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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience 2011

The Computer Science Department is pleased to invite undergraduate student applications for a short research internship during the 2011/2012 summer vacation.

We will accept approximately 12 undergraduate students who: are interested in these areas; want to learn more about the research process; want to do some interesting Computer Science work over their vacation; add to the experience on their CVs; etc.  Each student will be paid a nominal stipend of R2500.

The internship has 3 phases:

(a) Workshop
There will be a day-long workshop immediately after the November 2011 exams are completed at UCT to provide foundation information in different areas of computing that are fundamental for conducting research.  Topics for the workshop include: research techniques in CS; research writing; and fundamental papers in various disciplines.

(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.  Topics for the research projects will be specified by the following staff in the following areas:

James Gain: Computer Graphics; Touch-based Interaction Design; High Performance Computing; Computer Games; Mobile Computing

Michelle Kuttel: Relative performance of parallel computing methodologies; Interface Design; Scientific Visualization; Computational Astronomy; Genetic Algorithms

Hussein Suleman: Digital Libraries; Internet Technology; Search Engine Design; Information Management; Cultural Heritage Preservation
When you apply, you need to specify a supervisor. If accepted for the internship, you will be sent a list of topics from that supervisor and you will choose one.  Then, 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 2012, preferably earlier.


  • You must have done CS1 or CS2 or CS3 in 2011.
  • You MUST be a CS major, intending to eventually do Honours.
  • You need to apply by filling out and returning the following survey to Adrianna Pinska ( by 25 September 2011.
  • 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 2011 : (1/2/3) [ ]
Shirt size (if we make t-shirts): (S/M/L/XL) [  ]
Project Supervisor: (James Gain/Michelle Kuttel/Hussein Suleman) [                                 ]

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. If you are hired to improve on or redesign Google's basic search service, what will you focus on?
  5. If you are hired as Steve Jobs' replacement, how would you improve on the iPad design?
  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, 4 september 2011

last modified 2011-09-05 10:11