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Sustain Open Source Software for Social Good

Primary Investigators:
Yu Huang
 
Brief Description of Project:

In this project, students will explore the trajectories of activities of developers, teams and users  in open source projects that aim to solve societal issues. 

Open source software is not only for building technical tools to support the developers. Many open-source developers use their technical skills to benefit a common societal good. An example can be medical and resource platforms for tracking COVID-19. However, this special community has been in demand but overlooked. In this summer research project, we will work on topics including but not limited to (1) social aspects in communications of open source software for social good; (2) activity trajectories of developers in social and technical good open source projects; (3) impact of social good open source software for CS education. Students are anticipated to design human studies and collect GitHub data to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Desired Qualifications:
Students at all levels are welcome. Students with experience on open source platforms (e.g., GitHub) are preferred. Programming experience with public APIs and bash, as well as data analysis experience are desirable but not required.
 
Nature of Supervision:
The advisor will hold weekly one-on-one meetings with the undergraduates and graduate students. Undergraduate students will also be invited to group meetings and social events. Students will also be included in research meetings with our industrial research collaborators.
 
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
In week 1-2, students will learn and scope the project, as well as programming for data collection using GitHub APIs. In week 3-4, students will extract information from the GitHub data and design human studies to address specific research questions. In week 5-6, students will conduct the study and collect data from participants. In week 7-8, students will conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis on the data collected from both GitHub activities and participants' input. In week 9-10, students will organize the results and prepare for a written report following the format of scientific papers (e.g., peer-reviewed publications). In the final days, students will give an oral presentation on their summer research. 
Number of Open Slots: 1
 
Contact Information:
Name: Yu Huang
Department: Computer Science
Email: yu.huang@vanderbilt.edu