Four CSE Majors Headed to Australia, Japan for Summer Cyberinfrastructure Research
Four CSE undergraduates will have the opportunity of a lifetime this summer when they will spend ten weeks doing hands-on cyberinfrastructure research... on the other side of the Pacific. They will be among the 10 students selected to be part of the Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program, which this year involves being embedded in research labs in Japan, Taiwan, or Australia. Computer science majors Matthew Schwegler (far right) and Allen Nguyen (below far left) will be working in Australia and Japan, respectively. (Schwegler, a junior, will work in the lab of David Abramson at the University of Queensland, while senior Nguyen is deploying to Osaka University in Japan, where he'll be mentored by Shinji Shimojo at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Shimojo will also mentor computer science sophomore Lok Yi (Nicole) Wong (below right). A fourth student, junior Katerina Zorko (near right) -- a computer science major specializing in bioinformatics -- will be based at the University of Queensland, working alongside Schwegler under host mentor David Abramson. They have different UC San Diego mentors: Zorko's is Qualcomm Institute research scientist Jurgen Schulze, and Schwegler's UCSD mentor is scientist Ilkay Altintas from the San Diego Supercomputer Center.
Other students in PRIME 2014 will go to two institutions in Taiwan (the National Center for High-performance Computing, and National Taiwan University), as well as NICT and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, and a third student at the University of Queensland in Australia. The PRIME program is primarily funded by the NSF, with additional support from Calit2's Qualcomm Institute and private philanthropy that includes a major donation from former PRIME student Haley Hunter-Zinck, who gave $100,000 to the program in 2012. The program provides undergraduates with research and cultural experiences to prepare them for the global workforce of the 21st century. A former U.S. Air Force air-traffic controller, Matthew Schwegler is majoring in both computer science and neuroscience as he fulfills his pre-med requirements and serves as a Resident Advisor in The Village dorms and CSE tutor for the Data Structures course (CSE 12). Schwegler and Nicole Zorko both expect to receive their BS degrees in June 2016. An honors student in Revelle College, Zorko is a student worker for a lab in the School of Medicine, where her responsibilities include entering the lab's clinical data into the medical database.