From your average freshman to a sophomore with valuable experience in performing his own research and supercomputing, Aubrey has had a productive summer thanks to his internship as a part of the SPIN Program at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
What made you want to apply for the SPIN program?
The first appeal was obviously getting to say that I work for NCSA. This made me look at the program in the first place, but after I looked at some of the projects (specifically the one in which I am involved) I became much more interested.
What are you researching?
I am researching Dedekind numbers and the algorithms involving them. Dedekind numbers describe many things, but primarily they count the number of monotone Boolean functions given a set of input variables. The theory behind Dedekind numbers delves deeply into mathematics and the challenge of writing efficient, clever algorithms meshes nicely with HPC.
How is this internship unique? What opportunities and experiences are you gaining from this program that you wouldn’t be able to elsewhere?
I feel the internship is unique in its freedom. Talking to friends who work for tech companies, I get the sense that they don't get to pursue their own interests, but rather their mentor's. I feel like I can make this project my own and personalize the research. In addition, I got funding to present my research, at another research internship I never would have gotten this chance.
Do you have any words of advice or wisdom to those who are thinking about applying for the SPIN program?
Foremost I would suggest meeting with the mentor you are interested in. Meeting with Dr. Ludaescher helped me decide that I wanted to join SPIN. I would also recommend starting to research your project before accepting the internship. They are very interesting and it motivated me to work even harder.
So at the end of the day, why SPIN?
Why SPIN? There are so many reasons, but the best one is the atmosphere. All the people I have met are genuinely motivated and care about their projects. I love being surrounded by such ambitious people. It's a great program with amazing students.