(a long pause and tearful smile)
- Aishwary Saxena (Min '19, GSoC '21)
A surge of emotion, an overwhelming moment, and the sweet fruit of hard work. In that one second at 11:30:00 IST on May 17, 2021, a thousand lives struggled with dopamine hits and adrenaline rushes. While the story took off for some, it didn’t for many. That is the story of one of the top global programs that bring in excitement every year in the world of tech-geeks: The Google Summer of Code.
IIT (BHU) is not aloof either! The same story is relatable for the hundreds of students studying back in Banaras, under Mahamana’s legacy, who began their hard work, left no stone unturned, and applied for GSoC ‘21. Today, we look at how IIT (BHU)’s young developers have believed in themselves and achieved a milestone that anyone rarely imagined.
But wait, GSoC! Google Summer of Code? What’s going on?
Let’s have a look!
Google Summer of Code, popularly known as GSoC, is a top-notch global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. It is an annual global program that offers student developers stipends for their contribution to various open-source software projects. A brainchild of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, GSoC was first held in 2005. In this program, accepted organizations provide a list of initial project ideas and invite students to work on them. Eligible students can submit up to 3 proposals, detailing the software-coding projects that interest them. These applications are then evaluated and reviewed by corresponding organizations through their mentors and administration. In addition to this, accepted students gain exposure to real-world software development and employment opportunities in areas related to their academic pursuits.
So, what happened this year? And why is IIT (BHU) concerned?
In the panic-stricken world of 2021, 6991 applications were submitted by 4795 students from 103 countries, out of which 1292 students have been selected for Google Summer of Code'21. In this context, proud as ever, we announce the selection of 23 students from IIT (BHU), Varanasi, for the Google Summer of Code 2021 and 1 student as a GSoC student mentor.
IIT (BHU) has always been at the forefront of research work and engineering that has contributed to solving problems for humans. While in the previous years, IIT (BHU) had single-digit GSoC selections, it was only last year when 11 students were selected and IIT (BHU) stood 7th across the world in the number of GSoC selections.
In 2021, the Club of Programmers (COPS), collaborated with the IIT BHU Global Alumni Association (IBGAA) to provide mentorship to aspiring students with a team of 30 GSoC alumni mentors. Students were mentored in small groups of 2-5 each under the guidance of an alumnus/alumna who had bagged GSoC in the past.
On 17th May 2021, 11:30 pm IST, when the GSoC ‘21 results were announced, a wave of happiness spread in IIT (BHU), with 23 students being selected for GSoC ‘21.
Yes…..The number of selections had more than doubled in just one year!
Making it more interesting, in another path-breaking achievement, 60% of the selected students this year are from non-circuital branches across different years, with two freshmen gracing the list. The results also saw a perfect amalgamation of students from various departments like Mechanical, Mining, Chemical, Ceramic, and many more who made the Institute proud by getting selected into 21 unique organizations.
The list goes as follows:
Prakhar Agarwal (MEC'20), Yash Prakash (EEE'20), Aishwary Saxena (MIN'19), Arjun Gupta (CHE'19), Arsh Sharma (MST'19), Aryaman Gupta (MET'19), Ashish Patel (CSE'19), Lakshya Singh (CSE'19), Kushal Kumar (MAT'19), Nishtha Bodani (CHE'19), Purushottam Tiwari (CSE'19), Sanchit Gupta (CSE'19), Shubhanshu Saxena (CSE'19), Suryansh Singh Tomar (MIN'19), Ashish Kumar (CSE'18), Avinash Kumar (MET'18), Nishant Mittal (CSE’18), Prakhar Saxena (CIV'18), BIKRAM BISWAS (CER'17), Pankaj Yadav (ECE'17), Pulkit Sharma (MST'17), Rupal Sharma (MIN'17), Yash Jipkate (MEC'17), Smit Lunagariya (MAT’18) (would be joining the organization, SymPy as a Student Mentor)
The excitement was evident, when Yash Prakash (EEE '20) and Prakhar Agarwal (MEC’20), celebrated this achievement, as they crossed this milestone in their first year itself.
Yash, expressing his gratitude, said,
"I am very thankful to my mentor, who guided me at each step; if it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't have been able to give such a successful proposal. I got to know about GSoC through COPS’ workshops and was soon allotted a mentor. When I began in February, I just knew the basics of Python."
Building on his points, Prakhar excitedly added,
"The organization I had worked on since November wasn’t selected this year. It was then that my alumni mentor motivated me to start afresh with a new organization in March. He guided me at every stage, from helping me connect with the organization mentors to reviewing my proposal and pointing out its shortcomings."
The sole girl in this list, Nishtha Bodhani (CHE’19) said,
“I am very excited about this new journey. Open-source has always intrigued me. My alumni mentor was a great motivating factor behind it. Besides GSoC, he also advised me regarding future opportunities.”
We take pride in celebrating the sheer hard work, dedication, and undeterred focus of the young student developers at IIT (BHU). The collaborative effort of students and alumni has made this feat possible. With this, we look forward to the more collaborative effort and enthusiastic participation from students and alumni in larger numbers helping IIT (BHU) to achieve many more milestones and reinforcing its position as one of the best engineering institutes in the world.
Congratulations to all students and mentors who have been a part of this journey! All the best to those who’ll try in the future!
This article has been prepared by Niyati Srivastava (Mechanical Engineering, 2024)
Excited by the tremendous success of the IBGAA-COPS-SAIC GSoC'21 mentorship program, IBGAA has decided to use its #study-ms-phd channel on the IIT BHU Alumni slack workspace to provide 1-to-1 mentorship for the MS/Ph.D. the application process to IIT BHU students applying for Fall 2022 admits outside India. We encourage IIT BHU Alumni, who can help their fellow juniors in this mentorship program, to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add you to the #study-ms-phd channel and tag you with one of the IIT BHU students with a similar field of interest. Hope to see you there!