The Institute for Computing in Research opens in Austin this July 11

As we start our fourth internship season in Santa Fe and our second in Portland, OR, this coming Monday, July 11 2022, the Institute for Computing in Research will open up in Austin, TX.

The Austin pilot will have 6 students from high schools in the Austin area. They will work with world-class mentors on topics in physics, computer science, linguistics, and cognitive science.

Once again we are being helped by well-organized institutions: the Austin cohort is made possible by donations from Optiver, which is sponsoring a significant portion of the program and hosting us in their offices.

Given what we have seen from our students in Santa Fe and Portland, and given the credentials of the students in this cohort, we expect very interesting research to come out of the Austin pilot. This will continue to contribute to the answer to our key question:

how can you craft a well-balanced pipeline of young students that leads to real research?

Mark Emry, from McNeill high school, will be directing the Austin cohort, joining our remarkable team consisting of Rhonda Crespo, who directs the entire Institute and works on site with the Santa Fe interns, and Maria de Hoyos who directs the Portland program.

A good application for the Institute?

Here are some notes on what mentors might want to see in a young researcher, and what might be distractions and side shows in how they present their application.

A background thought to all of this is that you should be thinking of yourself as a college sophomore or junior, not a middle or high school student.

Another background thought is that many of the applications from a given city are virtually identical. This is often because there is a buzz in that city that channels the students into certain competitions so that they can prove how good they are. What we do at the Institute is very different: we do research, and we strive to fit into the collaborative stream of the research world. You should certainly be happy with what you have achieved in competitions, but it is only relevant here if you have turned that work into something useful that becomes a lasting product for others to use.

A final thought; as you write each section of your resume, ask yourself: Would I be able to elaborate in a meaningful way on this skill or achievement if were asked to do so in person? In other words, would I be able to elaborate eloquently on what I did, what I learned, how it helped me grow as a person, its impact on others?

So here are some specific ideas that you might want to consider when you allocate space on your resume and cover letter.

Thoughts on resume categories

Audience. Immerse yourself into a researcher or scholar or artist who wants to work with you. Write things that help them decide quickly if you are a good fit. Remember: they are busy.

Passion for an academic area or research problem. This should stand out clearly: what you want to do for yourself and the world. Beware of canned statements of passion.

Programming knowledge. The bare minimum is the “Serious Computer Programming for Youth”, after which you should learn how to apply programming to your area of interest. This could be political science, physics, psychology, economics, music, art, biology, computer science, pure math, digital humanities, or any other subject. One good way to do this is to join the mini courses after the workshop: we apply programming to many academic areas.

A unique combination of skills. How the various interests you have pursued make you unique.

Past writing. If you have written essays then it would be great to see these available in a blog post. If you have written technical documentation and tutorials then they should be online as well.

Past research projects. This would be a nice thing to report. Make sure you have put written materials in an online blog, and any accompanying software in a public repository, released under the GPL or another free/open-source license.

Linux experience. The bare minimum is the “Serious Computer Programming for Youth” workshop, but an application would gain from stating a plan to go farther in using programming editors and the command line, which are crucial research tools.

Usefulness of past advanced programming. If your thing is advanced programming then you should demonstrate that what you have done is useful by contributing code to a community software project with a free/open-source license, or even creating and leading such a project yourself. This should be published with a free software license on a public source code repository, like on a gitlab instance or on github. Put the code there, specify GPLv3 as your license, and you have something cool. Please do not emphasize STEM competitions or prizes: they are loosely related to research, and they do nothing to differentiate you from others. If a competition led to a useful project for the world then we will be happy to see how you published that project. We will not care about prizes, unless they are internationally recognized achievements, like being a chess master or an author published in a serious journal.

Teaching and outreach. This is wonderful and always welcome.

Problematic

(remember: people are busy!)

Please avoid:

  • More than one page for cover letter.
  • More than one page for resume.
  • Statements that are obvious, like “excellent written and verbal communication skills”, or “team player”, or “fast learner”… Just point to the papers you’ve written that are online, so we can see how you communicate. This can be summarized as “list hard skills, not soft skills”. We will expect everyone to have soft skills, or to develop them very very quickly before they start.
  • Don’t put goals or objectives in the resume. In the cover letter you can present research interests, and maybe you can also state how the research interests are part of a career plan.
  • Do not say “references available upon request” – it’s a strange thing to say. For the Institute application you will have them sent to us directly, so don’t mention references.
  • Photographs of you. It might seem like a nice idea, but scholars would be put off. Maybe save them for a resume for acting jobs.
  • Work or school email addresses. Use a personal email address.

Summer Research Internship Program 2022

What we offer

We offer a paid research internship program for students in Santa Fe, NM and Portland, OR who are finishing 10th – 12th grade. We pay students a stipend so they can work full time on their research for 4 weeks: July 11-August 5 2022. Students are paired with a world class researcher who mentors them in this period.

About the Institute

We are a consortium of scientists and students who develop advanced computing methods applied to physical science, life science, social science, arts, and humanities. Our goal is to develop the best ways to train young students to do research.

Students:

We seek applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and interests. Please view our web materials and follow the instructions to apply. Note that the prerequisites listed on our web site must be satisfied well before the internship begins.

Principals and Faculty:

Please refer your very motivated 10th , 11th , and 12th grade students for this summer’s internship program.

Apply by clicking here

Flyer for summer 2022

Please download the flyer linked here and pass it around!

The Institute for Computing in Research opens in Portland today

After our third internship season in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we start a pilot for the Institute for Computing in Research today (August 2, 2021) in the Portland, Oregon area. We will pay six students to work full time on research for most of August 2021.

Last fall we were contacted by someone suggesting that Portland might be a good place to implement this type of paid internship for high school students.

The Institute’s approach of focusing entirely on real-life research with a mentor (including research in non-STEM areas, and a research-oriented approach to applied technology), largely inspired by the internship experience of Los Alamos National Laboratory, does not have a counterpart in the Portland area, where the many excellent summer opportunities are focused more narrowly on engineering, and do not offer the cross-pollination of an academically diverse scholarly community. In addition, the emphasis on advanced scientific computing, deeply rooted in software freedom, is unique to the Institute.

We tugged at threads in the Portland area and found excellent people willing to design and run a program there based on our blueprint in Santa Fe. They have been helped by well-organized institutions: the Beaverton Round is offering us office space, and the Oregon Community Foundation is funding the Institute’s pilot program.

In addition, scholars at Portland State University, Reed College, and Oregon State University have been invaluable in helping explore the issue of:

how can you craft a well-balanced pipeline of young students that leads to real research?

We will have mentors and guest lecturers from these universities in this pilot program (as well as some far-flung lecturers, since remote lecturing is now a “thing”).

We have had three very successful years in Santa Fe, and we expect remarkable work from these six founding students in the Portland area. It looks like two will work in computational biology, two in natural language processing, one in pure math, and one in AI and game theory.

I myself am in tears of joy as I see all this happening, and I am very grateful to the volunteers who crafted the Portland program, our program manager who is working on site with the students, and the scholars from Portland area universities who are mentoring our students.

The three professional workshops we will teach in June

The Institute for Computing in Research offers professional training for teachers on how to prepare students for research internships.

To join point your browser to https://meet.jit.si/SantaFePD or download the jitsi mobile app at https://jitsi.org/downloads/ and join the room SantaFePD

In June of 2021 we will offer the following three (virtual) workshops. Click on the links below for detailed information:

These workshops are free (though space might be limited). We hope to see many teachers, and sometimes their students (for the writing and project management workshops)!

Please contact Mark Galassi <mark@galassi.org> for more information, or call +1-505-629-0759 (voice only).

We thank the Computer Science Alliance and the Santa Fe Public Schools for helping us develop and put on these workshops.

Project Management for Students

A Santa Fe Professional Development Workshop June 21+22

The Institute for Computing in Research
The Computer Science Alliance

(Sign up with email to mark@galassi.org) (please distribute our PDF flyer to teachers, or point them to this post) (preparation instructions)

To join point your browser to https://meet.jit.si/SantaFePD or download the jitsi mobile app at https://jitsi.org/downloads/ and join the room SantaFePD

The Institute for Computing in Research and the Computer Science Alliance will host a professional development workshop, aimed at CTE teachers in Santa Fe as well as students involved in long research projects. This online course will be taught by Rhonda Crespo (Director of the Institute for Computing in Research), Mark Galassi (Los Alamos National Laboratory), and Rowan Jansens, Madelyn Kingston, and Mohit Dubey (New Mexico School for the Arts and Los Alamos, winners of the Supercomputing Challenge).

Our goal is to create a culture of students managing projects, and to give guidelines and formats for teachers to help foster these self-organized teams.

This course is recommended for students involved in any long-term effort, such as theater production, art installations, software development, engineering projects, business ventures, . . . and for their teachers.

This workshop is free for teachers and students, but space is limited, so please sign up by email soon!

Individual make-up is possible if you have to miss some of the time slots.

Times below are in US/Mountain time zone

Session 1 – Monday 2021-06-21 – 3pm-5:30pm

15:00 Opportunities for student research in New Mexico.
15:45 discussion
16:00 “Long lead” versus “short lead” aspects of a project: crafting a “bill of materials” for your project.

Session 2 – Tuesday 2021-06-22 – 3pm-5:30pm

15:00 Panel discussion with the dream team from the Supercomputing Challenge.
16:00
Understanding both the good and the buzzwords in Agile project management.
16:45 Software as the highest complexity driver of schedule.

Clear Writing ↔ Clear Thinking

A Santa Fe Professional Development Workshop June 14+15, 2021

The Institute for Computing in Research
The Computer Science Alliance

(Sign up with email to mark@galassi.org) (please distribute our PDF flyer to teachers, or point them to this post) (preparation instructions)

To join point your browser to https://meet.jit.si/SantaFePD or download the jitsi mobile app at https://jitsi.org/downloads/ and join the room SantaFePD

The Institute for Computing in Research and the Computer Science Alliance will host a professional development workshop, aimed at CTE teachers in Santa Fe. The course will be taught by Jenna Marshall of the Santa Fe Institute, Ed Fenimore and Mark Galassi of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Our goal is to raise the awareness of writing as an important part of student (and professional) training at all ages.

In this workshop we discuss how to train students aimed at technical fields in good writing practices. This will involve discussions of the writing process for reports, papers, books, as well as applications for university, jobs, and grants. We will demonstrate the relationship between these processes and the common core state standards.

There are no prerequisites except for having an interest in clear communication. We also encourage teachers to send their students.

This workshop is free for teachers and students, but space is limited so please sign up by email soon! Individual make-up is possible if you have to miss some of the time slots.

Times below are in US/Mountain time zone

Session 1 – Monday 2021-06-14 – 3pm-5:30pm

15:00 Mark Galassi “Writing about complex material” and “What is your audience?”.
15:45 discussion
16:00 Ed Fenimore “Training students to write technical articles”.

Session 2 – Tuesday 2021-06-15 – 3pm-5:30pm

15:00 Jenna Marshall “From stones to house: The structure of scientific writing.”
15:45
discussion
16:00 Ed Fenimore “Training students to write applications”.

Encouraging Young Women in Computer Programming

“Occupational gender segregation is one of the leading factors in the wage gap, and therefore desegregating high-paying, high-demand occupations is a social-justice concern.” – Lorena Barba

A Santa Fe Professional Development Workshop June 7+8

The Institute for Computing in Research
The Computer Science Alliance

(Sign up with email to mark@galassi.org) (please distribute our PDF flyer to teachers, or point them to this post) (preparation instructions)

To join point your browser to https://meet.jit.si/SantaFePD or download the jitsi mobile app at https://jitsi.org/downloads/ and join the room SantaFePD

The Institute for Computing in Research and the Computer Science Alliance will host a professional development workshop, aimed at CTE teachers in Santa Fe. The course will be taught by Alison Randal of Cambridge University, Leina Gries of Pomona College, and Mark Galassi of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Our goal is to solve the problem of the “grades 4-12 gender gap in technology” in Santa Fe.

We start out discussing the current state of research on the blockers for women in computational fields, and then present the Institute’s recommendations and its offer to work with teachers to address the gender gap.

This workshop is free for teachers, but space is limited so please sign up by email soon! Individual make-up is possible if you have to miss some of the time slots.

Session 1 – Monday 2021-06-07 – 3pm-5:30pm (US/Mountain time)

15:00 Gries “Introduction: why the platitudes on gender in tech are not enough.”
15:45 discussion
16:00 Galassi “The scholarship behind gender exclusion.”

Session 2 – Tuesday 2021-06-08 – 3pm-5:30pm

15:00 Randal “Experiences of women in computing: how current approaches have stalled”.
15:45
discussion
16:00
Galassi “Gems to be found in the better allies movement.”
16:45 Gries and Galassi “The Institute for Computing in Research’s approach and services.”

Python in 3 parts

A Santa Fe Professional Development Workshop

The Institute for Computing in Research
The Computer Science Alliance

(Sign up with email to mark@galassi.org) (please distribute our PDF flyer to teachers, or point them to this post) (preparation instructions)

The Institute for Computing in Research and the Computer Science Alliance will host a professional development workshop, aimed at CTE teachers in Santa Fe. The course will be taught by Mark Galassi of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Our goal is to give a solid foundation for Python programming, as well as delving deeply into the ecosystem of advanced libraries for data science and systems programming in Python. There are no prerequisites except for being a teacher with an interest in programming. We also welcome advanced students who are teaching assistants in computer programming.

This workshop is free for teachers, but space is limited so please sign up by email soon! Dates are flexible, and individual make-up is possible if you have to miss some of the time slots.

Session 1 – 2020-06-23

14:00 Elementary python and what characterizes its syntax and semantics.
15:00 Writing a program with functions.
16:00 Discussion and debugging together.

Session 2 – 2020-06-24

14:00 Python dictionaries: its killer trick.
15:00
Basics of object-oriented Python.
16:00
Discussion and debugging together.

Session 3 – 2020-06-25

14:00 Python for data science and visualization.
15:00 Python for systems programming: parallelism, networking.
16:00 Discussion and debugging together.

Clear Writing ↔ Clear Thinking

A Santa Fe Professional Development Workshop

Santa Fe Writing Workshop
The Institute for Computing in Research
The Computer Science Alliance

(Sign up with email to mark@galassi.org)(please distribute our PDF flyer to teachers, or point them to this post) (preparation instructions)

Santa Fe Writing Workshops, with the Institute for Computing in Research and the Computer Science Alliance, will host a professional development workshop, aimed at CTE teachers in Santa Fe. The course will be taught by:

Sandra Blakeslee
Science journalist for the New York Times, co-founder of the Santa Fe Writing Workshops, author of Phantoms of the Brain, On Intelligence, Sleights of Mind, …
Jeremy N. Smith
Author of Growing a Garden City, Epic Measures, and Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called Alien.
Ed Fenimore
Astrophysicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, two time winner of the Rossi prize in high energy astrophysics.

Our goal is to raise the awareness of writing as an important part of
the technical and scientific training at all ages.

In this workshop we discuss how to train students aimed at technical
fields in good writing practices. This will involve discussions of the
writing process for reports, papers, books, as well as applications
for university, jobs, and grants. We will demonstrate the
relationship between these processes and the common core state
standards.

There are no prerequisites except for being a teacher with an interest
in clear communication.

This workshop is free for teachers, but space is limited so please
sign up by email soon! Dates are flexible, and individual make-up is
possible if you have to miss some of the time slots. We plan to run from 2pm to about 5pm.

Session 1 – 2020-06-17

14:00 Sandra Blakeslee “Writing Books About Science”
15:45 discussion
16:00 Ed Fenimore “Training students to write technical articles”

Session 1 – 2020-06-18

14:00 Jeremy N. Smith “Writing as a Magic Trick” and “Telling Science Stories”
15:45 discussion
16:00 Ed Fenimore “Training students to write applications”