Google Summer of Code Veteran Orgs: National Resource for Network Biology

Friday, December 6, 2013

In our ninth guest post from Google Summer of Code veteran organizations the Org Admin from NRNB gives an overview of their summer and quotes a few of their student participants. 
As the National Resource for Network Biology, we are used to working with scaling networks of complex interactions, but there's nothing quite like the connections made through Google Summer of Code!

This season we connected 26 of our mentors with 14 students from 9 countries over 4 continents. But the interactions go deeper than that. This was our 7th year participating in GSoC and we had students returning from prior years for another round of the program along with some past students who served as newly minted mentors themselves this year. And the output of these projects is soon to be in the hands of thousands of researchers studying the role of network interactions in biology and medicine.

We also experienced a tragic loss in our community this summer with the passing of Allan Kuchinsky, a champion of open source, network biology and GSoC. In his honor, we put together the Allan Kuchinsky Student Award and presented it to three of our GSoC students from this summer whose projects exemplified the principles of data visualization and good user-centered design that Allan was so passionate about. Congratulations and thanks to these excellent students!

Finally, here are some great quotes from some of our GSoC students this year. If you're considering applying next year -- the 10th year of GSoC! -- then these inspiring words should convince you.

I've taken part in GSoC 4 times as a student working on network visualization techniques for Cytoscape and Cytoscape.js. Over those occasions, I was lucky enough to work with great people from all over the world (Hungary, USA, Canada, Turkey), and develop key abilities that will be really helpful in my professional future. - Gerardo Huck (Argentina) [github]

My project ended up with adding tests, squashing git commits and making a pull request into main repository. Right after doing that I felt like I leveled up. The most important thing besides gathered experience is the fact that I did something tangible and useful. - Truhin Alexandr (Republic of Moldova) [github] [blog]

These unbelievable life changing four months came to an end on 27th Sept when I completed final evaluations of GSoC. Things I learned as a part of GSoC: determination, collaboration with mentor and friends, and patience to read articles and documentation. I obviously will contribute to Cytoscape in future. In short, thanks to all the people involved in making GSoC 2013 a wonderful experience. - Shaik Faizaan (India) [github]

This year's Google Summer of Code was quite an amazing and adventurous journey. It was very exciting and was very challenging. ...I learned a lot during this brief term of GSOC. I was hit with several roadblocks during the project but successfully solved them and made it to the end. - Sri Harsha P (India) [github] [blog]

Thanks to all the NRNB mentors and students, to all the other mentoring organizations, and a big thanks to the GSoC organizers. You have transformed how we work with students and new developers, and have catalyzed a lot of great code. See you next year!

By Alex Pico, NRNB executive director and GSoC org adm