Pakistani interns Ping SLAC

Sadia Rehman, left, and Amber Madeeha Zeb

When AMBER MADEEHA ZEB and SADIA REHMAN arrived at SLAC from Pakistan in April to work on the PingER project, they knew they would be beginning quite an adventure. To their delight, it has been entirely positive, both technically and personally.

Both women are studying for their master’s degrees in communications systems at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Islamabad, (SEECS) part of Pakistan’s National University of Science & Technology. They’re the first women to come to SLAC as part of a seven-year joint project funded by the Pakistani government that is aimed at improving their country’s Internet connections. A key feature of the project is sending two graduate students annually to SLAC to work with PingER director LES COTTRELL.

The PingER project sends short electronic messages to 760 Internet nodes around the world and measures the time it takes to receive the automatic reply. Unusual delays or inconsistent “round-trip times” can indicate problems in the network.

When the head of SEECS, Arshad Ali, nominated Rehman and Zeb to come to SLAC, both were quite surprised.

“Are you kidding me?” Zeb said she thought at the time. After discussing it with their families, they agreed to make the journey. “Coming over here would make us better people, both technically and personally,” Zeb said.

So far, they say their experiences have exceeded their expectations.


Read the full story on SLAC Today.


— Mike Ross