During the summer of 2014 and 2015, Alex Casella worked as a Software Engineering Intern with a focus in cyber security at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). LLNL is one of America’s premier laboratories in global security research and development. At LLNL, Alex is a “Computation Scholar” and a “Cyber Defender” and worked under the Department of Energy’s Cyber Analytics Team.
CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?
Alex: In the summer of 2014, I was responsible for creating an algorithm based on existing technologies (classified) at the lab to more quickly index documents on malware. This summer (2015), my job is to develop an application that streamlines the defense of Department of Energy networks by better detecting and mitigating malware infections and other malicious activities.
CCD: How did you find your internship?
Alex: I heard about LLNL through my Air Force ROTC detachment commander Lt. Col Cook in 2014.
CCD: What is the best thing about the experience?
Alex: The best part about this internship is to work and learn alongside remarkable computer scientists who pioneered much of the field decades ago. It is a very humbling experience to be surrounded by people who know so much and have dedicated their lives to the advancement of technology. I feel grateful and lucky for it.
CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences?
Alex: Be humble and try to learn something from everyone around me. If I have to put in extra hours in my spare time to get my job done well, then I will do so with eagerness.
CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?
Alex: This experience has convinced me to pursue a career in app development and cyber security. I have also decided that my goal in life is to help advance the scientific and technological community in some way.