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Digital Libraries Laboratory Summer Undergraduate Research Experience 2010/11

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 Thursday 6 January 2011 at UCT 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; Introduction to information management technology (XML/HTTP/DLs/etc.); search technology; and research writing.

(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: repackaging repository software for Ubuntu; adapting Excel for metadata management; online metadata spreadsheets; documenting open access in Africa; a freedom toaster for digital archives; understanding replicas in networked archives; visualizing rated science in SA; evaluating archive object quality; live digital archive test environments; mining trends in local CS research; and validating SRU. Before the project begins, you will write a short proposal on what you intend to do. More details on projects will be provided later.

(c) Report
You will write a short technical report on your project when it is complete.  This must be completed before the commencement of lectures for 2011, preferably earlier.


  • You must have done CS1 or CS2 or CS3 in 2010.
  • 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 3 December 2010.
  • The criteria are academic record and aptitude/alignment with the research area.  As a rough guide for academic record, you should have scored at least: 70% in 1016; or 65% in CSC2002; or 60% in CSC3003.
  • Students from previously disadvantaged groups (SA female and Black students) are especially encouraged to apply and will be given preference.


Full Name: [                             ]
Preferred Email address: [                                ]
Student Number: [         ]
CS course completed in 2010 : (1/2/3) [ ]
Shirt size (if we make t-shirts): (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 that we are building a time capsule to be opened in 2110 - 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, 9 november 2010

last modified 2010-11-09 10:42