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2012/Sunday Session Schedule/University as community

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< 2012/Sunday Session Schedule

Participants

  • Ken Lett (OpenSource Lab OSU) - organizer
  • Danny Gamboa (VMWare)
  • Atul (OpenStack)
  • Ed Cable (Mifos)
  • Ryan Singer (BitCoin)
  • Sharon Reed-Corbett Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana
  • Adam Lasnik (Google)
  • Lance Albertson (Director of OSL)
  • Trevor Bramwell (OSL student)
  • Greg Lund-Chaix (OSL)
  • Kristina Hoeppner (Catalyst IT) - notetaker

Notes

  • It's hard for professors to educate students on open source
  • OSL (Open Source Lab) is better known outside of OSU (Oregon State University) in the open source world
  • OSL encounters tension at OSU where there is a lot of patenting going on and startups created
  • Stanford's intellectual property exception: if all people involved in a project agree to make their work public domain, the work can be put into public domain instead of having the default ownership of the IT department (if you want another license you need permission)
  • OSU has open sourced things, but details are obscure -> need to go through tech transfer for that and it's not an easy process
  • university structures have been around forever -> very difficult to change
  • Ken: works a lot with Drupal at university level, and he created some modules to get the functionality that was needed, but the modules are not available to the wider Drupal community; reasons:
    • fear of others figuring out how they did things
    • no drive to make the module generic enough to put it out into the community
  • Google leverages that students have the geekiness and technical expertise to be strong contributors, but Google doesn't really work with university administration
  • Universities do not foster students becoming open source contributors
  • faculty lack motivation to be seen as contributors
    • publishing code is not considered publishing -> doesn't show up in the "accepted" channels of journal ratings
    • tenured professors don't get extrinsic motivation from contributing to open source from the academia
    • open source contributions aren't considered high value
  • community colleges have deep connections within the community; it depends for universities and how it grows with the town
  • challenges for getting academia to dig open source:
    • talking to professors, getting them interested in including it in the curriculum / participating themselves -> changing their mindset is difficult
    • in undergraduate programs, professors teach the same thing all over the time: challenge for the faculty because they'd have to create new tasks, change their teaching style
    • students are not allowed to share their code -> Sword of Damocles of plagiarism hanging over them -> they need to do things on their own -> mindset change is necessary again from the instructors
    • faculty's fear of being wrong in a publication
    • faculty love to reinvent the wheel and do things exactly their own way
    • freshmen / sophomore contributors are not always the best -> quite a bit of mentoring necessary in an open source project if these students shall contribute -> possible scenario: set up a course using open source methods, e.g. contribute together, code review etc. instead of letting them loose on unsuspecting open source communities
  • show faculty what good products are already out there that faculty can use instead of customizing to death
  • sometimes collaboration within the university is very difficult, even for OSL because a different department would be involved
  • gather metrics to show advantages to university admin and faculty of why open source would be beneficial
  • Our wishes for academia:
    • have staff resources for mentoring computer science students in conjunction with classroom use
    • cultural change in the university: it is already a community and leadership should subscribe to fostering the community
    • establish open source programming as part of university education
    • connect open source labs together, e.g. Stanford and OSU and then set up a third and snowball

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