Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


There are no textbooks for this class.


This course is for students doing UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program), who are pursuing research projects at the Media Laboratory. We will discuss the areas of research going on in the media lab as well as topics associated with all research: documenting progress, ethical issues, intellectual property issues (like copyright and patents), and giving oral, written, and online presentations of results. A final oral presentation is required. Enrollment limited with preference given to students in the Media Arts and Sciences freshman program.


1 Research
  • A brief overview of the semester
  • What is research, and what kind do we do at the Media Lab?
  • How to design an experiment
  • How and why to keep a lab notebook
2 Ethics
  • Research involving human subjects (Dr. Leigh Firn, Chair of COUHES)
  • Ethics/ownership/teamwork
3 Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Understanding intellectual property, copyright, patents
4 Resources
  • What kinds of resources exist and how to find them
5 What's "peer review" anyway?
  • How to read/write a research paper
  • Kinds of conferences and journals
  • CFP's and review processes
6 What the web means to all this
  • How (and when) to do a research-results Web page
7 How does this stuff get paid for?
  • Research funding and how it works
8 Demoing and presenting
  • How to demo
  • How to make slides and do an oral presentation
9-10 Final presentation practice
  • Practice presentations and critiques
11-12 Final presentations
  • Final presentations