CNS Summer Internships: What They Did This Summer

Nearly a dozen UC San Diego graduate students spent the summer doing real-world R&D in industry. They were on internships with companies that turn to the university’s Center for Networked Systems (CNS) as a training ground for top students in systems and networking.

Panagiotis Vekris
Panagiotis Vekris

The companies included some of the hottest names in California high tech. Three students interned at Facebook: Louis DeKoven, Panagiotis Vekris, and Arjun Roy, and they worked, respectively, with advisors Mark Hammell, Nektarios Leontiadis, Aveek Chaudhuri and James Zeng (all of Facebook). Louis DeKoven must have felt right at home, after having done previous internships at Facebook the previous summer, and working with them as a research contractor in the first half of 2016 (a part-time position he resumed after the end of the internship). His latest internship focused on security research. Arjun Roy worked on a project about data center fault detection. Panagiotis Vekris (M.S. ’14) previously interned at Microsoft, and expects to finish his Ph.D. in 2017. Vekris’s research interests have been in programming languages, program analysis, verification and type systems.

The only other CNS member employing multiple interns over the summer of 2016 was Microsoft, in its Microsoft Research unit.  CSE graduate students Marc Adrysco both spent their internships with the company in Redmond, WA. (Andrysco worked full-time for two years at Microsoft prior to enrolling in the Ph.D. program at UC San Diego.)

Among CNS member companies, Rob McGuinness interned at Google, where he worked with three advisors (including former CNS director Amin Vahdat) on sorting large data sets on Google’s cluster infrastructure, McGuinness’s UC San Diego advisor is CNS co-director George Porter.

Alex Forencich did his degrees in electrical engineering at UC San Diego (B.S., M.S., ’12, ’15) and expects to finish his Ph.D. in 2017. Since 2012, his research has focused on high-performance data center networking in CNS, and Forencich spent this summer at IBM.

Eric Seidel expects to complete his Ph.D. in computer science in 2017. His research area includes working on refinement type-based verifier for Haskell, and verified memory safety and functional correctness of Data Text library, in which he discovered and fixed a memory bug in the process. This summer he interned at Bloomberg with the company’s Mario Longobardi. In particular, Seidel worked on the information and publishing giant’s Haskell infrastructure.

Niki Vazou has also worked on LiquidHaskell, a static verifier for Haskell source code based on liquid types. In graduate school she has already done two summer internships at Microsoft, but this summer she spent at Awake Networks in Mountain View, CA. With a few dozen personnel, Awake is building a next-generation network security and analytics platform.

Sunjay Cauligi, who graduated from the University of Washington in June 2015 and received the award for outstanding computer-engineering senior, has two fellow UW alumni as his advisors in CSE: CNS co-director Stefan Savage and CSE Prof. Geoffrey Voelker. After finishing his first year in grad school, Cauligi spent the summer at Uber (with advisor Tao Peng), working on a good-user model using machine learning to exempt users with a history of non-fraudulent activity from having to suffer through the suite of fraud checks every user goes through during every trip request.

Finally, the only San Diego destination for a CNS intern this summer was Qualcomm, Inc. Ph.D. students Zhaomo Yang worked on isolating Linux device drivers using software-based fault isolation. His advisor at Qualcomm was Robert Turner, while his CNS mentor and advisor was CNS research scientist and CSE alumnus Kirill Levchenko (Ph.D. ‘08). Yang impressed attendees at the CNS 2016 Spring Research Review in April with a talk on “Fine-Grained Fault Isolation for Deep Packet Inspection Engines.”

Among the UC San Diego advisors in the program this summer, CSE Prof. Ranjit Jhala oversaw four graduate students working at Bloomberg (Eric Seidel), Awake Networks (Niki Vazou), Facebook (Panagiotis Vekris), and Microsoft Research (Marc Andrysco).  CNS co-director Stefan Savage and Geoffrey Voelker advised two students: Louis DeKoven at Facebook and Sunjay Cauligi at Uber. Other UC San Diego advisors included Steven Swanson and Alex Snoeren.

CNS fosters relationships between industry and CNS graduate students by hosting twice-yearly research reviews that bring everyone together to share ideas. Additionally, the relationships that CNS faculty have with industry can lead to internships opportunities.

Note: The CNS Fall 2016 Research Review is scheduled for October 13-14 at UC San Diego. To register or request an invitation, email or call 858-534-5948.