[Numpy-discussion] GSOC 2010

Skipper Seabold jsseabold@gmail....
Wed Oct 21 15:13:14 CDT 2009

On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 3:23 PM, Charles R Harris
<charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 1:11 PM, <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 3:02 PM, Charles R Harris
>> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi All,
>> >
>> > I don't feel that numpy/scipy did as well in GSOC 2009 as it could
>> > have.  I
>> > think this was mostly due to lack of preparation on our part, we weren't
>> > ready when the students started showing up on the lists. So I would like
>> > to
>> > put together a selection of suitable projects and corresponding mentors
>> > that
>> > we could put on the wiki somewhere and advertise. Just to start things
>> > off,
>> > here are two things that come to mind.
>> >
>> > Python 3k transition. I think it is time to start looking at this
>> > seriously.
>> > Best of breed special functions in cython. These could be part of a
>> > separate
>> > numpy extras package where code is restricted to C, Cython, and Python.
>> >
>> > Thoughts?
>> for scipy: more stats, gsoc2009 went very well.
> Yes, it seems so. I had the impression that planning for that project was
> undertaken pretty early on with the involvement of Skipper. What exactly
> *was* the history of that project and what can we learn from it?

Short(-ish) version of some general thoughts from my end:

GSoC was brought to my attention as a fruitful endeavor (and it
definitely was!).  There was a list of potential topics posted on
SciPy SoC mentoring page, and I just kind of went through all of them
to see where the most value-add would be (both ways from me to the
SciPy project and from the SciPy project to my studies/work).  So that
list of topics was the main driving force, and I'm glad we're starting
to push for ideas now (I have a few ideas of my own motivated mostly
by needs of stats/statistical modeling, but I need some more time to
think).  However, we obviously should be open to new ideas from
students coming to the project.

Another thing is the importance of the application process.  The thing
that pushed me was reading about other successful applicants for SoC
in general (there is a lot of really good advice and write-ups out
there).  It is a very competitive program, so your proposal needs to
be very, very well thought out.  That includes drafts of proposals
with feedback from the community and mentors well before the official
application process even starts, so the earlier that's taken care of,
the better.

Beyond that, students should know what's expected of them coming into
the program (what development tools they need to be familiar with,
numpy/scipy standards, familiarization with the code base), and what's
expected of the end product (high quality code, test driven
development, etc.).

I also can't stress enough how helpful it was to have Alan and Josef
as mentors, as well as the availability to use the MLs for more
general questions.  Obviously, the level of engagement of the mentor
is going to depend on the project and the student, but I for one
couldn't have learned as much as I did nor gotten as far as we did
without their help.

If these comments are seen as helpful, I can try to work on some more
detailed ones/links to detailed ones, as I think this would be
beneficial to establish as something to look forward to.  The
availability of this program (Thank you, Google) allows significant
strides in development to be made each summer and that should not be
overlooked (I don't think it is).


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