As many of you know, Julia has been a participant in the Google Summer of Code for many years. It has been a very successful initiative for the Julia community. Many important parts of our ecosystem have been created and improved through GSoC, and many of the participants have become ongoing, invaluable contributors to our projects and community. The students not only receive a stipend, but also get to work on some really interesting projects.
Google allocates slots to projects based on the number of project proposals and available mentors at their own discretion. Over the years, we have received increasing number of slots, from 3 in 2014, 10 in 2016, 17 in 2017 and 22 in 2018. Julia operates as an umbrella organization, pooling together the needs and project ideas of various Julia packages and sub-organizations. Among the projects that have participated in the past, large parts of the Flux and DiffEq ecosystem were created or improved through GSoC. The JuliaCon committee has also provided travel funding for GSoC students in past years to present their work at the conference and connect with the broader Julia community.
This year, it seems that news of our projects spread even wider. Along with the growth in the Julia ecosystem with the release of 1.0, this resulted in us receiving over 85 proposals. Most of them were of a very high quality, with the students having spent months researching the topics and submitting PRs to our projects before selection. As you can imagine, reviewing so many proposals was a significant undertaking, so we recruited a large number of mentors who started to guide and interact with these students. We finally selected a little over half the proposals and requested 45 slots from GSoC. All of these selected students were already active contributors, with multiple submitted PRs across our ecosystem.
Unfortunately, GSoC only gave us 15 slots this year. This is significantly less than we had anticipated and means that we need to make some tough choices about which of the many highly qualified projects we can support through GSoC. Nevertheless, we are incredibly grateful to Google for the incredible opportunity it provides through GSoC to both the Julia ecosystem as a whole and to the students who are selected.
We are therefore very pleased to be announcing the Julia Seasons of Contributions (JSoC). Beyond the 15 students who will participate in GSoC funded by Google, we have decide to fund a further 20 students—selected through the same process—using the non-profit funds of the Julia project (at NumFOCUS). These funds come from charitable donations and surpluses of past JuliaCons and also include some additional funds we have received for specific projects. We will offer a stipend of USD 2000 to each student we select for this program. Every JSoC student will receive an official certificate of participation in addition to the stipend.
In the last couple of years, we have offered travel grants to all GSoC students to attend JuliaCon. This year, since we are spending a significant amount of money on the additional stipends, we will not be in a position to pay for travel. However, we will waive conference fees for GSoC and JSoC students that do attend JuliaCon.
In total, this is a substantial spending commitment for the project. If you have donated to the Julia project or sponsored JuliaCon in the past, thank you—that is what has made it possible for us to do this. If you can help fund some of this, either directly or via sponsorship of JuliaCon, please contact us at email@example.com. We hope this allows us to reap the benefits from the work of a truly impressive set of students. We are all eagerly waiting to see what they achieve.
Avik, Chris and Mike