The LSR summer Internship program
The LSR remains very proactive in this area and we have perhaps the most active student internship program across the Faculty of Science. Our robust internship program not only serves a valuable KE and community service but it also helps to build our brand while offering our research staff useful, short-term research support. We have hosted 97 interns since 2016 for periods of between 2-3 weeks and 3 months. Interns come from local high-schools and international schools, HKU and local universities but also from overseas (e.g. this year U.K., India, Chinese Mainland and Kenya).
The LSR internship program is perhaps the most robust such program at HKU. It has grown rapidly since inception in 2016 with our first two interns to reach a new maximum this summer June-August 2023 of 24 –a 20% increase since 2022. We do not advertise this program. We accept students from STEM subjects such as physics, maths, computing and engineering as befits the interdisciplinary nature of the LSR. Student projects cover work on computer simulations and aerospace design (for CubeSats), late stage stellar evolution and high-energy astrophysics. Our LSR internships also offer our research staff valuable short-term research support.
Although all current interns will be based at the LSR in Cyberport we encourage all LSR faculty and postdocs to offer to host LSR interns over the summer term at the main campus HKU too as we have now reached saturation point at the LSR itself.
LSR interns in their own words from our summer 2023 cohort:
“I spent a little over a month at LSR and I learned a lot about research in this field. Most significantly, I learned Python from scratch; I had zero experience in coding prior to the internship. But LSR set me up for a great learning experience, as my supervisors gave me lots of initial guidance and then also a lot of independent work for me to explore on my own while still offering help when I got stuck. I was exposed to some really cool science, getting to analyse raw data from NASA’s telescopes. The faculty was all very friendly and had super interesting stories and ideas to share, and we had many wonderfully weird discussions about physics. This internship gave me a glance into what research in this field is like, and I got to see how different disciplines come together on projects during their meetings. Overall, great experience!”
by Tongyon Kim, Hong Kong International School, LSR intern Summer 2023.
“Throughout this entire internship, I learned many, many things, and this was an amazing experience for me. I learned a lot about Python: numpy, matplotlib, astropy, and even a bit of scipy as well. I learned a bit more about how to research: how to go through Google Scholar to help me find information, analyze a research paper and extract the information that was important for me and understand relatively jargon-filled and specialized language. One of the most important parts of an internship, in my opinion, is the experience. In this internship, I experienced the highs and lows of coding, the experience of not necessarily knowing everything, the experience of having to learn something new entirely from scratch, and the experience of 9-5 work hours, all of which I didn’t necessarily experience before this internship. But arguably most importantly, I learned some “soft” skills: this was my first ever internship, and I learned how to communicate with my supervisor, communicate with fellow interns, and conduct myself in a different academic environment from what I was used to. I find that in general, the environment at the LSR is different from that in my school, so I learned a lot in that regard as well. Overall, this internship was an amazing experience for me. I got to meet many great people, experienced many new things, and learned a lot. Although there were ups and downs, like sometimes when my code wasn’t working, or when I didn’t feel like my process was going anywhere, I still managed to persevere and produce a tangible report at the end which I was proud of. This was my first ever internship, and as far as first internships go, this was a very good experience. I particularly enjoyed programming in Python and learning new topics in astrophysics, like high-energy astrophysics. I loved this internship, and I highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in astrophysics or physics. “
Christopher Yue, Hong Kong International School, LSR intern Summer 2023.
LSR interns in their own words from our summer 2022 cohort:
“I was delighted to be a full-time Intern Research Assistant over 2022 summer under Dr. Pablo Saz Parkinson. Working with the dedicated team at the LSR, I worked primarily on the technical and computing aspects of simulations and scripting for the MeV CubeSat project. Using the LSR’s quantum cube computer for processing opened new possibilities with the incredible degree of speed and automation possible, and using my python and linux knowledge I am proud to have been able to contribute to this incredible project. I am incredibly grateful to the LSR for the opportunity afforded to a young undergraduate student such as myself, and the invaluable support and advice given by those around me.”
by Aditya Mangla, LSR intern/RA summer 2022.
“It is a pleasure for me to be working here at the LSR for the past two weeks, which not only broadened my horizons on science and programming related fields, but also gave me precious insight and experience on research jobs. I am deeply thankful to Dr. Quentin for offering this wonderful opportunity, my mentor Rishank for guiding me along my internship journey, and every staff member and my co-workers for my superb internship experience at the LSR”
by Lisa Tso, LSR intern Summer 2022.
“At LSR I worked with Mr Pal and a team of motivated interns to develop a Zooniverse citizen science project to help classify and identify significant orbital periodicities in Lomb-scargle periodograms of data from the TESS Satellite. Thanks to Dr Partha Pal, in the 6 weeks I was there I learned about the TESS Satellite, the Fourier Transformation, periodograms, Bayes Theorem, and how to code in Python (Astropy, Matplotlib, Scipy etc). Additionally, I learned invaluable soft skills such as how to collaborate with other members of a research team, how to make and present slideshows, and how to write about scientific topics in an accessible way, and I got a glimpse into what life as an astrophysical researcher looks like, which only strengthened my resolve to be one when I am older. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Mr Pal this summer, and I hope to do so again in the future”,
by Zaara Bhatia, LSR intern Summer 2022