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Janos Barbero, The challenge of scientific discovery games

FoltIt is a protein folding video game. Proteins are chains of amino acids, and they form a unique 3D structure which is key to their function. Distributed computing isn’t enough to understand protein structures. Game where you try to fold the protein yourself. Game design is difficult, but even more difficult when constrained by the scientific problem you are trying… Read more →

Elizabeth Cochran, Distributed Sensing: using volunteer computing to monitor earthquakes around the world

Quake-Catcher Network: Using distributed sensors to record earthquakes, to put that data into existing regional seismic networks. Aim: To better understand earthquakes and mitigate seismic risk by increasing density of seismic observations. Uses new low-cost sensors that measure acceleration, so can see how much ground shakes during earthquakes. Using BOINC platform. Need volunteers to run sensors, or laptop with sensors…. Read more →

Matt Blumberg, Society of Minds – a framework for distributed thinking

GridRepublic, trying to raise awareness of volunteer computing. Provide people with a list of BOINC projects, can manage all your projects in one website. Progress Thru Processors, trying to reach people in Facebook. Join up, one click process, projects post updates to hopefully reach volunteers’ friends. Distributed thinking – what can be done if you draw on the intellectual resources… Read more →

Philip Brohan, Volunteer online transcription of historical climate records

Interested in observation, and particularly extreme weather such as torrential rain, storms. Morning of 16 Oct 1987, Great Storm in SE England, have weather records for that day, coloured by pressure. Low pressure – storminess. Can we understand its dynamics, can we predict it? Take observations and model them. Previous big storm was 1703, so if we’re interested in climatology of… Read more →

Mark Hedges, Sustaining archives

Archives, physical or digital. All sorts of documents, but many are important to historians, e.g. scraps of paper from early days of computing can be very important later on. Time consuming to find things. Dangers to sustainability – stuff gets lost, thrown away, destroyed by accident or fire. Digital archives, easier to access, but often funding runs out and we… Read more →

David Aanensen, EpiCollect – a generic framework for open data collection using smartphones

Looks at a number of projects, including which tracks MRSA spread, and Bd-Maps which looks at amphibian health. Have been developing a smartphone app so that people in the field can add data. Use GPS so location aware, can take in stills/video. EpiCollect, can submit info and access data others have submitted, and do data filtering. Android and iPhone… Read more →

Yuting Chen, Puzzle@home and the minimum information sudoku challenge

Sudoku comes from the Latin Square, invented in middle age, Leonhard Euler. But Sudoku related to the Colouring Problem, how do you colour each node in a pentagram/star so none have a neighbour the same colour. Think of Sudoku numbers as colours, each square must be different to its neighbour. Solving sudoku for all sizes – it’s not just 9… Read more →

Wenjing Wu, Citizen Cyberscience in China: CAS@home

CAS researcher focuses on where volunteer computing and thinking can help. Well known in China, and well trusted. Chinese volunteer demographics, 42k BOINC users, 420m total internet users, 1.33bn total population. Most volunteers come from eastern developed part of China. Ave age around 27, 90% male, most are students, IT pros, mid-income workers., project started in 2003 to translate… Read more →

Ben Segal, LHC@home starts to tackle real LHC physics

LHC accelerates protons and particles, analysis of resulting events is helping understand the nature of matter, origin of the universe etc. LHC@home is based on BOINC, to allow volunteers to lend their computers, started five years ago. Was a tool to help design and tune the accelerator itself. Beams circulate and collide many times per second. Objectives were to raise… Read more →

Peter Amoako-Yirenkyi, AfricaMap – volunteer cartography for Africa

A lot has been said about maps, but old maps no longer relevant. Need maps that reflect people’s real-world needs. There’s a lack of data and geo-information. UN geographic data in different formats on different platforms. Details that are required to make the map useful are just missing. Maps look good at scale of 2000 ft, but at 200 ft… Read more →

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