In this blog post, I will be sharing my experience of a research internship that I did at the end of my second year at IIT Bombay. I am a BTech in computer science and engineering from IIT Bombay.
I wanted to have the experience of research and university internships before doing an internship in a financial firm next year. So I decided to apply to various universities for project opportunities. Luckily, I got to work on a project at the first university I applied to. I joined NUS, Singapore.
Internship at National University of Singapore (NUS)
After writing to the professor who was the head of this project as well as the head of the department at NUS and figuring out the details, I went there for an internship along with 3 of my batchmates. It was an exciting experience that I got to go to another country for a project in my summer vacations along with my friends.
As we reached Singapore, we took around 3-4 days to get settled and visited the university for the formalities. Once all these things were settled, we finally started on our project. Professor explained to us the various projects that he had to offer and all of them were equally interesting. We divided the projects amongst ourselves and met various team members at NUS who described to us what they do.
I decided to work on a project which I found to be very interesting. It was based on optimising the overall rail network of Singapore to maximise its efficiency and reduce the wait time for the passengers. It took some time to understand the various lines in the metro network in Singapore.
We started creating the framework of the Metro network of Singapore so that we could visually see how our model was performing. After our basic framework was created, we moved on to the algorithm that decides the train frequency depending upon the passenger in the waiting line and other parameters.
Next, we moved on to the optimising algorithm which provides us with the best set of parameters for the network to perform at its maximum efficiency.
Overall the project was very complex, so I decided to just give an overview and not go into detail.
Life at Singapore
After spending two months in Singapore with friends, I would like to describe the life that we had there. I will share the routine that we followed on a workday and on weekends.
Overall I would like to describe our work-life balance there as extremely free and chill. We had all the time in the world as well as the flexibility in terms of location for working. We used to work for around 5-6 hours and the rest of the time we used to travel and explore the various beauties of Singapore.
We all went to Singapore for the first time. Naturally, we wanted to roam around and explore the places that Singapore was famous for. On the weekends we used to go on the tour that we planned on the weekdays. We visited almost all the good places in Singapore and it was a very enriching experience.
On the weekdays too, we used to go to the university at 9-10 AM in the morning and used to come back by 4-5 PM at max. In between, we used to have coffee breaks, lunch breaks where we tried out various cafeterias that the campus had. We tried various cuisines in the restaurants during lunch and take a coffee with us to our work desk.
We shared our time discussing our projects and other stuff with other Indian friends who had come there from other IITs for internships. This experience was new to us, working for certain time in an office-like environment on some tasks, we tried our best to complete the projects on time and give some wonderful results. Obviously, life at IITs was even more relaxed given that we were not working at a place for an extended amount of time. To know about my life at IIT Bombay, give this post a read.
Life of a Researcher
During our stay in Singapore and interacting with the team members who are involved in research, I got to know about the kind of life they had as a researcher. As in other research jobs, most of the time of a researcher is always spent in the thinking process as they are required to be innovative and creative in their projects to bring some results.
It’s not a stressful life as people have in big corporations. In fact, it’s very interesting that students, professors and other research team members spend time to bring about a result that will eventually change the way we deal with things now. The projects they work on have the tendency to change the lives of millions or billions of people if it’s scalable.
That being said, I now have completed my BTech from IIT Bombay. I have been working as a quant trader in a high-frequency trading firm in India. To know about my experience, read this.
2 thoughts on “Research internship experience of an IITian”
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