GSoC 2023 Project Idea 4.1 Maintaining an Open-source Sustainability Project (Orthogonal Research and Education Lab) (350 h)

As demonstrated by many organizations, open-source communities can do great things. But this is only true if the contributor community is able to maintain public goods such as the software codebase and institutional knowledge over time and despite contributor turnover. During GSoC 2022, our group of contributors used an adversarial approach to build several agent-based models (GSoC/Open Source Ethics at main · OREL-group/GSoC · GitHub). Taken collectively, this codebase simulates open-source community interactions in an attempt to encourage conditions leading to sustainable practice. These models have subsequently been incorporated into a web-based auditing tool ( that presents interactive evaluatory methods for community managers and other open-source project leaders.

For this project, you will maintain and develop the auditing tool backend, help to improve upon the underlying models, collect and analyze data where appropriate, and serve as a platform tester using multiple user personas. While the applicant can select their focus based on personal preference and/or strengths, they will be expected to engage in all aspects of maintenance and project improvement. Our goal is to develop one or more maintainers of the platform who are also capable of research software engineering ( software-engineering/).

What can I do before GSoC?

You can join the Orthogonal Lab Slack and Github, as well as attend our Saturday Morning NeuroSim meetings. You will work with our Ethics, Society, and Technology group, and interactions with your colleagues is key. You will also want to become familiar with our auditing tool ( and Sustainability Auditing Tool Team · GitHub), as well as the NetLogo platform for building agent-based models.

Orthogonal Research and Education Lab:

Skill level: Intermediate

Required skills: The following languages will be used extensively throughout the project: NetLogo, Python, and Javascript. This project will also involve web development, working with computational models, UI design, and open-source community-building, so experience in these areas is helpful but not required. Knowledge of open-source development practices and an interest in interdisciplinary research are a must.

Time commitment: Full-time (350 h)

Lead mentor: Bradly Alicea, Jesse Parent, Brian McCorkle

Project website:

Backup mentors: TBA

Tech keywords: Open Source Communities, Agent-based Models, NetLogo, Python, Javascript

Hey, I’m Manish. An open source advocate/enthusiast, a web developer and a sophomore pursuing my bachelor’s in CSE. I’d love to work on this project as I’m passionate about open source and communities it empowers. I love to explore different fields in tech and apply my knowledge to solve real world problems with like minded peers. Looking forward to contribute to this valuable project and learn so many amazing things along the way

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Hey @b.alicea
I am writing to express my strong interest in the GSoC project related to open-source community sustainability and agent-based models that you are leading. I have read the project description and I find it very compelling.

I am a web developer with experience in different frameworks, and I have also completed an internship in React and React Native. I believe that my skills and experience would be useful for this project, particularly in developing and maintaining the auditing tool backend and working with computational models. I am also interested in interdisciplinary research and have a good understanding of open-source development practices.

Before applying to the program, I have taken several steps to prepare myself for this project. I have joined the Orthogonal Lab Slack and Github and become familiar with the auditing tool and NetLogo platform.

I am very passionate about this project and I am excited about the opportunity to work with your team to contribute to sustainable open-source communities. I am willing to commit full-time to this project (350 h) and engage in all aspects of maintenance and project improvement.

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Just a reminder proposals are due Tuesday. We’ve met with many of you but if you have not yet done so, please reach out / contact us on Slack. Cheers!