Recently, World Community Grid enlisted its 100,000th computer and its first university partner, Marist College, in the humanitarian effort to find answers to the world’s most daunting scientific problems through unparalleled computational research provided by IBM.
World Community Grid (www.worldcommunitygrid.org/) is harnessing the unused computer power of the world’s computers and directing it to humanitarian efforts. In less than five months, more than 64,000 individuals have signed up their personal and business computers and have donated more than 8,250 years of run time.
The Human Proteome Folding Project, World Community Grid’s first project, is identifying the proteins that make up the Human Proteome so that scientists can better identify causes and potential cures for diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. In this project, World Community Grid has completed more than 6 million work units in five months, which might have taken a large supercomputer five years to accomplish.
“World Community Grid has tremendous appeal and in a few months already has enabled individuals concerned about important causes like fighting cancer to get involved in the solution,” said Stanley Litow, vice president of IBM corporate community relations, and president of the IBM International Foundation. “We are very excited to welcome Marist College as World Community Grid’s first university partner. We applaud Marist’s leadership as the first of many universities we expect to join this effort.”
Marist College, a liberal arts college located in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., is noted for its leadership in the use of technology to enhance the teaching and learning process. By joining World Community Grid, Marist has the potential to contribute more than 7,000 PCs and laptops to this humanitarian effort.
“Joining World Community Grid was a natural for us,” said Marist College president Dennis J. Murray. “With our emphasis on technology and our commitment to serving others, we saw this opportunity as a great way to get our students directly involved in a very innovative project first hand. By joining World Community Grid, they are learning about the power of Grid computing while at the same time giving back to society, which is in keeping with the Marist mission.”
Grid computing is a rapidly emerging technology that can bring together the collective power of thousands or millions of individual computers to create a giant “virtual” system with massive computational strength. With more than 650 million PCs in use around the world, World Community Grid is working to create the world’s largest Grid solely for humanitarian purposes — in essence a virtual supercomputer for good works.
World Community Grid has the capacity to run five to six projects a year for public and not-for-profit organizations. Research results will be made available to the world research community. Projects in the following disciplines will be considered:
- Medical Research — Genomics, proteomics, epidemiology and biological system research.
- Environmental Research — Ecology, climatology, pollution and preservation.
- Basic Research — Human health and welfare related studies.
Researchers and scientists interested in having their work considered for use on World Community Grid can apply via a Request for Proposals at www.worldcommunitygrid.org/projects_showcase/submit_a_proposal.html.
Individuals can volunteer their idle and unused computing power by downloading World Community Grid’s free software and registering at www.worldcommunitygrid.org/.