QCRI Provides Intensive Training During Summer Online Internship

Qatar Computing Research Institute Provides Intensive Training During Summer Online Internship Program

04 Aug 2021

Hands-on program provides an opportunity for undergraduates to develop technical skills working alongside QCRI faculty

HBKU’s Qatar Computing Research Institute Provides Intensive Training During Summer Online Internship Program

Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) again gave undergraduate students the chance to receive intensive research and software development training through its Summer Internship Program, which took place online over an eight-week period     . 

This year’s program welcomed 58 students from 5 countries, including undergraduates from Qatar University, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Texas A&M University, and College of the North Atlantic at Qatar. Participating students trained in the fields of Arabic language technologies, cyber security, data analytics, social computing, and software engineering, with each student selecting two research areas of their interest on which to base their internship projects.

Throughout the program, the students worked alongside QCRI’s engineers, enabling them to be part of world-class multidisciplinary computing research that is relevant to the needs of Qatar, the wider Arab region, and the world. The invaluable mentorship supported the students as they engaged in research that is geared towards providing solutions to emerging problems facing society.

Riya Gandhi from Princeton University received first place for her project on Deep Learning for Imputation of Missing Genotype Data’.  She was mentored by Dr. Mohamad Saad, Dr. Sanjay Chawla and Dr. Mohammad Amin Sadeghi, who said: “It was a pleasure working with Riya Gandhi. Within an eight-week period, Riya was able to make tangible progress on a cutting-edge research topic at the intersection of bioinformatics and AI.  This was remarkable, especially given that Riya is a second-year undergraduate student. The Internship program has become a great laboratory where students from diverse backgrounds are able to work on original research ideas coming out of QCRI and Qatar.”

Kris Seleberg from Princeton University and Karim Hamadeh from American University of Beirut took first place in the Deepfake Detection category, where they impressed their mentors Dr. Husrev Taha Sencar and Dr. Sanjay Chawla. Dr. Sencar said: “Deepfakes will potentially play a significant role as part of disinformation campaigns. Our interns studied existing deepfake detection methods with a focus on research gaps. They also worked towards building a new detection method based on an outlier detection technique recently proposed by QCRI researchers.”

Commenting on the program, QCRI’s Dr. Eman Fituri, Director of Educational Initiatives, said: “Our aim to build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity goes hand in hand with supporting future tech leaders, computer scientists, and engineers. Since QCRI launched the Summer Internship Program, we’ve seen the positive impact of helping undergraduates to better understand computer science concepts, develop their technical skills, and prepare for the rigors of a professional career. Though virtual, the summer program will be intensive and interactive. Students gained a wealth of knowledge by directly collaborating with our engineers on QCRI’s specialized research activities and, with their mentorship, contributing to developing innovative new tools and systems.”

For more information on the work of Qatar Computing Research Institute, which focuses on large-scale computing challenges that address national priorities for growth and development, and supports Qatar’s transformation from a hydrocarbon-based economy to a knowledge-based economy, please visit https://www.hbku.edu.qa/en/qcri/about.