IPaT Summer Interns Dive Into Projects



The Institute for People and Technology’s summer research internship program is an opportunity for Georgia Tech students looking to gain real-world experience related to research and community engagement. Students receive $6,000 for participating as a full-time intern. The internship program duration is 12 weeks (May 16th to August 6th).

As a reminder, the six selected Georgia Tech students for IPaT’s 2022 summer internship program were:

• Chenjun Ren - majoring in computer science.  (advisor - Laura Levy)
• Eric Chang - majoring in computer science. (advisor - Clint Zeagler)
• Colin Logan - majoring in computer science.  (advisor - Maribeth Coleman)
• Cancan Wang - majoring in mathematics.   (advisor - Jennifer DuBose)
• Nihar Kalsekar - majoring in computer science.  (advisor Russ Clark)
• Jacob Williams - majoring in computer science.  (advisor - Peter Presti)

Learn about each intern’s 2022 summer project described in their own words below:

Chenjun Ren’s project description:
For the summer of 2022, I am working on creating a web application that will be used to gather data in the upcoming fall semester. The web application will be targeted toward esports players and measure the impact of burnout on various metrics such as performance and player health. The reason I chose this project as my focus for this summer is that I am heavily involved in the esports and gaming community and I play a variety of different games ranging from triple-A titles, such as Elden Ring, the Witcher, etc, to esports titles, such as League of Legends, Call of Duty, Valorant, Overwatch, CSGO, etc. Moreover, it has come to my attention that esports players do not have the same support system compared to players in traditional sports such as soccer or football and I hope to change that by creating an app that will help coaches monitor their players to ensure everyone is healthy both physically and mentally.

Eric Chang’s project description:
For the summer of 2022, I am working on the AI Caring team which is finding ways to implement artificial intelligence in the lives of aging individuals dealing with mild cognitive impairment. Primarily, my sub-team is focused on activities in the kitchen and how we can make it a safer and simpler environment to be in. In order to have an effective form of AI, we are looking to talk with as many people as possible to identify needs in the community and see how we can create a system that caters to the individual struggles that people deal with without detracting from their personal habits and behaviors. I find this project to be incredibly rewarding because I have family that deals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and I know that for many individuals, relying on full-time assistance by a caretaker is either not an option, or something that people simply do not want to do. Using advanced technologies to combat this issue is exciting, and I hope that in the near future, people will learn to accept newer forms of artificial intelligence (AI) at home and use it as a way to improve their own lives.

Colin Logan’s project description:
For the summer of 2022, I am working on a NASA-sponsored project that aims to investigate the design and benefit of implementing augmented reality into cognitive aids. By de-emphasizing distracting visual and auditory elements in the environment using augmented reality, these aids could be used for supporting attention and focus for various tasks so that they are completed efficiently. Specifically, these aids could be used during long-term spaceflight, as skill-degradation can occur after training, and not every task can be taught on the ground. I am a member of a sub-team that focuses on writing the code for the simulation that will be used to test the participants’ attention using varying levels of augmented reality. I enjoy working on this project because I find augmented reality to be fascinating, especially with how it is used in the gaming industry with games such as Pokémon GO. Furthermore, this is the first work on testing augmented reality to support attention via de-emphasis, so I feel I am a part of a special project that will help develop the technology and guidelines for future studies in this field. Through this new technology, I hope I can make a positive impact on peoples’ lives.

Cancan Wang’s project description:
I am working on collecting data, transferring data into spreadsheets, and conducting preliminary data analysis on Social Engagement Study within the Cognitive Empowerment Program (CEP) research in the SimTigrate Design Lab. The study investigates the impact of physical and visual privacy on social engagement for people living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The project offers me a great chance to apply theoretical data analysis skills to realistic problems. It is very interesting because it is the interdisciplinary research to combine medical science, architectural design, and technology to investigate the impacts caused by social environment and home environment. I could not only improve myself but also hopefully make some contributions to the group and society, which would be so meaningful. The challenging part for me is collecting a variety of data by observing people. Since a crowd is unpredictable and difficult to track, I have to get familiar with the observation process, focus more and practice my multitasking ability. However, communicating and collaborating with colleagues help me to continue the project quite well.

Nihar Kalsekar’s project description:
I am working on building a monitoring tool which will allow an entire team to keep a track of the Amazon Web Services/cloud computing (AWS) resources being used. The tool will be sending weekly updates to the whole team regarding the active AWS resources (resources currently in use). What interests me about this project is the steep learning process and the journey of building the tool from scratch. As someone who never worked with cloud technologies before, I desperately wanted to get familiar with AWS and this project provides the perfect opportunity to do so. The challenging part will certainly be navigating through various technologies/languages which I will be using for the very first time. However, I am confident that with the support and help of my mentor and others around me, the project will be a relatively smooth journey.

Jacob Williams’ project description:
I’m using machine learning to analyze the Roane State Community College dataset, a collection of grade point average (GPA) data, personal information, and written reports on students who attended Roane State in the past 10 years. Though the project is mainly exploratory, I hope to predict the onset of students' academic struggles, the underlying causes, and what interventions can best help them. In doing case studies of individual students, I’ve found both heartbreaking struggles and triumphant acts of persistence. This dataset offers a lot of interesting challenges — from the wide variety of disparate information to the sensitive nature of its contents. But also from a personal level, I find it incredibly rewarding. As someone who struggled with chronic illness over my time at Georgia Tech, I’ve taken a semester off, unenrolled, reenrolled, withdrawn from classes, completed incompletes, and transferred classes in between. I am one of those pesky data points that breaks my code and makes me tear out my hair. And that makes it a lot of fun.

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