2018 BWSI Course Listing

2018 Summer Program Course Overview

The MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute 2018 Summer Program will consist of the following courses.

Autonomous RaceCar

Beaver Works Summer Institute will offer 9 teams of students, each with its own MIT-designed RACECAR (Rapid Autonomous Complex Environment Competing Ackermann steeRing) robot, the opportunity to explore the broad spectrum of research in autonomy, learn to collaborate, and demonstrate fast, autonomous navigation in a Mini Grand Prix to Move... Explore... Learn...Race!

Autonomous Air Vehicle

Beaver Works Summer Institute will offer students the opportunity to explore some new areas of research and to design their own autonomous capabilities for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). The students will work in teams to develop algorithms for deployment to a commercial quadrotor, the AR Drone 2.0. They will use the Robotics Operating System (ROS), various open-source libraries, and custom algorithms to program the quadrotors.

Autonomous Cognitive Assistance (Cog*Works)

Beaver Works Summer Institute will offer students a chance to learn and use state-of-the-art machine learning tools in a program called Cog*Works: Build your own Cognitive Assistant. The program will guide students in learning and applying the foundational technologies of artificial intelligence for building cognitive assistants. Teams of students will leverage professional cognition services and open-source tools in conjunction with their own machine learning tools to develop cognitive systems.

Hacking a 3D Printer

Beaver Works Summer Institute will introduce students to the fundamentals of 3D printing and teach techniques for tuning hardware and software to optimize performance.  Students will modify these components to do something completely new. Along the way students will learn how to tackle a difficult problems.


Beaver Works Summer Institute will give students a chance to explore the exciting intersection of data science and medicine. Students will build a solid foundation in the fundamentals of probability and statistics, and learn the basics of coding and machine learning techniques through a series of online teaching modules.  During the summer, students will work in groups alongside Cambridge-area clinicians and data scientists to gain hands-on experience applying advanced machine learning and data mining to solve real-world medical challenges.

Embedded Security and Hardware Hacking

Beaver Works Summer Institute will cover several cyber security topics with a focus on threats that are especially concerning for embedded systems.  These topics include:  embedded software security, cryptographic protocol attacks, JTAG and UART probing, side-channel analysis and fault-injection, and hardware Trojans. This background will help prepare students for the summer course, during which they will perform security assessments of multiple implementations of an embedded system:  a wireless home door lock.  Teams will compete to see who can find and fix the most security flaws in these systems.

Build a Cubesat

Beaver Works Summer Institute will offer students the opportunity to build, test, and fly a Cubesat.  Using a 1U Cubesat (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm), the four-week course will guide the class through the design trades, assembly, and testing of a Cubesat with an imaging payload.  The Cubesat will be launched at the first possible opportunity allowing students to track and observe their working space system.

Unmanned Air System–Synthetic Aperture Radar

Beaver Works Summer Institute will introduce students to radar imaging as they build and fly a radar on a small UAS and use it to image objects around campus. Students will work in small groups alongside engineer mentors to gain hands-on experience building, integrating, and processing data from a radar to generate images of objects around campus