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UCSD Undergraduates Apply for Hands-on Summer Research Jobs

San Diego, CA, February 6, 2008 -- More than two dozen UC San Diego undergraduate students, many from the Jacobs School of Engineering, will get the chance next summer to work alongside faculty, staff and graduate student researchers in labs affiliated with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). And they'll get paid in the process.

Javier Rodriguez Molina
Former 2005 Calit2 Scholar Javier Rodriguez Molina is now a staff researcher in Calit2's Circuits Lab while working on his Master's in electrical engineering at the Jacobs School.
Now entering its eighth year, the Calit2 Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarship program offers top students stipends of $5,000 each for full-time research work during ten weeks over the summer. Last year 28 students were selected for the program, and the UCSD division of Calit2 expects the same number or more scholarships to be awarded for summer 2008.

Since the program's inception, nearly 150 undergraduates have worked as Calit2 Scholars.

With the March 3 deadline for applications looming, Calit2 will hold information sessions for interested students. The sessions will take place on the 5th Floor of Atkinson Hall:
   -  Wednesday, February 13 at 3:00PM; and
   -  Thursday, February 14 at 5:00PM.
 
Interested undergraduates are strongly encouraged to attend one of the information sessions. Students enrolled in any academic major at UCSD are eligible to submit an application to become a Calit2 Scholar, and applications typically come in from most of the 24 departments represented in Calit2.

To qualify, applicants must be registered undergraduates during the spring quarter of 2008, or be incoming undergrads for fall 2008.

Students choose and work with their faculty advisor to develop a research proposal as part of the application process for the 10-week program, and a letter of recommendation from the faculty advisor is required. [For a list of faculty members who advised students last summer, go to  http://www.calit2.net/newsroom/article.php?id=1099.]

Advisors should send their letters of recommendation to "Undergraduate Research Program" at mail code 0436, or email to ugradprogram@calit2.net.

Research proposals must fit with the mission of Calit2, directed towards research in telecommunications and information technology, or their impact on new advances in a range of applications important to the economy and quality of life.

Of the students awarded scholarships in 2007, fully half majored in fields other than engineering and computer science, including biochemistry, microbiology, music, visual arts, psychology and political science.
 
Scholarship awardees will work as paid, full-time student researchers during the summer, and they are also required to participate in other Calit2 activities. "Although the students are 'embedded' in their respective labs for the summer, we also ask them to participate in professional and social activities to learn more about Calit2, network with their colleagues in other labs, and explore future opportunities in interdisciplinary research," said William Hodgkiss, acting director of the UCSD division of Calit2. "These scholarships can also be stepping stones to careers in research, including at Calit2, where a number of summer scholars have gone on to become full-time members of our research staff."

Those scholars-turned-Calit2-staffers include electrical engineering student Javier Rodriquez Molina, a Calit2 Scholar in 2005. After graduating and being accepted into graduate school at UCSD, Rodriguez joined Calit2 full-time. He currently runs a series of projects as well as the day-to-day operations of Calit2's Circuits Lab. Another employee who started out as a Calit2 Scholar: Philip Weber, now part of Calit2's Visualization group on a full-time basis. As a Calit2 Scholar in 2006, Weber worked with the institute's Director of Visualization, advisor Tom DeFanti, on pattern recognition in multiple dataset representations, and developed the application to display multispectral images of Leonardo da Vinci's "Adoration of the Magi" in an immersive virtual-reality environment.

The selection committee, made up of members of the Calit2 Divisional Council at UCSD, expects to announce this year's winning applicants in early spring. For more information on the 2008 program, contact Lovella Cacho at 858-822-1943 or ldcacho@soe.ucsd.edu.

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