Google Summer of Code

Beach.jpgThis page summarises the Software Sustainability Institute's 2011 application for the Google Summer of Code. We knew that it was unlikely that such a young organisation would have met all of the criteria for a successful application, and this unfortunately turned out to be the case. However, we will apply next year and if you are interested in any of the ideas listed below, please let us know.

On this page you can find out more about possible project ideas, which might be suitable for Masters level projects, and why you might want to work on them. We work with some of the leading researchers in many fields, so you have a chance to contribute to the software that is used by them!


The Software Sustainability Institute (SSI), works in partnership with research communities to identify key software that needs to be sustained. Some of the software includes Taverna and myExperiment for building, sharing and enacting scientific workflows, which are used by thousands of people internationally; the OGSA-DAI data access and integration framework, which allows "virtual data warehousing"; GridSAM a standards compliant component for job submission and monitoring, e.g. to do computational simulation.

Submitting a Project Idea

As a current project contributor

If you are an existing contributor to a software project which falls under the remit of the SSI, and have some interesting piece of work that might be of interest to a student then please email us your suggestion,

You can use this template for project ideas and should try to provide the following information:

  • A project description consisting of one or two paragraph describing the project goals (this does not need to completely specify the project, just give prospective students an outline of what is required). Ideas may also be "blue-sky" - these usually lead to the most interesting projects.
  • Any links to Websites or papers related to this project.
  • The student skill set required to do this project, e.g. programming languages.

Each project must have a mentor. The mentor is in charge of supervising students, tracking their progress, answering questions about the project, etc. If you have an idea for a project but do not want to mentor, or are unsure about what being a mentor entails, please get in touch with us by email to discuss it further.

As a prospective student

If you are a prospective student and would like to submit your own idea, please email us.

You can use this template for student ideas and should consider:

  • How will your idea benefit one of the research communities the SSI works with?
  • Is your project feasible given the amount of time available?
  • Which software components is your idea related to?
  • What skills will be required?
  • How will you facilitate your work being easy to support after the project has finished?
  • Who would be the best person to mentor you? (this is optional)

If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask!

Current Project Ideas

These are project ideas suggested for GSoC 2011. Some of the ideas from previous GSoC's may still be of interest but you should check with the mentors involved if this is still pertinent to them.

You may also be interested in the project ideas suggested by these wonderful organisations who work in related areas to us, and whom we collaborate with:

Why work with us?

We hope that by working with us you are able to undertake an interesting, fulfilling project that will be of real benefit to our communities of researchers. You'll get to see what working on a research software project is like, make new contacts, and hopefully learn new skills. At the same time, you'll be bringing your own skills and experience and sharing them with the projects.

Some of the past successes have been:

  • Kathiravelu Pradeeban contributed a new CXF presentation layer to the OGSA-DAI software which will be used by organisations around Europe and the USA 
  • Michal Marczyk contributed work based on Clojure to the OGSA-DAI project which has improved the way OGSA-DAI handles query optimisation
  • Saurabh Sehgal and Miklos Erdelyi's work with SAGA and MapReduce has led to a paper in Future Generation Computer Systems on which they are authors

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