Announcing that it entered into a partnership with Northeastern’s Roux Institute in Portland, the College can offer more academic and professional development opportunities for STEM students, including internships with local startups and a potential “four-plus-one” program for computer science majors beginning as early as fall 2023.
Internships at the Institute are a new way for Bowdoin students to get industry experience, especially as the College is very far geographically from the technological hub of Silicon Valley. These experiences, coupled with the upcoming dual-degree program, will provide another avenue for Bowdoin’s computer science students to advance their careers.
The Roux Institute was established in November 2020 with a $100 million donation from David Roux. A co-founder of private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, Roux is a former Bowdoin trustee who donated $10 million to help fund the construction of the Roux Center for the Environment in 2016. The Roux Institute is still in the process of constructing its permanent campus which is slated for completion in 2024. Its temporary campus, located at 100 Fore Street in Portland, is currently hosting a number of master’s and postdoctoral programs in computer science, data science, biotechnology and other related areas.
For Bowdoin students interested in exposure to these fields, the College’s partnership with the Roux Institute promises new opportunities. At Bowdoin, the Office of Career Exploration and Development (CXD) is working to offer students summer research internships and entrepreneurship workshops at the Roux Institute.
Roxana Valdez ’24 was one of three Bowdoin students to intern at the Institute this summer. A computer science major, Valdez worked on machine learning algorithms for biometric data sensors which can be embedded in wearable devices to detect the wearer’s levels of concentration, distraction and depression.
To complement her time in the lab, Valdez attended “summits” at the Roux Institute.
“Just listening to these people and hearing what they have to say is interesting enough to change your career path,” Valdez said. “Honestly, it’s hard to believe that people who are way out of graduate school are still interested in undergrad[uates].”
Because the Roux Institute was established during the pandemic, its research opportunities were not available to undergraduates until this summer. As it builds a larger campus and attracts new faculty, those opportunities will develop. The Institute is committed to growing Maine’s local economy, specifically by advising and helping to establish local startups.
“I expect the research opportunities to grow for the entrepreneurship side of things,” said Daniel Calles, an associate director of the CXD. “As those startups get more settled, they [will] need more help.”