Computer Science doctoral students earn notable industry internships

Student Achievements

Julie Cooper | June 9, 2021

Three doctoral students in the Texas State Department of Computer Science have landed some notable industry internships this summer. Because of the pandemic in 2020, many students were unable to participate or worked remotely in abbreviated internships.    

The students are Cody Blakeney, Xiaomin Li, and Ghadeer Alabani.

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Cody Blakeney will begin his internship with Facebook remotely, but once the company reopens its campus, he will work at their headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Q: What can you tell me about this opportunity with Facebook?
A: I am going to be a visiting researcher starting in the summer lasting into December. I am going to be part of the performance and optimization team researching ways to make the machine learning workloads use less energy and resources.

Q: Would you tell me a little about yourself?
A: I’m a Bobcat through and through, having done my undergraduate in computer science here as well. I was an officer in several programming related student organizations, which I think I would credit with my success now. I also was a research assistant in a wide variety of departments as an undergrad (Physics, Computer Science, and Graphic Design).

I’m a huge sports fan. When I’m not doing my research,  I’m often writing statistical models to help me win in fantasy football. My research is in efficient mobile/edge AI.  

Q: What are your post-doctoral career plans?
A: I want to do cool stuff with computers! Either working at a big company like Facebook or a startup. In no specific order, things I would find enjoyable to work on: Self-driving cars, AI assisted telemedicine, Content recommendation (Netflix, YouTube, etc.)

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Xiaomin Li will be doing a remote internship with Ford this summer. She hopes to complete the doctoral program by the fall semester 2022.

Q: What can you tell me about this opportunity with Ford?
A: After massively sending out job applications, I got a few interviews. Ford is the only one I made it to the last round.  It's so hard to find a good intern/full-time job right now. I will join the Ford Automatic Vehicle Team and use my research experience to help develop and deploy machine learning models on smart car chips.

Q: Would you tell me a little about yourself?  
A: I'm a Chinese international student who came to Texas State after I got my bachelor's degree in China. My research interests include, but are not limited to, machine learning model compression and time-series data analysis.

During my normal day-to-day life, I love baking cakes and cooking dishes. I am also a big foodie — always finding new restaurants. I enjoy walking near Canyon Lake and watching documentary movies on weekends

Q: What are your post-doctoral career plans?
A: I'd love to be a research scientist for IT companies.

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Gahdeer Alabandi will be working remotely for San Francisco-based Uber. 

Q: Can you tell me about this opportunity with Uber? 
A: I applied to the internship through LinkedIn, and a few weeks after I was contacted by Uber to interview for Ph.D. software engineer intern position at the Programming Systems Group.

Q: Would you tell me a little about yourself?
A: I’m from Saudi Arabia. I came to the U.S. to pursue further education. I received my master’s degree from Texas State in 2017, and I started my Ph.D. journey in 2018. I am currently a third-year Ph.D. student, a researcher in the Efficient Computing Laboratory (ECL), and a Doctoral Teaching Assistant. My research focuses on the parallelization of complex graph analytics algorithms, high-performance computing, GPU computing, and code optimization.

Q: What are your post-doctoral career plans?
A: My goal is to work as a research scientist in the (high-performance computing-code optimization) field.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922