On Friday, April 29, VinAI successfully organized the Spring Workshop 2022, where you could ask VinAI scientists and listen to live presentations of our residents’ papers that were accepted at AAAI, AISTATS, ICLR & CVPR 2022.
During the “Ask me anything with VinAI scientist”, we have received a lot of questions from online audiences. Because of the limited time, we can answer a few in the live workshop. And now, we’d like to send all our responses divided into three parts: Eligibility & Application process, Working at VinAI, and Career Advice.
If you missed the VinAI Spring Workshop, rewatch at: https://youtu.be/Lgv2c8qYWOY
Eligibility & Application process
Q: Is there any age requirement for AI residency program?
A: The program does not have age limitations. We evaluate based on competencies of various aspects of candidates and select the best ones for the program.
Q: In case my GPA does not meet the bar, can my knowledge and experience compensate for that?
A: This question can be best answered if you apply for the program. We will screen your profile and consider to invite you to the entrance test. Once you pass the entrance test, you will be invited to other rounds including video presentation, then coding and research interviews. We are going to evaluate & consider all aspects of your profile to make the final selection decision.
Q: I major in mathematics but more into economic mathematics. Do I stand a chance of applying for the program at VinAI?
A: You can definitely apply for the AI Residency program. A recent trend in research is applying Machine Learning and Deep Learning into solving the problems in statistics and economics. Meanwhile the knowledge in economics such as causal inference and mechanism design is currently applied to address the challenges in Artificial Intelligence (AI). You can find those applications at top AI workshops and conferences such as NeurIPS/ICML/ICLR. One specific example is workshop at NeurIPS 2021: https://sites.google.com/view/mlecon2021/home
Q: I am a fourth-year student doing Graph Theory research with my university teachers. If I apply for Residency program, does my research orientation need to be similar with the ones of mentors?
A: The program does not require applicants to have the same research direction with mentors; yet the similarities can be a catalyst for working efficiency. During the program, residents will receive support from mentors to acquire the necessary background and skillsets. So do not hesitate to apply for the program!
Q: What are the topics in the entrance test and interview?
A: The AI Residency program requires candidates to pass several rounds:
- 1 Entrance test to test fundamental knowledge of candidates in maths, machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing.
- 1 Video presentation to test candidates’ soft skills: presentation, communication, problem-solving, etc.
- 1 Coding interview to test the skills of programming, design optimized algorithms & problem-solving.
- 1 Research interview with research scientists to test the research-related skills and to dig deeper into the suitability of applicants with regards to the available research directions.
Working at VinAI
Q: Do residents work individually or collaborate with each other when doing research?
A: At VinAI, each resident can opt for either individual or teamwork research. Each working style possesses their own plus and minus points; therefore; upon acceptance, residents will discuss with mentors to choose the most suitable ways to work.
Q: Besides NLP & CV, does VinAI have other research directions such as Drug Discovery?
A: Currently, we place our focus on 3 directions: CV, NLP, and ML. Drug Discovery can be considered as an application of ML to solve a specific problem. In 2021, VinAI also published articles at relevant conferences such as MICCAI (medical imaging related to CV).
Q: Can residents turn the research at VinAI into their university thesis?
A: Resident will need to inform and get approval from VinAI before using the research at VinAI for any other purpose.
Q: What if I realize pursuing Ph.D. is not a good fit for me during the AI residency program?
A: You may request for change of direction to applied-track and become a full-time engineer at VinAI. However, this is subject to decisions from the corresponding applied team and leadership team. Upon approval, you may continue to develop the company’s AI products (the detailed product information can be found at: VinAI Products).
Q: May I know the career opportunities of Ph.D. at VinAI?
A: If you have completed a Ph.D., you can apply to be research scientists or senior engineers at VinAI.
Q: Is there any reason why residents mostly choose to pursue their Ph.D. in America? Does VinAI have connection with universities in Australia, Europe, or Asia?
A: The reason why a majority of residents pursue Ph.D. in America is because the US offers more top-notch Ph.D. programs compared to Europe/Australia.
Q: Is Ph.D. the compulsory output at the end of the Residency program? Are there any other opportunities that I can pursue at VinAI at the completion of the program?
A: Our program is designed for people who possess the passion for scientific research and we encourage a Ph.D. application at the end of the program. However, if you do not see Ph.D. as a great fit for yourself, you can look for opportunities to be an engineer or any other positions available at the company.