Summer 2021: Choosing the right project - my thoughts

I have received a number of emails with request for clarifications and/or changes. Sharing my thoughts on this topic, hope it helps!

I will also add an option on your dashboards to allow you to change your current selection if so desired. We will accommodate to the extent possible. It will push back team formation by a bit but we want to make sure that you pick a project that truly resonates with you!


While both levels will work off the same paper and dataset, level 2 will complete the transcriptomics workflow in a very short time and spend the rest of the internship building a R Shiny App. Building the App will not only require a deep understanding of the bioinformatics workflow, it will also involve complex programming and product development concepts. Either level is guaranteed to spark your passion for the data sciences!

Full Stack

Both levels will work on additions to Discourse. However, the levels focus on different tech stacks and will diverge almost immediately in terms of tasks and deliverables. Level 2 is higher complexity (several notches) both in terms of concepts and implementation. Choose your level carefully and use the Pathway Hub to get ready for a fast-paced internship. If you can contribute to an open source codebase, you have earned the right to call yourself a software developer!

Machine Learning

In Level 1, you will get the opportunity to focus on and push your boundaries on machine learning concepts! We will add elements of cloud computing to Level 1 to accommodate students who wish to learn about cloud computing but are not interested in bioinformatics.

Levels 2 & 3 are completely different from the Level 1 project since the application is in the field of bioinformatics. While you don’t need an in-depth understanding of bioinformatics, these projects will push you towards developing highly coveted cross-disciplinary skills. Level 3 will push the boundary on cross-disciplinary skills with students working on machine learning, bioinformatics, software engineering and product development concepts. It will be challenging, and therefore extremely fulfilling!

And on a separate note, students in Machine Learning are welcome to transfer to the project in hardware engineering if so desired. It is an amazing opportunity to learn both machine learning and basic hardware concepts with the Xilinx PYNQ system.

Hardware Engineering

Both levels are developed around the Xilinx PYNQ system,, with ample opportunities to contribute to the PYNQ community. Level 1 will focus on developing a data science project in PYNQ, whereas Level 2 will work on developing a Grove peripheral driver for the PYNQ library. Level 1 will give you a head start on machine learning and embedded systems. Level 2 is more of a deep dive into embedded programming and an opportunity to have your work accepted by Xilinx!


Both levels will be working on key UX Principles. The goal is to create a strong UX portfolio that can be showcased to companies. Additionally, level 2 teams will execute with more breadth and depth on key tasks to create a “Design System” that can be potentially endorsed by the Discourse community. This summer will be the opportunity for you to progress by leaps and bounds on your UX journey!


Thank you so much for this post. It clarifies a lot of things in a brief and concise way.

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I love this :smiley:!

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Update to the note above: The UX teams have chosen to take on a much more challenging project - User design for the R Shiny educational app being developed by Bioinformatics teams.

Understanding the domain is part of the challenge of a UX Researcher
Benjamin, STEM-Away Principal Mentor

Based on Benjamin’s comment, the UX teams are set up to get some solid real-life experience!

Thank you for this information, sheds light on many unclear thoughts. All the levels are super-packed with awesome learning experience and I’ve been wondering if one gets to experience all these interesting levels in a single tenure of the internship or does one get the opportunity to come back each subsequent cohorts to experience the next levels after each level. I don’t mind coming back every cohort, the experience here is worth coming back to :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:.

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Thank you Tunde :), very happy to have you on board!

The internships are very fast-paced, it will be difficult to do more than one at a time. You can get a peek into the other internships with the modular-internships where we open up individual modules to non-team members.

And you are always welcome to come back for more!

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