Meet the 2015 Class of Great Minds

The Great Minds initiative is a competition for 3 to 6-month internships at the IBM Research Labs in Zurich or Dublin for students from Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It provides students with the unique opportunity to work alongside world-class scientists at a renowned lab.

IBM Research is conducting the Great Minds internships for the seventh time, and the latest group of six students have already started on their projects. This year's class has arrived from Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine over the past few weeks. 

Read their stories below, and later this year you’ll find out about their experiences.

Paul Iurea (first from left)
Facultatea de Automatica si Calculatoare Iasi
Universitatea Tehnica "Gheorghe Asachi" Iasi

Paul started on 1 August and will be working on a big data analytics crawler algorithm. The algorithm will eventually be plugged into a unique cognitive app developed by IBM which assists sales teams by recommending products based on internal and external data.

Marcel Német (second from left)
Czech Technical University in Prague

During his internship at IBM Czech Republic Marcel heard about the Great Minds competition and joined the IBM Lab on 28 June. As student focused on artificial intelligence he is currently working with IBM’s security researchers on machine learning and network analysis to help detect network intruders and anomalies before they can cause any harm.

Catalina Marar (first seated)
Facultatea de Automatica si Calculatoare Iasi
Universitatea Tehnica "Gheorghe Asachi" Iasi

After her professor emailed students about the Great Minds program Catalina applied and started on 20 July. She is part of a team investigating how we can construct very flexible, high-performance and efficient systems based on neural networks for future self-learning systems. 

Roxana Istrate (second seated)
Universitatea Politehnica Bucuresti

Roxana was the first to arrive, on 15 June where she joined the growing Cognitive Computing and Industry Solutions team. Roxana is no stranger to Big Blue since she won a competition hosted by IBM last December. Her task at the Zurich lab is to scale the distribution of a sparse data matrix — which essentially means she is developing algorithms to find patterns in petabytes of data fast and efficiently.

Ondřej Borovec (above sign)
Czech Technical University in Prague
Czech Republic

Ondřej is an undergraduate student who passed an internship at IBM Czech Republic and had a part-time position as a Junior Software Architect during his university studies. Thanks to the IBM Academy Program he discovered an opportunity to apply for the Great Minds competition which would fulfill his wish to work in international research lab. Ondřej, who joined in June, is now focused on research in the field of recommendation systems and Big data analytics. 

Vadym Nekhai (first from right)
Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute

Vadym has been following IBM since the beginning of his studies and has participated in the IBM z/Master (Master the Mainframe) competition for the last two years where he passed the first stages. While initially not being accepted into Great Minds in 2014, this year he was successful. He is currently working on a user interface for a project which uses machine learning for issues prediction and optimization of database configurations —tools of the trade for large scale data centre outsourcing contracts.

Stay tuned for updates from all of the Great Minds when they wrap up towards the end of the year. 

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