Collaboration Adds An Extra Dimension To Undergraduate Research – Grace Bryant

(STL.News) – Grace Bryant is a junior at MIT, but it was until this summer that she got a chance to team up with students outside her major through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), supported by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI).  She says she found the experience eye-opening.

I rarely interact with people doing something different from what I study, says Bryant, who is majoring in urban studies and planning with computer science.  Talking to people with other majors about what they think their careers will look like was pretty cool, and something I don’t think I would have had without this experience.

Every summer, UROP students work with faculty on groundbreaking, real-world research; roughly 90 percent of MIT undergraduates will do a UROP before they graduate.  Most undertake individual projects, but for those who team up with other undergraduates there are often added benefits” the chance to collaborate, learn from peers, and literally lend a hand” reflecting the kind of experience there likely to find in the workplace.

You never know who is going to change your perspective on your own work, says Rachel Shulman, the undergraduate academic coordinator for MITEI, which funded 22 UROP students this summer, including multiple teams.  Energy is by definition multidisciplinary.