Posts from July 2013

Google Summer of Code 2013 midterms are here!

Monday, July 29, 2013

This week marks the halfway point of Google Summer of Code 2013. Both students and mentors will be submitting their midterm evaluations of one another through Friday, August 2 as indicated in our timeline. If you would like to read more about these midterm evaluations, please check out the "How Do Evaluations Work?" link on our FAQ.

The next milestone for the program will be the “pencils down” date of September 16th after which students can take a week to scrub their code, write tests, improve calculations and generally polish their work before the firm end of coding on September 23rd.

There has been fantastic progress made so far, and we encourage all the students, mentors, and org admins to keep up the great work!

By Carol Smith, Open Source Team

Who is new in Google Summer of Code - Part 6

Friday, July 26, 2013

With over 40 new open source organizations participating in this year’s Google Summer of Code, we are excited to introduce a few every Friday in our weekly blog series. This week we have three organizations, RoboComp, BEAM Community, and Mifos X, all describing their student’s projects below.

RoboComp is an open-source robotics framework that uses software component technology to achieve its goals of efficiency, ease of use, reusability and hardware abstraction. RoboComp boosts distributed software development and collaboration by providing an easy method of integrating components made by different RoboComp users. Components made with RoboComp can be distributed over several cores or computers. However, RoboComp is not just a set of software components, it also provides a set of tools that make component creation and management a pleasant experience. 
For Google Summer of Code 2013 we have two talented students working with us. Silvia Stegaru is working on our Components Management Tool, a visual management tool that helps developers easily deploy and manage component networks. Our other student, Jose Franco, is adding full physics support to the RCSimulator, RoboComp's robotic simulator using the Bullet physics engine.  
By Marco Antonio Gutierrez, RoboComp Organization Administrator
The BEAM Community is an organization that supports projects that run on the Erlang VM. The Erlang VM was originally designed by Ericsson to support distributed, fault tolerant, soft real-time, non-stop applications. Many companies around the world like Amazon, Heroku and Activision use the Erlang VM in their stack and open source projects like CouchDB and Riak are built on top of it. 
Given the diversity of projects hosted by the BEAM Community, Gustavo Brunoro is improving the debugging tools in the Elixir programming language, Patrick Pettersson is implementing a rebalancing mechanism for Disco's distributed file system while Mawuli Adzaku is bringing a full-featured module manager to the Zotonic web framework. Last but not least, Uvarov Michael and Aman Mangal are respectively working on a message archive implementation for the MongooseIM XMPP Server and on a package manager for the BEAM Community based on the early work and supervised by Erlware
We hope students will find the same joy working with the Erlang VM as we have and become active members of our vibrant community! 
By Jose Valim, BEAM Community Google Summer of Code Organization Administrator
 Mifos X is an open source cloud-based platform for delivering financial services to the poor. The Community for Open Source Microfinance (COSM) guides the development of the platform and the community sustaining it. We use open source technology and the power of community to scale financial inclusion worldwide to achieve our shared vision of creating a world of 3 Billion Maries, a world where each individual has access to the financial services to create a better life for themselves and their family. We connect the on-the-ground organizations serving the base of the pyramid with open source contributors building applications on top of the platform to enable financial inclusion to the poor. We cultivate a network of local service providers, Mifos Specialists, who sustainably provide a range of support and consulting services to scale Mifos adoption worldwide. 
COSM has grown and evolved from the Mifos Initiative which was launched by Grameen Foundation in 2006 and spun out in 2011. Currently more than 1.1 million clients are being served by the 45 microfinance institutions using Mifos to run their organization. Mifos is the back-end information system used to process, track, manage, and report on the portfolio of financial services they’re delivering to their client base. 
We're proud to be working with an awesome and invigorated class of four students for Google Summer of Code 2013 who are contributing across all areas of the Mifos X platform. Anuruddha Premalal of Sri Lanka will focus on the back-end, strengthening the core platform through Server-Side Pagination and Multi-Tenant Caching. Yanna Wu from China is familiar with the XBRL taxonomy so she was a natural fit to work on XBRL Integration for MIX Market. Andreas Weigel from Germany has shown strong front-end development skills and will work on the User-Generated Documents project. Avik Ganguly based out of India has shown a fervent interest in all areas of the platform and is ready to tackle an important project creating an Initial Data Import Tool under the mentorship of Udai. 
By Ed Cable - Director of Community Programs at the Community for Open Source Microfinance (Mifos) and Admin for 2013 Google Summer of Code

Over the last month we have highlighted 18 of the 40 new organizations participating in Google Summer of Code this year. Stay tuned each Friday as we continue to highlight more organizations. To view a complete list of the projects the 1192 students are working on this summer you can visit the Google Summer of Code program site.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Who is New in Google Summer of Code - Part 5

Friday, July 19, 2013

This week we have three more new Google Summer of Code organizations explaining their projects and what their students are working on this summer as we approach the midpoint of the program.
The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) was established at the IIHR – Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Iowa. Our mission is to improve flood forecasting and mitigation understanding—all with the goal of trying to prevent future flooding or lessen its effects along Iowa's major waterways. The IFC has established several community-based programs to improve flood monitoring and prediction in Iowa.  
IFC is actively engaged in flood projects in several Iowa communities and employs several graduate and undergraduate students participating in flood-related research. Some of the project activities at IFC are design and development of information systems, most recently – Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS), large scale data management, interactive geospatial visualization, flood forecasting models, augmented reality applications, and rich web and mobile applications.  
We're very excited to be part of the 2013 Google Summer of Code, and have three students working on IFC projects. This year, our projects focus on real-time mapping of floods using drones, and simulation of flood inundation using augmented reality, WebGL and mapping services. 
By Ibrahim Demir, Iowa Flood Center Google Summer of Code Organization Administrator 
MoveIt is a robot agnostic software framework that integrates motion planning, kinematics and collision detection with online processing of sensor data and monitored execution of trajectories. The functionality provided is centered around motion planning and relies on ROS for configuration and communication. Given 3D sensor data as input, MoveIt constructs and maintains a representation of the world around the robot and offers planning and manipulation capabilities. Various analysis and benchmarking tools are also included. 
Our student, Nghiem Do, will be working on improving the speed of computation and the success rate for numerical inverse kinematics solvers (e.g., KDL) using a precomputed cache of solutions. Numerical solvers need a seed to start their search for a solution to the inverse kinematics problem. Nghiem will work on a means to construct and quickly search a database of pairs - inverse kinematics queries and their solutions - so that when a new query is made, the solution to a nearby query (previously stored) is used as seed. This should reduce the expected number of iterations the numerical solver has to make and increase the likelihood of finding a solution. 
By Ioan Sucan, MoveIt Google Summer of Code Organization Administrator 
Scaffold Hunter is a Java-based tool for the visual analysis of data sets with a focus on data from the life sciences. The goal of the project is intuitive access to large and complex data sets. Scaffold Hunter facilitates interactive data exploration and offers a variety of views (graph-based, dendrogram, and plot view), as well as analysis methods for clustering and classification. 
Scaffold Hunter has its origin in drug discovery, which is still one of the main application areas, and is currently evolving into a reusable open source platform for a wider range of applications. The tool offers flexible plugin and data integration mechanisms to allow adaptation to new fields and data sets. 
A particular new application that one of our Google Summer of Code students, Falk Nette, is working on is medical image retrieval, with the goal to allow the user to evaluate retrieval results based on a guided visual exploration of the image feature space. Our other student, Jeroen Lappenschaar, is extending the range of visualizations available in Scaffold Hunter by adding Ramachandran plots, Treemaps, and Heatmaps. 
By Karsten Klein, Scaffold Hunter Google Summer of Code Organization Administrator

These are only a few of the new organizations participating this year in Google Summer of Code; stay tuned next week when we highlight three more new organizations. A complete list of the 177 organizations mentoring students this year and a list of the 1184 student projects are available on the Google Summer of Code program site.

By Stephanie Taylor, Google Open Source Programs

Google Summer of Code Full of Stats: Part 2

Monday, July 15, 2013

Drumroll please... below is a list of schools with the highest number of student participants for 2013 Google Summer of Code.  For the 7th consecutive year, University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka has claimed the top spot!

# of Accepted Students in 2013
# of Students in  2012
University of Moratuwa
Sri Lanka
International Institute of Information Technology - Hyderabad
Polytechnic University of Bucharest
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani)
Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology
Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Goa Campus / BITS - Pilani - K.K. Birla Goa Campus
National University of Singapore
Vienna University of Technology
Beijing (Peking) University
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Student majors in 2013 were predominantly in Computer Science and other technical fields (as expected).  But this year we do have students studying Geography, Linguistics, Marketing, Music, and Political Science. Google Summer of Code certainly attracts a diverse set of students!

Although reviewing statistics each year from Google Summer of Code is fun, we want to stress that being first place is not the point of the program. Our goal is to get more and more students involved in creating free and open source software, and to encourage contribution to projects that have the potential to make a difference worldwide.

By Mary Radomile, Open Source Programs

Who is New in Google Summer of Code - Part 4

Friday, July 12, 2013

For our 4th post in our Google Summer of Code blog series, we have three new open source organizations describing the projects their students are currently working on below.
The projects Italian Mars Society (IMS) is proposing for Google Summer of Code 2013,  relate to the development of the Command, Control and Communication (C3) subsystem as part of the European MaRs Analog Station for Advanced Technologies Integration (ERAS) program, which IMS is currently spearheading. ERAS' main goal is to provide an effective test bed for field operation studies in preparation for human missions to Mars. 
We have four students working with us this summer on projects focusing on advanced Human Machine Interface (HMI) and Machine Learning technologies.
  • Ezio Melotti is working on software allowing the control of a rover via an EEG neuroheadset
  • Simar Preet Singh is implementing optimized neural networks for predicting solar energetic proton events.
  • Eric Meinhardt is developing a speech recognition engine for control of rovers during surface-exploration activities
  • Mario Tambos, who unfortunately could not be financed through the Google program, but who enthusiastically volunteered to participate, will develop, in sync with the other students, detection techniques, such as Multivariate Gaussian Models, for the identification of anomalous situations from space suit biomedical data.
More details on these projects can be found on the ERAS website.  
The completion of these projects will be a major milestone in the development of the ERAS C3 subsystem. We intend to field test the corresponding software during the first available Mars analog field test campaign in collaboration with other space exploration advocacy organizations. 
By Franco Carbognani, Science and Technology Coordinator, Italian Mars Society 
Bioconductor provides tools for the analysis and comprehension of high-throughput genomic data. Bioconductor uses the R statistical programming language, and is open source and open development. It has two releases each year, 671 software packages, and an active user community. Goals of the Bioconductor project include but are not limited to:
  1. Supporting a community of many thousands of computational biologists in their efforts to explore rapidly changing and growing data. 
  2. Enabling this community to avoid reinventing the wheel by providing a mechanism to extend each other’s existing inventions. 
  3. Maintaining a standard set of core objects, packages and annotations for building these shared tools. 
  4. Promoting reproducible research by maintaining a common codebase for computational biology and mechanisms for sharing that code within the wider community.
This year we are mentoring three very pragmatic projects which are intended to further our goals listed above. Our student projects are:
  • The ExperimentHub project which is intended to help increase the communities access to new annotation resources.
  • The BiocParallel project which is focused on enhancing and unifying the ability of Bioconductor to take advantage of parallel compute resources.
  • The Shiny Bioconductor objects project which aims to make it easier for Bioconductor users to create dynamic visualizations of their data. 
By Marc Carlson, Bioconductor Organization Administrator 
The Crypto Stick is a next generation security USB key with an integrated smart card that enables highly secure encryption of emails and data, provides authentication on the Internet and is used for access control. The project began in 2006 with core developers from Germany, Poland, Singapore and Vietnam. Secret keys are always stored securely inside the Crypto Stick. Their extraction is (almost) impossible which makes the Crypto Stick immune to computer viruses and Trojan horses. The complete software stack is open source. 
During Google Summer of Code 2013 our four students will work to:
  • Improve software drivers and integration to password storage and other 3rd party applications.
  • Implement the underlying OpenPGP Card specification based on JavaCard technology.
  • Improve the One Time Password feature OATH which is compatible with Google's Authenticator.
  • Integrate the Crypto Stick to the JavaScript framework OpenPGPjs to enable email encryption in web browsers without requiring any fat-client (e.g. GnuPG). 
 By Jan Suhr,  Crypto Stick Organization Administrator

Over the last month we have highlighted 12 of the 40 new organizations participating in Google Summer of Code this year. Stay tuned each Friday as we continue to highlight more organizations. To view a complete list of the projects the 1192 students are working on this summer you can visit the Google Summer of Code program site.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Who is New in Google Summer of Code - Part 3

Friday, July 5, 2013

With over 40 new open source organizations participating in this year’s Google Summer of Code, we are excited to introduce a few every Friday in our weekly blog series. This week we have 3 organizations, GNSS-SDR, PRISM and HISP, all describing their student’s projects below. 
GNSS-SDR is an open source Global Navigation Satellite Systems software receiver, written in C++, that is able to work either from raw signal samples stored in a file, or in real-time with a radio-frequency front-end as a signal source. Its modularity allows users to populate the framework with their own algorithms, allowing them to put the focus on the signal processing implementation without worrying about how to embed that algorithm in a whole GNSS receiver. It also allows for fair performance benchmarks using real GNSS signals, and its open source license allows free downloading, use and code inspection.
This summer we are thrilled to be part of the Google Summer of Code program, and to have three talented students on board that aim to improve the existing features of the software receiver.  
  • Development of new blocks for Galileo E1 civil signals, by Mara Branzanti. With the advent of new in-orbit satellites, the landscape of GNSS is rapidly changing. Currently, the open source GNSS-SDR can acquire, track, decode and produce PVT solutions considering only GPS signals. The aim of this project is to implement add-ons for Galileo satellites, developing new blocks to decode Galileo navigation messages, generate observables and compute PVT solutions using both Galileo E1 and GPS L1 C/A signals. 
  • Improve the acquisition sensitivity, by Marc Molina. The acquisition stage of a GNSS receiver is in charge of detecting the set of visible satellites and providing a first coarse estimation of some essential parameters for synchronization. This process requires a blind search that significantly limits the sensitivity of the whole receiver operation. The goal of this project is to implement high sensitivity acquisition algorithms for both GPS L1 and Galileo E1 signals. 
  • GNSS-SDR goes SBAS, by Daniel Fehr. Currently, there are three Supporting Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) deployed: EGNOS, WAAS and MSAS. These systems provide the GNSS receiver with additional information which allows it to validate the received GPS navigation signals and to compensate for errors. Daniel’s project will enable SBAS compatibility for GNSS-SDR to increase its positioning accuracy and trustiness.
By Carles Fernandez-Prades, GNSS-SDR Organization Administrator
PRISM is a software tool for modelling and studying the behaviour of real-life systems whose behaviour exhibits unpredictability or randomness. It can be used to analyze everything from the reliability of distributed filing systems, to the performance of a Bluetooth-enabled wireless device, to the safety of a car's airbag control system. PRISM has been used by researchers worldwide in fields as diverse as quantum cryptography, systems biology, computer security and robotics. 
For Google Summer of Code 2013, we have two students working on PRISM: Alessandro Bruni, who is developing methods to analyze stochastic games; and Proteek Roy, who is implementing techniques for the generation and presentation of control strategies for probabilistic models. 
By Dave Parker, PRISM Organization Administrator
HISP (Health Information Systems Programme) is a global south-south-north collaborative network aiming to improve healthcare in developing countries through research and implementation of Health Information Systems. Coordinated by the Global Infrastructures Research Group at the Department of Informatics of the University of Oslo, the network has been involved in many countries in the "Global South" since 1994. At the core of the program is the development of the open source DHIS software and the use of this application to strengthen country health information systems. The DHIS 2 software is used in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific. We are involved in multidisciplinary research with a focus on action-research with 6 professors, about 40 active PhD students, many masters students and many software developers from different implementing organizations worldwide. 
We have four very bright students for the summer. Their student projects include: building an Android-based application for community health workers (Araz Abishov), a voice-based reminder system for inviting people into clinics (Florian Cech), a metadata import/export system (Rosu Ovidiu) and a smartphone analytics and visualization tool for data managers (Yuriy Bugryn). 
By Saptarshi Purkayastha, HISP Organization Administrator

These are only a few of the new organizations participating this year in Google Summer of Code; stay tuned next week when we highlight three more new organizations. A complete list of the 177 organizations mentoring students this year and the program timeline are available on the Google Summer of Code program site.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Googlers head to OSCON 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In three weeks, developers from around the world will converge on Portland, Oregon for O’Reilly Media’s annual open source conference, OSCON. The gathering of 2,000+ open source enthusiasts will take place July 22-26 at the Oregon Convention Center in the City of Roses.

This year 19 Googlers will be hosting sessions on a variety of topics with dozens more attending the open source conference. A list of all of the talks hosted by Googlers can be found below in chronological order.

Monday, July 22nd
9:00am    Ronald Minnich and Stefan Reinauer “Coreboot Tutorial
1:30pm    Francesc Campoy Flores “Introduction to Go

Wednesday, July 24th
1:40pm    Johan Euphrosine “How Learning Go Made Me A Better Programmer
2:30pm    Francesc Campoy Flores “Go Best Practices
4:10pm    Alice Boxhall and Rachel Shearer “Testing for accessibility
                Caskey Dickson “While (true) do; how hard can it be to keep running?
7:00pm    Google Open Source Team “Google Summer of Code Birds of a Feather” - check the BoF Board onsite for                              location

Thursday, July 25th
10:40am   Alex Martelli “‘Good enough’ is good enough!
                Augie Fackler and Nathaniel Manista “The End Of Object Inheritance & The Beginning of Anti-Rumsfeldian                                Modularity
1:40pm    Tim Bray “Reducing Identity Pain
                Gustavo Franco “Go Language for Ops and Site Reliability Engineering
4:10pm    Stuart Langley, moderator; Amy Unruh, panelist “Building Scalable PHP Applications Using Google’s App                                Engine
                 Wesley Chun “Python 103: Memory Model & Best Practices

Friday, July 26th
10:00am    Brad Fitzpatrick “ powered by Go
11:00am    Chris DiBona, Shawn Pearce and Carol Smith “The Google Open Source Update

We hope to see you at OSCON!

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs