Monday, March 09, 2009

HFOSS - Interview with Timothy Budd (Oregon State University)

Timothy Budd is an associate professor of computer science at Oregon State University and I had the opportunity to interview him at the HFOSS' symposium. He has been able to teach an open-source course at the Senior level at Oregon State University and he is interested to integrate open source into all levels in the CS curriculum

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What's the big picture opportunity in connecting education and open source?
  • help students to get involved with the world outside university
  • get experience collaborating with wide and dispersed communities
  • technologies in open-source are not taught in lectures
  • students need to learn on their own
  • employers are very anxious for students with these abilities
What specific projects or courses are you working on that make the link between open source and education?
  • open-source can be integrated into many courses in the curriculum
  • students can learn about projects like OLPC and Sahana
  • students can help evaluate software for the OLPC project before they even learn how to program
  • they can see implemented concepts like stacks in real project
  • Tim also teaches the Open Source Development course which is a senior level course and students get to work on large projects
Do you have any advice on how Mozilla could best engage with educators and students?
  • educators need an easy route to get involved
  • need of a repository of easy tasks like the Linux janitors - it is a less intimidating way to get people involved
  • it is missing a set of steps to take to gain confidence to make bigger contributions

You can read more regarding of what Timothy has been doing by going to the list of papers submitted to HFOSS.

NOTE: Modified to add license notice