Merging Research and Software with Open Source

(There’s a great  new conference in the U.S., DevConf.US, returning in 2019 to Boston University (15 to 17 Aug). This highly-technical conference is interested in drawing a diverse group of speakers and attendees, with a specific emphasis on people who are new to speaking and tech conferences in general. Only in its second year, DevConf.US builds on the successful decade-spanning run of DevConf.CZ in Brno, CZ.

This is a session from DevConf.US 2018. The call for proposals to present at DevConf.US 2019 is now open.)

Software development has found a niche in almost every aspect of our transactional lives, be it retail, finance, and even academia. This last sector is a particularly strong growth area in the past few years, as more and more coders are looking at universities and colleges as a direct career path.

This isn’t just software for supporting faculty, staff, and student operations (though that’s important too). According to Dr. Andrei Laptets, Associate Professor at Boston University, it also includes software for any scientist and researcher who needs to manage and analyze a wide variety of data-driven projects.

Open source software, which can be reshared and customized without reinventing the wheel, is of strong interest in these circles, Laptets explained in a DevConf.US keynote. Laptets, who is also the Director of Boston University’s Software & Application Innovation Lab (SAIL), described how this organization supports such research efforts that require or can benefit from custom open-source software development or novel uses of existing computer science frameworks and techniques.

SAIL, Laptets explained, “is a professional research, software engineering, and consulting lab that acts as a driver, a competitive advantage, and a collaborative partner for projects across BU.”

“Interacting extensively with faculty, researchers, and students in multiple departments and schools, SAIL can leverage opportunities to introduce, identify, apply, and further develop reusable frameworks, applications, tools, and resources throughout the university research pipeline,” he stated.

Watch this keynote address to learn more about how SAIL impacts academic research and fosters the development of open source software in academia.

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