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MS&E Senior Projects

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As a culmination of the major, MS&E's senior project course offers students a "learn-by-doing" experience.

First, student teams select and define a problem with a sponsor organization, many of which are non-profits. They then design, test, analyze, and provide recommendations to the sponsor using their cumulative MS&E education. Finally, students present their engineered solutions for these in-depth, real-world problems.

Students and faculty share their experiences and takeaways from the MS&E senior projects.

Senior projects often open a variety of doors for students, including continued research engagements and employment opportunities with sponsor organizations. 

But don't just take our word for it—four years after completing their senior project, a team of first-place project winners shared how they've used the skills they learned and mindsets they developed during the senior project as they've navigated the first few years of their careers (video is for Stanford affiliates only). 

Hear from the Pie Ranch team—Alex Hellman, Sami Koire and Kate Salmon, with additions from teammate Maddie Kerr—below: 

Senior projects revisited (video requires SUNet ID login)

Explore senior projects from 2024 below on this page, and find earlier projects using these links:

2024 senior projects: Optimizing for social impact

The Prophet senior project team (left to right): Remy Wu, Leeah Michael, Mandy Alevra, Jawad Jafar

MS&E undergraduates presented their senior projects in March 2024. Across a wide breadth of industries and using a variety of MS&E techniques, many projects aimed to create social impact.

Students drew on their course work—including mathematical modeling, systems analysis, organization theory, optimization, probability, statistics, ethics, computer science, and economics—to inform their work on the projects. Teams of three to four students acted as consultants to their sponsor organizations, tackling real-world problems in real-time over 10 weeks.

This year's projects were geared toward generating social impact, for example by creating a framework to calculate social return on investment—not just financial returns—or by quantifying the economic and environmental impact of creating more climate-friendly websites. Sponsor organizations ranged from startups like Wagtail, to established firms like the WNBA, to non-profits like Strong Girls United that serve to impact the community at large. While the students wrapped their findings into a final presentation at the end of spring quarter, their work will continue to be utilized by their sponsor organizations long into the future.

MS&E faculty members acted as mentors to the student teams throughout the quarter. Teams met regularly with faculty to refine their work leading up to their final presentations. This year's faculty mentors included professors Itai Ashlagi, Chuck Eesley, Riitta Katila, Markus Pelger, and James Sweeney.

Videos are included for teams whose sponsor organizations gave permission to share the final presentations. Each project also has a written summary. Please note: Not all teams gave permission to share their information, and thus not all students are represented below.

FoodWise | 1st Place Project

Social return on investment for FoodWise

The team provided FoodWise with a means of calculating social return on investment—not just financial returns—as well as insights from those calculations.

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Expanding use cases for Prophet

Prophet created a general-purpose decision making algorithm. The team identified the most promising and impactful market opportunities for that algorithm.

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Strong Girls United | 2nd Place Project

Improved social media strategy for Strong Girls United

With the goal of expanding the organization's reach and social impact, the team helped Strong Girls United revamp its Instagram strategy to increase follower count and engagements on the platform.

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Vivo Fashion Group

Optimizing procurement processes for Vivo Fashion Group

The team helped Vivo optimize their procurement processes, with the goal of reducing unsold inventory and increasing their capacity for prediction of market trends.

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Creating greener websites with Wagtail

Wagtail wants to position its web hosting platform as a more sustainable alternative to traditional platforms. The team helped quantify the potential economic and environmental effects of hosting websites with the Wagtail system.

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Increasing fan engagement for the WNBA

The team helped solve the question of how to maximize fan engagement with the WNBA’s in-season tournament, the Commissioner’s Cup.

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ZUWA Solar Solutions

Predicting risk for ZUWA Solar Solutions

The team helped ZUWA predict risk in their processes with the goals of optimizing the allocation of resources, tailoring financial solutions to customer needs, and ultimately expanding access to solar energy solutions in a sustainable manner.

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