The PhyloCoding has begun!
Every year for the past several years, Google has operated a charitable program called Google Summer of Code to support development of open source software. Organizations that develop medium to large open-source projects apply to Google for support. Accepted organization create an “ideas list” of projects that would enhance their open source software. Students from around the globe then apply for projects with the accepted organizations. Successful students are paid by Google to work on the open-source project for the summer. Competition among organizations and students is stiff, with only 1000 of 5000+ students being accepted.
This year I’m co-mentoring a project with Marc Suchard that aims to develop a small and reusable open source software library to calculate phylogenetic likelihoods using CPUs and GPUs. The project is part of this year’s Phyloinformatics Summer of Code which is being operated by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) through Google’s program. Lots of students applied for the project, perhaps because GPU computing is trendy and computer geeks tend to be some of the trendiest people around (even if not always socially graceful!). Nonetheless there were many strong applicants and in the end, the successful student was Daniel Ayres, a Ph.D. student at UMD.
Thanks to Google’s charitable arm for supporting so many students and projects!