The result is the combined power of all the computers on the Grid.
The existing GRID on Harvard Campus is managed and maintained by Research Computing Division of FAS and more details can be found at www.rc.fas.harvard.edu. Many researchers/scientists campus wide are utilizing this grid to come up with breakthroughs ranging from research in Physics to Biological Sciences, to Economic Modelling
But the purpose of this project is to extend the scope and bind together all the available computers on campus into appripriate number of manageable grids and use the computing capacity to answer some of the toughest challenges we are facing today.
Several practical ideas where such huge computing power could be used are
- Economic downfall reconstruction by simulating and comparing economic activities from decades 1991 to 2000 and 2001 to 2010
- Digital Libraries in the digital age (Saving space,costs and paper, making accessibility easy, taking Crimson in more greener path)
- Helping banks and other financial institutions implement revolutionary and fool proof finger printing technology in ATM transactions and other places where there is a need for enhanced biometric security in this digital age.
- Effectively scanning cargo (both domestic and international) making cargo handling more safer and efficient
- The rate at which banks minted money the last decade compared to this decade is the same. The population of any given nation is also stable but why are many nations across the globe in economic crisis and recession? Modelling the money flow and concentration in different areas of an economy helps us learn which industry needs more attention and which one needs less.
- Recent threat where a teenager got masked himself as an old man and travelled from Hong Kong to Canada is an alarming threat/challenge/loophole to the airport security authorities and could be the beginning of new method to steal facial identities. Another checkpoint in the airports with scanners to detect and prevent such incidents is advisable.
- Soon, the total computers in the world will turn 1 Billion in number vs. 7 Billion human beings. 1:7 is the ratio and this gives us enough evidence that we have decent computing resources available.
- Nations like India are starting to implement the National Unique ID for their citizens (similar to SSN in the US) and with nearly 20% of world's population, they need huge computing power to make such projects a success.
If none of these look lucrative and useful, we can donate the computing power to World Community Grid (a non profit organization sponsored and owned by IBM) where the available computing power is put to use for many humanitarian benefits. Again, we are not donating computers. We are just donating unused, futile and wasted CPU cycles during our computer idling time! and it costs nothing. Learn more about how to participate/donate at http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/ and scroll to "About us" and then hit "Become a partner" for a presentation on how to become a partner. (Enrollment information can be found directly at http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/about_us/viewBecomePartner.do ).