Summer Research Opportunity at U Utah

Applications are now open from undergraduate students (US Citizens, Permanent Residents) at all levels to be selected to this 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates summer internship sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be held at the Kahlert School of Computing, University of Utah, from June 1st till August 10th, 2023, in the beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah – nestled amidst the Wasatch Mountains.

We call this REU site ‘‘TREU’’ because of its emphasis on Trust (How do we rely on the computed results?) and Reproducibility (Can others replicate either the experimental outcomes of an HPC simulation or an ML classification activity?).

We will introduce our trainees to the basics of many exciting and crucially important computer science research areas, demonstrating through actual examples how trust and reproducibility are enhanced, and how correctness verification is performed to eliminate software defects. For example:

  • We will introduce the basics of High-performance Computing (HPC), including how numerical algorithms are specified conveniently using Jupyter notebooks and submitted to a supercomputer.
  • We will introduce trainees to the process by which Chest X-Rays are classified by machine learning (ML) systems. They will be able to practice these skills using ML training systems that are driven by Jupyter notebook-based scripts.
  • We will demonstrate advanced wireless networking in the context of Utah’s POWDER project. In particular, the strength of signals coming from wireless transmitters mounted on campus buses will be monitored.
  • In the context of all these projects, we will point out how trust, reproducibility and verifiability are enhanced.

In a broader sense, HPC is fundamental to grand-challenge issues ranging from Climate Research to Fighting Pandemics. ML plays a pivotal role in our day-to-day lives including in applications such as Medical Diagnosis from MRI Images to Self-Driving Cars. ML also reduces or eliminates hours of HPC simulations by taking decisions based on data rather than first-principle computations. Computer Networking is fundamental to the connected society as well as the smart devices that will be in our pockets or in our cars, and ``talk to each other,’’ with us ensuring the security and integrity of the communicated data.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC), we will fly out the selected REU trainees to Utah, house them in our wonderful on-campus housing, pay all room and board, and on top of it, pay a stipend of $7,200 per student for giving us their time and attention to be trained not only in the aforesaid technical priority areas but also the connected and important societal skills that include ethics, inclusivity, and microaggression management. There will be plenty of hands-on research projects, cohort-building activities, and (last but not least) fun social activities.


What’ll be the role of Julia in this?

Some of the tutorial notebooks are in Julia, and at least one of the research projects involved uses Julia: Finch, a DSL for solving PDEs.

If a participant wants to bring more Julia into the mix, I’m sure that would be welcome!

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