Fleet Science Center joins World Community Grid

San Diego 22 August 2005The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, one of San Diego's most popular attractions with more than 550.000 annual visitors, has become the first cultural institution to participate in the largest technology humanitarian effort ever, IBM's World Community Grid. The Fleet Science Center will run World Community Grid on its administrative computers donating their idle computing time to this effort to find answers to some of the world's most challenging problems through unparalleled computational research provided by IBM. In addition, the Fleet Science Center will educate and encourage its hundreds of thousands of visitors to join World Community Grid.

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World Community Grid is harnessing the unused computer power of the world's computers and directing it to efforts that will help society. In nine months, World Community Grid has donated nearly 15.000 years of computer run time to scientific research through the more than 130.000 personal and business computers that have joined this effort.

"As San Diego's leading centre for informal science learning, we are happy to become a part of World Community Grid and contribute to current scientific research", stated Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch, executive director of the Fleet Science Center. "IBM has made it so easy to join the Grid that we plan on recruiting new participants from the 100.000 students and teachers that take part in our programmes every year."

World Community Grid's first project is the Human Proteome Folding project sponsored by the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB). The project is nearly 75 percent complete and is on track to be completed in less than a year. Without World Community Grid's donated power, the project would have taken approximately 100 years to complete with ISB's current computational power.

"We've been involved with the museum through our KidSmart and TryScience programmes and are very excited to welcome the Fleet Science Center as a partner to World Community Grid", stated IBM's senior executive in San Diego, William Ray. "The Fleet Science Center has the unique ability to reach educators, students and families and teach them how a small contribution can help make a huge difference. We applaud the museum's joining World Community Grid and look forward to working with it on this project."

Just last month, William Ray joined State Senator Denise Ducheny on a walking tour of the Fleet Center where IBM had donated a TryScience Kiosk to enable students to have instant and continuous access to the best information and interactive experiments from more than 600 of the world's finest museums.

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 organisations. 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. Individuals can volunteer their idle and unused computing power by downloading World Community Grid's free software and registering at the World Community Grid Web site. More news on the World Community Grid is available in the VMW July 2005 article Association for Computing Machinery joins World Community Grid.


Leslie Versweyveld

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