Kevin Crowston, professor at the School of Information Studies, was awarded a grant for $17,720 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his proposal “Travel support for the OSS 2010 Doctoral Consortium.” Crowston requested financial support for a group of American Ph.D. students to attend the international doctoral consortium on research on Free and Open Source Software (FLOSS).

In the proposal Crowston highlighted the importance and impact FLOSS has had on organizations and individuals worldwide. “Open source software is developed and released under a license that allows inspection, modification, and redistribution of the software’s source,” Crowston said. “While the Linux operating system and the Apache Web Server are among the most well-known open source projects, hundreds of others are in widespread use in a wide range of application areas.”

The FLOSS research community extends across multiple fields, including computer science, software engineering, information studies, and economics, Crowston said. The OSS 2010 Doctoral Consortium provides participating students with an interdisciplinary environment where they can receive feedback on their research goals and methods from other students and faculty members.

“The doctoral consortium provides students with feedback on their work from other students and faculty members, allowing them to enhance their own research proposal,” Crowston said. “Because of the diversity of the communities involved, the consortium will allow students to make connections beyond their own disciplines. As a result, participation will allow students to develop a better understanding of the different research communities, which will facilitate their participation in future interdisciplinary research.”

Crowston earned an A.B. in applied mathematics (computer science) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in information technologies from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.