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World Community Grid
Austin Public Schools: First School District to Join World Community Grid

Millions of personal computers sit idly on desks and in homes worldwide. During this idle time, the mysteries of science and space continue to elude us. What if each of the world's estimated 650 million PCs could be linked to focus on humanity's most pressing issues?

To make this vision a reality, AISD has become a partner of World Community Grid, joining the IBM Corporation and a group of leading associations, foundations, academic institutions and companies. AISD is encouraging its staff, students, and community to contribute their idle PC time to World Community Grid at www.worldcommunitygrid.org.

World Community Grid establishes a permanent, flexible infrastructure that provides researchers with a readily available pool of computational power that can be used to solve problems plaguing humanity. Importantly, World Community Grid is easy and safe to use.

To join, members should go to www.worldcommunitygrid.org and simply download and install a free, small software program on their computers. When idle, your computers request data from World Community Grid's server. Computers then perform computations using this data, send the results back to the server and prompt it for a new piece of work.

"World Community Grid provides our District staff, students and community, with an efficient and effective way to make a difference on problems that plague humanity," said Superintendent Pat Forgione, Jr. "We are asking our folks to join World Community Grid as part of our overall efforts to enrich the lives of our member communities."

Forgione is asking that people who join World Community Grid become a member of the AISD team. As part of the team, members will earn points as part of the association and as an individual. AISD will publicize the points it earns as an association both internally and externally.

World Community Grid will address global humanitarian issues, such as:

  • New and existing infectious disease research: Researching cures for HIV and AIDS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), malaria and others.
  • Genomic and disease research: The Human Proteome Folding project-World Community Grid's first project-seeks to help identify the functions of the proteins that are coded by human genes.
  • Natural disasters and hunger: World Community Grid applications can help researchers and scientists with earthquake predictions, improving crop yields and evaluating the supply of critical natural resources like water.

What is grid technology?

Grid technology joins together many individual computers, creating a large system with massive computational power that exceeds the power of a few supercomputers. This capability can be applied, on a global scale, to very large and complex problems for the benefit of humanity.

The benefits are proven. In 2003, the IBM Corporation was one of the sponsors of a smallpox study that took advantage of grid computing. This study, using today's largest available super computers, would have taken years to complete. With grid computing, this study was completed in less than six months and identified 45 potential smallpox-treatment candidates.

Join World Community Grid as part of the AISD team today! Please go to www.worldcommunitygrid.org.

World Community Grid

Join World Community Grid as part of the AISD team today! Please go to www.worldcommunitygrid.org.