Internship Narrative | Gaurav Gite | University of Lethbridge, Canada (MITACS) | Research Internship

IMG_20160315_121114

Hello everyone!!

My name is Gaurav. I am a senior student at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India. My interests lie in embedded systems, digital design, application of FPGA technology to find novel solutions, solving tough algorithmic problems and developing web application on Google App Engine. I prefer to use Python as programming language on my projects and web applications, though I am well acquainted with C++ too.
Apart from that, I love to swim or run in my free time. Lately, I have realized the importance of health and I think I am taking necessary steps to improve it. I also like to volunteer for social causes and in the past I have worked with Avanti Fellows-India and LUMACS (Life, yoU, Mathematics And Computer Science). At Avanti, I had an opportunity to interact with under-privileged Indian students and teach them the basics of math, physics and chemistry. In LUMACS, we taught Canadian school kids how to do basic programming.

Internship

I did my internship at the University of Lethbridge, Canada through MITACS Globalink Internship Program. It involves 12-weeks of research under the supervision of Canadian university faculty members in a variety of academic disciplines, from science, engineering and mathematics to the humanities and social sciences. They used to pay 200 CND per week and also paid an extra 1500 CND for the travel. Apart from that, the program included transportation from airport in Canada to accommodations, Housing, Health Insurance, Student Enrollment Fees, Stipend for food and incidentals (amount varies depending on country of origin), support from graduate student mentors on-campus in Canada, registration for industry events and professional development workshops and Globalink Research Internship certificate of completion.

One of my seniors had participated in the same program year before. Most of information about the internship and guidance was provided by him.

Application Process:

To apply for a Globalink Research Internship, you must:

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate degree-granting program at an accredited university

  • Be in the second to last year of an undergraduate program or combined undergraduate/Master’s program. You must have at least ONE and no more than THREE semesters of coursework remaining in your program.

  • Meet the following minimum grade requirement (or equivalent): India – 8/10

  • Provide an official transcript from your home university in the primary language of the project, i.e. English or French. Transcripts in other languages must be translated, notarized and submitted with the online application.

  • Complete a 12–week internship, arriving between May 1 and June 30 and departing between July 31 and September 30

  • Be fluent in the language of the project, i.e. English and/or French

  • Possess a passport from your home country that is valid at least until January of the next year.

How to apply?

You will be required to create a personal user account on the Student Platform. Once you are logged in, you can begin your application and start applying for research projects. You can select at max 6 projects. There are around 1500 different projects so you will surely find one within your research area. You will be able to save your work and return to it later to add more information and any documents that you need to upload.

Selection process:

The selection process is obviously very competitive as it is one of most prestigious internship programs throughout India. I personally feel, SOP (statement of purpose) and LOR (letter of recommendation) are the most important things in the selection process. Yes, CGPA will matter up to a certain extend. My CPGA was below 9 (8.8), when I had applied, but I had a strong letter of recommendation from the professor who was related to the field of my research. I think this along with my SOP helped me getting the selected.

Before my internship started, I read a lot about my project before even going to Canada. I used to mail my professor, asking her for the material. This helps a lot when you get started with the project. Moreover, I was able to finish my project early and utilize the rest of the time for fun and travel around the country.

About the internship

I worked under Dr. Jackie Rice, in the department of math and computer science at University of Lethbridge (UoL), Alberta, as part of my summer project in the year 2014. The project was about developing a new approaches to the online testing of reversible logic circuits. In recent years reversible computation has established itself as a promising research area and emerging technology. This is motivated by a widely supported prediction that the conventional computer hardware technologies are going to reach their limits in the near future. A fundamental limitation of conventional computing is that each time information is lost energy is dissipated regardless of the underlying technology. This is known as Landauer’s principle. It was also shown by Bennett that theoretical zero power dissipation can only be achieved is the circuit is logically reversible. Reversible computing is bijective in nature, and by definition reversible circuits are theoretically information-lossless. Thus using reversible computation, the power dissipation which results according to Landauer’s principle can be decreased or even eliminated.  

Testing is an important step in the design of a reversible circuit. We have devised a new online testing method which is capable of detecting single missing gate faults and cross point faults in any reversible logic circuits made up of Toffoli gates. Due to the originality and innovative nature of the work, we will be presenting a paper for the 45th IEEE International Symposium on Multiple-Valued Logic (ISMVL) to be held in May 2015. 

Time spent in Canada

The work environment was really encouraging and I got the satisfaction that my work was valued. I not only worked closely with my supervisor but also got an opportunity to work with a group of other top tier researchers working on various projects related to the field of logic synthesis. I was provided with the freedom to pursue   ideas of my own, which I felt was really beneficial while solving various problems faced during the project. 

Though, I didn’t have academic field trip as my work was theoretical. But we had a couple of special events, mostly barbeque dinners with my host professor and her scholars. Furthermore, the residential assistances use to organise lots of events, like a trip to bird sanctuary, once we made ice-creams together, then we also had flower plantation event, we also went for go-karting and bowling, we did lots of fun events.

I didn’t face many issues as such, none with respect to the safety or accommodation.  Food is a bit of a problem for those who don’t know how to cook or are pure vegetarian. I would suggest to learn some simple cooking (dal, rice and some vegetable) before you start with your internship. It always helps.  It is not possible to eat outside every day. You will get bored after a while and you spend at least 4 times more when you eat outside. It’s always good to save up some money, and spend it on something else that you always wanted to buy. Canadian people are always helpful so in case of any problems you can always approach them. As such you shouldn’t face any.

Word of advice

Apply to maximum number of internships. Also, take lot of time to write your statement of purpose. It’s the most important thing according to me and make sure you don’t make even a minor mistake. Furthermore, before starting with the internship try to read about the project beforehand.

Once you are there, I would say meet as many new people as you can. Interact with them and try to understand their stand on different topics. Don’t make the internship just about research; make it about making new friends, broadening your views and learning new things around you. Develop yourself overall.

Add Comment