Interactive Qualifying Project

The Interactive Qualifying Project, or IQP as it is known on campus, is WPI's most distinctive academic requirement, and is unique in higher education.  The IQP challenges students to address a problem that lies at the intersection of science or technology with social issues and human needs and is done under the direct guidance of one or more faculty advisors, usually in teams of 2-4 students.

The objective of this interdisciplinary requirement is to enable WPI graduates to understand, as citizens and as professionals, how their careers will affect the larger society of which they are part. Generally, these projects involve some analysis of how technology affects, and is affected by, individuals and communities. Many of the projects are proposed by external agencies or organizations, and most are done in teams.  About 60% of all IQPs are completed through the >Global Perspective Program at one of WPI's Project Centers in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, or Europe.

Recently Completed Interactive Qualifying Projects

Unearthing the Roots of Venice: From Relics to DNA

  • Debora Afezolli, BS,  Biology & Biotechnology ‘10
  • Benjamin M. Allen BS, Biology & Biotechnology ‘11
  • Jaclyn E. Hepworth BS, Biology & Biotechnology ‘11
  • Andrew James Kazanovicz, BS, Biology & Biotechnology ‘11

This project sought to contribute to the comprehension of the origins of Venice and its people through archaeology, ancient documents, and genetic genealogy. ArchEasy, a web-based management system for Venetian archaeologists was evaluated and promoted. A promotional website was established for uScript, a web-based application that will create a repository of manuscript transcriptions. One hundred Venetian DNA samples were collected in collaboration with the Genographic Project to contribute to the determination of the origins of the first inhabitants of Venice.

Promoting Awareness and Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Thailand

  • Aneliya Rankova BS, Biology & Biotechnology ‘11
  • Irina A. Nesterenko, BS, Biology & Biotechnology ‘11
  • Tam Kelly, BS, Biology & Biotechnology ‘11
  • Sunil Nagpal ‘11

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Thailand among women. Currently, most patients are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease, which reduces their chances of survival. The goal of our project was to assist the Bangkok Breast Cancer Support Group and the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer develop a brochure, catalogue, and website that provide accurate, accessible, and up-to-date information on breast cancer, as well as to determine strategies for the BBCs and the Centre to further expand the current awareness of breast cancer and breast cancer treatment in Thailand.

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