Programs > Brochure
IIP-Qatar Computing Research Institute
Doha, Qatar (Outgoing Program)
|Restrictions:||Princeton applicants only|
|Dept Offering Program:||International Internship Program (IIP)||Program Type:||Internship|
|Program Features:||Research||Degree Level:||1st year u/g students, 2nd year u/g students, 3rd year u/g students|
|Time Away:||Summer||Housing options:||Student Responsibilty with support from IIP and/or Host Organization|
|Program Group:||International Internship Program|
Qatar Computing Research Institute
Location: Doha, Qatar
Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) is a national research institute established in 2010 by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a private, non-profit organization that supports Qatar’s transformation from a carbon to a knowledge-based economy. QCRI operates under the umbrella of Hamad bin Khalifa University. QCRI supports Qatar Foundation’s mission by helping to build Qatar’s innovation and technological capacity. It is focused on tackling large-scale computing challenges that address national priorities for growth and development, as well as conducting world-class multidisciplinary computing research that is relevant to the needs of Qatar, the wider Arab region, and the world. We perform cutting-edge research in such areas as Arabic language technologies, social computing, data analytics, distributed systems, cyber security, and computational science and engineering.
Students with a background in computer science, mathematics, and operations research are encouraged to apply. General strong quantitative and analytics skills are a must. A basic knowledge of Python is required, and basic machine learning is a plus.
Unless a project is proposed by the student, they will be assigned a general, broad project theme. Students should be eager and will be expected to work intensely for the duration of the program.
PROJECT 1: Using Facebook Advertising Data as a “Digital Census”
Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users and, with the goal of being able to serve targeted advertising, is building detailed profiles for its user base. Some forms of aggregate, anonymized data are available to advertisers-to-be in the form of “audience reach estimates”. Here Facebook provides an API through which advertisers can obtain information on how many FB users match certain criteria, such as having certain interests, demographic attributes or device types. This functionality provides a real-time “Digital Census” of over 2 billion users.
The goal of this project is to explore both the potential and limitations of this data source for augmenting census data in developing countries. The basic setup will be one of validating and model fitting for countries or regions where trustworthy data exists, to then extrapolate and make predictions for locations where data is unavailable. Your responsibilities would mostly lie in data collection and analysis, requiring at least some programming skills, but would also include shaping the research questions and, ultimately, contributing to the write-up of the results for dissemination.
PROJECT 2: Changing Gender Roles Around the Globe
Tapping into Facebook’s advertising platform, it is possible to obtain estimates of how many women (or men) in a given country and age group have an interest in any particular activities or areas. With these estimates, one can build up a detailed profile showing how, say, the gender imbalance in cooking- or career-related interests changes across generations and across countries. These age-country specific interest profiles can then be combined with information on fertility rates. The goal of this analysis is to better understand the driving forces behind demographic changes, such as new partnership models and decreasing birth rates. Your responsibilities would mostly lie in data collection and analysis, requiring at least some programming skills, but would also include shaping the research questions and, ultimately, contributing to the write-up of the results for dissemination.
PROJECT 3: Your Own “Big Data for Development” Project Idea
If you’re generally interested in using new data sources, such as advertising data from Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, or web search data from Google Trends to fill “data gaps” (particularly in developing countries), then get in touch with us! We are broadly interested in all aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as studying international migration and analyzing the social fabric of metropolitan areas. Depending on your interests we will try to find domain experts to craft a project that hopefully has not only an academic but a societal value. Your responsibilities would mostly lie in data collection and analysis, requiring at least some programming skills, but would also include shaping the research questions and, ultimately, contributing to the write-up of the results for dissemination.
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