Eamon Foley '15.

From studying the culture of war to creating a theater piece featuring aerial choreography, Eamon Foley's senior year at Princeton allowed him to experiment with and execute many of the ideas that had interested him for years. For his theater thesis, Foley blended his academic studies with his professional experience as a performer to create an original theater-dance piece titled "Hero."

Posted: Friday, May 20, 2016
Tracy K. Smith and Alec Lowman '16. Image courtesy of the Offices of Annual Giving and Development Communications.

The senior thesis is helping Alec Lowman ’16 find a sense of himself in the world as an artist, says Professor Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and director of the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing—and it inspires her.

Posted: Monday, July 2, 2018

At a Sunday afternoon performance of “Trailing Rhiannon” this spring, Emma Watkins of the Class of 2018 sat atop the balcony of the Wallace Theater, anxiously watching the performance.

Stories - Class of 2020

Johns Hopkins Macksey Symposium
Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Students! Apply for Johns Hopkins University’s first annual Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium. This will be a new annual two-day event at the main campus in Baltimore, Maryland and it will offer students across the country the chance to disseminate their humanities research on a national scale. The event will be this spring, April 3rd and 4th, 2020 and the application portal is now open


This symposium is open to undergraduate students from any two-year or four-year college or university who would like to present their original scholarship in the humanities. JHU will also be offering a select number of travel grants to help students afford participation. In addition to the multiple panels of student papers and presentations (including original creative works), there will also be a wonderful keynote delivered by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr and multiple professional development panels featuring graduate students and faculty in JHU's humanities departments and centers. Students studying all areas of the humanities are welcome to attend.


You can learn more at the conference site:

The 12th annual International Eye Photo Contest is now open!
Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020

Calling all world travelers! You are invited to enter the 12th annual International Eye Photo ContestThe deadline for submission is February 7, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Who is eligible?

All Princeton undergraduates who have studied, worked, volunteered or conducted research abroad in the past year are eligible and may submit a total of four (4) photos. 

Photo Categories

  • Abstraction 
  • Architecture/Cityscape
  • Landscape/Nature 
  • People 

Special Categories

  • A Window on Eurasia 
  • Every Picture Tells a Story (New for 2020!)
  • PIIRS Global Seminar
  • Tigers Abroad


  • Best in Show ($100)
  • Best in Category ($50)
  • Honorable Mention(s)

The International Eye Photo Contest is sponsored by the Office of International Programs in collaboration with the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. A reception will be held in mid-March to celebrate the winners.

Learn more about the International Eye Photo Contest and enter here!


Amgen Scholars Program at UCLA
Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Amgen Scholars Program at UCLA

June 21 – August 28, 2020



The Amgen Scholars Program provides summer research experiences at 13 institutions across the country for students interested in pursuing Ph.D.’s and, eventually, a career in science. Students interested in summer research in any area of biomedical science, chemistry, bioengineering or chemical engineering are encouraged to apply.


During the summer of 2020, UCLA will host 16 Amgen Scholars: 3 undergraduates from UCLA and 13 from other U.S. colleges and universities.  Amgen Scholars will participate in research projects, attend scientific seminars, and work under some of the nation’s top academic scientists.  The Amgen Scholars Program at UCLA also includes a $4000 stipend, housing and some meals provided, a three-day Biotechnology Conference in Los Angeles, GRE preparation course, luncheons with faculty, workshops, scientific writing instruction, seminars, and poster presentations.



Amgen Scholars U.S. Program applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents (international students are ineligible, but are welcome to consider the Asia Program)
  • Undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges and universities in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories.
  • Sophomores (with 4 quarters or 3 semesters of college experience), juniors and non-graduating seniors (who are returning in the fall to continue their undergraduate experience).
  • Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.2 or above.
  • Interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or joint M.D./Ph.D.


Application Deadline for Amgen Scholars Program at UCLA: Monday, February 3, 2020.



U.S. Amgen Scholars Program

To learn more about all thirteen U.S. Amgen Scholars Program host institutions and the Japan Program visit:


Program e-Flyer: U.S. Program flyer


STEM Leads: Careers/Research/Internships
Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Research Assistant, Wainger Lab, Massachusetts General Hospital

Alumnus Brian Wainger’s vibrant group applies biological, physiological and computational tools to understand and identify new treatments for motor and sensory neuron diseases. Lab seeks motivated and enthusiastic research assistant with experience in molecular biology (esp. stem cell bio) to support preclinical studies related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and pain.


Early Career Research Experience in Arctic Advanced Manufacturing Innovator Program

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), this is a unique opportunity to advance your early stage concept to a potentially commercialize-able opportunity with support from mentors at the UAF and at a participating DOE National Laboratory. Apply by January 27, 2020.


Research Assistant I, Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Brookline, MA

Lab conducts clinical and translational research on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Work with investigators to coordinate subject recruitment, clinical data and sample collection, study related communications, and IRB submissions. 


Marshall University Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS)

9-week summer program includes formal research training as well as workshops, seminars, mentoring and professional networking. Open to students who identify within an underrepresented ethnic minority group in the biomedical sciences. Apply by February 7, 2020.


Harvard Business School Summer Program for Research in Markets & Organizations (PRIMO)

10-week summer program for undergrads inspired by and committed to excellence in management and business research. Includes housing, partial board plan, modest research support, and coverage of summer savings obligations for fin’l aid recipients. Due 12pm 2/11.


Georgetown University School of Medicine Summer Research (for current sophomores and juniors)

Join a cohort of fellows for the 2020 Dean for Medical Education's Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES) program. Includes stipend and housing, and possible travel assistance. Deadline to apply is February 26, 2020.


Summer Research at Stanford University’s Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine (SCGPM)

Contribute to cutting-edge projects in one of these research areas: Pervasive Computing in Healthcare, Large-scale Multi-omics Apps., Security & Privacy, Data Management, AI/ML in Biology and Healthcare, Performance Engineering. Apply by 12pm PST March 1, 2020.

Summer Research Program at Harvard Business School
Posted: Friday, January 17, 2020

Harvard Business School's The Program for Research in Markets and Organizations (PRIMO) is a highly selective 10-week summer residential community of undergraduates participating in research affiliated with HBS faculty. The Program seeks to create a diverse group of Fellows including but not limited to women and underrepresented minorities who are inspired by and are committed to pursuing excellence in business research. 


The program is open to students from any American undergraduate institution who may be considering doctoral studies. Summer 2020 will be the tenth year for this research experience program, which has been designed to stimulate community and creativity among a small group of motivated undergraduates. PRIMO will run from June 8 - August 15, 2020, and offers fellows Harvard campus housing, a partial board plan, modest research support, and coverage of summer savings obligations for financial aid recipients.

The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, February 11th at 12:00 pm EST.


STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.


NEW! Computation and Neuroscience Research Assistant Opportunity at Yale University

Seeking recent grad who wishes to spend at least 1 year doing full time research before pursuing a career or graduate studies in computation and neuroscience related fields (Computer Science, Bioengineering, Neurobiology, MD/PhD, etc.). Click for details.


Harvard Business School Summer Program for Research in Markets & Organizations (PRIMO)

10-week summer program for undergrads inspired by and committed to excellence in management and business research. Includes housing, partial board plan, modest research support, and coverage of summer savings obligations for fin’l aid recipients. Due 12pm 2/11.


Georgetown University School of Medicine Summer Research (for current sophomores and juniors)

Join a cohort of fellows for the 2020 Dean for Medical Education's Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES) program. Includes stipend and housing, and possible travel assistance. Deadline to apply is February 26, 2020.


Summer Research at Stanford University’s Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine (SCGPM)

Contribute to cutting-edge projects in one of these research areas: Pervasive Computing in Healthcare, Large-scale Multi-omics Apps., Security & Privacy, Data Management, AI/ML in Biology and Healthcare, Performance Engineering. Apply by 12pm PST March 1, 2020.

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020
Photo by Ma. Florevel Fusin-Wischusen,  Princeton Institute for Computational Science & Engineering.

"If it's related to doing research on a computer, you can come to a help session to ask your question," says David Luet, senior software and programming analyst, who coordinates the sessions. "Even if we don't know the answer, we'll try to direct you to someone on-campus who will be able to help you."

The number of people attending the sessions grows every year, but they’re still "an underutilized resource," says Halverson. "You just show up and people will go to work for you. Once you get going, it's one-on-one, you get the person's undivided attention."

"The help sessions," says Kalhor, "were probably the best thing that happened for our research."


Read more on Research Computing Help Sessions at Princeton here:

Apply for PRD!
Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020

The application deadline for Princeton Research Day is Monday, Feb. 17!


Posters • Talks • Performances • Art Exhibitions • Digital Presentations

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Frist Campus Center



Questions? Contact


Princeton Research Day 2020 is an exciting opportunity for students and other researchers to showcase their work for a broad audience. The event includes the full breadth of work being done by undergraduates, graduate students and other non-faculty researchers, artists and performers in every corner of Princeton University.


Princeton Research Day will be held all day long on Thursday, May 7, at Frist Campus Center. The free, public program features talks, posters, video presentations, musical and theater performances, and art exhibitions. Cash prizes will be awarded.

See more here:

•                    Princeton Research Day Website

•                    PRD20 Facebook Event

•                    Promotional Video

•                    Media Kit (includes posters and logos)

•                    A Useful Link for Prospective Presenters


Princeton senior Hirschfield wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study philosophy
Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020

Princeton University senior Sarah Hirschfield has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The awards give outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. The program was established in 2000 by a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Cambridge to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

Hirschfield’s research will focus on the philosophy of law, ethics and feminist philosophy. Specifically, she plans to expand on her independent work at Princeton focused on negligent wrongdoing in rape cases; authority and pornography; questions of criminal intent, or mens rea; and law and punishment.

Read more here;

Posted: Monday, February 17, 2020

Reporting on high school football was among the last things my classmates and I had anticipated when we enrolled in an audio-journalism course last fall. But in October, during Princeton’s fall break, the 10 of us sat huddled on the cold metal bleachers of John F. Kennedy High School in Mound Bayou, Miss., waiting for the evening’s game to kick off.

We had expected the class to focus on the civil rights era. We quickly discovered that Mound Bayou was full of stories that stretched far beyond its history.

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The great fossil collection in Guyot was all but forgotten until Andrew Xu ’22 found out about the collection while preparing for a high school Science Olympiad fossils competition. Xu now maintains the collection with the help of the Geosciences department.

“The specimens were uncataloged, misplaced, or unidentified. I asked if I could curate them and preserve them for however long they are useful,” said Xu on the subject of maintenance. “My current project is to catalog this information and digitize it for future research,” he said.

Xu spent his summer before sophomore year working to catalog the collection. Initially, the collection had a master catalog, which has since been lost. Thus, many objects remain unclassified, and of limited scientific value.

Xu has worked to remake old labels and re-catalog some items, as well as organize them into more useful categories.

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Emissions Chemistry Scientist – Southwest Research Institute

Join our Powertrain Engineering Division to serve as team’s main professional resource on gaseous FTIR instruments. Team of technicians are responsible for hands-on operation and maintenance of instruments, and you will serve as the primary scientific contact on the technology. 



Georgetown University School of Medicine Summer Research (for current sophomores and juniors)

Join a cohort of fellows for the 2020 Dean for Medical Education's Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES) program. Includes stipend and housing, and possible travel assistance. Deadline to apply is February 26, 2020.


Summer Research at Stanford University’s Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine (SCGPM)

Contribute to cutting-edge projects in one of these research areas: Pervasive Computing in Healthcare, Large-scale Multi-omics Apps., Security & Privacy, Data Management, AI/ML in Biology and Healthcare, Performance Engineering. Apply by 12pm PST March 1, 2020.

Senior Traudt awarded Keasbey Scholarship for study in Britain
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020

Congratulations to Princeton Senior Kirsten Traudt, who has been awarded the Keasbey Scholarship, which provides the opportunity to study at selected British universities.

Since 1953, selected colleges and universities on the East Coast have been invited, on a rotating basis, to nominate graduating seniors for the Keasbey Scholarship. The four British institutions that reserve places for Keasbey Scholars are: the University of Oxford, the University of CambridgeThe University of Edinburgh and the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Read more here: Senior Kirsten Traudt has been awarded the Keasbey Scholarship, which provides the opportunity to study at selected British universities.

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Software Developer – Sunrise Futures

Sunrise Futures has built a perfect combination of an algorithmic trading engine, a scientific research laboratory, and a technology venture. We harness this combined power to produce algorithmic trading strategies in markets all around the globe.




NASA Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) Bucket Drum Design Challenge

NASA engineers are looking for a design that can successfully capture more than 50% of regolith (lunar soil). Contest (with prize money!) hosted by GrabCAD, the largest online community of professional designers, engineers, manufacturers, and students. Entries due Apr. 20.


Venezuela Malaria Research Assistant – Online 

Work with Princeton professors Derek Willis (WWS PhD 2010) and Leopoldo Villegas, developing a set of presentations for communicating the results of investment case analyses to several international development and global health organizations.


FDA Student Research Opportunity in Regenerative Medicine

A research opportunity is currently available with the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies (OTAT), at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Posted: Monday, April 6, 2020

Unsure about your summer plans? You’re not alone. 

The situation around COVID-19 (coronavirus) has brought on widespread uncertainty for students, including their summer and career plans. 

If your summer plans are disrupted or unclear for any reason, this information will help you to explore possible alternatives beyond traditional internships or study abroad programs and create your own summer experiences. 

Read more here:

Over 5 million books from PUL's print collection now available online!
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2020

Exciting news!

Over five million books from Princeton University Library’s print collection are now available to all Princeton students, faculty and staff online through the HathiTrust Digital Library’s new program, ETAS (Emergency Temporary Access Service). The ETAS includes in-copyright material.

The new service aims to aid HathiTrust’s U.S.-based member libraries that have suffered an unexpected or involuntary disruption to normal operations as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more at or please contact us.

Virtual Demonstration by Library Staff
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

You may not be able to browse PUL's stacks right now, but that doesn't mean you can't access what's on the shelves. In response to COVID-19, HathiTrust has made over 5 million books from PUL's print collection available online for all Princeton students, faculty, and staff.

On Wednesday, Apr. 8 at 1 pm, library staff will provide a demonstration of search strategies and discussion of techniques to conduct research online. Register here:

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Health Economics and Outcomes Research - Alkemi

Work with an industry leader supporting pharmaceutical clients on strategy and research consulting projects. Support and execute tasks including: literature analysis, template development, interviews, study design, instrument selection, trial data review and report writing.



Chemical Engineering Intern National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)

Engage in projects regarding novel processes for conversion of coal to energy and useful chemicals. Conduct analysis of energy and material balances to obtain the optimum process and laboratory scale experiments to obtain parameters necessary for the optimization process.


Psych/Neuro Summer Research Internship - Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development

Support efforts to assess the most relevant research in the field surrounding all aspects of digital media and child development and contribute to various research-related projects,  among other tasks. Remote work. Stipend upon completion.

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020

Congratulations to Jessica Lambert and Claire Wayner, sophomores in PEI’s Certificate Program in Environmental Studies, who were named 2020 Udall Undergraduate Scholars by the Udall Foundation! A citizen of the Choctaw Nation, Lambert is an anthropology major and co-president of Natives at Princeton who wants to ultimately help establish tribal laws and agencies that protect and clean up contaminated Native American land. Wayner, a civil and environmental engineering major and president of the Princeton Student Climate Initiative, is driven by the climate crisis to work in or with the federal government to develop and implement policies that decarbonize the global energy supply.


The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency founded in honor of U.S. Rep. Morris Udall and U.S. Rep. and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care and stewardship of public lands and natural resources. Udall Scholars receive up to $7,000 and are selected based on their leadership, public service, academic excellence, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment.

Posted: Monday, May 4, 2020

Research is an intense activity that can be challenging to describe. Connecting with others on what a researcher does and why it is important is a goal of Princeton researchers — undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs — as they present their work to the public at the fifth annual Princeton Research Day.

This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Princeton Research Day will be held as a series of three early evening webinars May 5-7 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Eastern). The presentations will showcase the diversity of research projects under the themes of “Reinterpretation,” “Environment” and “Wellbeing.”

Five research projects will be presented in each of the webinars. Each presentation includes a video. While more videos from researchers were submitted than could be shown during the evening webinars, all videos will be published later this month and promoted online.

Topics to be presented include:

• Power of the River: Introducing the Global Dam Tracker

• Trauma Exposure and Mental Health Outcomes among Central American and Mexican Children Held in Immigration Detention at the U.S.-Mexico Border

• Developing Models for Predictive Analytics in Track and Field  

• Soft Eversion Robots in Application of Minimally Invasive Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Register to Attend:

Reinterpretation: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. This theme is a reinvestigation or a new way of looking at a traditionally held belief or finding a new way of interpreting information. Hosted by Christine Murphy, assistant dean for academic affairs in the Graduate School, with welcome by Sarah-Jane Leslie, dean of the Graduate School.

Environment: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Hosted by Pascale Poussart, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, with welcome by Jill Dolan, Dean of the College.

Wellbeing: Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Hosted by Karla Ewalt, associate dean for research, with welcome by Pablo Debenedetti, dean for research. 

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.


Propulsion Research Engineer – Innovative Scientific Solutions

Firm specializes in combustion research for the USAF Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB. Hiring for the Disruptive Propulsion Group focused on fast-paced projects as well as fundamental research on piston, gas turbine, and detonation engines.


Digital Marketing Internship – MassGen Hospital

Help prospective patients find the services they need by updating, optimizing, and writing webpages. Research how people use the web to learn about health topics and how health info is presented on the web. Interview doctors and admins and draft articles.



Summer Research Opportunity - FDA

Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research ensures the safety, purity, potency, and effectiveness of biological products including vaccines, blood and blood products, and cells, tissues, and gene therapies for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases, conditions, or injury. 


Undergraduate Research (remote) – Penn State University

Seeking students interested in helping to analyze measurements of greenhouse gas fluxes associated with energy

production, transportation and ecosystems, and how these fluxes have been changing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


Chemical and Environmental Engineer – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Appointment w/ the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water in the Water Security Division in Washington, DC. Objective of this project is to advance the nation's analytical ability to response to drinking water and waste water contamination incidents.  


Research Assistant (Health Science Specialist) - Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research

Full-time Research Assistant needed in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration. Seeking a motivated individual to work as part of a dynamic, multi-disciplinary research team conducting work evaluating patient-centered care. 

Posted: Friday, May 8, 2020

Having come to Princeton with a focus on pre-medicine, Morokhovich turned toward ecology and evolutionary biology after a PEI summer internship with professor Mary Caswell Stoddard studying the effects of climate change on the behavior of broad-tailed hummingbirds in the Rocky Mountains.

He’s found that broad-tailed hummingbirds provide an unexpected avenue to informing people about the imminent consequences of climate change.

“It’s been a great way to talk about climate change because people who may not have cared about it are interested when I mention my research,” Morokhovich said.

“Almost everyone I’ve talked to about birds has a hummingbird story and they want to hear about my work with them,” he said. “It’s interesting to me that these fascinating little birds are allowing me to talk to people about climate change.

“And maybe that makes those people a little more aware,” he said, “a bit more likely to do their part to help save the planet and these birds.”

Posted: Friday, May 8, 2020

The Council is now accepting applications for the Pope Prize. The Gregory T. Pope '80 Prize for Science Writing was established by the class of 1980 in remembrance of their classmate Gregory Pope, who was a science writer and editor. The award is granted to a senior who has shown a keen interest in science and demonstrated an outstanding ability to communicate that enthusiasm to a wide audience through journalism. All seniors are welcome to apply by sending 1-3 submissions via the online form. Applicants may submit original work in any format, but each submission may not exceed 3,000 words. Faculty are welcome to nominate students by sending an email to Joe Capizzi. A committee consisting of Council members and science writers select the winning essay. Deadline for the application is Friday, May 15, 2020.


SINSI Open House May 19
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2020

Come to the SINSI virtual Open House Tuesday, May 19 at 4:00 PM to learn more about the fully funded and supported SINSI programs.

Please RSVP HERE :


Students from all departments are welcome to apply: 

Summer internships with the U.S. government for sophomores and juniors – Due by October 2, 2020 

Graduate fellowships with the U.S. government and two-year MPA program for seniors and first-year MPAs – Due by October 30, 2020 


Email for further details

Q&A with Grace Sommers, Class of 2020 salutatorian
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2020

Grace Sommers ’20 was recently named the Latin salutatorian of the University’s Class of 2020. A resident of Bridgewater, N.J., Grace is concentrating in physics with certificates in applications of computing, applied and computational mathematics, and Ancient Roman language and culture. After graduation, Grace will return to the University to pursue a Ph.D. in physics.

In an interview with The Daily Princetonian, Sommers shared her reflections on her time at the University, her advice to current and incoming students, and her hopes for the future.

Read about Sommers' experiences with undergraduate research at Princeton here:

Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The spring course “Amazonia, The Last Frontier: History, Culture, and Power” transitioned to remote instruction after spring break due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in the term, students had visited the Princeton University Library’s Special Collections to see several rare and unique items on the Amazon, and then, from off-site, they were able to access the materials digitally.

“Princeton has an incredible collection of rare books, maps and photographs on the Amazon, from colonial times to more recent American enterprises in the region,” said Miqueias Mugge, an associate research scholar and lecturer at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). “Our online transition went smoothly as the Library expeditiously made all the materials available in digital format,” Mugge said.

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Friday, May 15, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.


Early Career Scientists and Engineers, Computational Biochemistry – D. E. Shaw

Extraordinarily gifted early career scientists and engineers are sought to join a New York–based interdisciplinary research group pursuing an ambitious, long-term project aimed in part at fundamentally transforming the process of drug discovery. 

Research Analyst in CGO - Preqin

Leading provider of data, insights and solutions for alternative assets market seeks candidate with interest in finance to cover North Amer. alternative assets e.g., Private Equity, Venture Capital, Real Estate, Infrastructure, Private Debt, Natural Resources, Hedge Funds.



Operations Summer Intern – AbbVie (Puerto Rico)

AbbVie is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. 8-week at-work developmental experience to help you succeed in your biotech career.

Smart Gigabit Communities Project Intern – US Ignite

Exciting, innovative research project with a team spurring innovation in technology and building things better and faster to benefit our communities. Help shape the future of the Internet and the way Americans will experience their work and day-to-day lives.



Associate Scientist, Protein Biochemistry – Aro Biotherapeutics

We focus on developing novel Centyrin targeted medicines for serious human diseases and are looking to build our team of scientists.  In this role, contribute extensively with hands-on protein expression, purification and characterization to support drug discovery. 

Computational Research Projects Mentor  (remote) – Hunter College High School

HCHS has a robust science research program and many students’ lab research plans fell through because of COVID-19. These students seek mentors to help them learn to code and to develop science projects involving publicly accessible data.

Research Assistant, Digital Mental Health – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Our goal is to understand how digital signals generated by everyday use of smartphones may be associated with symptomatology and to improve the quality and accessibility of treatment for mental illness through education, research, and innovation in digital psychiatry.

Research Technologist Bioanalytical – Lovelace Biomedical Research Institute

Support bioanalytical method development, validation and application of bioanalytical assays within the Scientific Core Laboratories to develop/characterize formulations and develop/validate/apply analytical chemistry methods for sample analysis.

Summer Research - Princeton Environmental Institute

PEI has two open summer positions, one with Princeton Fusion Systems (plasma research) and another with the Lewis and Nordenson Groups (urban systems/sustainability). Click the link above for descriptions of each opportunity. Applications are due May 22.


Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2020

As a researcher, Stahl stood out for her determination to spend hours in the field designing and fine-tuning experiments she came up with herself, Pringle said. “Especially for our students who might be oriented toward a career in science, you want to let them build their own idea and implement it,” Pringle said. “That is such an essence of science and it’s not something that comes naturally — it’s a skill that’s acquired.

“When I’m thinking about the value of a Princeton senior thesis, it’s partly about the final product but mostly about the learning process,” he continued. “Maria produced a beautiful piece of work and it reflects the learning process of a young scientist.”

For Stahl, one of the most valuable outcomes of her research was the opportunity to work in a wild habitat independently pursuing her own research. After graduation, Stahl will work at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory with ecology and evolutionary biology graduate student Ian Miller on his study — funded by a PEI Walbridge Fund Graduate Award — on the effect of climate change on the spread of plant pathogens.

2020 Summer Student Employment Resource
Posted: Monday, May 25, 2020

Students! You can search for summer job opportunities available through the 2020 Summer Student Employment Resource Page.  Several of these open positions are research-oriented and offer the opportunity to work remotely with Princeton faculty and staff over the summer.

When you log-in to browse open positions, you can restrict your query to summer job postings by specifying “When? - Summer” in the search options.


Have a great summer!

A new approach to combating antibiotic resistance
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

In this research video, Mike Wan, a graduate student studying chemical and biological engineering, presents on how an entirely different anti-bacterial approach may provide the solution to antibiotic resistance.


The emergence of pathogens for which all current treatments are ineffective has placed the antibiotic resistance crisis front and center for many communities. To address the trend of ever-increasing incidences of antibiotic resistance, anti-virulence strategies have been proposed as a promising solution. We aim to explore inhibition of bacterial nitric oxide (NO) defenses as a broad spectrum anti-virulence strategy, due to the importance of NO to innate immunity. To identify druggable genetic mediators of NO defense in bacteria, I used transposon insertion sequencing (Tn-seq) to screen Escherichia coli genome. Previously, it was found that low-NO-tolerance mutant (Δhmp) would cheat to obtain better fitness during NO treatment. While the extracellular NO donor fails to distinguish NO tolerance based on strain growth, we found that an intracellular NO donor generates a 5-fold difference in growth between wildtype and Δhmp during the assay. Using the intracellular NO donor in Tn-seq, we discovered several genes in branch-chain amino acid synthesis and Entner-Doudoroff shunt, are important for NO detoxification and recovery of Escherichia coli.


Xuanqing (Mike) Wan is advised by Mark Brynildsen, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering.



A machine-learning approach to speed the delivery of internet content
Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Watch the video that Audrey Cheng, undergraduate student, operations research and financial engineering, presented on Unifying Caching Objectives with Learning Relaxed Belady.


Caching is crucial to the end-to-end performance of distributed systems. By storing content that is commonly requested so that it can be served faster, this technique can improve request latency and reduce load on backend servers. There are three objectives in caching: object miss ratio (OMR), byte miss ratio (BMR), and miss ratio (MR) for unit-sized object caching. Different objectives are typically important to different systems. Learning Relaxed Belady (LRB) is an existing machine learning (ML) caching algorithm that achieves substantially better byte miss ratios than existing state-of-the-art approaches. In this project, we adapt LRB for the two other objectives: object miss ratio and caching for unit-sized objects. OMR is a metric that is crucial to a wide range of caches, including CDN in-memory caches and key-value caches for large storage systems.


Decreasing OMR translates directly into improved application performance. We apply a novel sampling technique, byte sampling, to LRB that allows it outperform other state-of-the-art caching methods for OMR. LRB also performs better than other policies for unit-sized traces, demonstrating the broad applicability of this algorithm. We evaluate LRB on five production traces and demonstrate its robustness in performance on varying workloads. LRB, enhanced with byte sampling, is the only algorithm we know of that can consistently outperform other state-of-the-art policies for all three caching objectives. We unify these objectives with LRB and simplify the method through which further advancements can be made.


Audrey Chang is advised by Wyatt Lloyd, assistant professor of computer science.


Factors driving immigration from Italy to Albania
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020

Watch the video Angela De Santis '23 presented on The Role of ICT Diffusion in Reverse Immigration from Italy to Albania!


The purpose of this research project is to measure the degree to which the current trend of reverse immigration of Italians to Albania is attributable to Albania’s superior information and communication technologies (ICT) diffusion.


Italians are leaving their homeland, ranked as the eighth richest country in the world, and settling in Albania, a country ranked 120th which was besieged by a dictator for 41 years until 1985. Anecdotal evidence suggests that entrepreneurs number highly among the estimated 22,000 Italians who have immigrated to Albania, a ferry ride across the Adriatic. While articles in academic journals analyzing the historic immigration of Albanians to Italy are numerous, the reverse trend has been overlooked by scholars.


The 2019 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report indicates that Albania surpassed Italy in the categories of meritocracy and incentivization. In the NBER paper “Diagnosing the Italian Disease,” Zingales and Pellegrino argue that Italy missed the IT revolution due to a lack of meritocracy. The Albanian-American Development Foundation has engaged me to ascertain the correlation between ICT diffusion in Albania and the reverse immigration of Italian entrepreneurs there.


I have created a survey to be conducted online. Under the mentorship of Professors Alan Blinder and Bruno Pellegrino, I will use STATA statistical software for data manipulation, visualisation, statistics and automated reporting.The potential impact of this research will be to incentivize the Italian government to improve ICT diffusion, and to provide to the Albanian government empirical evidence of the success of its outreach program to attract foreign investment through ICT optimization.


Angela De Santis is advised by Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, and Bruno Pellegrino, Ph.D. Candidate, Global Economics and Management at University of California Los Angeles.

Sleep Deprivation at Princeton
Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020

Watch the video that Matthew Marquardt '21 presented on sleep deprivation at Princeton.


Princeton University students are known as some of the brightest and hardest working students in the country. They fill their schedules down to the minute and manage to fit in more activities than one would think is possible. At a certain point, something must give and sleep is often the first thing to be sacrificed. This leads to a perpetually sleep deprived community. It is no secret that Princeton students don’t get enough sleep. In 2018, students self-reported to only get an average of 6.8 hours per night.


However, the question is why we don’t get enough sleep. Is it really that we are too busy to sleep? Or is there something else going on? In order to answer this question, I conducted quantitative and qualitative research to help determine what factors lead to this culture of sleep deprivation with the goal of identifying barriers to getting higher quality and quantity sleep.


Matthew Marquardt is advised by Sheila Pontis, Entrepreneurship Program Specialist, Computer Science and the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, Lecturer in Computer Science and the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education.

A new quantum spin liquid candidate for storage applications
Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Watch the video that Loi T. Nguyen, a graduate student studying Chemistry, presented on a new quantum spin liquid candidate for storage applications.


At very low temperatures near absolute zero electrons become highly ordered. A quantum spin liquid is a novel phenomenon in which the electrons are entangled, but they remain fluctuating down to 0 degrees Kelvin.

A few quantum spin liquid materials have been reported and they have potential applications in data storage and memory. In this talk, I will present a new material, barium niobium iridium oxide, or Ba4NbIr3O12, which can host a quantum spin liquid state, probed by magnetic susceptibility and heat capacity measurements. A comparison will be made to other related materials in the family.

Loi T. Nguyen is advised by Robert Cava, Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry.

Science meets multimedia art
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Watch the video that Janie Kim '21 presented on connecting people and the microscopic with doodles.


Intricate stories line the quiet spaces in and around living cells. Capturing these microscopic stories and communicating them to people in creative, accessible ways grows ever more important. As a recent Environmental Microbiology editorial urged, efforts to increase “microbiology literacy” — understanding of the incredibly profound and positive impact of microbes on humans and the planet — are critical for fields spanning healthcare to sustainability to policymaking. Towards this aim, I present an eclectic collection of science artwork ranging from pencil illustrations of subcellular structures to miniature sculptures of our microscopic microbial residents, from graphical abstracts for publications to paintings made from living bacteria itself. My multimedia art aims to portray both science and the process and people behind it in an approachable way, and to forge both scientist-and-scientist and scientist-and-public connections.


Distilling complex microscopic stories into art can bring together creativity, personal touches, and humor in a way that is more difficult to do with scientific research. I believe that the intersection between science and multimedia art offers an exciting way of reaching people from all age groups and backgrounds. Multimedia art has great potential for generating appreciation, understanding, and wonder for the microscopic.


Janie Kim is advised by Mohamed S. Abou Donia, Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology


An experimental movie about a Brooklyn immigrant
Posted: Friday, May 29, 2020

Watch the video that Darja Filippova, a graduate student studying comparative literature, presented on Natasha, Prospect Lefferts: An experimental movie about a Brooklyn immigrant.


Darja Filippova (graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature) and Natalie Romero Marx (Montclair University faculty, filmmaker and artist) present an 8-min fragment from their experimental film Natasha, Prospect Lefferts. The film follows Natasha (24, Aquarius, Ukraine, non-smoker), a pregnant Eastern European woman living in Prospect Lefferts, a low-income largely immigrant community in the heart of Brooklyn.


Embodying a male “client” gaze, the camera discovers Natasha among the mannequins in a local shop and follows her on a journey through Prospect Lefferts and into her bathtub. A peculiar object of desire, the “ready to burst” Natasha, in blazer and sexy underwear, engages the camera with a serpentine monologue on love, financial proclivity and her dreams, a monologue that is intercepted with interviews on the topic of dreams and love with members of the Prospect Lefferts community.


Through the use of jump-cuts and blur-effect, the film plays with affect and representation, being simultaneously open to condemnation, objectification and empathy. As the film ends, with Natasha sending a love letter in a plastic bottle into the recycling station, the directors attempt to shed light on the perverse juxtaposition of the American dream with the material reality of immigrant life in America.


Darja Filippova (Estonia) and Natalie Romero Marx (Colombia), both immigrants and first generation university students, met in a Pocha Nostra workshop in New Mexico in 2017. Pocha Nostra, the influential performance group, explores and parodies ethnic and gender stereotypes. This is their first collaborative project.

Reducing T-cell receptor expression
Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020

Watch the video where Alexander Zhu '21 presents his research on reducing T-cell receptor expression in T cells using RNAi and CRISPR-dCas9.


Adaptive immunity enables the human body to generate an immune response to specific pathogens. An important step in this process involves the scanning of the surfaces of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) by T cells. Such interactions are mediated by T-cell receptors (TCRs), which recognize and bind antigens presented on APCs. Various mechanisms have been proposed for how TCR binding leads to T-cell activation.


Understanding the mechanism requires TCR recruitment and triggering to be characterized at the level of individual proteins. In order for individual molecules to be visualized using TIRF microscopy, TCR expression must be reduced. RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) has been used to “knock down” TCR levels, but the effects of CRISPR-dCas9 on TCRs have never been studied before. The purpose of this study was to determine whether RNAi and CRISPR-dCas9, alone and in combination, could be used to reduce TCR expression. Oligonucleotides were generated and inserted into the pHR-sin-U6 plasmid. This plasmid was introduced into Jurkat T-cells using lentivirus transduction, and the TCR expression of 30,000 cells was measured using flow cytometry. We found that targeting the CD3ε chain through RNAi and CRISPR-dCas9 reduced TCR expression by 81.3% and 84.9% respectively. Combining these methods did not reduce TCR levels further, however.


These results suggest that RNAi and CRISPR-dCas9 can both effectively lower TCR expression, but these strategies do not act synergistically or additively when used together. Future studies should investigate the mechanism by which RNAi and CRISPR-dCas9 fail to act in conjunction and probe their effects on other CD3 chains.


Alexander Zhu is mentored by Dr Simon Davis, Weatherhall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford.

Optimizing irrigation under multiple objectives
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Watch the video that Zhengyue Anna Dong '20 presented on modelling weather-based irrigation under stochastic rainfall variability.


In many regions of the world, irrigation is vital to food security and agricultural productivity. Prudent management of irrigation systems and water use becomes paramount under a probable scenario of rising climatic variability and population growth where increased irrigation is necessitated. Irrigation system managers are faced with the competing objectives such as water use minimization and crop yield maximization in selecting an irrigation strategy.


Of interest is Vico and Porporato’s work which defines three key factors in selecting an optimal irrigation strategy, namely sustainability, profitability and crop yield, and demonstrates that each factor comes at a cost to the others.

Posted: Friday, May 29, 2020

The Program in American Studies has honored Princeton seniors Vayne Ong with the Princeton Prize in Race Relations Senior Thesis Prize, Tabitha Belshee with the Willard Thorp Thesis Prize, Grace Koh with the Asher Hinds Prize, Allegra E. Martschenko with the Grace May Tilton Prize in Fine Arts, and Tessa Albertson with the David F. Bowers Prize.

In 2020, in lieu of a Class Day gathering, and to celebrate and honor the entire cohort of American, Asian American, and Latino studies certificate students, the Program in American Studies invited seniors to meet for a Zoom photo, and contribute to a video shared with graduating seniors and their families.

“Congratulations to the winners of these prestigious awards, and we celebrate their excellent work,” said Anne Cheng, professor of English and American studies, and director of the Program in American Studies. “And we are proud of all of our students and honor their achievements and perseverance.”

A public version of the video will be available on the program website soon after the originally scheduled June 1 Class Day.


Posted: Friday, May 29, 2020

While the method may have been different, the celebration was the same as the Princeton Athletics community gathered on May 28 for a virtual Gary Walters ’67 Princeton Varsity Club Awards Banquet. As part of the ceremony, major athletic awards were presented to students in the Class of 2020.

Co-hosted by Princeton seniors Chris Davis and Katie Reilly alongside Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the awards banquet was an opportunity for the Tigers to rally together and commemorate the championships, successes, relationships and memories that will live on as the Class of 2020’s legacy.

Congratulations to:

Bella Alarie

The Otto von Kienbusch Award is awarded annually to a Princeton senior woman of high scholastic rank who has demonstrated general proficiency in athletics and the qualities of a true sportswoman. The award is presented in memory of C. Otto v. Kienbusch ’06, friend and benefactor of women’s athletics at Princeton.

Matthew Kolodzik and Michael Sowers

The William Winston Roper Trophy is awarded annually to a Princeton senior man of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics. It was established by Mrs. William W. Roper and the Class of 1902.

Grace Baylis and Chris Davis

The Art Lane ’34 Award is awarded to an undergraduate athlete in recognition of his or her selfless contribution to sport and society. The award is given in memory of Art Lane ’34 by friends and family.

Hadley Wilhoite

The Class of 1916 Cup is awarded each year to the Princeton varsity letter winner who continuing in competition in his or her senior year achieved at graduation the highest academic standing. The award was established by the Class of 1916 on the occasion of its 50th reunion.

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020

At a historic virtual ceremony on Monday afternoon, June 1, the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University celebrated 76 graduates of the Class of 2020 who earned 84 certificates and four degrees through the Programs in Creative Writing, Dance, Theater, Music Theater, and Visual Arts. The ceremony, attended by more than 200 guests, was held via Zoom Webinar in response to restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting format has become all too familiar to the graduates who spent the final six weeks of their time at Princeton in online classes.

The event also awarded prizes to the top seniors and included a special live address to the graduates by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

“Today’s Class Day ceremony is a celebration of your commitment, throughout your time at Princeton, to asking the big questions in creative and arresting ways,” said Lewis Center Chair Tracy K. Smith in addressing the graduates. “If ever the world has needed bright, young, creative people helping us to look at the world and ourselves with more courage and compassion, it is now.” She added, “Artists are no strangers to change, challenge and upheaval. We dive into uncertainty with the desire to make headway, to find new kinds of sense, to startle ourselves out of anxiety and into new and sometimes unsettling forms of clarity. Each of you has risen to that occasion time and again during your time at Princeton. And this spring, in a time of global uncertainty, glaring injustice and grave loss, your commitment to paying attention, staying present, and being honest and vulnerable has helped to keep our community intact. Witnessing you bring your independent work to fruition in one of the strangest semesters in living memory has been a source of hope and continuity for more people than you may realize.”


Watch the recap video of the year here:

Early-life autism spectrum disorder diagnosis
Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Watch the video where Fleming Peck '20 presents on early-life autism spectrum disorder diagnosis with nonlinear EEG analysis using machine learning methods.


With the increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comes the challenge of identifying children at risk for ASD as early in life as possible so that they can benefit from early intervention. Currently, diagnosis is determined by measuring behaviors that often do not emerge until toddler or preschool age, but emerging research using neuroimaging suggests that brain changes occur much earlier.


My senior thesis is focused on using high-density, task-related electroencephalography (EEG) data collected from 12-month-old infants to detect future ASD using neural activity instead of behavioral symptoms with the hope that earlier identification will lead to more effective treatment. Electrical activity recorded from the brain has complex dynamic properties that traditional linear analyses are not able to quantify. Therefore, this study uses nonlinear measures, including entropy and fractal dimension, computed from preprocessed EEG signal as features in a machine learning algorithm aimed to differentiate ASD from non-ASD outcomes.


Previously, Bosl and colleagues (2018) had success using this method to classify ASD outcomes with baseline, non-task-related EEG data. However, a language task may be more sensitive to outcome prediction accuracy than baseline EEG because language is a domain frequently affected in ASD. A cross-validated support vector machine predicted ASD diagnosis of high-risk infants (those with an older sibling with ASD) with 95.5% accuracy. Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV rates were all over 92%. These results suggest that early brain function may be indicative of later ASD diagnosis, demonstrating potential for early risk assessment before observable behaviors of ASD emerge.

Farmers and the food System
Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2020

Watch the video where Larkin Ison III '22, Simone Downs '20, Luke Aschenbrand '22, and Hannah Baynesan '22 present TigerChallenge: Farmers and the food System.


Food and agriculture is one of New Jersey's largest industries, yet local producers have difficulty selling their goods directly to consumers. Our initiative curates local farmers' produce into an ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service to link consumers directly to convenient sources of fresh, local food.


Meal kits are tailored to both the seasonal availability of produce and to the dietary needs of its consumers, assembled in reusable containers that can be picked up from local gyms and other partner facilities. Our mission is to increase the proportion of local farm food consumed in Mercer County.


Decoding brain signals into speech
Posted: Friday, June 5, 2020


Watch the video where Theodor Marcu '20 presents on decoding brain signals into speech: Steps towards universal brain-machine interfaces.


Brain-computer interfaces are one of humanity's most ambitious goals. This technology promises to augment our cognitive and physical abilities by allowing us to control devices and communicate with others more easily. Companies like Elon Musk's Neuralink and Facebook's Ctrl-Mind are already working on technology that could be transformed into products we use day-to-day.


However, the prospect of connecting your iPhone to your stream of thoughts is still far away. In the meantime, there is one area of research that shows a lot of promise and could soon help people suffering from motor speech disorders or neurodegenerative illnesses. Using state-of-the-art deep learning techniques we are able to decode brain signals into speech in real-time. These improvements promise to help patients by bringing their rate of speech transmission closer to that of natural speech (150 words per minute), compared to 10 words per minute for the current generation of assistive technologies.


Our research is a big step towards creating the first devices that can be used with real patients. This is because we rely on data from 45 patients who were monitored and recorded for an entire week, which is more than any previous work done in this area. In the context of universal brain-computer interfaces, we hope that the results from our work will provide an important step towards not only better assistive technologies, but also more research in the field.


Theodor Marcu is advised by Brian Kernighan, Professor of Computer Science; Uri Hasson, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience; Karthik Narasimhan, Assistant Professor of Computer Science.


Posted: Friday, June 5, 2020

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University announces more than $105,000 in awards to support the summer projects and research of 49 Princeton undergraduates, chosen from 90 applicants. Although all first, second, and third-year student-artists are eligible to apply, for many of the award recipients, the funding provides vital resources to conduct research, undertake training, and pursue other opportunities critical to achieving their senior thesis project goals in the arts.  The grants range from $300 to $7,500.

Students were applying for summer funding in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. Many proposals include traveling domestically or internationally and in-person learning with professional artists and through intensive group workshops. Students had to revise their proposals in response to restrictions imposed by the pandemic. In addition, grantees are being given an extended period to complete their funded work through the fall semester and during Wintersession in January.


In addition to funding, the Lewis Center has also established paid internships and research assistant positions for Princeton students for this summer to assist faculty and guest artists with a number of projects and initiatives.

To learn more about the Lewis Center for the Arts, the funding available to Princeton students, and the more than 100 other performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, and lectures presented by the Lewis Center, most of them free, visit

The internment of Boer prisoners-of-war in Ceylon
Posted: Monday, June 8, 2020

Watch the video

At home in a foreign land:

The internment of Boer prisoners-of-war

in Ceylon 1900-1902

Bhadrajee Hewage, Class of 2020


This project explores the reasoning behind Britain’s decision to intern over 2000 captured Boer (Afrikaner) combatants on the island of Ceylon from 1900-1902 during the South African War. Current literature regarding the South African War covers the origins of the war and its influence on the British imperial system, the harsh realities of life in South African concentration camps, and the memories of Boer prisoners-of-war within South Asia.


However, several unanswered questions remain surrounding the experience of Afrikaner internees in Ceylon itself and whether the Boer detainees lived up to Britain’s expectations in sending them to the island. Given the sheer number of Afrikaners within British detention facilities in South Africa who refused to accept British sovereignty, Britain initially resolved to send these non-compliant detainees far away from ongoing hostilities to prevent the possibility of captives rejoining the Boer struggle. With the prisoners originally sent abroad for detention, Britain would later move from simply imprisoning the combatants in Ceylon to formally rehabilitating and reeducating them in order to win them over to the imperial project.


The project argues that while internment in Ceylon did pacify the Afrikaners, Britain nonetheless failed to quench Boer nationalism and to win over the prisoners to the glory of the British imperial venture.

Posted: Monday, June 8, 2020

Audrey Shih entered Princeton with aspirations of using science to protect vulnerable people from allergens. “I have a severe peanut allergy, and I thought I might help come up with a method to detect allergens in food,” said Shih.

After declaring her concentration in chemical and biological engineering (CBE) and beginning her coursework in the department, “my interest shifted more toward materials science and the more physical than biological side of CBE,” she said.

An email to Sujit Datta, an assistant professor in the department, launched Shih on a two-year-long research project to help thwart a different type of chemical threat: pollutants like crude oil and mercury that can linger in groundwater even after major cleanup efforts. In Datta’s lab, she investigated how specialized materials act to remove recalcitrant pollutants.

Shih, a member of the Class of 2020, finished writing her senior thesis on the topic from her family’s home in Columbus, Ohio, after the University halted on-campus instruction and research activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of her thesis work, Shih was one of two graduating seniors presented with the engineering school’s Lore von Jaskowsky Memorial Prize for Contributions to Research during Class Day celebrations on June 1. Shih, who completed a certificate in materials science and engineering in addition to her CBE concentration, also received an outstanding senior thesis award from the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials.

Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2020

As the pandemic shut down theaters across the country, it also created a significant challenge at Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts: Many senior thesis projects include a live performance of an original work.

One of many senior projects affected  was “BLOOM: The Musical,” Rosie Arbittier’s thesis work to complete a certificate in the Program in Music Theater. Arbittier developed the musical in partnership with Best Buddies, an international organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

At Princeton, she became involved with the Best Buddies Princeton chapter and in spring 2019 proposed as her thesis to produce a musical that involved a cast of young people with and without IDD. When she did not find an existing musical that met the goals she hoped to accomplish, she began working on devising a new work. In October she held a daylong workshop of theater games, activities and auditions for members of the local community with IDD and, joined by a group of Princeton students, assembled the cast and production team for the project. In November the group began creating the new musical and rehearsing weekly on Sundays for seven months. Early in the process, Arbittier heard the song “Bloom,” composed by her friend Lily Webb; that song became the springboard for the new musical and the title song.

Jane Cox, senior lecturer in theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts and director of the Program in Theater, was Arbittier’s faculty adviser and the Program in Theater engaged theater director and activist David Bradley to serve as an additional adviser and resource to Arbittier.

Just a few weeks before opening night, the University moved to remote classes and canceled all events and activities for the rest of the semester. While this meant the production as envisioned by Arbittier and the team would not happen, they embraced the spirit of “the show must go on.” Arbittier organized the cast of performers with and without IDD in a virtual presentation of the musical’s title song, “Bloom” in stay-at-home circumstances, with orchestration by Vince Di Mura, musical director of the Lewis Center. View the video.

Tiger Challenge: Special education resources
Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020

Watch the video

Eric GuerciKyle Barnes, Class of 2021

The current special education landscape engenders distrust. We designed a website connecting parents of children with special education needs to high-quality resources, advocates, and organisations that focus on special education. In addition to a heatmap that identifies access to resources by geography, our platform allows users to contribute reviews of special education services, creating a live site for resources and support groups.

Artificially intelligent research assistance
Posted: Saturday, June 13, 2020

Watch the video

John Willett and Gabe Stengel, Class of 2020

Conventional statistical programming languages (R, Stata, Julia, etc.) have long been popular tools in empirical economics research, but they are limited in two dimensions. First, querying a dataset in a language like Stata is time-consuming and error-prone—especially for users without a solid grounding in computer science. Second, the queries themselves must be rigid call-and-return statements: when a user asks Stata to give her the results of a regression of “x” on “y,” she needed to already know the relationship she wanted to examine and the best manner of analysis (here, linear regression).


To address these limitations, my partner and I are building a new computer tool—a graphical user interface application named, at least at the moment, “Athena.” On the front end, it uses machine learning to process natural language queries: there is no “syntax” involved in coding with Athena. On the back end, Athena permits more flexible, open-ended querying than any other language we know of.


An example to illustrate: you are looking to regress “x” on “y” using an instrument. If you use Stata you must choose an instrument, Google the right syntax (find it here:, and then write a perfect line of code. If you use Athena you can simply ask Athena—in normal English—to open up your dataset and find the ten strongest instruments to use in a regression of “x” on “y.” At that point you can put you economic “detective hat” on to determine which instruments are worth looking into.

Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020

Naomi Cohen-Shields of Princeton’s Class of 2020 analyzed the effectiveness of China’s efforts to reduce air pollution for her senior thesis research. She also investigated how air pollution differs across China’s provinces based on regional affluence — and if poor populations face more exposure. Cohen-Shields graduated June 2 with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering and certificates in environmental studies and values and public life.

For her thesis, Cohen-Shields analyzed the effectiveness of China’s efforts since 2013 to reduce air pollution and the massive toll it takes on public health and the economy. She also wanted to get behind the national data to investigate how air pollution differs across China’s 22 provinces based on regional affluence — and if its poor and rural populations bear a larger share of the burden. She found that while China’s efforts to clean its air have made dramatic progress, the largest improvements have occurred in its wealthier northern regions where air pollution has historically been highest.

“The air quality is still generally poor across China, but it has improved markedly,” Cohen-Shields said. “We’ve seen a lot of success across the board, but there’s been more success in reducing pollution in major metropolises known for having high levels of pollution and obviously are also areas of concentrated wealth.”


STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.




Digital Signal Processing Associate – Applied Research Laboratories

Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Math, Physics or equivalent. Demonstrated ability in implementing DSP algorithms in analysis software or in hardware (FPGA and/or GPU platforms) to perform digital receiver processing for RF signal applications.


Environmental Scientist – Northeast Army Healthcare Recruiting

Supervise the scientific research for environmental health and industrial hygiene. As an officer on the U.S. Army health care team, their knowledge helps prevent illness and injury for military personnel.


Environmental Scientist 1 – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Evaluate the compliance status of assigned facilities with their solid waste negotiate settlements as part of a team, investigating and follow-up on solid waste complaints, acting as a case manager for assigned enforcement cases and reviewing permits for enforceable conditions.  


Full-time Associate – Magellan Research Group

Magellan Research Group is a fast-growing, information services start-up, connecting SMEs s with key decision-makers at top hedge funds and private equity groups. As an Associate, you will digest incoming requests from our clients and will use your tenacity and creativity to source the best experts in the industry.


Product Manager, Diagnostics and Research – GenScript USA

World leader in the biotechnology reagent service industry, as well as an open platform for pre-clinical drugs discovery and pharmaceutical development, driven by innovative technologies. New product development and commercialization of diagnostics and research products such as antibodies, proteins, peptides and kits. 




Summer 2021 Analyst Internships – Morgan Stanley

Apply by July 27 for: Firm Strategy, Global Capital Markets, Investment Banking/Management, Public Finance, Research, Sales & Trading, Wealth Mgmt.

Apply by Sep 6 for: Compliance, Corporate Services/Treasury, Finance, Operations, Risk Management, and Diversity Sophomores Summer Programs




Contact Tracer Training – State of New Jersey

Contact tracing is a full time commitment given the training requirement and access to various necessary systems. In order to work effectively, we will be scheduling people 7 days a week between 8am-8pm, but not to exceed 35 hours per week. 


Food Chemistry Fellowship – U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Five research opps available. The project will involve the development of methods for the quantitative determination of chemical constituents, contaminants and adulterants in foods and dietary supplements using chromatography and mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques (i.e. LC-UV, LC-MS, GC-FID, GC-MS). 


Microbiologist – Kansas Department of Health & Environment

Seeking a Laboratory Scientist in Health Chemistry to analyze Newborn Screening specimens. The Scientist will perform analysis, review data and report complex biochemical and immunological screening analyses to detect infants at risk for genetic disorders.


Radioisotope Production Post-Bachelor’s Research Associate – Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Purist is a start-up company and part of the DOE-sponsored Innovation Crossroads Program. , is focused on developing a technology that can be implemented in small-scale, underutilized research nuclear reactors for on-demand production of high-purity medical radioisotopes.


Posted: Monday, June 22, 2020

Now, von Berg — who received her bachelor’s degree in computer science June 2 — is the first author of a paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that examines the role of Antarctic sea ice in regulating phytoplankton growth. Phytoplankton form the base of the ocean’s food chain and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.

Von Berg and the mostly Scripps-based team found that the retreat of sea ice can significantly influence phytoplankton growth and activity, and, thus, the amount of carbon dioxide the organisms can remove from the atmosphere. Study data was collected and made available by the PEI-administered Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations Modeling project (SOCCOM) based at Princeton, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and involves researchers from multiple institutions including Scripps.

Co-authors on the paper included Sarah Gille, professor of climate, atmospheric science and physical oceanography; associate researcher Matthew Mazloff; and Lynne Talley, Distinguished Professor of Oceanography, all from Scripps, as well as Ethan Campbell from Princeton’s Class of 2016, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington and a past PEI intern.

“I was excited about this project because the actual work was largely centered around coding, but I would also get to learn about and participate in another field that I’m interested in, oceanography,” von Berg said.

“Working at Scripps was an amazing experience. All of the people I interacted with had so much passion for their work and were willing to give great advice for my own project,” she said. “My mentors especially were always there to help guide my research. It was very exciting to see my work result in a peer-reviewed paper.”

The paper, “Weddell Sea Phytoplankton Blooms Modulated by Sea Ice Variability and Polynya Formation,” was published May 24 in Geophysical Research Letters. This work was supported by the Princeton Environmental Institute Internship program, the National Science Foundation (NSF) (grant no. PLR-1425989), a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (grant no. DGE-1650112. ECC), and the U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program.

Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2020

This summer, a jaw-dropping 3,000 undergraduates from dozens of countries have registered for “Physics of Life,” a biophysics summer school offered by the joint Princeton–City University of New York Center for the Physics of Biological Function (CPBF).

With the summer school, the CPBF faculty are hoping to help students bridge the traditional gulf between physics and biology. The summer school program is targeted to physics majors with an interest in biology, but enrollment is open to any undergraduate.

“We want to show you how elements of what living systems do connect to things you’ve learned in physics classes,” said Joshua Shaevitz, a professor of physics and the Lewis–Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics (LSI), as he addressed students in the first online session, which focused on motion and pattern formation in bacteria.

“Our goals are as much inspirational and aspirational as they are educational. We want you to learn something, but we also want you to get excited about new things.”

This is the third summer for the Physics of Life summer school, and the enrollment has jumped a bit from the 24 students who attended the in-person two-week intensive program in previous years. So far, more than 3,000 students registered, more than 1,000 attended the first live events online, and more than 850 have watched the first lecture on the CPBF YouTube Channel.

“I had underestimated how popular this would be,” Shaevitz admitted with a laugh.

“One of the things that we’ve enjoyed about doing this in person [in past years] was really getting to know students from a wide range of backgrounds; that’s obviously going to be much more difficult here,” said William Bialek, the John Archibald Wheeler/Battelle Professor in Physics and the LSI who co-directs the CPBF with Shaevitz.

“On the other hand, there are already 25 times as many of you as we can accommodate when we bring all of you to one place,” Bialek told the students participating in the live broadcast on June 15. “We’re hoping that the spirit of being able to have a dialogue with people from around the world will outweigh the cost of not being able to do it in person.”

Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020

In February 2020, the Program in Theater presented the first full English-language production of Sister Mok-rahn, an acclaimed, contemporary play from Korea that explores borders, separation, and a sense of home.  Sister Mok-rahn follows the ordeals and relationships of Jo Mok-rahn, an accomplished North Korean accordion player who defects to South Korea only to discover she wants to return home. Desires and ideologies clash as Mok-rahn tries to navigate her way through South Korean culture and capitalism.

Princeton seniors Jenny Kim ’20, Carol Lee ’20, and Hannah Semmelhack ’20 proposed the production as their senior thesis in the Program in Theater and in collaboration with East West Theater. The seniors’ journey was fueled by their shared desire to bring different perspectives to the theater, and ultimately they achieved a deep sense of power and joy in representing previously unheard voices onstage.

Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2020

In August 2019, Princeton ROTC student MIDN 1/C Kara Dowling visited the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) to conduct research with members of the university’s Operations Research (OR) department for her senior year capstone project. The midshipman then returned on May 11th – via teleconference – to brief NPS faculty on her findings.

Dowling’s thesis, entitled “Offensive as Defensive in Naval Warfare,” explored a question posed by OPNAV N96 (Surface Warfare Command) that deals with using offensive missile capabilities in a defensive manner. Under the guidance of NPS faculty, she had crafted an analytic product of direct relevance to the warfighting capabilities of the Navy.

“The cooperative research advisement between Dowling’s Princeton’s faculty and NPS faculty enabled her to address a real-world warfighting issue in her senior operations research capstone project,” noted retired Navy Capt. Jeff Kline, a Professor of Practice in the OR department who worked with Dowling as her thesis advisor. “This initiative demonstrates NPS’ commitment to furthering the fleet’s analytical and technical warfighting skills regardless of rank.”

According to U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Morgan, program officer for NPS’ OR curriculum, Kline’s experience as a former Navy captain in the Surface Warfare community made him the perfect match to help advise and mentor Dowling through the research process. Following graduation, Dowling herself will report to USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, as a Surface Warfare Officer.

Morgan, who championed the concept of helping undergraduate Midshipmen conduct their research at NPS, was initially contacted by the executive officer of NROTC Unit Rutgers-Princeton, Cmdr. Haden Patrick, about a possible thesis topic for Dowling. According to Patrick, NROTC was only recently established in 2014, and at present time there are not a lot of understanding of Navy interests in their academic departments.

“A lot of topics were discussed during our initial tele-conference with Dowling,” Morgan said, “NPS-proposed thesis topics and analytic techniques, other potential thesis topics, the university’s research interests and the level of support by NPS faculty.”

Bowling’s thesis topic was formally approved in January 2019, and in August of that year journeyed to Monterey to meet up with NPS’ OR faculty for a weeklong deep dive into the methodology and research to support her work. As her studies at Princeton neared an end this May, Bowling presented her findings – and recommendations – to NPS faculty via tele-conference.

“Bowling’s presentation was important because it helped provide two things,” he said. “First, it is important to communicate insights and recommendations of the research to the stakeholder community. Secondly, skills such as presenting analysis are very important to learn, because even the best insights will be not make a difference if poorly communicated.

“This gave Dowling the opportunity to not only do that, but refine important professional skills such as public speaking that every officer should master,” he added.

In a subsequent brief to fellow NPS faculty to further the practice of providing research assistance to talented Midshipmen in their undergraduate studies, Morgan noted that providing operationally relevant topics and research assistance provides great value to the warfighting community by further aligning students with Education for Seapower strategic initiatives.

Additionally, supporting Midshipmen helps build enduring student networks and promotes further academic exchanges between NPS and the student’s university.

“We hope to find additional research opportunities to engage with Midshipmen at the Academy and NROTC units, and we hope to see Kara Dowling at NPS for her master’s degree in four years,” Kline further remarked.

Along with her presentation to NPS, Dowling will also present her thesis to the Military Operations Research Society as part of several working groups. Bowling’s presentations will also be utilized by her NROTC commanding officer as part of a brief to continue the initiative as part of the “All NROTC Unit CO’s Meeting” in December.

Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2020

As rain darkened the red earth atop Bolivia’s largest silver mine, Peter Schmidt watched children only a few years younger than him emerge from the honeycomb of hand-excavated tunnels to dump minecarts of ore before hurrying back inside the mountain’s labyrinth of compact tunnels.

Schmidt — a high school graduate from St. Louis studying in Bolivia through Princeton’s Novogratz Bridge Year Program — was struck by watching members his own generation  mine the Cerro Rico, or “rich mountain,” in much the same way as when the Spanish first penetrated the Andean mountain in the 16th century.

“This place had a very strong and strange effect on me and I knew I wanted to write a book about it someday,” Schmidt said. Four years later, he has written a novel as his Princeton senior thesis that provides the mountain that spoke to him that day with its own voice, one that pleads for justice after nearly 500 years of being stripped, exploited and hollowed out.

His novel, “A Mountain There,” uses the violent history of the Cerro Rico to examine increasing efforts worldwide to grant natural features such as rivers, lakes and forests — and in some cases nature itself — the rights and protections of legal personhood. Schmidt documents a fictional push to achieve personhood for the Cerro Rico through court filings, news articles and correspondences that he created based on his research at Princeton, as well as on fieldwork in Bolivia supported by senior thesis funding from the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI).

“With our litany of environmental disasters, and climate change, the idea of treating environmental features as legal persons is becoming more and more urgent,” said Schmidt, who graduated from Princeton on June 2 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Portuguese and a certificate in environmental studies. He received the Environmental Studies Book Prize in Environmental Humanities for his thesis during the Program in Environmental Studies Class Day ceremony May 29.

“This book asks how the world would look if a mountain could speak and if a mountain could be granted the opportunity to testify in open court,” Schmidt said. “Fiction creates a space where you can ask those kinds of questions and treat them seriously.”

“Peter’s thesis shines for both its deep intellectual engagement and scholarly rigor, its confidence to ask questions that may not have answers, and, of course, its creative ambition,” said Nicole Legnani, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Schmidt’s senior thesis co-adviser. “If we consider that Peter’s first encounter with Bolivia was due to his bridge year in Bolivia, his thesis is thoroughly ‘Princetonian’ even as it is deeply committed to communities and experiences far beyond campus.”

After Princeton, Schmidt will work with two Brazil-based advocacy groups. He’ll help the nonprofit research institute Imazon (Amazon Institute of People and Environment) — which is dedicated to preventing deforestation in the Amazon — use storytelling and science communications to influence policymakers. Schmidt also will conduct research related to climate change and global security policy for Instituto Igarapé, which uses research, technology and policy to solve social issues related to security, justice and development. Stateside, Schmidt will also work full-time at the New York City-based immigration law firm Sethi and Mazaheri and its related nonprofit group, the Artistic Freedom Initiative, where he will help artists seeking asylum.

“One thing I learned is that the trajectory of a research project and the trajectory of a novel rarely converge,” Schmidt said. “With a novel, there’s a lot of thinking up front, but you have to go pretty immediately to an empty page and start putting things out and seeing how they fit together.

“I would get to a point in the creative aspect and realize I needed to do a lot of research in order to proceed,” Schmidt said. “The academic questions were guided by the story, and the story was guided by the academic questions.”

Posted: Friday, July 31, 2020

Why do people buy lottery tickets?

Florence Wang ’21 set out to answer this seemingly simple question in her independent project for the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning’s (CSML) certificate program. Looking at this question deeply, she arrived at some intriguing results that could be used to formulate socioeconomic policies on lotteries, which is seen by some critics as a regressive tax on the poor. Her project garnered the poster award at CSML’s annual poster session, along with the project of John Olaf Hallman ’20.

“I first became interested in this topic because I noticed I would disproportionately see people from lower economic backgrounds, such as blue-collar and immigrant workers, buying lottery tickets,” said Wang, a Princeton School of Public and International Affairs student. “This was true both in Hong Kong - where I am from - as well as in the US. For example, I’d often see immigrant workers lining up to buy lottery tickets at the kiosk on Nassau Street, but I never saw anyone else buying them. I wanted to understand why.”

Wang said she enjoyed conducting her research project and attending her CSML classes. She became interested in pursuing the CSML certificate after taking a class on quantitative social science for her major.

“It’s important to combine quantitative and qualitative analyses to understand social issues more deeply.” she said. “I was initially a little intimidated in pursuing this certificate because I don’t have much of a quantitative background. But there are so many options in the department that you can create a path catered to your skills and interests. In our increasingly data-driven world, it’s important to have a good grasp of numbers and not shy away from data, and taking CSML courses has really helped me with my confidence in that regard.”

After graduation, Wang said she is interested in going to law school or delving into the start-up world. Wang has worked as a summer intern at Sequoia Capital Chinaa venture capital firm. She is currently an intern at BCG Digital Ventures, a corporate investment and incubation firm focused on start-ups.

But first, she must complete her upcoming senior year. Wang, who is also pursuing a certificate in East Asian studies, is interested in studying Chinese politics and civil society for her senior thesis. Like her CSML independent project, she wants to add a data science approach to her research. 

John Hallman: machine learning and control theory
Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

As the name suggests, automatic control concerns the control of dynamic continuously operating systems such as the cruise control on a vehicle, auto pilots on aircraft, industrial process control (paper, steel, chemicals), and building heating. John Hallman ’20 was intrigued by the concept of ``learning’’ how to control such processes and made it a focus of his senior year research.

In his independent project for the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning’s (CSML) certificate program, Hallman, a math major, noticed that many studies in the theory of control dealt with the setting full-information when various parameters and variables of the controlled system are assumed to be known. He decided to look at control in a different way by studying it in the context of bandit feedback, a situtation when many of the variables that drive a system are unknown.

Hallman developed a machine learning algorithm that deals with control in bandit feedback settings. The algorithm figures out the unknown variables in these systems. His project, Non-Stochastic Control with Bandit Feedback, shared the best poster award at this year’s CSML poster session along with the project of Florence Wang ’21.

During his time at Princeton, Hallman was a summer research intern for Professor Elad Hazan at the computer science department. As an intern, he performed research on optimization and research learning. He was also a student research at the Google AI Lab at Princeton, where he delved into machine learning research and helped build out the machine learning infrastructure. He also won a student computer science teaching award.

As for future plans, he may get his doctoral degree but he wants to get some industrial experience first, Hallman said.

“I’ve been interested in the theoretical development of algorithms and their practical applications,” he said. “There is an enormous step between machine learning research and making these tools suffciently robust and simple that people can pick up the tools and use them.”

Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2020

In a typical summer, thousands of Princeton students are scattered across the country and around the globe for internships that enrich their academic focus, provide valuable work experience, jumpstart their professional network and expand their worldview.

The pandemic changed all that, taking in-person internships off the table.

Enter the virtual internship. This summer, the University — including academic departments and programs, the Pace Center, Career Services, alumni and others — helped students pivot from their original plans to a wide variety of internships that are 100% digital. 

In this story, six undergraduates reflect on their remote summer internship experiences:

Victoria Agwam '23

Concentration: Economics


Noelia Carbajal '22

Concentration: Classics; pursuing certificates in art and archaeology, and medieval studies 


Gabriel Duguay '22

Concentration: Independent concentration in Indigenous studies; pursuing certificates in humanistic studies, environmental studies and the history of practice of diplomacy


Tejas Gupta '24

Concentration: Undeclared


Jimin Kang '21

Concentration: Spanish and Portuguese; pursuing certificates in journalism, Latin American studies, environmental studies and creative writing


Margaret Lynch, Class of 2021

Concentration: Geosciences

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2020

Now on the Library homepage are Fall 2020 Resources pages for undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members, listing all of the library resources and services available to you this fall. Whether you are on or off campus this semester, we are ready to help you with your research, teaching, and learning!

Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Princeton’s Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) sponsors a robust Internships in Global Health program, encouraging students to probe a myriad of health topics affecting the developed and developing world, from pediatric obesity to special pathogens. Last fall, the CHW team looked forward to expanding this initiative with more compelling, hands-on opportunities than ever before. Dozens of Princeton students were selected for fully funded summer internships, some with longstanding partners and others with brand new affiliates in the United States and overseas.

The onset of Covid-19, and its impact on health and safety, changed everything.

Border closures, rising infection rates, and other effects of the emerging pandemic prompted Princeton to impose travel restrictions and other measures to protect students and the campus community. Accordingly, as the university transitioned to distance learning, CHW worked with its partners to reimagine its 2020 internship program. Many internships were successfully modified to virtual formats, while faculty members stepped in to create additional health-focused opportunities. In total, CHW funded nearly 30 remote global health internships along with 20 remote senior thesis research projects.

Thanks to the collaborative fortitude and flexibility of students, staff, and faculty, CHW’s Internships in Global Health program continues to thrive. Participants have engaged in meaningful work at the forefront of public health practice and policy. A few of these unique experiences are highlighted in this article:

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Princeton University will have a major leadership role in one of the five new multi-institution centers for the advancement of quantum science research announced by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Co-Design Center for Quantum Advantage (C2QA), headquartered at Brookhaven National Laboratory, will develop quantum technologies to serve as the platform for the computing innovations of the future, promising benefits for national security, pharmaceutical development, optimization of resources, and more.

The announcement was made Aug. 26 by the Trump administration.

“This is a monumental opportunity for Princeton to contribute to the fast-evolving technological future of quantum computing,” said Princeton University Provost Deborah Prentice. “Our deep strengths in fundamental research make Princeton well-positioned to contribute to this endeavor, which is central to the advancement of computing technology in the 21st century.”

“Princeton is excited to contribute to the leadership and scientific activity of this tremendous team of universities, a national laboratory and industry that will work together to advance the field of quantum computing,” said Princeton Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti. “We look forward to the many contributions in the science and engineering of quantum technologies that will emerge from this collaborative effort.”

The center will receive up to $115 million over five years to develop materials, devices, software and applications that will serve as a platform for the next generation of quantum computing capabilities. The goal is to overcome the limitations of today’s early stage quantum computers and propel the field forward to unlock new capabilities to tackle real-world challenges.

Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2020

President Christopher L. Eisgruber has written a letter to the University community to outline the next steps the University administration will take to address systemic racism at Princeton and beyond.


“Princeton contributes to the world through teaching and research of unsurpassed quality, and we must continue to find ways to bring that mission to bear against racism, and against all of the discrimination that damages the lives of people of color.” — President Eisgruber


In his update, President Eisgruber also noted the University’s effort to address systemic racism began with changes and initiatives that were announced in June. These included:

  • An initial series of new funding initiatives — the first, immediate steps in an ongoing effort to bring to bear the research, teaching and service-focused mission of the University on the critical issues of racial injustice.
  • A new grant program (“Princeton RISE”) that provides immediate resources for undergraduate and graduate students who want to engage in work over the summer to address racial inequalities and injustices. The University has put out a call for faculty-led projects to engage undergraduate students in research or scholarly work that addresses racism, including systemic racism and racial injustice. We have identified funding to support faculty members who want to create or expand course offerings related to systemic racism, racial injustice, anti-racism, and the history of civil rights or anti‑racist movements.
  • The changes to the names of what are now the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and First College.
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Allison Yang ’23 studied how brains sync up during communication as part of her research internship, funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research’s Student Initiated Internships (OURSIP).  Video by Allison Yang

When the pandemic shut down almost all on-campus research, students who had arranged in-person summer research internships needed to pivot quickly.

In a typical year, the Office of the Dean of the College (ODOC) sponsors summer research opportunities for undergraduate students both on- and off-campus, complete with weekly workshops, lectures and community-building activities. But this year, as the students and mentors re-imagined their research plans to become projects that could be accomplished from home, two ODOC programs — the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) and the Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) — also re-invented their support structures, creating online check-ins and workshops to replace group lunches, digital bonding activities in place of in-person game nights, and stress management workshops for students juggling an unprecedented combination of challenges.

Many students found that their planned internships couldn’t make the pivot to remote work, so Trisha Thorme, the ProCES director, created a new pathway where students who had lost their summer opportunities could propose new research-based nonprofit internships. Prior to that, Thorme had planned to oversee six local Derian ProCES interns. (In past years, she’s had as many as 12.) So many students took advantage of the new pathway that Thorme had an unprecedented 25 remote Derian interns this summer.

In past years, the students wrapped up their summers by preparing and presenting research talks and posters. In 2020, OUR students created intern profiles and research videos to be shared with incoming Princeton students in the Freshman Scholars Institute and other members of the Princeton community, while the ProCES interns prepared reports and presentations for their host organizations and developed 90-second pitches that describe their summer work and its impact.

“Overall, what I’m most impressed by is just the level of creativity and resilience that student researchers have shown, to adapt to the situation,” said Pascale Poussart, the OUR director, who oversees ReMatch+OURSIP and the Summer Research Colloquium (SRC), a weekly community-building program for OUR research interns and mentors.


ReMatch, part of a collaboration between ODOC and the Graduate School, is a year-long program that builds mentoring relationships between undergraduates and graduate students or postdoctoral researchers — three groups that didn’t often interact, historically. In the fall, ReMatch first-years and sophomores meet with ReMatch graduate mentors to find their “match”, and in the spring, the mentor-mentee pairs can apply for ReMatch+, a paid summer research internship. Of the 10 ReMatch+ projects funded this year, one focused on closing the sex gap in neuroscience research, while others investigated genes associated with breast cancer and breastfeeding and studied how rats make decisions.

“While this year looked very different from past summers, it was great to see how the ReMatch+ graduate and undergraduate participants built strong research relationships, despite having shifted to a virtual environment,” said Christine Fecenko Murphy, the assistant dean for academic affairs in the Graduate School, who co-directs the ReMatch Program. 

Jessica Brice of the Class of 2022 was matched with Lauren Feldman, a fifth-year graduate student who works in the lab of Joel Cooper, a professor of psychology. Brice’s original research went in a new direction after the death of George Floyd on May 25. She ran a linguistic analysis of the statements provided by 179 university leaders — presidents, provosts and chancellors of 112 predominantly white institutions and 67 historically Black colleges and universities — looking for hundreds of phrases about indirect bias and structural inequality.

Her preliminary results suggest that this summer, colleges and universities were more willing to publicly recognize and explicitly describe racist behavior than they had been in the past. She also identified some trends in language use. For example, she found that statements from predominantly white institutions were somewhat more likely to use more social unity words like “solidarity,” “community” and “together” than HBCUs, while HBCU statements were many times more likely to use words like “defund,” “restructure” and “abolish.”

“This experience has not only given me some exciting ideas for my junior paper but strengthened my interest in pursuing a career in research psychology,” Brice said.

Office of Undergraduate Research - Student Initiated Internships (OURSIP)    

Every year, OURSIP provides grants to Princeton first-years and sophomores (and occasionally juniors) who have independently created or secured an unpaid faculty-mentored research internship over the summer.

This summer, OURSIP supported 30 projects, which ranged from a study of cholesterol at the molecular level to designing a cheating-proof sports tournament, studying little-known proteins that are key to photosynthesis, and investigating magic-angle graphene.

Allison Yang of the Class of 2023 was both an OURSIP intern and the SRC program assistant, with responsibility for organizing and running weekly social events online to build community between the geographically scattered interns. “She developed a truly fun and creative line-up of events so students could connect with each other informally,” said Poussart.

Yang’s OURSIP project used fMRI brain scans to look for neural synchrony — brains syncing up together — during communication. She tracked brain activity simultaneously in pairs of volunteers, as one student gave another instructions on simple tasks, like how to find Waldo in a picture or how to design an avatar. Her goal was to better understand how neural activity corresponds to effective communication.

“I’d definitely recommend participating in OURSIP, even if you don’t plan on a research-related career,” Yang said. “The experience of research truly benefits your problem-solving and analytical skills, and the process of discovery is so exciting!”

Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Princeton senior Ben Alessio had planned to spend his summer internship with the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) in the laboratory of Professor Howard Stone conducting experiments related to diffusiophoresis, an important process by which particles are transported through water. But when COVID-19 led to the suspension of campus operations, Alessio and Stone —Princeton’s Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and PEI associated faculty— designed a virtual internship that contributed to an important advance in the Stone Lab’s work. Alessio, a physics major, worked from home integrating physical effects into a code that solves the system of partial differential equations that describe diffusiophoresis under various conditions. One physical effect — having many ions in the solute — had never been implemented before. “The theory behind this was published last year by a researcher in the group, but nobody had done a numerical investigation of the equations. When we saw results that matched the experiments, I was thrilled,” said Alessio, who previously held a PEI internship with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in 2019. “Working remotely changed the course of my internship,” he said. “I’m not sure I would have accomplished the same thing with the computer modeling if I were on campus. I would say it was a fortunate result of having to go to computer work.” Alessio was one of more than 100 Princeton undergraduate students enrolled in PEI’s summer internship program this year who — despite transitioning to virtual internships due to the coronavirus — worked closely with noted faculty and other experts on research related to critical environmental topics. PEI supported 123 students from across the University in positions with Princeton faculty, researchers from other scientific enterprises, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations and community groups. Their projects focused on global environmental challenges in the areas of policy and resilience, biodiversity and conservation, alternative energy, climate change, water, and human health. PEI interns for the summer of 2020 will present their research Sept. 18 during the annual Summer of Learning Symposium. Applications for the 2021 summer internships open Nov. 23.
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Access to reliable power is a critical concern for hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from those living in remote communities without public utilities to entire regions susceptible to severe weather and natural disasters.

Since his graduation in 2016, Princeton alumnus Angelo Campus has worked to ensure anyone needing quick and dependable access to a power source can find it in a simple configuration: a shipping container equipped with solar panels, a battery for energy storage and a backup generator.

His company, BoxPower, builds and distributes these units — what are known as containerized microgrids — and has deployed them in places like Puerto Rico, which lost electrical infrastructure in 2017 due to Hurricane Maria, and the Alaskan backcountry, where Alaska Natives live far removed from electrical power sources.

BoxPower even filled a critical need in Campus’ home state of California in 2019, when wildfires caused public utilities to shut down electrical grids for days.

“When we started this company, we didn’t know that Hurricane Maria was going to happen, we didn’t know that the California wildfires were going to happen,” said Campus, whose company is based in his hometown of Nevada City, California.

He also couldn’t foresee that a game-changing technological development was on the horizon: that Tesla would revolutionize the battery and energy storage market — a key component of solar energy systems — popularizing the idea of microgrids.

What Campus did know early on was that he had a passion for renewable energy, engineering and product design, and a strong desire to promote social and environmental good.

He learned about containerized microgrids in 2011 as a senior in high school, when he visited Princeton for a campus tour. The visit strongly influenced his decision to attend the University and to learn more about the technology involved.

As a first-year student, he joined Princeton’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program, which was developing a sustainable alternative to diesel generators in the wake of the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and their devastating aftermath.

To focus his academics on his goals, Campus switched out of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to create an independent concentration called “Technological Development” that allowed him to fully realize the practical applications of containerized microgrids. He took on advisers from engineering, architecture and anthropology to help him more closely examine the technical, human and social aspects of energy systems.

During his senior year, Campus entered business competitions and began the process of commercializing a rapidly deployable, containerized microgrid. He named his new company BoxPower.

“It’s become very important to me to try to extend that opportunity and share my story with other rising Princeton students that with a Princeton degree, you can do anything,” he said. “You can start your own company, you can create your own career and create your own lifestyle into whatever vision you want for yourself and the world.”

“As Princeton alumni, we are among some of the most privileged people in the world,” he added. “It is our responsibility, our duty, to use that privilege to make the world a better place.”

Campus eventually plans to take BoxPower global. He is seeking to partner with traditional power providers that want to expand into renewable energy. He’s also hoping to work with international relief groups including the United Nations, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

“In so many ways we’re just getting started,” Campus said. “We’re in our early teenage years where we’re learning how to drive. We’re figuring out all the places we can and want to go, and it’s a really exciting time to be doing that.”

Stories - Class of 2019

Princeton Research Day Explores the Research Process Across Disciplines
Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2019


Say the word “research,” and the first images that come to mind might be a test tube, a microchip, or a laser and safety goggles.

But at the fourth annual Princeton Research Day, the sciences and engineering will share center stage with research on topics such as 17th-century Italian keyboard music, reflections on the musical “Legally Blonde” and a supernova illustrated by dance.

Princeton Research Day starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 9, in the Frist Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

“Princeton Research Day embraces the liberal arts philosophy of the University by bringing together ideas from different fields,” said Karla Ewalt, associate dean for research. “Creativity and inspiration develop when we move beyond our own perspective to see things through a new lens.”

There will be 10 arts presentations, the most thus far at Princeton Research Day, that will illustrate how the arts intersect with research. “By featuring the arts this year, we want to expand the view of research to explicitly include all types of creative and intellectual endeavors that help us appreciate humanity and understand our world,” said Ewalt.

The day will include more than 200 students and early-career researchers presenting from the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities. Some participants will give 10-minute talks with a digital presentation or performance. Others will give a 90-second pitch, and many will present posters or exhibits, which will be on display on the main floor of Frist.

Click here to read more.

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Friday, October 4, 2019

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Research Assistant – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Apply by 10/14/19. Investigate the role of the MYCN oncogene in regulating inflammatory signaling and the immune response in the childhood cancer neuroblastoma using cell and molecular biology techniques including cell culture, qPCR, western blotting, and gene modification using CRISPR, among others.


Full-time Research Assistant – Booth School of Business – University of Chicago

Apply by 10/29/19. Princeton Professor Owen Zidar and U. Chicago Professor Eric Zwick seek 2 highly skilled and motivated individuals to work as full-time RAs for a period of two years, entailing close collaboration on new and ongoing empirical projects in applied microeconomics and public policy.

Rachel Jackson ’11 Works to Tackle Labor Abuses
Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Courtesy Rachel Jackson '11

Earlier this year, a new nonprofit dedicated to eradicating human and environmental abuses in company supply chains succeeded where investigative journalists have often failed.

Transparentem forced a number of major Western brands, including Target, Nike, and Fruit of the Loom, to act on fresh evidence of labor abuses in their Malaysian apparel factories.

The nonprofit did so by taking an effective new tack. Transparentem asked the companies privately first about what it had uncovered, instead of rushing to shame them in the press, The Guardian noted in June. The result was companies committing to real change at the factories, rather than quickly severing ties with them.

One of the people helping pioneer this strategy at Transparentem is the nonprofit’s operations chief Rachel Jackson ’11. And it was at Princeton that Jackson, an Amherst, Mass., native, first became interested in finding more effective ways to bring about change.


Click here to read more.

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association (HCURA) invites undergraduate students at Princeton University to attend the National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) held at Harvard University on January 24-26, 2020. 

NCRC is a large-scale, multidisciplinary forum held annually at Harvard University, where the most accomplished undergraduate students from across the United States and internationally convene each year to share their research in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.  The core vision behind this conference is to provide student researchers with the opportunity to hear from the world’s leading authorities in academia, policy, and industry, as well as to foster important exchanges and dialogue between students. Last year, after being selected through a competitive application process, over 200 participants from nearly 75 universities across America and abroad attended this conference. NCRC hopes to expand the perspective of undergraduate researchers through offering exposure to diverse fields and to facilitate the discourse on collaboration, leadership, and social impact in research that will be invaluable in future pursuits. 

In the last five years, NCRC has been honored to host speakers including Marcia K. McNutt (President of the National Academy of Sciences and former Editor-in-Chief of Science), Jeffrey D. Sachs (American economist and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia), Harold Varmus (former director of NIH and Nobel Prize Laureate), Gina McCarthy (former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency), Stephen Wolfram (founder and CEO of Wolfram Research), Vivek Murthy (Former Surgeon General) as well as many other notable individuals in academia, policy, and industry. NCRC anticipates expanding its reach to even greater heights for our upcoming 2020 conference.

Apply now!! The application deadline for general applications is December 1st, 2019 (11:59PM EST). 

For the application and further information click here:  


A delicate balance: Student films examine needs of humans and wildlife in Kenya
Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Video still by Nicolas Chae, Ingrid Koester, Maende J, and Lauren Olson

Students in the Global Seminar “Documentary Filmmaking in Kenya: Visual Storytelling on Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation” made five short films as part of the summer course based at the Mpala Research Centre. In the summer of 2019, a group of Princeton undergraduates embarked on a six-week Global Seminar in central Kenya, studying ecology and conservation as well as filmmaking fundamentals with Princeton faculty and other renowned instructors.

In teams, the students — many with no previous film experience — produced their documentaries while working in the field alongside faculty, Mpala scientists and researchers, and local residents. Each team included a Kenyan undergraduate, giving students from both countries the chance to work with and learn from collaborators from another culture.

View the student films in this YouTube Playlist or Vimeo Showcase.

Click here to read more.

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019
Photo from QSURE web page

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Mechanical, Aeronautical, and Nuclear Engineering Webinar

Event Date: 10/23/19, 9am-10:30am. Faculty and graduate students will provide an overview of their PhD programs and discuss their research and life as graduate students at RPI. Learn about the application process – and have your application fee waived for attending the webinar!


U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science Virtual Career Fair

Event Date 10/24/19, 12pm-3pm. Chat with recruiters, scientists, and researchers; Explore information about each lab/facility; Learn more about the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program at several participating Department of Energy labs/facilities.



Data Engineer/Collateral Analyst – Bayview Asset Management

Joining the research team which develops and implements statistical models for the valuation of mortgage assets. This role will be to develop, maintain, and enhance the various databases used within the Research group, and to also make the monthly data loading processes more efficient.


Associate Electrical Engineer – Northrop Grumman

Defense Electronic Business Unit. Work in Sensors and Algorithms & RF Technology: Research, develop, design, and test electrical components, equipment, systems, and networks; Design facilities, components, products, and systems for commercial, industrial, and domestic purposes.


R&D Internship – Solenis

Leading global producer of specialty chemicals for water intensive industries. Intern will be given 1 or more industrial research projects supported by a Senior Investigator w/goal to meet project objectives, prepare a summary report and seminar within 10-12 weeks of an internship.



Quantitative Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (QSURE) Program - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Shared by a current student! 10-week summer program designed for exceptional undergrads w/an aptitude in quant sciences and an interest in cancer and population health. Individual research program w/exposure to methods in biostatistics, epidemiology and health outcomes research.


NOAA Student Scholarship Applications Open!
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Hollings Scholar Ahmed Abdelqader presents his research at the 2017 American Meteorological Society meeting. (Credit: Jing He)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in disciplines related to oceanic and atmospheric science, research, or technology, and supportive of the purposes of NOAA’s programs and mission. Over 100 students are selected each year for participation in the Ernest F. Hollings and Educational Partnership Program (EPP) scholarship programs. These scholarships include support for two years of undergraduate study and summer internship opportunities at NOAA facilities across the country.  

For information on program benefits and how to apply, visit our web sites:

· Educational Partnership Program Undergraduate Scholarship:

o   Application Deadline:  January 31, 2020

· Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship:

o   Application Deadline:  January 31, 2020 

Eligibility Requirements:

· US Citizen 

· 3.0 GPA (Hollings) or 3.2 GPA (EPP)

· Full-time second year student at an accredited four-year undergraduate program or third year student at a five-year undergraduate program; community college or transfer students must provide proof of application to a four-year institution when applying for the scholarship and submit proof of acceptance prior to starting the program

· Majoring in NOAA mission disciplines, including but not limited to: atmospheric science, biology, cartography, chemistry, computer science, education, engineering, environmental science, geodesy, geography, marine science, mathematics, meteorology, oceanography, physical science, photogrammetry, physics, etc.

· Enrolled at a Minority Serving Institution (EPP Scholarship only)

For further information, contact the Office of Education Scholarship Programs at: or (301) 628-2913

Undergrad Opportunity in Bioethics Research
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Mayo Clinic Biomedical Ethics Research Program is seeking undergraduate trainees to participate in the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Program in Ethics Research (SUPER).

For information regarding the application requirements, see this document: PDF iconSUPER 2020.pdf 

Typically, a large interest is in students who come from premed, prelaw or philosophy backgrounds, but students from all disciplines are welcome to apply. 

If you have any questions, contact Jessica R. Hirsch, D. Bioethics, MA, CIP, Education Coordinator and Instructor of Biomedical Ethics, College of Medicine and Science:

Phone: 507-538-4023
Fax: 507-538-0850

STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Princeton Startup Immersion Program (PSIP) 

Intern w/a startup company this summer in NYC, Shanghai or Tel Aviv! Open to  undergrads and grad students – Software Engineering, Product Development, Marketing, Design, Writing & Editing, Strategy & Operations, Electrical Engineering, UX Intern, Marketplace Expansion, R&D, Account Management, Business Development, Social Media/Community Growth, Content Developer, AI Engineer, Presales Engineer, Investment Intern, Business Operations, Blockchain Core Development, Technology Evangelist, Computer Vision AI Researcher, and MORE! Applications open November 4 – December 1.

Research Associate – PharmaCadence Analytical Services

Participate in analytical development activities in pharma and life sciences using state of the art mass spectrometry technology. In this exciting role, apply your enthusiasm and technical skills as a member of a small startup in the Philadelphia region. 




Pathways to Computing Internship Program 

10-week summer program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Work on research projects in computer science, computational science, and math in diverse domains including computer science, health data science, and climate science.

Yale Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience

2-year training program involving clinical research experience. Daily activities relate to behavioral, psychophysiological, eye-tracking and neuroimaging studies of toddlers and children with and without autism. With research mentorship, selected applicants will be expected to guide a pre-determined project of research from the point of data collection through analysis and publication of results.

Yale Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Development of Neuroscience in Autism

2-year training program in data science, cutting-edge computational technologies in a clinically based developmental disabilities research lab. Role involves rapid prototyping and robust development of translational technologies, which may include eye-tracking technologies, image processing, physiological sensing technologies, machine learning projects and experimental paradigms. With research mentorship, selected applicants will be expected to guide a pre-determined project of research from the point of data collection through analysis and publication of results.

FDA Data Science and Visual Analytics Fellowship

Under the guidance of a mentor, potential training projects include contributing to the development of visual analytical dashboards in Python, Qlik Sense, or Tableau; and data analysis of complex, large relational datasets in Python or other analytical tools.

Postgraduate Research in Molecular Biology Laboratory Techniques

Research opp w/USDA, Milwaukee, WI. Learn real-world lab techniques involving MolBio, microbiology and cell-culture, understanding of how stress, nutrition, and other factors, affect the innate immune response in rainbow trout cell-lines and rainbow trout.

Geyman’s published senior thesis research offers new thoughts on how carbonates record global carbon cycle
Posted: Friday, November 8, 2019

“You can learn a lot from carbonates,” said Emily Geyman, a 2019 Princeton graduate in geosciences and the lead author of a paper published Nov. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The paper was the result of Geyman’s senior thesis research in which she investigated the chemical composition of carbonates and how these carbonates record the carbon cycle.

Geyman’s research was predominantly funded by the PEI Environmental Scholars Program, which was established with a gift from Elizabeth A. Smith and Ray E. Newton III ’86. She initially received the 2017 award, and had an extension in 2018.

Geyman currently is pursuing a master’s with a focus on glaciology at the University of Tromsø in Arctic Norway as part of a Sachs Global Fellowship from Princeton.

She conducted her Bahamas work as part of her junior and senior independent work at Princeton. An accomplished young scientist, she has already been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. She received the Peter W. Stroh ’51 Environmental Senior Thesis Prize, the Calvin Dodd MacCracken Award from Princeton’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Edward Sampson 1914 Award for distinguished work in environmental geoscience.


Read more on Geyman's research here.

Technical University of Munich Practical Research Experience Program
Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In the framework of the Practical Research Experience Program (TUM PREP), Technical University of Munich (TUM)  invites each summer excellent students from select North American universities to spend an at least 10-week long research stay at TUM. Participating students gain valuable insights into the research work at Germany’s top-ranked technical university and enhance their technical and methodological qualifications. Together with TUM scientists, TUM PREP students work in small research teams at different TUM chairs on a previously defined research project. Through individual support, buddies and a variety of TUM PREP events, the participants will be well integrated at TUM as well as in Munich and surroundings in a short time. The language of the TUM PREP program is English, and German language skills are not required for the participation.

The deadline to apply for TUM PREP 2020 projects is Friday, November 29, 2019 (3 pm CET).

The link to the online application form, the list of offered research projects and further information can be found on the TUM PREP Website.

Students should complete their online application and also make sure that their recommendation letters will be sent to by this deadline.


2020 Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference at Virginia Tech
Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Are you involved in research and looking for an opportunity to showcase your skills? 

Do you want to learn more from professionals in your discipline? 

Would you like the opportunity to meet students from across the United States in varying STEM fields? 


If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should apply to the 2020 Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference at Virginia Tech. This conference is a unique opportunity for undergraduates to come together with professionals from varying scientific fields and share their passion for research. Our team created this conference because we believe in encouraging the collaboration of knowledge in order to facilitate advancement within areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

The Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference is a two day event, March 28-29th, which will include panel sessions, student oral and poster presentations, and catered meals. You can also look forward to hearing from three phenomenal keynote speakers. Dr. Anthony Leggett is a physics professor at the University of Illinois, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003. Dr. Arnold Caplan is director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve University and is known as a pioneer in mesenchymal stem cell research. Dr. Laura Nicklason is the founder of Humacyte, a globally known biotechnology company making incredible strides in regenerative medicine. She also serves as a Professor of Anesthesia and Biomedical Engineering at Yale University.

The application to participate in the conference is due on December 31st and can be found through this link. For more information, please visit our facebook page “STEM Research Conference Commission” or email us at

Princeton seniors Alagappan and Malhotra win Rhodes Scholarships
Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019
Alagappan and Malhotra

Princeton University seniors Serena Alagappan and Ananya Agustin Malhotra are among 32 American recipients of Rhodes Scholarships for graduate study at the University of Oxford.

Alagappan, of New York City, is concentrating in comparative literature and is also pursuing certificates in European cultural studies and creative writing. At Oxford, Alagappan will pursue an M.Sc. in social anthropology and an M.St. in World Literatures in English.

Malhotra, of Atlanta, is a concentrator in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and also is pursuing  a certificate in European cultural studies. At Oxford, she will pursue the two-year M.Phil. in international relations.  




STEM Leads Research Opportunities
Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019
career development

Here is the Center for Career Development's weekly compilation of research events, opportunities, and positions, as advertised through Handshake. Click here for additional Career Development tools/resources. Feel free to contact the Center for Career Development if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed below or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have other questions about doing research.



Georgetown University School of Medicine Summer Research (for current sophomores and juniors)

Join a cohort of fellows for the 2020 Dean for Medical Education's Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES) program. Includes stipend and housing, and possible travel assistance. Deadline to apply is February 24, 2020.


Biochemical Markers Summer Fellowship – Centers for Disease Control

Lab improves detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of environmental, tobacco-related, nutritional, newborn, selected chronic and selected infectious diseases. The appointment is full-time at CDC (Chamblee Campus) in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. 


Early Career Research Experience in Arctic Advanced Manufacturing Innovator Program

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), you will have a unique opportunity to advance your early stage concept to a potentially commercialize-able opportunity with support from mentors at the UAF and at a participating DOE National Laboratory.


Research Assistant – Rockefeller University

We are currently hiring graduating seniors for 1-2 year biomedical research assistant positions to work closely with senior scientists and participate in challenging, complex, and dynamic research projects. A smart first step before grad school

Princeton alumni Berlin, Tenkiang named Mitchell Scholars
Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Berlin and Tenkiang

Princeton’s 2018 valedictorian Kyle Berlin and University Trustee Achille Tenkiang have been named George J. Mitchell Scholars. They are among 12 students who were selected for the annual award, named in honor of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell’s contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process.


Berlin will study culture and colonialism at National University of Ireland, Galway. Tenkiang will study race, migration and decolonial studies at University College Dublin.


No stone unturned: Undergraduates experience archaeology in the field
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019

In “Archaeology in the Field,” undergraduate students are introduced to archaeology through an immersive six-week course that exposes them to every aspect of an excavation. Students complete rotations in three groups, focusing on excavating, conducting lab work at a museum and surface surveying. Through these activities, they learn how archaeologists approach sites, formulate questions and gather evidence to answer them. The rotations also help students learn about preservation, which, according to Arrington, are just as important to archaeologists as the actual digging process.

Arrington has high hopes for what his students will take away from their experience in the field: “I hope that it changes their relationship to time and place, so that they always feel the past lurking beneath their feet wherever they are, and constantly think about how history has shaped who we are today.”


Read more here:

Princeton seniors Levit, Visser awarded Schwarzman Scholarships for study in Beijing
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Princeton seniors Nathan Levit and Caleb Visser have been named Schwarzman Scholars. The Schwarzman Scholarship covers the cost of graduate study and living toward a one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

For its fifth class, 145 scholars were selected from around the world from more than 4,700 applicants. The scholars will study economics and business, international studies, and public policy. Courses will be taught in English by professors from Tsinghua, as well as visiting scholars, beginning in August.

Research is a central focus of both students' undergraduate careers. While completing his studies at Princeton, Levit has conducted policy research at the local, state, national and international levels, working on site and remotely with Jed Herrmann, vice president for state and federal policy implementation at Results for America; U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma; and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado. He also worked as a research assistant for New York Times reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Visser has interned for U.S. Africa Command. He was a research assistant at the Global Research Institute of the College of William and Mary, and also served as a legislative research intern for Veterans Campaign during the 2018 congressional midterm elections through Princeton Internships in Civic Service. He currently is a research fellow for the Wilson School’s Innovations for Successful Societies program.

Read more here:

CUSJ 2020 Call for Submissions!
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019

The editorial board of the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal invites Princeton students to submit a research paper for publication in their journal for undergraduate students: the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal (CUSJ). CUSJ is a highly selective peer-reviewed publication that aims to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to publish scholarly research papers.

This is a great opportunity for students to share the research work they have accomplished with a wider audience. The submission deadline for the 2019-2020 journal is February 2, 2020.

More information about the journal and submission guidelines can be found on this website:


Seniors Brown, Fried awarded Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in the UK
Posted: Monday, December 9, 2019

Two Princeton seniors have been awarded Marshall Scholarships. Andrew Brown, a concentrator in physics, and Avital Fried, a concentrator in philosophy, will spend two years pursuing graduate study in the United Kingdom as part of the Marshall Scholar program, which offers intellectually distinguished young Americans the opportunity to develop their abilities as future leaders.

Brown and Fried are among 46 awardees for 2020. The Marshall Scholarship seeks to promote strong relations between the United Kingdom and the United States by offering intellectually distinguished young Americans the opportunity to develop their abilities as future leaders. The scholarship covers the cost of two years of graduate study in the UK at a university of the recipient’s choice.

Princeton University Library launches fund to help underwrite Princeton researchers' fees to publish in open access publications
Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

In an effort to further support open access to scholarship and research, Princeton University Library (PUL) has launched the Princeton Open Access Publication Fund, which will help underwrite fees for Princeton students, faculty, and staff to publish in Open Access (OA) publications.

Open access refers to the practice of making information, scholarship, and research freely available online, a movement in which PUL has been a leader, according to Scholarly Communications Librarian Yuan Li who leads the initiative for the fund and other open access resources at Princeton.

“PUL supports open access in a number of ways. It supports at the end point: We buy subscriptions, we buy journals, and we buy books. We provide access to the users. . . The Library will now provide support to the author [as well]. We are of the position that we provide as much help and support as we can to give access to the information, no matter if it’s from the user's end or from the production point. It’s all about access to the information and information sharing,” she said. 

The Princeton Open Access Publication Fund aims to break down a financial barrier in place for Princeton authors, particularly those from underrepresented groups such as graduate students, junior faculty, and researchers in the humanities and social sciences. In traditional publishing, payment happens at the end point; subscribers pay to access content. This created a financial barrier for readers. OA publications recently flipped the model and instead require authors to pay in order to publish. It similarly creates a financial barrier for authors. 

2020 MPL Summer Internship Program
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Call for Summer Interns
Are you considering applying to grad school and interested in oceanography as a career path?  Contemplating a career in scientific research and development?

The Marine Physical Laboratory, at UC San Diego’s world renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is currently seeking inquisitive, motivated undergraduate students with exceptional aptitude for quantitative science to apply for the 2020 MPL Summer Internship Program.
Undergraduate college students majoring in oceanography, applied mathematics, engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, geology and related majors are encouraged to apply. This ten-week internship will offer qualified students the opportunity to work with some of the most notable scientists in the world and learn about marine science and technology while earning a modest salary.

UCSD is an equal opportunity employer, with a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity.


* Currently enrolled as 1st, 2nd or 3rd year undergraduate — and not in your senior year — at a college or university with a major applicable to research done at MPL

* A U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident 

* Considering a career in scientific research
* Available to start at MPL in La Jolla, California, in June 2020

* Available to work the duration of the internship, ten consecutive weeks from the start date, for 40 hours per week at a salary of $14/hr

* Not a former MPL summer intern

* OK with working a short distance from some of Southern California's best beaches and surf



* Visit to complete the application online.
* Applications will be accepted online through 4 p.m. Pacific time on January 17, 2020.

* Applications are not reviewed until after the application due date.

* Applicants may be notified by email as early as February 2020.  

* All applicants will have been notified by email by the end of April. 

MPL Summer Internship Program:

Marine Physical Laboratory:
Scripps Institution of Oceanography:

University of California, San Diego:


Real-life examples bring new energy to core thermodynamics course
Posted: Friday, December 20, 2019

Traditionally, engineering students have learned about the thermodynamics of gas turbines by studying diagrams and solving equations, but this year they also donned hard hats, safety glasses and ear plugs to tour a plant that produces electricity for half a million homes.


Long seen as a rite of passage for sophomores majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering, the thermodynamics course is known for its rigor. Making its content feel relevant for students can be a challenge. This year, the class became a Campus as Lab course, featuring field trips, guest lectures and lessons that enhanced students’ learning with examples of energy technology and policy from the University campus and surroundings.


In addition to visiting the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) generating station in Sewaren, New Jersey, about 30 miles from Princeton, students joined professional engineers to assess the energy efficiency of the Pink House, home to a community of undergraduates focused on sustainable living. Guest lecturers included an engineer who helps design gas turbines for extreme conditions and a contributor to the town of Princeton’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

#TellUsTigers: Priya Vulchi ’22
Posted: Friday, December 20, 2019

After Eric Garner’s murder in 2014, Priya Vulchi ’22 and her classmate Winona Guo, then sophomores at Princeton High School, were enraged. They decided to fight for required racial literacy curricula in all K-12 schools in the United States. They cold-emailed Eddie Glaude Jr. and Ruha Benjamin in Princeton’s Department of African American studies, who became their mentors. With two books under her belt, a Ted Talk (with more than 1.3 million views) and a gap year spent interviewing 500 people in all 50 states — Vulchi is continuing her work with Choose, the nonprofit she and Guo founded, as she focuses her academic work at Princeton as a major in African American studies.

Read more at:

Columbia Business School Summer Research Internship Program
Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Summer Research Internship Program

Columbia Business School seeks applicants for the 2020 Summer Research Internship Program. This highly selective program provides interns an opportunity to work with Columbia Business School's faculty on a research project in finance, economics, marketing, management, decision sciences, operations, accounting, or data analytics. 


Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, most interns generally work on one research project. The work may include literature reviews, data collection and cleaning, web scraping, statistical analysis, and in some cases, contribution to a final publication. Behavioral interns may be staffed on multiple projects: conducting literature reviews, coding data, performing statistical analyses, and running experiments with the Behavioral Research lab. All interns will present their final results to faculty at the end of the project.


The program will run from June 1, 2020 through August 1, 2020 (final dates TBD). On-campus housing and a stipend will be provided.

Summer-Intern Placement

After graduating from their undergraduate or master’s programs, our summer interns have leveraged their experience at CBS to gain admission to some of the most prestigious PhD programs in Economics, Finance, Marketing, Management, Operations, and Data Science. Since 2012, 43 out of 125 interns have enrolled in PhD programs at schools like MIT (6), Harvard (6), Stanford (5), Columbia (4), Wharton (4), and the University of Chicago (2).


Some interns decide not to pursue their doctorate or defer doing so until after they have worked in industry for a few years. The summer internship experience provides training in analytical and quantitative skills that many employers find valuable. Our summer interns have accepted jobs from prestigious firms in management consulting (McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte) and economic consulting (Cornerstone Research, Analysis Group), financial firms and hedge funds (Goldman Sachs, Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, Blackrock, Blackstone, Bridgewater, AQR Capital Management), and at technology companies such as Facebook, Nielsen, and eBay.  A select number of summer interns return to CBS for our prestigious Predoctoral Fellows Program (PDF).


Successful Applicants

This is a multi-disciplinary program and candidates from all backgrounds, including business, statistics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, the physical sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences, are encouraged to apply. We are especially interested in applicants who are underrepresented minorities.


Prospective interns should demonstrate an enthusiasm for research and intellectual curiosity. They are expected to have excellent communication skills, basic knowledge of statistics and/or econometrics, and familiarity with statistical and computational software packages (e.g., Matlab, R, STATA, SPSS) and scripting languages such as Python or R. Candidates interested in working with behavioral researchers should have experience conducting experiments and coding data.

For more information about the Summer Internship Program and to apply, please fill out the application form at the following website:

The Application Deadline is 11:59pm EST on March 1, 2020.  We encourage you to apply early as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  The application process is highly competitive, only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.  For further information or questions, please email

Apply for Stanford Research Conference 2020
Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2019

We are excited to announce that applications for Stanford Research Conference (SRC) 2020 are open HERE.


SRC is Stanford Undergraduate Research Association’s annual research conference that serves as a forum for undergraduates from all over the country to present their work, connect with other researchers, and hear from distinguished leaders in the research community. The seventh annual SRC will be held April 10 to 12, 2020 at Stanford University.


Applications for our conference are due January 31, 2020. You can find the application HERE.


Learn more about SURA and SRC at and reach out to with any questions. We look forward to receiving your application!

Stories - Class of 2018

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Princeton senior Ugonna Nwabueze, a first-generation Nigerian American, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, but the stories her father told her about being a child soldier in the Nigerian civil war, which began in 1967, haunted her.

Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Taylor Griffith wanted her senior thesis to focus on strong black female leads on television shows, so she began her investigation the way most students do, by checking the available literature. But when the Princeton student made her first trip to B Floor at Firestone Library, she came up short.

Posted: Monday, May 7, 2018

When the Khan family left Pakistan with their three young children, they never imagined that their then-3-year-old daughter would return as a student at Princeton University, let alone that she would be tackling a problem that has frustrated global health researchers.

Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018

Before engineers can build a reactor to produce electricity from fusion, they have to make the reactor’s walls able to withstand the heat and energetic particles from the reactions. It is a hellish environment and requires a very special material.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2018

When Princeton University senior Alana Reynolds arrived in Mozambique last June to conduct fieldwork for her thesis, she realized that she had to see elephants differently if she wanted to help protect them.

Stories - Class of 2017

Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Shaikh's photo

Nabil Shaikh's senior thesis took him more than 8,000 miles from Princeton to Hyderabad, India, where he interviewed terminally ill cancer patients about their experience with end-of-life care. 

Posted: Monday, May 8, 2017
Rosales Photo

To meet the requirements of his major in English and certificates in creative writing, theater and Latino studies, Princeton senior Edwin Rosales had to write not one but two senior theses. The first in his family to go to college, he drew on his own experience of emigrating to the U.S. from Guatemala as a child and extensive research to write a collection of short stories and a play. Rosales said the arts at Princeton empowered him and built his confidence as a writer.

Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Isabella Douglas

Builder José Mosquera’s masterwork languishes in a wooded area outside Havana, Cuba, going slowly to ruin and being colonized by trees and vines. But when Princeton University senior Isabella Douglas and a team of students met him on the grounds of Cuba’s National School of Ballet last November, Mosquera gave them a rare gift.

Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017

When Arthur Edward Imperatore III showed up at his adviser’s office to discuss the first draft of his senior thesis, he was anxious. He knew that the classics department encouraged, alongside traditional studies of ancient texts in their original languages and contexts, creative interpretations of the works that could cast light on their enduring relevance to the present. In this vein Arthur had been inspired by Xenophon’s “Anabasis,” a first-person memoir written by a Greek gentleman-soldier who signed on as a mercenary for the young, charismatic and ambitious Persian prince Cyrus. In Arthur’s eyes, this old warhorse of the intermediate Greek curriculum still had a little life in him, in fact its dramatic story made it a perfect subject for a television mini-series of the sort that draw millions of viewers to cable channels.

Stories - Class of 2016

Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2016
A small shop in Havana. Photo by Dennisse Calle.

Dennisse Calle found the topic for her senior thesis along a Havana street, in the back of a stall that sells pirated movies and music.

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2016
Connor Stonesifer in Panama. Photo courtesy of Connor Stonesifer.

When Connor Stonesifer ’16 first arrived in Panama in the summer of 2015, his Spanish consisted of saying “I want” and having to point at things. When he asked the woman who ran the hostel where he was staying to turn up the air conditioning, he received a cup of pudding instead.

Stories - Class of 2015

Posted: Monday, May 11, 2015
Denisa Buzatu

Princeton student Denisa Buzatu's vision for an environmentally sustainable building is a sort of shape-shifting origami façade. For her senior thesis, Buzatu, a civil engineering major, is designing and prototyping a structure that shades the façade of a building by folding and adapting its shape in response to sunlight. "It's like electrical origami," said Buzatu. While the overall shape of the structure is immensely flexible, the individual surfaces are rigid and can be composed of any material, such as acrylic or solar panels. 

Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Rebecca Basaldua

Princeton student Rebecca Basaldua's senior thesis relies on academic knowledge, research skill and a generous helping of tenacity. The politics major's thesis focuses on rape kits, which contain physical evidence collected from sexual assault victims and can play an important role in identifying and convicting rapists. Sometimes, though, victims go through the invasive, hours-long procedure for the evidence to be collected only to see the kits remain untested for years. Basaldua, who is from Edinburg, Texas, wanted to understand how often — and why — that happens.

Posted: Monday, April 27, 2015
Dayton Martindale

Dayton Martindale, a senior who receives his bachelor's degree in astrophysical sciences this year, doesn't want to be a scientist. He wants to be the person scientists need to help bring their research before the public. Martindale wants to help the average person understand the importance and influence of the work that occurs in the laboratories they'll never see, and that comes out of the fields they'll never study. He wants to be a science writer. "I realized that if presenting science to the public is what I'm more excited about, why not do that?"

Martindale will begin the master's program in science and environmental journalism at the University of California-Berkeley in the fall.

Posted: Monday, April 20, 2015
Hanna Kim

Natural catastrophes such as China’s magnitude -7.9 earthquake in 2008 and Japan’s magnitude -9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011, motivated Princeton student Hanna Kim's senior thesis, "When Disaster Strikes: A Comparative Study of Civil Society Response to Earthquakes in China and Japan." These events led her to travel to East Asia over winter break of 2014 to conduct field research. A major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Kim also is pursuing certificates in East Asian studies and translation and intercultural communication.

Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2015
Abidjan Walker

Senior Abidjan Walker pursued extensive international experience as an undergraduate. A comparative literature major from Hanover, New Hampshire, Walker has studied in China, Morocco, Switzerland and France. Building her linguistic and cultural toolkit sparked her senior thesis, which focuses on the language of instruction in educational systems in these countries. The advice she gives fellow Princeton students wondering about studying abroad, "I say, 'Go, just go.'"

Stories - Class of 2014

Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014
Princeton University senior Taylor Francis discussing work with a faculty member

Princeton University senior Taylor Francis, a Menlo Park, California, native, grew up surrounded by technology and the startup world in Silicon Valley. For his senior thesis, Francis, a major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, is applying his interests in the tech world to examining two forms of alternative educational credentials: massive open online courses and intensive occupational "bootcamps" for software engineers.  Read the full story here.

Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Saitta uses a saw to cut away three, 2 centimeter samples that will be transferred to microsope slides. (Photo courtesy of the Judith River Dinosaur Institute)

For his senior thesis, Evan Saitta, an ecology and evolutionary biology major at Princeton, has painstakingly analyzed 150 million-year-old fossils to determine whether a single anatomical difference found in a species of Stegosaurus indicates if male and female individuals were physically distinct. The work could provide a new understanding of the physiology and lifestyle of Stegosaurus. Read the full story here.

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
McKenna became interested in coral during the summer of 2012 while working as an education intern at BIOS. Above, she prepares slides to present to a group of teenagers at Waterstart, the marine science camp at BIOS. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth McKenna)

Elizabeth McKenna's senior thesis examines the delicate environmental balance of coral reefs. The Princeton ecology and evolutionary major conducted fieldwork in Bermuda last summer, where she investigated the ideal conditions for coral growth. Princeton has a research partnership with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) in St. George's. McKenna's research was funded by an award given annually by the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to support field projects critical to the senior thesis. Read the full story here.

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Obioha, a psychology major who is pursuing a neuroscience certificate, gathered data for her thesis using a computer-based study known as an implicit association test that utilized a series of photos and the names of jobs to test participants' implicit associations.

Obianuju "Juju" Obioha's senior thesis explores perceptions of status and race and the relationship between explicit and implicit beliefs. She found evidence that white people have a more difficult time associating black people with high-status jobs than they do associating white people with the same jobs.

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Kalvaria (right) credits her close working relationship with her adviser Mirjam Künkler (left), an assistant professor of Near Eastern studies, for helping to build her confidence to "do justice" to the emotional topic of her thesis. "She's so reassuring," Kalvaria said. "I don't think any Princeton student has written about this topic, so I think she's as excited about it as I am."

Princeton senior Miranda Kalvaria, who is concentrating in Near Eastern studies, is focusing her senior thesis on the impact of legalized sex reassignment surgery and assisted reproductive technologies on various social groups in Iran. Her research spans a variety of source materials and includes several interviews with LGBT activists living in exile in Turkey and Canada.

Stack of senior theses

“The Thesis: Quintessentially Princeton” features the thesis-writing experiences of Princeton students and their advisers. From research conducted around the world to discoveries made in the library or the lab, students share their joy in doing original, independent work, while relaying some of their mistakes and tips for the next generation of Princetonians. The advisers then explain their side of the thesis journey—from the steps for writing a successful thesis to the close relationships that develop between students and faculty members in a way that is “quintessentially Princeton".

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