We Solemnly Swear We’re Up To No Good!

Posted on by Avneet Kaur

Categories: blog and student posts

The Beginning: How delayed rewards brought us extra happiness!

After a thorough application process, a long wait and an interview, we thought we might just be able to make it through, and were eagerly waiting for that one “Welcome to RGSoC” email. In time, an email popped up in our feed which, lured us into thinking we emerged victoriously, but Alas! When the first round of scholars was announced, we were heart-broken that we didn’t make the cut. However, the same email also stated that we were waitlisted candidates, giving us a glimmer of hope. With our fingers crossed, we wished for the best! Almost after another month long wait, we were no less than flabbergasted, when we saw an email from RGSoC, quietly sitting in our inbox, giving us the much awaited news - We were officially in! And we couldn’t contain our excitement thereafter! This reminds us of the famous quote from the Harry Potter series,

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” ― Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

And hence began our official journey with RGSoC, and while currently working on our first task, all we wish for and would work towards is making an impact, and let our work speak for ourselves. We are reminded of a few lines, which we truly resonate with:

“Lives of great men, all remind us,
That we can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind, us,
Footprints, on the sands of time” — H.W. Longfellow

Footprints, is what we wish to leave behind. :D

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Team Sectumsempra - Rupal (left) and Avneet (right) (source: Avneet's phone camera - Moto G4 Plus)

The scholars


“A student currently at the fag end of her final year, majoring in Computer Science, about to graduate in August 2018. I am interested in the fields of natural language processing, artificial intelligence, computational biology and wish to work towards the integration of healthcare and artificial intelligence someday. Learning through experimentation, till I figure things out, whether it is a subject, or few lines of code, is what I like to do, and I guess, we would be doing that a lot this summer.”


“I am a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Computational Biology. This is what my profile speaks, how I want to describe myself as is: A curious maniac, who has (mysteriously) learned the art of keeping herself stimulated and keeping up with whatever I do. A programmer, a reader, an extraordinarily passionate bathroom dancer, and a diehard Brooklyn Nine Nine fan, I am a keen knowledge seeking individual whose patience and grit accelerates her ability to articulate difficult concepts and texts smoothly. I’d describe myself as a strong woman who has the courage to voice her opinions, someone who is never hesitant to take actions. I’m one of those people who are if in a conference room and the projector stops working, I’m not the sort to simply call IT and wait. I’ll just (gracefully) crawl under the table and check that everything is properly plugged in.

I am also a sports enthusiast, with basketball being one of my favourite sports. A book in hand, headphones and a decent internet connection is all I need when in melancholy. Quora comes to the rescue when the critic in me tends to rise.

Elevating Medical Sciences using computers and technology is my passion, and it will be my future. I want to become a Computer Scientist and be known for my talent, and not because I’m a woman. I want people to understand that I am more than what they can see.”

I have had this habit of imagining things in my head, things that I aspire to do and achieve, but the results are not always the way I expected them to be. But then, I take a deep breath and reflect back, and am reminded of the famous quote from the Harry Potter series

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” ― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

But this is just a way to pacify myself and keep dreaming with a head held high. :D

Our Team

We are grateful to all coaches and mentors for helping us during the application process.

Our mentor

Michael Ferguson and Ben Albrecht:

We are delighted to have them as our mentors for the project, and hope that under their able guidance, we can have a steep learning curve.

Our Coaches

We are grateful to them for agreeing to coach us, guide us, and help us grow and learn, as we embark upon this journey. Again, we are extremely thankful to him for all the mentoring at the time of applications.

  • Louis Jenkins: He is a recent Computer Science graduate from Bloomsburg interests and experience in the low-level areas such as compilers, operating systems, and the design and implementation of high-performance data structures.
  • Engin Kayraklioglu: He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree on High Performance Computing at High Performance Computing Laboratory
  • Sarthak Munshi: He is currently, working at HackerRank. Most of his work is open-sourced and can be found on his github profile.
  • Ian Berpolacci: He is Currently an PhD student at University of Arizona (started 2016), researching HPC by way of compilers and programming languages.
  • Andrea Francesco Iuorio: He is a MSc. student in Computer Science and mainly works on programming languages development and cryptography.
  • Kushal Singh: He is currently working as a platform engineer at Direct-I, India, and has previously been part of Google Summer Of Code.
  • Lydia Duncan: She is currently a Software Engineer at Cray Inc. and is passionate about programming languages and education

Our supervisor

  • Nada Ashraf : Nada Ashraf has been a past participant in Rails Girls Summer of Code, and we are excited to have her on board as our supervisor.

Our Project

We would be working on Chapel this summer, which is a parallel programming language. Our primary objective is to work on the Sorting module and writing a parallelised and efficient version of Radix Sort. Also, we would be working on all other interesting tasks, which comes our way, which would help us to learn a lot overtime.

Our goals for the summer

Tinker, Code and Learn! Way to Go girls!

  • Grow as we learn, and be proficient in Chapel and grasp the concepts of parallel programming. The idea is to make our foundation strong. We want to work towards strengthening our ability to comprehend code and contributing significantly to the project we are working on, so that we can be driven towards continuing our endeavours towards open source even after these 3 months are over.
  • Make it a point to ensure that each and every contribution to our project matter.
  • Learn to collaborate and work as a team, utilising each others capabilities and strengthening our weak areas.
  • Learning new tools and technologies, and get a flavour of what it is like to face issues, and try to solve them, while enhancing our skills. To get immune to stressful environment when the bugs just won’t budge.
  • Effective communication To learn to speak with and take guidance from people who are way better than you in their domains and not getting intimidated by the overawing environment.
  • End of the BEGINNER’s title
  • Building a strong network with the professionals we are going to be working with. And learn a thing or two from them too.
  • Being a part of RGSoC community and establishing strong bonds with our coaches, mentors, supervisors, other teams as well.

We are thankful to J.K. Rowling , the creator of Harry Potter series, for giving us these profound quotes applicable to our real-lives, ones which can live by and cherish forever. This is from where we also got inspiration for our team name, ‘Sectumsempra’.

“I’ve always wanted to use that spell.” ― Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Source: assets.teanvogue.com

Looking forward to a fun-filled summer,

Team Sectumsempra