The Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence (ISSAI) has once again demonstrated its commitment to fostering the next generation of tech-savvy minds by successfully conducting its Summer Research Program (SRP). What made this year’s SRP even more remarkable was the inclusion of high school students, making it an immersive experience for both university and young aspiring scholars. The program aimed to provide practical knowledge and hands-on experience in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), programming, and related fields.
This year ISSAI welcomed a total of 39 talented students from various universities and high schools. Among the participants, 21 were university students and, for the first time, 18 high school students had the opportunity to be a part of this enriching experience. The diversity in backgrounds and perspectives created a vibrant atmosphere for innovation and collaboration.
High schoolers from different cities and schools in Kazakhstan, along with university students from institutions like Astana IT University, Kazakh British Technical University, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Princeton University, Sharif University of Technology, Nazarbayev University, and others, made the program truly global and enriching.
Throughout the program students were paired with experienced mentors from the ISSAI data science team. The mentors offered invaluable support to the participants throughout their research journey. By collaborating with professionals actively working in the AI field, students gained exposure to real-world AI projects and received insights into the industry’s latest trends.
The opportunity to work on challenging projects allowed students to apply the theoretical knowledge they had gained in their studies to practical scenarios. This hands-on approach not only deepened their understanding but also honed their problem-solving abilities, preparing them for future challenges in the AI domain.
Prof. Huseyin Atakan Varol, Founding Director of ISSAI, expressed his delight in expanding the program to include high school students, saying, “We are thrilled to witness the incredible passion and dedication displayed by both university and high school participants. By offering this opportunity to young talents, we hope to inspire them to pursue careers in AI and related fields, contributing to the development of smart and advanced technologies in Kazakhstan.”
The student feedback regarding the program was overwhelmingly positive. Many expressed their gratitude for the exposure to real-world projects and the chance to learn from skilled mentors. Several high school students, in particular, mentioned that the experience solidified their interest in pursuing AI and data science as a future career path.