Spreading the Summer Love in Chicago

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There are many ways to get the word out about Google Summer of Code™, and one of the most fun ways is the Google Summer of Code meetups that participants organize around the world. After a successful meetup last year for University of Chicago students, the University's ACM student chapter decided to organize another meetup this year, open to other universities in the Chicago area and again hosted by Google. Thus, on April 30th, around 70 students from The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Chicago converged upon Google's offices in downtown Chicago, who happily allowed us to use their space, eat their food, and consume their caffeinated beverages.

Like last year, the event revolved around a series of lightning talks where Google Summer of Code students and mentors in Chicago talked about their upcoming work, and Google engineers talked about cool stuff they are involved in. Among the evening's highlights, there was mingling:

Whereas last year we were greeted by the Tower of Hanoi of Chinese Food, this year we were met by the Mexican Food Buffet of Awesomeness:

The talks took place in Google's offices on the 17th floor of a downtown building, with stunning views of the city:

(That tall black building is the John Hancock Center )

Our Google Summer of Code speakers were (left to right, top to bottom):

Not pictured are a couple other Google Summer of Code students from Chicago who couldn't make it to the meetup or did not give talks: Joe Doliner (University of Chicago, student for BRL-CAD), Caden Howell (DePaul University, student for the Electronic Frontier Foundation), Chandra Ramachandran (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, student for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications ), and Ori Rawlings (Illinois Institute of Technology, student for the Natural User Interface Group).

Our Google speakers were (left to right) Nathaniel Manista, Jon Trowbridge, and Jacob Lee, who provided us with a steady supply of very amusing slides.

Oodles of thanks go to Google for hosting this event (specially to Jon Trowbridge, organizer extraordinaire) and congratulations to our Chicago-area students for making it into Google Summer of Code!