Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Summer Research Projects on Campus

UC San Diego, regarded as one of the nation’s premier research universities, was named the “hottest” institution in the country for students to study science by Newsweek and the 2006 Kaplan/Newsweek College Guide. From engineering and chemistry and physics to biology and computer science, summer is a great season for students. They can get involved with individual professors doing all kinds of cool research projects. Students' summer experiences often lead to publications in scientific journals, nice resume additions and boosts toward getting into top graduate schools. For example, this summer undergraduate Ted Sanders will be doing research on solar power with an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor. Sanders will be funded by the Calit2 summer research scholarship. More specifically, he will be doing computer modeling and simulation of solar cells that use nanotechnology to be more efficient (quantum well solar cells).
Other students are working to bring a Greenline shuttle bus online that will use only biodiesel fuel. Actually, UC San Diego undergrads will be involved in many “sustainability” projects on and off campus this summer. This kind of “green” action-oriented topic area is increasingly popular among UC San Diego students and I can give you more examples if you’re interested.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Students, Teams, Engineering, Service

The engineering school at UC San Diego is the largest in the 10-campus University of California system and we are most pleased with its TIES (Teams in Engineering Service) program. Students this summer will have nine projects to choose from to gain practical experiences while serving their community in the TIES program, which has a strong academic component, too. Student teams design, build, and deploy technology solutions for San Diego non-profit organizations. Projects range from sensor-based smart furnishings for seniors in an assisted living community to adapted toys for children with cerebral palsy.

Team Internship Program in Engineering

One of the first of its kind in the country, the Jacobs School of Engineering’s signature "Team Internship Program" sends multi-disciplinary teams of students into industry to address engineering projects devised by 16 Southern California companies. Teams of 3-5 students are paid full-time salaries for 10-12 week stints, and many are offered permanent positions after graduation.

Calit2 Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars

The Calit2 Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars program is in its eighth year. Roughly 30 juniors and seniors to get $5K to work full-time in a research lab all summer on interdisciplinary projects ranging from computer science and cognitive science, to arts, physics, and biology. This is often the student's first real experience doing research. For incoming seniors, these experiences can help them decide whether they want to go on to graduate school, go into industry research, or do something totally different.

International Relations and Pacific Studies

UC San Diego is home to the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), which is ranked by the journal Foreign Policy as one of the top ten schools in the country for studying foreign affairs and public policy.
One student, Matt Hill, was an IR/PS student who took advantage of an internship in Malaysia. After he graduated from the program, he went to work in China to set up operations for a computer software company. He is currently a “rest of the world” recruiter for Qualcomm and uses his international experience every day, working with colleagues around the world.

Studying abroad is an integral part of the IR/PS student experience and each summer, students travel around the world to work with businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. From these internships, students have started preschools in Latin America, developed economic models in third world countries and fought AIDS in Africa. These unpaid internships, although not required, are an important step toward developing students’ knowledge of other countries, gaining real-world experience and working toward professional goals. For many students, these internships play an important role in getting hired after graduation.

Summer Internships at Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Students considering a career in oceanography, education, environmental advocacy or other sciences benefit from a summer internship at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The students guide children ages 4-15 as they explore the wonders of the ocean during classroom and field programs as part of the aquarium’s Summer Learning Adventures program. The interns acquire lots of communication skills as well as valuable experience with professionals in science education.

Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program

Perhaps the most novel summer program at UC San Diego is our Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program. Going into its fifth year, the program is funded by Calit2 and the National Science Foundation through a consortium called the Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA), which promotes links between cyberinfrastructure-related labs in the U.S. and various Pacific Rim countries.Roughly 10 students spend the summer at a host site in Australia, Japan, Taiwan or China, after learning some essential software, cultural or language during the spring quarter at UCSD.

The program is open to students from any discipline, but they must work on projects that are related to cyberinfrastructure and applications that run on grid computing and networking systems. Students last summer worked on a wide array of topics ranging from the search for candidate drugs to treat avian influenza, to new algorithms for large-scale visualization of scientific data. Peter Arzberger, Director, UCSD Life Science Initiative and a senior researcher at Calit2, is co-PI on the PRIME project and PI on PRAGMA, and can explain how the summer experience abroad equips students with the skills and international insight to do research in a global economy.
Media Contact: Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825