Presentation #547.04 in the session “Education, Outreach, and Public Engagement”.
The Breakthrough Listen (BL) Initiative and Berkeley SETI Research Center offer a 10-week paid summer internship to undergraduate college students. With support from the National Science Foundation as a Research Experience for Undergraduates Site, this program offers students the opportunity to complete focused, independent research projects and work with professional researcher mentors. Projects are focused around radio astronomy data collected by BL at the Green Bank Telescope (WV, USA), Parkes Telescope (NSW, Australia) and MeerKAT telescope array in the Karoo desert in South Africa. Optical SETI projects utilize high resolution spectral data from the Automated Planet Finder (CA, USA) and optical photometry collected by NASA’s TESS mission. This internship offers students experience relevant to pursuing graduate school and also toward understanding scientific research more broadly. Students can expect to be exposed to modern analysis tools such as Google Cloud, machine learning, and super-computing, while working on big data. All research projects are related to answering the most profound question that we can ask ourselves. Are we alone?