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Summer Internship at Solver Foundation

I get a fair number of emails of the sort “I am studying at ….and I would like to work under your supervision as a summer intern”.  Most of the time they go on to say things like “I want to work under your supervision on stochastic optimization, supply chains, e-commerce” or an of a dozen things that suggest they 1) don’t know what I do, and 2) don’t really care to find out.  That is probably the economically efficient choice, since I don’t take on summer interns, and have even written about it.  I don’t know where this myth of summer internships for people from around the world comes from (unless there are a large group of people who welcome this?  Let me know!).

Once in a while, however, I see a summer internship and think:  “Wow!  I wish I was 20 (or 25) again!  That looks like a great opportunity!”  The Solver Foundation team just posted such an opportunity.  From the announcement:

The Solver Foundation team is looking for an intern for this summmer! A short description is below – this is a software development position, where the focus is on practical application of numerical optimization techniques. I believe in a practical, challenging, and hopefully rewarding experience where interns work on real code that relates to their areas of interest. If you’re interested, here’s what you should do:

  • Apply for the position here. Make sure you apply under the “Software and Hardware Development” category.
  • After you have applied, send a resume to natbr at microsoft dot com. We cannot guarantee a response to every inquiry due to volume.

A word of warning – this position is not for everyone. If things like simplex, L-BFGS, and KKT conditions are unfamiliar to you, this position might not be the best fit.

If you know what simplex, L-BFGS, and KKT mean, then this looks like an interesting way to spend the summer.  And they are pretty open with regards to education:

Bachelor’s, MS, or PhD students with deep knowledge of numerical optimization methods and software are particularly encouraged to apply.

This sounds a bit better than the Associate Dean gig I currently have, but I think I am stuck here.

{ 7 } Comments

  1. Siah | March 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    It is embarrassing I had to look up L-BFGS 🙂 It is certainly a great opportunity

  2. Michael Trick | March 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    OK, me too. But once I saw the names Broyden–Fletcher–Goldfarb–Shanno I was OK.

  3. Miguel Sanchez | March 9, 2010 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    What I’ve been told by some visitors from India is that some Indian Technological Institutes require students to have some research experience [abroad] to get their degree.

    Whether many of them manage to get an internship abroad or not, I do not know. But I’d say there is some built-in pressure in their educational system to push students to look for these opportunities.

  4. Karen Petrie | March 9, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    It is interesting that you do not take on Summer Internships. It is something we are very keen on doing here mainly, because it is a great way of getting future PhD students. I did two summer internships as an Undergrad before starting my own PhD and I have two to offer this summer.

  5. Michael Trick | March 9, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I do take on summer interns, but generally those from CMU or at least from the Pittsburgh area. Trying to take on someone from outside the country to spend time here, rather than supporting those who are already here, just doesn’t work for me. Of course, I don’t run a “lab” in the CS sense.

  6. Paul Rubin | March 9, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I get occasional requests for either internships or visiting scholar positions (for neither of which I have funds) from students in other countries (or sometimes other galaxies). They often express a very specific interest in studying specifically with me, based on my renowned expertise in (fill in something I know nothing about, such as financial engineering). The utter mismatch of interests has me wondering if maybe some spammer out there harvests academic e-mail addresses, attaches generic or outright incorrect keywords, and peddles them to students.

  7. Nathan | March 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the plug! Maybe I should have left it at simplex and KKT and called it a day 😉 The main thing is that we’re looking for someone who is passionate about optimization/OR and has great coding skills.

    I had the opportunity to intern at Argonne back in the day and I got a ton out of it.