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/technology and social issues.

The IQP is not organized as a course, nor is it related to the major. Instead, small teams of students work under the guidance of faculty members from all disciplines to conduct research, using social science methods, directed at a specific problem or need. Students deliver findings and recommendations to project sponsors and faculty advisors. Following are examples of IQPs sponsored by BCB faculty members.

Project Title

Computationally Enhanced Medical Decision Support for Pancreatic Cancer

Project Authors

  • Andreea Bodnari
  • Towa Matsumura

Project Description

This project investigated and applied computational techniques to enlarge a pancreatic cancer database and to enhance the medical decision-making process supported by this database. The database was previously developed by the Department of Surgical Oncology of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in conjunction with the Department of Computer Science at WPI. The authors substantially increased the number of patients included in the database, and conducted data mining experiments. These experiments compared the accuracies of predictions made by medical doctors and by data mining methods for two separate patient outcomes: tumor malignancy and survival time after surgery. The results of these experiments show that data mining techniques can be used to enhance the quality of medical decisions. Learn more...


Impacts of Genome Sequencing Technologies: Developing Educational Materials to Create Greater Public Awareness

Project Authors

  • Tuhina Bhattacharya
  • William M. Elmore
  • Xuyu Qian
  • Luyang Zhang

Project Description

Educators often use online material to aid in student learning. After reviewing academic and corporate sources, the team determined the primary effects of the advances in genome sequencing technologies. Based on survey responses, it was determined that many people are not familiar with these effects.

Consequently, the team developed a series of educational videos and supplemental assignments that provide an introduction to genome sequencing technologies, as well as their worldwide impacts on legislation, economy, forensics, health care, and biological research. Learn more...

Click the play button to start playing the video.

1st Generation Genome Sequencing: The Sanger Method

Knowledge of DNA sequences has become indispensable for basic biological research, other research branches utilizing DNA sequencing, and in numerous applied fields. This video focuses on the Sanger Method.