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Warwick students at cutting edge of technology development

Originally Published 26 September 2003
Synapse Students

Synapse Students

Students from the University of Warwick have spent their summer vacation on the prestigious Extreme Blue Internship at IBM.

IBM award just a few of these internships every year to undergraduate students in the penultimate year of a technical or business degree. This year they appointed just 9 students to the scheme, including two Warwick students.

Nick Hill, studying Mathematics at Warwick, and Sebastian Stein, a Computer Science undergraduate, were selected from some of the brightest undergraduates in the UK to join the IBM workforce at the beginning of July to spend their summer working on real projects at the cutting edge of business and technology.

The entry standard is exceptionally high, requiring a minimum of 3 As at A-Level, 5 A*s at GCSE, and a First class prediction for their degree. Combined with the attraction of working on exciting and innovative projects with a real customer focus, the competition for places is understandably fierce and of an exceptionally high standard. This year over 100 students from leading UK universities applied for the programme, with only Warwick and Cambridge securing two places each.

Nick and Sebastian were working on the “Synapse” programme looking at the increasing need for an integrated environment that works for both developers and technical writers in light of the increasing complexity of technical products. With four other team members (including mentors) they attempted to solve this problem by: creating a formal basis for linking information; developing an annotation tool that exploits the integrated environment; and, researching methodologies for extracting metadata to make the information easy to use and reuse. They presented their work to top executives from IBM, and fellow Extreme Blue participants from throughout Europe, in Stuttgart on the 17th and 18th of September.

Sebastian expressed how much he enjoyed his summer internship: ‘Working on the Synapse project has been a very rewarding experience, especially because it allowed us to explore and research novel ideas. I was surprised about the high level of responsibility we were given.’

Nick and Sebastian will resume their studies at Warwick this autumn.

For further information on the IBM Extreme Blue Internship, visit