University of Texas at Austin


The Moncrief Summer Interns of 2023

By Rebecca Riley

Published June 27, 2023

Interns tour Texas Advanced Computing Center. Credit: Joanne Foote

Every summer, the Moncrief Undergraduate Internship Program welcomes a handful of students from all over the country to conduct research alongside the faculty of the Oden Institute. During this ten week program, interns delve into the cutting edge of computational science and engineering. 

This summer’s Moncrief Interns are computationally modeling heart disease, using AI to predict tumor growth, exploring the foundations of predictive decision making, automating machine learning model development, and more.

“I knew I wanted to push myself this summer, so I began to look for internships that seemed interesting to me,” said Caroline Brutocao who is a psychobiology major at UCLA. “Immediately, the Moncrief Internship caught my eye. The ability to work directly with UT faculty was unlike anything I had seen in any other program.”

Caroline arrived in Austin on June 5th just in time to take part in an Oden Institute tradition: Coffee Hour in the Faculty Lounge. 

In the weeks since then, Caroline and her fellow interns have been taking part in weekly workshops, panels, a fieldtrip to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC,) and socials, in between immersing in research.

“I am working under Dr. Michael Sacks doing cardiovascular modeling and simulation. I cannot believe that I get to be a part of such amazing and unique work.”

While Caroline has been modeling the heart, Jessica Lozoya has been looking into the homogenization of complex microstructure using FFT.

“I actually came across Moncrief a few days before the deadline and spontaneously decided to apply and am actually so grateful I did!” enthused Jessica who is a math major at St. Edward’s University. “Everyone has been so kind and welcoming.”

The young researcher’s new friends made sure to pull her away from her work with Dr. Berkin Dortdivanlioglu on developing advanced computational models and physics-based simulation techniques long enough to celebrate her birthday - one of four Moncrief Intern birthday parties this summer. 


Moncrief Summer interns are joined by other Oden Institute interns during a tour of TACC.

As July turns to August, the Moncrief Interns will turn from back-to-back workshops and socials to focusing on preparing their upcoming research poster presentations. Posters sessions are a key method of communicating research in the sciences, so it’s only fitting that the Moncrief Interns round out their summer experience with this opportunity, followed by a reception on August 10th. 

After their last day as interns, they will return to their various universities across the country. As they begin their fall semester, they might just bring something of the Oden Institute with them. As Caroline said in her earliest days of the Moncrief Internship, “I know I will gather knowledge and experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”


Moncrief summer interns visit at their welcome lunch in early June.

The Moncrief Undergraduate Summer Internship Program provides support for qualified undergraduate students of mathematics, science, and engineering to work within the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. Research activities generally focus on developing modeling and simulation methods to study problems in areas such as energy, environment, advanced materials, biomedical research, nanomanufacturing, autonomous systems and many other scientific and engineering areas that draw on applied and computational mathematics, computing, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, mathematical physics, and biology.