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Undergraduate Research Across the School of Architecture and Planning

On Wednesday, December 8th 2021, undergraduate students from across the School of Architecture and Planning gathered to share their thesis proposals with the MIT community. For an hour, students shared posters and discussed their research with their peers, graduate students, staff, and faculty. The event was organized by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning's Cherie Abbanat and Tara Mohtadi. 

Learn more about individual students and their research below. You may click on individual student names to view their posters (when available).

Luis Becerra Solis (Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science)
Luis Becerra Solis’ thesis proposes a digital application architecture for use by American transit authorities to calculate network delays and alter schedules accordingly.

Alex Boccon-Gibod (Urban Studies and Planning, Art and Design)
Alex Boccon-Gibod’s thesis - centering the MBTA's bus system as a key space for furthering equity, resilience, and sustainability goals in Greater Boston - highlights the potential of a new bus system map designed to provide a strong visual identity for the bus system to accompany ongoing service improvements.

Tanner Bonner (Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science)
Tanner Bonner's thesis elaborates on where and how disparities in resources and resource access arise while also outlining future directions for investment in mental healthcare for the Metro-Detroit area.

Yu Jing Chen (Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science)
Yu Jing Chen’s thesis asks how do successful youth movements across different contexts and cultures build up diverse coalitions?

Alena Culbertson (Urban Studies and Planning)
Grounded in the understanding that marginalized groups, including the chronically homeless, frequently experience disruptions to their formation of connections to place and home, Alena Culbertson’s thesis asks whether housing first policies – which provide participants with long-term housing that doesn't involve many requirements for residents - are capable of giving participants the opportunity to create a sense of home.

Seif Eses (Architecture)
Seif Eses’s thesis explores how we might identify and mimic the characteristics of coral reefs in order to develop a coastal flooding protection system with the aid of a genetic algorithm.

Moctar Fall (Urban Studies and Planning)
Moctar Fall‘s thesis explores the multidimensionality of food as a nexus between urban planning; the development, maintenance, experiences, and structure of a community; and the built environment.

Elena Gonzalez (Urban Studies and Planning, Business Analytics)
Elena Gonzalez’s thesis explores increased stakeholder participation in urban planning processes from the perspective of the citizens in a case study in a Pennsylvanian town that seeks to answer: what does it take to become reasonably acquainted with the local governing bodies and be heard on relevant issues of concern?

Ibuki Iwasaki (Art and Design, Computation and Cognition)
Ibuki Iwasaki's thesis investigates current and future directions of immersive technology in primary and secondary education.

Emily Levenson (Urban Studies and Planning)
Emily Levenson’s thesis explores a longitudinal study of Airbnb data and tourism policy in New Zealand and Iceland will investigate whether the pandemic forced a trajectory toward more sustainable peer accommodation and tourism patterns, or if the crisis is paving the way for an even more disruptive resurgence.

Sarah Lohmar (Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science)
Sarah Lohmar’s thesis delves into how California might meet the state’s electric vehicle mandate given existing infrastructure challenges and the recent passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

John Rao (Architecture, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
John Rao’s thesis proposes a new methodology, combining the generative power of procedural modeling and iterative performance analysis algorithms, that could help architects design, iterate, and evaluate complex modular structures following specific design intentions.

Ari Rios (Urban Studies and Planning)
Ari Rios’ thesis hypothesizes that the effects of climate change on labor conditions — situated within a history of US imperialism in Latin America, a legal regime of agricultural exceptionalism and lack of documentation, and climate's impacts on the spatial distribution of agricultural activity — have the possibility to significantly tilt labor power even more towards agricultural capital and away from farmworkers.

Husain Rizvi (Urban Studies and Planning, Comparative Media Studies)
Husain Rizvi’s thesis explores how Boston organizations and artist collectives utilize the values of anti-racism, anti-capitalism, and participatory action to generate justice-centered art production structures in opposition to hierarchical, white supremacist art production.

Amelia Seabold (Urban Studies and Planning)
Amelia Seabold’s thesis centers the importance of expectations in gentrification research, aiming to understand how residents' expectations of gentrification change as a neighborhood becomes a gayborhood and assessing a new gentrification metric's ability to align quantitative and qualitative research findings.

Nicole Teichner (Architecture)
Nicole Teichner's thesis examines the use of sustainable materials in the design and construction of climate crisis impact resilient public recreation centers.

Leslie Yan (Engineering, Art and Design)
Leslie Yan’s thesis seeks to understand whether and how polyethylene in various forms can be leveraged to meet the design and functional requirements for a circular, mono-material athletic sneaker.