Thanks to alumni and faculty of West Virginia University’s Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, students with an interest in software development will now be able to fund their education through and Open Source Scholarship. The scholarship will officially be announced on Tuesday, April 23, at 6 p.m., in G102 of WVU’s Engineering Sciences Building on the Evansdale Campus.

Open source software is distributed along with its source code under a special license. The license gives users the right to use, change and improve the software, as well as redistribute it before or after it has been modified. Open source software is developed in a transparent and collaborative manner, making it easy for young, aspiring developers to interface with professionals all over the world.

Alumni Andrew Butcher and Tim Bielawa, gained experience in open software as students and wanted to provide opportunities for current and future students via this scholarship. Assisting them on the scholarship board are David Krovich, professional technologist in the Lane Department; Professor Roy Nutter; and Lane Department Chair Brian Woerner.

Students interested in the scholarship are required to create a portfolio that demonstrates their contributions to open source software. As part of the application process, when an individual makes modifications to the software they post their contribution to the scholarship website. The more impactful their contributions, the more likely they are to get a recommendation from the board of the scholarship fund. The deadline for applications will be in late November with the first awards made in the spring 2014 semester.

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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon