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2017 SGCI Summer Internship Reports: Tatyana Matthews

Each year, our Workforce Development team offers summer internships for students interested in developing their gateway development skills. Eligible participants are placed at one of several SGCI partner sites. We will be sharing some of the experiences of our 2017 student interns in a series of blog posts entitled SGCI Summer Internship Reports.

Featured below is SGCI summer intern Tatyana Matthews, a recent graduate of Elizabeth City State University. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, including what you are studying and the career path you hope to pursue once you graduate.

My name is Tatyana Matthews and I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. Recently, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree from Elizabeth City State University located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. I studied computer science with a scientific concentration. I have participated in internships at Indiana University Bloomington, Apple, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) studying topics that span the Apache Big Data Stack, unmanned aerial vehicles, Android System Security, HUBzero, Django, High-Performance Computing (HPC) and front/back-end web development. While my research background is diverse, I discovered my true passion for full stack web development. I am learning JavaScript and some nifty CSS animations to take my web development skills to the next level.

Where did your SGCI internship take place, and who did you work with?

My internship took place in Austin, Texas at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). I worked under the mentorship of Ritu Arora.

What are some things that you learned as a result of this internship? How does what you learned apply to your studes/goals?

I learned that I would be tasked with web-enabling Interactive Parallelization Tool (IPT), a “semi-automatic” command line tool previously researched by my mentor. For scientists, the IPT service makes it easy for researchers and students to parallel program. The goal of my research was to design and develop a web application for the online use of IPT, in which I learned that web development can be applied to produce web-enabled HPC services --- seamless interfaces that connect researchers and HPC.

“What do you see as a limitation in using this?” asked Ritu. My mentor asks amazing questions or rather she phrases her questions in such a way that really specifies what it is that she is curious about. I really admire this about her. Her questions have helped me to view my problems, plans, and tasks from a different perspective, one that is less vague and more detailed. It was with her encouragement that I acquired skill in breaking tasks into small attainable deliverables and setting realistic measurable goals.

I spent a great amount of time learning Django’s lightweight development server written purely in Python. At first, I was quite nervous at the thought of learning more about back-end web development, being that my strongest skills were with the front-end. However, my basic understanding of Python aided me in creating functions that perform tasks such as logging a user in and verifying their credentials, in addition, pulling data from a database and displaying the data in a table.

Do you see yourself engaging with SGCI again in the future? Perhaps when you begin your career?

I accepted a full-time position with the government and will begin working later this fall. Yes, I foresee introducing my colleagues to the power of science gateways and SGCI.

Anything else to add about your internship experience?

Considering all of my internships, it was my internship at TACC where I felt the most equipped to do the research assigned to me! My past experience with HTML, Bootstrap, building wireframes, and Python helped me tremendously in transforming research ideas into a reality.


Interested in a summer internship with SGCI, or know a student who might be interested? Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on upcoming opportunities.