I' am Pietro Crociani a master's student in Mathematical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano. I' am interested in free software and I have used Octave in my academical career.
Up to now I have never started a serious commitment in any open source project and I would like to try doing something now. As a part of this process my eventual desire is to be able to take part in the next GSoC.
I know that it's a bit early but, do you already have an idea of which project are you going to propose? Do you have any suggestion on how to prepare myself? How can I start working on something now?
It's never too early! The wiki page  has general suggestions for getting started and a list of potential topics. The topics need to be updated for next year, but if you see a project that interests you, you can contact the listed mentors or this mailing list to find out the current status and how you can get involved.