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  1. 1. Engaging Students in the Free Open Source Movement Through Civic Engagement Trishan de Lanerolle, Ralph Morelli, Ingrid Russell* Sarah Thayer, Rachel Foecking, Myles Garvey* Trinity College, *University of Hartford October 3 rd 2008
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>The Humanitarian FOSS Project </li></ul><ul><li>“ App Trac” and Software Development </li></ul><ul><li>Humanitarian FOSS Summer Institute </li></ul><ul><li>My Experiences with “App-Trac” </li></ul><ul><li>My Experiences with “OpenMRS” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Humanitarian FOSS Project Trishan de Lanerolle Humanitarian FOSS Project Trinity College
  4. 4. Educational Motivation <ul><li>David Patterson (ACM) Nov. 2005, (post Katrina): Let’s help our neighbors! </li></ul><ul><li>David Patterson (ACM) Mar. 2006: </li></ul><ul><li>Join the open-source movement! </li></ul><ul><li>Our Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Will students building software for the community help revitalize computing education? </li></ul>
  5. 5. NSF/CPATH Grant <ul><li>CPATH: Revitalizing Undergraduate Computing Education. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborators: Trinity, Conn, Wesleyan (TCW). </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Getting students involved in building open source software to help society through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TCW video conference courses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summer internship program 2008/9. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National and regional workshops for faculty. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National symposium on computing curriculum. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Introducing new concepts and methodologies </li></ul><ul><li>Attracting a new demographic </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing Together Town and Gown </li></ul><ul><li>Contributing to Society </li></ul><ul><li>Portability and Sustainability </li></ul>Educational Objectives
  7. 7. Portable/Sustainable Partnership The Humanitarian FOSS Project Computing Departments <ul><li>Teach computing </li></ul><ul><li>Build FOSS </li></ul><ul><li>Gain skills and opportunities </li></ul>IT Corporations <ul><li>Host interns </li></ul><ul><li>Fund and advertise </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit students </li></ul>Humanitarian Community <ul><li>Acquire software. </li></ul><ul><li>Host interns </li></ul><ul><li>Teach volunteerism </li></ul>
  8. 8. Teaching Experiments <ul><li>2006-2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>100+ students, 5 universities, 5 courses </li></ul></ul>2006 2007 Fall Sahana Group Study(3) Spring Summer Fall Application programming course (25) AidMatrix Summer Institute (5) 2008 Summer Spring Fall H-FOSS summer Institute (13) Group study (6) AidMatrix Summer Institute <ul><li>CS 0 course(14) </li></ul><ul><li>Software Engineering course(12) </li></ul><ul><li>R. McDonald Project(4) </li></ul><ul><li>Group study (4) </li></ul><ul><li>Software DevelopmentCourse(20) </li></ul><ul><li>Group study (4) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Beyond the lab…
  10. 10. Why Free and Open Source? <ul><li>Four Freedoms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to run the program. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to study how the program works. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. </li></ul></ul>“ Free ” as in “ free speech ” not “ free beer ”. – Richard Stallman
  11. 11. FOSS Values <ul><li>“ Mozilla is … a global community and public benefit organization dedicated to improving the Internet experience for people everywhere. We work in the open through a highly disciplined, transparent and cooperative process… ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Apache projects are characterized by a collaborative , consensus based development process… We consider ourselves … a community of developers and users .” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Linux is a free … operating system originally created … with the assistance of developers around the world .” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Today: Openness Everywhere <ul><li>“ Software is just the beginning … open source is doing for mass innovation what the assembly line did for mass production. Get ready for the era when collaboration replaces the corporation.” -- Thomas Goetz, Wired , 11/2003 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Disaster Management <ul><li>Sahana : A web-based IT system developed in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami. </li></ul><ul><li>Deployments: Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Peru, China, India, NYC… </li></ul><ul><li>Free Software Award for Social Benefit (2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Trinity Connection: Trishan de Lanerolle, CS ‘04 </li></ul><ul><li>Our Contribution: Volunteer Management Module </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer registration, assignment, reporting, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed and built by Trinity students in collaboration with industry and community experts. </li></ul></ul>Sahana means relief in Sinhalese www.sahana.lk
  14. 14. Our Volunteer Management Module
  15. 15. OpenMRS - Medical Record System <ul><li>Medical record system for developing countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Deployed: Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>Developed by Partners in Health and the Regenstrief Institute . </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and other health organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Trinity Connections: Christian Allen, CS, ‘00 and Giovanni Capalbo, ‘08. </li></ul><ul><li>Our contribution: Touch-screen toolkit </li></ul>
  16. 16. Our Touchscreen Module
  17. 17. Other Examples <ul><li>“Our work is driven by a philosophy on software freedom that aims to spread and bring the benefits of software to all parts of the world.” </li></ul><ul><li>Zulu for Humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Martus is a secure software application designed to gather, organize and back up human rights information for social justice organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Greek for witness . </li></ul>
  18. 18. Ronald McDonald House <ul><ul><li>Delivered the software on May 9, 2008 where it is now in productive use. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Installed a copy at Ronald McDonald House in Savannah, GA on May 22, where it is also in productive use. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed RMH Homebase, a web-based volunteer scheduling and database system for the Ronald McDonald House in Portland, ME. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford <ul><li>Track tutoring applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Released on Sourceforge as free application for anyone to download and use. </li></ul>
  20. 20. “ App Trac” and Software Development Ingrid Russell Department of Computer Science University of Hartford
  21. 21. Project Overview <ul><li>Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford (LVGH) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-Profit organization that helps people with literacy problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LVGH Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Sign In </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application Tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Integration between Applications </li></ul></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  22. 22. Software Development Class <ul><ul><li>Assigned to address LVGH’s problem via a project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ran parallel to Software Development Topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class broken up into four development teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each consisted of 3 - 4 students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One team leader chosen for each team </li></ul></ul></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  23. 23. Site/Client Visit <ul><ul><li>Became Familiar with: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staff and daily operations in the lab </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The hardware and software on the machines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The overall problem first-hand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlined general ideas for the problem and how it would be addressed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Client Provided </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sample Reports </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Database Outlines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sign off on Requirements </li></ul></ul></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  24. 24. Requirements Document <ul><li>One requirements document per team </li></ul><ul><li>Each requirement document included functionality, features, and use cases </li></ul><ul><li>All four documents were merged into one </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  25. 25. Design/Implementation <ul><li>Students used merged requirements document </li></ul><ul><li>Each team produced a design based on the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern </li></ul><ul><li>One overall template design constructed from all the teams’ designs </li></ul><ul><li>All collaborated on how database would be designed </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  26. 26. Design/Implementation (Cont…) <ul><li>Each team member was assigned a specific task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on their background and strength </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chosen by team leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broken up into </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Model Coders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GUI Coders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Database Coders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each team independently produced a different implementation having the same functionality promised by the requirements document. </li></ul></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  27. 27. Final Submissions <ul><li>Each implementation had its own strength </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible in design and very module </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User-Friendly interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Login screen designed with ease in mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caution about database as well as other problems kept in mind </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not all features completed, but most functionality working </li></ul><ul><li>Each used as prototype for HFOSS Summer ’08 Project </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  28. 28. Humanitarian FOSS Project Summer Institute 2008 Sarah Thayer, Trinity College Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  29. 29. Overview <ul><li>Who we are </li></ul><ul><li>What we did </li></ul><ul><li>Why we did it </li></ul><ul><li>Why it’s important </li></ul>
  30. 30. Who We Are <ul><li>4 Countries: U.S., Nepal, Bulgaria, Ecuador </li></ul><ul><li>5 Schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trinity College </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wesleyan University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connecticut College </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Connecticut </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Hartford </li></ul></ul><ul><li>13 interns </li></ul><ul><li>16 mentors from Boston, Chicago; Washington, D.C; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Seattle; Colombo, Sri Lanka </li></ul><ul><li>All levels of experience </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  31. 31. Summer Projects
  32. 32. Summer Projects: Sahana, OpenMRS <ul><li>Developed Volunteer Management and Volunteer Credentialing System. </li></ul><ul><li>Structured Numeric Support </li></ul><ul><li>Image Import Module </li></ul>
  33. 33. Summer Projects: POSIT & ALPACA Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08 <ul><li>InSTEDD: Teaching machines to detect the spread of disease as soon as possible </li></ul><ul><li>ALPACA Light Parsing And Classifying Application (ALPACA) </li></ul><ul><li>a classifying tool designed for use in community-oriented software as well as in Academia. </li></ul><ul><li>Portable Open Search and Identification Tool </li></ul><ul><li>phone-based tool for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>search and rescue missions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scientific field work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other custom applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>built on the Google Android platform. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Summer Projects: AppTrac <ul><li>A web-based kiosk system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>monitors usage of literacy software to provide a good evaluation for student needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provides an administrative tool for organizing users and instructional periods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Designed for Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford, a nonprofit English-literacy organization </li></ul>
  35. 35. Why We Did It <ul><li>&quot;Working in the field of Computer Science gives me the opportunity to help people , which is one reason why I am so interested in this field of study” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Because my main goal in life is to help disadvantaged persons , and I was curious at how software development can factor into that dream ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I was fascinated by the new challenge of organizing my thoughts in a way that a machine could understand, and the satisfaction of seeing the result in a fully functional program” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Open source development allows for experience that can usually only be gained in the industry , and this experience is hard to come by as an undergrad” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I've already learned more than I could've ever imagined ” </li></ul>
  36. 36. Thoughts about the Institute <ul><li>“ All the development teams projected a warm home-like feeling, and learning from others really brought a new perspective to the field of Computer Science for me” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The best part was how well we all got along and the flexibility of working hours. I'm satisfied with the work we did. For a first shot at a ‘real’ application, I think we did a pretty OK job ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I'm happy that I had the opportunity to expand my abilities as a programmer ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We all learned the basics of a flow of development, but at a much faster pace.  To actually work on a project that was going to be used in the real world was quite motivating and inspiring , creating an experience I had not found anywhere else ” </li></ul>
  37. 37. Why It’s Important <ul><li>Computers are losing the appreciation for their original function as tools (not toys) </li></ul><ul><li>Use computers to help humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Put more faith in computers and programmers </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit more computer science students at the undergraduate level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make CS more attractive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aim: to help the world (what better goal?) </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Have a blast helping humanity! 2008 Summer Interns and Faculty Sponsors, after the final presentations Thanks to: - HFOSS - NSF - Mentors and advisors
  39. 39. My Experiences with “App-Trac” Myles D. Garvey Department of Computer Science University of Hartford
  40. 40. Overview <ul><li>Spring ’08 Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Summer ’08 Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Overall Experiences and Afterwards </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  41. 41. Spring ’08 <ul><li>Learning Through Lecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development Cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirement Documents, Use Cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design Techniques: UML Diagrams, MVC Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to base off Requirements Document </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Database set up and management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code of Ethics and Legal Issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning Through Practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applying the theory to the practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with a client </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debugging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unexpected Events </li></ul></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  42. 42. Spring ’08: Afterwards <ul><li>Deeply inspired by the class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning experience much different than before </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Passion to pursue continuation of App-Trac Development </li></ul><ul><li>Passion to learn more on Software Development </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  43. 43. Summer ’08 <ul><li>Lessons Through Lecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First three weeks HFOSS had “lecture time”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learned from tutorial based mini-projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PHP </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Java Server Pages (JSP) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Spring Framework </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MySQL </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inspiration for independent reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extreme research within JSP and the Spring Framework </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Further study in design concepts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Lessons Through Practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meetings with Clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid Prototyping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final Presentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aiming for Deployment </li></ul></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  44. 44. Overall Experiences <ul><li>Extreme amount of information and experience in a short amount of time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capability to learn languages at a fast pace </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bonding and working with team members </li></ul><ul><li>Public Speaking and Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Skills required for a real-world job </li></ul><ul><li>Many more found no where else! </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  45. 45. Afterwards <ul><li>Skills acquired from both spring and summer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provided foundations that can be applied to other projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Served as a motivating catalyst for further pursuing Software Development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now using skills in current projects </li></ul><ul><li>Reassured confidence in myself and the field of Computer Science </li></ul>Slide: The Humanitarian-FOSS Project © 2008 GHC 2008 Oct-03-08
  46. 46. My Experience with OpenMRS Rachel Foecking Department of Computer Science Trinity College
  47. 47. OpenMRS <ul><li>OpenMRS is an electronic medical records system for developing countries. </li></ul><ul><li>It lets doctors record medical information about a patient during an appointment. </li></ul><ul><li>It is free and open source software </li></ul>
  48. 48. Image Import Module: Overview <ul><li>OpenMRS currently has no support for medical images </li></ul><ul><li>Various people are working on giving OpenMRS the ability to upload, edit, store, and view images </li></ul><ul><li>This module takes care of uploading and editing images within OpenMRS </li></ul>
  49. 49. Image Import Module :Goals <ul><li>Give a general way for users to upload images in OpenMRS and associate them with an observation </li></ul><ul><li>Allow users to crop and rotate the image </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a rudimentary way to display the images </li></ul>
  50. 50. Image Import Module: Workflow <ul><li>The user specifies patient information and picks an image to upload </li></ul><ul><li>The image file itself is saved and a thumbnail is created </li></ul><ul><li>The user is then allowed to crop or rotate the image and edits are saved as XML </li></ul>
  51. 51. Image Import Module: Future <ul><li>Make the module more general </li></ul><ul><li>Add more options for image editing </li></ul><ul><li>Improve image viewer, make larger images easier to work with </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out a better way to store image metadata </li></ul>
  52. 52. Learning Experience <ul><li>Came into the program with a basic knowledge of Java and HTML </li></ul><ul><li>Learned more during the summer than the entire year in classes </li></ul><ul><li>Interactions with students at the various colleges we worked with—Wesleyan, Connecticut College, University of Hartford, University of Connecticut </li></ul>
  53. 53. Challenges Overcome <ul><li>Toughest challenge was figuring out the Spring framework and how to develop for OpenMRS </li></ul><ul><li>Making a design choice when you are not a core developer </li></ul><ul><li>Communication with the developers </li></ul><ul><li>Development Environment (Slow reload and deploy) </li></ul>
  54. 54. Looking Ahead: Community Building Our Website: http://www.hfoss.org
  55. 55. THANK YOU! Questions? www.hfoss.org www.hfoss.org/symposium09 Apply for a 2009 Internship!!!
  56. 56. What they say… <ul><li>“ Through HFOSS I’ve learned that Computer Science does not need to be separated from the basic human needs, since a good piece of free software can help save lives and resources” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Most of the programs students write are just exercises that have been solved many times…, I think students get a real satisfaction out of working on something that potentially will have thousands of users that they will never meet….” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We’re trying to destroy the ‘computer science is just programming’ myth by bringing in not only real-world problems, but real world organizations who are trying to solve these problems” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Open Source software development allows for low or no-cost highly customizable software products that can be used to support many causes who have limited financial means” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wow. I really got to look at how computer science can relate to humanitarian efforts. I really loved delving into a world I’d barely seen before: Open Source…” </li></ul>
  57. 57. Looking Ahead: Community Building Our Website: http://www.hfoss.org

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