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PhD Student Develops NLP Training Course During QCIF Internship

Sabah Gaznaghi, a PhD student at The University of Queensland, has recently completed an internship at QCIF, where he successfully developed a new Natural Language Processing (NLP) training course.


Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that lies at the core of applications enabling computers and digital devices to recognize, understand, and generate human text and speech.


In this interview, Sabah shares his motivations, experiences, and the impact of his internship on his career aspirations.


Why Did You Decide to Apply for an Internship?

"I had already developed skills in machine learning during my PhD and was looking for an opportunity to utilize what I had learned. Plus, I figured it was the perfect chance to pick up some new skills that would give me an edge in my career. Learning about these techniques in an academic setting is one thing but applying them to real-world problems is where the learning truly happens," Sabah explained.


How Did You End Up Doing an Internship at QCIF?

"I chose QCIF because it is well-regarded for its hands-on training in novel data-driven technologies and its impressive digital resources that support research and innovation. It seemed like the right place where I could make a meaningful contribution while also advancing my skills. The opportunity to create a research training module that could help researchers and speed up their work was particularly appealing, as it directly relates to the essence of my PhD projects," he added.


Biggest Achievement and Most Memorable Experience

"The highlight of my internship was definitely the teamwork. Collaborating with experts, especially my advisor, was invaluable. Their feedback not only improved the project but also honed my project management skills. A significant achievement was advancing a project from a mere concept to full completion, which is now being integrated into QCIF’s digital skills curriculum. It was outside my usual academic scope, which made it all the more rewarding. It has given me a solid boost of confidence for any future projects I tackle," said Sabah.


Impact on Career Goals

"Absolutely! It has equipped me with a comprehensive set of NLP skills and practical experience in designing workshops that address the evolving needs of researchers utilizing large language models. I have mastered live coding and effective communication of complex ideas. Developing these skills has been a solid step towards my goal of becoming an expert in automating and accelerating research projects," Sabah emphasized.


Advice for Future Students

"Go for it! An internship at QCIF offers an opportunity, particularly for PhD students, to engage in meaningful projects and make a real impact. It is a chance to face new challenges, broaden your creative horizons, and sharpen your problem-solving skills. The experience promises a rich addition to your knowledge base, the development of new skills, and a profound sense of achievement as you contribute to the wider research community," Sabah advised.


Positive Feedback from UQ Graduate School

Nathaly Quintero from UQ Graduate School highlighted the positive relationship with QCIF as an internship provider. "Communication between us has been easy and fast, making it simple to provide multiple opportunities at once. QCIF has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to providing our PhD candidates with valuable, real-world experiences that complement their academic learning."


This sentiment is echoed by previous PhD candidates who have chosen QCIF for their internship placements.

"Feedback from past PhD candidates who have completed their placements at QCIF has been highly positive, highlighting the professional growth and practical insights they have gained during their Higher Degree Research placements. We look forward to continuing our collaboration in providing placement opportunities in the foreseeable future," Nathaly added.


Sabah’s newly developed training course will be available later this year and is set to provide researchers with essential NLP skills, reflecting the increasing importance of AI in various academic and professional fields.

His work at QCIF underscores the vital role of internships in bridging the gap between academic learning and real-world application, fostering innovation, and preparing the next generation of researchers for future challenges.


If you are interested in learning more about internships at QCIF, contact

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