RISE@APL program places aspiring engineers in Applied Physics Lab internships

Applications for summer 2020 cohort accepted through March 31

When Mary Joseph first heard about the RISE@APL program, she was told that if she could imagine it, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory was working on it.

Mary Joseph

Image caption: Mary Joseph was among the summer 2019 cohort of RISE@APL Scholars

"I applied to the RISE program because I wanted to be a part of this high-energy environment where engineers of all disciplines are working together to solve problems," said Joseph, a junior double majoring in computer science and applied mathematics and statistics at the university's Whiting School of Engineering. "I was excited to connect with a mentor in the field and learn about the APL's impact on the nation."

RISE@APL—short for Research Internships in Science and Engineering—offers promising undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to spend their summer conducting research—and being paid to do so—under the guidance of APL mentors. Students accepted to the highly competitive program work in a wide variety of APL mission areas, such as air and missile defense, cyber operations, and national security analysis. They assist on projects ranging from research to modeling and simulation to designing hardware to software design and development.

Whiting School Dean Ed Schlesinger says RISE@APL presents students with an invaluable opportunity to work with mentors from one of the nation's premier engineering research and development centers on the most advanced projects.

"The program illustrates the school's deep commitment to integrating research and hands-on experiences into engineering education," he said.

Joseph was thrilled to be accepted to the program, and she spent last summer working in the software design and development area.

"My task for the summer was to create an application that would improve the speed at which a user could run and analyze a mission test," said Joseph. A mission-test report tells the lab's engineers and analysts if a system's behavior needs to be modified to accomplish its task. Getting and reading such results quickly and effectively is crucial to APL's work.

"This project was a great experience for me because I was able to take part in the end-to-end design and implementation of a software solution, "Joseph said.

Joseph will be one of several RISE students attending this year's RISE@APL information session, set for 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, in the Glass Pavilion on the university's Homewood campus. Students who are interested in working at APL next summer will have the opportunity to talk to RISE scholars, browse posters, and hear from APL faculty about the program.

Joseph says her APL mentors went above and beyond to welcome her to the program and to answer her questions.

"They were able to teach me thoroughly about their focus area, and I was in awe of the extent to which they could describe details and break concepts down," she said.

She plans to continue to improve her project on her own during Intersession in January, using the knowledge she gained from her APL mentors and her most recent semester of coursework.

RISE@APL is accepting applications for its summer 2020 through March 31, 2020. For more information, visit the program's website.

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