Asia@home: Volunteer Computing

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

16 - 17 April 2009, Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China)
Academia Sinica


Academia Sinica Grid Computing in conjunction with the International Symposium on Grid Computing

Project details

Background for the workshop

Volunteer computing is an established technology that enables ordinary citizens around the globe to contribute to important challenges in fundamental science and medicine, by providing idle time on their PCs and even partaking in data analysis via the Internet. For scientists, volunteer computing represents a free and essentially unlimited computing resource. Made popular already a decade ago by the screen saver project SETI@home, volunteer computing now counts over 50 projects running in a wide variety of scientific domains, including climate change, astrophysics earthquake monitoring and epidemiology. Several million volunteers are contributing to such projects, many of which use a common software platform called BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing). However, so far almost all these projects have been launched by scientists in North America and Europe. Therefore, this workshop aims to increase awareness of volunteer computing more widely in Asia.

Scope of the workshop

The objective of the two-day Asia@home workshop is to introduce the technologies underlying volunteer computing to scientists in Asia, who are interested to use volunteer computing as a tool in their future research. The workshop takes a hands-on approach, mixing lectures by leading developers of volunteer computing software with case studies by scientists who have been applying it in a number of fields. In addition, topics such as the interfacing of Grid computing and cloud computing with volunteer computing will be addressed, with demos of practical solutions. The participants will be tutored in several aspects of volunteer computing, including how to adapt existing code to run in volunteer mode using BOINC, how to install a server for volunteer computing, and new trends in "volunteer thinking" projects where the volunteer does data analysis via a web interface, using a new software platform called Bossa. A detailed programme and list of confirmed lecturers is provided below.

Role of ICVolunteers

ICVolunteers was involved in the development and implementation of the Africa@home project and trainings (2005-2007). It helped select and manage students and cybervolunteers for the project. It was also involved in reporting and documentation of the Cape Town workshop on Volunteer Computing.

For Asia@home, its reporters will conduct interviews and research about volunteer motivations. If you are interested in the results of the event, have a look at the Conference Wiki, which will contain interviews and tutorials.

External links

Short Term Projects

ICVolunteers promotes volunteerism and its recognition, by enhancing civic commitment and involvement, and by providing leadership and links between organizations, individuals and communities. With this perspective, ICVolunteers develops projects and leads initiatives.

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