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Digital Libraries Laboratory Summer Undergraduate Research Experience 2009

The Digital Libraries Laboratory does research in a wide variety of problems related to information storage and access, with particular focus on scalability, cultural heritage and scholarship/education in developing countries.

We are offering a short research internship during the summer vacation to a limited number of undergraduate students (approximately 6) who are interested in these areas and want to learn more about the research process.

You will be paid a nominal amount of R2500.

The internship has 3 phases:

(a) Workshop
There will be a day-long workshop on Friday 20 November to provide foundation information in different areas of computing that are fundamental for research in DLs.  Topics for the workshop include: research techniques in CS; XML/HTML; HTTP and Web applications; Introduction to DLs; and search technology.

(b) Project
You will be expected to work for at least 35 hours on a research project during the summer vacation - the timing is flexible and you do not need to be in Cape Town but you will need to communicate by email.  Sample topics for the research project include: generic statistics for digital repositories; repackaging repository software for Ubuntu; adapting Excel for metadata management; online metadata spreadsheets; large-scale metadata harvesting; documenting open access in Africa; a local Second Life DL community; a freedom toaster for digital archives; packaging orphaned collections for long-term presevation; understanding replicas in networked archives; and validating SRU. More details will be provided later.

(c) Report
You will need to write a short technical report on your project when it is complete.  This must be completed before the end of January 2010, preferably earlier.


  • You must have done CS1 or CS2 or CS3 in 2009
  • You MUST be a CS major, intending to eventually do Honours
  • You need to apply by filling out and returning the following survey to by 1 November 2009
  • The criteria are academic record and aptitude/alignment with the research area


Full Name: [                             ]
Preferred Email address: [                                ]
Student Number: [         ]
CS course completed in 2009 : (1/2/3) [ ]
Shirt size: (S/M/L/XL) [  ]

Note: This is an aptitude and alignment survey - there are no right answers!

  1. Why are you applying for this internship?
  2. How will you ensure that 50 years later you will still be able to read the electronic documents you are producing today?
  3. Should we develop specific software systems for Africa? Justify your answer.
  4. Suppose we are building a time capsule to be opened in 2190 - what would you contribute to it?
  5. If you are hired to improve on or redesign Google's basic search service, what will you focus on?
  6. What do you think is the biggest problem with software systems today?
  7. Is free software and free information sustainable? Justify your answer.

hussein, 23 october 2009

last modified 2009-10-23 02:27