Would all the students mind posting a small follow up to this message
with a short status (1 paragraph or so) on how their project went?  I'm
afraid that I don't know how the other projects have gone.

I have been working on filter support for SoC, along with Niko. Without going into much detail, work was focused on the feGaussianBlur filter. There was significant progress with this, but unfortunately it's not yet "usable", as there are some bugs to fix. You can give it a try and play with the blur slider, on the fill/stroke dialog, but don't rely too much on it just yet.
I think overall the project was very positive, for all parts involved. Hopefully there will be updates on filters soon. I'm working on it on my free time, but I'm afraid it's not much at the moment.