Steps to Join Us!

Use the google form to submit your interest in joining a research project, the ML4ER course, or just to get added to the email list to stay up to date on community news! For more information check out the join us page for an overview of information.

We will reach out to everyone who has submitted their information before the start of each semester with detailed information on projects, the ML4er course, or any other ways to get involved.

New Member Google Form

A few select previous projects are included on the project highlights page, and currently active projects can be viewed on the research projects page.

About Us

The “Informatics Skunkworks” is a group dedicated to engaging undergraduates in science and engineering informatics research. Skunkworks participants work together in project-based research, learning critical skills in teamwork, presentation, project management, software development, and applied data science, as well as driving data-centric approaches that are transforming science and engineering. Everyone is welcome. Please join us!

Enroll in Summer 2024
Introduction to Machine Learning for Engineering Research (ML4ER)

Course Page

Starting this summer we’ll be offering our on-boarding coarse as a condensed 4-week course for new students to learn the basics of machine learning and how ML models and tools are commonly used in applied research projects. The course is a great way to build skills before diving into Skunkworks research projects in the Fall! See the course page for details to register. The course is open to both UW-Madison students and those outside of UW-Madison!

Course Dates: July 15 – August 11

Format: Online – Remote

Credits (UW-Madison only): MSE 401-002

Dates For Spring 2024 Participation

  • Dec. 4th & 5th – Spring 2024 Research Information Sessions (required for spring research participation)
  • Dec. 17, 2023 – Applications due for Spring 2024 semester
  • Dec. 19, 2023 – ML4ER acceptance and Research Informational Interviews Scheduled
  • Jan. 3 – 5, 2024 – Research Informational Interviews Conducted
  • Jan. 08, 2024 – Research Project offers made by team leads
  • Jan. 19, 2024 – Offer responses finalized by participants
  • Jan. 29, 2024 – Spring project begin with project kickoff meetings

Key Links for spring 2024

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

UW-Madison Course Credit for Participation in Skunkworks!

Participants in Research or the ML4ER Intro course are eligible to enroll in MSE 401 for 2 credits!
Please join MSE 401 under Prof. Morgan’s section.

We ask that those participating in Skunkworks activities sign up for 2 credits in MSE 401. This helps create an official record of your efforts for yourself and the campus, as well as helping show the impact of the Skunkworks program.  The course does not meet and does not involve any extra commitment beyond your otherwise planned activities. If there is any reason you do not wish to take credits this course enrollment is not required.

If you do wish to enroll email Benjamin Afflerbach who will initiate opening the course for you and include your campus ID number (wiscard number). You can generally enroll about 72 h after emailing Ben.

Introduction to Machine Learning for Engineering Research Course

“Introduction to Machine Learning For Engineering Research” (ML4ER) is a semester long course taught in the Spring and Fall semesters to serve as an introduction for anyone interested in participating in research related to informatics for engineering, but are currently lacking some of the technical skills and background to jump directly into participation on a research project.

We’ll be starting up with Weekly meetings for the course the week of Sept. 18th. Please email Ben Afflerbach ( or message on Slack to join!

For more information see the course page here

Research Projects for the Spring 2024 Semester

Research Projects for the Spring semester are kicking off now! For a list of active projects and to see which are still recruiting take a look at the projects page!

Projects are filling up and will mostly be getting started the week of Sept. 18th.

If you’re interested in participating you can either reach out the listed project mentor or Ben Afflerbach ( for more information and to get included. Please also submit the Application Form so that we can keep track of students.

Informatics Technical Help-Desk

The informatics help-desk is a NSF supported service to help solve technical issues and streamline research in materials and chemistry informatics. We have experts in data science application to materials and chemistry informatics who would love to help answer any questions you have. No question is too basic and we will do our best with really hard questions. We are open to everyone!

Please see the help-desk website for details. We want to make the research experience more enjoyable by spending less time stuck on bugs and software issues and more time on the exciting parts of informatics research!

We will also use these times to discuss specific projects and help students match with a project.