Friday, May 16, 2008

Humanitarian Grid Computing

IBM is supporting an effort to used unused processing time from hundreds of thousands of computers to develop stronger and more nourishing strains of rice. This type of computing "...packs as much power as the third most-powerful supercomputer in the world..."

Ram Samudrala, a 36-year-old PhD who leads a 30-member research team, says it would have taken them decades to complete their rice research using the computing power at their disposal. With access to the World Community Grid, he says, he could generate results in less than two years.

For obvious reasons, I won't install this on any work-related computers. But I'm about to install it on the PC in my kitchen. So the kids can be researching rice while playing Roller Coaster Tycoon.

This isn't a new idea though...I remember loading something similar several years ago to help in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Check out SETI@home.

SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

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