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19 July 2010 Integrating a university team in the ALMA software development process: a successful model for distributed collaborations
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Abstract
Observatories are not all about exciting new technologies and scientific progress. Some time has to be dedicated to the future engineers' generations who are going to be on the front line in a few years from now. Over the past six years, ALMA Computing has been helping to build up and collaborating with a well-organized engineering students' group at Universidad T´ecnica Federico Santa Maria in Chile. The Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) currently has wide collaborations with national and international organizations, mainly in the astronomical observations field. The overall coordination and technical work is done primarily by students, working side-by-side with professional engineers. This implies not only using high engineering standards, but also advanced organization techniques. This paper aims to present the way this collaboration has built up an own identity, independently of individuals, starting from its origins: summer internships at international observatories, the open-source community, and the short and busy student's life. The organizational model and collaboration approaches are presented, which have been evolving along with the years and the growth of the group. This model is being adopted by other university groups, and is also catching the attention of other areas inside the ALMA project, as it has produced an interesting training process for astronomical facilities. Many lessons have been learned by all participants in this initiative. The results that have been achieved at this point include a large number of projects, funds sources, publications, collaboration agreements, and a growing history of new engineers, educated under this model.
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Matias Mora, Jorge Ibsen, Gianluca Chiozzi, Nicolás Troncoso, Rodrigo Tobar, Mauricio Araya, Jorge Avarias, and Arturo Hoffstadt "Integrating a university team in the ALMA software development process: a successful model for distributed collaborations", Proc. SPIE 7740, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy, 77403I (19 July 2010); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857832
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