Available Semester / Masters Projects

If you are interested in one of the projects listed below, please contact the person mentioned at the bottom of the project description by email.

Si vous vous intéressez à l’un des projets ci-dessous, veuillez prendre contact directement avec le person  indiqué à la fin de chacune des descriptions soit par email.

Note: La langue utilisée lors des interactions avec les assistants et les rapports de projets peut être l’anglais ou le français.

                                                                                                                                                                               

Fly on a ballUse Deep Learning to track behavior

Insects exhibit robust terrestrial locomotion while relying on a relatively small and simple controller, the nervous system. This makes them an ideal source of bio-inspiration for legged robots. However, due to their tiny size and rapid kinematics we cannot model insect behaviors precisely without advanced computer vision approaches.

The objective of this project is to develop a computer vision or Deep Learning algorithm to extract the leg positions of tethered walking flies in high-resolution movies. Ultimately, we will link these analyses with simultaneously acquired neuroimaging data.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory in close interaction with a computer science groups on campus. Therefore, this is an extremely unique project right at the interface between computer science, engineering, and neurobiology.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Computer Science, Physics, Robotics, Microengineering
Type of work: 60% software, 20% research, 20% theory
Requirements: C/C++, or Python
Subject(s): Image processing, Computer Vision, Animal Behavior, Neuroscience
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya

WebotsBuild a simulated fly

To understand the behavior of complex biological systems it is often useful to build a physically accurate simulation. 

For this project we will develop a 3D simulation environment for a morphologically and kinematically accurate fly. With this physical model, we will test neural networks controllers designed after insect neural circuits. Results from these experiments may suggest bio-inspired strategies for robotic locomotion.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory in close interaction with a robotics group on campus. Therefore, this is an extremely unique project right at the interface between engineering, computer science, and neurobiology.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Computer Science, Physics, Robotics, Microengineering, Bioengineering
Type of work: 60% software, 20% research, 20% theory
Requirements: C/C++, or Python
Subject(s): Robotics, 3D Simulations, Animal Behavior, Neuroscience
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya

OptogeneticsBuild optical probes to control behavior

It is now possible to artificially activate neurons with light. Can we pattern this light in interesting ways to generate complex patterns of animal behavior?

The objective of this project is to design and build flexible optical probes to stimulate neural circuits in Drosophila.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory in close interaction with microfabrication and optics labs on campus. Therefore, this is an extremely unique project right at the interface between engineering, genetics, and neurobiology.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Robotics, Microengineering, Computer Science, Physics, Bioengineering
Type of work: 50% hardware, 30% software, 20% research, 10% theory
Requirements: Microengineering experience
Subject(s): Microfabrication, Optics, Neuroscience, Behavior
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya

Brain circuitsUse Deep Learning to study neural circuits

An central goal of neuroscience is to relate how nervous system activity orchestrates behavior.

The objective of this project is to use Computer vision and Deep Learning to extract patterns from neural dynamics and behavioral videos of tethered, walking flies. Ultimately, the goal is to generate  predictions for how neural circuits orchestrate complex actions.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory in close interaction with a computer science groups on campus. Therefore, this is an extremely unique project right at the interface between computer science, engineering, and neurobiology.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Computer Science, Physics, Robotics, Microengineering, Bioengineering
Type of work: 60% software, 20% research, 20% theory
Requirements: C/C++, or Python
Subject(s): Image processing, Computer Vision, Dynamical systems, Neuroscience
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya

Aging brainPerform lifetime-scale recordings of neural activity

How does the nervous system change its structure and function over an individual’s lifetime?

The objective of this project is to develop a preparation for recording neural populations over long timescales.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory in close interaction with a microfabrication groups on campus. Therefore, this is an extremely unique project right at the interface between engineering, and neurobiology.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Bioengineering, Robotics, Microengineering, Physics
Type of work: 40% microfabrication, 40% research, 20% theory
Requirements: Microfabrication experience
Subject(s): Microfabrication, Neuroscience
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya

Virtual realityConstruct a virtual world

Can we fool a tethered animal into thinking it is navigating a real environment?

The objective of this project is to develop a virtual reality for animals to navigate during neural recording experiments.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Bioengineering, Robotics, Microengineering, Physics
Type of work: 40% engineering, 40% research, 20% theory
Requirements: Optomechanical construction experience recommended
Subject(s): Virtual reality, Neuroscience
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya

Brain in a dishBuild a brain

The objective of this project is to use genetic and bioengineering approaches to build a brain in the lab.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Bioengineering
Type of work: 40% bioengineering, 40% research, 20% theory
Requirements: Genetics and wet laboratory experience
Subject(s): Bioengineering, Neuroscience
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya

WebotsBuild a robot fly

To understand the behavior of complex biological systems it is often useful to build a physically accurate robot. 

For this project we will construct an insect-sized robotic fly. With this physical model, we will test new methods of leg actuation.

The project will be supervised at the Neuroengineering Laboratory in close interaction with a robotics group on campus. Therefore, this is an extremely unique project right at the interface between robotics, and biology.

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Section(s): Robotics, Microengineering, Physics
Type of work: 60% microfabrication, 20% research, 20% theory
Requirements: Microfabrication experience
Subject(s): Soft robotics, Behavior, Neuroscience
Contact(s): Pavan Ramdya