Looking for trends in Ericsson’s mini-links

In her second summer as an intern, Anna was a familiar face at Ericsson, and she spent this summer in the Research department in Gothenburg, Sweden. KPIs and trends were central to Anna’s work this year, where her experience in mathematics and programming as an Engineering Mathematics student came in handy.

Students from many different fields join Ericsson Research for internships or thesis work. You could be next. Follow our blog to learn about the students at Ericsson Research this summer.

What problem-solving tasks and challenges did you get this year?

This summer I’ve been studying long-term trends for signals in microwave links. I analyzed the data by calculating different key performance indicators (KPIs) over time with the goal of finding out if there are trends in the data. By studying the links over time, we hope to discover reasons for the links’ behaviors, and from this gain important knowledge about them. I also looked at different ways of presenting this information to best suit the needs of the observer.

For example, I created a dashboard to which I added cards with different graphs. In the cards, I wanted to give observers the possibility to show for example which links and KPIs to study, to allow them to study the results they are interested in without feeling limited. See example below.


A typical view of my dashboard. Four cards are displayed, and the observer is able to choose what to display on each card.

There were many new things to learn at the same time. For example, until this summer I had never worked with databases, Python, HTML or JavaScript. These are some of the things I learned during my internship and there were always more things to learn in order to finish my task, because I found myself wanting to try new tools as my work progressed.

I started by generating important key performance indicators. For example, I calculated the variance of the signal received by the microwave links over given time intervals. I did a lot of work finding out which data to include to get a truthful value to present to the observer, and how this data should be interpreted. Next came the task of visualizing my findings. What programs would be most suitable for visualizing my data; how should I use these programs? Generating the data and deciding how to visualize it both involved problem-solving. Also, when working with programming and visualization there are always things that do not work the way you expect them to, which results in new challenges.

What expectations did you have for your internship?

I was a summer intern in 2017 as well, and then I implemented and evaluated code projects for antennas in the programming language Julia. I enjoyed my work a lot, since I improved as an engineer and had a lot of fun at the same time. This year I was naturally excited to come back and I had high expectations.

My biggest expectations for this summer’s internship was working with something I found interesting, and to continue developing my programming and problem-solving skills. I feel the problems we encounter during our education are often limited and well defined, and I think it’s important to gain experience in programming and problem-solving in a new setting, which is what I hoped to do during my internship.

What made Ericsson Research attractive to you?

There are a lot of opportunities to learn new things and challenge yourself at Ericsson Research. There’s loads of new research going on at Ericsson which I find interesting. I also like the experience of working at a big engineering company, where I get to meet a lot of new people and be inspired by what they’re doing.

A great thing about working at Ericsson during the summer is sitting outside down by the river at lunchtime. In this picture, I’m right outside the Ericsson building.

My background in mathematics helped me in my internship, mostly because Engineering Mathematics focuses on problem-solving and learning many things in a short space of time. Most of my programming and mathematics courses were therefore helpful. Having strategies to solve new problems is important, because no matter what kind of engineering you do, problem-solving is something you will always encounter.

In my master’s last year, I took a course in computational electromagnetics, and what I learned was close to what I worked with during my first internship at Ericsson. My internship last year not only made the course much easier, it also made it easier to understand how the things I learned in the course could be applied in real-world situations. Thus my internship also helped me see how useful the knowledge I gain through my education is, which I think is an important source of inspiration for my coming studies.

What do you do when you’re not working or studying?

In my free time I like to go to my summer house at Orust, write and/or read stories or study Mandarin Chinese. I began learning Mandarin because I used to watch Taiwanese drama series, and I wanted to understand what they said without resorting to English subtitles. I think learning Mandarin is a good challenge outside my studies because while I’m learning it, I cannot think about anything else, as it’s difficult and therefore needs my full attention. This makes it a good break from my studies. I also think learning Mandarin is great fun, especially since I’ve made a lot of new friends doing so. My biggest motivation now is to study hard, so I’m able to speak to my Chinese friends without having to switch to English.

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