A great achievement for Polimi students in the latest SCORE (Student Contest on Software Engineering) competition, the final of which was held in May in Melbourne, Australia.
Four groups of students were admitted to the finals, all four of which had Polimi students within them.
"Within the Distributed software development course, which is a course in the Computer Sciences Master’s degree programme," explained Professor Raffaella Mirandola, "projects are undertaken. This course is structured in collaboration between three universities: Politecnico di Milano, University of Zagreb and University of Malardalen (Sweden)".
Prof. Mirandola again: "There are a few lectures, then the students work on a project. The groups of people working on a project are mixed, i.e. chosen from two universities: either Poli-Zagreb or Poli-Malardalen or Malardalen-Zagreb. This project is chosen from a set of projects proposed by the international SCORE competition. In this competition, sponsors propose topics for projects and a committee selects the most suitable ones."
The project by Lorenzo Poletti's group was the winner. The group was asked to develop a project that would secure a stage in the creation of an app: "That is why we created a web platform that allows user-developers to upload their own source code. Through tools supporting various languages and security aspects, the code is automatically analysed and any issues and vulnerabilities in the source code are highlighted. Our tool is for developers, not for the end user.”
To give an example: during the development of an app, take Shazam for example, which recognises the titles and artists of the songs you're listening to, developers could use Lorenzo’s group's tool to check that the code they are creating is secure and has no issues or vulnerabilities.
Matteo Visotto's project made it to the finals and was very well received, although it did not win.
It is perhapseasier to understand for those who are not familiar with the subject: “We focused on scientific papers, i.e. work on papers for doctoral students, undergraduate students or lecturers. We modified Mozilla's PDF reader (which is an implementation based on a free, editable web app) and redesigned its interface. Thinking about the classic actions of people who read papers, we created a graphic that creates the citations within the paper and a tool that automatically generates the summary of the PDF. We decided to implement the summary algorithm so that a user can select a paragraph or chapter and get the summary immediately. It came out pretty well, I must say. "
"The various student groups participating," added Prof. Mirandola, "are made up of master's level students, and we are participating with students from two different universities. The students select one of the proposed projects, then undertake the project during the course. The course has the same time frame as the competition, which is biennial”.
Semifinalists are selected through the submission of a PDF document explaining how they did the work to bring their project to life. Matteo Visotto: "The PDF explains how the project was done, but more than just the coding. We clarify how we worked as a team and how tasks were divided.
The committee that organises SCORE then selects the semi-finalists. Eligible groups must then send in the code they created to develop the project.
To sum up: in the first stage, competitors submit a document detailing the work and how team members divided tasks. Semi-finalists must submit the code.
In 2023, nine projects were chosen for the semifinals, six of them from Polimi.
The four finalist groups participated in the final, which is held as part of a week of events, workshops and conferences. In 2023 it was in Australia, in Melbourne. In 2025 it will be in Canada.
SCORE partially financed the students' trip, the other part was financed by Polimi.
“We attended the conference,” Lorenzo Poletti further explained, “workshops and interesting meetings with experts in the field. Most of the time we participated in these events. The final was on Thursday and we presented our projects. Each group had 10 minutes. An explanation, live demo and jury questions. On Friday there was the award ceremony and my team won. All four projects and products were good but we nailed the presentation. It was a good opportunity to get to know people in the industry.”