10. FOSS@RIT: Python-Powered Student Engagement

Audience level:
March 11th 8:45 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.


FOSS@RIT is an applied research lab at Rochester Institute of Technology focused on promoting free/open source software and open web technologies. Students and staff will discuss the evolution of the lab in general, and the RIT Fedora Remixerator - a web application running on Django that allows users to create an RIT-themed Fedora LiveCD.


The RIT Remixerator project was conceptualized after discussion between professors at the RIT Professor's Open Source Summer Experience Bootcamp in 2010. The professors were able to create an initial Fedora Remix tailored to incoming RIT freshmen, but wanted a tool to customize and build remixes in the future.

Through RIT's co-op program, FOSS@RIT created an applied research opportunity for students to develop a working prototype. The position was filled in the fall quarter of 2011 by senior undergraduate computer science student Eitan Romanoff. With help from Fedora Senior Software Engineer Luke Macken, Eitan learned how to best leverage existing open source technologies and methodologies to tackle the concept. The result is the RIT Remixerator project being displayed at PyCon 2012. The RIT Remixerator allows users to customize and create a Live CD of popular linux distribution Fedora with RIT aesthetics and a suite of applications targeted towards RIT students.