For the fifth summer in a row, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) took part in the Google Summer of Code program and introduced students to open software development in the field of evolutionary biology. NESCent is a nonprofit science center dedicated to cross-disciplinary research in evolution. During the summer eight students from the Google Summer of Code program worked remotely on a software project of their own choosing, each under the guidance of an experienced mentor.
NESCent’s 2011 Google Summer of Code students included Jan Engelhardt, Alexandru Lucian Ginsca, Sarah Hird, Peter Hoffman, Daniel Packer, Andrei-Alin Popescu, Apurv Verma, and Laurel Yohe. Their projects ranged from manipulating next-generation sequencing data for population genetic analysis, to enabling a frequently-used alignment viewer to analyze non-coding RNAs, to generating human readable text that could be integrated into the Encyclopedia of Life from ontologies containing phenotype data. As their profiles demonstrate, the students put their summer to very good use. Meet the students and learn more about their projects on our Phyloinformatics page.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, NESCent is jointly operated by Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University.
By Robin Smith, head of communications at NESCent