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From the classroom to the lab: 45 students participated in research and development activities

Over five weeks, 45 higher education students had the opportunity to carry out research activities at INESC TEC, within the scope of the seventh edition of the Summer Internships programme of the Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM). The 2023 edition of this initiative had a record number of applications - more than 90 – from six nationalities.

31st October 2023

With 23 themes to choose from, the 45 students selected to participate in the CTM Summer Internships developed research activities in four areas: Optical and Electronic Technologies, Wireless Networks, Multimedia Communications Technologies, and Visual Computing and Machine Intelligence. "This initiative allows students to have a first contact with research activities, so they can better understand the context and motivation behind our work", explained Hélder Fontes.

According to the INESC TEC researcher, each of the themes featured "unique and well-defined" objectives and work plans. "At an early stage, the plans explored the study of tools and a survey of the state of the art. They were followed by the development of the solutions and, finally, the testing and validation of the results achieved", he said, also mentioning that participants were able to join in person, online or in a hybrid format.

The themes explored by the students included: processing of multimedia content (e.g., images and video), i.e., automatic creation of 3D models and Virtual Reality; the development and characterisation of intelligent antennas, and IoT (Internet of things) hardware programming, e.g., smart lock system with facial recognition; application of Machine Learning techniques to healthcare, towards improving cancer detection and optimising medical diagnostics, while ensuring the explainability of the conclusions reached by Artificial Intelligence algorithms; application of Machine Learning techniques in optimising the performance of wireless networks, as well as the development and characterisation of wireless communications solutions for emerging contexts, e.g., obstacle-sensitive flying networks, satellite communications, and underwater communications.

This year, the initiative received a record number of applications – more than 90 from six nationalities - which reflects not only the communication and internationalisation efforts of this programme, but also the relevance to the student community. "We have several cases in which, after the Summer Internship is over, the students end up collaborating with us within the scope of curricular internships, master's and PhD theses", explained Hélder Fontes, making a positive assessment of this edition. "The work we've been doing over seven editions translates into many benefits, and the quality and engagement of our internships are recognised by the student community. The better dissemination, the broader themes, and the internationalisation of the programme were a success", he concluded.

The 2023 edition also featured a final event, which took place at INESC TEC, with more than 60 participants. At said event, the Organising Committee awarded the best works in each of the four areas, as well as honourable mentions. Hélder Fontes, Hugo Manuel Oliveira, Luís Corte-Real, Nuno Paulino and Rúben Queirós were the members of said Committee.