Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software

Humanitarian FOSS in Practice: Experiences and Lessons Learned

by Mr. Trishan R. de Lanerolle, (Trinity College, Hartford, CT) on August 5 2011, Lally 104 (Friday) 12:30 -1:00 pm
Bio:Trishan R. de Lanerolle is the Project Director for the Humanitarian FOSS Project at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He has a BS in Computer Science from Trinity College, and a MS in Management of Innovation and Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He is a founding member of the Sahana Software Foundation and community development committee member. Mr. de Lanerolle has been a contributor to the development of several open source software applications for disaster management and humanitarian response efforts. He has published and co-authored papers on topics from Computer Science education to FOSS disaster management applications for several international conferences and journals.


by Derek Bruening, Google on May 5, 2011 (Friday) Lally 104 at 12:00 -12:30 pm pm

App Inventor for Android and CS Education

by Prof. Ralph Morelli, (Trinity College, Hartford, CT) on May 10, 2011, Lally 102 (Tuesday) 4:00 -5:00 pm

App Inventor is a visual, web-based programming environment that makes it possible for non-programmers to develop apps for their mobile phones. The talk will describe the App Inventor language and how it can be used at the introductory level to teach CS concepts and principles. Sample apps and projects from a college-level CS0 course will be used as examples. The implications for CS education at various levels in the K-14 pipeline will be discussed.

Bio: Ralph Morelli is a Professor of Computer Science at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where he has been teaching CS since 1985. He currently serves as one of the Principal Investigators of the NSF-funded Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Project (HFOSS), an attempt to help revitalize undergraduate computing education by getting students engaged in building software that benefits society. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and an M.S. in Information and Computer Science from the University of Hawaii. In addition to HFOSS, his research interests include artificial intelligence and computer science education.

poster link

IBM Watson

by Chris Welty, Research Scientist, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center on Febuary 18, 2011 (Friday) JEC 3117 at 4:00 pm

Success with RCOS Projects

by Colin Sullivan, RPI CS student on January 28, 2011 (Friday) Jec 3117 at 4:00 pm

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Open Content

by David Doria, RPI Computer Systems Engineering Student on Sept 9 , 2010 (Friday) JEC 3117 at noon

Experiences Winning the Security Contest

by Alex Radocea, RPI CS Graduate on July 16, 2010 (Friday) JEC 3117 at noon

Building Free Software for Society

by Prof. Ralph Morelli, Trinity College, Hartford, CT on JEC 3117, 7/16/2010 noon

Free and open source software (FOSS) is software that is licensed to be shared and remixed freely. The Humanitarian FOSS project (HFOSS) is a collaborative effort among undergraduate computing departments aimed at building FOSS that serves the community in some way. This talk will provide an overview of the HFOSS project, its history and goals, and will focus on several of the projects that HFOSS participates in or has initiated.

Educating the Next Generation of FOSS Developers

by Luis Ibanez (kitware) on JEC 3117 7/9/2010 (Friday) Noon

An entire generation of engineers is currently being educated exclusively with proprietary software. As a consequence, these students do not get to learn how hardware and software systems really work. For three years we have been working on changing this by offering a college course on Open Source Software Practices. Come to hear about our experiences and help us make this a better course.

Google Summer of Code: Program Overview

by Marcus Hanwell, Kitware on April 2nd (Friday) 4:00 pm JEC 3117

Marcus Hanwell participated in the Google Summer of Code program in 2007 as a student, and acted as a mentor in 2008 and 2009. He will present an overview of the Google Summer of Code program, why you should get involved and an overview of what is involved. Student applications are due by April 9.

Free Software: Copyright vs. Community

by Richard Stallman on February 24, 2010 (Wednesday) 8:45-10:00 pm, DCC 308

Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.

The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers, while suppressing public access to technology. But if we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright--to promote progress, for the benefit of the public--then we must make changes in the other direction.

How to get involved in an open source Linux operating system: Fedora

by Mairin Duffy, (Red Hat) on February 5, 2010, (Friday) 4:00 -5:00 pm

Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across the globe who work together as an open community that welcomes anyone to join. Mairin Duffy, an RPI CS alum from Red Hat, will talk about what makes Fedora different from other Linux-based operating systems and how you can get involved in Fedora.

Free Open Source Software for Everyone: An Introduction to GNOME and GNOME Accessibility

by Mr. Wille Walker, (Gnome Foundation) on December 7th , 2009, (Monday) 4:00-500 pm

The leader of the GNOME Accessibility project, Willie Walker, will provide an introduction to the GNOME project with a focus on the free open source solutions being developed for people with disabilities.

The talk will also include a general discussion of the GNOME project, including how it is sustained and governed and what the community culture is like. Willie will also talk about the tools used to help people collaborate at a distance and how you can become involved.

On the Value of Open-Source, Scholarly Information Technology Designed by and for Scholars

by Dr. Chris Mackie (Associate Program Officer, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) on November 20, 2009, 4-5:00 pm, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies - Bruggeman Conference Center

Higher education institutions routinely deliver technology services to their faculty that are designed, built, owned, and governed by others, whether enterprise IT professionals, academic technologists, computational scientists, or outside vendors. Would scholars work differently, and perhaps better, if scholarly technology services were designed.and owned, and governed.collaboratively, across institutions, by and for those they were intended to serve? What institutional and scholarly resources and commitments would such projects entail? Over the past decade, the Program in Research in Information Technology (RIT) of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has conducted an intensive philanthropic effort to explore these and other, related questions, resulting in more than 50 funded open source software projects which have grown to an aggregate capitalization of approximately $250m, achieving a current user-base of thousands of higher education institutions and tens of millions of faculty, staff, and students worldwide, supported by more than a dozen commercial vendors ranging from IBM to small, higher-education-specific firms. Mackie will provide an overview of RIT.s activities and methodologies and review selected, currently funded projects, focusing particularly on projects directly supporting the delivery of shared technology services in support of research, teaching, and learning. His analysis will focus on two issues: the strategic importance of institutionally sustained, shared technology services in an era of scientific .cyberinfrastructure. projects; and the implications of open source models for ensuring and sustaining faculty ownership and governance of their supporting technologies.

Christopher J. Mackie is Associate Program Officer in Research in Information Technology at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He holds Ph.D. and Masters degrees from Princeton University, a Masters degree from the University of Michigan, and an A.B. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A computational modeler by training, he has also published in the fields of regulatory theory, social research methods, and energy, education, and health policy. His most recent academic work involved the application of advances in social and affective neuroscience and psycholinguistics in order to model the emergence of human identity; in the furtherance of that project, he spent several years teaching computers how to feel. Earlier, Mackie held management positions in corporate healthcare as well as non-profit information technology, and served as an I.T. consultant to domestic and international NGOs

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