Silicon Valley, a region of California in the San Francisco Bay area, is home to many dynamic companies in the computer industry and related high-tech fields. Students at the Silicon Valley project center have opportunities to work with companies such as SRI International (a research center), Disney Interactive, NVIDIA, and others. Several students have taken full-time positions with sponsors and other companies in Silicon Valley following their projects.
During their stay in Silicon Valley, students can also explore area attractions including theme parks, vineyards, gardens, sporting arenas, shopping centers, and more. Silicon Valley is home to San Jose, the third largest city in California, and provides a gateway to both urban and natural points of interest.
Students participating in the Silicon Valley Project Center conduct a Preliminary Qualifying Project (PQP) in the term preceding the project. During their PQP, students perform background research in their project areas, learn about the companies and industries they will be working with, and hold discussions with their company mentors.
Projects are completed during C Term in Silicon Valley. Students work full-time at sponsors’ sites for approximately nine weeks. Each team works with a mentor from the sponsoring company and a WPI faculty advisor. Project work includes the completion of an MQP report and a presentation to the sponsoring organization.
Admission to the Silicon Valley Project Center is based on judicial and academic standing and performance, essay response, evidence of maturity and independence, availability of projects in a specific area, qualifications relevant to the project offered, and an interview.
Projects may be available in Computer Science and Interactive Media and Game Development. Past examples include the following:
Game development - Creating Memory Dash, a multiplayer puzzle-based iPhone game that provided entertainment for users and product feedback data for eBay
Computer Science - Creating a hypervisor that can run Windows with a minimal loss of performance and no loss of functionality for the NVIDIA Corporation
Nano-Satellite Radar - Constructing a simulation of the bi-static satellite-radar system of SRI International’s Radio Aurora eXplorer mission and producing synthetic data