Workshop Overview

Computer Science is a rapidly growing and evolving field with a wide range of career opportunities in both academic and industrial settings. During a weeklong workshop, participants will learn about a variety of state-of-the-art computing research directions happening at Cornell University and beyond, and get an opportunity to conduct a short research project. Participants will also learn about research-oriented career paths in computing, including the process of obtaining advanced degrees through graduate school.

Summer workshop participants will

  • Conduct computing research with a faculty research mentor.
  • Give a short presentation at the end of the workshop.
  • Learn from Cornell University faculty about career paths.
  • Engage in a panel discussion with current PhD students on graduate school topics.
  • Participate in exit interviews and surveys to improve the curriculum.

Originally developed by Professor Hakim Weatherspoon in collaboration with Howard University's Computer Science department, the primary goal of this workshop is to increase exposure and enhanced research capabilities for participants, especially underrepresented minorities. The program is currently run by Professor Hakim Weatherspoon and Professor Austin Benson.

Cornell Chronicle article on the SoNIC Workshop


  • When: June 14th-17th 2021
  • Details: Scheule 
  • Where: Virtual - on Zoom
  • Cost: No cost, stipend provided

Important Dates

  • Application Goes Live: Feb. 1st, 2021
  • Application Deadline: March 4th 2021, extended from Feb. 19th
  • SoNIC Workshop: June 14th-17th 2021 - Half Days

Apply here:


The SoNIC Summer Research Workshop is an annual weeklong workshop that targets increasing participation of underrepresented minorities at the Ph.D. level in computer science. The SoNIC workshop has been held for years in the month of June since June 2011, each year hosting up to 25 students. We surveyed past participants in August 2014 and a number of results stood out: 93% of all respondents stated that the SoNIC workshop directly influenced their involvement in computer science and 87% stated that they are currently or intend to pursue a graduate degree (47% Ph.D. and 40% masters). If even a fraction of the participants continue and receive a Ph.D, it would represent a significant impact: In the 2012-2013 academic year, 22 (1.5%) African Americans, 20 (1.4%) Hispanics, and 3 (0.2%) Native Americans received a Ph.D out of 1,432 total Ph.D’s earned in computer science in the United States (Computing Research Association, Taulbee Survey, 2014).


Sophomore, Junior, Senior, or Masters student in Computer Science (CS), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Physics, or Math. Must be a student studying in the US or Puerto Rico.


If you are interested in applying for the SoNIC Summer Research Workshop, please submit your application here: Applications are closed at this time. Please check back in February of 2020 to apply for next year's program!

Read more about SoNIC on our flyer and/or read the content of the flyer below:

SoNIC 2019 was sponsored by:             


State-of-the-art cloud computing and networks require state- of-the-art methodologies to understand and secure them, and use them efficiently. Our SoNIC-enabled (software defined network interface) networks are a crucial enabling step. With SoNIC-enabled networks we can control the entire networking stack in software that allows us a view into today’s high-speed networks that connect modern cloud computing data centers and the Internet itself.

During a weeklong workshop, participants will understand cloud computing starting from the bottom of the networking stack from photons of lambda (fiber-optic) networks to the Internet Protocol to application performance. Participants will take away an appreciation for cloud computing and network research with Cornell faculty and a taste to do research with state-of-the-art facilities at a top institution like Cornell University.

The primary goal of this workshops is to increase exposure and enhanced research capabilities for participants, especially underrepresented minorities.


Workshop participants will:

  • Conduct network research with a faculty research mentor
  • Give a short oral presentation and/or written report at the end of the workshop that may lead to a publication
  • Participate in exit interviews and surveys to improve the curriculum
  • Travel, food and lodging will be fully funded


  • June 15th-19th, 2020
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


Application available January 2020 here:

Application Deadline: February 7, 2020


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