UMD Undergrad shares experience as a Johns Hopkins Intern

Undergrad Duran Keefe is Advancing Satellite Imaging Automation by Taking Part in a Forward Thinking Project at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
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UMD undergrad Duran Keefe, a 2023 summer intern at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, knows that people are a key part of any information system.

“I’m fascinated by human-computer interaction, or human-centric computing — how people interact with machines,” said Keefe, an intern in the Laboratory’s Research and Exploratory Development Department (REDD). “I’m interested in processes and the connections between things, especially humans and machines.”

During their time at APL, Keefe (who uses the pronouns they/them) worked on various assignments, including the Space-Based Machine Automated Recognition Technique (SMART) project, an Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) proposal that includes work on automating searches of satellite imaging.

Keefe has also been a part of an analytic project with the Lab’s National Security Analysis Department (NSAD) relating to responsible artificial intelligence (AI), working with Krystin Krause, who manages the project, and analyst Julie Obenauer-Motley.

In the fall, Keefe will enter their sophomore year at the University of Maryland, College Park, where they are pursuing a degree in computer science.

“Once I graduate, I want to leverage my degree and the experience I’ve gotten here to get a job doing exciting and critical work,” Keefe said, who said they appreciated the opportunity to do research and analytical work at APL. “I like working on projects where I’m able to go between analysts, software engineers and developers, trying to bridge that gap or help with intergroup communication if we’re looking at something like knowledge management or how we share information, or the retention of useful resources and projects.”

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