How do I apply?

Applications should come jointly from the students who will work on the project and the faculty member who will mentor it. The application should include basic information about the participants (name, contact information, current educational institution and your position within that institution).

The application should also include a project proposal. The goal of an OSP project should be to make OCaml a better practical tool for people using the language as a means rather than an end. A project should aim to produce working and usable code by the end of the summer.

The proposal should have a short abstract, and should be no more than 10000 characters in full. You should include a description of the project you propose as well as a description of how you intend to go about it; e.g., overview of your proposed design, what kind of testing you intend to do, etc. You should also include a clear set of deliverables, including things like documentation and test suites, and a set of platforms that you expect the resulting code to work on. You should also specify the open source license you intend to release the software under.

The application should also include a recommendation from the faculty member, explaining why the faculty member thinks the students in question are well equipped to do the project they propose. The application should be in plain-text, or, if necessary, PDF. All materials (including the recommendation) should be emailed to by the faculty member.

When are applications due?

Applications will be accepted immediately, and we will handle applications on a rolling basis. Within 2 weeks, we will get back to people and tell them either that the application has been accepted, that it has been rejected, or that we will need more time to consider the application. All applications are due by the end of March, and we will have final responses by the 2nd week of April.

How does funding work?

Projects can last up to three months. Each grant will provide $2000/month for the mentor and $5000/month for each student. Faculty members will be expected to spend the equivalent of 1 day a week working on the project, and students should treat their project as a full time commitment.

Can teams of students apply?

Yes, we will consider teams of 2 or 3 students. Indeed, in some ways, we think 2 is the optimal team size for a project like this. In such cases, compensation will take place on an individual basis. We would, of course, expect such teams to attack more ambitious projects.

Can students propose more than one project?

No; only one proposal is allowed per student or team of two students. We’d rather you chose a project you liked and believed in, and come up with the best proposal you can for it.

Why only OCaml?

There are lots of great functional languages out there (Haskell, F#, Scheme, Erlang, SML, Scala, Nemerle, Lisp, …), but we decided to restrict our attention to OCaml for two reasons: because we are better placed to evaluate proposals for OCaml than we are for any other language; and because a large part of our goal is to encourage growth and activity in the OCaml ecosystem in particular.

Can I use a language other than OCaml?

Yes, as long as the result of the project will be to make OCaml a better practical tool. For instance, working on an Eclipse plug-in written in Java or an emacs-mode written in elisp would both be fine projects.

What will happen at the end-of-summer meeting?

The meeting will take place at Jane Street’s offices in Manhattan. The meeting is meant to be a way for students to present their work, to meet other people from the community, and also to take a look around the city. We’ll arrange for talks on ML related subjects from researchers in the field.

Jane Street will pay for your travel and lodging expenses for this trip, including international travel.

How do I arrange for a travel Visa for the end-of-summer meeting?

Jane Street does not provide any legal help in arranging for travel visas for foreign participants. You might find the following websites useful:

  • US Department of state travel site
  • The US Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Who is eligible?

Only undergraduate or graduate students can participate in the program. If requested, you should be ready to provide transcripts from your institution as proof of enrollment or admission status.

Jane Street employees, interns, contractors, family members, or citizens of Iran, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), with whom we are prohibited by U.S. law from engaging in commerce, are ineligible to participate.

You must also be eligible to work in the country in which you’ll reside throughout the duration of the program, e.g. if you are in the United States on an F-1 visa, you are welcome to apply as long as you have U.S. work authorization. For F-1 students applying for CPT, Jane Street will furnish you with a letter you can provide to your university to get CPT established once your application to the program has been accepted.

Who owns the code?

The code must be released under an open-source license. In practice, an OSI-approved license should be fine under most circumstances. The copyright of the code will typically be maintained by the author, unless transfer of ownership to some other entity is deemed important for the success of the project. For example, an extension to an existing project where the current authors require ownership of code for them to be willing to accept the contribution into their code base.

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