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Welcome to Berkman Klein Center Google Summer of Code 2019

Who are we?

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University was founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. We represent a network of faculty, students, fellows, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and virtual architects working to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace.

We investigate the real and possible boundaries in cyberspace between open and closed systems of code, of commerce, of governance, and of education, and the relationship of law to each. We do this through active rather than passive research, believing that the best way to understand cyberspace is to actually build out into it.

Our faculty, fellows, students, and affiliates engage with a wide spectrum of Net issues, including governance, privacy, intellectual property, antitrust, content control, and electronic commerce. Our diverse research interests cohere in a common understanding of the Internet as a social and political space where constraints upon inhabitants are determined not only through the traditional application of law, but, more subtly, through technical architecture ("code").

As part of our active research mission, we build, use, and freely share open software platforms for free online lectures and discussions. We also sponsor gatherings, ranging from informal lunches to international conferences, that bring together members of our diverse network of participants to swap insights – and sometimes barbs – as they stake out their respective visions for what the Net can become. We also teach, seeking out online and global opportunities, as well as supporting the traditional Harvard Law School curriculum, through our Cyberlaw Clinic, and in conjunction with other Harvard schools and MIT.

Read more about the Berkman Klein Center at our homepage.

Project Opportunities and Ideas

There are several GSoC 2019 projects at the Berkman Klein Center. We also recommend checking back here through out the GSoC "shopping" and application period and ideas may be refined and updated. We hope that this will provide transparency into our thinking.

Media Cloud

Media Cloud (github) is an open source platform for studying media ecosystems, run jointly by the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab.


The Lumen Database is an archive of requests for removal of online content. This lets lawyers, journalists, and the general public study threats to speech online and understand their rights. (github).


Ayanda is an Open Source Android Library that makes it easy to discover nearby devices and share files through a simple API.

Question Tool

A tool for asking and voting on questions during events or classes (github). Written in Javascript using the Meteor.js framework.


Dotplot is a D3-based visualization tool that lets you tell stories about data (github).

What is GSoC?

It's where you spend your summer writing code for awesome open source projects:

Google Summer of Code is a global program focused on introducing students to open source software development. Students work on a 3 month programming project with an open source organization during their break from university.

Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together almost 11,000 student participants and 10,000 mentors from over 113 countries worldwide. Google Summer of Code has produced over 50 million lines of code for 515 open source organizations.

As a part of Google Summer of Code, student participants are paired with a mentor from the participating organizations, gaining exposure to real-world software development and techniques. Students have the opportunity to spend the break between their school semesters earning a stipend while working in areas related to their interests.

In turn, the participating organizations are able to identify and bring in new developers who implement new features and hopefully continue to contribute to open source even after the program is over. Most importantly, more code is created and released for the use and benefit of all

The official GSoC homepage describes how it works and what it involves.

The GSoC Wikipedia entry also includes some interesting background information.

How to Apply

Applications open March 25, 2019 at 13:00 (EDT) / 18:00 (UTC). You must submit your application via GSoC: We will not be able to accept or process any application in any other way. Please use the below application template when submitting your application.

All proposals must be submitted by April 9, 2019 at 13:00 (EDT) / 18:00 (UTC).

Application Template

Berkman Klein Application template for GSoC. This is the preferred template for submitting your application to work on a Berkman Klein Center project.

Contact Us

We prefer email, though we also run an IRC channel.


Answers to commonly asked questions. This includes a set of requirements around working hours, who can apply, and other commitments you might have for the summer. Please read!