IUPUI CyberLab: Research and Renovation Attracts Skilled Interns

Main lobby area of new CyberLab
            Formerly in the Engineering and Technology building on IUPUI’s campus, the CyberLab’s main office is now located in the new SELB building across from the University Library. The new office includes a research and development laboratory, desks and large open workspaces, new Macs and PC’s, and even its own conference room for meetings and collaboration. It also offers four large monitors that sit in the glass panels of the new lab that constantly relay information about current projects and internship opportunities.

With the help of the IUPUI Solution Center, the CyberLab has been able to support a skilled group of interns who work on programming and marketing for its latest project, Course Networking (CN). The Solution Center has offered funding for internships and access to resources for employers of research centers like the CyberLab to help reach out to students interested in contributing to research initiatives. 

Meet the Interns:  Programming intern Manpreet Singh, developer of the CN’s iPhone app, is currently collaborating with other interns on developing the app for the Android. A long term goal of his is to begin developing a CN app for the iPad. Singh really enjoys working for the CyberLab and has expressed his enjoyment for working in an environment that reiterates the importance of teamwork and valuable communication skills. “Even though we are just a small team, I am amazed at the how high scaled the projects we work on are,” he comments.
Weekly meeting collaboration
PJ Heebner and Teja Sai, two recently recruited interns to the CyberLab team, have already dove into tasks relevant to their majors of computer science. Heebner has been working directly with Singh to release the Android app by early next year. He’s credited his time as an undergraduate student for his success at the CyberLab so far. “My course projects have given me great programmer experience,” Heebner states. “I’ve learned a lot working here and the people I work with are fun to be around.”
Sai, a graduate student, has a couple of projects of his own. Between using Google Analytics for data for building applications into CN and finalizing Gradebook functions on the network such as graphs and chat capabilities, he’s been grateful for how it’s specifically allowed him to focus on his major. “I settled for working in tech support at my previous job,” Sai claims. “This job allows me to use what I’m going to school for. I really enjoy it so far and being here has also helped me become a better graduate student.”
From left to right: Heebner, Singh, Dr. Ali Jafari (Founder/CEO), Sai, T. Leibrock. Front: Zhao (A. Director), Hashem

Jennifer Hashem, a social media marketing intern for the CyberLab, has appreciated how being a Liberal Arts major in a science and technology setting has helped diversify her career perspective in respect to her future. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity working for the CyberLab,” Hashem claims. “I get to use my skills in writing and English to help the success of the company through the blog, social media, marketing, and other projects.” Hashem is responsible for maintaining and constantly updating CN’s blog, The CN Collection, and is also in the process of creating her own English course on the network to help users learn about the English language and American culture around the world. Her most recently completed project was the CN T-shirt Contest 2013, in which she gathered top graphic design submissions for t-shirts to help market the lab’s latest project. 
                 
Hashem marketing for CN's T-shirt Contest at the Herron School of Art and Design
The CyberLab plans to continue recruiting driven students who can share the experiences from their major and course topics to help the lab gain a strong reputation on campus, while still supporting projects like CN. The CyberLab continues to work with the Solution Center and other campus resources to help projects like CN grow and change the field of higher education technology. Founder Ali Jafari and Associate Director of the CyberLab Alice Zhao are constantly collaborating and creating innovative tasks for their interns that allow them to implement their studies into real-world applications. 

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