University of Vermont

College of
Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

UVM CEMS ranks in top 10 of World Community Grid

Release Date: 12-10-2008

Author: Dawn Marie Densmore
Phone: Array Fax: 802-656-8802

The University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (UVM CEMS) is proud to rank in the top 10 institutions worldwide registered under "Universities and/or Departments" in the World Community Grid (WCG) effort led by IBM Corporation, a key partner of the College in education, research and innovation. Within this classification, UVM CEMS ranks ahead of the University of Illinois, Penn State, Yale and UC Davis. We also rank 99th among the 21,076 total participating teams.

The World Community Grid is a system of voluntarily interconnected desktop computers working in their "off hours" to create computational power greater than most supercomputers. The IBM WCG is similar to the well-known SETI@Home program but is focused on issues in environment and health, including projects in earthquake prediction, crop yield, water availability and cures for HIV. AIDS, cancer and malaria. A recent IBM news release announced a new partnership between IBM and Harvard University focused on clean energy, where 22 years worth of computations around solar energy alternatives will be condensed to two years.

"It's exciting for UVM CEMS to be a part of this connected and innovative effort between industry, academia and global society," said Tim Raymond, CEMS Chief Information Officer. "I hope our UVM CEMS team continues to contribute at such a high level and that even more from our community will join our great team."

The UVM CEMS team on the WCG is currently comprised of three college-wide computer labs, two mathematics computer labs, and additional individuals in CEMS who have registered computers to the team effort. The UVM CEMS system only allows WCG to run and use computer time when an individual computer is inactive.

Both CEMS and IBM Essex hope their partnership around World Community Grid will grow and spread further across campus. In November, IBM Essex invited the UVM CEMS community, members of the CEMS-managed, university-wide Vermont Advanced Computing Center (VACC), and several others at UVM to join an invited talk by Dr. Joseph Jasinski, IBM Distinguished Engineer and program director for Healthcare and Life Sciences at the IBM Watson Research Center. Jasinski spoke specifically about the IBM World Community Grid effort in a talk entitled, "Information Technology, Social Responsibility, and Collaborative Computing."

According to a recent IBM news release, IBM hopes that more people will continue to learn about the ease of joining the World Community Grid. Stanley Litow, IBM's Vice President for Corporate Citizenship and Affairs, was quoted as saying, We have all of these very, very serious humanitarian issues that are crying out for supercomputing power to create solutions. The potential of the WCG is really monumental." On the World Community Grid website, IBM notes that the WCG is roughly equivalent to the 11th most powerful supercomputer on earth. IBM launched the WCG effort four years ago and has invested $5 million in the project.

To contribute downtime cycles from your computer, visit the World Community Grid.