The Summer Intensive Research Internship (SIRI): Creating Technology to Help People is currently in session. The internship is an 8-week summer program that provides competitive stipends, housing and meal plans, and travel allowance.
The program introduces students to cyber-physical systems (CPS), promotes inclusive academic research environments in CPS and encourages student participation in graduate programs and careers in CPS-related fields.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors, especially students from historically underrepresented populations interested in CPS-related fields are encouraged to apply.
"2021 is our inaugural year since the program was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Professor Meeko Oishi from the School of Engineering.
UNM is the lead institution of the project, along with Purdue University, CU Boulder and UT Austin. Associate Professor Tryphenia Peele-Eady from the College of Education and Human Sciences at UNM co-leads SIRI with Oishi and Tahira Reid Smith of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Industry partners are Raytheon Technologies Research Center Sandia National Laboratories and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base.
“We anticipate offering SIRI for 5 years, starting in 2021, as part of the NSF Cyber-Physical Systems Frontier project, ‘Cognitive Autonomy for Human CPS’,” Oishi said.
Eleven students of diverse backgrounds and experiences are currently conducting research in pairs at Purdue University in Indiana. A variety of activities are incorporated throughout the program to introduce students to possible career paths in CPS, such as lab tours at AFRL at Kirtland Air Force Base, and a brown bag lunch seminar in which researchers, the majority from historically underrepresented backgrounds, share their career paths and advice with the students.
As part of the program, students participate in a one-week orientation that introduces them to soft skills development, basic research tools, and to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Module topics center on research ethics, resume building, recognizing imposter syndrome, countering implicit bias, professional communication and Jupyter coding.
Throughout the 8-week internship, students will develop basic research skills, obtain exposure to state-of-the-art research and engineering facilities, acquire preparation for graduate school and learn about professional and research opportunities in CPS.
Projects include learning control for autonomous systems, measuring human trust in autonomous systems, deep learning for robotic navigation, psychophysiological sensing of human workload and attention and improving self-driving cars for older adults.
Students have a unique opportunity to participate in Purdue University’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) hosted by the Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives. SROP offers additional presentations in professional and personal development, GRE workshops, and game nights. This partnership with SROP offers SIRI students a chance to network with other students, faculty and industry professionals. It also increases students' overall sense of teamwork, inclusion and belonging.
“SIRI is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about cyber-physical systems, while developing basic research skills and participating in professional development activities,” Peele-Eady said.
The related fields of study are as follows:
- Computer Science
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Computer Engineering
The program is supported through the University of New Mexico, Purdue University, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the IEEE Control Systems Society and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
The application opened Jan. 1 and runs through Feb. 15. Applications for next summer’s program are expected to open on Jan. 3, 2022.