International Students CRUISE Through Summer at Georgia Tech

This week, another group of university students left Georgia Tech with a unique glimpse of what their future might hold, thanks to the annual Computing Research Undergraduate Intern Summer Experience (CRUISE), which concluded August 1.

University students considering doctoral studies use CRUISE to sample the life of a Georgia Tech student in the School of Computational Science & Engineering. As an intern, they work closely with faculty for 10 weeks on existing research projects, and attend social events to mingle with other students, faculty and staff. They learn to conduct research, prepare a graduate school application, and present findings in a conference format.

The 2015 program matched three students with Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) Assistant Professor Bistra Dilkina as their mentor. Student participants included Sachin Grover and Ankit Jain from the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur, India; and S. Gokula Krishnan, from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani in Rajasthan, India.

S. Gokula Krishnan worked on an urban planning toolkit for the City of Atlanta to help guide construction of new sidewalks that would benefit a maximum number of people and ensure safe paths for school children. He also worked on a “deep learning” network structure for image recognition, involving simulated large neural networks of the human brain. The techniques are used in tasks like image recognition, voice-to-text translations, and image annotation. Sachin Grover helped integrate machine learning into algorithms used for widespread industry problems, such as production planning, networking, routing, and scheduling.  PhD student Elias Khalil helped Sachin focus on specific problematic areas of the process. Ankit Jain, with help from PhD student Eisha Nathan, worked to understand community structures, a common part of real-world networks. For example, social networks include community groups based on common location, interest, or occupations. Ankit worked on being better able to identify sub-structures within such a network.

Sachin said CRUISE acquainted him with the major aspects of a research project -- from theory, concepts, design, and implementation, to post-processing and analysis.

“I believe CRUISE has been a life-altering experience for me and a crucial stepping stone for my career as a future researcher,” he said. “I am grateful to my mentor Professor Dilkina, to Elias, and to the whole CSE staff for giving me this great opportunity.”

Of the experience, Ankit said, “Dr. Dilkina was helpful and encouraging. I gained experience by using theories learned in my classes and applying them for practical purposes. I was also exposed to advanced algorithms in the field of social networks.” Gokula said, “The discussions I had with my mentor Dr. Dilkina provided me with valuable insight on how to understand user requirements and put myself in the user’s shoes while designing an interface. This experience has greatly improved my research capabilities and my resolve to pursue higher education in the field of Computer Science.”

For more information about CRUISE, please visit or contact Deanna Richards at



Tara La Bouff
Communications Manager