Recognizing outstanding undergraduate research

2011 UROP Awards and Eloranta Research Fellowship Recipients named


This year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Mentor Awards were presented to Assistant Professor Jeff Gore (physics) and graduate student Ying Diao (chemical engineering). Recipients were selected from UROP students’ nominations of research mentors who have demonstrated exceptional guidance and teaching in a research setting.

Randolph G. Wei UROP Award

The Randolph G. Wei UROP Award is presented each spring to the undergraduate who has made the most outstanding contribution in undergraduate research at the interface of the life sciences and engineering.

The Wei Award Committee selected senior Michelle Dang who was nominated by Biology Professor Harvey Lodish.

The Randolph G. Wei UROP Award was established in October 1986 in memory of Randolph G. Wei, a member of the MIT Class of 1987, who had majored in biology and chemical engineering and was an active UROP participant. The award committee members were: Biology Professor Leonard Guarente (chair), Institute Professor Phillip Sharp and UROP Program Coordinator Melissa Martin-Greene.

Peter J. Eloranta Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The Peter J. Eloranta Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships are awarded to MIT undergraduates for interesting and novel research of student-initiated ideas developed outside the normal curriculum. Each fellowship provides $6,000 for the student to conduct their summer research in any field. This year’s recipients and their projects selected by the Eloranta Fellowship Committee are:

  • Sophomore Archit Bhise, AidSource: Establishing a Basic Architecture for Disaster Triage
  • Senior Alorah Harman, Science and the Soul of Siberia: Characterizing International Collaboration through a Metagenomic Analysis Project at Lake Baikal
  • Junior Ian McKay, Oscillation-Based Balloon Anemometer for Wind Prospecting
  • Freshman John J. Wang, CEO Value & Compensation: Are Executives Overpaid?
  • Sophomore Sajith Wickramasekara, A Plug and Play Architecture for Highly Distributed Scientific Computation

The fellowships were established in 1969 thanks to a gift from the late Dr. Edwin H. Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation and inventor of instant photography. The fellowships were created in memory of Peter J. Eloranta, the only son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Vaite Eloranta. Mr. Eloranta was an employee of the Polaroid Corporation and member of the MIT Class of 1968.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Education, teaching, academics, Research, Students, Undergraduate, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

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