This March we've started our fantastic journey in the Google Summer of Code program (see our blog post). Now, we've just passed the first significant milestone. Shortly, we've already had lots of fun, and are eager for coding to begin. Right now, we're in the middle of what we believe is the hardest period of the whole program. Here is how things are going so far.
See also our Community Call #8 recorded!
Students Application period memosStudents Application period reached its end on April 13th. We've enjoyed a lot working with students on their proposals. You might remember that we had 4 directions to work on during this Summer of Code: general NLP tasks, our products’ fundamental tasks, building no-code tools and GUIs, and demos. While the actual proposals Ideas granularity divided these tracks onto smaller routes, all the directions have found their audience.
So far, according to our Ideas tracker, some of the most popular Ideas were:
- refactor Multitask BERT with Dmitri Karpov as a mentor
- Integrate popular APIs to DP scenarios with Oleg Serikov as a mentor
- Relation Extraction with Dmitri Euseev as a mentor
While working on proposals, we had weekly review iterations, so that everyone could submit their proposal draft for us for review. We also had private conversations on proposal details, to help further develop the coherent vision of papers, technologies, and tasks.
Dos and Don'ts of a Successful ProposalWhile reviewing students' proposals, we regularly meet typical problems that we believe have to be addressed.
One of the first of them is the number of pages. Both 1-page and 15-pages proposal are hard to adequately analyze. The most interesting proposals typically have 8 to 10 pages.
Usage of headings and formatting itself often helps us navigate your proposal, and the font size matters. When looking into the wall of text, it is hard to distinguish interesting details.
The last thing to mention here is that your proposal is primarily not about you, but about your proposed contribution. That is, if the biggest part of your proposal is your CV, you should take some time elaborating the proposed Ideas.
What's Happening Right NowNow, we're working on the number of slots to request from Google. For now, our expectations are kept secret, but we definitely keep in mind that we're the first-year ORG, and this probably will play its role. This is the hardest challenge for us as we have to prioritize given that we're can't not accept all the proposals we love.
What's NextAll the accepted proposals will be announced on May17th, and the community bonding period will begin. Together with the accepted students, we will clarify the proposal details, get familiar with the community and each other, and will prepare for the coding phase. The coding will begin June 7th and will last till the end of August, with 2 intermediate student evaluations.
So, by the end of this Summer, the Open-Source Conversational AI will push itself even further!