Google Summer of Code student selections!

Google Summer of Code student selections!

I'm very pleased to announce the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student selections for BRL-CAD! After a detailed evaluation and review period, we requested and were approved to mentor four students over the upcoming summer. Our students were selected from among nearly two dozen applicants based on their potential as a new long-term developer, their ability to communicate effectively, the quality of their project proposal, their technical ability, and our ability to effectively mentor them.

It was a competitive selection process with several great applicants that had to be turned away but in the end, our four selections were made. Thanks go out to all of our applicants, and I hope to see many of them stay involved in BRL-CAD development regardless of GSoC. That's one of the many perks of being an open source project -- the door is always open for new contributors. Thanks are also deserved to all our available mentors and backup mentors that did a great job of weighing the pros and cons of each proposal, interacting with the candidates, making the difficult decisions, and ultimately choosing an exciting mix of students and projects for GSoC 2008. That said and without further adieu, I'm happy to announce our four selected students and their accepted projects:

    Timothy Van Ruitenbeek
    Implementing Solid of Revolution and Sweep Primitives

    • Mentored by Daniel Roßberg, Timothy's project aims to implement two primitives that have been requested numerous times over the years: sweep and revolve. These two primitives provide a wide range of modeling benefits including the ability to express various complex shapes more intuitively and easily. Such shapes that will become readily possible to construct include lathe shapes, cables, blends, carved shapes, and much more.

    André Castelo Branco Gomes
    Global Illumination Renderer using Metropolis Light Transport and LIBRT

    • Mentored by Erik Greenwald, André's project involves implementing a new global illumination renderer using BRL-CAD's existing LIBRT ray-trace library. This rendering technique provides highly realistic image synthesis (pretty pictures!) through a variant of the Monte-carlo method and bidirectional path tracing. This will make it much easier to generate beautiful detailed renderings of any BRL-CAD geometry without requiring polygonal tessellation.

    Dawn Thomas
    Parametric Equations and Constraint Support

    • Mentored by John Anderson, Dawn's project is a highly ambitious effort that aims to provide constraints and parametric equation support for BRL-CAD geometry. Parametric constraints allows geometry to be described in very powerful and expressive ways including constructing geometry that preserves tangency, stays aligned through complex transformations, maintains relative dimensions, resolves dependent articulations, and more.

    Manuel Antonio Fernandez Montecelo
    New GUI Framework for Modeling and Visualization

    • Mentored by Bob Parker, Manuel's project is the start of a new graphical user interface (GUI) for visualizing, manipulating, and managing BRL-CAD geometry. This interface serves as a solid framework for improving BRL-CAD's usability by providing support for shaded displays, scene graph management, and more. This thin client is the start of a new user interface that will focus on usability, efficiency, scalability, and the human-computer interaction.

Special thanks and appreciation are deserved to Google for hosting such a great program and for allowing BRL-CAD to participate. This year, more than 7000 applications were received from nearly 4000 students for the 175 participating organizations. Of those, only 1125 applications/students will be funded. Altogether, this represents a $5.6 million dollar (USD) investment by Google in open source software development. Way cool.

Please join me in congratulating each of the students on being accepted! We're looking forward to a great summer with all of the students and hope that all four projects are successful. It's going to be pretty exciting over the upcoming months as each of them become involved in BRL-CAD development.