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Google Summer Camp Takes More Coders

High quality and brilliance will get you everywhere with Google. The company today said it has accepted an unprecedented number of student coders to its third Summer of Code program.

First it said it would accept 600 students for this year's program; a month ago it increased that number to about 800. Today Google said it will take more than 900 students from a pool of 6,200 applicants.

"We heard almost universally from our participating open source organizations that the applications they'd received were of particularly high quality," Leslie Hawthorn, Google's open source program coordinator, wrote in a blog post. "Rather than turn these brilliant students away, we increased the number of students we accepted to over 900."

This summer's student figure exceeds the 2006 number by 50 percent.

Google Summer of Code, now in its third year, offers students and open source organizations cash grants for open source project efforts.

In 2006, Google spent just over $3 million on the Summer of Code with 630 students. With over 900 students this year, Google will be pumping over $4.5 million into the endeavor.

Each student who successfully completes a project this summer will receive $4,500 from Google, and each sponsoring open source organization will receive $500 per successful student.

This summer's students will be working with 134 different open source groups on a wide variety of projects.

The Mozilla Foundation will be getting at least 10 students. Among the projects they'll be working on is to provide JPEG2000 support for Firefox. Student Ben Karel will work on adding support for the high-quality, high-compression JPEG format.

"I propose to write a new extension that will add JPEG2000 support to Firefox," Karel wrote in his proposal. "Hopefully this will be the first step towards seeing ubiquitous support for JPEG2000 on the web."

The Apache Software Foundation will get at least 24 students this year. One project they will work on is called "Implementing 'Dobly' Noise Reduction for SpamAssassin."

SpamAssassin is a mature, widely deployed open source project that acts as an e-mail filter in order to identify and block Spam (UCE) by using a diverse array of tactics. It became a top-level Apache project in 2004.

According to the Google Summer of Code project page, Dobly Bayesian Noise Reduction (BNR) is a preprocessing step to eliminate noises from e-mail before presenting them to the Bayesian filter .

"The basic idea of BNR is to remove words which are not informative in Bayesian filter and words not consistent with its context," the project page states. "Results show that BNR will increase the accuracy of Bayesian filter by a wide margin."

One difference this summer is that the students don't have to hit the ground coding. They can hold off till May 28 in order to become familiar with their projects. Students will then have until Aug. 20 to complete their projects.