mlpack is a recent effort to provide a "swiss army knife" of fast implementations of machine learning methods, with a focus on tree-based algorithms. It has been shown to be faster than other similar toolkits in a recent paper. Some important issues we are focusing on are the breadth of the algorithms offered, the accessibility of mlpack methods from languages other than C++, and the automatic publication of accurate and relevant timing information for mlpack.
Three projects were accepted for our inaugural year in Google Summer of Code and each of these addresses one of the three points listed above.
Addition of two new collaborative filtering methods to improve the breadth of the algorithms mlpack implements (QUIC-SVD and ALS-WR); this will be done by Mudit Raj Gupta.
The development of a system for the automatic generation of bindings for various languages with minimal maintenance requirements; this will be done by Nick Johnston.
The creation of a system for automatic benchmarking of mlpack methods and comparisons with other libraries, to be integrated into our Jenkins build server setup. This project will be done by Marcus Edel.
We are grateful to have been accepted into Google Summer of Code 2013 and look forward to this wonderful opportunity to contribute open-source code into the machine learning world.
By Ryan Curtin, mlpack Organization Administrator
DUNE, the "Distributed and Unified Numerics Environment" is a modular toolbox for solving partial differential equations, like they arise when simulating weather, oil fields, biomechanics, air flow around your car, etc. DUNE was initiated in 2002 and has since evolved to a rather complete toolbox that provides slim templated C++ interfaces allowing efficient use of legacy and/or new libraries.
We are very excited to have two students contributing to DUNE during Google Summer of Code 2013. Miha Čančula will work on a performance testing framework that will allow us to assess the impact on performance of recent changes. Xiaoxue Gong will help us to visualize surfaces, constructed by bisecting triangles, with Paraview.
By Markus Blatt, DUNE Organization Administrator
Ruby has for some lacked the professional-quality scientific, numeric, and visualization
libraries of other languages in its class. The SciRuby community believes that the time for a Ruby science and visualization package has come. Our basic packages include statistical tools (statsample, distribution), numerical algorithms (minimization, integration), visualization tools (rubyvis), and matrices (NMatrix). We are funded in part by the Ruby Association, which manages the development of the Ruby language.
One of our students is working to improve our statistics functionality, which we see as essential in achieving our organizational goals. A second student is writing a Ruby D3 library to replace rubyvis (which is based on protovis), so that our users can write portable, interactive visualization code quickly and easily -- and in Ruby, no less. Our third student is developing a semantic web gem, useful for informatics in nearly any field, which goes beyond what we consider to be basic tools and implements something that few languages have.
We are pleased to have so many wonderful mentors and students this year, and thank the members of the BioRuby project for their incredible contributions.
By John Woods, SciRuby Organization Administrator
Public Lab is not your typical open source project -- we do combined open hardware and software, and have a focus on environmental issues. We were founded during the BP oil disaster and developed a technique for collecting aerial images of spill sites using cameras hung from balloons and kites. We developed MapKnitter, a web-based open source image stitcher which enables community members to flatten their aerial images manually over a reference map, and outputs GeoTiffs. The images from this system are published under open content licenses and are also represented in Google Earth and Maps, for whom we are a data provider.
Open source has been a central principle of ours since the beginning, and we've tackled a range of new initiatives to create open source spectrometers, infrared cameras, and other tools, released under the CERN Open Hardware License.
This year our students are tackling three exciting projects related to three distinct initiatives. Bharat Bhushan is developing a web-based tool for compositing infrared photosynthesis imagery as part of our Infragram project. Mohit Meena is working on an Android app to take aerial images from kites or balloons with some advanced new features, and Sreyanth Mora is developing a system to find closely matched spectra on our Spectral Workbench platform, which drives our open source spectrometry project.
We're excited for our first year of Google Summer of Code!
By Jeff Warren, Public Lab Organization Administrator
MuseScore is a leading free and open source music notation software for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is easy to use and makes beautiful sheet music. MuseScore is cross-platform, multi-lingual, open source and licensed under GPLv2. It features an easy to use WYSIWYG editor with audio score playback for results that look and sound beautiful. It supports unlimited staves with up to four voices each, dynamics, articulations, lyrics, chords, lead sheet notation, import/export of MIDI and MusicXML, export to PDF and WAV, plus online score sharing.
We have two students working with us this summer.
Improved MIDI import - Andrey Tokarev will work on more accurate, assisted MIDI importing in MuseScore.
MuseScore in the browser - Kyle Messner will work on compiling the MuseScore core library with Emscripten to visualise and transpose scores in the browser.
By Thomas Bonte, Co-founder & CEO MuseScore
“GCI (the contest itself) was easily the most rewarding experience I've ever had - coding for a FLOSS project, with mentors that were always there to help me was challenging and fun. And the best part was seeing the code I had actually written live on the official project repositories. About the trip, it was amazing to be in the so-called "Silicon Valley", at the heart of one of the most important IT companies! The experience of visiting the Googleplex and attending speeches from experts will certainly last in my memory for my lifetime. I especially enjoyed "designing" a file transfer protocol with the other students on a whiteboard.” -- Nicolás Satragno, Argentina
"Most awesome birthday ever! One probably cannot imagine the feeling of celebrating a birthday at the other side of the globe, on a boat with Googlers, going beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, while speaking with 19 other cohorts about all kinds of top-tier computer-related stuff and them actually understanding it. It's amazing." -- Vladimir Angelov, Bulgaria
“Although it wasn't my first exposure to open-source development, it was the most rewarding open-source collaboration to date (not even considering the grand prize it resulted in). I met interesting and new people, and even learned an entirely new framework out of it (Qt). But then I had the grand prize trip. So far, it was the best four days of my life. I got to experience the headquarters of a company I've always loved and hope to work for one day. I met other kids like myself from all over the world. I listened to and spoke with brilliant and passionate engineers. So thank you for creating a program to get teens like me more involved with open-source development, and for creating such a fun and rewarding trip.” -- Drew Gottlieb, USA