UCOSP and HFOSS


Just wrapped up an interesting project with five students from various universities in Canada as part of the UCOSP project (Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Project).  UCOSP was the brainchild of Greg Wilson of the University of Toronto and is now managed by Karen Reid and Michelle Craig (Toronto) and Eleni Stoulia (Alberta).  It’s a great project, although it is currently limited to Canadian universities.

L to R: Anna, Derek, Edward, Greg, and Yang.

L to R: Anna, Derek, Edward, Greg, and Yang.

My participation involved mentoring five students — 2 from University of Toronto, 2 from Waterloo, and 1 from Alberta — who signed up to work on our POSIT/Android project.  The project kicked off with a weekend code sprint in October at the University of Toronto.  I brought 5 Android phones with me and we spent the weekend getting the phones set up and getting up to speed on POSIT.  The students were all very capable and, despite having no prior experience with Android, they managed to fix several simple bugs and/or implement a few simple enhancements during the weekend.

After a couple of weeks, the students each proposed specific projects and spent the rest of the semester working on them.  We meet for a weekly half-hour Skype chats where we discussed various issues.  We used POSIT’s Google code repository to manage and document the work.   Here’s a list of the projects with links to the students’ code and write ups:

Overall this was a great experience. The various contributions to POSIT were substantial and significant.   I hope the students got as much out of it as I did.  HFOSS should initiate something like this for our schools.

  1. #1 by Edward Bassett on December 20, 2010 - 11:42 pm

    Participating in UCOSP and in POSIT was indeed a great experience. It was good to make a meaningful contribution to a real-world project (as opposed to assignments with no life beyond grading).
    I, for one, plan to stay involved in POSIT on an ongoing basis.
    Ralph was a great mentor, too.
    I can only encourage all students and universities to get involved in something like this.

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