Some college students earn money working at camps or fast food restaurants. Then there’s Andrew Rich ’12 (Philadelphia). He’s spending the summer writing computer code for Google.
Rich, a math and physics double major, is one of 1,100 students chosen to be part of Google’s Summer of Code 2011 program—a seven-year-old global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open-source software projects.
Teaming up with math professor Danny Kaplan and Mac alumnus J.J. Allaire ’91 (who developed Cold Fusion ad Brightcove) and using a software Allaire developed called RStudio, Rich will be creating educational applets (think mini apps) to be used in introductory statistics and calculus classes.
Just a short drive from Macalester, Rich took a high level programming course at the University of Minnesota last summer in which he learned the C and C++ computer language, and he plans to learn Java at Macalester next fall. “I’ve always loved computers, and knowing them is necessary in the math and physics world now,” he says.
Although Google denies that Summer of Code is explicitly a recruiting tool, it admits on its website that it “will use the results of the program to help identify potential recruits.”
Landing a job at Google is certainly appealing to Rich. “Google treats its employees very well, from their excellent dining halls to their initiative that allows engineers to spend a fifth of their time working on independent projects,” he says. “Plus, nearly every product they’ve made has been superb and open source. I would love to work with such a forward thinking and generous company.”