MIT senior Cecilia Louis, a chemical engineering major, has spent her time during the Institute's Independent Activities Period (IAP) conducting research on flow patterns in artificial arteries — but she hasn't been doing that work in Cambridge.
Louis, one of 51 students currently working abroad during IAP through the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) program, has been doing her work at the Institut Quimic de Sarria (IQS) in Barcelona as a part of the MIT-Spain Program.
''Although I am only a part of a small group under one professor, and my project is individually tailored, I never lose the sense of being a part of a large team,” Louis said. “In some research situations, it’s easy to isolate yourself and avoid interactions with other people in the laboratory while working. But thanks to the proximity to the other students and the general Spanish hospitality, the experience has also included a sense of camaraderie with the other scientists.”
This year MISTI will send more than 500 MIT students to intern and conduct research at leading companies, universities and NGOs in 10 countries — Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain. MISTI internships are all-expenses-paid and are open to all students (undergraduates, graduate students and recent grads) in any major.
An environmental engineering major, Isaac Lozada has interned abroad through MISTI three times. His first two internships were in India, and this month Lozada has been in Mexico researching wastewater recycling. The most exciting aspect of this work, Lozada said, has been writing a report “that will improve current water recycling practices and the water situation in the desert areas of the country.”
Across the ocean, freshman Yoonjeong Cha is spending IAP in Germany at the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Surgery at Leipzig University Medical School. There, Cha is expanding on her classroom education by participating in cell and molecular biology experiments as a part of an international research team.
And Jeremiah Edwards ’10 is spending a year in Paris studying optimal design and analysis of content delivery networks at France Télécom.
“I'm looking at new ways of sending information through the Internet. Using a new routing paradigm, called network coding, my research focuses on optimizing peer-to-peer networks and streaming content delivery."
Edwards, who studied mathematics at MIT before graduating last year, also studied at France’s prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in 2008 through the MIT-France Program.