Summer Internships: Mai Ahn Nguyen '23
Name: Mai Anh Nguyen
Class Year: 2023
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Quang Nam, Vietnam
Internship Organization: University of California, Los Angeles
Job Title: Undergraduate Researcher
Location: Los Angeles, California
What’s happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
This summer, I participated in the Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS) program at UCLA. I and my team conducted machine learning research on “measures and standards of fairness in AI embeddings.” This project was jointly supported by Meta and the National Science Foundation, aiming to help Meta and other practitioners in the field quantify bias in embeddings and ultimately reduce inequalities in their products. My main responsibilities were to build and train deep learning models, evaluate and generalize metrics of fairness, and test our metrics on real-world datasets. My team also got an opportunity to present our findings to Meta’s Responsible AI team in our site-visit to Meta Headquarters at Menlo Park, California.
Why did you apply for this internship?
In my junior year, I was debating between applying to grad school or working in the industry after graduation. Therefore, I applied for RIPS-UCLA because this program is a cross between an REU and an internship. In contrast to most summer research programs that focus on academic problems, RIPS-UCLA provides students an opportunity to work on real-world research projects proposed by sponsors from industry.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My favorite part of this research is to spend my whole summer in Los Angeles. I met amazing people and made many new friends in my research program. I also had a chance to visit many famous tourist attractions in LA such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Beach, and the Getty Center. Moreover, I love the cultural difference between the East Coast and West Coast and would love to go back to California to work after my graduation.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
I have been trying to develop my communication skills because effective communication is a straightforward process that allows me to express myself and improve both my personal and professional relationships. Moreover, every interaction can open a great opportunity, and good communication skills can allow me to understand information more quickly and accurately. I have been developing a habit of thinking before speaking. I always reflected on my performance after every meeting or presentation to see what went well and what could be improved.
Another skill that I got to learn during my summer research was writing clean code. Because I write code for other developers to understand, I must ensure that they can read, change my code, fix the bugs, and add new features. Therefore, I have been learning to write clean code and make the code run faster, so my current code is now more readable, efficient, and reusable. I believe that if the code is easy to understand and easy to change, then it’s a good code.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.