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20 Illinois undergrads selected for internships with NCSA

Fifteen University of Illinois undergraduate students have been selected for 2013-2014 internships at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), while five students will continue projects they began last year.

These talented undergraduates were selected through NCSA’s SPIN (Students Pushing Innovation) program. After an August open house at NCSA, interested students submitted proposals describing projects they would like to pursue with support from mentors on the NCSA staff. The following students were selected for these paid internships:

  • Kirthi Banothu, Electrical and Computer Engineering, is exploring the use of Apache Hadoop and the Campus Cluster. Mentor: Martin Biernat (Collaborative eScience)
  • Lauren Blackburn, Graphic Design, is exploring visualization techniques for analyzing precision farming data and medical information. Mentor: Colleen Bushell (Visual Analytics)
  • Chelsey B. Coombs, Molecular and Cellular Biology, is creating a middle school and high school engagement program for K-12 students who visit NCSA. Mentor: Trish Barker (Public Affairs)
  • Shunhua Fu, Computer Science, is developing a mobile port and GUIs for visualization and investigating the optimization of 4K compression and rendering. Mentor: Donna Cox (Advanced Visualization Laboratory)
  • Shubham Gupta, Computer Engineering, is working on integrating 3D gesture recognition into Virtual Director using Leap Motion. Mentor: Donna Cox (Advanced Visualization Laboratory)
  • JunYoung Gwak, Computer Science, is working on computer vision techniques to automatically detect and track movement in construction sites. Mentor: Kenton McHenry (Image and Spatial Data Analysis)
  • Yong Won Hong, Statistics, is studying motion detection and the meaning of motion for use in human-computer interaction. Mentor: Guy Garnett (Illinois Informatics Institute)
  • Neville Jos, Computer Science and Physics, is developing a mobile app to monitor activity on the Blue Waters supercomputer. Mentor: Bill Kramer (Blue Waters)
  • Kevin (Hyung Shin) Lee, Mathematics and Economics, is studying the system reliability and resiliency of the Blue Waters supercomputer. Mentor: Bill Kramer (Blue Waters)
  • Colter Wehmeier, Architecture, is developing new digital workspaces and presentation techniques by integrating methods from various virtual environments. Mentor: Donna Cox (Advanced Visualization Laboratory)
  • Nathan Russell, Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, is working on data modeling and machine learning techniques applied to precision farming. Mentor: Colleen Bushell (Visual Analytics)
  • Rashad Russell, Computer Science, is exploring emerging technologies to push the limits of the web. Mentor: Luigi Marini (Image and Spatial Data Analysis Division)
  • Gil Shohet, Aerospace Engineering, is working on data analytics for understanding big data, including analysis of GPS information. Mentor: Michael Welge (Visual Analytics)
  • Stacie Sansone, Graphic Design, is working on information design and interface concepts for communicating complex data. Mentor: Lisa Gatzke (Visual Analytics)
  • Alexander Zahdeh, Computer Science, is evaluating new technologies in high-performance computing environments. Mentor: Peter Enstrom (XSEDE)

Five students who began SPIN internships last spring are continuing their work with NCSA this year.

  • Nikoli Joseph Dryden, Computer Science, is working on improving the stability and scalability of PGDB, a parallel debugger for MPI applications. Mentor: Peter Enstrom (XSEDE)
  • Kiersten N. Jabusch, Illinois Informatics Institute, is working on mapping human body movement from a more stylistic perspective, for improving motion control technology. Mentor: Guy Garnett (Illinois Informatics Institute/eDream)
  • Jonathan Kirby, Computer Science, is working on logging and synchronization in Virtual Director. Mentor: Donna Cox (Advanced Visualization Laboratory)
  • Austin Lin, Theater, is exploring the convergence of performing arts and technology. Mentor: Donna Cox (Advanced Visualization Laboratory)
  • David Zmick, Computer Science, is working with GPU accelerators on Blue Waters, interactive visualizations with emerging input devices, and various other Private Sector Program projects. Mentor: Evan Burness (Private Sector Program)

All of the SPIN interns will present their projects at NCSA during the spring semester. For information on the SPIN program, see

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