For the past ~18 months, Orcasound has been honored to be a host organization for the Google Summer of Code (GSoC). GSoC is a global initiative to teach current or recent under/graduates about open source software development. It was exciting when, in early 2020, Orcasound joined ~200 other organizations who participate in the GSoC program for the first time.
Orcasound has already benefited from our first two enthusiastic and talented GSoC students, and we’re excited to see where they and our four new 2021 students lead us. Inspired by the projects that both prospective and accepted students have proposed or advanced, we have provided the GSoC program with a growing cadre of volunteer mentors and — as a relatively young open source community — we are incrementally improving our documentation, on-boarding resources, and open data access to support the students.
This year (2021), Orcasound was able to double capacity thanks to a growing team of mentors. Also, for the first time after 15 years, in 2021 the GSoC program significantly altered student eligibility constraints and reduced hr/wk commitment levels by about half. Both of these changes aimed to increase access and enable students to diversify their summer experiences.
Thus, in 2021, Orca Sound was able to accept four students for our second summer of GSoC:
- Isabella Macchiavello (Ecuador)
- Dmitry Volodin (Russia)
- Dhananjay Purohit (India)
- Jose Giraldo (from Columbia, working from Spain)
This year’s active mentor team includes: Jesse Lopez, Valentina Staneva, Paul Cretu, Brendan Thatcher, Val Veirs, and Kunal Mehta, Ty Crisafulli, and Scott Veirs.
In our first year (2020), Orcasound worked with two great students:
- Kunal Mehta (India)
- Diego Rodríguez (Mexico)
As a contingency during the emerging Covid-19 pandemic, Kunal and Diego worked together to develop the Orca Active Listening (OrcaAL) tool with a combined mentor team. They also went well beyond the requirements of the summer program, ultimately presenting their work in the first-ever all-remote meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.