Globus Labs Participates in Two Student Summer Lab Programs

August 03, 2021   |  Susan Tussy

 Helping to Prepare our Researchers of Tomorrow

Over the past few years Globus Labs has participated in two student summer lab programs at the University of Chicago - the Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) Summer Lab Program, and the BigDataX Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, which is funded by the NSF. This year the two programs include 65 students, and five of the students are working with Globus Labs. 

The 10-week paid CDAC Summer Lab, led by Kyle Chard, a Research Assistant Professor and co-lead of Globus Labs, along with co-leaders Julia Lane, David Uminsky, and Katie Rosengarten, is intended to broaden participation in data science and computing. Students work across diverse fields and combine data and computer science with scientific exploration and real-world environments. The program is designed to be an inclusive environment - drawing from all backgrounds, where students gain hands-on experience and build data science skills for future generations as data scientists to positively impact the world. This year’s CDAC program with 55 students, while still held virtually, is the largest cohort ever.

Students are paired with a mentor from a broad range of fields, including sociology, astronomy, and molecular engineering, physics and medicine.  Students are assigned a project and given an opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to work as a researcher. They attend lectures from people at the top of their field, prepare papers and posters and get exposure to cutting-edge research.  Over the course of the last few years, the program has grown in popularity, and has drawn an amazing set of candidates from across the country.

One student, Aarthi Koripelly, first joined while still a Junior in High School. During her first year she was involved in automating real-time experiment analysis, and worked on a project to speed up the process of determining whether images from an electron microscope were out of focus or not. She was exposed to cutting-edge technologies like Globus Flows, and learned how new technologies like those from Globus can make a research process more efficient.

Aarthi found the program so worthwhile that she joined for a second year, where she worked on a Natural Language Processing model to extract text focused on chemistry and polymer science, and used Parsl from Globus Labs to do so. (Parsl is designed to enable straightforward parallelism and orchestration of asynchronous tasks into dataflow-based workflows.)  

The poster for Aarhti’s work from the program was entered into the ACM Supercomputing student research competition, where her poster was nominated for the best undergraduate poster, and she was a semi-finalist.

“My participation in CDAC and my work with Globus Labs has been a wonderful experience for me,” Aarthi said.. “I especially liked the fact that there were so many learning opportunities across many specializations. Plus, I really enjoyed the mentoring, the real-world opportunities to create posters, papers and having the ability to learn from professionals about different careers.” 

“The CDAC summer lab attracts an amazing set of students like Aarti, who make real contributions to our projects. I am delighted to be a part of this program and be able to mentor some of our most promising data scientists of tomorrow.” states Kyle Chard.


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