User:Bemasc

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I am a student at Harvard University, starting the third year of a Ph.D. program in Biophysics. As an undergraduate I attended MIT (with a year at Cambridge University), majoring in (Math with CS) and (Physics with EE). My work involves a great deal of programming, generally a mix of simulation, numerical analysis, and hardware control code. I live in Cambridge, MA, near the OLPC offices. I have worked with OLPC as a volunteer, but I have no official connection to the OLPC Foundation.

I have been following the development of OLPC since before it had a name, looking for a way to contribute. My first contribution was an Activity now called Distance, which I started in early 2007. This Activity uses the time-of-flight of a sound pulse, together with the speed of sound, to measure the distance between two XOs [1]. Since that time I have written Activities such as Stopwatch (a completely collaborative time measurement Activity), DOSEMU (a complete DOS virtual machine as an Activity), and Wine Activities (allows arbitrary Windows binaries to be converted into their own independent Sugar Activities). I have also released prototypes of Activities called Panorama (uses a fast panorama stitching algorithm to make 360-degree images from the XO camera) and Distribute (allows users to push arbitrary Journal entries from one place to another).

Because I live near the OLPC offices in Cambridge, I have had the unusual experience of being able to spend time with the OLPC engineers, both at the offices and outside them, while remaining completely independent from OLPC's decisions. Over the past year, I have provided an independent perspective at meetings on the technical and social development of Sugar Labs. At this spring's technical mini-conf, I presented a view of the future of Sugar collaboration with distributed objects [2].

My view into the inner workings of OLPC has convinced me that Sugar Labs is of great importance. I believe that the principle responsibility of the Board is to monitor the mundane workings of Sugar Labs, and to ensure that necessary progress is being made. Whenever possible, the Board should avoid picking winners and losers, and instead work to promote consensus within the community; I contributed text to the Rules of Governance to emphasize this point.

I believe that Sugar has great potential. With our enthusiastic, growing community, and a Board that is friendly and thoughtful, I predict we will soon have a Sugar explosion.

[1] http://www.nortellearnit.org/One_Laptop_Per_Child/OLPC_Activity_Fair/Acoustic_Tape_Measure/ [2] http://download.laptop.org/content/conf/20080403-olpc-mini-conf/Collaboration/