University of Edinburgh logo British Antarctic Survey logo National Oceanographic Centre logo University of Leeds logo

Nathaniel – Internship Blog Post 2022

Nathaniel Edward-Inatimi

What are you studying?

Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh

Tell us a bit about the project you have been working on this

I have been working on using machine learning – specifically a neural network –
to predict when solar
flares will occur. Solar flares are very dynamic and complex events and as such
are difficult to predict.
It has been very interesting project for me. I have had to develop an
algorithm, test it, and then
compare its performance to previous machine learning efforts in literature.
There has been a lot to
learn during this project and there are many ways to expand on this project if
the opportunity

What new skills have you learned while doing this internship?
At the beginning of my placement I took an online machine learning course which
taught me the
fundamentals of machine learning. From this, I learned how to write a neural
network algorithm in
Python using Tensorflow as well as some useful data analysis techniques for
testing how well the
neural network was operating.

How have you found working with your research team?
Everyone has been very supportive. It has been incredibly enlightening to have
conversations about
what working in research is like all whilst learning about other fields of
research outside of my

What has been the highlight of the internship for you?
We managed to organise a trip to the Eskdalemuir geomagnetic observatory.
Getting a tour of the
facility and grounds was definitely a highlight for me. It was great to see the
wider context about
how measurements are taken as well as learning about and seeing the actual
machines which take
the measurements. A nice change from typical desk work.
Another highlight has been speaking with staff and PhD students about their
experiences in research
and hearing their opinions and feedback on my work. The internship has provided
a really good
baseline for my future career decisions.

How has doing this internship changed your plans or thoughts about your
future career?

I am more seriously considering a PhD after graduation now, chatting with
staff, PhD students and
other REPs has been eye-opening and made the option seem much less