SAIL’s Microservices And Software Tools (MAST) Program

Empowering the Next Generation of Software Engineers through Hands-On Experience– SAIL Team

 

Within the Hariri Institute for Computing at Boston University lies the Software & Application Innovation Lab (SAIL), a premier professional research, software engineering, and consulting lab. SAIL acts as both a driver and a collaborative partner in the creation of cutting-edge solutions for the data-driven, computational, and software engineering aspects of research across the university and beyond.

However, as a service center reliant on billable projects, SAIL is limited in its ability to allocate engineering time to develop microservices for applications lacking research funding for software development. Additionally, SAIL historically faces resource constraints when overseeing and mentoring students on technical experiential learning projects, and believes that better student preparation for future professional and academic endeavors in software engineering (and related fields) is essential.

SAIL and student interns, coding together, making real applications to solve real-world problems.
Photo by: Kenneth Rudolph. SAIL and student interns, coding together, making real applications to solve real-world problems.

To address these issues, the SAIL team developed the Microservices And Software Tools (MAST) Program, which has several goals: 

  1. Create a stronger student talent pool through advanced experiential learning.
  2. Create a BU-centric pipeline from student to working professional. 
  3. Enable software-dependent, domain-specific research at the university.
  4. Strengthen staff and faculty partnerships with student-centric organizations.
  5. Increase leadership and mentorship opportunities for university staff.
  6. Enhance organizational/department-level productivity through the instantiation of new software tools/products.

Through this program, students will have opportunities to learn and apply industry-leading software development practices to build open-source microservices and software tools and integrate them into a host of applications that are already under development with SAIL. Students will have the opportunity to gain skills in areas such as software and API deployment, software testing, code review, stakeholder management, team/client communication, team/client collaboration, and Agile Project Management, and will benefit from the guidance and mentorship of SAIL professional software engineers. This suite of microservices will also increase SAIL’s capabilities, enabling them to make applications for researchers easier to scale and faster to develop. 

In collaboration with BU Spark!, SAIL will offer project-based learning opportunities for juniors and seniors participating in the X-Lab practicum and will also recruit undergraduate and graduate student interns to work with SAIL engineers on developing software products. Students will be able to leverage this experience in coursework and personal projects, senior capstones, undergraduate research, and projects for their eventual professional careers.

This program has the potential to further enable BU to employ more professional software engineering resources, become a model for teaching students advanced applications of software engineering/development skills, and support faculty with the production of quality software products. 

Ultimately, MAST will embody the true benefits of having a professionally staffed software group, embedded within a university setting, that is equipped to provide technical guidance and mentorship. 

Project Team

Will Tomlinson Headshot

William Tomlinson

Director of SAIL

Dr. William Tomlinson., is the Director of the Software & Application Innovation Lab (SAIL) at Boston University. In this capacity, William is responsible for overseeing operations, shaping, and implementing long-term strategic plans, and managing organizational grown while seeking to develop new opportunities and partnerships. Tomlinson

Upcoming Events

View All
  • 01 March

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    01
  • 06 March

    AI Info Session 7: Student Use of Generative AI

    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Zoom--registration required
    06
  • 08 March

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    08
  • 13 March

    Grade Center in Blackboard Original

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    13
  • 14 March

    Blackboard Ultra - Assignments, Assessment & Rubrics

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    14
  • 15 March

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    15
  • 19 March

    Gradebook in Blackboard Ultra

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    19
  • 19 March

    Lightning Talks: Creativity and Innovation in the Classroom

    12:15 PM - 1:15 PM Zoom--registration required
    19
  • 20 March

    Introduction to Blackboard Original

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    20
  • 22 March

    AI Teaching Co-Lab: Incorporating AI in the Classroom

    11:00 AM - 12:30 PM TBD
    22
  • 22 March

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    22
  • 26 March

    Introduction to Blackboard Ultra

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    26
  • 28 March

    Blackboard Original - Assignments, Assessment & Rubrics

    12:00 AM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    28
  • 29 March

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    29
  • 05 April

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    05
  • 09 April

    Faculty Forum 2024 InnovateEDU: Exploring the Future of Learning at BU

    12:30 PM - 5:30 PM
    09
  • 12 April

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    12
  • 16 April

    Introduction to Blackboard Ally

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    16
  • 18 April

    Grade Center in Blackboard Original

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    18
  • 19 April

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    19
  • 23 April

    Teaching Through Experiential Learning Lightning Talk

    12:15 PM - 1:15 PM Virtual on zoom
    23
  • 24 April

    Gradebook in Blackboard Ultra

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    24
  • 26 April

    AI Teaching Co-Lab: Generative AI: Accessibility + Equity

    11:00 AM - 12:30 PM TBD
    26
  • 26 April

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    26
  • 03 May

    CTL Drop-in Office Hours for Hub Teaching and Learning

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Online - Zoom Meeting
    03