Wednesday, September 23, 2015

MEET THE INTERNS

Below is our student intern staff for the Fall 2015 semester and football season along with a few words about each.

Senior Jacob Green
Jacob Green (lab manager) is a senior cognitive science major with minors in philosophy, psychology and mathematics who comes to the university from Westport, Indiana. As lab manager, he is responsible for maintaining order in the lab, ensuring that interns are putting in the required time, answering questions, and reporting to me directly on the state of our projects. He also assists me with the end of semester evaluation of the interns and maintains our facility.

Jacob has worked in the lab on several projects, most of which have involved agent-based modeling. After completing his degree at UE, he plans to get his Master's Degree and then work building computer models and network systems. He says that his favorite thing about working in the CSML "is the openness of the environment and the encouragement to think outside the box."


Sophomore Jacob Ball
Jacob Ball is a sophomore computer science major who is also pursuing a minor in mathematics. He comes to the university from Owensville, Indiana. He is currently working in the lab on mechanisms that move data from our data store into the network for transduction onto the feature detection grid in our latest model. (See A Glimpse of Things to Come posted earlier to this blog.)

Jacob was a member of our internship staff last semester (along with the other Jacob pictured above). After graduation, Mr. Ball hopes to become an expert programmer for either Google or Apple. He says that his favorite thing about working in the CSML is that "the lab has all the elements of getting work done including silence, white boards, and computing power."


Senior Andrey Biryuchinskiy
Not all of our interns are named Jacob (though we have had several), nor are they all from Indiana. Senior Andrey Biryuchinskiy is a senior finance and economics major who comes to the university from Moscow, Russia. (He sounds like it too!) His current work in the lab is serving as the software architect for our new model and coordinator for the programming work for Mr. Ball and Ms. Olson (below.)

After graduating this December, he hopes to work in the banking industry financing renewable energy projects or attend graduate school in a Master's of Finance program. He says that "the complexity and variety of tasks assigned to students is what I really enjoy about the CSML. We receive guidance from Doc [that's me], but we are free to come up with the solutions on our own."


Junior Alycia Olson
Alycia Olson is a junior cognitive science and philosophy major pursuing a minor in computer science. She comes to the university from Omaha, Nebraska. Currently, she is working in the lab on scanning the patterns on the second transduction layer of our network and preparing output to be passed to the first decision layer.

After graduating from UE, she hopes either to go to graduate school or join the Air Force as an officer. Her favorite thing about the CSML is her excitement about "working with predictive modeling ... and the free tea." (Someone keeps eating the free cookies too, but I don't think it's her.)

Both Jacob and Alycia are learning from the seniors pictured above. One of our hopes in the CSML is that past interns will return in future semesters to continue to work on our projects and to help train the next generation of interns.


Senior Evan Snider
Senior Evan Snider is a marketing and creative writing double major from the neighboring town of Chandler, Indiana. He was also a member of last semester's NFL internship team. He serves the team with his knowledge of football. While we all know something about the game, Evan is the real football aficionado. (Andrey knows that the Dallas Cowboys wear blue and silver, and Alycia knows that the Seahawks are in Seattle, but this doesn't get us far when approaching the target we are trying to model.) Evan works in the lab because of his insight on what we should be tracking when things don't work and to help us understand what it is that we are tracking.

After graduation, Evan hopes to work in a marketing environment that allows him to use his skills as a creative writer. He says that his favorite thing about working in the CSML is that "it's great to be around other students with interests in cognitive science and learning in general."


Director Doc Beavers
And this is me, Tony Beavers, (AKA "Doc"), with my "what in the hell are you doing" face. I selected this picture out of sympathy for the pictures above. None of us are as goofy as these pictures suggest. In any case, my job is to direct the CSML, and my favorite thing about doing so is getting to work with self-motivated undergraduates who never cease to amaze me by what they teach me. I'm very proud of our team this year. We are making progress everyday, and I'm excited to see where we end up as this NFL season carries on.

Oh, and I should add that I also enjoy working with networks and predictive modeling from the perspective of complex systems. All of this fascinates me to no end. Cookies, tea, models and students: things don't get much better than this. Life is good! Yeah. Cookies. Yeah.

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