I had the pleasure to do my internship at the Simula Research Laboratory in Oslo between the 13th and the 24th of August. Its main field of work is based in computer science which is a subject I am heavily interested in. My decision to work there in Norway was in hindsight the perfect opportunity for several reasons. First, this institute conducts research in the area of information systems which is a subject I am very interested in. Originally I planned to do my internship at the University of Oslo at the Institute for Informatics but Simula is also connected to this faculty. My brother recommended me Simula as he has heard only great things about them. Second, he lives in Oslo so I already have a place to stay and I also know the area quite well. I didn’t have any expectations as I am interested in all fields of their research.
Simula Research Laboratory is a Norwegian non-profit research organization fully owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research undertaking fundamental research within information and communication technology. Its main philosophy is to drive scientific progress that is of genuine value to society. Simula as a whole is comprised of several companies dedicated to research, education and innovation. Research for the most part is focused on advanced computing, software validation and verification, complex software systems, numerical analysis and scientific computing. Simula also hosts the Simula Garage, the “Gründergarasjen” in Norwegian, to find real world applications of their scientific findings through helping young entrepreneurs with their ideas. Connected with this is Simula Innovation, a subsidiary, which also organises technology transfer from research to business, and assists in commercialisation of research results through industrial partnerships and attracting private funds. Furthermore, Simula educates master students, PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, primarily in cooperation with the University of Oslo.
I had two German mentors. My first one was a professor of the University of Oslo. He provided me with a project I could work on during my time there and he was the one I could ask for assistance if I had any problems or questions regarding my project work. My assignment was to prepare a recording system able to construct the 3D environment surrounding the device. To elaborate further I had to set up the computers for recording and in addition design and build a physical construct as a rig. My second mentor was a PhD student who didn’t have an integral role for the completion of my project. A typical day of mine consisted of working on my assignment for example by testing the 3D laser scanner and talking with my colleagues about their research work.
I am very glad to have had the opportunity to experience Simula. My project was enlightening and challenging as it was the first time for me to work with an expensive 3D laser scanner and to prepare a physical rig. Furthermore all of my colleagues were quite welcoming especially my two mentors. My second supervisor was able to spare one to two hours almost everyday to explain what he is currently working on. In general the other master and PhD students were also glad to show me their work. Through this I got valuable insight on what kinds of projects a typical computer scientist works on. Furthermore, the location itself was relaxing and beautiful. The main building was right beside the sea so my colleagues and I went often outside and sat by the water. The only negative thing I could note is that my first mentor worked at the University of Oslo and Simula in parallel so I wasn’t able to see him all the time.
Because of all those positive aspects I would gladly work at such an institution again. In addition their research was very interesting and something I could see myself doing for a long time in the future.