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OSU Open Source Lab

OSL to Mentor Four in Google Summer of Code

by Kayla Harr on Wed, Jun 05 2013

Students from India, Poland and the United Kingdom will work on projects for the OSL this summer. The Oregon State University Open Source Lab has accepted four college students from around the world as Google Summer of Code 2013 participants. The four students will work on projects for the OSL over the summer with Google’s sponsorship and OSL staff members’ mentoring and supervision.

The OSL has not had four GSOC students since 2010. OSL Director Lance Albertson attributes this year’s increased number of students, compared to only one in 2012, to a greater variety of available projects.

“We had more projects that people were interested in this year,” Albertson says. “I think this year’s group of students is going to be pretty good; each of them have been proactive about contacting us and excited about working on their projects.”

Polish automation control and robotics student Piotr Banaszkiewicz will be working with the lab through Google summer programs for the third consecutive year, and his project will focus on improving the modularity, packaging and installation of the OSL’s Ganeti Web Manager. Two students from India will also work on GWM-related projects; Ahmed Shabib Bolwar, a computer science engineering student, will add a GWM provider to Vagrant, while Pranjal Mittal, who is studying electronics engineering, will add visualization to clusters, nodes and virtual machines in GWM. A fourth student, Mark Antony Holland, who is from the United Kingdom and currently studying computer science in Spain, will work on incorporating functionality and user-interface improvements to the OSL-developed Android OpenConferenceWare app.

The students will be mentored by OSL full-time developer Ken Lett, student developer Justin Noah and Albertson. Aside from having an array of time zones to accommodate this year, Albertson says working with GSOC students abroad is similar to collaborating with student employees in the lab.

“It’s kind of like what we do with students here but compressed,” he says. “We’re interacting with students from all over the world, and understanding their cultural differences too.”

Albertson hopes working with professionals through the Open Source Lab will help the students learn communication and teamwork skills, as well as offer them the experience of following a project through from draft to completion. And while they’re gaining valuable real-world experience, he says, the students will also be helping to advance development projects at the OSL.

“Everything they do is going to be beneficial to the lab long-term,” Albertson says. “And I hope in their careers being able to say they had that experience will help them.”