News/Summer 2007 Institute

Trinity H-FOSS Project Gets Funding to Support Summer Institute

Summer 2007 Aidmatrix sponsored development team. From left to right, Trishan de Lanerolle, Giovanni Capalbo, Antonio Alcorn, Kumud Nepal, Ernel Wint, Sylvia Hristakeva, Ralph Morelli. (Missing: Prof. Heidi Ellis)

A grant of $17,500 from The Aidmatrix Foundation is supporting a summer institute at which talented undergraduates are pursuing mentored research on free and open-source software (FOSS) designed to meet community and humanitarian needs. The funds enable the College to provide research internships for five computer-science students, supporting Trinity College’s efforts to incorporate humanitarian open-source software development into undergraduate computing education (http://www.cs.trincoll.edu/hfoss). The institute is open to students from Trinity College, Wesleyan University and Connecticut College. The project directors are Professors Ralph Morelli and Heidi Ellis, and Mr. Trishan de Lanerolle of Trinity’s information technology (IT) department.

The summer institute builds on an evolving collaboration between educational institutions, IT companies, and key contacts in the international humanitarian open-source software movement. During summer 2006, Trinity faculty and students developed a volunteer management (VM) module for Sahana, an open source disaster management IT system developed in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami (http://www.sahana.lk). Trinity's VM module, which manages the registration and assignment of volunteers during a humanitarian crisis, was presented at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service (June 2006), and field tested at Strong Angel III, a national disaster-response exercise held in San Diego in August 2006. Work on the VM module was continued through Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 video conference courses on humanitarian open-source software offered to students at Trinity, Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College. Students and volunteers at each college developed improvements and enhancements for the VM module and developed new modules for Sahana and for use in local community and human-services groups. Trinity's VM module has now been incorporated into the latest release of the Sahana system.

The summer institute will continue work on the VM module as well as beginning work on other humanitarian open-source software projects.

About Aidmatrix

The Aidmatrix Foundation helps charitable organizations alleviate human suffering by mobilizing resources and orchestrating the Right Aid to the Right People at the Right Time™. It is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit governed by a voluntary board of directors including captains of industry. Founded as a program of the i2 Foundation a half-decade ago, it mobilizes more than US$1.5 billion in aid annually working with more than 35,000 charities and government agencies worldwide. It partners with corporations including i2 Technologies, Accenture, Sun Microsystems, Alcatel, Dell, and others to engage employees and the public in its innovative mission. See http://www.aidmatrix.org for more information.