Admittedly, the time between the pre-announcement and this email is
pretty short, but well, Google seems to predict myself better than I can
So, the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) has been announced.
Most people around here would like to see GNU Radio participate,
including myself, but that depends on YOU.
We need your ideas for projects, and we need mentors.
For the impatient, here’s a tl;dr:
- Think about cool projects that can be done by motivated students
in ~3 months and post them here:
Don’t be shy! This is the brainstorming phase. Anything goes.
Anyone can post ideas (as long as they’re GNU Radio-related).
- Can you mentor a project. Be honest, you can, can’t you!
If so, put your name below a project you’d like to mentor, or simply
sign up without a specific project. (Right now, ‘signing up’ means
telling us, hey, I’d like to mentor. The GSoC page doesn’t have a
sign-up feature yet).
OK, now more detail:
What is the GSoC and why is it good for us?
In GSoC, Google will fund a student for 3 months to contribute code to
a free software project. This project could be GNU Radio! Ideally, this
means we will get fresh code into our repositories, and motivated young
students to join the project, and stay on.
In 2012, we were quite successful in that respect. This just isn’t
something we can miss out on.
How does this work?
The details are on
The quick version is:
- We create a great list of ideas for projects (this is important!)
- A couple of us sign up as mentors (the more, the better)
- Starting April, students can contact mentors about projects and
prepare their applications.
- If we’re lucky, a couple of students are assigned projects. Then they
start working on them.
- The mentors grade the students twice; once at half-term, once at the
- Ideally, at the end, we have cool new code and new contributors!
How about coding a … ?
Excellent idea! Please post this on the wiki:
We’ll be going over the list towards the end of the idea-collecting
phase. At the end, projects must:
- be possible in the GSoC timeframe (~3 months) and
- advance the GNU Radio project in some way.
They don’t necessarily have to be something for the core GNU Radio
codebase; out-of-tree modules for GNU Radio are fine, too.
Of course, it should also concur with Google’s own rules and
requirements (check our wiki page and the GSoC FAQ from last year).
In 2012, we had lots of ideas that never made it into GSoC projects.
Perhaps they’re still valid, and could therefore be suggested again. All
the old ideas have been left on the page as an inspiration.
I’m a student and would like to participate, what do I do?
Read the FAQ for all the paperwork etc. As far as we’re concerned, you
- Think about projects and post ideas of your own
- Be involved on the mailing list. If we know your name, that does
increase your chances. Active contributor’s applications simply are
more convincing than “You’ve never heard of me, but I really want to
contribute”, even if you’re sincere. Of course, don’t let that stop if
you if you really want to participate!
Note that we can’t guarantee anyone a slot right now.
Google has it’s own process, and we have to stick to that.
Who can mentor? And what does that mean?
Pretty much anyone who would like to!
You don’t have to be associated with academia or anything like that.
You should have some time available for the mentoring, of course.
Mentoring is a great way to do something good and advance the GNU Radio
project without actually having to do the hard work
Perhaps you have some expertise you’d like to bring into the project, or
you just like tutoring students–in any case, mentoring might be
something you’d enjoy.
Put briefly, a mentor supervises a student’s work during the GSoC
duration and grades the work (one evaluation at mid-term and one at the
Google has put up a great mentoring manual, which gives some insight
into what mentoring means: http://en.flossmanuals.net/GSoCMentoring/
Speaking out of personal experience, I mentored the filter design
project last year. It was great fun, working across continents was not a
problem and the actual time spent wasn’t too extreme.
I’ll be happy to answer questions about mentoring on this list (if
they’re not covered in Google’s FAQs etc.)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Communications Engineering Lab (CEL)
Dipl.-Ing. Martin B.
Phone: +49 721 608-43790
Fax: +49 721 608-46071
KIT – University of the State of Baden-Württemberg and
National Laboratory of the Helmholtz Association