Internships

Interested in how people communicate? The Human Interaction Laboratory at Tufts University is seeking undergraduate volunteers in Communication, Cognitive Science, Psychology, and/or Computer Science to help us study the cognitive architecture underlying conversation. Currently, we are investigating how people fix misunderstandings, predict each other’s speech, and multitask during conversation. We are also open to supporting senior theses. All interns must commit to at least 10 hours a week.

We are currently accepting applications for three internships for the fall semester. To apply to either internship, fill out this application: https://forms.gle/yB3CRECeTojBz1VCA.  If you have any questions, please email julia.mertens@tufts.edu.

Conversation Analysis Internship

The goal of this internship is to analyze conversations between participants in the Human Interaction Laboratory. You will learn to transcribe and analyze the features of speech that allow people to communicate. In addition, you will help analyze misunderstanding in conversation and to incrementally improve transcription software. This intern must be fluent in English and be able to work independently, with semi-weekly meetings with a supervisor.

In addition to the survey above, to apply you must complete a transcription test in CLAN. Email julia.mertens@tufts.edu to request the materials for this tests. You can find the transcription program, CLAN, here: http://dali.talkbank.org/clan/. There are some tutorials on how to use CLAN online, including YouTube videos (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DblKPmtwsA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HYapL0BFIQ). As the HI Lab uses advanced transcription techniques, and this internship requires self-motivation and independence, we will only consider applicants who can use the available resources to learn the basics of the software. When complete, send your two test transcripts to julia.mertens@tufts.edu to complete your application.

Experimental Psychology Internship

The goal of this internship is to collect and process data from experimental studies, and to collaborate with the Tufts Applied Cognition Laboratory. You may learn to collect, process, and/or analyze fNIRS, EEG, eyetracking, biophysiology, and behavioral data. You must be able to learn new methodologies quickly, commit to a fixed weekly schedule, and work well as part of a team. Your work will help us understand the cognitive mechanisms in understanding, misunderstanding, and multitasking in conversation.

Computer Science Internship

The goal of this internship is to help develop a “Conversation Wikipedia”–an open-source corpus that will allow scientists from all over the world to incrementally improve analysis of conversations. To achieve this goal, we are looking for a highly independent undergraduate in Computer Science to modify an existing front-end system to allow Conversation Analysts to alter time-synced content in a safe, reliable way.

This internship requires expertise in computer science, so we will only accept applications from Juniors or Seniors.

Applicants will need the following skills: 

  1. Proficient in Javascript, SQL, python, HTML5, CSS
  2. Technical focus in front-end development, databases, servers
  3. Can install and run programs using Vagrant and virtual box

If you have questions about this internship, email muhammad.umair@tufts.edu.