Internship program
Summer Undergraduate Research Internship
in Computer Science
@ the University of California, Irvine

We welcome applications for a newly launched summer undergraduate research internship program at the UC Irvine Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences. Selected students will get an opportunity to visit UCI during the summer of 2015 and spend roughly 8-10 weeks working with faculty on exciting research projects. Projects are expected to cover a wide variety of topics including artificial intelligence, data management, embedded systems and architecture, machine learning, networking, systems and software, secure computing, and theoretical computer science.

Who should apply?
The internships are open to both domestic and international students enrolled in an undergraduate Computer Science program (or related field) who are currently in their junior or senior year. (In exceptional cases, recent graduates also will be considered). The internships are suitable for highly motivated undergraduate students, potentially interested in exploring doctoral studies, who wish to gain valuable research experience. It is especially well suited for students considering UCI as a possible destination for their doctoral study. The internship provides an opportunity for students to visit UCI, discover the charm of Southern California, get to know our faculty, and participate in research projects that are changing the computing landscape.

How many internships are available?
We expect to have 8-10 internship positions. The program will cover travel expenses to/from Irvine, and interns will have the opportunity of earning up to $450 a week to cover living expenses.

What types of research projects will I work on?
Click here for examples of research projects available through this internship program.

  • Offered by Bren Professor Michael Carey:

    AsterixDB is an open source BDMS (Big Data Management System) developed over a 4-year period at UC Irvine and UC Riverside. It has a rich feature set, managing as well as querying/analyzing data, that distinguishes it from the other Big Data platforms available in the open source world today. Its feature set makes it well-suited to modern uses such as web data warehousing or social data storage and analysis. AsterixDB has a semistructured NoSQL style data model (ADM), a declarative query language (AQL), and is designed to run on large "shared nothing" clusters like those powering Google, Facebook, and other big web companies. It has a novel storage architecture that supports fast data ingestion as well as efficient parallel queries, and has a number of other interesting features as well. The AsterixDB project has 1-2 positions for interns wishing to work with open source Big Data technologies. Possible projects include the development of flashy graphical administration and query monitoring tools (for which browser-based application development experience is needed), development of showcase applications (where the intern could perhaps provide their own idea for an application that utilize AsterixDB's spatial, temporal, and textual data support), or the development of a new component or policy manager for the system in cooperation with one of the team's graduate students (for which comfort with reading open source Java code, in a large code base, would be important). Interested interns are encouraged to download and test drive the system on their favorite Mac or Linux laptop in order to get a taste of what AsterixDB is all about.

  • Offered by Professor Michael Franz:

    We are developing a new way to automatically harden computer systems against cyber-attacks. Our techniques fundamentally improve the odds of defenders by equipping all computing systems with unique software. Like biological diversity curbs the spread of diseases, our artificial software diversity makes cyber-attacks costly and ineffective. Concretely, we are building a new compiler (on top of the industry-leading LLVM infrastructure) that does not just try to produce the fastest binary; instead it randomly transforms each program as it is produced. The resulting set of programs isn’t vulnerable to any one exploit. Our work has many implications at the OS and hardware level and is not just theoretical. You can go ahead and protect open source software simply by recompiling it.

    We don't expect you to have a lot of prior experience. You'll be working in team of half a dozen graduate students and post docs who offer lots of advice---all we ask is that you are motivated, disciplined, and know how to code.

    Project 1: Next-generation Cyber Defenses
    We are working to bring our compiler to new platforms, contribute our work back to the LLVM project, and develop new ways to randomize code. For example, you could help measure the security and performance on ARM systems or implement randomized function parameter shuffling. We are also working on new Control Flow Integrity (CFI) techniques that prevent attackers' code from executing. Specific projects are determined by the interns particular interests and skill sets.

    Project 2: Thinking Like an Attacker

    If you like to learn how to hack, reverse engineer or exploit vulnerabilities, this project is for you. We cannot evaluate the security of our research without trying to attack it---so we do exactly that. We build same kinds of attacks that are used in the wild today including return-oriented programming, JIT-spraying and side-channel attacks. Don't worry if you haven't developed exploits before, we'll help you find a project that matches your experience.

  • Offered by Chancellor's Professor Michael Goodrich:

    Algorithms are central to computing, and the Center for Algorithms and Theory of Computation is sponsoring summer internships to study paradigms and principles for the design and implementation of correct and efficient data structures and algorithms. Specific topics of interest include graph algorithms, randomized algorithms, geometric algorithms, and algorithms for computer security and privacy. We are looking for students with experience in algorithm design and analysis, ideally including proficiency with probability theory and combinatorics.

  • Offered by Professor Wayne Hayes:

    Professor Wayne Hayes works in the area of Computational Science, which means using computers to do science in the physical, biological, mathematical, and social sciences. Currently his projects include: the analysis of images of spiral galaxies; graph theory applied to biological networks; prediction of sea level rise due to global warming (in collaboration with NASA/JPL); applied numerical mathematics; all of which use parallel computation. Candidates will need to pass a test before being considered. More details can be found here.

  • Offered by Professor Sharad Mehrotra:

    With the proliferation of cloud computing, organizations and individuals are increasingly outsourcing their data management needs, leading to the problem of “loss of control” over one’s data. The Radicle project at UCI is taking a novel risk-based approach to secure data management in the cloud. In particular, we are developing revolutionary middleware solutions that selectively expose data based on balancing the benefit of such data exposure with the associated risks. An example of such a middleware is the CloudProtect system that sits between a user and web applications such as Picasa, DropBox, Google Drive, etc. The middleware intercepts the user’s interactions with the service, appropriately encrypts data when possible to support user’s security policies, and strikes a balance between service usability and security. The Radicle team is looking for 1 to 2 summer interns who are interested in contributing to the development of solutions for secure data management. This work could include building core component of CloudProtect, extending the nature of policies supported, hardening the software for broader release, incorporating new cloud-based services, conducting user studies using the software, etc.

Will the entire internship program focus on research?
While the program emphasizes research experience, it will include social activities so interns get to know one another and experience some of what Southern California has to offer.

How do I apply?
You may apply online at https://recruit.ap.uci.edu/apply/JPF02710; you must create an account to access the application and submit the required information, which includes your transcript(s), two letters of recommendation and a short personal statement. We will begin looking at applicants December 15th. Depending upon the level of interest and the number of qualified students we can find, we may have a second round selection on February 15th. If you miss the first deadline, we still encourage you to apply for the second deadline.

Will housing be provided?
Students must arrange their own housing. Information about off-campus housing options is available here.

Can you tell me more about UCI?
Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving employment hub in one of the nation’s safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it’s ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and 1,100 faculty and offers 192 degree programs. It’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy. The university is about 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean, 45 miles from Los Angeles and 80 miles from San Diego. The beach cities of Orange County that neighbor Irvine are among the top tourist destinations in the United States.

Can you tell me more about UCI’s computer science program?
The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences is the only computing-focused school in the University of California system. UCI holds the No. 28 spot in the most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking of computer science programs, and Microsoft’s Academic Search website ranks the Bren School faculty as the 21st most influential group in the United States. Students graduating with a Ph.D. from the Bren School at UCI have flourished in positions in industry, industrial research labs, government and academia. For more information about our school and alumni, visit: http://www.ics.uci.edu/about/about_factsfigures.php

Who do I contact for more information?
For questions about the UCI summer undergraduate internship program in computer science, please email summerinternships@ics.uci.edu.