Each year, interns at the ADAPT Centre are given the chance to create a poster of the work they have been doing over the summer months, and to present that poster to other members of the Centre during an afternoon of lunch and networking. This year’s showcase was held in the foyer of Trinity College’s O’Reilly Building on Tuesday 18th July, and saw interns present posters from a wide range of disciplines across the centre, including those working with the EU Research Management team, on the Centre’s Customer Relationship Management system, in developing Irish language applications in technology, in aiding with the Image Caption Generation project, and in creating a digital marketing strategy for the BigFoot project.
Janice Lau and Shireen Datta both worked with ADAPT’s EU Research Management team for the duration of their internships. Janice is entering into a Master’s programme in Psychology, and Shireen is a current Engineering student. During their time with ADAPT, Janice and Shireen conducted workprogramme analysis and helped with the organisation of training programmes, which enabled them to gain in-depth knowledge about research funding, as well as awareness of the resources available to researchers. Speaking about their work in these areas, Janice and Shireen said: “This has enabled us to see the bigger picture in relation to the research profession, which has contributed to our understanding of what research really entails”.
Eleanor Rutherford, an undergraduate student in linguistics at Trinity College, completed her internship with Dr. Teresa Lynn and the Natural Language Processing team in DCU. Eleanor spent her internship gathering data for Irish language applications in technology as this language is one with low resources and it can therefore be difficult to source good quality Irish data for NLP applications, such as machine translation. Eleanor described her feelings towards her time with ADAPT by saying the following: “This internship has been a fantastic experience. I have learned so many new skills, gotten valuable insights into NLP research, and met such lovely, friendly people. I’m only sorry the internship is coming to an end!”
Another intern at ADAPT in DCU, Daniel Cosgrove, worked on the Image Caption Generation project with Dr. Haithem Afli. Daniel, who spent his internship translating visual data into natural language sentences using neural networks, had a lot to say about the project he carried out in the ADAPT Centre: “Something I didn’t fully understand before getting started was that this really was a research internship: on the first day I expected my bosses to be calling the shots and basically getting me to do the grunt work of their project. In fact, I had a lot of responsibility. My input was valued and I worked alongside my supervisors, rather than under them. It was really more of a sample of what a PhD is like. Getting to do real work on a cutting-edge problem was exciting, and the experience was made even more enjoyable by the sense of community and diversity in the centre: from computational linguists to ethical philosophers to software developers, I was impressed that there were all sorts of amazing people working in the one place to solve technological problems. Working in ADAPT’s PhD office, I was surrounded by exceptionally helpful, friendly people, and I was encouraged to ask for advice if I needed it: they understand that you aren’t an expert!”
Finally, Ciarán O’Brien worked on two projects during his time with ADAPT in Trinity. One of these was focused around the CRM system called Highrise, and the other involved the AVERT project, which aims to reveal the link between causes of flare-ups in an autoimmune disease called ANCA Vaculitis. Ciarán said: “Working in the ADAPT Centre was a great experience which allowed me to grasp the role of research centres. The internship also allowed me to access many highly qualified and educated people, from whom I learned a great deal. The atmosphere and people in ADAPT make it a very enjoyable and relaxed place to work”.
ADAPT looks forward to keeping in touch with this year’s interns, and to welcoming more into the centre again next year.
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