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OctaveGT Toolbox: Student Growth Through an Open Software Project


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In a collaborative directed study, an engaged student undertook the task of programming a simple graph theory toolbox in the open source programming language Octave. That software was then made openly available for educational use. Insights in to preparation, licensing, distribution, and improvements will be shared along with some learned best practices.

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OctaveGT Toolbox: Student Growth Through an Open Software Project

  1. 1. OctaveGT Toolbox: Student Growth Through an Open Software Project J. Ernstberger, LaGrange College A. M. Olsen, UT Knoxville #MAASE18
  2. 2. Conversation ● Email: ● Twitter: @jernstberger #MAASE18
  3. 3. History of the Project #MAASE18
  4. 4. Project Design ● Choose an FOSS programming language. (Both) ● Build a graph theory toolbox for that language. (Amanda) ● Toolbox code must be: consistent, commented, easy to read, and efficient. (Amanda) ● We would determine a license for publication. (Jon) ● Make the software publicly available according to the license. (Jon) #MAASE18
  5. 5. #MAASE18
  6. 6. SLOs Ms. Olsen would: 1. Demonstrate improved programming skills via a graph theory toolbox. 2. Build several standard graph theory operations in the Octave/MATLAB framework. 3. Solve at least one problem using her improved skillset and software package. #MAASE18
  7. 7. Example and Code ● Example: Airline travel ● Create the data structure for a graph. ● Set (and unset) edges in the adjacency matrix. ● Test the graph completeness. ● Save and load a data structure containing the graph. ● Find the shortest path in the graph. #MAASE18
  8. 8. #MAASE18
  9. 9. What Followed ● Published in the LaGrange College Citations undergraduate research journal. (2010) ● Downloaded (by request) from people at other institutions. (Medicinsk Teknik in Sweden) ● GitHub: #MAASE18
  10. 10. Conclusions ● There is currently no progress being made on this package. ● A student became a better programmer while becoming more proficient with a new (to her) mathematical interest. ● A few people not at LC have found the tool to be useful! ● The toolbox is publicly available at GitHub.
  11. 11. References ● West, D. (2001). Introduction to graph theory (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall. ● Octave Graph Theory Toolbox Amanda M. Olsen April 27, 2010. N.D. paper_ud.pdf #MAASE18