University of Vermont

To lower barriers to large-scale research computing through the development of a distributed, volunteer, in-browser system for elastic computing resources

  • Amount $683,273
  • City Burlington, VT
  • Investigator Josh Bongard
  • Year 2018
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Data & Computational Research

Distributed volunteer computing has not changed substantially since the late 1990s when the SETI@Home project offered a downloadable screensaver that used spare PC computing cycles to analyze radio astronomy data, and thereby allowed hundreds of thousands of citizens to participate in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Computer scientist Josh Bongard at the University of Vermont proposes to bring that idea of volunteer computing into the internet era by building a volunteer computing platform that lives in the web browser, allowing users who visit a special webpage to contribute computing capacity and/or disk storage to computational researchers. This grant will provide three years of support to Bongard and his team for the initial build out and deployment of the platform, which could complement or provide an alternative to local supercomputing facilities and cloud services from companies like Amazon or Microsoft.

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