A: An introduction
- Please describe yourself in three sentences, one of them regarding your current studies.
- - My name is P Sudeepam. I like to code and make music.
- - I am a second year student of Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
- - I am pursuing a majors in Electronics and Communication Engineering.
- Which languages do you speak?
- -I am comfortable with communicating in Hindi and English?
- What's your overall background?
- - I have been coding since my 6th standard and as such, I have developed a working knowledge of how programming problems should be approached.
- - My areas of interest are Machine Learning, Digital Signal processing, and Algorithms.
- - I learn Machine Learning through online resources such as open research papers, blogs, and MOOCs since my college does not offer a course on this subject till the final year.
- - Digital Signal Processing is one of the core subjects of my major. I have been learning that, and related subjects, such as 'Basics of Signals and Systems' for an year now.
- - I have been coding for many years now, knowledge of Algorithms is something that I have gained through those years of practice and repeated attempts to optimize my code.
- - I will be taking a formal course on Algorithms in my next semester.
- Why do you want to participate in the Google Summer of Code? What do you hope to gain by doing so?
- The projects that I have been or will be doing as part of my major have a good part that they will be mentored and judged by a professor who has a deep understanding of the subject to which my project will be related. The bad part will be that for those projects, the University will restrict me to use the concepts that I have been taught by the University. Similarly, in self undertaken projects, I always have the flexibility to use whatever I want but then there is no one available to oversee those projects.
- My main reason to participate in the GSoC is directly related to this. A mentor will be available to oversee my project and as long as it is optimal, (which I'll make sure it is), I will be able to approach the problems, the way 'I' would like to. The tools I'd be allowed to use (like the version control system) will probably be limited but that is understandable.
- In addition to that, it will be a great opportunity to contribute to the Open Source community and most importantly, to learn how professional Software Development work is carried out.
- Please also describe your previous experience with the GSoC, if any.
- This is my first time applying for GSoC.
- Why are you choosing Octave?
- When I took up the course on 'Basics of Signals and Systems' as a part of my college coursework, about an year ago, I was required to use MATLAB for coding assignments. I never wanted to use MATLAB under a student's license because I thought that this would land me in a very uncomfortable situation when I no longer would be a student. Even if I had decided to, I would not have been able to afford it. I started looking for open source alternatives and came across GNU Octave. Since then, I have been using Octave as one of my primary programming languages, I use it, mainly for Signal processing and Machine Learning.
- GNU Octave is a software that has become an integrated part of my academic life. As a GSoC student, I will be able to entirely dedicate my time in contributing to Octave and hopefully, I will end up making some noteworthy contributions that, not only are beneficial for the Octave community, but also make me feel like I did my duty to pay back to the software that has been helping me throughout my college. This is why I chose to contribute to GNU Octave.
- Please state the (unique and identical where possible) nick you use on IRC and any other communication channel related to Octave.
- -IRC Nickname: peesu
- -Github: sudeepam97
- -Gmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Which time zone do you live in? Will that change over GSoC duration?
- -I live in UTC+05:30 timezone.
- -No, the time zone will not change over GSoC duration.
- Please state the timeframe (in UTC+0) when you feel most comfortable working during GSoC. Where are your time buffers?
- - Although my work schedule is flexible and I could work at any time of the day, If I were to give an exact time slot then, I'd say I'll work between 4:30pm - 9:30pm (UTC+0) and 6:30am - 11:30am (UTC+0)
E: Coding experience
- Please describe your experience with C++, Octave or Matlab m-scripts, OpenGL and Qt.
- - MATLAB m-scripts: I am highly experienced with MATLAB m-scripts. As I have said before, A lot of my coursework assignments involve making m-scripts. Those assignments, have even asked me to make my own implementations of inbuilt MATLAB functions and I have been using that experience to contribute to Octave-Forge signal package. In addition to this, I also implement machine learning in Octave and have gained further experience of m-scripts by doing that. If selected, for GSoC 2018, I will approach my project, with m-scripts and so I consider my experience to be a big plus point.
- - C++: I am familiar with C++ but I have never made a formal project using it and I haven't been using it lately. The language will not be new to me and I can quickly revise it if required. I was taught C and C++ in my first year, in a course called "Software Development Fundamentals". At the time I decided to use C and not C++ for my project. I passed that subject with an 'A grade' is all I can currently say about my C++ experience.
- - OpenGL and Qt: I have never used OpenGL before. I have never used Qt either but I've seen some Qt code of my friends.
- Please describe your experience with other programming languages.
- - C: I am comfortable with C and have made a number of projects using it.
- - JAVA: This was my first language, (well not exactly, my first language was BASIC), I have 4 years of experience with JAVA, but I haven't used it for making projects. I use this language mainly for problem solving (competitive programming) questions.
- - Python: I am familiar with the language but I still am learning to use it effectively. I am learning it so that I can use it for Machine Learning problems if required.
- Please describe your experience with being in a development team. Do you have experience working with open source or free projects?
- -The only experience I have with working on open source and free projects is the experience that I have got by
a) contributing to some open source repositories on Github. b) contributing missing functions to the Octave-Forge Signal package.
I do have the experience of working on a few projects with a team but those were small projects and we never used version control systems while making them.
- Please describe the biggest project you have written code for and what you learned by doing so. Also, describe your role in that project over time.
- -I'll assume that by 'biggest project', you mean the project which required me to play the most important roles and write a lot of code which required a lot of testing and debugging.
In this sense, my biggest project was that of making an Arduino and LDR Sensors based maze solver bot with a team of four. The bot would traverse a maze in a 'trial run' and store all the correct paths (A path that would not lead to a dead end) in its memory whenever it encountered a 'T like' condition in the maze (A condition when more that one choice of path was available). After that, in any subsequent run, the bot would traverse the maze using the stored path (which avoided dead ends) and therefore, solve the maze in a shorter amount of time.
I was the team leader in this project and as the leader, my primary roles were to..
a) Give directions to the team in a way that every team member's individual skill-set could be taken into use. b) Boost the morale of the team whenever it seemed like the project would not get completed in time.
These were my primary roles as the leader. My technical role was to write the code or to make a 'functioning brain' of the bot. Roles of my team mates were to design the hardware, design testing tracks etc.
I am proud to say that we were able to successfully complete the bot in time and that the bot gave us expected results. I am also proud of the fact that with the technical skills I gained, I am able to help my juniors at the university with their maze solver bots. What disappoints me is that, performance of our bot could have been improved if only we had used better quality hardware. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option for us since we had to pay for the hardware out of our own pockets and we only had limited money on us.
Some soft skills I learned from this project were..
a) How to work with a team. b) The roles and importance of a leader.
Some technical skills I learned were...
a) Technicalities of Arduino, LDR Sensors, motor drivers etc. b) Technicalities of writing an Arduino/C code.
- Please state the commits and patches you already contributed to Octave.
- - I've contributed a patch for the db2pow function of the signals package.
- - I've contributed a patch for the pow2db function of the signals package.
- - I have also helped review the cconv function by suggesting a faster algorithm. My suggestion had been considered and implemented.
F: Feeling fine
- Please describe (in short) your experience with the following tools
- IRC and mailing lists
- -I only started using IRC after I decided to apply for GSoC and contribute to Octave. I hangout in the #Octave channel and I believe I understand how an IRC works. I have been using the mailing lists also and I am comfortable with them.
- Mercurial or other source code management systems
- -I am comfortable with git and while submitting patches to Octave-Forge I have understood how Mercurial works. I understand how patches are contributed in the Octave community.
- Mediawiki or other wiki software
- -I learned a little while writing this application, I've used it no more than while writing this application.
- make, gcc, gdb or other development tools
- -I have used the gcc compiler, and I have used make while building Octave 4.2.1 from source. I have not used gdb before.
- What will make you actively stay in our community after this GSoC is over?
- -There are many things that I would like to complete in/add to Octave. Those things, and the fact that Octave is such an important piece of software for me will make me stay in the community even after GSoC.
O: Only out of interest
- Did you ever hear about Octave before?
- -Yes I have heard about Octave before. I heard about Octave about an year ago when my college coursework required me to code assignments in MATLAB but I decided to search for an open source alternative.
- What was the first question concerning Octave you could not find an answer to rather quickly?
- -I got most of my questions answered online or on the IRC channel itself. This may be a negative, but I keep asking till I have an answer so I haven't really encountered a situation when my question was not answered.
- Please state the operating system you work with.
- -I mostly work on Linux Mint. I have used Windows before and can work on that if required.
- Please estimate an average time per day you will be able to access
- an internet connection
- -Any time of the day (i.e. 24 hours/day)
- a computer
- -Any time of the day (i.e. 24 hours/day)
- a computer with your progressing work on
- -Any time of the day (i.e. 24 hours/day)
- Please describe the degree to which you can install new software on computers you have access to.
- -I have root access on my PC so I can install every software to the fullest on it. I'll be using my personal computer for most of the work.
- -If required, I can access the computers of my University which use Windows 10 but I won't have administrative privileges on those Desktops.
- Please describe how useful criticism looks from your point of view as committing student.
- - I always appreciate constructive criticism.
- How autonomous are you when developing:
- Do you like to discuss changes intensively and not start coding until you know what you want to do?
- Do you like to code a proof of concept to 'see how it turns out', modifying that and taking the risk of having work thrown away if it doesn't match what the project or original proponent had in mind?
- - That depends on the task. I'd say that, if the outcome is defined or at least predictable with some decent accuracy, I'll discuss the problem statement and immediately get down to code. Otherwise, I'll code up a small model first to see if the approach really would work and proceed thereafter.