[Bioperl-l] Google Summer of Code: Call for Bio* Volunteers

Chris Fields cjfields at illinois.edu
Fri Feb 13 15:04:43 EST 2009


I second Mark as a mentor.  Or would that be 'pushing him over the  
line?'   ;>


On Feb 13, 2009, at 11:14 AM, Mark A. Jensen wrote:

> If my newbie status is not a barrier, I would be pleased to mentor a  
> student. If it is a barrier, I would be pleased to look at  
> applications
> or what have you.
> Mark
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Hilmar Lapp" <hlapp at gmx.net>
> To: "bioPerl List" <bioperl-l at lists.open-bio.org>
> Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:53 AM
> Subject: [Bioperl-l] Google Summer of Code: Call for Bio* Volunteers
>> Google is committed to run the Summer of Code program [1] again  
>> this  year. It will be for the 5th time.
>> In broad strokes, the program funds what you might call remote  
>> summer  internships for students to contribute to an open-source  
>> software  project. Participating projects (or umbrella  
>> organizations) provide  project ideas and supply mentors that guide  
>> the work on those.  Students apply to a project within the program  
>> with specific project  ideas, based on those suggested or based on  
>> their own idea, get ranked  by the mentors of the project, and  
>> those accepted into the program get  paired up with mentors.  
>> Projects are chiefly about programming, the  coding period is 3  
>> months (Jun-Aug), and there is no travel required  by either  
>> student or mentor. The program is global; other than the US  trade  
>> restrictions that Google is under, there are no restrictions as  to  
>> where student or mentor reside. The main motivations behind the   
>> program are to recruit new contributors to open-source projects,  
>> and  to produce more open-source code. See the program FAQs [2] for  
>> more  information.
>> I've had the honor of being part of the program for the last two   
>> years, administering NESCent's participation as an organization  
>> [3]  and in 2007 mentoring a student. I have to say I find it the  
>> most  awesome open-source program since sliced bread (or the  
>> invention of  BLAST if that means more to you). Despite that and  
>> sadly enough, there  has been a dearth of participating  
>> bioinformatics projects (though  some notable ones, such as  
>> CytoScape have participated).
>> There have been two Bio* Summer of Code projects under the NESCent   
>> umbrella, one in 2007 [4] and one in 2008 [5]. I would be willing  
>> to  volunteer to take the lead on and administer a full-blown   
>> participation of O|B|F as a Bio* umbrella organization, provided 1)  
>> at  least one Bio* person volunteers to serve as backup  
>> administrator, and  2) enough Bio* contributors volunteer to serve  
>> as prospective mentors.
>> Mentoring involves participating in creating the page of project  
>> ideas  (I'd provide template and guidance), corresponding with  
>> applicants who  have questions, participating in student  
>> application ranking, and for  primary mentors (those directly  
>> assigned to a student) based on  empirical evidence at least 5hrs/ 
>> week of time spent with the student  to help him/her get over  
>> obstacles or avoid wrong paths.
>> I think almost all mentors would concur that the experience was  
>> very  gratifying, but as a mentor you will be spending a non- 
>> negligible  amount of time with the student. I think it is the  
>> student-mentor  pairing and interaction, not the stipend, that in  
>> the end makes the  participation for students uniquely productive  
>> in terms of learning,  and different from simply contributing to  
>> the project of choice (which  they could always do).
>> For a personal impression for how the program is from a mentor   
>> perspective, I'll let Chris Fields speak who was the mentor for  
>> the  2008 phyloXML in BioPerl project. From a student's  
>> perspective, I'll  leave it to the 2007 Biojava student Bohyun Lee  
>> (blee34-at- mail.gatech.edu) and the 2008 BioPerl student Mira Han  
>> (mirhan-at- indiana.edu) to comment (if they are still on the list).
>> So if you think this is a good idea for Bio* to be part of, if you   
>> would like to help in some way, if you can see yourself as a  
>> mentor,  or if you are a lurking would-be student, please let  
>> yourself be  heard. Email either to the list or to me.
>> Cheers,
>> -hilmar
>> [1] http://code.google.com/soc/2008
>> [2] http://code.google.com/opensource/gsoc/2009/faqs.html
>> [3] http://hackathon.nescent.org/Phyloinformatics_Summer_of_Code_2007
>> http://hackathon.nescent.org/Phyloinformatics_Summer_of_Code_2008
>> [4] http://biojava.org/wiki/BioJava:PhyloSOC07
>> [5] http://bioperl.org/wiki/PhyloXML_support_in_BioPerl
>> -- 
>> ===========================================================
>> : Hilmar Lapp  -:-  Durham, NC  -:-  hlapp at gmx dot net :
>> ===========================================================
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