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2023 senior projects

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Designing the future

The Costanoa Ventures team likened venture capital investments to betting on horse races (left to right: Ashley Kwon, Ashley Jepson, Emily Smith, Sean Bai) | Image generated by an AI application

MS&E undergraduates presented their senior projects in March 2023. Across a wide breadth of industries and techniques, each project aimed to shape the future.

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.

Projects for 2023 shaped the future of business, for example by creating a toolkit to help venture capitalists choose the most promising investments, as well as the future of society, such as helping an organization mentor and empower youth to become changemakers. Sponsor organizations ranged from startups like Lumina, to established firms like Asana, 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, their work will continue to be utilized into the future. Some groups also stayed on as consultants after the course was over to tackle longer-term problems.

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 Riitta Katila, Irene Lo, Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, 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.

Costanoa Ventures | 1st place project for 2023

Automation for efficiency: Data-driven solutions for Costanoa Ventures

When betting on a horse race, do you bet on the jockey or the horse? Venture capitalists face a similar choice when funding startups—do they bet on the product or service (the horse) or the track record of the founders (the jockey)? The team built an automated system to synthesize the best of both worlds for Costanoa.

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Scaling DubClub: Recommendations for efficiency in lead generation

The team executed a three phase plan that provides DubClub with data-backed suggestions for how to improve their current lead-generation process.

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The Horton Fund

Seeking alpha: Portfolio optimization in the small-cap value space

The team utilized several techniques, including one invented by MS&E's own Prof. Markus Pelger, to help The Horton Fund choose which investments to make.

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Los Angeles Clippers

LA Clippers: The Wall

Through data analysis and in-person interviews, the team helped the Clippers plan for a novel fan experience at their new stadium.

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Data analytics platform for rental property investors

The team built data-driven models to help property owners and Lumina partners optimize their rental property investments.

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Mighty Buildings

Creating beautiful, sustainable homes

The team analyzed eight leading sustainability certifications and provided recommendations for which certifications to prioritize, as well as how to go about achieving those high-priority certs.

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Strong Girls United

Strong Girls United outreach

The team helped SGU enhance its outreach capacity and exposure in order to drive strategic organic growth for the organization.

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Vocal Justice

Empowering youth as changemakers

Utilizing data analysis and Python models, the team supported Vocal Justice in its efforts to engage investors, develop effective curriculum, and measure student self-efficacy.

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The Work Innovation Lab by Asana

The future of work: COO playbook

The team utilized surveys and data analysis to expand on the Work Innovation Lab’s playbook for Chief Operating Officers and offer go-to-market strategies for the organization.

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The Work Innovation Lab by Asana

The future of work today

The team analyzed academic literature and interviewed working professionals, then synthesized their findings to uncover what "the future of work" means to today's workforce.

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