Open Source at Portland State University

For as long as folks have been exchanging source code for the public good, Portland State University has been a leader in the use and creation of free and open source software. This proud tradition started in the 80s, when Janaka Jayawardena, Mark Mason, and Bart Massey helped to put together a leading-edge volunteer student UNIX system administration team that eventually became the PSU Computer Action Team. It continues today with world class teaching and research around open source software development technologies and practices.

Partners and Collaboration

PSU's home state of Oregon and hometown of Portland have become an international center of open source development, from Linux kernel partners such as Intel and IBM to desktop developers such as Keith Packard of freedesktop.org and Cairo fame. We have a cordial relationship with the Open Source Laboratory at Oregon State University to the South, and are involved in the open source efforts of state and local government, of regional and local industry, and with local and regional open source development communities.

PSU's partnerships with regional and international open source organizations are sometimes financial, but more importantly are always collegial and cooperative. PSU serves an important role as a neutral and knowledgable meeting place for academia, industry, government, and developers involved in open source and related technologies and activities.

People

Any organization is only as good as its people. At PSU, a variety of amazingly talented people have come together around open source research and development.

Open source at PSU is currently spearheaded by Prof. Bart Massey. Bart is a man of many hats. He is an active open source developer with more than 20 years experience. His academic background ranges from physics to programming language implementation to artificial intelligence; he is a member of the PSU Laboratory for Learning and Adaptive Systems. Bart is lead faculty advisor to the Portland State Aerospace Society, one of the world's most advanced amateur rocketry groups and an organization fully committed to low cost open source hardware and software. Bart is a faculty member of the Oregon Masters of Software Engineering program; open source software engineering practices and tools are a principal research focus for him. Bart is the proprietor of a micro-business, bart-massey.com, and has consulted extensively for the local computing industry and legal firms. He is also the Technologist in Residence at the Open Technology Business Center in Beaverton, a technology business incubator with an emphasis on open tech. Bart is a Board Member of the X.Org Foundation, which promotes the development of the X Window System.

Most importantly, Bart is a committed teacher and mentor who has helped PSU to lead the way internationally in bringing open source into the academic curriculum at a high level. His Summer open source software development course has been taught in the PSU Linux Laboratory for the past 6 years, and has resulted in a number of interesting open source projects and a number of new developers for the open source community.

A huge number of impressive folks make up the PSU open source team. Here's some bios of key PSU CS Faculty and descriptions of their open source involvement.

More information on these folks and their work is available in the Projects and Activities section.

Projects and Activities

The list given here is likely to be very incomplete and out-of-date, but hopefully it hits most of the highlights and provides a good view of the scope and range of PSU open source projects and activities.

Curriculum

Projects led by Bart Massey

Project 10-9 / Open VoiceBridge

Project 10-9 / Open VoiceBridge is a project to deploy open technology for speech recognition and SDR in the service of police officers in the field.

Portland State Aerospace Society

The Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS faculty advisor Bart Massey) is an educational aerospace project at Portland State University, building the world's most sophisticated open software/hardware amateur rockets. The group consists of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff of PSU, and local community members—ranging from high school students to engineers in industry—who are interested in aerospace engineering.

PSAS is based out of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at PSU, and has members and advisors in the Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering departments.

Other Projects and Activities

Facilities

The PSU/Intel Linux Laboratory consists of about 25 seats, modern PCs with nice X displays. The space is flexible, and used in a variety of ways by the CS and ECE departments.

The Maseeh College machine room hosts a number of open source boxes, including the CS department server and CS hosting for community projects. The X.org / freedesktop.org infrastructure is also hosted here.

Open Source In General

For those who are looking for more general information on open source, we strongly suggest the use of Google search. Good information on open source licensing can be found at the Open Source Initiative. If you are looking for open source substitutes for proprietary applications, you might take a look at osalt.com.

Press

Contact Us

For more information on open source at PSU, please contact Bart Massey.