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Google summer of code 2012

As a PhD student at INI, I have had the pleasure this summer to 
participate to the Google Summer of Code 2012 
(, a worldwide program run by Google that 
funds students to work for three months for open source organisations as 
software developers. Among the participating 180 open source 
organisations this year, there have been many projects related to the 
development of tools for scientific purposes, such as bioinformatic 
software, crowdsourcing biological games to involve the general public, 
libraries for hardware and sensors, and even the International 
Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility ( has hosted 
6 interesting projects.

Personally I have contributed to the development of an application for 
Cytoscape 3.0 ( to support visualisation and 
analysis of dynamic networks. Cytoscape is a powerful tool to visualise 
network data in the form of graphs with nodes, edges, and attributes, 
but until now focused mainly on static data. Developing the software 
infrastructure to deal with dynamic data, that is graphs that change in 
time, while the main code of Cytoscape 3.0 was under active development, 
has been an interesting - and successful- challenge.

The ability to visualize and understand dynamic data is very important 
in our own research, which addresses how genetic regulatory programs 
orchestrate the development of cortical architectures in different 
species. The development of open source tools to address this type of 
data is not only of personal interest, but is also directed to reach a 
broader scientific community, and possibly involve more people in the 
future of this project. I'm looking forward to what the next Google 
Summer of Code has to bring!
- S. Pfister 

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