Rising Star MS Interns

Rising Star Internships for entering USC MS Students

ISI is pleased to offer Rising Star Internships to a selected, highly competitive group of students seeking admission to the USC Master of Science program. These internships offer our MS students the opportunity to augment their classroom education with an intensive, structured, and highly participatory internship in a unique and challenging research environment. Successful interns will graduate from our program with a visible, recognized, and concrete record of accomplishment – development of significant software systems, publications in technical magazines and refereed conferences, contributions to the open-source software community, and the like.

Rising Star Interns may pursue work in a range of technical areas, based on the interests of the intern, the current research environment at ISI, and agreement between the intern and their ISI mentor. Our program also offers multiple internship “tracks”, designed to provide each intern with an experience tuned to their specific educational and career goals.

Research Software Engineer Track

For students seeking a career as a Research Software Engineer – an emerging career path that integrates deep understanding of the research environment with advanced expertise in programming and software engineering.

  • Opportunity to participate as an active team member in an ongoing research project, working directly with faculty and senior research staff.
  • Opportunity to significantly and visibly contribute to the development of a major research software system or prototype.
  • Opportunity to engage directly with emerging software technologies, develop advanced software engineering skills, and to teach and mentor others in your own areas of expertise.

Research Systems/Hardware Engineer Track

For students seeking a career as a Research Electronics or Systems Engineer – an emerging career path that integrates deep understanding of the research environment with advanced expertise in computer and electronic systems engineering.

  • Opportunity to participate as an active team member in an ongoing research project, working directly with faculty and senior research staff.
  • Opportunity to significantly and visibly contribute to the development of a novel hardware system or prototype.
  • Opportunity to engage directly with emerging electronics and electronic fabrication technologies, develop advanced engineering skills, and to teach and mentor others in your own areas of expertise.

Research Data Scientist Track

For students seeking a career as a Data Scientist in a research, academic, or commercial setting with complex, cutting-edge, rapidly evolving data analysis needs and objectives.

  • Opportunity to participate as an active team member in an ongoing research project, working directly with faculty and senior research staff.
  • Opportunity to apply data science theory and tools to problems of real-world significance, importance, and visibility.
  • Opportunity to contribute to the development of new, state of the art data analytics tools, approaches, and software, captured in open-source and high impact research prototypes.

Researcher Development Track

For students interested in a career as a researcher, and potentially seeking credentials needed to support admission to a Tier-1 research PhD program.

  • Opportunity to participate as an active team member in an ongoing research project, working directly with faculty and senior research staff.
  • Opportunity to develop and publish peer-reviewed research papers in highly ranked conferences and technical journals, as a named author or co-author.
  • Opportunity to develop and present talks and seminars on your research and results.

All Tracks

  • Organized program of group mentoring activities that directly address issues of concern, interest, and importance to MS students.
  • ISI faculty or senior research staff member in your area of technical interest assigned as an individual mentor throughout the internship.
  • Advice and guidance on academic course selection complementary to your internship activities and career interests.

Internship Technical Areas

Rising Star internships will typically focus on a specific technical area with active research program in place at ISI, selected mutually by the intern and a potential ISI mentor. While most interns will identify an area of interest prior to admission to the program, we recognize that interests may evolve over time, and its possible for an intern’s area of focus to shift during their time at ISI.

Representative technical areas of interest available to our interns include:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Technologies
  • Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Cybersecurity
  • Networking and Networked Systems
  • Novel Computer Architectures and Systems
  • Microelectronics and Electronic Systems
  • Quantum Computing

Program Details

Rising Star interns are selected from the pool of highly ranked applicants to USC MS programs in Computer Science, Data Science, ECE, and similar disciplines. Candidates are identified through a review of their application materials for admission to the USC MS programs, a personalized video interview, and a selection review by ISI faculty and research staff.

The Rising Star internship extends to both the academic and summer USC terms, and is expected to run through the duration of the student’s MS program, subject only to a periodic review of progress.

While many Rising Star interns choose to spend their summer on their ISI internship projects, we recognize that students may also wish to pursue a separate summer internship in a non- academic setting, and are happy to advise on these options on a case by case basis.