Google Summer of Code Program Selects UNK Computer Science Graduate

Dr. Sherri Harms
UNK Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, 308-865-8123

UNK- Google is more than a search engine for Lexingtonnative Jacob Mason, a 2010 University of Nebraska at Kearney applied computer science graduate.

Mason is among a group of students selected from among applicants from 69 countries around the world to participate in the Google Summer of Code Program this summer. The three-month program offers student developers a stipend of $5,000 to write code for various open source software projects. Students accepted into Google Summer of Code are paired with mentors. Mason’s mentor, Armin Ronacher, is a developer for the German-based Pocoo Development Center.

Of the 69 countries involved, the United States is one of the top 10 participating countries, along with India, Germany, Brazil, Poland, Canada, China, United Kingdom, France and Sri Lanka. No travel is required of the participants, because all work is done online.

“This is a great opportunity for Jacob, because it widens the community of Web developers that will recognize his work and contributions,” said Dr. Sherri Harms, chair and professor, UNK Department of Computer Science and Information Systems. “It will help him become a world-wide recognized expert in the Python Web development community.

“Jacob’s application stood out, because his project will provide a great resource for Web developers,” Dr. Harms said.

According to Dr. Harms, Mason’s project, titled “A Web Support Package for Sphinx,” will provide an interface to generate Sphinx documentation and features that will be of great benefit to the Python web-development community,

“Jacob is creating software, which will be available for Web developers to use,” Dr. Harms said. “In our field, creating usable software is more important than writing about the project for publication.” His software will eventually be free for public use.

Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together more than 3,500 students, and more than more than 4,000 mentors and co-mentors from nearly 100 countries worldwide, according to Carol Smith, a Google Summer of Code mentor.