BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) is an open source software platform authored at UC Berkeley way back in 2002. It was originally intended to aid the [email protected] project, which analyses signals from space to search for extraterrestrial life, by distributing its compute jobs to volunteers all over the globe. However, the project grew exponentially and has since also acted as the distribution platform for many other research projects from all over the globe. Topics have included protein folding, cancer marker analysis, searching for primes, mapping the Milky Way, data analysis for the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, and many others. Since its release, hundreds of thousands of volunteers have set their computers to contribute their idle clock cycles to this colossal research grid, resulting in many scientific breakthroughs and academic papers.
In an effort to reconnect the BOINC community with the [email protected] project, and familiarise new users with what they are actually contributing to, I would like to share some [email protected] media covering the Breakthrough Listen project. All the radio telescope data generated here is analysed by [email protected] volunteers through the BOINC platform.
This is a July 13 2017 interview of Green Bank Scientist Ryan Lynch by Steve Croft. It covers a lot of the interesting and otherworldly challenges of maintaining, and living near, the colossal Green Bank array used to capture signals from space:
In case you would like to take a closer view at the telescope, here is a virtual 360 degree tour in 8k (yes, 8k!) of the Green Bank Telescope. Meet some of the staff and get a better understanding of what you are contributing to running BOINC:
If you are not already contributing to BOINC, you can get involved here. The total time to get set up is about 5 minutes from start to finish, and leaves the decision of what research to contribute to entirely up to you. The...