This is the third in a series of blogs to introduce our GSoC students to the community. (first post, second post)

We’re pleased to introduce our GSoC students working on Julia, a NumFOCUS Sponsored ProjectJulia logo

Vaibhav Kumar Dixit

Parameter estimation for nonlinear dynamical models.

Link to Project Description

Link to Project Blog

College/University: Indian Institute of Technology

Major/Concentration: Mathematics and Computing

Degree Program: Bachelors

Hometown: Durg, Chhattisgarh, India

How many times have you participated in Google Summer of Code? This is my first time participating in GSoC

What motivated you to apply for GSoC with NumFOCUS?

NumFOCUS is easily among the biggest names in open source with an active and vibrant community. The opportunity to be associated with such a well established organisation was enough motivation in itself for me!

Why did you choose your specific project topic?

I came across the topic while browsing through the last year’s GSoC projects, I found it lay exactly in my domain of interest namely, bayesian statistics and mathematical modelling. Once I came in touch with my mentor Chris I had an opportunity to delve deeper into the topic and I found it tremendously rewarding. I started working on the package DiffEqBayes.jl from December itself and slowly increased my knowledge and comfort level with the topic. Further realizing the impactful applications of this work in both industry and academia motivated me to apply for GSoC to work further in the area.

How did you get involved in open source software?

I came across open source in my freshman year and it blew my mind. The idea of being able to collaborate with tremendously accomplished people across the world and contribute to a project with actual applications and which I personally find useful motivated me to become an open source contributor.

What are you expecting out of your GSoC experience?

I expect the summer to be a tremendously rewarding experience. I believe I have a great mentor and I will be able to learn quite a lot both in technical knowledge of my project’s domain and also how to collaborate effectively which I believe will be greatly beneficial for me ahead in my career.

What are your career goals, and how do you see the GSoC program moving you towards them?

I am mainly motivated by learning new things and being able to use that knowledge to output something substantial. I haven’t yet decided on what career path I want to choose but in any case I believe the kind of collaborative and learning experience GSoC provides will be essential in my career ahead.

Ayush Shridhar

Model Import, Export and Computer Vision in Julia

Link to Project Description

Link to Project Blog

College/University: International Institute of Information Technology, Bhubaneswar

Major/Concentration: Machine Learning in Julia

Degree Program: Bachelors

Hometown: Mumbai, India

How many times have you participated in Google Summer of Code? This is my first time participating in GSoC

What motivated you to apply for GSoC with NumFOCUS?

I found the areas NumFOCUS was involved in to be really intriguing. I was always interested in numerical computing and Machine learning.

Why did you choose your specific project topic?

Machine Learning is my passion. I started exploring machine learning in Julia when I came across an article on Kaggle. The simple looking yet powerful code was what attracted me towards Julia. Doing a lot of work in just a few lines of code is something I find really interesting.

How did you get involved in open source software?

I had contributed to a few open source organizations over the past few months. My first interaction with open source software development was towards the end of my first year.

What are you expecting out of your GSoC experience?

I think it’ll give me an opportunity to learn a great deal about open source software development.

What are your career goals, and how do you see the GSoC program moving you towards them?

I want to be a data scientist. Since my project is related to Machine Learning in Julia, this project will definitely give me a boost in this direction.

Pietro Vertechi

A modern tool for data exploration based on JuliaDB and WebIO

Link to Project Description

Link to Project Blog

College/University: ITQB Lisbon

Major/Concentration: Neuroscience

Degree Program: Graduate

Hometown: Rome, Italy

How many times have you participated in Google Summer of Code? This is my first time participating in GSoC

What motivated you to apply for GSoC with NumFOCUS?

I’ve been following closely the Julia programming language in the past two years and I’ve found the language interesting and the community friendly and welcoming: GSoC seemed like a perfect opportunity to make more serious contributions to the Julia package ecosystem.

Why did you choose your specific project topic?

In my field (neuroscience) it’s very common for researchers to try and build small GUIs to analyze their data. Julia already has powerful frameworks to manipulate and visualize data but building simple GUIs in a semi-automated way starting from a dataset is still harder than it needs to be. Given that several packages are being developed to build web-based apps in Julia, I became increasingly curious to see whether one can use this technology to provide simple GUIs for data analysis (available either locally or online).

How did you get involved in open source software?

I actually started contributing to open source in Julia with the StatPlots package for statistical visualizations. I noticed that an analysis I was doing all the time (and that was quite common in my field) could not be done in Julia with simple commands so I contributed it to the StatPlots package: the PR was merged after a lengthy review process which was extremely instructive.

What are you expecting out of your GSoC experience?

While I have some experience on making small contributions to open source projects, I expect to learn from my mentor and from the Julia community how to manage a larger project throughout several months. I’m also curious to learn about web-technology as, coming from a scientific background, I don’t have much experience with it. I would also like to use this opportunity to see if software development is something that I could do in the long term as a career option (potentially within non-profit organizations).

What are your career goals, and how do you see the GSoC program moving you towards them?

I hope to be able to be at the interface between academic work and open source development. In my experience, it is common for researchers to write code in a rush for a publication and then not maintain it or document it afterwards, which leads to a lot of repeated work. My hope is to continue doing research within academia while at the same time be able to turn my work into maintained and documented open-sourced repositories for a larger public to use. While I have some familiarity with academic research already, I wanted to use the GSoC opportunity to see to whether I could do open source software development at a more serious level.

Jiawei Li

College/University: University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Major/Concentration: Economics

Degree Program: Bachelors

Hometown: Hangzhou, China

How many times have you participated in Google Summer of Code? This is my first time participating in GSoC

What motivated you to apply for GSoC with NumFOCUS?

I’m Economics undergraduate students with strong interests in coding and data science. I’ve been passionate about applying computational techniques towards social science problems but my university courses have little touch on it. So I learnt programming by myself and tried to find a way to improve my programming skills, for which GSoC provides great opportunities. Most GSoC projects involve “hardcore” software engineering which I’m not good at, but NumFOCUS has main concentration on scientific computing, which is a perfect choice for me.

Why did you choose your specific project topic?

I chose my project because Julia is a cooler language than Python or R and this project is related to my background and interests. My project is improving JuliaNLSolvers, which solves problems of optimization, system of non-linear equations and parameter estimation. All these problems are crucial for scientific computation and data science, especially solving system of non-linear equations is related to Economics research. And my mentor Patrick is an Economics PhD student who is very kind and shares a quite similar background with me.

How did you get involved in open source software?

This is my first time making contribution in open source community. I did use open software a lot but never thought that I could upload any codes. During the application period, I tried to solve an issue and found a bug from the codes, so I did some research, made sure there was really a mistake, made a fix, tested and sent a pull request. That is my first PR and first time making contribution to open source software.

What are you expecting out of your GSoC experience?

Learning a lot by solving problems, improving my coding skills and making things I’m proud of.

What are your career goals, and how do you see the GSoC program moving you towards them?

My career goal is to be a data scientist or a Computational Economics/Social Science researcher. GSoC program gives me an invaluable chance to learn computational skills and prove that I made something great.

Matt Kelley

Speech recognition for the Flux model zoo

Link to Project Description

Link to Project Blog

College/University: University of Alberta

Major/Concentration: Linguistics

Degree Program: Graduate

Hometown: Boise, Idaho, USA

How many times have you participated in Google Summer of Code? This is my first time participating in GSoC

What motivated you to apply for GSoC with NumFOCUS?

My strongest motivation was NumFOCUS’s mission of supporting the development of open-source scientific computing tools. As I step into further and further into being a scientist, I believe more and more strongly that open-source software is integral to good scientific computing; without it, we have to deal with black boxes somewhere in the scientific process, which makes it harder to replicate studies and understand our results.

Why did you choose your specific project topic?

I’ve noticed that there don’t yet seem to be many accessible resources targeted toward novices getting into speech recognition with deep learning, so I want to try to fill that gap. Part of my research for my PhD centers on deep learning for speech recognition, so contributing a speech recog