Friday, March 23, 2007
Class projects and science on Google Code
I'm always tickled when someone finds a creative use for one of our products that never even occurred to me. So when George K. Thiruvathukal told me that he is having his Open Source Practicum students use Google Code to host their projects for his class this semester, I had one of those "Why of course!" moments.
George is a Computer Science professor at Loyola University of Chicago (my alma mater!) and he felt that using Google Code would be an ideal way to introduce his students to open source best practices, software development tools, and collaborative software development at the same time--a perfect match for a class on writing open source software. He also had his students label their projects with comp412.cs.luc.edu, so he just has to search for label:comp412.cs.luc.edu on Google Code and he can quickly find out what his students have been up to (although maybe that's not so good if anyone has been procrastinating!).
But George had some other ideas--he also wrote an article for Computing in Science & Engineering (CiSE) magazine called Project Hosting: Expanding the Scientific Programmer's Toolbox (pdf). His article encourages scientists to consider sharing software in the manner that open source communities do, and he uses Project Hosting at Google Code as an example of how to do it.
I think that these are both great ideas and we'd love to see more classes and scientists using Google Code for their open source work. If you're using Google Code for something interesting or unusual (and open source!), be sure to let us know.