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ITL/CTL 2016 SURF Program

The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) and the Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invite undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors to apply for the 2016 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at the NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The program is designed to provide hands-on research experience in applied mathematics, statistics, computer security, information access, software testing, networking, and communications technologies.

2016 SURF Program Dates: May 23 to August 5, 2016
Application Deadline: February 12, 2016

Specific ITL/CTL research opportunities include:


 Mathematical modeling
 Orthogonal polynomials and special    functions
 Signal and image analysis
 Combinatorics and graph theory
 Data mining and machine learning
 Quantum information science
 Scientific visualization
 Mathematical knowledge management
 Scientific software development
 Software testing


 Experimental design
 Statistical modeling
 Uncertainty analysis
 Bayesian analysis
 Statistical computing
 Applications in Biology
 Applications in Chemistry
 Applications in Forensic Science
 Applications in Physics

Computer Security:

 Information security
 Identity management

Information Access:

 Data science
 Human interaction with computing  technologies
 Computer accessibility
 Information retrieval
 Human language technology
 Natural language and speech  processing

Software Testing:

 Healthcare information technology and     informatics
 Trustworthy software
 Software measurement science
 Software quality testing
 Digital data retrieval and preservation
 Digital mobile/forensics


 Advanced Internet technologies
 Internet security/robustness
 Advanced cloud and mobile computing    technologies
 Complex systems analysis of networks
 Software-defined networking
 Network function virtualization
 Machine-to-machine networking (loT/CPS)
 Localization and context-aware networking

Communications Technologies:

 Software-defined radio
 Spectrum sensing and monitoring
 Communications channel modeling
 5G cellular networks

2_SMALL GOOD ONE_2015 SURF ITL Group Photo 03 
Credit: NIST/Denease Anderson


The Fellowship will include a stipend of $5,500 for the 11-week period, in addition to travel and housing allowances.

Student Eligibility Criteria

  • Students must be undergraduates at a U.S. university or college with a scientific major;
  • Students must have a G.P.A. of 3.0/4.0 or better (recommended), and are considering pursuing a graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.);
  • Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents;

  • Students will need two letters of recommendation into the program by science and engineering professors/department chairs, a student transcript, and a letter of intent/personal statement; and

  • Students with applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, or engineering majors are always encouraged to apply. There may be research opportunities for students with other majors.

Plan of Operation

  • SURFers work directly with ITL/CTL Research Advisors.
  • SURFers participate in a weekly research seminar program and in extramural group activities intended to enrich the fellowship experience.
  • In addition to the required presentation during the SURF Colloquium at the end of the session, SURFers are encouraged to present their research results at national meetings, or to work with their advisors to submit manuscripts on their work to peer-reviewed research journals.
  • SURFers are encouraged to pursue graduate work after they finish college, up to the Ph.D. degree.


For more information and to apply, go to the related links.
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Information Technology Laboratory

Howard Cohl, ITL SURF Director
Applied and Computational Mathematics Division
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8910
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Isabel Beichl, ITL SURF Director
Applied and Computational Mathematics Division
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8910
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Elizabeth Lennon, ITL SURF Director

Office of the ITL Director
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8900
Gaithersburg, MD 28099

Michaela Iorga, ITL Surf Director
Computer Security Division
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8930
Gaithersburg, MD  20899

Derek Juba, ITL Surf Director
Software and Systems Division
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8970
Gaithersburg, MD  20800

Communications Technology Laboratory

David Griffith, CTL SURF Director
Wireless Networks Division
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8920
Gaithersburg, MD 20899