One of the highlights of our summer is attending the final day of presentations at the Research Science Institute at MIT where somehow they select the top 10 students (of 81) to deliver their research results—the competition is crazy as literally everyone does first rate research projects with Harvard and MIT researchers among others. In 2018, there was a 3% acceptance rate.
Timing is very strict with about eight minutes to present a slide show with their research goals, process and results on topics ranging from biomedical research to abstruse math theory. We enjoyed seeing two of our students in person, one of whom was a finalist. To give you an idea of how high level these presentations are, we’ll just provide a few topics of winning entries that made the final group:
- How Does Intra-Swarm Grouping Affect the Maneuverability of a Robotic Swarm
- Investigation of a Novel medication for Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
- NP-Completeness of the Five Cells Pencil Puzzle
- Number Fields Generated by Torsion Points on Elliptical Curves
- Organized Microphrase Separation of Active Spinner Particles in Dense Colloidal Solutions
Needless to say, many of the topics are a bit beyond our paygrade/knowledge base, but we love listening to how poised the students are and some of the incredible breakthroughs they have in this amazing program. We also enjoy hearing the judges grill the students on particular points and watching how adeptly the students field tough questions.
RSI is offered cost-free by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) partnering with MIT to competitively selected top achieving students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Though the application to RSI is very long and few are chosen (the acceptance rate is comparable if not lower than getting into Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford), we are fortunate enough to typically have 1-2 of our students a year take part in this program. Big thanks to all the amazing mentors and staff at the Center of Excellence in Education and RSI for including us in this memorable presentation year after year.