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Computing for Global Challenges

A Summer of Team Science and Global Impact

From human health to infrastructure, our world is facing enormous threats. To understand them, we need and use data. This undergraduate program is a training ground for the next generation of data-driven researchers. Working in teams with peers and scientists from the Institute's Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing division, students learn a new way to address real-world issues while working on critical research projects.

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The Program

The Computing for Global Challenges program welcomes undergraduates each summer to participate in a hands-on and immersive, eight-week session that culminates in a day of student presentations featuring their research.

Where: TBD

When: The 2023 program ran for 8 weeks, beginning May 31, 2023

Eligibility: UVA and non-UVA students may participate

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and continue until all positions are filled.

A Team Science Approach

At the Biocomplexity Institute, we embrace a transdisciplinary team science approach to research, because solving the critical issues of our time requires multiple viewpoints. As a young researcher, you can bring a new, fresh way of understanding problems to bear while working with your team and faculty mentor on a real-world issue.


As you work on real world projects, you and your peers will learn about cutting-edge software technologies and methods in machine learning, network science, agent-based simulation, data science and computational biology. You'll gain practical experience applying these methods to address pressing global challenges, from invasive species control in Nepal, to mitigating hurricane disasters in the United States and predicting the effects of policy decisions on the spread of COVID-19. Along the way, you'll also discover the ethical considerations that — we believe — must guide us as we investigate complex living systems.

Featured Student Project

Mapping Invasive Plant Species with Deep Learning

Ethan Choo, a 2019 Computing for Global Challenges intern and Computer Science student at the University of Virginia, spent his summer examining the spread of various invasive plant species in Nepal. He analyzed the impact human activity and climate change had on the spread using a deep learning model to look at and classify satellite images on plant presence or absence. 

Research Projects

Take a look at the types of projects interns, working alongside their research mentors, were a part of in 2023.

C4GC's History

The C4GC program, organized by BI’s Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing (NSSAC) division, emphasizes team science as students work with both their peers and various scientists within the division. Students learned new ways to address real-world concerns during the program while working on their research projects.

Initially launched in 2019 as a 10-week program, the C4GC initiative has since evolved and changed under the influence of the NSSAC team. It now spans eight intense weeks during the summer. However, the program’s core focus of addressing prominent real-world issues has remained steadfast, and the topics of interest have endured similarly. The projects taken on by students focused on major, systemic, and global topics of interest, such as disaster resilience and preparedness, epidemic forecasting, and best agricultural practices.