Google Summer of Code 2009 is open for applications

Google Summer of Code 2009 is open for applications. I think that GSoC, which is an annual event in which Google pays students 4,500 USD to work on an open source project of their choice, is a great project and dream of the day when one of my students takes on this challenge. I try my hardest by ensuring, so far as is possible, that only open source software is used in my courses: so my students have experience as users of LAMP, Drupal, WordPress, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Netbeans and even the Google Code hosting service. And every year, I pass on the announcement via Blackboard to all the students under my immediate care. Despite this exposure, no-one so far has thought that they had enough skills to move on to the next stage. Maybe this year will be different. After all, 4,500 USD is worth a lot more today than it was last year!

Amazing Grace

In honour of “Lady Lovelace Day” I had pledged to write a post on computing pioneer Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, one of first programmers of the Harvard Mark I Calculator and designers of the Cobol programming language. Grace is always remembered for finding a real bug in one of her computer programs (in the days when computers were made with thermionic valves and relays) and taped it into her log book along with the wry comment:

“[time] 15.45 Relay #70, Panel F (moth) in Relay. First actual case of bug being found.”

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p>As luck would have it, as I sat down to type this post, I found this video interview from 2 October 1986 on YouTube which adds some additional interest to this post.

What a wonderful, warm and funny woman!

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