June 5, 2012
School of Arts and Sciences, Amritapuri
The American inventor Thomas Alva Edison once remarked, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Bithin A., final-year student of M.Sc. (Computer Science) at the School of Arts and Sciences in Amritapuri campus will probably agree. His perspiration and hard work has brought him a long way in his student career.
This summer Bithin was selected to receive the highly competitive Google Summer of Code (GSoC) stipend of $5,000. This translates to an amount of Rs. 2.5 lakhs.
In return, Bithin is expected to write code for open source projects over a three-month period.
GSoC is a global program that pairs students with mentors from the participating projects. The students gain exposure to real-world software development as well as the opportunity for possible future employment in areas related to their interests.
Interested candidates submit applications and attend online interviews, mainly through chats. The interviewers assess the skill set of the applicants. Selected candidates are allotted to different projects that are owned by different participating companies.
This year Google received 6,685 proposals from 4,258 students around the globe. Bithin was one among the 1200 students who were finally short-listed to participate.
Amrita students have submitted proposals and have been selected since 2010. Past GSoC awardees from Amrita include Varrun Ramani and Adithya Rao of the 2006 B Tech CSE batch as well as Zubin Mithra and Prasanth Kumar of the 2007 B Tech IT batch.
“My seniors successfully participated in this program in the past. I strongly believe that I will also perform well and live up to their expectations,” Bithin remarked.
“After completing the project, I will get a certificate as Google Student Intern. Both the certificate and the experience of working as part of a big project will be very valuable for me,” he added.
On campus, Bithin is a strong proponent of the free and open source software (FOSS) movement and a committed member of the FOSS Club that functions under the mentorship of Mr. Vipin Pavithran. Bithin credited his achievement to his participation in FOSS Club activities.
“My mentor and friends motivated me a lot. This GSoC is very competitive. But I knew that achieving anything is possible if one has a strong will power and determination,” he said.
“Whatever one does, practice it like an art, filled with passion, enthusiasm and perspiration,” he quipped.
“This world is highly competitive. It is really important that we work hard to achieve our goals. We need to keep trying with a strong belief in God,” he underlined.