Ever walk by a con­struc­tion project in the city and wonder what the site will look like one day? Well, a team of seven seniors at North­eastern has cre­ated a new app for that.

For their inter­ac­tive media cap­stone, the stu­dents devel­oped what they call arc—a mobile appli­ca­tion that bridges the gap between archi­tects and the public in regard to city plan­ning. Here’s how it would work: Archi­tects upload project specs, and com­mu­nity mem­bers walk to the con­struc­tion site and use an iPad’s camera-​​view fea­ture to see an aug­mented reality overlay of the pro­posed building over the cur­rent site. Users could view details like foot traffic, wind pat­terns, and the building’s shadows throughout the day, and then post feed­back directly to the architects.

You really get a feel for what the project will be like,” said team member Michael Godlewski, who noted that the app’s web ver­sion would include sev­eral addi­tional features.

The app was one of the many under­grad­uate, grad­uate, and fac­ulty research projects on dis­play last Friday at RISE:2013, Northeastern’s inno­va­tion, schol­ar­ship, and research expo held in the Cabot Phys­ical Edu­ca­tion Center. The annual event, spon­sored by the Center for Research Inno­va­tion and the Office of the Provost, high­lights research across many dis­ci­plines and show­cases the breadth and depth of inno­v­a­tive thinking at Northeastern.

Fol­lowing the poster demon­stra­tions at the expo, indi­vidual projects in seven cat­e­gories at the under­grad­uate and grad­uate level were rec­og­nized at an awards cer­e­mony. Of those win­ners, four stu­dent projects earned spe­cial RISE Awards that include grants to con­tinue the research. Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun and Steven W. Director, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs, pre­sented the awards to the win­ners, who were deter­mined by an expert panel of judges from North­eastern and industry.

One award went to “arc” in the “Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Topics, Cen­ters, and Insti­tutes” cat­e­gory for undergraduates.

  • Lexi Carver, left, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, shows off 3-D printed items to undergraduate engineering student Scott Gillette at the 3-Spark LLC "3D Printing Sensorized Parts for Better R&D" display.

  • Maciej Pietrusinski, left, a post doctoral research fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, speaks to Randy McDonald, center, and Robert Sullivan, right, of Tristar Design, about his project, "AndrosRobotics Robotic Gait Rehabilitation After Stroke."

  • Manasa Jillella, left, a graduate student Bouvé College of Health Sciences, discusses her project, "Size-dependent magnetic nanoparticles for triggered hyperthermic chemotherapy" with a judge.

  • Senior Jonathan Baruc, right, demonstrates his team's interactive media capstone, an app that allows people to visualize new buildings and their impact before they are constructed.

  • Shrinandan Selvamani, left, a Ph.D candidate in the College of Engineering, discusses his project, "Development of a sound synthesis application and a music controller for sound designers," with a judge.

  • Chris Hughes, a student in the College of Science, concentrates as he tries to activate a robotic vehicle using his brain waves as a demonstration of his project, "Electric Field Encephalography Sensors for Brain Signal Monitoring."

  • Fourth-year student Benjamin Greer, left, discusses his project, "A Post Industrial Somerville," a new sustainable model of coastal urban development. Greer won the undergraduate RISE award in the "Scholarship" category.

  • President Joseph E. Aoun, second from right, joined Antonio Rufo, left, Scott Goldberg, second from left, and Matt Mahagan, right, with their undergraduate RISE award in the "Innovation" category for FilterLight, a low-cost, human-powered, UV water filtration system.

  • Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, presents one of the student awards to Yiyun Ma, a graduate student whose project was "Designing Cloud and Big Data Platforms for Data-intensive Scientific Applications."

At the cer­e­mony, Tracey Doden­hoff, director of the Center for Research Inno­va­tion, noted that one of Northeastern’s greatest strengths is the diver­sity of thought that exists throughout campus. It’s for that reason that RISE orga­nizers resisted a sug­ges­tion from feed­back last year to group the posters by cat­e­gory at this year’s event.

There’s safety in what we know, and it’s com­forting to be around people who share our ideas. But inno­va­tion takes the courage to put your­self out there with a dif­ferent per­spec­tive, a dif­ferent opinion, and even some­times a dif­ferent truth,” Doden­hoff said. “Trans­for­ma­tive inno­va­tion takes place inch by inch and day by day by people who are relent­lessly curious and have an unbri­dled vision of what could be.”

Many of the pre­sen­ta­tions at RISE:2013 fea­tured use-​​inspired research that addressed global chal­lenges. One cre­ated by a group of engi­neering stu­dents was a startup called Filter Light, billed as a low-​​cost, human-​​powered, UV water-​​filtration system for Third World coun­tries. The stu­dents got started through Engi­neers for the Greater Good—a weekend-​​long com­pe­ti­tion run by the North­eastern Entre­pre­neurs Club that chal­lenges stu­dents to build a busi­ness around a product that addresses a social good. They hope to have a pro­to­type ready next month.

Filter Light earned the under­grad­uate award in the “Engi­neering and Tech­nology” cat­e­gory and the spe­cial RISE Award in the “Inno­va­tion” category.

For his part, Ben­jamin Greer, a fourth-​​year archi­tec­ture stu­dent, devel­oped a new sus­tain­able model of coastal urban devel­op­ment for mit­i­gating urban runoff and storm surge con­t­a­m­i­na­tion. Using Assembly Square in Somerville, Mass., as a testing ground for his model, he pro­posed con­verting more than 50 acres of derelict indus­trial low­land back to its orig­inal form as a salt marsh. Salt marshes, he noted, pro­vide some of the most diverse pop­u­la­tions of marine species in the ecosystem and act as a filter for runoff pol­lu­tants and a drainage system that col­lects storm water.

Greer said that since the Indus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion, devel­op­ment of urban coastal land has often and unfor­tu­nately resulted in unfil­tered water runoff and pol­luted waterways—in this case, the Mystic River.

The model is not spe­cific to this one site. It fits here in Somerville, but it could be repli­cated else­where,” said Greer, citing Bal­ti­more and Wash­ington, D.C.’s coast­lines as exam­ples. His project earned the under­grad­uate award in the “Human­i­ties and Arts” cat­e­gory and the spe­cial RISE Award in the “Schol­ar­ship” category.

Many stu­dent researchers cred­ited their experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­ni­ties at North­eastern for serving as the foun­da­tion for their work. Janelle Peiczarka, a com­bined major in busi­ness and polit­ical sci­ence, found inspi­ra­tion for her research while on a summer Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram in southern France in 2010 during the global eco­nomic crisis. Everyone the group encoun­tered, from politi­cians to a fruit stand worker in Nice, was feeling the effects.

Ever since, I wanted to learn more about how coun­tries recov­ered from these crises in the past,” she said.

So she con­ducted research on the eco­nomic melt­downs of the late 20th and early 21st cen­turies, iden­ti­fying strate­gies that have led to recovery, like respon­sible fiscal poli­cies and building sup­portive rela­tion­ships with inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions. Then she applied the best prac­tices to a com­par­a­tive analysis of Ice­land and Greece during the global finan­cial crisis and dis­cov­ered that Iceland’s resilience and Greece’s strug­gles mir­rored her findings.

Third-​​year chem­istry major Rebecca Lewis is working on a research project on co-​​op at Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­eral Hos­pital in Boston that could lead to ear­lier diag­nosis of Alzheimer’s dis­ease. Lewis is working in the hospital’s Nuclear Med­i­cine and Mol­e­c­ular Imaging Divi­sion, where a team of researchers is using posi­tion emis­sion topog­raphy to test a rel­a­tively new hypoth­esis: that ele­vated levels of metals in the plaques in the brain could serve as an early signal of the disease.

Prior to her co-​​op, Lewis began vol­un­teering at the lab last summer and con­tinued working there in the fall for uni­ver­sity credit. “Our goal is to make a tracer that we can use for early diag­nosis,” she said.