Spring 2017 Undergraduate Research Internship

KIXLAB, School of Computing, KAIST

March - June 2017

What is this about?

I'm looking for a few undergraduate research interns to join KIXLAB this spring.

What does your lab do?

As an HCI research group, we build interactive systems that are powered by large-scale data from users. As a research field, HCI strives to tackle real world problems that users face everyday. We pride in building technical solutions that can directly help real world users. A typical research process is to observe users, identify their challenges, come up with a novel technical solution, and evaluate the solution with rigorous research methods.

What will I be working on?

You’ll be working on one of the on-going research projects outlined below. You will closely interact with me and others in the lab throughout the spring. Here are the three projects that we're seeking interns' help on:

  1. Improving Government Transparency with Social Computing: How can we build an interactive platform for citizens to learn, discuss, and take collective action on important social issues? In this project, you'll be building a web-based platform for citizens to see, analyze, and evaluate information provided by the government. Related projects: BudgetMap and Factful

  2. Mining Visual Media for Collective Behavior: How can we discover meaningful and natural behavioral patterns of users by mining a large set of user-generated photos on the web? In this project, you'll be crawling, analyzing, and visualizing a large set of photos on the web.

  3. Conversational Agent that Collects User's Information and Feedback: How can we build a conversational agent (or a chatbot) that knows when, what, and how to ask appropriate questions to a user to learn more about them? In this project, you'll be building and testing various mechanisms for the agent to maintain a natural conversation with the user while asking useful questions for both the system and the user.

What skills / experiences do I need?

  • I’m looking for motivated students who like to (learn to) build interactive systems for real users.
  • I'm looking for proactive students who explore and figure out directions on their own.
  • I'm looking for strong finishers. Rough ideas are cheap. Realized ideas are not.
  • Although intro-level HCI knowledge or CS472 at KAIST is a huge plus, it is not required.
  • There is a strong emphasis on building useful and usable systems. You’ll work on building cutting-edge user interfaces for the web. You should be familiar with Javascript/HTML/CSS, as well as a modern web framework (e.g., React, Vue.js, Django, Flask, AngularJS, or Ruby on Rails). Backend or server-side knowledge is a plus, but not required.

I’m not a KAIST student. Can I apply?

Yes. But you have to be on a leave of absence (휴학생) from your home institution.

I’m a graduate student. Can I apply?

Basically no. Let me know if you think we can work it out.

How competitive is it to get an internship?

Last summer, the acceptance rate was less than 20%. During the semester, I'm expecting it'll be generally higher.

Will there be a separate call for summer internships?

Yes, some time in March or April. I'm already receiving quite a few summer internship applications. If you're interested, you can contact me in advance so that I can keep in mind as I finalize the details for the summer.

Why should I do this?

  • Because you’ll be working on something really exciting
  • Because you’ll design and build something for real world users
  • Because you’ll gain a hands-on research experience
  • Because you’ll have a chance to interact with fantastic HCI students and faculty at KAIST

Okay, I’m sold. What are the conditions?

  • Mandatory period: March - June 2017
  • There will be limited slots available for extending your work to a summer internship. It'll depend on your progress, fit with me and the group, and level of interest, among other things.
  • Flexible working hours, but I expect interns to spend ~10 hours on the project per week. If you're taking more than five classes, you're not likely to be able to do this.
  • Personal office space in N1
  • Infinite amount of free coffee
  • You’ll be paid a competitive salary.
  • If you’re a CS undergrad at KAIST, we can discuss connecting the internship to CS490 (Research in Computer Science) or CS495 (Individual Study).

How can I apply?

Please apply by sending an email to juhokim@kaist.ac.kr until Feb 20, 2017 (Monday). Your application should include the following:

  • One-paragraph statement indicating which of the three projects you're interested in and why. You can pick more than one if you want to, but you need to provide a statement for each.
  • Your resume or CV that includes your technical skillset and any research experience.
  • A copy of your transcript (unofficial or scanned version is fine).