Summer Program on Climate Software

Here’s a great opportunity if you’re a student looking for something to do this summer. The Climate Code Foundation is working on open-source versions of important climate software. If you’re lucky, you could get paid to help!

• Climate Code Foundation, Google Summer of Code.

It seems the window for student applications is March 28-April 8.

They write:

Google have announced their Summer of Code, and we intend to be a mentoring organisation. If you’re a student, this is an opportunity to work on our open source code and earn a bit of money doing so (Google give a stipend of USD 5000 qualifying students, and an honorarium of USD 500 to the mentoring organisation).

We have an ideas page, most of which revolves around our ccc-gistemp project. Ideas range from improving ccc-gistemp in various ways, through novel reconstructions, to clear implementations of other climate codes. If you have ideas of your own, we’d like to hear about those too.

If you are interested in participating as a student, then please get in touch.

We have not been a Summer of Code mentor before, but we bring many years (decades even!) of experience to the table: experience in computer science, software engineering, project management, and so on. We hope to help students make a success of their projects!

In case you’re wondering, ccc-gistemp is a version of GISTEMP written in Python.

Isn’t it annoying how explaining one mysterious word can require two more? In case you’re still wondering: Python is a really groovy modern programming language, in comparison to older ones like FORTRAN—and GISTEMP is an important computer program, mostly written in FORTRAN, which NASA uses to analyze the historical temperature record. GISTEMP is what gives us graphs like this:

So, it’s very important to update this program and search the existing program for bugs—and that’s what the Climate Code Foundation is doing:

The “all Python” milestone was achieved with ccc-gistemp release 0.2.0 on 2010-01-11. Naturally we have found (minor) bugs while doing this, but nothing else. Since 0.2.0 we have made major simplifications, chiefly by removing dependencies, and generally processing data internally (by avoiding writing it to intermediate files, which was only necessary on computers that would be considered extremely memory constrained by today’s standards).

Work continue on further simplification, clarification, generalisation, and extension.

Hone your programming skills while helping save the planet!

2 Responses to Summer Program on Climate Software

  1. Nick Barnes says:

    Thanks for the link. To add briefly, the Foundation does numerous things other than ccc-gistemp, and prospective GSoC students, especially ones with any web development or climate science experience, may well be able to put together other projects under our mentorship.

  2. John Baez says:

    You can now read blog entries by the students whose projects Google sponsored:

    Hannah Aizenman, who will start development on the new ‘Open Climate Project’ work, mentored by Jason Smerdon at Columbia. You can also see some of her code.

    Filipe Fernandes, who will work on ccc-gistemp packaging, NumPy integration, and visualisation, mentored by David Jones.

    Daniel Rothenberg, who will develop a Python library of homogenization algorithms, mentored by Nick Barnes.

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