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Patricia Gray
Associated Colleges of the South
Tel: 901-493-0948
FAX: 901-278-2699
Email: gray@colleges.org
Website: www.colleges.org

ACS 2004 Software Engineering Students Develop ELATED

Software engineering student interns are (left to right) Kelson Gist, Southwestern University; Joe Bertles, Trinity University; Blake Anderson, Rhodes College; Jennifer Wilson, Trinity University; Shane Baumgartner, Southwestern University; Noelle Dian Wanzer, Austin College; Mitch Perry, University of the South; Mary Greene, Centenary College; Rajat B. Shrestha, Austin College; and Binaya Poudyal, Austin College.

Ten students from six Associated Colleges of the South and NITLE Southern Region institutions participated in the second annual summer Software Engineering Internship at the ACS Technology Center. Interns learned software engineering by studying with faculty and working as a team to design and code software
that will be used by the ACS consortium. The 2004 program ran from May 30-July 30.

Participating students and their colleges and universities are:

  • Kelson Gist, Southwestern University
  • Joe Bertles, Trinity University
  • Blake Anderson, Rhodes College
  • Jennifer Wilson, Trinity University
  • Shane Baumgartner, Southwestern University
  • Noelle Dian Wanzer, Austin College
  • Mitch Perry, University of the South
  • Mary Greene, Centenary College
  • Rajat B. Shrestha, Austin College
  • Binaya Poudyal, Austin College

Software Engineering faculty provided instruction in the first five weeks of the program, while the remaining weeks are spent on developing the software project. Faculty for Summer 2004 included:

  • Paula Gabbert, Furman University
  • Michael Higgs, Austin College
  • Donald Schwartz, Millsaps College
  • Eric Jansson, Assistant Director for Systems and Development, ACS Tech Center

Summer interns learned extreme programming (XP), one of the latest approaches to software engineering. Programmers worked in pairs and rotated tasks so that all team members had the opportunity to work on each aspect of their project. This approach facilitated rapid development by having customers on site for consultation, releasing versions of the software quickly, e.g., every two weeks, and developing the design with an initial overall architecture and daily "stand-up" meetings.

Faculty taught in the first five weeks of the internship, and guided the interns in their project work for the remaining weeks. The 2004 ACS Software Engineering program began with a five-week intensive curriculum covering a number of key topics in software development, including building web applications in Java, software testing using JUnit, database design, the Unified Modeling Language, and—most importantly—the Extreme Programming (XP) methodology, which was used throughout the 9-week program.

Starting in week 3, students began work on the actual software product--later named ELATED--which is a web-based program for managing collections of digital media files. Following the XP methodology, student programmers worked in pairs and rotated tasks so that all team members had the opportunity to work on each aspect of their project. In addition, they conducted regular XP "stand-up" meetings where architecture and design were discussed, and prepared client presentations.

The resulting software product, named ELATED, reflects the quality and commitment of the student and faculty participants. ELATED is a general- purpose, web-based application for managing digital media files. ELATED is built on top of the Fedora Repository system (http://fedora.info), an open-source Mellon-sponsored project to build technology for the next-generation of digital libraries.

An important goal of the ELATED software was to simplify access to and use of Fedora, which is more a framework than an end-user product. The intended impact of ELATED is to allow Fedora to be more easily integrated into the IT infrastructure at small institutions, while storing data in a manner consistent with the long-term vision of the Fedora project. The ELATED software is distributed through SourceForge, and is available at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/elated/.


WHAT: Software Engineering Program for ACS Students

WHERE: ACS Technology Center, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX

WHEN: May 30 – July 30, 2004


ABOUT ACS: The Associated Colleges of the South comprises 16 small, liberal arts institutions in twelve southern states. Incorporated in August of 1991, the ACS has a mission to make the case for liberal arts education and to strengthen academic programs of member institutions through collaboration.

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