Presented by

  • Elizabeth Xiao

    Elizabeth Xiao

    Elizabeth is a mathematics student who occasionally ventures into programming. Her TA work at the University of British Columbia has primarily involved the maintenance and support of Plom, an in-house free and open-source marking software. This summer she is collaborating with a hydrology research group at UBC to develop mathematical models simulating the flow of water in watersheds. She completed her BSc and MSc in mathematics at the University of British Columbia and will be starting a PhD at Caltech the fall. She lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Plom is a system for giving tests on paper, but marking and returning them online. Several commercial and proprietary solutions for online exam marking exist, but are prohibitively expensive for academic institutions with small budgets, and collect and/or use students' data in ways that may be objectionable. Plom, however, is Free and Open Source Software licensed under the AGPL-v3, and gives users full control over the marking process and student data. Plom has been in use in the Mathematics Department of the University of British Columbia since October 2018, and is still under active development. Our current goal is to scale-up the project so it can be easily adopted by other departments across UBC and at other institutions. This presentation will be an overview of the current state of the Plom system and instructions on how to use the software or contribute to the project.