IIP Internships in Engineering, Physics and Math
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Center for Nanobiology and Structural Biology
Location: Nové Hrady, Czech Republic
About: The Center for Nanobiology and Structural Biology was founded in 2002 as a joint laboratory of the Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology of the Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Physical Biology of the University of South Bohemia named Laboratory of High Performance Computing. The laboratory combines methods ranging from computational and spectroscopic to molecular biological and biochemical and, in collaboration with the Kuta Smatanova, lab protein crystallization. With its focus on molecular systems biology, the relationship between structure and function of proteins, dynamic changes related to functional processes on the level of proteins, and the mutual interaction of co-factors and sub-units in protein complexes, the laboratory is an integral part of the new research concept of the Institute.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will be introduced to the computational methods for building and investigation of biological systems and will be able to analyze dynamical changes in systems and learn how to interpret generated data. IIP interns will use special software for modeling biological systems and carrying out molecular dynamics simulations, partly using massive parallel calculations on a beowulf-computer cluster. The underlying experimental basis of all structural information comes from protein crystallography done in house. After receiving intense training during the first weeks, IIP interns will each be responsible for a sub-project that leads to a clear outcome/prediction that can be experimentally verified. Possible sub-projects include a computational project and an experimental project. The IIP interns may also have the opportunity to participate in a symposium on Structure Systems Biology in Bratislava, Slovakia, and/or the opportunity to visit biomedical institutes of the Academy of Sciences in Prague. Each IIP intern will be assigned to one of the following two projects:
- Modeling interactions in and between biomolecules and complex biologically relevant systems - The IIP intern will mainly work with computational tools on data, that are produced by experimentalists in house. After getting intense training during the first weeks, she/he/they will be responsible for a sub-project that leads to a clear outcome/prediction that can be experimentally verified. The IIP intern will also get an insight how the experimental data, like the X-ray structures, are generated and will collaborate directly with the scientists working on that.
- Protein expression and purification, structural and functional characterization of protein systems - This project will focus on the experimental characterization of interactions in and between biomolecules and complex biologically relevant systems (like for example restriction modification system EcoR124I or the cation translocation system TrK1). The IIP intern would not repeat something somebody has done already, but would use a unique mutant, that should alter the functionality. In this sense this is a new and un-characterized protein, as we do not know its actual functionality unless the IIP intern will find out! This project involves: 1) Polymerase chain reaction using primers that would introduce the mutation, amplification of the DNA, 2) Growing of e.coli or yeast cells used later for over-expression, 3) Over-expression of protein in e.coli or yeast cells, 4) French pressing the cells to disrupt them, 5) isolation of protein from the crude extract using gel filtration and affinity and ion exchange chromatography, 6) In vitro assays to monitor protein activity , 7) Ligand-binding studies like ITC/SPR/fluorescence/microscale thermophoresis 8) limited proteolysis. In nearly all steps SDS-phage electrophoresis is used to monitor either the successful amplificiation, the overexpression, the protein purity or the fragments after cleavage.
- The experimental basis for modeling interactions in and between biomolecules - This would be a combined experimental and computational project focusing on protein crystallization and X-ray diffraction of mutants of type I restriction-modification systems to resolve the three-dimensional structure of these proteins. In parallel with the lab work the IIP intern would work computationally on: 1) Solving the X-ray structure and homology modeling 2) Ligand-docking 3) Molecular dynamics simulation of the system in simple-point water, 4) calculation of binding energy.
Qualifications: IIP candidates should have academic interest in life sciences, an understanding of biologically relevant systems and how they can be understood by computational modeling, a good background in physics and mathematics;, and a good relation to computers as a scientific tool. General UNIX knowledge is welcome, but no programming is required.
Previous work experiences (in the words of the past IIP interns): Intern 1: Learned basic Unix commands; Learned a number of types of simulation software (VMD, GROMACS, YASARA, PYMOL); Studied the model system of interest; Performed the necessary modifications to the structures; Determined what sort of simulations to run and how to vary system parameters; Analyzed simulation results; Learned to use various tools to complement the analysis. Intern 2: I worked on project focused on determining the structure and function of HsdR's C-terminal domain. Intern 3: I created a computational model of the S and M sub-units of the Type I Restriction Modification enzyme EcoR124I. This work involved a number of computational programs and algorithms including homology modeling, multiple sequence alignments, protein - protein docking, and molecular dynamics. I learned to work independently on a project and assume responsibility for research that other colleagues in the lab are depending on to get done. My work was important because I created the computational model of two key sub-units of the enzyme EcoR124I (of which there are three sub-units). My project was expanded to include simulations of the protein with different mutations along the helical chain. Once we ran simulations for up to 100 nanoseconds, we had to determine how the mutations were affecting the structure and integrity of the protein. This model will be published in the lab's next paper. Intern 5: I calculated the PMF for the permeation of CA through the human ORAI1 channel...I learned umbrella sampling simulation techniques.
View PowerPoint presentations by past IIP interns:
ASCR Intern #1
ASCR Intern #2
ASCR Intern #3
ASCR Intern #4
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic|
Location: Gulu, Uganda
About: The mission of Aid Africa is to save lives, rebuild sustainable communities, and bring a hopeful future to Africans in need. Aid Africa aims to rebuild sustainable communities in Sub-Saharan Africa through the manufacture and distribution of efficient cooking stoves, providing clean water by digging and repairing wells, and planting trees to reforest the region.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will contribute to one or more of the following projects:
- Stoves: Improving manufacturing techniques, producing technical documentation, emissions and practical kitchen testing.
- Trees: Improving propagation and planting techniques, grafting, teaching in the villages, adding value to crops (business), and advising on economic choices.
- Water: Finding water sources, improving drilling techniques, participating in social activities in the communities, water quality testing, and health and hygiene education.
- RUMPS (ReUseable Menstrual Products): Working on manufacturing as well as educating about basic hygiene.
- Agricultural techniques: Researching techniques that don't include pesticides or fertilizers, participating in open source seed selection, harvesting, and marketing cell phone software to maximize selling prices.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in environmental studies, engineering, physics, public health, education or business are encouraged to apply.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Aid Africa|
Alquilando (IIP-IN Argentina | Puentes Abroad)
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
About: Alquilando is an Argentine tech-start up company that is revolutionizing the way long-term residential properties are rented in Buenos Aires. Its online platform offers tools and technical solutions to real-estate issues by servicing both the property owner and the renter. Similar to AirBnB, Alquilando has improved and modernized renting, making it faster, cheaper, safer, and more transparent but, instead, specializes in long-term renting contracts as opposed to short-term or holiday bookings. The small, professional team promises high-quality services, quick turn around, and efficient online tools. The Alquilando team assists with matching renters to their dream house, matching property oweners to vetted renters, and streamlining the bureaucratic, legal, and logistical processes that go into such contracts. The internships Alquilando will provide close mentorship by the co-founders of the company, an opportunity to become immersed in the real-estate industry and the tech startup sector, and a chance to put technical skills into practice.
Intern responsibilities: Alquilando offers internships in four areas: real-estate management, risk management, digital marketing and community management, and graphic / web design.
- The Real-Estate Management intern will assist with customer support, visit and photograph new properties, and generate website content for new real-estate listings.
- The Risk Management intern will work directly with the company’s co-founder and gain hands-on experience with risk management analysis in the Argentine real-estate context in order to help with the selection process of perspective clients and improve the platform and operational system.
- The Digital Marketing and Community Management intern will create weekly marketing campaigns, communicate with users, perform operational tasks to help promote the company, recruit new users, and create a strong brand recognition.
- The Graphic Design and Web Design intern will work on graphic design projects and assist with website coding in order to improve the website’s user interface and to increase the number of users.
Qualifications: IIP interns with interests in entrepreneurship, marketing, real estate, and business development are encouraged to apply. Experience in software engineering, coding and risk analysis would be additional assets. Intermediate Spanish required.
Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)
Location: San Pedro de Atacama and Santiago, Chile
About: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an international partnership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan, together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA -the largest astronomical project in existence- is a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile. Two placements have been created for IIP interns.
Intern responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following projects:
- Project 1- Analyzing and displaying ALMA polarization observations from high mass star forming regions
- Project 2- ALMA archive data mining in scope of a survey of interacting Galaxies and a high dynamical range imaging of AGN
- Project 3- The project will include working on VLA data with the aim of looking for water emission in high redshift galaxies. The IIP intern will familiarize her/himself to the scientific background of this project, but also interferometry, data analysis and imaging. The data was also partially reduced in a pipeline, and so part of the goals will be to run this pipeline again. Finally we will interpret the results together. It will also be possible to look at some related, archival ALMA data, time permitting.
- Project 4- Studying submm/mm variability of ALMA Flux Calibrator sources using the ALMA Source Catalogue Archive.
Qualifications: Coding abilities in Python would be an asset, as would an interest and knowledge in astronomy.
Work experiences (in the words of a past IIP intern): I worked on two projects. The first one included plotting the position histories of ALMA pads and antennas and extracting statistics from the plots. The second project was more connected to astrophysics as opposed to ALMA operations and involves fitting physical models to the observed ALMA data of FuOri (Young stellar object which had a dramatic increase in observed luminosity in the past century)...This experience, firstly was very useful in terms of enhancing my general research experience, particularly programming and interacting with the ALMA networks. My Python coding improved as well as my ability to interact with a UNIX terminal, write basic bash and html scripts, and use a more extensive text editor such as Emacs. From my first project with the antenna and pad position histories I learned some of the basics of how ALMA antennas operate which I found really fascinating. From my second project, I learned more about variable protostars and their disks which is currently a very active field in astronomy.
View a Power Point Presentation by a past IIP intern:
ALMA(Chile) Intern #1
|For UPDATED Information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)|
Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Location: Anhui Province, China |Gansu Province, China|Shaanxi Province, China |Xi'an,China
About: Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA) is the only university for architecture in Beijing. BUCEA is hosting a new base for Wu Zhi Qiao Charitable Foundation (Bridge to China). The base is named the Research and Development Base of Earth Architecture and aims to develop a platform for research, demonstration, training and education in earth architecture.
Intern responsibilities: IIP interns will contribute to areas of investigation, design study, experiments, field construction and technical on-site supervision, so as to explore and demonstrate a suitable way towards ecological architecture suitable for China's poor rural regions and learn how to design and construct with nature. IIP interns will work on one or both of the following projects:
- Visitor Center of Qinling National Botanical Garden, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China
This project is located at the foot of Qinling Mountain which is a famous scenic spot of China and an hour’s drive from Xi’an city. The client, Qinling National Botanical Garden, plans to develop a visitor center, so as to reach the demands for visitors’ reception, tourism guide, accommodation, relaxation, etc. The visitor center aims to provide visitors with a natural and rural ambience in the form of a tourism town or village, by fully utilizing the original traditional houses, topography and environment. Therefore, a series of design for new buildings, transformation of original houses and landscape is included. The project has been authorized to our team and was launched in September 2016. The design process is going to last for at least 15 months as planned. The assessment of the original buildings and resources have just been completed. The conceptual design is ongoing. In summer 2017, IIP interns will participate a series of detailed design in building, landscape, interior and even construction design.
- The Research and Development Base of Earth Architecture, Beijing, China
Supported by Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development of China, a research and development center is going to be design and built to meet demands of our team for research, demonstration, training and education in earth architecture. The proposed site is located in a village with a 1.5 hour’s drive from Beijing City. Our team works as both the client and designer. The master planning was just launched and is proposed to be completed in May 2017. Therefore, the IIP interns will participate in the whole process of design for building components.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in architecture and civil engineering are encouraged to apply. Since the earth-based technology is easy to handle, IIP interns can participate not only in the design scheme, construction experiments, and on-site design during construction, but also parts of construction work.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: I helped with the construction of a village center in a village called Macha in the Gansu Province. There were there master's students from Xian who are in charge and I assisted them. Intern #2: We worked on repair and aesthetic improvements to the facade of many of the buildings at the Macha Village Complex in the Gansu Province. We also went to Guanxi and helped refurbish an old building to be used as a common space. Responsibilities were similar: providing labor and design recommendations. This experience has taught me many things about sustainable design and how to use earth's natural resources to create modern buildings. I learned simple ways of doing things with out the use of modern appliances. I also learned a great deal about Chinese architecture from the past and present. Intern #3: My work responsibilities coincided closely with the Macha village project. I worked on site to help contribute to the construction of the project. I helped to repair rammed earth walls and worked to improve the overall appearance of the building complex as it gets close to completion. Aside from the Macha project I also worked on a renovation project near Guilin in the Guangxi Province. It aimed to take a traditional dwelling and turn it into a exhibition hall that would then serve as a village center. On site we were able to help with small construction tasks and contribute ideas. Due to the nature of the old site and difficulties in finding materials locally there was much collaboration and brainstorming that needed to be done. We learned about the vitality and resilience of rammed earth technology, an ancient yet seemingly forgotten architectural practice that is key to attaining environmental sustainability in rural villages that are becoming increasingly reliant on fossil-fuel-burning modern technologies. Princeton's curriculum is often very theoretical in nature, forcing students to consider the "why?" in many situations. Our ability to provide input allowed us to help steer the project managers toward adhering its original mission and intent: providing an example of a modern building (in aesthetics and amenities) that exemplifies the usage of rammed earth technology.
View PowerPoint presentations from past IIP interns:
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #1
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #2
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #3
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #4
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA)
Central de Ofertas (IIP-IN Argentina | Puentes Abroad)
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
About: The mission of Central de Ofertas is to create an online platform for small business owners to offer product discounts directly to consumers, thus empowering the smaller operators and helping open the market for discounts. The founders of this tech startup have worked in the massive consumer goods industry for over ten years, and they saw the untapped resource of the small business discounts, since the majority of Argentines shop at smaller kiosks, corner stores, and local supermarkets, instead of large superstores or major retailers. Central de Ofertas is housed in the InBev offices, since this major beverage company is an important investor of the startup.
Intern responsibilities: The Business Analyst intern will work with the company founders to manage weekly discount offers and analyze the profit margin of these offers to ensure the company’s profitability and growth. If the intern is proficient in Spanish, he or she will also be able to meet with small business owners in Buenos Aires to evaluate their possible participation in the Central de Ofertas platform. The Community Management intern will work on key projects to promote the company and the platform. The focus will be on Facebook, Google, and digital marketing outreach to increase user base and brand recognition.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in economics, engineering, business, technology, or marketing are encouraged to apply. Analytical problem solvers are ideal. Basic Spanish is recommended for the Business Analyst internship. Fluent Spanish is required for the Community Management internship.
Centre for Theoretical Physics, Oxford University
Location: Oxford, England
About: Members of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics at Oxford University work on topics that span many branches of physics - from how bacteria swim to the inflationary origin of the Universe to quantum phase transitions to the chemodynamical evolution of galaxies. Their Particle Theory Group works on particle phenomenology both in and beyond-the-Standard-Model, (lattice) gauge theory and string theory, mathematical physics and quantum gravity, early-Universe cosmology, and issues in particle astrophysics. The quantum dynamics of many-body systems, phase transitions, and strongly correlated electrons are important themes within their Condensed-Matter Group. Members of the group also do much work on soft matter and biological systems, which are characterized by a balance between interactions and fluctuations that leads to rich and diverse self-assembly and dynamics. The Astrophysics and Plasmas Group works on the structure and formation of galaxies, with particular emphasis on our own galaxy, on the dynamics of astrophysical plasmas, from solar wind to the intergalactic medium, and on laboratory plasmas, especially in application to magnetic confinement fusion.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will contribute to theoretical and/or computational projects in either plasma physics (ranging fusion theory to astrophysics), soft condensed matter physics, and astrophysics (galactic dynamics).
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in physics, astrophysics, or applied mathematics are encouraged to apply. Significant coursework in mathematics would be an asset.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Centre for Theoretical Physics
Location: Paris, France
About: CityTaps is a social startup based in Paris. Their vision is to bring running water to every home, for ever. Today, about 750M urban poor lack the basic comfort of running water at home in the developing world. CityTaps believes that running water in the home is a source of health, economic opportunity and dignity, particularly for women and girls who bear the majority of the burden associated with daily water chores. Their solution to this vexing problem has 3 components: new technology, community development, and business innovation. CityTaps believes in questioning assumptions in a respectful, fast-paced, and fun environment. Their company is looking for enthusiastic and hard-working individuals who want to work to serve the poor and make a positive difference in the world.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following projects:
- Electronic and software design of a connected water meter - The IIP intern will work closely with the CTO to develop software and electronic components of a new generation robust water metering system targeted at developing country environments. Tasks that the IIP intern might be involved in include: software programming (cloud), embedded programming (electronic chips), design of radio communications, mobile payment systems, prototyping, and industrialization, all with an emphasis on reliability, security and cost reduction.
- Hydraulic design of a connected water meter - The IIP intern will work closely with the CTO and CEO to design (from the hydraulic perspective) the metering components of the water metering system targeted at developing country environments. Tasks that the student might be involved in include: mechanical design, CAD drawings, fluid mechanics calculations, prototyping and industrialization all with an emphasis on reliability, security and cost reduction.
- Grant writing and research, and other writing/research - The IIP intern will work closely with the CFO to help CityTaps apply for grants and to perform necessary research related thereto. Specific tasks could include: developing a paper about the ‘theory of change’ for CityTaps; writing grant applications; performing market evaluation studies, including competition, similar projects in the developing world, etc. and helping develop a social impact strategy.
Qualifications: For the engineering related placements, IIP candidates with interests in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and/or computer science are encouraged to apply. Technical skills in embedded systems, programming, mechanics, plastics, robotics, fluid mechanics modeling, and/or CAD design would be an asset. For the grants writing and research placement, IIP candidates with interests in international development, political science, economics and/or public policy are encouraged to apply. Experience in writing, research and specific experience in grant and proposal writing would be an asset. For all placements, French language skills would be a plus, as would the knowledge of any African language.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: CityTaps|
Location: Entebbe, Uganda
About: Digital Solutions (DS) is a Ugandan-based software development company. The company builds custom applications mainly for telecom industry clients in Africa, Asia, and the United States. The IIP intern will join the DS team as it seeks to meet demanding client expectations. DS’s work involves significant research and innovative approaches to application building.
Intern responsibilities: IIP intern responsibilities may include: co-leading a team as programmer on existing projects; programming skills transfer/lead on in-house training for staff; helping in the maintenance of system development process and controls; and providing an independent quality assurance on existing applications to improve security, quality of execution and to ensure up-to-date documentation. Specific projects may include MMS Gateway Development, Dynamic SIM Toolkit application development, and NFC programming.
Qualifications: This placement is ideal for IIP interns with interest in computer science. Software development in C, Python, Ruby, or Java is required.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of a past IIP intern): I wrote a mobile to mobile communications framework. Basically, cell networks are quickly becoming the preferred means of communication in developing countries because cell companies are erecting towers everywhere, making cell service widely available, while broadband internet connections are difficult to come by. There are many types of non-phone devices which can communicate over cell networks, but they all use their own "language," making it necessary to write individualized software to communicate with each different kind of device. I wrote a basic framework for this type of software, which should be able to be extended to work with any type of mobile device with minimal effort.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Digital Solutions|
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
About: Eurofish is an international organization established to assist the development of fisheries and aquaculture in Central and Eastern Europe focusing on post-harvest fisheries and aquaculture industries. Eurofish contributes to the development of fisheries and the aquaculture sector through the publication of marketing and industry related information in the Eurofish Magazine, Eurofish website, as well as through the organization of conferences, workshops and seminars and by executing a variety of projects in the fields of trade and market, processing and aquaculture. The key objectives of Eurofish are to contribute to the sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector; promote trade of high quality, value-added fishery products; and facilitate the transfer of information and knowledge.
Intern Responsibilities: Interns may have any of the following responsibilities: assisting in the preparation of market studies; writing project applications in the field of fisheries; performing IT/web design/ maintenance and database management; assisting in promotion and communication activities; conducting market research and socio-economic studies; research various sales and promotional agencies/ institutions and perform other duties as required.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in marketing, business administration, economics, journalism; project management and/or computer science are encouraged to apply.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the past IIP interns): Intern #1: I had several tasks- Managing and analyzing data to build a European seabed mapping website, writing short pieces for the company's magazine, copy editing the magazine, making changes to the company's contact database.Intern #2: Designed graphics for a conference (posters, program, website banners, etc), wrote software manuals and small pieces for magazine, corrected English in communications and articles. I migrated the Eurofish website into an updated Joomla! platform.
View a PowerPoint presentation by a past IIP intern:
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Eurofish|
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
About: Galp is an integrated energy company that finds and extracts oil and natural gas from sites across four continents to deliver energy to millions of customers every day. Its primary mission is to create value for its shareholders, with a portfolio of assets with a unique growth profile within the industry, based on ethically sound and transparent principles.
Galp is Portugal’s oil and natural gas integrated operator. Therefore, Galp's activities span from exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing oil products, natural gas marketing and sales, and power generation. Galp has three main business areas:
- Exploration and Production - Galp is currently focused on the development of its upstream projects, especially following the world-class oil and gas discoveries in the pre-salt Santos basin in Brazil and in the Rovuma basin in Mozambique. The E&P business is anchored in these two countries alongside Angola, although Galp’s diversified portfolio spans across seven countries and over 50 E&P projects. Galp is expected to deliver production growth that is unparalleled in the industry based on discoveries already made, with the E&P business being the company’s current primary growth driver.
- Refining & Marketing - Galp is a leading player in Iberia, operating across refining, distribution and oil marketing activities. It operates an integrated refining system comprising two refineries in Portugal with a total processing capacity of 330 thousand barrels of oil per day and a distribution network in Iberia including approximately 1,300 service stations. While the Refining & Marketing business is centered in Iberia, the company continues to expand its marketing of oil products activity in selected markets in Africa.
- Gas&Power - Through its Gas & Power business, Galp distributes and supplies natural gas both in Iberia and in the broader international market, where it has been consolidating the trading activity. In Iberia, where Galp is a relevant player, it has also been consolidating the power business in order to increase integration. Galp is currently the only Iberian operator with a triple offering of oil products, natural gas and electricity.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on projects in one or more of the business areas noted above. IIP interns may also be involved in planning and control activities and/or new asset appraisal.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in the oil and gas industry (particularly exploration and production business), marketing, engineering, economics, and finance are encouraged to apply. Basic Portuguese and/or Spanish skills are required.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Geodynamics Group, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University (ANU)
Location: Canberra, Australia
About: The research of the Geodynamics Group at the Research School of Earth Sciences, is focused on using space-based observations to study changes on Earth. With strong backgrounds in geodesy, the researchers in the group are studying a wide range of topics including crustal deformation (tectonic drift, earthquakes) and glacial isostatic adjustment, as well as climate-related topics such as sea level rise and melting of polar ice sheets. Space-geodetic missions such as satellite altimeters (Jason-2, Envisat, IceSAT), space gravity (GRACE), and positioning systems (e.g. GPS) provide the observations for these studies. The research involves generating numerical models and processing the data such that estimates of these geophysical signals can be made.
Intern responsibilities: The IIP intern will work as part of a team to study some aspect of change on Earth using space-geodetic observations. There are many possible projects from which to choose: improving the modelling of satellite orbits, estimating changes in groundwater aquifers, quantifying crustal strain across continents and/or known active fault zones, deriving estimates of regional sea level rise, or measuring actual melting rates of polar regions, among others. Possible responsibilities may include developing software to model satellite orbits, processing actual satellite observations to derive estimates of geophysical processes on Earth, and/or developing and assessing different types of models for certain processes. The work is computationally intensive and the IIP intern could be involved in writing software, processing data, deriving estimates, and interpreting and evaluating the results. Previous IIP interns have worked on projects that have been submitted for publication with the intern as a co-author.
Qualifications: Strengths in maths/physics are essential for this IIP internship.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of a past intern): Intern #1: I rewrote their program to make it much more flexible, powerful and easy to work with. The project itself involved using and analyzing data from the GRACE satellite mission. I worked with Matlab a lot, so I learned quite a bit of this. I also did Monte Carlo simulations, which was very interesting. The organization was trying to find an accurate representation of the earth deformation using the data from an old satellite system called Grace. They're trying to estimate these Love Numbers in order to match the displacements collected by GPS data. If the research makes more progress, they plan on publishing a paper on their findings.Intern #2: My project was to perform inversions with the equation used to calculate earth deformation due to surface loading. I interpreted the data collected from satellites at various locations and inverted to estimate coefficients called Love Numbers. Most of my work was on Matlab and/or Fortran...
View a PowerPoint presentation from a past IIP Intern:Geodynamics Intern #1
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Geodynamics Group, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australia National University
GoodPeople (IIP-IN Argentina | Puentes Abroad)
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
About: GoodPeople is a tech start-up company based in Buenos Aires and San Francisco that provides an online marketplace and global collective for outdoor and extreme sports apparel and gear. Their aim is to provide a platform for new brands and the best products that exemplify the outdoor and action sports lifestyle, while also supporting sustainable businesses, nonprofits, and a healthy environment.
Intern Responsibilities: This IIP intern will be fully immersed in marketing or business development work in a community-oriented office in the heart of Buenos Aires. IIP interns will be assigned individual projects tailored to their interests and skillset. Projects may involve business development with outreach and client management for new and existing brand partners, marketing with a focus on online marketing tools, SEO and SEM strategies, and content creation.
Qualifications: IIP interns with interests in entrepreneurship, marketing, engineering, and business development are encouraged to apply. Experience in software engineering, coding and data analysis would be an asset. Spanish proficiency recommended, but not required.
Previous work experience (in the words of a past IIP intern): Marketing and Business Development Intern: I am helping the organization acquire better relationships with their partner companies in the U.S. I am also helping with their marketing strategies. Lastly, I am improving their relationships with their clients by researching the CRM tool. I feel that I have learned the importance of team work and planning. Both inside and outside of the workplace, I have realized that making a plan to do something is one of the most important parts of actually completing a task or having a successful trip. I worked at the same table as my supervisor and could ask him questions whenever I needed to. He was very responsive and we became close by the end of the summer. Duties: Contacted the brands on the American side of the site on a regular basis to make sure their information on any given brand was current and assembled this information into excel spreadsheets; Researched potential customer relationship management (CRM) tools that the company could use to improve their interactions with customers; Used HTML to program newsletters for the American side of the site to be sent out to the customers; Created an excel document with formulas to automate much of their billing process.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
GoodPeople (IIP-IN Argentina)
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Location: Accra, Ghana
About: IWMI is an international scientific non-profit organization that undertakes world-class research to help improve water management in developing countries. IWMI’s Mission is to provide evidence-based solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for food security, people’s livelihoods, and the environment.
Intern responsibilities: The interns will be placed in pairs. Each intern pair will conduct research that will include: defining the main products/activities, target audiences and aims of the different products/activities; setting up the methodology for assessment, based on face-to-face interviews; undertaking this analysis (travel in the allocated country may be required); analyzing the results, and participating in a workshop; presenting these results and making recommendations for future marketing and communications.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in communications, science, agriculture, environmental studies, or development are encouraged to apply. Experience conducting surveys, interviews, and data analysis would be an asset.
Previous work experiences (in words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: Here at the IWMI West Africa office, I am working with the research and communications coordinator, assisting in preparing documents, brochures and fliers that showcase the work of IWMI. I have also been doing a lot of field work and visiting demonstration sites that have been set up by IWMI to support their research. Intern #2: I produce infographics supporting the researchers. I write briefs that summarize the research outcomes. I helped analyze all their minority publications...I am learning the need to review what organizations tell the world and make sure it is actually what the organization wants the world to see.Intern #3: At the beginning, my work consisted mostly of helping with translation of communication material from English to French and helping to write workshop report and briefs on research projects for communication purposes. However, over the past three weeks, I have been spending most of my time working on placing a great quantity of data into bar charts and then overlaying them onto the Google Earth world map... IWMI also conducts projects and maintains partnerships in French speaking West African countries and so communication material in French is key to developing those projects and relationships. Finally, my idea of using computer programming to complete the Google Earth project probably saved hundreds of hours of work since it turned out that I had to create more than 7,000 graphs and now need to place each of them on Google Earth...I think what I am mostly learning from my supervisor and other colleagues are the workings of IWMI as an organization and in what ways people deal with their individual work and fit in within wider collective projects and goals. The specific project that I have been working on involves some programming and manipulating Google Earth which are good skills to refine.
View PowerPoint presentations by past interns:
IWMI Ghana Intern #1.pdf
IWMI Ghana Intern #2.pdf
International University of East Africa
Location: Kampala, Uganda
About: The International University of East Africa (IUEA) is a private university whose main campus is located in Kansanga, Kampala, Uganda. The university draws students from East and Central Africa and from the rest of the world. IUEA offers many programs that lead to undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. The school also offers the International Foundation Program (IFP), special language classes, certificates in short courses, and diplomas that prepare students for both employment and entry into degree programs. The school’s programs are designed to ensure that students get maximum expertise in the use of technology, and complete their degree(s) armed with an education that includes practical experience and skills for employment and entrepreneurship.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following projects:
- Teaching English: The International University of East Africa (IUEA) has a substantial number of students from French-speaking African countries. These students are currently enrolled in English foundation (remedial) classes at IUEA but need significant help. IIP interns will help teach these students English. Specifically, the IIP interns will focus on comprehension. For teaching material, IIP interns will use simple story books and the required reading material assigned to the foundation students.
- Teaching Computer Programming: IIP interns who have a background in computer science will teach basic to intermediate level practicals on Java programming language and on content management Web development and on Android or iPhone programming. Interns are free to determine what applications to work on. For example, IIP interns may decide to teach PHP programming, design and build Websites, or design and build an Android or iPhone app.
- Teaching Electronics/Robotics: IIP interns with a background in electrical engineering will teach basic level hands-on workshops to students with no experience in engineering or electronics. IIP Interns are encouraged to determine what workshops to run. For example, interns may decide to run workshops on the basic of electronics using Arduinos or Raspberry Pi.
- Community Service: IIP interns on the community service team will work with students at the university to develop and implement a community entrepreneurship project where communities are encouraged to setup their own businesses. IIP Interns will teach community members about entrepreneurship, crowd funding, business plans, etc. IIP Interns can decide to approach this task using standard methods, or to work with the communities on an experimental basis.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in English, engineering, computer science, social sciences and/or pure sciences are encouraged to apply. Skills in teaching English, Java programming, basic Android development, and electronics would be an asset but are not required. The ability to create content management based websites would also be a plus. IIP candidates should also have interests in teaching, sharing knowledge in their respective area of proficiency, and in working in Africa.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
International University of East Africa (IUEA)
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Location: Goettingen, Germany
About: The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization is a research institute for investigations of complex non-equilibrium systems, particularly in physics and biology. Its founding history goes back to Ludwig Prandtl who in 1911 requested a Kaiser Wilhelm Institute to be founded for the investigation of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. As a first step, the Aeronautische Versuchsanstalt (now the DLR) was established in 1915 and then finally the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Flow Research was established in 1924. In 1948 it became part of the Max Planck Society. In 2003 it was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-organization. It is one of eighty institutes in the Max Planck Society (Max Planck Gesellschaft). The institute has four departments conducting research in the following areas: nonlinear dynamics, fluid dynamics, pattern formation, biocomplexity, and dynamics of complex fluids.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on tasks related to the following experimental and theoretical projects at the Institute.
- Control of pattern formation in Dictyostelium discoideum cells: A classic example of self-generated patterns in nature is found in the social amobae Dictyostelium discoideum. When starved, millions of individual cells signal each other with the signaling molecule cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP waves in the form of spiral or target patterns propagate in cell populations and direct aggregation of individual cells to form centimeter-scale Voronoi domains and eventually multicellular fruiting bodies. In this study, the laboratory controls the shape of Voronoi domains by introducing periodic geometrical obstacles with different size and periodicity in the system. Observations are made that the obstacles act as aggregation centers and the periodic arrangement of the obstacles is reflected directly in the corresponding Voronoi domains.
- Cell migration in Electric Field - Cells have the ability to detect continuous current electric fields (EFs) and respond to them with a directed migratory movement. Dictyostelium discoideum (D.d.) cells, a key model organism for the study of eukaryotic chemotaxis, orient and migrate toward the cathode under the influence of an EF. The underlying sensing mechanism and whether it is shared by the chemotactic response pathway remains unknown. Observations are made that besides triggering a directional bias EF influences the cellular kinematics by accelerating the movement of cells along their path. Through the analysis of the PI3K and Phg2 distribution in the cytosol and of the cellular adherence to the substrate we aim at elucidating whereas this speed up effect in the electric field is due to either a molecular signalling or the interaction with the substrate.
- Stochastic description of Chemotaxis - Chemotaxis, the directed motion of a cell toward a chemical source, plays a key role in many essential biological processes. The directional motion is described as the interplay between deterministic and stochastic contributions based on Langevin equation. The functional form of this equation is directly extracted from experimental data by angle-resolved conditional averages. It contains quadratic deterministic damping and multiplicative noise. The IIP intern will use this lab's approach, which captures the dynamics of chemotactic cells, and will quantify differences and similarities of different amoeba and characterize the heterogeneity within a population of migrating cells.
- Thermal convection - Thermal convection is fluid flow driven by a thermal gradient. If the thermal driving is strong, the flow is turbulent. Such flows are one of the most efficient heat transport mechanisms and occurs in many industrial and natural systems. We investigate the heat transport and the fluid flow by thermal convection in cylindrical vessels with a hot bottom and a cold top plate. Most investigation assume Boussinesq conditions. That means that the fluid properties are the same at the warm bottom and the cold top plate. While studying such simplified systems is important for a fundamental understanding of the underlying mechanisms, in many industrial and natural convection systems, the Boussinesq conditions are not fulfilled. In example, for industrial cooling systems, supercritical gases are used that have viscosities similar to gases but heat capacities of liquids. Other examples are atmospheric convection or convection in stellar interiors. In this project, the IIP intern would study turbulent thermal convection at strongly non-Boussinesq conditions by using Sulfur-hexafluoride (SF6) above its critical point. The heat transport and the flow field are studied using thermal probes and optical techniques.
- Active Droplet Swimmers in Complex Geometries - This research group studies active liquid crystal droplets and their behavior in well-controlled microfluidic geometries like channels, pillars and grain/sphere packings in 2D and 3D using light and 3D light sheet fluorescence microscopy. The IIP intern will assist in the fabrication of microfluidic PDMS devices, the recording of video microscopy data and their evaluation using existing software packages.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP intern): Intern #1: We had an active grid, which is an array of paddles which are computer controlled to run a certain rms velocities and angles. I programmed these paddles to have certain shapes and statistical properties. Then, using a wind tunnel we measured statistical properties of the resulting turbulent flow through these paddles. Intern #2: I studied energy decay in turbulence by using an active grid and a wind tunnel. The active grid lets us control how we stir up the air in the wind tunnel, and we can measure it's effects on turbulence. In the mornings, I generally worked on coding the active grid, analyzing data, or reading papers. In the afternoons, I took data in the wind tunnel. Intern #3: Basically, I worked with a very specific type of amoeba, called Dictyostelium discoideum, which I took lots of data of. Frequently I injected the ameoba into small chambers, and then I recorded images of the movements of the amoeba for hours. While the data is being taken, I used imageJ and Matlab to look at and analyze data that I've taken from previous days. With this data I tried to determine specific information about the communication and movement of the amoeba. Intern #4: I set up experiments in the morning that run all day. It involved working with Dictyostelium (an amoebae) in a microfluidic channel, and I investigated resonance/phase locking in the system. In the afternoons I did prep work for the experiments and analyzed the data I have collected (using image J and matlab). We had been working on a few different ways to analyze the data and tried some new ideas. Hopefully the work can be complied into a Arnold tongue graph (showing the resonance conditions of the system)...I am learned not only how to work in the lab with Dictyostelium but the data analysis is really interesting. I have tried a few different ways to extract useful/accurate information from the microscopy pictures, it was interesting to talk with my supervisor to evaluate the results and discuss new approaches. Intern #5: My fellow IIP intern and I worked on an experiment to see how movements of tiny paddles in a wind tunnel affect the flow in a wind tunnel. This involved programming the paddles in C++ to move in a variety of correlated configurations, designing experiments/ collecting velocity data in the wind tunnel, and analyzing the data using matlab code. We wrote a paper by the end...One of the goals of the Max Planck Institute is to better understand turbulence. We studied the very important idea of the decay of turbulence over time...I learned a lot about the theory of turbulence and some statistics too. Also I learned a ton of C++, which has been a great way to practice some of the skills I learned in COS217 this spring. Intern #6: We were studying turbulence decay in a wind tunnel, using concepts from classical turbulence theory. We were attempting to induce changes in turbulence using an active grid, composed of 129 paddles mounted to independently controlled servo motors. We implemented a new feature in the control code that allows the experimenter to generate grid movements that are correlated in time, and not just in space. Then, we were working in the experimental hall, running tests on the grid in a wind tunnel and collecting data. In between tests, we ran data processing scripts (coded in MATLAB) and generated correlation functions and energy decay functions. After our data collection phase was finished, we processed the data further, organized it into a presentable form, and wrote reports summarizing our findings and the technical details about our code...I learned experimental methods, new programming skills, and data collection methods. I also learned how to negotiate theoretical issues in light of time, algorithm, and hardware constraints.
View a PowerPoint presentation by a past intern:
Max Planck Institute Intern #1
Max Planck Institute Intern #2
Max Planck Institute Intern #3
Max Planck Institute Intern #4
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Max Planck Institute|
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Department of Collective Behavior
Location: Berlin, Germany
About: The goal of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is to support excellent fundamental research in the natural, life, and social sciences, as well as arts and humanities. This goal is achieved in more than eighty Max Planck Institutes, each of which focuses on a single area of research. The Institutes of the Max Planck Society are independent and autonomous in the selection and conduct of their research pursuits. Each institute has its own, internally managed, budget, which is supplemented by third-party funds through competitive research grants and collaborations. The Max Planck Institute for Ornithology has four departments: Department of Behavioral Neurobiology, Department of Behavioral Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology and Department of Collective Behavior. The Max Planck Department of Collective Behavior consists of three labs which work on a wide range of organisms in both the laboratory and field, including fish, insects, arachnids, mammals and birds. Their department is a highly interdisciplinary environment with a closely integrated experimental and theoretical research program to understand the fundamental principles that underlie collective behavior across levels of biological organization. The systems used are both observable and readily able to be manipulated, and are ideal subjects with which to develop and test mathematical models that predict dynamic group-level properties from the behavior of smaller components. By integrating research at all levels of organization – from the neuro-biological mechanisms of social interaction all the way to movement ecology of social groups of large vertebrates – their research provides unrivaled opportunities to quantify the behavior of individual components within the context of the collective.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following projects:
- Project 1 - Collective Sensing: In the natural world, individuals constantly face the challenge of acquiring, interpreting and responding to complex sensory information. Empirical evidence suggests that animals deal with this challenge by living in groups and processing information collectively. While these collective properties are manifested at the group level, they are an outcome of decisions made by individuals. In general, it is unclear how selection on behavioral rules adopted by individuals leads to evolution of group level properties such as collective information processing and distributed sensing. Previous models in collective behavior have been successful in explaining experimental data in a range of contexts and species, including leadership and consensus decision-making in fish and baboons. Even though these models work well predicting group behavior in moderate to large groups, they fail to reliably reproduce behavior in small groups and solitary individuals. This limitation constrains our ability to truly examine benefits of collective information processing and distributed sensing because it prevents comparison across various group sizes.
The IIP intern will be involved in analyzing movement data from lab based recordings of fish in isolation and in varying group sizes and building on top of existing schooling models to account for individual behavior. This more realistic models will then enable comparison across scales from individuals to collectives.
- Project 2 - Neural Network Based Collective Decision-Making: While there are many advantages to living in a group it is also often advantageous to cheat on one’s responsibilities in the group. This free rider problem can lead either to instability in groups, or, to groups never forming in the first place. The team builds simulations that examine the conditions from which stable collective hunting and collective prey evasion emerge from naive random walk-like behavior. Their simulations are inspired by work from DeepMind on deep reinforcement learning.
IIP interns would create learning based simulations, either starting from scratch or building off existing simulations in the lab, that examine how the abilities of individuals and the condition of the environment in which they exist affect the emergence and type of collective behavior in predators and prey. How, for instance, does changing individuals’ range of possible movement actions affect group level behavior? How does adding visual occlusions in the environment (like boulders in nature for instance) affect the learned hunting strategies of predators and how do prey respond?
- Project 3 - Quantitative approaches to the study of animal behavior: When individuals use socially acquired information during search, they are trying to simultaneously reduce their uncertainty about the environment and avoid personal costs by exploiting the efforts of others. However, relying on social information is not always adaptive. While social information may be less expensive to acquire, it is potentially unreliable. In contrast, personal information is more reliable but risky and effortful to obtain. Under conditions of limited time and cognitive resources, how do individuals navigate this trade-off and decide which information to use? To investigate these ideas I run a series of experiments that track human eye movement while humans solve visual search tasks. I hope to understand 1) when and how searchers use social information during complex, difficult search tasks and 2) the effects of social information on search behaviors and performance.
IIP interns would work to help analyze the results of these experiments exploring how humans weigh personal and partner information while solving these problems. How, for instance, does the cognitive difficulty of a task affect how reliant an individual is on those around it? How do people respond to varying levels of noise in their own information vs. the information around them? If the intern is willing to be trained at Princeton in the spring they can also run their own experiments.
- Project 4 - Collective behavior in locust swarms: Understanding how organisms process sensory information in the brain to produce behavior is one of the most exciting scientific problems of the 21st century. More specifically, understanding the sensory and behavioral mechanisms that animals use to successfully migrate long distances is one of the great scientific challenges of our time. Movement in migrating swarms of locusts is driven by cannibalistic interactions where individual movement decisions are made based on the threat of being cannibalized from behind and the motivation to cannibalize others ahead. The behavior of individuals within these marching bands is the result of visual and physical contact between individuals. The lab studies questions related to how sensory information and individual behavior influence the movement dynamics of group migration. Marching behavior in juvenile desert locusts is used as a model system to address two broad questions: 1) How do sensory information networks drive individual decision-making and group-level movement dynamics in migrating animal groups? 2) How do individual differences in behavioral state and group composition influence movement dynamics in migrating animal groups? The team conducts experiments in behavioral arenas that are filmed using multiple synchronized high-resolution 4K video cameras. Using computer vision techniques we measure the movement of individuals while also maintaining individual identities with 2-D bar code tags (similar to QR codes) attached to individuals. The visual fields of individuals are calculated using ray casting algorithms like those used in video game engines. By measuring visual and physical interactions between individuals we can infer the underlying social networks that drive both individual and group-level movement.
IIP interns will help design and conduct experiments and analyze these data using unsupervised machine learning methods to classify behavior of individuals and describe changes in behavioral state across time and context.
- Project 5 - The dynamics of group hunting and collective evasion: One benefit of sociality in prey animals is collective predator detection. For collective detection to occur, information regarding the presence of predators must be transferred from knowledgeable individuals (detectors) to naive individuals (non-detectors). For this project, the lab will use drone-mounted cameras to capture aerial videos of ungulate (hoofed animal) groups in Kenya to study individual and group level vigilance patterns. To observe the process of information transfer, we will present model predators to groups and record their reactions. From these videos, the lab will extract continuous movement and behavioral (head up/head down) data for every member of the group, and calculate distances between individuals. Because of the complex background of these aerial videos, the data can only be extracted from the videos with deep learning based object detection and recognition algorithms. Deep learning models developed by Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) are particularly promising for this project (https://github.com/facebookresearch/multipathnet). Using the data extracted from these videos we can computationally reconstruct visual fields of individuals and, along with 3D habitat models, explicitly consider the information available to each individual and investigate how this information affects individual behavioral decisions. Other people will carry out the actual filming, but the IIP intern can help with every other aspect of this project spending the most time working on what most interests them.
- Project 6 - Revealing the structure of sensory interaction networks in animal groups: The predominant paradigm in the study of animal collectives has been to consider individuals as self-propelled particles which interact via social forces such as local repulsion, and longer-range attraction. This approach fails to consider key aspects of biology for many group-living species such as identity, social status, relatedness and informational status. The social relationships within these groups can change the interactions among individuals and have strong effects on the function of animal groups, yet understanding of social hierarchy in the context of collective behavior is limited.
In this project, the team explores collective decision-making in an organism that forms stable, highly coordinated and socially stratified groups – the damselfish, Dascyllus marginatus. This is a tropical marine species that forms stable size-based social hierarchies of unrelated individuals in close association with branching coral species. I employ multi-camera imaging technology in order to track simultaneously the motion and behavior of each member of D. marginatus groups, in three dimensions, in the field (Red Sea, Israel). Using various stimuli, the team will explore the relationship between individual- and group-behavior in three ecologically relevant contexts: (A) Detection of potential threats (B) Individual and socially-mediated escape manoeuvres and (C) Decision-making regarding emergence. Acquiring data from the videos constitutes a challenging computer vision problem. Interns can be involved in developing programs to automate data acquisition, as well as developing tools to visualize the data in three dimensions.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, computer science, operations research and financial engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, economics or ecology and evolutionary biology or related fields are encouraged to apply. Technical programming skills in python, C++ and an interest in machine learning and computer vision would be an asset.For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Max Planck Department of Collective Behavior
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Location: Garching, Germany
About: MPQ is a research facility of the Max Planck Society, dedicated to basic research on the interaction of light and matter under extreme conditions. It consists of several sub divisions (Laser Spectroscopy, Quantum Dynamics, Attosecond and High-Field Physics, Theory, and the division of Quantum Many Body Systems) and several independent research groups, with a total of more than 200 scientists. The stimulating research environment at MPQ results from fruitful collaboration and know-how exchange of the different groups and divisions, making it one of the world-leading research institutions in this field.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one of the following projects:
Projects in Prof. Cirac’s group (Theory): Since 2001 Prof. Dr. J. I. Cirac is Director at the MPQ and head of the Theory division. He has made contributions to quantum many-body physics, information and optics and is an expert in the field of quantum information and quantum computation.
- Project 1: Dissipative quantum systems: The IIP intern will apply the numerical algorithms developed in our division to the study of dissipative quantum systems. In particular, different spin chains may be considered. The tasks may include particularizing the algorithm for the chosen problem, designing and performing the numerical study, and analyzing the results.
- Project 2: Study of topological phases and phase transitions using tensor networks - The IIP intern will apply tensor network algorithms to the study of topological phases and their excitations. This can in particular include models obtained by adding fields to existing models, and the investigation of the topological phase transition between these models. The student will learn basics of topologically ordered phases, as well as the use of tensor network methods, in particular Matrix Product States (MPS) and Projected Entangled Pair States (PEPS). This project will require a combination of analytical and numerical skills.
- Project 3: Computational complexity of physical problems - Computational complexity addresses the difficulty of physical problems. In this project, the student will study how to relate existing complexity results, in particular for the computation of the ground state energy to polynomial accuracy, with physically relevant problems such as the computation of correlation functions, expectation values of local observables, or response functions. This project is very mathematically oriented, as it crucially depends on rigorous error bounds for all approximations used.
Projects in Prof. Bloch’s group (Quantum Many-Body systems): Since 2008, Prof. Immanuel Bloch is Scientific Director of the Quantum Many-Body Systems division at MPQ. With his research, Immanuel Bloch has opened a new and interdisciplinary research field at the interface of quantum physics, quantum information science, atomic- molecular- and condensed matter physics. With the help of ultracold atoms in optical lattices, the vision of physics Nobel prize winner Richard Feynman, i.e. a quantum simulator for studying complex quantum matter, has become reality today.
- Project 1: Setup of diode laser systems for laser cooling & trapping - The IIP interns will learn how to build a diode laser systems including spectroscopy and frequency control that will later be used for laser cooling and trapping of ultracold atoms. The students will learn the basics of frequency control of a laser system, including the control electronics and feedback system. This also includes fundamentals of laser optics and optical modulation techniques.
- Project 2: Light intensity control system - The IIP intern will learn the basics of light detection, and optical modulators to implement a feedback control system for optical power stabilization used in optical dipole traps for ultra cold atoms. Basic signal analysis as well as some electronics techniques will be used to explore quantum mechanical limits in optical power detection and optimal feedback control.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in quantum physics, quantum information, Many-Body Theory,and elementary atomic physics are encouraged to apply. Basic computer programming skills are required. Upper level physics courses are strongly recommended.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Merchant GMAT(IIP-IN Argentina | Puentes Abroad)
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
About: Merchant GMAT strives to help young professionals achieve their goal of attending a top MBA program in the United States or Europe. Merchant GMAT offers private GMAT instruction and admissions consulting.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on marketing expansion, community management or market/industry research. The IIP intern with the Marketing Expansion team will work directly with the company founder to develop and implement a marketing strategy for expanding online to Europe and the US. The intern will conduct research on the existing players in the markets, will make recommendations for Merchant GMAT’s entry strategy, and will propose a plan for expansion to Europe and the US. The IIP intern with the Community Management team will develop a social media marketing plan in order to enhance the company’s online presence and further engage potential clients. The IIP intern with the Market/Industry Research team will conduct an in depth market review on admissions consulting and prepare recommendations to Merchant GMAT for possible entry into the field.
Qualifications: IIP interns should be able to: manage tasks and projects; research and interpret data; analyze data and make decisions. IIP candidates should have a strong desire to learn new concepts and possess a curiosity for solving problems. IIP candidates with interests in marketing, advertising, education, and business are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of social media platforms would be an asset. Basic Spanish is recommended.
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
About: NRG Solutions is a renewable energy start-up looking for ways to empower people in Cambodia with clean energy solutions. NRG has two main areas of focus: They are starting to build a national distribution network for clean energy products and developing efficient appliances to reduce energy poverty in rural Cambodia and improve people’s lives by providing appropriate solutions. They also have an engineering team that tailors larger rooftop solutions to both urban and rural customers throughout the country. NRG has installed thirteen rooftop systems ranging from 300W-4KW, mostly in schools, clinics, hospitals, private homes, and other small businesses.
Intern responsibilities: IIP Interns will be contribute to the work of the IT team or the policy team.
IT Department IIP intern responsibilities:
- Building upon the work of previous IT interns and staff, this internship involves working with our existing management information system to add more functionality and allow us to use our date to improve quality of service. The intern's work will allow managers to assess trends and improve strategy.
- Part of this project will help develop a mobile user interface that will allow sales and technical teams to interact with the system while in the field. This will improve the amount and quality of data we can collect and help the teams with their day to day work. This position will work directly with both management and field staff to assess needs. Then, it will work independently to develop, test, and provide training to relevant stakeholders.
Policy Department IIP intern responsibilities:
- The intern would be a liaison between NRG Solutions and the Solar Energy Association of Cambodia. The intern would write papers that contribute to negotiating with the government to implement and improve policy that improves access to energy for millions of Cambodian families that do not have electricity. The position involves research, organizing meetings with members of the Association and other stakeholders, and writing and presenting proposals for better policy.
Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: I researched existing published policy on access to energy in Cambodia; Met with different levels of government to get updated information on policy and updates on implementation of policy and projects. Met with local and multinational organizations to understand challenges in current policy, and changes. Analyzed government structures and policy to advise on best ways for the private sector can have a larger say in the development of new policies and to create public-private partnerships to help with the implementation of this policy...I learned a great deal in a very short time given the unique nature of the startup. From my project, I learned how to conduct research in a foreign country (which is not as easy as going to Firestone), how to connect with government officials and how to understand the challenges and changes in renewable energy policy in a developing country. I think most of my learning has come in the form of interacting with colleagues/my supervisor in the office, with regard to how a startup or any business operates and how to delegate responsibilities and accomplish goals. Intern #2: I developed an app for the sales team here. It is for use during initial client visits, so that the team can record data efficiently, and give an immediate price estimate to the client. This will save the team the two weeks it takes them now to generate a quote from a handwritten report, both saving the team time and presenting a more professional service for the client. I advised NRG on choosing a client relations and sales management software to streamline their business processes. This involved comparing existing software in terms of price and functionality to help decide what best fits NRG's current and future needs. More importantly, I worked with NRG's head of business development to chart in detail the workflow and organizational structure of the business...I learned technical skills through building the app for NRG (this isn't really something Princeton teaches). I also learned a lot about the culture of a startup, and the dedication that it takes to make something truly great with limited financial resources...Culturally, I learned to be more patient: patient with my surroundings, because things don't always run entirely smoothly here, and patient with myself, because for as much as I'm learning, there's always more to learn. Intern #3: I was assigned a few projects: One potential project that I worked on aimed to replace the diesel generators in ten battery charging stations in rural communities. It was an application based process in which the project would be partially subsidized. However, the deadline was too soon and we weren't hearing back from our suppliers that we could not follow through with the project. In the end, I summarized our findings and design decisions in a report should the company pursue a similar type of project in the future. Then, I was assigned a new project - an off-grid solar system for a mobile container office. I presented the design in an initial proposal for this project. I also prepared energy consumption profiles. My next project was focusing on helping prevent overuse in the solar home kits. I tested batteries to find a correlation between voltage readings and state of charge/hours of use, and figured out which parameters of the charge controller to program in order to prevent overconsumption. Doing so would extend the life of these solar kits by several years and prevent customers from demanding replacement kits back when we had no way to prove that they were overusing it and killing the batteries. As a result, the new solar kits that they sell will provide a much more sustainable solution…Through these projects I learned a ton about how to properly size solar systems and significantly improved my skills in Excel. Intern #4: I was a business development intern. I worked to improve NRG's business operations/implement PAYG technology. I learned a lot about emerging solar technologies/business models and wrote a report on it.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: NRG Solutions|
NXTP Labs (IIP-IN Argentina | Puentes Abroad)
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
About: NXTP Labs is an early stage investment fund with an acceleration program. They focus on technology startups that are pursuing global or regional opportunities in Latin America. NXTP aims to provide seed funding, consulting services, hands-on advice, training and, most importantly, access to a top-notch network of mentors and entrepreneurs across Latin America, Europe and the US. With operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay, NXTP Labs is the most active early-stage fund for tech companies in Latin America. It has developed and implemented an innovative accelerating program which provides young entrepreneurs with seed funding plus infrastructure, training, mentoring and interactive marketing services. It also assists entrepreneurs with the plan, the prototype, the business system, the marketing and the growth strategy.
Intern Responsibilities: The Investment Research Analyst will conduct research on technology startup companies that are applying to be a part of NXTP’s accelerator program. Research will focus on key investment considerations, such as market analysis, impact potential, stakeholders, and product feasibility. The intern will prepare investment briefs to share with the selection committee in order to help guide decisions on which startups are invited to participate in the accelerator program. The Communications Intern will work on marketing and communications projects in order to promote NXTP’s work in the Latin America region. A focus will be placed on social media, online marketing, and outreach to potential partners in the countries in which NXTP works. The Event Management Intern will help to conceptualize, plan, and implement events on startups, technology, and investment in Latin America.
Qualifications: IIP candidates interested in startups, technology, and entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply. Experience in marketing, economics, and engineering would be an asset. Basic Spanish is recommended.
Queen's University Belfast
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
About: Queen's University Belfast is part of the prestigious Russell Group of the UK's 24 leading research intensive universities. Their world-class researchers carry out internationally leading research, with Queen's placed joint 8th in the UK for research intensity. The UK's ninth oldest university, Queen's was founded as Queen’s College in 1845, and can trace its roots as far back as 1810. With more 170 years of heritage, Queen's University Belfast combines an international reputation for academic excellence with a life-changing student experience and a culture of innovation. Queen's prides itself on the quality of its academic leadership, with a united team of academics and professional services directorates working together to deliver its Vision.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following projects:
PROJECT 1: Position control for EV wireless charging - As a clean transportation, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. The charging of EV batteries is usually done through a plugged-in cable which is sometimes inconvenient. By contrast, wireless charging is much easier as it doesn’t involve any physical contact during the charging process. A car can be charged instantly once it is parked or on move. However, due the mechanism of wireless energy transmission, the energy transfer and receiver has to be properly aligned to achieve the maximum charging efficiency.
In this project, PID controllers for three dimensional charging position control platform will be developed. This is based on an existing wireless charging platform. It is expected to implement the control algorithm through Raspberry Pi or Arduino controller.The objectives of the project are:
- Become familiar with DC motor and stepper motor control, and PID controller.
- Become familiar with embedded programming.
- Embed three dimensional motor PID controllers.
- Develop local and remote motor position control.
- Validate remote control through both PC and raspberry Pi.
- Evaluate the charging efficiency under different charging positions.
PROJECT 2: Position control for EV wireless charging - With the resurgence in interest of VR (Virtual Reality) in recent years, largely due to new HMD (Head Mounted Display) technology, namely the Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE, Microsoft Hololens etc. visual aspects of technological advancement far outpace that of the input or interaction technology. Currently there are no large scale haptic devices for use with VR, most haptic devices have very small working volumes; an exception to this is the use of gloves. However, haptic gloves do not provide full force feedback, more commonly it is vibro-tactical. As most force feedback haptic devices are at their core a robotic arm.
A solution to this is to use a larger robot, this has its own concerns, such as safety and cost. We believe that the Baxter Robot provides a middle ground to these, it has two 7-DOF arms mounted on a single torso, is designed with safety in mind and due to these safety features, it can be operated without a cage and in close proximity to the user. We propose using the Baxter robot as an encounter haptic device. Encounter haptic systems need a form of input as the user is not attached to the device or robotic arm for positional data, for this we propose using the Vice tracking controller, which can track a user’s hands in 6-DOF.
Specifically, the objectives of this project are:
- Research and become familiar with the Baxtor, Vive and latest developments in the areas of haptics and VR.
- Become familiar with the current working system of Vive and Baxtor for encounter haptics.
- Design and develop a piece of hardware that can be held by Baxtor to deliver different haptics experiences to the user.
- Develop suitable VR content to allow the user to interact with surfaces of different textures.
Learning Outcomes: On completion of this project, you will have:
- A practical understanding of the Baxtor Robotic System and VR Vive device.
- A strong grasp of the behavior of tracking systems and haptics.
- A working knowledge of the performance/cost and trade-offs implicit in practical implementations and user testing.
PROJECT 3: Making sense of cancer data via deep learning - This project aims to use computers to make sense of a large set of medical data relating to types of cancer. A medical scientist would love to see the entire big picture what has changed in the patient compared to a normal human being without cancer. But since that analysis tool is not available, he cherry picks the genes he is interested in, and compares tumour and normal tissue. Ultimately we want to provide a better and more complete method using modern machine learning, such as deep learning.
The project will be suitable for a IIP intern with some computer programming experience and an interest in data science and/or life sciences. The project will be supervised for the duration of the internship.
PROJECT 4: Phase Estimation Algorithms for the “OpenPMU” Smart Grid sensor technology platform- Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) technology has become a mainstream tool of the power systems engineer. PMUs allow all manner of interesting phenomena to be analysed, from transmission system faults to power oscillations induced by wind farms. The OpenPMU project is concerned with the advancement of Phasor Measurement Unit technology for the purposes of academic research. In this project, a Python program will be written to convert streaming sample data (representing substation voltage/current waveforms) into their phasor representations. The IIP intern will subsequently add state-of-the-art quality assessment functions, comparing the phasor created with the waveform data that produced it. The IIP intern will be expected to communicate with research centres in USA/Sweden/Australia on this topic.
IIP candidates for this project should have a strong background in mathematics, and the ability to program in the Python language. An interest in signal processing would be preferred.
PROJECT 5: Memory system optimization of the Intel Xeon Phi Knights Landing - The organization of modern computers is becoming increasingly complex. One key component of computers, the memory system, has multiple levels of hardware caches. While hardware caches are typically oblivious to programmers (programmers typically do not think about how efficiently caches are used when writing software), the recently introduced Xeon Phi Knights Landing has an additional cache level that can be managed explicitly in software. This opens opportunities to significantly enhance the performance of the cache by using application-specific knowledge.
This project will explore software management of the die-stacked eDRAM cache of the Xeon Phi Knights Landing processor. The project will investigate stencil computations, a class of algorithms used widely in scientific computing to calculate how physical quantities such as heat and air pressure evolve over time. Such algorithms are predictable enough such that caches can be managed by software. The goal of the project is to explore policies and techniques to move data between the eDRAM cache and main memory in order to increase performance. The aim is to outperform the standard, application-agnostic policy implemented in hardware. During this project, you will learn about software optimisation, the performance characteristics of memory systems such as memory locality and how they are affected by program structure.
PROJECT 6: OpenCL machine - A p-code machine (pmachine) is a program which simulates the execution of a simple processor, typically providing basic arithmetic and control flow instructions (p-code). OpenCL is a programming approach/library which permits program functions (kernels) to be executed in parallel on accelerators such as GPUs. The purpose of this project is to investigate the use of a p-code machine running on a GPU to see whether good performance can be combined with some of the other benefits of this approach.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in electrical engineering, computer science and mathematics are encouraged to apply. Technical skills in C/C++, Python and/or Open CL would be an asset.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Queen's University Belfast|
Location: Munich, Germany
About: ReActive Robotics is a startup company that develops robotics which provide early movement rehabilitation for patients after a neurological injury or an orthopedic surgery. Concretely, ReActive Robotics is building a robot that can attach to a patient’s ICU bed and help him or her to perform crucial rehabilitation. Therapy is brought to the patient rather than transferring the patient onto a separate therapy device: because the patient remains in bed, the device can be deployed as early as 48 hours after injury, directly in the ICU. This very early mobilization (VEM) therapy that has been clinically proven to help patients recover faster and reduce their time in the ICU. Their team works on almost all aspects of product development: from mechanical design and software programming, to business strategy and an extensive quality control regime. IIP interns will have the opportunity to see the product certification process up close, and to have a direct and measurable impact on the company.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one or more of the following three projects:
- Project 1: Automatic Adaption System - Assisting Control Engineers on Implementation
ReActive Robotic's robot guides and assists the patient to perform a step-like walking movement by attaching to their knee through an orthosis and moving their knee along the desired trajectory. The current version of the robot requires the therapist to attach the knee orthosis in the correct position and to measure and input certain patient dimensions (e.g. shin and thigh length). The goal is to automate this process in order to optimize the therapist’s time and allow them to treat more patients. The IIP intern will work with our control engineers to implement an automatic adaptation system that autonomously adjusts our robot’s knee orthosis to the patient’s physiology, and obtains the required measurements. This auto-adaptation system will be designed from scratch and the IIP intern will have the opportunity to influence the approach taken.
- Project 2: Automatic Adaption System - Assisting Hardware Engineers to Complete Initial Mechanical Design
ReActive Robotic's robot guides and assists the patient to perform a step-like walking movement by attaching to their knee through an orthosis and moving their knee along the desired trajectory. The current version of the robot requires the therapist to attach the knee orthosis in the correct position and to measure and input certain patient dimensions (e.g. shin and thigh length). The goal is to automate this process in order to optimize the therapist’s time and allow them to treat more patients. The IIP intern will work with our hardware engineers to complete the initial mechanical design (using CAD) of an automatic adaptation system that autonomously adjusts our robot’s knee orthosis to the patient’s physiology. This auto-adaptation system will be designed from scratch and the IIP intern will have the opportunity to influence the approach taken.
- Project 3: Graphic User Interface
This project consists of developing and improving an existing Graphical User Interface (GUI) used by ICU therapists to perform therapy using the robot. The IIP intern will implement the GUI in consultation with our multidisciplinary software team, balancing usability needs with established safety requirements.
- Project 4: Market Development Research
The IIP intern will work with our CEO to perform market development research for a medical device in the US. ReActive Robotic's current market is Europe and they are working towards obtaining product certification in the EU. The IIP intern will investigate the potential market for our device in the US, identifying where it should be marketed and researching the initial steps required to obtain certification.
Qualifications: German language skills are not required for the job, the work is conducted in English. However, German might be useful for the intern’s social life outside of the lab and during lunch, breaks etc at the lab.
- Project 1: IIP candidates with interest in mechanical and aerospace engineering or electrical engineering, as well as, an interest in automatic control are encouraged to apply. Coursework in MAE-433 (Automatic control systems) would be an asset. IIP candidates should also have familiarity with frequency-domain control approaches (PID controllers, transfer functions etc.). Experience in object-oriented programming (ideally C++) would also be an asset.
- Project 2: IIP candidates with interest in mechanical and aerospace engineering and specifically mechanical design are encouraged to apply. Experience using a CAD program (such as SolidWorks) would be an asset, but is not required.
- Project 3: IIP candidates with interests in computer science are encouraged to apply. Experience in media design and computer/human interaction would be an asset. Experience in object-oriented programming is required (ideally experience in C++ and Python).
- Project 4: IIP candidates with interest and experience in business and marketing are encouraged to apply. Experience in the U.S. health care industry would be an asset.
Stiftung Solarenergie Philippines
Location: Manila, Philippines
About: Stiftung Solarenergie (StS) Philippines is a social enterprise organization that strives to combat rural poverty by providing all off-grid villages with access to innovative technology solutions powered by solar energy. This placement provides IIP interns with the opportunity to understand how social enterprises work. One in four Filipinos lack access to electricity. The vast majority of these 25 million individuals live in isolated coastal and mountainous regions across the country. The mission of Stiftung Solarenergie (StS) Philippines is to combat rural poverty by providing all off-grid villages with access to innovative technology solutions powered by solar energy. StS Philippines is engaged in illuminating off-grid households via solar home lighting systems, installing community-level solar applications such as computer labs and water pumps, empowering beneficiaries through education and capacity building, and mobilizing citizen-sector support for efforts to eradicate energy poverty. As a social enterprise, our approach is inherently hybrid in nature. The company catalyzes change by leveraging both market-based as well as philanthropic resources, working in tandem with social businesses and community-based organizations to ensure sustainable impact at the grassroots level.
StS Philippines is at a crucial stage of its evolution. We continue to pilot with new products and systems while replicating and scaling up successful innovations. Interns will join a dynamic working environment in which they will assume significant responsibilities and gain the opportunity to support ongoing community development work at the grassroots level.
Intern Responsibilities: Summer internships directly support our mission of empowering rural communities through the deployment of solar solutions. Typical projects include:
- Marketing and communications: Improving website, editing video testimonials, preparing program brochures and fundraising materials/grant applications, preparing training materials
- Impact assessment: executing solar user forums and surveys, preparing impact assessment reports
- Product assessment and deployment: assessing and summarizing technical performance of new solar products, developing new solutions and product packages, deploying products in field and conducting user feedback sessions
- Financial analysis: Updating business plans
- Partner and donor database management: Building and updating community partner and donor databases
- Market research/mapping: Updating electrification data and maps (households, schools, clinics, etc without electricity), preparing additional GIS mapping data sets (e.g., health, poverty, water availability, etc), building GPS system for tracking solar deployments
- Supporting programs and campaigns: Over the summer, the interns will support and participate in active programs (e.g., Light for Education, Light for Health, Light for Life, etc) and campaigns (e.g., Sail for Light, Dive for Light, etc).
- Preparation of training materials and operations manuals: The interns will help develop and write training materials and operations manuals that will be utilized for training our partners and scaling up.
Qualifications: IIP candidates interested in economic and community development, environment, technology and social enterprises are encouraged to apply. Online media, graphic design, and video editing skills would be an asset but are not required.
Previous work experiences (in the words of previous IIP interns): Intern #1: Dealt with mapping out unelectrification for regions of Philippines to prioritize company strategy for regions to target; Piloted and configured new solar unit product to aid in diversification of solar product portfolio; eventually demoed solar products. Intern #2: I worked on the Light for Health program, which aims at providing solar energy to birthing centers in rural areas. I created an excel sheet where I input all the information from clinics who want to participate in the program, as well as NGOs and local government units that have recommended them. I worked on creating the program manual, where consecutive stages of the process are described in detail. I was asked to help with technical calculations for a solar electric system which the Department of Education has requested from the organization for computer labs they want to introduce at 6000 schools in the country. I ended up consulting the calculations, adjusting them, and sitting through the meeting with the Department's representatives, which was an amazing experience. I learned quite a bit about how a social venture functions in a developing country, and how much work is required on the community level to make the foundation's work sustainable. Intern #3: I created infographic materials for solar hub; created operations manual for solar hub and evaluated solar hub sites. I also created all of the forms and guidelines for this new section to run and function. Through this experience, I learned startup logistics, form creation and business modeling.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Stiftung Solarenergie, Philippines|
Tsinghua University, Department of Precision Instrumentation and Mechanology
Location: Beijing, China
About: The Department of Precision Instruments and Mechanology (DPIM) originated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Tsinghua University, which was founded in 1932. The department is one of the earliest engineering discipline departments in China, mainly engaged in talent cultivation and scientific research in the field of advanced manufacturing, including Mechanical Engineering, Optical Engineering, and Instrument Science and Technology. Upholding Tsinghua University’s mission to “cultivate talents with a sound character of state and social services,” the DPIM always treats talent cultivation as its primary task, with the aim of cultivating outstanding “research, managerial, innovative, international” personnel in advanced manufacturing who master the trends of the times and pursue academic excellence.
Intern responsibilities: The IIP placement is within the Department of Precision Instruments and Mechanology and will focus on one of the following two projects:
- Observation on the velocity profile of blood flow in microchannel using micro-PIV system-The motion of the red blood cells (RBC) in microvascular is strongly dependent on time, flow and geometries, and the microfluidics provide a good platform to study the blood flow in complex geometries. In this study, a T-junction microchannel is to be designed and fabricated based on soft lithograph technology, to observe the red blood cells (RBC) motion in the daughter branches. The velocity profiles of the blood flow is to be measured by the micro-PIV system using the RBCs as tracers, and the effect of the size ratio of the daughter branches on the motion of the RBCs is to be investigated.
- Observation of the cavitation in a small glass venturi channel- The cavitating flow through a converging-diverging nozzle has important impacts on the engineering pipe flow and biomedical heart valves. To understand the cavitation of the liquid in small channels, a glass venturi shaped channel with the characteristic length of milllimeter is to be designed and fabricated. Using this device, the cavitation phenomenon is to be observed by a fast camera under the controlled driven pressures. Then the cavitation number and the effect of the liquid-solid interface are to be investigated.The IIP intern will participate in the experimental research related to microfluidic systems, and he/she will be responsible for the design and the proceeding of the experimental work.
Qualifications: This placement is ideal for candidates with interests in Mechanical Engineering, Fluid Dynamics, Bio Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. Experience and/or skills in technical drawing and common computer software, and basic experimental skills would be an asset.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of a past IIP intern): Researched pulsatile flow and steady flow of red blood cells in a bifurcating microchannel and their clotting effects. This included designing the experimental setup, acquiring the necessary equipment and blood, fabricating microdevices, and running experiments.
View a PowerPoint (.pdf) by a past IIP intern:
Tsinghua University Intern PowerPoint #1
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Tsinghua University|
University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters Institute of Complex System
Location: South Bohemia, Czech Republic
About: This project is part of the Biological Engineering Group in the Institute of Physical Biology. Brief background on the Group's main project: Frontiers of biology lie now in exact evaluation of biological processes, whether the field is called Systems Biology, Biological Engineering, or another name. There is currently discrepancy between processes observed in living cells, for example by microscopy, and models that are based mainly on biochemical observations--that is, interactions of proteins and metabolites extracted from the cell culture and examined in the test tube. There are many examples of non-homogeneous behavior in cells that have essential functional meaning and may be crucial for discrimination between living and non-living matter. In contrast to the prevalent approach the Group examines the macroscopic properties of cells and uses a stochastic systems approach from control engineering for model building. For that a new mathematical method of point information contribution and point information entropy hsa been developed, which is implemented into software used for evaluation of processes in living cells.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns may choose from a few existing projects or projects that align with the intern’s own interests may be arranged. Projects will include work in one or more of the following areas:
- Reconstruction of the living cells using optical microscopy in transmitted light and atomic force microscopy- This project will help IIP interns become acquainted with such microscopy techniques like atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical microscopy. IIP interns will prepare on their own samples with lving cells for AFM imaging. Partakers will have an opportunity to work in the force spectroscopy mode in order to get information about mechanical properties and topology of different cell lines and to work with an optical microscope to obtain information on the cell interior. Also, the IIP intern will be introduced to image processing techniques based on information entropy approach. The aim of this project is to cultivate and fix cells, get images, perform image processing and reconstruction.
- Testing microscopes and algorithms developed at the ICS, tracking organelles- Their lab has developed an algorithm for 3D modelling and tracking of cell organelles and their images by an optical system of a transmission light microscope. The goal of this project is to develop and use 3D polygraphy for printing mass models of these organelles and their images by the microscope and find the trajectory of organelles' movement. The project aim is to develop a method of 3D polygraphy for printing mass models of cell organelles and draw the trajectories of moveable organelles.
- Fish school behavior in five information dimensions- Fish behavior is a prototype for behavior of higher organism. Upon their analysis, numerous extrapolations are made for fields as distant as robotics and human psychology.
Qualifications: Candidates should have an academic background in experimental or theoretical physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, informatics, or mechanical, chemical, or electrical engineering. Basic chemical or biological laboratory skills, teamwork skills and computer knowledge are recommended.
Previous work experiences (in the words of the past IIP interns): Intern #1: I tested and calibrated microscope equipment to determine its optimal functional limits; analyzed data from these tests using the lab's computational analysis protocols; and made a final poster and presentation. Intern #2: I worked on protein crystallization and atomic force microscopy (AFM) of living cells, particularly osteosarcoma cells, strain MG-62, and mice fibroblasts, strain L929. With protein crystallization, I prepared lysozyme crystals by trying out two different methods -- sitting drop and microseeding -- and successfully yielded crystals. I tried to find a way to adhere the crystals to the microscope slide so the sample does not move when it is being scanned. I contacted with a professor from NASA in order to figure out what materials he used so that I can replicate his experiment where he successfully held the protein in place. With atomic force microscopy, I was trained on using the machinery and how the images can be used to determine biochemical processes that are occurring within the cell. This can be used to determine whether or not a cell is at risk of certain diseases, especially cancer. I also learned to cultivate cells and immobilize them for scanning by AFM. I was trained in using the machinery and using it to take elasticity measurements of the cell. I used this information to determine which cells were most compatible with which substrate, which helped determine what material something should be made out of for permanent insertion into the body. In the end, I presented my project on a PowerPoint and created a poster for future displays.
View a PowerPoint presentation by a past intern:
University of South Bohemia Intern #1
University of South Bohemia Intern #2
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: University of South Bohemia, Institute for Physical Biology|