Bhatia – Computer Science

Swapnil Bhatia, swapnilb@bu.edu
Computer Science / Illustration / Visualization / Molecular Biology

Options: Volunteer Basis, Potential for UROP Funding, Potential for Academic Credit

New developments in gene synthesis and nucleic acid engineering have enabled us to design new genetic sequences and boot up cells with these designed sequences. As a result, we can now begin to think about engineering new behaviors in organisms which is the focus of the discipline called synthetic biology. However, basic tools for this process are still in their infancy and the lack of these tools hampers progress for large engineering efforts.

In this project, we will build a visualization tool for synthetic biology focused on visualizing large libraries of synthetic genetic designs. A prototype of a similar tool is available at pigeoncad.org but it lacks several features notably, a better layout algorithm, better kerning, support for other glyphs, a better set of glyphs, and support for large scale visualization. A goal is to make a tool that is user friendly, scalable, and integrated with other tools for synthetic biology.

No deep knowledge of biology or chemistry is required, but it would be a plus if you have some. You do, however, need basic knowledge of biology and chemistry, and an intermediate to advanced level knowledge of the primary concepts in computer science or engineering.

I am interested in students from CS, EE, ECE, and BME. Please respond with a c.v. and a short (2/3rd of a page) letter describing your strengths and why you are excited to work on this project.

UROP Information

Fall 2014 Applicants will be notified of a decision by September 30th

The 17th Annual UROP Symposium will be held on October 17th, 2014

The UROP Application will be open for Spring 2014 applications in mid to late November

Spring 2014 Funding Applications will be due on December 4th at noon