Meet the Interns on Team Model

We’re back with another installment of Meet the Interns. Last week, we met Team Edge. This week, we introduce Team Model working on the EchoNet project. Team model is responsible for creating AI algorithms that can detect sound and can be applied to use cases such as shot detection or earthquake victim location.

We’ll start with Sungjeon Choi, a spring 2023 Virginia Tech graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Sungjeon, how would you describe your project? 

On team Model, we specialize in machine learning aspects for the EchoNet project. Our primary focus rests on the development and refinement of a gun detection model. But we also hope to be able to contribute to the creation or performance enhancement of the sound localization model as well.  

Sounds fascinating! How did you decide on Octo and this particular internship? 

It’s funny how things worked out with Octo. I applied here just like I did with countless other places during my senior year, not really expecting much. At the time, I was torn about where I wanted to head professionally—general software engineering, cybersecurity, and AI/ML were all on the table, but I was a bit upset that I couldn’t chase all of these interests. But then, when I looked more into Octo, I noticed that they’re into all these fields—artificial intelligence, infrastructure and cloud, cybersecurity, data management, and more. It seemed like I wouldn’t have to give up any of my interests, so Octo seemed like a great fit for me. And here’s the kicker: during the interview, they mentioned that their project was heavily involved with sound localization. It was such a cool coincidence because I was actually taking a class on ambisonics research at the time. It just felt like everything was falling into place, and for the first time in a while, I really thought that this could be the right internship for me.  

We’re glad it worked out for you and for Octo! So tell us, in your field and career, what do you ultimately want to be known for?   

Currently, my aspiration is to establish a reputation as a reliable individual who consistently meets expectations and delivers results. Furthermore, I seek to be recognized for my adaptability, demonstrating resilience and versatility across diverse situations. However, my professional persona extends beyond the confines of my work responsibilities. I also want to be perceived as an individual who embodies empathy and understanding, deeply valuing the significance of interpersonal relationships. But who knows, things can always change so maybe what I want now will change a few years into the future.  

Where do you see yourself in the next decade? 

Admittedly, there is an abundance of knowledge I have yet to absorb in my professional journey. My academic progression was somewhat restricted, and I couldn’t enroll in as many courses as I would have ideally pursued. This has led me to consider further academics, potentially in the form of a master’s degree. Currently, I am actively pursuing certifications that align with my areas of interest, notably CompTIA Security+ and Network+. These certifications not only amplify my knowledge base but also align with my career trajectory. I’m hoping to learn a lot in order to one day establish my own organization, emulating the multifaceted nature of Octo. I aim to create a platform with a broad range of capabilities, catering to individuals like myself who are passionate about multiple fields, or even for people who wish to pursue one specific field. Despite 17 years of learning in school becoming a recent graduate, it honestly feels as though my journey has only just begun.  

Well said. Now let’s turn to Justin Matthews. Justin, tell us a little about your schooling.  

I attend George Mason University. I am going into my fourth year, and I am currently studying computer engineering. 

What can you tell us about this project and how it pertains to your future?    

Team Model is tasked to develop two machine learning models. The first model is designed to detect gunshots from audio files, and the second model is designed to determine the angle, distance, type, caliber, and azimuth (an angular measurement in a spherical coordinate system) of the weapon that was fired.  

This project is fascinating and related to my goals. In five years, I see myself continuing or wrapping up my education and receiving my master’s in computer engineering with a specialization in machine learning. I plan to use what I learn to become a machine learning engineer. In 10 years, I see myself being established in the workforce and contributing my knowledge and skills to the company I’m working for at that time.   

So in your field and career, what do you want to be known for?   

I want to be known as a hard worker and team player. I want my bosses and coworkers to know that I am someone they can rely on when a job needs to get done.  

Meet more members of Team Model

Now we move to Stekunda Henry, a senior and computer science major at Catholic University of America. Stekunda, can you tell us why you chose Octo for your internship?  

I chose Octo for my internship due to the company’s strong reputation for innovation, commitment to cutting-edge technologies, and collaborative work culture.   

I aspire to be known as a highly skilled and innovative software engineer, renowned for staying ahead of technological advancements and consistently delivering top-notch and high-quality solutions. This internship will help me get there.  

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In five years, I see myself as a highly skilled and experienced software engineer having successfully contributed to various projects and gained a deep understanding of Octo’s operations. I would like to have taken on more complex assignments such as leading small teams or collaborating closely with cross-functional teams.   

In 10 years, I aim to have grown into a senior software engineer or technical lead role, playing a key part in driving development and implementation of critical systems or products. I envision myself as an expert within a particular domain of machine learning and AI, leveraging my experience to mentor and guide junior engineers.  

Thank you, Stekunda. We wish you the best of luck in your journey. Last but not least, we have Alejandro Likens, a computer science graduate from George Mason University. Alejandro, why did you choose Octo for your internship?  

When I first heard about the EchoNet project, I was instantly captivated. It held both professional intrigue and personal interest for me. Recognizing the project’s profound significance and ability to help service members, I was encouraged to join Octo.  

In your field and career, what do you want to be known for?   

I want to be known as a great engineer, someone who can be looked at as a leader, someone who sets the bar high for others, and someone who you are glad is on your team.   

Where do you see yourself in five years? 10?     

In five years, I see myself continuing to work in the machine learning/AI space with a focus on sports, particularly working with the NFL, soccer, golf, or the NBA. In 10 years, I’d hope for the same but ideally, if all goes well, I hope to be on the verge of retirement.   

We appreciate the members of Team Model sharing their talents, goals, and aspirations with us. Octo is proud to support all our interns as they learn and grow into IT.

Do you have a passion for innovation and learning? Are you driven by missions that impact the public? Octo, an IBM company, has openings for technologists and support professionals at every career stage. Learn about opportunities now by visiting our Careers page.