The University at Albany Student Chapter of ASIS&T is hosting an Open Source Festival to provide an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members to present and learn about open source software and hardware.

Will Schroeder will be doing a presentation on Open Source Business Models, Bill Hoffman will be presenting Open Source Quality Software Processes, and Luis Ibanez will be presenting on Open Source in Education and Open Source in Healthcare. Times will be posted once the schedule is confirmed.

Open Source Business Models – 2:30 p.m.

The Way of the Source is more than a social or philosophical movement, it leads to competitive business models that are now making a significant commercial impact. Inherently open source business models are based on providing services, and engage broad communities to deliver technology with advantages in cost, speed, and agility. In this presentation, Dr. Will Schroeder,co-founder and CEO of Kitware, will describe the company’s business model that has resulted in profitable growth with over 100 employees, and an international business presence.

Open Source Quality Processes
– 3:30 p.m.

One of the promises of Open Source is that it produces higher quality software. This is due to the many eyes theory which states that as more people have access to source code, the quicker bugs are found and fixed. Although this is true of very popular packages, not all open source software receive as many views as the linux kernel. However, there are open source tools and processes that enable developers to easily share and test software no matter the community size. This talk will describe open source tools to manage, build and test software in a comprehensive software development process. Git, CMake, CTest, and CDash will be discussed as ways to create high quality software, reducing the cost of maintenance, and maximizing community involvement in the process.

Open Source in Healthcare – 5:00 p.m.

The U.S. spends 18% of GDP in Healthcare. This is $ 2.6 trillion a year. Just in the past six months the cost of health care rose by 2% of GDP, and increment close to $280 Billion. This recent increment is larger than the revenue of the entire software-for-sale industry. Despite this heavy investment, the U.S. ranks 18th in measures of health care quality worldwide. Many alternatives are currently being pursued to reduce the cost of health and to raise its quality. One of these alternatives is the widespread adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems. In this space, the best EHR deployed in the U.S. is the Veterans’ Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA). This system has been developed internally at the VA starting in the early 1970’s and has been refined since then to become excellent at managing the inherent complexity of health care information. An open source environment is currently being created for VistA, ( with the long term goal of building an integrated EHR to be shared between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. In this talk we will present the relevance of this ongoing effort as piece of critical national infrastructure, and we discuss how you can get involved in this transformative Open Source community.

Open Source in Education – 6:30 p.m.

In January 2011, the analyst firm Gartner estimated that by 2016, open-source software will be included in mission-critical software portfolios within 99% of Global 2000 enterprises. Despite this widespread adoption of open source as a standard engineering practice, the higher education system in the U.S. has not caught up with properly training managers and engineers on the fundamental principles that make the open source economic models work. Since 2007, as part of the initiative that also created the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS), Kitware partnered with RPI faculty to offer a course called Open Source Software Practices. The sixth edition of this class is currently being taught in the spring 2012 semester. In this class, students get exposed to basic principles of economics, models of peer-production, social principles of collaboration, legal basis of copyrights, patents and trademarks, principles of software licensing, and the human motivation aspects of cooperation. Simultaneously, students get to develop skills on the practices of open source communities including revision control systems, mailing lists, forums, wikis, code peer-review systems, software quality control and documentation. The class includes real-world interaction with large scale open-source projects, in which students get to contribute to further the goals of the given project. In this talk we will present the content of the class and share the good and bad experiences with what we have tried. We will also talk about how similar classes could be created in other higher education institutions.

Physical Event