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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience 2013

The Computer Science Department is pleased to invite undergraduate student applications for a short research internship during the 2013/2014 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. 

Unlike previous years, this year the programme will is more likely to be residential. Students will stay in a university residence or other accommodation in Cape Town for a 2-week period immediately following the end of the November examinations.  See details below.

The internship has 5 elements:

(a) Research Camp
There will be a 2-week long residential workshop.  Students will stay in a university residence or other accommodation in Cape Town for a 2-week period immediately following the end of the November examinations (tentatively 10-23 November).  During this time, there will be group discussions, time to work on individual projects, and relevant social activities.

We will provide foundation information in different areas of computing that are fundamental for conducting research.  Discussion topics for the camp include: cutting-edge ideas in CS; research writing; and how to conduct scientific experiments in CS.

(b) Project
You will be expected to work for approximately 30 hours on a research project during the vacation.  It is expected that you will complete the core work and evaluation during the research camp, with mostly writing of the report left for after the camp.  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: Parallel Programming; Interface Design; Computers in Primary School Education; Scientific Visualization; Computational Astronomy; Computational Chemistry and Molecular Modelling

Hussein Suleman: Digital Libraries; ICT for Development (education, healthcare, democracy, human rights, local language issues, etc.); 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 beginning of the 2014 academic year, preferably earlier.

(d) SAICSIT Conference
If you have completed the report satisfactorily, you will be invited to attend the annual Computer Science research conference - SAICSIT 2014 in September/October 2014.  This is a 2-3 day event and all travel/registration/accommodation costs will be covered by the SURE project.

(e) Open Evening
You will participate in the 2014 departmental open evening event by presenting a poster on your work.  We will provide lots of advice and support to make this as simple as possible.


  • You must have completed CS1 or CS2 or CS3 by the end of 2013.
  • You MUST be a CS major, intending to eventually do Honours.
  • You need to apply by filling out and returning the following survey to Hussein Suleman ( by 20 September 2013.
  • The criteria are academic record and aptitude/alignment with the research area, based on your answers to the survey.  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. However, please note that this IS NOT a criteria that we will use to judge the applications!


Full Name: [                             ]
Preferred Email address: [                                ]
Student Number: [         ]
CS course(s) completed in 2013 : [ ]
CS course(s) being registered for 2014 : [ ]
Project Supervisor: (James Gain/Michelle Kuttel/Hussein Suleman) [                                 ]

Other (voluntary/paid) work planned for 2013/4 summer break:
Dates when you expect to be in Cape Town in November/December/January/February:

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, 2 september 2013

last modified 2013-09-17 01:11