Join Us

For more information, including how to join please contact and check the join us page for an overview of information.

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!

We are proud to be part of the Undergraduate Machine Learning Research (UMLR) Community, which seeks to grow undergraduate research in machine learning in science around the world!

Key Links for Spring 2023

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 are eligible to enroll in MSE 401 for 2 credits!
Please join MSE 401 Lec-002 (76440)

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. 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 February 6th. Please email Ben Afflerbach ( or message on Slack to join!

For more information see the course page here

Research Projects for the Spring 2023 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 January 30th and February 6th.

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.

Bi-Weekly Research Mentor Check-ins

Due to feedback from previous research mentors and team leads we are hosting bi-weekly mentor check-ins to help support the mentoring process throughout the semester. We hope to learn from each-other, help work through challenges, and improve the quality of our mentoring via these informal check-ins hosted via Zoom.

When: Every other Wednesday from 12:00-12:30pm starting February 1rst (calendar invite)

Where: Zoom

Informatics Technical Help-Desk and Tutorial Series

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!