Carnegie Mellon University

INI Practicum Showcase 2023

12 teams of Carnegie Mellon master's students will exhibit and present their practicum projects. Learn how the teams tackled problems, piloted new ideas and developed solutions in collaboration with industry sponsors.

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2023 Practicum Project Summaries

1.png99P Labs: Designing a Decentralized Data Marketplace on Blockchain

Transforming Data Exchange in the Automotive Industry: Secure, Transparent, Innovative! 

Unlock the potential of vehicle-generated data with a blockchain-based marketplace. Your information exchange stays secure, giving you control and a peace of mind.

Embark on a journey to create a cutting-edge decentralized data marketplace using the Hyperledger Fabric platform, that addresses the underutilization of vehicle-generated data by proposing a secure marketplace built over a blockchain network. By providing a structured environment without third-party moderation, the solution unlocks the potential of data exchange, fostering innovation in self-driving cars and transportation research with an attempt to provide affordable & sustainable mobility solutions.


2.pngAptiv: Cybersecurity Innovation Accelerator

The project focuses on bolstering the cybersecurity of a programmable robot by upgrading it to a multi-zone architecture with secure ROS 2. It aims to create a controlled environment for quick prototyping of automotive cybersecurity solutions, implement security protections, construct a Vehicle Security Operations Center (VSOC) dashboard for fleet management, and detection of automotive-focused cybersecurity incidents.

3.pngBosch: Activity Detection Using RF & Sensor Data Fusion

This project aims to leverage RF sensor and BLE technologies to enhance the detection and monitoring of a wide range of human activities, from basic movements to complex actions including yoga poses, utilizing ML and DL techniques.

The focus includes data acquisition from sensor nodes, and development of tailored ML models for activity detection, while embedded programming on provided hardware is not in scope. 

Current ML Models for activity detection do not cater to a wide range of activities and do not emphasize on physical wellness for elderly people that this project targets.

5.pngCity of El Paso: Mobile Application for User Requests 

Currently the El Paso city is using a third party contractor as a mobile application provider for citizens’ requests.

Instead of relying on a third party vendor, our team has aided the El Paso government by designing and creating a mobile application that is able to take user requests based on location.

The application consists of diverse features ranging from user management, request creation & handling, and integration of location within the requests.

This will help the El Paso government use and modify their own application as needed to accommodate for future changes based on the citizens’ needs.

4.pngCity of Portland: Designing an Open Contracting Program to Modernize Public Procurement

The City of Portland's lack of transparency in detailing its $800M annual contracts erodes public trust, exacerbates race and gender disparities, and potentially increases the cost of goods and services.

We've developed a proof-of-concept dashboard, introducing data standardization and opening procurement data to the public.

This initiative lays the groundwork to address city challenges, facilitates collaboration with other cities, and aligns with Open Contracting Data Standards for transparent and comparable procurement data.

12.pngDemocracyLab: Impact Measurement & Dashboard

DemocracyLab currently lacks public visibility, making it challenging for stakeholders, such as project listers, volunteers, and donors, to grasp the potentials of its projects.

To address this problem, we built an Impact Dashboard with data visualization tools to show the impact and offer project insights to the platform users.

Through displaying the project impacts, this dashboard enhances transparency, effectiveness, and alignment, encouraging stakeholders to actively engage and contribute to the platform's ecosystem.

6.pngSCION Association: SCION Securing Web3 Applications

Web3 apps on traditional Internet, rife with several security and availability concerns. SCION provides a robust and secure alternative to the traditional internet.

We built a Web3 app that is capable of  communicating through TCP/IP and SCION libraries, and evaluated it’s security posture on both network architectures through a series of Red Team exercises.

We found SCION solves some of the security challenges faced by Web3 Applications on TCP/IP including protection from DDoS, Route Hijacking and link failure. We also observed considerable cost benefits by pivoting to SCION.

7.pngSCION Association: Smart Contract SCION Marketplace

Create a blockchain-based marketplace for telcos to offer and consumers to purchase and trade bandwidth futures contracts. Develop a secure smart contract for bandwidth futures with robust access controls.

8.pngCMU Robotics Institute: Control of a Passively Steered Rover

The project focuses on developing the Zoe 2 rover, a compact and technologically advanced successor to Zoe 1, equipped with a 3D kinematic model-based controller. The primary use case is for the rover to navigate precisely on challenging terrains such as deserts and other rough landscapes on Earth. The aim is to enhance the rover's effectiveness in terrestrial exploration, showcasing its capabilities in real-world scenarios.

9.pngSLAC: Apache Beam Parallel Processing on AWS

The distributed rooftop solar market is growing rapidly, and solar analysts with public and private institutions must manage digital operations, maintenance, real-time planning, and forecasting for all of their solar assets.

To enhance the efficiency of solar data tools, we investigated existing python parallelization libraries, along with their organic coupling with the current major cloud providers.

With our work, we expect to speed up the processing of solar data from what it’s now days to hours, even minutes.


11.pngSLAC: The Transactive Energy Service System (TESS)

TESS provides retail market clearing mechanisms for peer-to-peer trading of behind-the-meter distributed energy resources based on ramping, capacity, and storage prices. 

It aims to unite utility providers, stakeholders, and investors, improving energy consumption solutions and advancing grid integration and mobility.

The goal is to design and offer software solutions to modernize the US energy infrastructure, so that both rural and urban communities across the country can participate in a resilient and intelligent energy distribution system. 

The potential impact of this modernization will stimulate new job growth in the energy sector, attract philanthropic efforts to invest into the U.S. infrastructure, meet the communities net zero climate goals, and reduce household energy cost.


10.pngSLAC: Deepfake / Synthetic Media Detection

As generative AI is becoming more powerful and accessible, there is a greater chance that it can be misused, so there is an urgent need to build detection techniques for synthetic media.

Our team worked on generating synthetic audios using fine-tuned VALL-E X and other open source text-to-speech models. We created AWS pipelines and made convenient APIs ready to use. 

We hope to make it easier to build datasets for data scientists and engineers who are working on deepfake audio detection systems.