A Chance to Grow: Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholars

October 23, 2020

From left to right: Cristina Isabel González Osorio; Holly Jackson; Merhawit Temesgen; Jiayi “Eris” Zhang

The Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarships recognize outstanding female undergraduate and master’s students studying computer science and related fields. Winners gain a boost in pursuing research or technical careers with an award of $10,000, a Creative Cloud subscription, and the opportunity to interview for an internship at Adobe Research. Applications for scholarships are now open to women undergraduates and master’s students in North America until December 4.

Here, a handful of undergraduate Women-in-Technology (WiT) Scholars who also served as 2020 Adobe Research interns share their experiences.

Cristina Isabel González Osorio

The scholarship seemed like a very good opportunity for me, especially because of the possibility of interning at Adobe Research. I thought I could grow as a researcher. I did not hesitate to give it a try, and it was definitely worth it.

For my internship, I worked on a video editing project. The goal was to design a tool capable of automatically detecting video fragments that are likely to be discarded from a collection. This could reduce the time that editors spend removing poor quality shots and give them more time to be creative. I was motivated by the possibility of directly impacting editors’ work while doing what I like to do.

For me, the most special thing about interning at Adobe Research is the culture behind Adobe for All. I heard someone describe Adobe as a place where many brilliant people come together, with different backgrounds and perspectives, and I could not agree more. In addition to being brilliant, everyone at Adobe is willing to help you with whatever you need. It is an excellent place to learn and enrich yourself as a researcher.

Merhawit Temesgen

I applied to be a WiT Scholar in hopes of getting guidance by mentors who have walked my path and are doing amazing things in software engineering. Plus, WiT provided me with an opportunity to apply to intern at one of the most well-respected research labs in the field. I wanted to explore how research is done in an industry lab, and I hoped to work on a cutting-edge project at Adobe—one of the most innovative companies highlighted by Fast Company magazine.

In my internship, I worked on a robust project in the real-time algorithm group. I used Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques, focusing on making a query service more efficient.

I was a little intimidated at first during our weekly team meetings, being the only undergraduate, but that quickly faded away as everyone on my team was very uplifting, supportive, and open-minded. In fact, I was humbled to have later found out that I was the first undergraduate intern to join their team. They took a risk when they extended me the opportunity, and I am really grateful for the chance.

Jiayi “Eris” Zhang

As a WiT Scholar and intern at Adobe Research, I was drawn to working on 3D shape deformation. I explored human skin modeling in my internship project. It’s important because photorealistic human characters are key to VR and AR experiences, and current modeling tools do not accurately capture the skin’s biological nature. Our work considers the bio-dynamic mechanism that generates skin folds and wrinkles.

One thing that I found particularly cool is that even though the internship program this summer was fully virtual, I still felt closely connected to the group and had many chances to communicate with other members. For instance, our research group randomly paired interns and full-timers each week and encouraged us to start a conversation and share ideas. I learned about what people at Adobe are doing and got lots of useful research advice.

At Adobe Research, I’ve learned not only how to collaborate with people with different backgrounds and get the best possible help from them, but also how to think independently as the leader of my project.

Holly Jackson

I learned a crazy amount this summer during my internship with Adobe Research. It was my first-ever exposure to machine learning. My project introduced me to new topics in math and artificial intelligence.

In weekly meetings with research scientists, I had the chance to discuss wonderfully complex and creative approaches for dealing with the obstacles I was facing. That would always leave me inspired and challenged. I think the work I did this summer really changed how I approach science and engineering problems for the better.

We also had the opportunity to chat with impressive female Adobe research scientists. It was incredible to hear about their unique career paths, and they had loads of valuable advice to give us about honing our own interests and navigating the male-dominated tech world.

My project also inspired me when choosing my courses this fall. And I’ll be continuing some of my research with Adobe throughout the fall semester, in the hopes of publishing a collaborative paper.

Applications are open until December 4. Learn more about the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology program and apply now!

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