1,001 Interns: Students from Around the Globe Bolster NVIDIA

by Karen Xia

Face time with top execs, pro sports tickets, free NVIDIA SHIELD TVs.

These are just some of the perks for our summer interns, who spend three months or more working with world-class engineers and burnishing their skills while tackling on some of the company’s top projects. They also volunteer in events — such as the one last week, pictured above, when scores of interns packaged more than 25,000 meals to feed the hungry — run by the NVIDIA Foundation.

This summer, NVIDIA had a record number of interns, with nearly 1,000 students descending on dozens of offices around the world. These internships, offered across our range of businesses, are customized to suit specific skill sets, giving students a chance to tackle real-world projects designed by individual teams.

In honor of National Intern Day, we’ve featured the experiences of three of our many exceptional interns below.

Eddy Dreams of Space

Since the age of 12, when she first saw black female astronaut Mae Jeminson on TV, Camille Eddy has dreamed of going into space. In pursuit of that goal, she’s since led an undergraduate research team at NASA, joined a college panel to educate undergrads about space research and delivered numerous speeches about cultural bias in engineering.

Today, the Boise State University undergrad works on mechanical design for the NVIDIA DRIVE team.

On a typical day, Eddy can be seen using CREO, a computer-aided design software, to create 2D drawings or review assemblies of hardware products. She’s also had the opportunity to retrofit vehicles, working on designs for gaskets, stands and anything else the team needs.

Eddy said her experiences at NVIDIA have given her lots of exposure to prototype engineering and 3D printing, while contributing to emerging technology that’s never been seen before.

“The skills I’m gaining from these projects are easily transferable,” Eddy said. “I’m going to walk away with the full feeling of knowing that I’ve truly learned skills that I can use to achieve my goals.”

Kadhem Burns the Midnight Oil

Even before Hussain Kadhem began his internship at NVIDIA, a previous stint elsewhere taught him to use CUDA, NVIDIA’s parallel computing platform and programming model for working with GPUs. So it was fate when, this May, the University of Toronto undergraduate joined our Linux software team to update its graphics driver software.

Having grown up blind, Kadhem was always surrounded by assistive technology and did much of his school work on computers. Gradually, he became more fascinated with exploring how these technologies worked, and began programming in middle school.

Now, he’s tasked with updating part of the graphics driver software of Linux that was written 15 years ago. His job has been to scrutinize the driver, specifically in areas where the code may be old and weak, to mitigate potential security exploits. The project has been grueling, according to Kadhem — who stays in the office past midnight about three times a week — but he’s gained many invaluable experiences.

“I came here to work and get more experience, but I didn’t expect to be involved in a truly impactful and central project,” Kadhem said. “I’m really happy that I’m making a tangible contribution to NVIDIA while I’m here.”

Sun Gets Hands-On to Go Hands-Free

A University of Waterloo undergrad, Tom Sun is working with NVIDIA’s automotive team to improve the ability of autonomous vehicles to change lanes. This task involves driving hands-free on the highway — a sight that he reports has shocked many drivers passing by.

One of the main challenges with autonomous vehicles is figuring out how to change lanes and enter/exit ramps, according to Sun. Currently, AVs use machine learning to detect lanes, which is often a costly and difficult task. However, NVIDIA’s team uses map data, which works with machine learning techniques to localize the car and create a drivable path through different lanes.

Sun’s first time in an autonomous vehicle occurred while driving 60 mph on the highway. His manager simply plugged in the code Sun had been working on and let go of the wheel.

“The wheel just started turning by itself — it was really amazing to see my code in action, even though I was also freaking out because we were driving on the highway without hands on the wheel,” Sun said.

An inveterate tinkerer, Sun said that he especially values NVIDIA’s opportunities to work on real code and autonomous vehicles. He hopes to continue on this career path.

“I feel like my work at NVIDIA has actually made an impact on the company’s future, even though I’m only an intern. Also, despite the fact that NVIDIA is a big company, I can just go to my neighbor and ask for help,” Sun said. “I’ve learned so much here; everyone gets their work done but it’s still a super-fun environment to be in.”

Got plans for summer 2019? Find out more about NVIDIA’s internship program.