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Data & Computing Summer Lab

Applications for the 2020 Summer Lab have now closed.

Read through the 2019 Project Profiles to survey the various research areas, mentors, & projects.

Have questions about the Summer Lab program? Read through our Program FAQs.

Program Overview

The Data & Computing Summer Lab is an immersive 10-week paid summer research program at the University of Chicago. Through the program, high school and undergraduate students are paired with a data science mentor in various domains, such as: computer science, data science, social science, climate and energy policy, materials science, biomedical research. Through this pairing the research assistant will engage with and hone their skills in research methodologies, practices, and teamwork. We encourage participation from a broad range of students, and require no prior research experience to apply.

Benefits of participating in the Data & Computing Summer Lab include an innovative, continuous learning environment, opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and invaluable, hands-on research experience at one of the top research universities. As a research assistant, you will be placed in a research group that matches your unique skills and learning goals. You will also participate in cohort orientation, tutorials on various data science tools, and other educational activities to help develop your intellectual skill set.

Research Lifecycle & Learning Environment     

Students hear from Rafael Vescovi on a field trip to Argonne National Laboratory.

The collaborative environment will extend beyond your project, as you will be provided with a co-located, open research space in the Computer Science Department, housed in the John Crerar Library at the University of Chicago — the goal of which is to foster problem-solving and engagement across projects, domains, ages, and skill sets. Over the 10-week span of the program, you will be exposed to the full lifecycle of a research project, beginning with the ideation and development of a research plan, and expanding to communicating project progress through oral presentations; attending presentations and workshops by other University researchers to further inform your project; participating in reading groups; and potentially even working towards publication of results.

Students at Argonne National Laboratory.

Programming & Events

Engagement with the broader University community is enacted through weekly lunch meetings featuring talks from a wide range of professors, lecturers, researchers, postdocs, and PhD students representative of the range of projects and research being done by the research assistant cohort. These presentations provide a unique opportunity for students to hear first-hand from cutting-edge researchers not only about their current and ongoing work, but about their journey to academia or industry and their advice for students interested in entering into the wide, ever-changing world of data science.

Students hear about open-source databases for 3D-printing designs at a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Supplementary to lab and project work is a series of extracurricular activities, which has previously included trips to Argonne National Laboratory and the Museum of Science and Industry; social events such as an end-of-summer BBQ, ice cream social, and weekly afternoon tea; and more.


The annual end-of-summer BBQ.








Diversity & Inclusion

Lastly, and most importantly, the success and unique identity of the program benefits from the diverse and wide range of students who participate in it. We value a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment that supports the next generation of leaders in data science and computer science.

CDAC Summer Program Leadership

Kyle Chard is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. He has been Program Director of the Data & Computing Summer Lab since its first iteration under CDAC in 2019, and previously oversaw the Summer Internship Program ran by the former Computation Institute.

He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Victoria University of Wellington in 2011. He co-leads the Globus Labs research group which focuses on a broad range of research problems in data-intensive computing and research data management. He currently leads projects related to parallel programming in Python, scientific reproducibility, and elastic and cost-aware use of cloud infrastructure.

Katie Rosengarten is the Administrative Specialist for the Center for Data and Computing, responsible for supporting the Center’s programming, logistical, and financial operations.

Tyler Skluzacek is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science studying scientific data management, serverless computing, and high performance computing. This will be Tyler’s fourth summer with the CDAC Summer Internship Program.

Julia Lane is the Executive Director of the Center for Data and Computing, responsible for shaping and executing the strategic vision of CDAC, building new research partnerships and outreach strategies to foster interdisciplinary collaborations, and ensuring that the University continues to broaden applications of data science and computing approaches.

Nita Yack is the Departmental Manager for the Computer Science Department, and provides invaluable logistical and administrative support to the CDAC Summer Lab and other summer programs.