Queens’ Computer Scientists have regular Wednesday meetings during term time. Each week we have something new, and this week we were treated to nine 5-minute presentations from our third-year students who told us about what they did over the summer.
First off we had Andy, who worked for JP Morgan Chase and Co. in Canary Wharf, where he produced a data analysis tool for foreign exchange market making. This was clearly very successful: it’s now in production use! After Andy finished his internship, he went inter-railing around Europe and visited loads of exciting destinations including Rome and Berlin.
Next up was Dan, who spent his summer at Optiver after travelling to Barcelona. Optiver are a derivatives trading company based in Amsterdam, where Dan stayed. Similarly to Andy, Dan’s work was focused on building analysis tools for market making. Using mainly C++, Dan produced low-latency tools, which drew on large datasets, to help traders make informed decisions. Dan really enjoyed the company’s friendly character and felt motivated by the competitive atmosphere.
The next presentation was given by Tamara who did something different this summer. After last summer’s internship, Tamara felt like a change and went to volunteer and travel in Ecuador. While she was there, Tamara built houses for local teachers and helped to teach English to the local children. She noticed an interesting technological disparity between the village’s poor infrastructure and the abundance of mobile phones. Hopefully her efforts have helped to improve the living standards for the community that welcomed her during her stay.
Jirka styled his vacation as “A Bohemian Summer”, mainly since he worked in Bohemia. Jirka’s worked in and around Prague with a consultancy company called Boston Consulting Group. While he was there, Jirka undertook two projects: one that produced a global pricing strategy for a large software company; and the other was a machine learning tool that saved the client an estimated €2 million/year, replacing their existing spreadsheet solution. After his internship, Jirka also went travelling.
During the vacation, Simon wisely chose to actually go on holiday! He travelled to Northern Italy with his family, and Prague with friends. When he wasn’t travelling around Europe, Simon took several Coursera courses covering the Scala and Machine Learning courses, which he recommends. In addition, Simon also continued his on-going project of implementing a chess engine. Starting from scratch, he decided to use C++ this time (for performance), and summarises the project’s mixed success as “C++, 2.5k lines of code, one big mess”.
Henry M went to work with Microsoft in Ireland, this summer, where he worked on improving some of the infrastructure behind one of Microsoft’s large products. The distributed system he built was focused on ensuring availability and fault tolerance. Henry found that with lots more interns, he had loads of chances to attend social events and engage with them outside of work. While working on a large project can seem daunting, Henry found it rewarding and would also recommend working in another country.
The penultimate presentation was given by Adam, who worked at Telensa, a company that provides smart street lighting solutions to various cities around the world, including our own Cambridge. The aim of Telensa’s software is to detect faults in the lighting and to optimise energy usage. Adam worked on building up the backend system for street light management and found the unique constraints of embedded hardware an interesting and exciting challenge.
Henry T gave the final presentation, and closed our session by telling us about his time working in Redmond with Microsoft. Along with approximately 2000 other interns, Henry spent his time on the massive Microsoft campus, where he worked to ensure the quality of an important part the Microsoft ecosystem. His project streamlined the telemetry data pipeline to ensure that different parts of it remain synchronised. While he was working there, Henry attended loads of great intern events and had fun exploring Seattle and the Bay area.
That concludes the presentations for this week, but next week we have the second-year students telling us about what they did in their first summer since arriving in Cambridge.