At IBM, work is more than a job – it’s a calling: To build. To design. To code. To consult. To think along with clients and sell. To make markets. To invent. To collaborate. Not just to do something better, but to attempt things you’ve never thought possible. Are you ready to lead in this new era of technology and solve some of the world’s most challenging problems? If so, lets talk.
Your Role and Responsibilities
IBM Research Africa is looking for a Ph.D-level intern to join their Future of Climate Research group which is exploring different mitigation and adaptation strategies to combat climate change. This unique position will provide an opportunity to work with developers and researchers based in Nairobi, Kenya while also engaging with hundreds of global researchers in the world’s largest industrial research lab.
The aim of this internship is to explore novel ways to characterize extreme weather indicators. While many indices have been proposed in literature, universal indicators for low-to-medium skill forecasted weather are difficult to define as they depend on spatiotemporal domains of interest and are industry-sector specific. Providing global and domain-agnostic extreme weather indicators will be immensely beneficial to identify high-impact events and downstream applications such as drought, flood, and fire prediction on the subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) scale. This internship will involve experimenting with statistical and data-driven methods for efficient featurization of future weather extremes. It will also involve assessing the predictive skill of current S2S models in forecasting established indicators vis-à-vis state-of-the-art representation learning methods to provide extreme weather encodings.
Applicants should meet the following criteria:
- Currently enrolled in a Ph.D program from an accredited university in quantitative fields such as Computer Science, Machine Learning, Statistics, Physics, Information Systems
- Demonstrable interest and experience on researching and implementing robust AI / ML pipelines. Exposure to forecasting and climate science concepts is a plus.
- 4 years coding experience with the scientific and ML Python stack (sklearn, numpy, scipy, pandas, matplotlib, etc.). Exposure to deep-learning Python libraries such as tensorflow, pytorch is a plus.
Founded in 2013, IBM Research Africa is the first industrial research lab on the continent with offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Johannesburg, South Africa. We are driving innovation by developing commercially viable solutions to transform lives and spark new business opportunities in key areas such as healthcare, climate, and Artificial Intelligence.
With the IBM Research Africa internship initiative, we are reaching out to outstanding young research talent in South Africa and invite qualified masters and doctoral students to apply for a 6 to 12-month internship position at the IBM Research lab in South Africa and take up this opportunity to work at a world-class research lab on some of the grand challenges and pressing problems that we are facing today. Candidates will gain insights into real industry challenges and obtain hands-on experience that should be valuable to their university and faculty. Candidates will bring back knowledge of IBM’s advanced technologies and contacts throughout IBM Research.
The ideal candidates should have an applied knowledge in some of the following fields: data science, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, Internet of things, computer vision, software engineering, applied physics and statistics. Successful candidates will develop and deploy proof of concept technologies and algorithms for the projects they are assigned to. The candidate will be expected to demonstrate the ability to define research questions, formulate hypothesis, and develop and demonstrate innovative solutions using cutting edge technologies. Furthermore, the candidate will be expected to collaborate extensively with internal and external teams.
Research projects will mostly be characterized by data driven innovation and machine learning, example research projects include: unsupervised machine learning on the cloud, traffic optimization, TB contact tracing, pulsar detection, genomics, computational biology, natural language processing applications in medicine, image analysis, air quality management, and stream processing analytics for the Square Kilometer Array radio astronomy project. Many of the research projects will be geared towards having transformational impact in South Africa and across the African continent.
The internship is open to any recognized MSc, MEng or PhD candidate working in the following areas at the time of application: Computational Biology; Computer Science; Data Science; Electrical, Electronic or Computer Engineering; Genomics; Industrial Engineering; Physics; Service Science; Statistics.
Required Technical and Professional Expertise
• Be a South African Citizen.
• Member of designated groups as defined in the Employment Equity Act.
• Registered at a recognised university in one of the aforementioned fields of study.
• Demonstrable academic research proficiency based on the scientific method.
• Working knowledge of popular and current machine learning methods and implementation techniques.
• Experience in application programming notably for mobile and web-based applications, development of web APIs, and user experience design for a variety of platforms.
• The candidate should be comfortable applying their knowledge and expertise in different domains and partnering with domain experts.
Experience with deep learning, signal and image processing, and computational mathematics will be advantageous.
Preferred Technical and Professional Expertise