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2020 - 2021 geoFellowship

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The Program

In collaboration with the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, the William & Mary geoLab will be hosting up to 30 paid Fellowships during 2020 - 2021.  Fellows will have the opportunity to work directly with practitioners in the intelligence community and from silicon valley on a project examining 'data poisoning' - the act of intentionally changing data to manipulate algorithms.  Accepted students will be given training on how to create robust algorithms for data production (focusing on estimating road quality from high resolution satellite data using convolutional neural networks), as well as access to the William & Mary High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster to implement novel algorithms. In a team environment - with teams led by real-world practitioners - you'll learn both approaches to data poisoning and counter-poisoning strategies.

The Process

We are soliciting applications to the 2020 - 2021 geoFellowship program until July 31, 2020.  Award recepients will be notified by August 7th.  Selected students will receive $3000 (students outside of William and Mary) or $1000 (students internal at William and Mary) stipends through the 2020-2021 academic year. 

  • Enrolled in an institution of higher education in Virginia during Fall '20 and Spring '21
  • Taken and passed at least one course that taught python programming (in computer science or another discipline).
The Commitment

August 2020 - 3-hour zoom kickoff event!  Get your login credentials working for our cluster, spin up your first convolutional neural network on a GPU, and meet your teammates.

Fall 2020 - Bi-weekly team meetings focused on building prototype CNNs based on data being collected in near-real-time from android phone applications.

Jan-Feb 2020 - Kaggle competition to see who can build the best CNN! Bi-weekly team meetings, or work as a lone wolf.

March - April 2020 - Red Team / Blue Team excersize!  See if you can poison the other teams models with intentionally disrupted data.  Weekly meetings.

In addition to the above, we will hold monthly all-team meetings on or around the last day of every month, starting in September.

The Benefits

In addition to providing an opportunity to get real-world research experience during your time as a fellow, students that are selected will have access to the following resources and opportunities:

  • A stipend of $1000 (W&M students) or $3000 (Students outside of W&M).
  • Unique summer internship opportunities with partners of the geoLab (see where past students have gone here).
  • If you're on-campus at William & Mary, access to the geoLab space in ISC 1109, equipped with desktop computers (multi-monitor), workspaces, a beanbag, and the biggest television on campus.  Steps away from Starbucks.
  • Your name on citations for any publications related to your work.