Balancing sea, sun, and science
Summer interns at the Research Lab in Haifa experience life as IBMers
As summer winds down in the US, some students are getting ready to hit the books after doing more this summer than just hanging out at the beach or constantly updating their status on their favorite social network. Fourteen summer interns at the IBM Research Lab in Haifa have been working on a wide variety of projects, from formal verification to social media to speech technology.
The Haifa interns are a pretty diverse bunch. Most are first-time interns at IBM, while others have worked at the company before. Many are grad students, but a few are undergraduates. Half of the interns are students at Israeli universities, while others study at top technical schools in Scotland, the US, Lithuania, Romania, and Russia. One thing they all have in common is excitement about the opportunity to work in IBM.
"The Haifa lab is a fascinating place," explained Debapriya Chatterjee, a student from India working this summer on a simulation-based verification solution for Power 8. "It's one of the best IBM Research labs in the world. You get to do real work here on something that really matters. That challenges me a lot."
Let's meet some interns
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology working this summer in the Formal Technologies and Solutions group in the Haifa lab. "I'm a bit of a strange bird among the interns, since most of them are single and in their twenties," she admits. Yael worked at Mellanox for nearly ten years following her B.Sc. studies in the Technion. When not working, studying, or raising her two children, she and her husband love to travel, in Israel and abroad. Her best recent trip experience: whitewater rafting in Ethiopia.Yael Meller is a 36-year-old PhD student at the
A 26-year-old from Kolkata, India, Debapriya (or DPC, as he is sometimes called) is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. As an undergraduate, he studied at the Indian Institute of Technology. An avid hiker and cyclist, DPC has been exploring Israel on weekends during his internship. "I've had a great time so far, visiting Rosh Hanikra, Caesarea, and Tel Aviv," he said. What does he miss most about India? "Playing cricket in the street. That doesn't really happen here."
Kęstutis Dalinkevičius and Evaldas Vaičiukynas are two Lithuanian students working on healthcare projects as part of their internships in Haifa. Kęstutis, 22, is studying for his B.Sc. at Vilnius University, while Evaldas, 29, is a PhD candidate at the Kaunas University of Technology. A musician, Evaldas loves singing and playing guitar. He plays djambe and percussion for his band Longitudes as well. In Israel, Evaldas likes the nearby mountains in Mt. Carmel National Park best. Kęstutis is having a great time in Israel too, visiting the sites and learning more about the country. "Every where you look in Israel, you see history," he said. They both feel very fortunate to be at IBM this summer. As the company expands its involvement in Lithuania, they feel certain that many more students from the Eastern European country will seek out internships at IBM Research in the future.
Interning in Haifa
IBM Research – Haifa has hosted between 10 and 20 summer interns for many years. For the interns, working at IBM Research is a terrific opportunity. They get a chance to team up with world-class researchers on a variety of projects, while performing core research as well as development tasks.
Efrat Barnea, the IBM R&D labs recruitment leader in Israel, noted that the summer internship program is vital for students as well as for IBM.
"The program allows top students who can't work at the lab during the academic year to join us full time for three months," Barnea explained. "It's also a great opportunity for Israeli students studying abroad to combine a high-quality internship with a summer visit back home. In return, we get to hire brilliant, creative, and enthusiastic people that may recommend IBM to their friends or even become interested in employment at IBM when they graduate."
Intern Simone Rollini from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland perhaps summed it up best.
"It's a very good research environment here," he noted. "And there's the Mediterranean sea, nice people, good food, the sun – believe me, I'm glad to be here."