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Sample MPS Projects

Here are some of the projects that our MPS students have completed in the past, including the participating student/s, the faculty advisor/s, the semester in which it was conducted and a project description. If students presented the project at conferences or if projects were awarded any recognition, that information will be included as well. If you are a company interested in proposing an MPS project, please email the MPS Project Coordinator at

Click here to return to the MPS Projects overview page. 

Credit Suisse - United Insights

Team Members: Lini Tan, Hsuan Huang, and Dongdong Yu

Supervisor: Prof. Gilly Leshed

Spring 2017

Working for a financial and investment services holding company requires you to deal with lots of tasks every day. Shifting between email, Skype, and messengers can be tedious and inefficient. You need a better platform that integrates your tasks, collaborators, and tools. Our team focused on designing key use-cases around client view of this collaboration workspace. 

Google - Evaluation of Google Cloud Machine Learning Platform

Team members: Tony Fan, Ningxuan He, Anagha Todalbagi, Sri Tapasya Kothapally

Supervisor: Gilly Leshed

Spring 2017

This student team evaluated the usability of the Google Machine Learning Platform by analyzing two data sets. First, the team looked at breast cancer data and built a model to predict metastasis of breast cancer. Next, they used Vision API to analyze dog breed image analytics.

Yahoo! – UX for Search Engine Trustworthiness

Team members:

Mobile - Kramer Canfield, Xiangyi Li, Chenyu Li

Desktop - Trinh Le, Jing Zhang, Yeon Soo Park

Supervisor: Prof. Gilly Leshed

Spring 2016

With the rising popularity and use of smartphones, mobile search continues to grow and more kinds of search become context­-aware. In order to explore the trustworthiness of mobile search results, the team conducted an exploratory research project for our client Yahoo! to see if they could reveal how users think about search and why they trust certain results over others. The team conducted an online survey and individual user interviews in which they asked participants to complete mobile search tasks and explain their thought process along the way. The collective findings revealed that users place more trust in popular websites and those they are familiar with than those that they have not visited before. 

They also observed a number of interaction difficulties relating to efficiency, display of information, and choice of application. From their observations, they developed four new feature designs to address these findings and help users have a better user experience in order to increase satisfaction and the perceived trustworthiness of search results.

S&P Capital IQ and SNL: Intelligent Financial Assistant

Team Members: Ruchir Hajela, Jingchen Li, Yangwen Wan, Shibo Zang

Supervisor: Prof. Gilly Leshed

Spring 2016

​From team member Jingchen Li: The team built a voice assistant for the company’s app. Currently is building an Xcode prototype on speech-to-text. Next step is to test MS Project Oxford and’s NLP APIs and build an app using Cordova.

Nature Rx

Team member: Akhiles L. Danny Sindra 

Supervisor: Prof. Gilly Leshed

Fall 2015

In response to campus suicides in past years, Akhiles Sindra worked alongside professors from Cornell Plant Science, Gannett Health Services, and the student's outdoor club to design and build a mobile app (iOS and Android) to encourage students exploring the natural areas around Cornell. In this project, Sindra contributed as the app's project manager and developer. The app was built using Cordova Phonegap framework, Parse cloud platform, and jQuery library to provided cross-browser (Chrome and Safari) compatibility. By implementing the Single Page Architecture model, the web-app loading-time was improved by 20 percent. Some features of the Nature Rx @Cornell app: writing review, uploading picture, roles separation and content moderation, sliding menu, Facebook social share, Google Map API. The app is available via the Apple Store and the Play Store.

Social Networking Services and the Visually Impaired

Team Members: Violeta "Vio" Voykinska, Gilly Leshed, Shiri Azenkot (at Cornell Tech), and IS alumni Shaomei Wu (currently at Facebook)

Supervisor: Gilly Leshed

Spring 2015

Cornell MPS student worked with Cornell and Facebook researchers to conduct a survey and ethnographic interview study on blind people's use of Social Networking Services, with a focus on how blind people interact with visual content such as photos. The research resulted in recommendations for ways that the design community could better support blind users, and a CSCW 2016 paper.

Herbarium Website

Herbarium Website

Student: Jue (Joyce) Zhang

Supervisors: Kevin Nixon, Gilly Leshed

Spring 2014

The L.H. Bailey Hortorium Herbarium (BH) at Cornell University is one of the largest university-affiliated collections of preserved plant material in North America. The herbarium website is the official portal, and BH is also planning to launch Virtual Herbarium to provide access to specimen resources for the public. The goal of the project was to draft a documentation for the herbarium staff to easily update the website, and to redesign the user interface of Virtual Herbarium website. HCI techniques such as paper prototype and usability study significantly facilitated the development process. A Q&A style documentation as well as a simple and elegant homepage and index page of Virtual Herbarium were delivered to BH. There will be a follow-on project to integrate the backend APIs into the frontend interface of the website next semester.

Yahoo Labs Collaboration with MPS Students

Understanding International Adblocking Practices 

Students: Jiang Jian, Aizizha Aierken, Ying Zhou

Spring 2014

Many -if not most- online services are monetized by ads. This doesn't mean that all people necessarily enjoy seeing ads, and a wide range of tools have been developed to block them out. Yahoo Labs would like to work with Cornell students to understanding more about the people that use ad blocking software and/or ad-related plug-ins, their motivations and practices. Most importantly, why do they use ad blocking? What are the factors that lead people to install ad blockers? Was there a specific trigger?  How do they think ad blocking software and plug-ins work, and do they run into specific problems?  What are their attitudes towards different types of advertising and monetization? In this project students examine potential local differences between regions outside of the US. This is done through remote video-chat-based interviews and surveys. 

Yahoo Labs works on developing the world-class science that will deliver the next generation of businesses to the company. 

Context Relevant Collaboration with MPS Students

Big Data Social Science

Students: Ben Itzkowitz, Nikita Kalra

Spring 2014

Big data presents new opportunities to study historical and social trends, both the important and the mundane. Why are rates of crime, divorce and teenage pregnancy decreasing?  Why do housing and labor markets improve in some places but not others?  Where is the next hot club or restaurant going to open? In this project students work with CR scientists and engineers to create a curated collection of publicly-available data sources and use the CR software to perform exploratory and predictive analytics to identify patterns in the data. 

Context Relevant is a Big Data Analytics startup with startling technical innovations that allows businesses to monetize the value in their data without the cost, time suck and frustrations that exist with current solutions. 

CeRI Regulation Room

Student: Eric Swidler

Supervisor: Rebecca Younes

Spring 2013

The Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) at Cornell's Law School hosts a website,, to provide a structured online public forum for federal regulations that are up for public review before going into effect.  The goal of the project was to build an interface for moderators on the site where they can more effectively manage discussions by public commentators.  This included learning how to program with the web framework Drupal environment expansive custom modules have already been built by the CeRI team.  After graduation, the student transitioned to the part-time paid role on the CeRI team where he continues to work on integrating the interface more fully with other features on the website.

Student: Shudan Zheng

Supervisor: Paul Ginsparg

Spring 2013

The arXiv is an online archive for electronic preprints of scientific papers in physics, mathematics, computer science, biology, and more. The arXiv is considered a prominent publication location, and in some academic communities, almost all scientific papers are self-published on the arXiv. It has been established by Prof. Paul Ginsparg from Cornell. The student worked on data analysis and visualization of materials published on the arXiv, using Python to analyze 7-gram data and finding proper ways to visualize the data. 


Students: Mengxi (Chrissie) Chi, Matthew Green

Supervisors: Steven Voida, Mark Matthews, Francois Guimbretiere, Tanzeem Choudhury

Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

MoodRhythm is a mobile application to help bipolar disorder patients to monitor and follow their everyday life routine goals. This kind of treatment records several indexes in their everyday life routines including wake up time, time of first social contact in the day, etc. MoodRhythm uses a mobile phone to put the SRM treatment into practice instead of using paper forms and records. The students designed a mobile phone version (iPhone and Android) for patients, as well as a web interface for doctors. The project won the Heritage Open mHealth Challenge for a prize of $100,000. 


Student: Jeremy Williams

Supervisors: Lars Vilhuber and John Abowd

Fall 2012

The Comprehensive Extensible Data Documentation and Access Repository (CED2AR) system is being developed to improve the documentation of federal statistical system data with the goal of making it more discoverable, accessible and understandable for scientific research. The system was in a beta version at the beginning of the semester and had received a lot of feedback from stakeholders. The goal of the project was to bring the CED2AR web application and application programming interface to a version of releasable quality by the end of the semester, and produce a number of publications related to the system. Presentations were delivered at the North American Data Documentation Initiative (NADDI) conference at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, in April 2012 and at the Population Association of America (PAA) conference, New Orleans, in April 2012.