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Students at OSCTC IUB

On Saturday, September 21st we ran our twelfth Open Source Comes to Campus event, at Indiana University – Bloomington.  Our thank yous to Dr. Lamara Warren and Lindsey Kuper of the School of Informatics and Computing for hosting!  Check out the photo gallery and out-takes.


Lindsey Kuper, Azadeh Nematzadeh, Suresh Marru, Larisse Voufo, Alex Rudnick, Dian Y, Beenish C, Molly R, Nathaniel H, Aaron H, Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Asheesh Laroia

 Selected Contributions

  • We had several students attempt to work on PsychoPy, a stimulus presentation package for psychology.  Unfortunately setting up the development environment for this project is arduous, especially on Windows.  Despite the fact that none of the students got set up in time to work on any of the issues, they were enthusiastic about working with the project maintainers to improve and document the setup process.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be working with those five students, and with PsychoPy’s friendly maintainers, to do so.

  • One student spent some time learning about OpenStates, going through the codebase with a mentor and understanding how web scraping works.  She attempted to respond to a feature request – adding some code that pulled in committee votes to the Pennsylvania scraper – but discovered that the feature had already been added.  The project has piqued her interest, though, and she’ll be working with OpenStates’ maintainers on a yet-to-be-determined issue.

  • That same student reported an issue with our tasks tracker which we’re hoping to fix soon.

  • One attendee tackled a bug in BioPython, and was able to come up with a fix to help a program deal with an error gracefully, but wasn’t able to test his changes, as the person who reported the issue wasn’t able to provide the input to reproduce it.

  • Another student submitted a patch for a problem in gnome-applets where strings weren’t getting translated properly.

  • One student attempted to fix a problem with the layout in the Privly project website but difficulty with her internet connection meant she wasn’t able to work much on it, and was forced to socialize with students and mentors instead.  This was much more successful, if you view having to deal with our puns on IRC as a success.  We look forward to seeing her next week at Grace Hopper.


  • This event kicked off a week with 4 Open Source Comes to Campus events in 3 states, with over 100 attendees.

  • We had 28 students at this event, with roughly equal numbers of men and women throughout the day.  We accomplished this gender diversity primarily by doing targeted outreach and by sending personalized emails to the women who signed up.  This enabled us to talk more deeply with them about their interests, and to encourage them to come.

  • During the career panel, a discussion emerged about the sociology of the free software movement.  Some of the recommended reading (all free to read/download):

    Feel free to recommend more in the comments!

  • The phrase of the event was “yak-shaving” – the experience of needing to do one thing in order to accomplish another, recursively, until suddenly you find yourself shaving a yak in order to install subversion.  Especially relevant when setting up a development environment!  Assuring attendees that it’s not just them is one of the most vital things we do.

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