terriko: (Default)
2013-09-27 11:07 am
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FYI: GSoC midterm emails

FYI: Google summer of code emails from midterms are being re-sent right now due to a bug in melange. It's safe to ignore these. These ARE NOT typoed final evaluation emails: final evaluations close in an hour and Google will be sending those emails on Oct 1st.

(Edit: Apparently the final eval emails went out early too, so you may have the correct emails now, a few days early by Google's original schedule. Congrats and condolences to all!)
terriko: (Default)
2013-08-07 04:29 pm
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Congratulations to Python's Google Summer of Code students and mentors!

Congratulations to all 36 of Python's students and our many mentors; everyone passed midterms and will be continuing for the second half of the summer!

The midterms wrapped up while I was still recovering from surgery, so I've only just this week started going through the midterm reports submitted by students and mentors. It's a real treat to hear stories from students about how helpful their mentors and communities have been, how they've been able to bring perspective to hard problems and help students reshape their ideas and learn. The mentors have told stories about students who were clever, thought deeply about problems, and willing to adapt to work better with their communities.

I'm really looking forwards to seeing what our students produce in the second half of the summer! If you're curious, don't forget that you can check out the aggregated blogs from all of Python's GSoC students. And students, don't forget that though we took some time off so everyone could work on midterms, we're now in week 8, which means you should have another blog post up by Monday, August 12.
terriko: (Default)
2013-07-02 12:10 am
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What should you say in your status updates?

The Google Summer of Code students working under the Python umbrella are required to blog about their work over the summer, at least bi-weekly. It helps me keep track of how the students are doing, and hopefully helps their mentors keep track as well. I've just emailed a bunch of folk whose blog posts for the first two weeks are now late, and I included the following list of questions to get them thinking about what to write:

1. What have you accomplished the past two weeks (list specific items accomplished)?
2. What issues or roadblocks have you encountered the past two weeks?
3. Have they been resolved, and if so, how?
4. Do any of the issues or roadblocks still exist and what steps have been taken to resolve them?
5. Is further assistance necessary to resolve existing issues?
6. What do you plan to accomplish in the next two weeks?
7. How does your progress compare to your project schedule?

This list is the one that Systers uses for their required weekly status updates, and it's one that I've found very useful as a guide even for my own status updates at my day job. So I figured I'd post it here in case any of you are stumped on what to include in your next status update!
terriko: (Default)
2013-07-01 04:25 pm
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Quick reminder for PSF GSoC students: Your first blog posts are due today!

Just a reminder for all the Python Software Foundation Google summer of code students. You are required to blog, and although I've given you two weeks to settle in, you need to have at least one blog post written by today if you're hoping to pass this term. You've got a few hours before I start reading and sending emails cc'ing your mentors, so if you haven't started yet, hop to it!
terriko: (Default)
2013-06-09 10:07 pm
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Python student blogs

One of the things that Python asks of all students under our "umbrella" is that they blog regularly about their projects. This helps me keep track of how all the students are doing, and helps advertise the interesting work they'll be doing to a larger community. I've set up a blog aggregator here for Python's Summer of Code Updates and you can see that folk are already talking about their projects as they settle in.

Coding starts June 17th. Here's to a great summer!
terriko: (Pi)
2013-06-09 06:18 pm
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Welcome Summer of Code 2013 students!

The Python Software Foundation has 36 Google Summer of Code students starting next week!

If you'd like to learn more about any of the student projects as they were proposed, you can also see the list and descriptions on the GSoC Website. But here's a list, grouped by project:

Core Python
Phil Webster, IDLE Improvements
Jayakrishnan Rajagopalasarma, IDLE Improvements

Ksenija Bestuzheva, ASCEND: dynamic modelling improvements
Pallav Tinna, Porting to gtk3 and GUI improvements

Madhura Parikh, Astropy: Develop the Astroquery toolkit into a coherent package
Axel Donath, AstroPy: Extending the functionality of the photutils package.

GNU Mailman
Manish Gill, Mailman: Authenticated REST-API in Postorius/Django.
Abhilash Raj, GNU Mailman - Integration of OpenPGP

Abhinav, Kivy: Kivy Designer
Ivan Pusic, PyOBJus

Mainak Jas, Real-time Machine Learning for MEG in MNE-Python
Roman Goj, MNE-Python: Implement time-frequency beamformers

David Lu, Data Driven Mentorship App
Tarashish Mishra, OpenHatch: Rewrite training missions using oppia (Training missions, version 2)

Tarun Gaba, PyDy: Visualization of the simulated motion of multibody systems
Tyler Wade, wxPython Bindings for PyPy using CFFI

Manuel Jacob, Implementing Python 3.3 features for PyPy

Andraž Brodnik, Better Debug tools
Domen Kožar, Substance D improvements

Juhani Åhman, PySoy: Improve Android and HTML5 Soy clients

Chintak Sheth, scikit-image: Image Inpainting for Restoration
Marc de Klerk, scikit-image: Segmentation Algorithms as a basis for an OpenCL feasible study
Ankit Agrawal, scikit-image : Implementation of STAR and Binary Feature Detectors and Descriptors

Kemal Eren, scikit-learn: Biclustering algorithms, scoring, and data generation
Nicolas Trésegnie, Scikit-learn : online low rank matrix completion

Surya Kasturi, SciPy: Improving functionality and Maintainability of SciPy Central
Arink Verma, SciPy/NumPy : Performance parity between numpy arrays and Python scalars
Blake Griffith, Improvements to the sparse package of Scipy: support for bool dtype and better interaction with NumPy

Ankit Mahato, SfePy: Enhancing the solver to simulate solid-liquid phase change phenomenon in convective-diffusive situations

Ana Martínez Pardo, Statsmodels: Discrete choice models
Chad Fulton, Statsmodels: Time Series Analysis Extensions (esp. regime-switching models)

Michael J. Malocha, SunPy - Interfacing with Heliocphysics Databases
Simon Liedtke, SunPy: Database of local data

Mark Berger, Upload Strategy of Happiness in Tahoe-LAFS

Shiyao Ma,Twisted: Switching to Formal Parsers
Kai Zhang,Twisted: Deferred Cancellation

We had a great number of talented applicants and I only wish we'd been able to take more of them. Congratulations to those accepted and to the rest of you, I hope you'll apply again next year!
terriko: Yup, I took this one. The eyes are paper, not photoshop (chair)
2013-05-06 10:38 am
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Updates and links

First some me-related updates:

  • I got to help staff a table at roborave on Saturday. fun! I was too busy to take pictures, so don't ask.

  • GSoC ranking continues apace. It's actually less busy for me than it was, since I don't need to interact with the students as much until selection is finished, so I've gone from over a hundred people potentially wanting to talk to me to something closer to 20-30. (project admins + mentors with melange trouble). I expect there'll be some wrangling to make sure the Systers and Mailman don't have any overlapping project ideas, but that can wait a few days.

  • To save people from asking me: I'm not expecting to hear about the Portland job for another couple of weeks. This is actually pretty convenient for me since it means I can focus on GSoC during the selection period; horray for good timing!

And then some links that amused me:

terriko: (Default)
2013-03-25 11:31 pm
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Back from Pycon!

I should write up a proper trip report with pictures and stuff, but as it's nearly midnight and I don't want my sleeping patterns to stay on California time, you get some short highlights:

1. The conference itself was awesome. Recall: I attended the sprints last year but not the main conference, so while I had high hopes I didn't know that the content would be so good. I attended a lot of great talks and no doubt missed quite a few as well. I'll be making heavy use of the conference recordings over the next little while, I expect.

2. I am really excited about my free raspberry pi. While I know lots of folk who frequently get given cool toys and told to go hack them, this is the first time someone has gifted me with such an item/mission, and it feels great. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do yet, but there was this great talk about hooking one up to a $300 CNC machine, and another great one about home automation that could be useful...

3. The sprints were super-productive! You can see our todo/completed/waiting list here if you want the nitty gritty. I'd been joking earlier to anyone who asked that we were totally going to release by Friday, and while we didn't do that, we *are* very close and you should all expect a beta release of postorius + Mailman 3 very soon. I can't wait to show it off!

4. Perhaps later I'll do up the stats on exactly what I was doing to our repository, but I should tell you that not only did I make plenty of my own code commits, but I also got to merge code from new contributors. This was totally my favourite part, seeing new folk get their code accepted and in the main tree. And it wasn't just the people who were physically at the sprints with us: I also merged code from people contributing remotely, most of whom are prospective GSoC students. Way to impress me, students!

5. I got to talk to a bunch of people about GSoC. I do this all the time by email, but it was especially fun to talk to folk in person about what's involved, why it's awesome, how to be good at it, and why they should sign up.

6. And post-con, I got a few days to catch up with friends in the area and visit the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park, which I've wanted to do ever since I read Seanan Mcguire's October Daye books. As I processed a few photos for this week's assignment, you get one here:

1/400s of meditation in a tea garden

And with that, midnight has rung and it's bedtime. I have a long week of catch-up ahead of me at work, but expect some more pycon / mailman / gsoc posts out of me over the next little while as I internalize all the things I've been thinking about this past week.
terriko: (Default)
2012-10-22 01:36 pm
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Home for a rest?

I'm mildly discombobulated since my flight got in quite delayed last night and I swear, there wasn't enough time between travel even though I had more than a week, but here's updates:

(1) GSoC Mentor Summit was amazing, filled with open source folk who were also passionate about mentoring. It was cool having lots in common with every person I talked to all weekend.

(2) I have pictures, largely of playing powerpoint karaoke yesterday. Also of some of the guys playing rugby in the hot tub. ;) (Well, okay, just tossing a ball around, but still!) They need some serious culling so expect most of them later in the week. Arc pulled the best ones off my camera and they're here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109741359399131092509/posts/VHbodBCsBPJ (Thanks to Denis of Gentoo for being our photographer!)

(3) Oh yeah, the big announcement is that I'm going to be the Org admin for the Python Software Foundation next year. Doomed! So yeah, I go from managing my 3 students, 7 mentors for Mailman (and backup managing another 3 students from Systers), to around 30 students spread across a pile of sub-organizations. Should be fun. Or terrifying. :) I'll probably write more about this later once it's had more time to sink in.

(4) I need to also make time to encourage folk to come to Pycon. There is financial aid available and the application is up. I'm going to be sending more personal notes out to my new contributors from GHC12 and my GSoC students from Systers and Mailman. The Mailman sprint last year was probably the most satisfying hacking event I've ever attended, and I want others to have that experience. :)

(5) I did get all my GHC12 pictures up before I left: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/terrio/sets/72157631687919350/

(6) My last official GHC12 blog post (about the open source day hackathon) is pending now that I have photos to go with it. I've got notes for a few more, but not sure I'll have time to write them.

In theory, I'll be home in New Mexico and not traveling again 'till December. Which is good, because I need to put together academic applications, write a paper with my remaining thesis research (the tech report got cited twice already, which is a sign that I should have something more peer-reviewed out there), and get the research done for my next paper. Plus, you know, squash all the open bugs/add all the missing features in Postorius, make sure the port of dynamic sublists to Mailman 3 is finished, and purchase flights for my trip home in December.

I feel like I should be a lot more stressed about all that I've got on my plate, but after a weekend with open source folk, I'm feeling pretty relaxed and pleasant and like it's all going to work out somehow. And to be honest, that feeling may be the most important thing I'm bringing back from Mountain View this week. :)
terriko: (Default)
2012-10-16 03:04 am

Ada Lovelace Day profile: Robin Jeffries, Her Systers Keeper Emeritus and HCI expert

Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike.

When I first met Robin Jeffries, I had no idea how important she was. My friend Jen said, "hey, you need to talk to Robin about this" and the three of us sat down and chatted about technical stuff for an hour or so in the middle of a busy conference. It didn't hit me until much later that I'd just spent a time geeking it up with a woman who half the women at GHC would have loved to shake hands with, let alone get a whole lunch with.

Robin has just retired as Her Systers Keeper, a role she took over from Anita Borg when Anita's health was failing. She's not wrong in calling managing a community like this a job of cat herding, but with her guidance Systers has long been a list with an unusually high signal to noise ratio, and one that many technical women turn to when they need advice, want to share a story, or want to rant about the latest news piece about women in computing. I started realizing how much of a role model Robin herself has been to so many when I'd mention her and people would go, "wait, you know Robin Jeffries? I've always wanted to meet her in person!" These were women who were inspired by the stories she shares and her ability to get to the heart of the matter when it comes to the experience of technical women.

I've been fortunate enough to work with Robin doing Google Summer of Code mentoring for Systers, where we've been doing modifications on an open source project dear to my heart, GNU Mailman. She's got an uncanny ability to find good chunks of technical work that our students can manage, a knack for inspiring the people she works with, a good system for managing us all and keeping us to our deadlines, and every time we sit down to talk about how to fix a problem she impresses me with her insights into better architectures and designs. I've rarely had the chance to work with someone of Robin's experience in human computer interaction (read her bio, but in short, she's crazy accomplished and I probably would have been way intimidated if I'd known how much so when I first met her). I'm constantly in awe of how easily she not only applies that experience, but how good she is at conveying it to others and how willing she is to share her skills.

We're probably all benefiting from her knowledge as she applies it to her job at Google, but it's the more direct personal experiences that really get me. For example, despite being in great demand with the Systers 25th anniversary celebrations at GHC12 this year, she came out to help me run Open Source Day activities for women interested in hacking with Systers and Mailman, quickly adopting a whole table of prospective volunteers and walking them through the first stages of evaluating and contributing to an open source project. She regularly makes me wish I'd spent more time studying HCI myself, and forces me to re-evaluate how I design software. We've got one big feature we want to see in Mailman and I'm really looking forwards to working with her on making it happen.

I admire Robin for her amazing technical expertise, for her support of women in computing, and for her ability to balance the two as part of her own busy life for so many years. It has most definitely been my privilege to work with such an amazingly talented woman, and I hope that some day I can approach her level of professional and personal accomplishment.
terriko: (Default)
2010-08-27 03:23 pm
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It's not thirteen weeks, it's three

Greg Wilson has this excellent post on Three Rules for Supervising Student Programming Projects. Anyone who ever works with students should probably read this, but I'm particularly enamoured of Rule #1, which puts something we've all known into a nicely concrete form:

Rule 1: It’s Not Thirteen Weeks, It’s Three

This was the hardest one for me to learn, and it’s almost always the hardest to get across to both students and their clients. University terms may be thirteen weeks long, but students are usually juggling five courses, and many have part-time jobs as well. That means they can only put eight hours a week into their project without sacrificing grades somewhere else. If you figure a full-time work week is 35 hours, that means students actually spend 8×13/35 = a bit less than three weeks working for you.

You can read the rest here.
terriko: (Default)
2010-06-09 02:29 pm
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Jet lag and GSoC

Getting over jet lag might be a bit easier if it weren't for the fact that my GSoC team meeting was at midnight my time. Such is the peril of having students and mentors scattered across the globe!

Still very excited about everything, but also very sleepy. ;)
terriko: (Default)
2010-06-01 01:11 am
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How do you use mailman mailing list archives?

I'm helping to mentor some totally awesome students working on improved archives for Mailman as part of Google Summer of Code this year, and before they start writing code we'd like to gather some data on how people really use the Mailman archives. If you have a minute, it'd help us a whole lot if you could fill out this survey to tell us how you use the existing archives and how you'd like to use them:


I know I'm always inundated with survey requests, but I promise this one will help us create Archives Of The Future. ;) Seriously, this should lead to more usable and useful Mailman archives, and who doesn't want that? Feel free to pass it around to anyone else who might want to help, and if you have any questions or concerns please contact me.
terriko: (Default)
2010-04-12 11:53 am
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And the good news keeps on coming

In the past week:

Interviewed by the CBC, which aired at 6:15ish on Thursday. Very positive interview. It felt a bit fluffy to me, given the sort of issues I get tossed through the Geek Feminism crew, but a nice positive interview is exactly what we needed to kick off the Celebration. John apparently recorded it, so I may have an mp3 of the interview shortly.

The Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering at Carleton was a total success. We've got some really excellent researchers who are also excellent speakers: I was actually fully engaged for all but the last presentation, and didn't find my mind wandering at all. Pretty impressive, given that I was exhausted and had a lot of thesis related stuff on my mind otherwise! I'll probably write about the individual talks later.

I defended my thesis proposal.

Note that this wasn't the final thesis defense for my PhD -- that will be harder. The proposal is the negotiation of the roadmap I need to finish, and is actually pretty friendly as far as defenses go. Basically, I propose 12+ things, they say how about these four, and we agree on what I need to do to finish. In my case, I've got a user study that I'm super excited about running, and a lot of tying up of loose ends for publication-worthy results. It went from a nearly insurmountable seeming pile of things to something I can actually finish this fall.

Later on Friday:
GSoC proposals closed, and we've got really excellent students applying to work with us. Ranking them is going to be incredibly hard!

Later still on Friday:
Rock band party, giant chocolate soccer ball, and... okay, the broccoli rum was a bad idea. ;) But it was nice to kick back and celebrate for the evening! I then took the weekend off and more or less did whatever I felt like: gaming with friends, a long photo walk, pleasant yardwork to get out in the sun, and some of the tidying that gets put off while I'm working hard.

Sunday very late (or Monday early morning...)
My latest paper got accepted! I'll be heading down to California (the bay area) at the end of May to present, and the plan is to stay a few weeks 'till the beginning of June. This is a web security paper with some observations that motivated my thesis work and hopefully will motivate others. I'll probably have digital copies up shortly.

The plan for this week is similarly awesome, but much less busy in that some of this can overflow to next week if need be:

  • Today, I go to see Jane Goodall speak as part of the writer's festival.
  • I'm working on another paper that's due Friday.
  • There's a cool symposium going on over at uOttawa on Biology in the Media - Fascinating Science on the Front Page, but I'm not sure I'll manage to get out for that.
  • There's an interesting security talk on Thursday that I should really RSVP for and go to see.
  • I get to read and make initial evaluations of my potential GSoC students.
  • Need to set up my own GSoC dev environment -- I scraped together some hardware so I can have a dedicated machine, and I'm absurdly excited about getting it running.
  • Photos photos photos: I've got several hundred event photos that I need to cut down to a manageable number and put online.
  • Need to register for the conference and plan my trip!
  • And probably a bunch of stuff I've forgotten, since in my head this week is mostly about the first two items on the list.
terriko: (Default)
2010-03-26 01:10 am
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Geek Feminism: Showing your awesomeness for Google Summer of Code

Continuing Mary's brilliant idea of having a GF classifieds article for GSoC projects, I decided to provide a second thread with tips and questions in hopes to encourage more GSoC applicants from the GF community:

Showing your awesomeness for Google Summer of Code

The short tips:
  1. Get involved with the community early.
  2. Spend some time doing research on your proposed project.
  3. Ask smart questions.
  4. Contribute to the project in advance.
  5. Don’t be afraid to apply!

See the article for more details, including a short story about how lots of women think they aren't awesome enough to do GSoC... but they really are!

Those of you involved in GSoC as mentors, we'd love some more tips if you can think of any! I'm new to this, and while I polled a couple of mentors and a former student for the ideas that made up my list, I'm sure there are more ideas worth mentioning.
terriko: (Default)
2010-03-19 01:11 am
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Mailing lists of The Future! [cue sci-fi sound effects]

I was really thrilled to see both Máirín Duffy and Luis Villa talking about mailing lists this week.

Before I talk about their posts, though, I want to tell you two awesome things related to Mailman:

1. The Mailman logo contest is now closed and the steering committee (including me!) is deciding how to narrow down the field before we put it to a vote. Check out all the awesome entries here!

2. Systers has been accepted as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code. And I'm going to be part of their totally awesome team of mentors! They're hoping to get a whole lot of improvements for their mailing list, and a lot of these are the same sort of improvements we generally want for Mailman, so I'm really hoping we'll be able to use some of that code in Mailman 3. Check out our proposed list of projects: I'm most excited about the archives one, but there's lots of awesome in that list. (Student looking for a summer project? Apply!)

Okay, now that I've talked about my announcements, let's talk about those posts I mentioned, and how they're connected to my upcoming work with Mailman.

In which I talk about the awesomeness of dynamic sub-lists and improvements to the archives )

I'm really excited to see other people thinking about the problems of mailing lists... and I'm even more excited to say that thanks to Systers, Google and a team of SoC students, we may be seeing the mailing lists of The Future sooner rather than later!

Expect me to be talking about this stuff a lot over the coming months, and if you've got suggestions regarding Mailman, now's an even better time than usual to tell me about it. Don't be shy!