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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2018 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  COSMIC: Labels & verification for ML Change Detection onboard mars orbiters
Disciplines:  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Machine Learning / Data Science
Mentor:  Lukas Mandrake, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-1705
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  The COSMIC project (Content-based Orbital Summarization to Monitor Infrequent Change) is an ambitious 3-year project to create machine-learned algorithms that recognize surface features in Martian orbital imagery, summarize these findings onboard the orbiter, and provide change detection upon repeat passes. This permits scientists to build up a planet-wide summary of what's on Mars without downlinking a single image as well as a "menu" of interesting changes / objects found for optional downlink.
Description:  COSMIC will require ample, high-quality labels that teach the system to recognize scientifically important regions, landmarks, or spectral composition. Specific duties of this position will be meeting with (friendly) scientists to learn where on Mars to look for interesting objects, labeling the objects, analyzing existing labels for purity/quality, running the prototype COSMIC system, examining errors to further refine labels and/or feedback to the algorithm dev team, and book-keeping the ever-expanding database of training imagery / labels. Careful attention to detail is an absolute requirement.
Student Requirements:  Required skills: Linux experience, basic statistics (mean, median, stdev, accuracy, random vs systematic error, uncertainty)
Suggested skills: any machine-learning, signal processing, or image processing coursework.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: No.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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