VTK, Google Summer of Code and the Mentor Summit

October 22, 2011

I have taken part in several Google Summers of Code, beginning back in 2007 as a student, then a mentor, and this year a mentor and organization admin. We recently published an article in the Source summing up the results of our two student projects. I would like to thank our students once again, and congratulate them both on completing two successful projects. In about ten minutes I will be heading out to the Googleplex for my first Mentor Summit, where the mentors from the projects that took part gather and share their experiences and arrange sessions to discuss how we might improve things in the future.

I think for any community to survive it must grow, and encourage new ideas. For me the Google Summer of Code program has been a great catalyst for growth, and I am looking forward to discussing the impact this can have. My own personal opinion is that open source is one very important aspect in the bigger picture of opening up scientific research. Something the science code manifesto clearly states, but I think it also relates to the fact that for science to move forward we must all be free to raise ourselves up on the shoulders of giants. As software becomes an increasingly important element of research, we need high quality open codes that we can examine, modify and redistribute.

If you are at the Mentor Summit and want to talk about open source, or open science, please find me. I am looking forward to a very interesting weekend, after what has been a very busy summer with lots of exciting developments (hopefully I will find time to write about a few more of these later).

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