IQP (Interactive Qualifying Projects)

WPI believes that in order to become the best engineers and scientists they can be, students should have a broad understanding of the cultural and social contexts of those fields, and thus be more effective and socially responsible practitioners and citizens. That’s the intent of the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), a nine-credit-hour interdisciplinary requirement involving applied research that connects science or technology with social issues and human needs.

Topic: Cutting-edge technologies allow researchers to sequencing whole genomic DNAs of animals, plants and human at a faster speed, a more accurate scale and a cheaper price. As a hopeful major break-through of human civilization at large, huge industrial, academic and governmental resources have been investing into this area since last decades. Many progresses have been made in research and applications at an accelerated pace, but more fantasies still remain in blueprint. At the same time, some social and ethical issues accompany the progress of these technology developments. For example, the new demand to protect privacy information for human subjects becomes partially a social issue. This IQP aims to review what major types of genome technologies have been achieved, understand what essential progresses have been made, what potential limitations are, what social issues may be involved, and what possible solutions are for these issues. It is an imperative but large topic to evaluate the limitation of these new technologies; we could focus on some of the key problems within a manageable scale of an IQP project. If students have special interests to other new biomedical technologies, we can also come up with a project scheme following the similar idea. 

Ongoing and past IQPs (Reports are archieved here).

William Elmore, Tuhina Bhattacharya, Xuyu Qian, Luyang Zhang,  "Impact of new genome technologies", Terms B - D, 2011-2012. This project includes interesting videos on the cutting-edge sequencing technologies and their impact to science and society. 

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Generation Genome Sequencing Technologies

Genome Sequencing Technologies: Impacts on Medicine and Biological Research 

Social Impacts of Genome Sequencing Technologies   

You can also watch the videos directly on youTube

© Zheyang Wu 2014