Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)

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The development and maintenance of the UROP programme has been a major Crucible initiative since 2002. Initially based on the UROP programme at MIT, and developed by David Good within the education programme of the Cambridge-MIT Institute, the programme has since been maintained with funding from the Newton Trust, and from EPSRC (coordinated by Alan Blackwell)


UROP programme coordinators:

Specific cross-disciplinary projects funded under the UROP scheme include:

MML, 2004

1. Software techniques for integrating digital video into language learning (Contact: Gavin Burnage)

Dominic Smith (Girton) will work for 10 weeks, for 1 week beginning 14 June, then for 9 weeks beginning 28 June.

2. Register in the History of Spanish (Contact: Dr Chris Pountain)

Gemma Wheeler (Robinson) will work for 4 weeks beginning 21 June Julia Angell (St John's) for six weeks beginning 19 July.

Physics, 2006

James Mead worked on: Dasher Investigate and evaluate methods for text-messaging with two buttons, aimed at disabled people. Specifically, test new two "dynamic" methods of steering the free software communication system, "Dasher", developing and enhancing them in response to user feedback. The main deliverables are a new mode for Dasher that's robust and ready for delivery to real disabled users, and a quantitative evaluation of it.

Computer Lab, 2006

Chris Smowton worked on Dasher

Gareth Bailey, Hugh Warrington, Mattias Linnap, Vincent Chen, Vilius Naudziunas

Linguistics, 2007

Kirsty McDougall, supervised a student working on forensic speaker identification Student- Qinkan Wu

Improving Techniques for Forensic Speaker Identification

A growing number of court cases involve the need to establish the speaker of some recorded speech - a hoax emergency call, a fraudulent phone transaction, an obscene voicemail, the planning of a drug deal and so on. Voices, however, are not like fingerprints. Contrary to the impression given by television shows such as CSI, there is no technique for identifying a speaker with 100% reliability. A person’s voice varies, depending on tiredness, emotion, how loud and fast he or she is speaking, and many other factors. This variability within an individual’s voice makes the task of speaker identification very complicated in the forensic domain, where recordings are usually short, of poor quality and in a range of speaking styles.

The DyViS project (‘Dynamic Variability in Speech: A Forensic Phonetic Study of British English’) in the Phonetics Laboratory in the Department of Linguistics is carrying out research tackling these issues. The project has compiled a large-scale database of speech in different speaking styles from 100 speakers of Standard Southern British English. These recordings are being analysed to determine how well the speakers can be discriminated and what the best measures are for characterising their speech. The effects of using the telephone on an individual's speech is also being analysed.

The student project will involve developing scripts to process and analyse speech files efficiently using programs such as Praat. A background in computer programming is required, but experience in using Praat is not necessary. The exact nature of the work to be undertaken is flexible depending on the skills and interests of the student.

Anthropology 2007

Social Anthropology online video library Contact: Paul Sumption / Professor Alan Macfarlane Student: Dahir Alissan

Within the department of Social Anthropology we have a video library of approximately 3000 films. Previously a small Filemaker database was published to the web to enable searching of an online film catalogue.

This system is doesn’t offer advanced searching and the database structure lacks 3NF or normalisation. We are looking for a new solution for both the administration of a new database and a web front end that allows advanced searching.

The deliverable would be a backend in any open source SQL database. An administration system for maintaining the database this could be an ODBC front end or a web based system. A web based front end that allowed searching and listing of films.

There is plenty of scope for adding extras features or adding a loan booking system if time allowed.

Restrictions: A preference towards a student that has a good knowledge or interest in web based database applications.

You’d be based at the Department of Social anthropology however as this project is web based once the project was underway SSH / FTP could be used to allow you to work from your own workstation if preferred.

Computer Lab 2007 3D control of music structures - supervised by Chris Nash - student Tris Bracey - working with Alejandro Vinao

Music 2008

Statistical analysis of violin timbre perception Supervisor: Claudia Fritz/Ian Cross Student: Andrew Norman

Computer Lab 2008

Software for dance Supervisor: Luke Church Student: Cheryl Hung

ReadYourMeter.org Supervisors: Luke Church, Ian Davies, Andrew Rice, Alan Blackwell, David Mackay Ravi Rayan, Peter Calvert, Dan Ryder-Cook

Computer Lab 2009

Supervisor: Luke Church Student: Adona Iosif

Computer Lab 2010

Evolutionary blending of 3D surface models - part of the Coded Chimera project Student Graeme Morgan

Student: John Lawson - part of the Flagship Retrofit project

Computer Lab 2011

Student Rory McCann - part of the Flagship Retrofit project