DOUBLE CREDITS Fundraiser - Request for Funding for MilkyWay@home
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Matthew
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Message 50078 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 17:54:06 UTC

The big news! We have been planning a double-credit fund-raising event here at Milkyway@home. To explain the details, here's a letter from Prof. Heidi Newberg:



Dear MilkyWay@home volunteers,

I want to first thank all of you for helping us study the Milky Way galaxy by donating your CPU and GPU cycles to our project. Some of you have also contributed your computational expertise, or contributed cash or GPU cards to our projects. We appreciate all of these gifts. MilkyWay@home CPU/GPU cycles have contributed to defining the distribution of stars in the Sagittarius dwarf tidal stream. Stars in this stream were pulled off of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, which is in orbit around the Milky Way, by the Milky Way's gravity. In addition, novel computational techniques have been developed for asynchronous parameter searches using a heterogeneous volunteer network.
Over the next year we plan to modify MilkyWay@home to measure the overall distribution of stars in the Milky Way halo. The magnitude of your generosity has made it possible for us to dream bigger dreams. We are starting to transform MilkyWay@home to do n-body simulations of several dwarf galaxy tidal disruptions at the same time. We can then change the model parameters for the Milky Way's gravity and for the properties of the dwarf galaxies so that they match the properties of actual tidal streams in the Milky Way. This is a big job and a new field, and we would not be able to contemplate doing this if you were not volunteering the equivalent of one of the largest supercomputers in the world to this task. Presently, we have taken only the first steps towards this, by simulating the disruption of a single dwarf galaxy and varying only the parameters of the dwarf itself. We have quite a lot to learn in developing the correct techniques for solving this problem, but if we are successful we will eventually find out how much mass (mostly dark matter) is in the Milky Way, and how it is distributed in space.

A year ago, I was successful in getting an NSF grant funded that supports my astronomy research on the Milky Way, and a significant part of that grant was justified by the use of your volunteer computing cycles. We are still seeking grant funding that will support the computer science research side of MilkyWay@home. A few years ago when we were stretched for funding between grants, we raised about $7000 in private donations, most of which were from MilkyWay@home volunteers. The remaining portion of this funding is currently being used on summer salary to support Matthew Arsenault, who is working on converting our n-body code so that it will run on GPUs. Matthew recently received his BS degree from RPI, and has been working on MilkyWay@home code for more than a year. He will be entering our PhD program this fall. He will be supported as a teaching assistant during the coming school year, but I am again turning to the volunteers to help me support him in summer 2012. Currently, I do not have funding to guarantee that I can support him. The cost of a graduate student summer salary plus institutional overhead is about $10,000. Of course, we can always do more with extra funding, but students are my top priority. Matthew has done a fabulous job implementing our current n-body simulations.

We are therefore launching the following "thank you" and fundraising campaign. On September 1, 2011, we will run MilkyWay@home with double credit. Hopefully, this will at least make up for some of the credit lost when MilkyWay@home was not operational for software, hardware, or air conditioning emergencies. We understand that these have been frustrating to some users, but be assured that they were much more frustrating for us.

In addition, we will run MilkyWay@home with double credit for one additional day for every $500 raised between now and September 1, 2011. Donations can be made with paypal or credit card online at:
http://www.dudleyobservatory.org/MilkyWayAtHome/MilkyWayAtHome2.html
Payments by check can be made out to Dudley Observatory and mailed to: Dudley Observatory, 107 Nott Terrace, Suite 201, Schenectady, NY 12308, with MilkyWay@home in the comments line of the check, or with a letter that explains that the donation is to MilkyWay@home. For donations in other forms, you may contact me directly (heidi@rpi.edu). The donations are tax deductible, and you will receive a letter from Dudley Observatory that can be used for tax purposes. Donations will be used to fund graduate or undergraduate students, travel, publication, materials, or equipment costs related to Milky Way research and education. For gifts over $1000, donors may specify a person, family, or organization to be acknowledged in research publications which are partially supported by this donation, and to receive a signed, printed copy of the publication.

Again, we thank you for your support of our research project. We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who are willing to contribute.

Sincerely,
Prof. Heidi Newberg


Further questions and comments are welcome in this thread.

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Message 50085 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 18:55:25 UTC

So does this mean the 2 days of double credit are still going to happen or is this instead of those?
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Message 50086 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 19:02:48 UTC

I read it as that you have to 'pay' if you want any 'double credit'.

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Message 50087 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 19:28:59 UTC

And I quote from Travis's post on April 9, 2011 :

Since we had to wipe the database clean to get the server up and running, I know a lot of you lost a lot of credit on work you had done while the server has been down. So just as a thank you for everyone sticking with us while we've been dealing with these problems, and as a little payback for all the work lost; once we get the server up and running smoothly again we're going to have a temporary period of double credit (I'm thinking a day or two). Hopefully it will make up for a bit of the work that was lost.

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=2331#47270

The above was to ONLY make up for the credit we lost for the database being wiped. We've lost a lot more since then and those promised double credit days should not be tied to the new fundraising deal above. Those days were to make up for our credit that was dumped during the rollback. It's already been over 3 months since the above promise was made. Now the deal is changing?

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Message 50088 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 19:44:47 UTC

Sort of. We get 1 day double credit and the rest depends on how much we pay.

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Message 50089 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 19:45:52 UTC - in response to Message 50086.

I read it as that you have to 'pay' if you want any 'double credit'.


The double credit will run for everyone, but the number of days it will run for depends on the total amount raised by the fund-raiser.

-Matthew N

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Message 50090 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 19:47:52 UTC

I have emailed the other Admins and Professor Newberg to ask for clarification.
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Message 50091 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 19:49:56 UTC - in response to Message 50087.

And I quote from Travis's post on April 9, 2011 :

Since we had to wipe the database clean to get the server up and running, I know a lot of you lost a lot of credit on work you had done while the server has been down. So just as a thank you for everyone sticking with us while we've been dealing with these problems, and as a little payback for all the work lost; once we get the server up and running smoothly again we're going to have a temporary period of double credit (I'm thinking a day or two). Hopefully it will make up for a bit of the work that was lost.

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=2331#47270

The above was to ONLY make up for the credit we lost for the database being wiped. We've lost a lot more since then and those promised double credit days should not be tied to the new fundraising deal above. Those days were to make up for our credit that was dumped during the rollback. It's already been over 3 months since the above promise was made. Now the deal is changing?


I was unaware of Travis' previous promise. Those double credit days will be independent from the fund-raiser days.

-Matthew

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Message 50092 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 20:08:43 UTC
Last modified: 14 Jul 2011, 20:10:53 UTC

I don't understand all this discussion about double credit.... you want a day of double credit because MW was down for one day ?????
Whats going on here people ???
Do we crunch for credit ? Or do we crunch for donation in science ????
?
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Message 50093 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 20:10:51 UTC - in response to Message 50092.

I don't understand all this discussion about double credit.... you want a day of double credit because MW was down for one day ?????
Whats going on here people ???
Doe we crunch for credit ? Or doe we crunch for donation in science ????
?


Chris--this has nothing to do w/ yesterday's outage. A few months back there was a significant multi-day outage due to a database crash. There were some double-credit days promised to make up for the loss of credits from that experience.

Please don't hijack this thread into a credit-vs-science debate.

Thank You
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Message 50094 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 20:28:47 UTC

Chris--this has nothing to do w/ yesterday's outage.

Yes i know...
But i i'm not sure that this is the right way:
In addition, we will run MilkyWay@home with double credit for one additional day for every $500 raised between now and September 1, 2011.

Only my opinion...
:)

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Message 50095 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 20:41:57 UTC
Last modified: 14 Jul 2011, 20:43:12 UTC

........... On September 1, 2011, we will run MilkyWay@home with double credit. Hopefully, this will at least make up for some of the credit lost when MilkyWay@home was not operational for software, hardware, or air conditioning emergencies. We understand that these have been frustrating to some users, but be assured that they were much more frustrating for us.

In addition, we will run MilkyWay@home with double credit for one additional day for every $500 raised between now and September 1, 2011......


ie Double credit days (2), plus more double credit days in addition depending on donations.

Kept their promise and possibly more to come, seems fair to me. Running it during high summer with their a/c problems would not be the best idea on the block.

Regards
Zy

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Message 50096 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 20:43:15 UTC - in response to Message 50091.

And I quote from Travis's post on April 9, 2011 :

Since we had to wipe the database clean to get the server up and running, I know a lot of you lost a lot of credit on work you had done while the server has been down. So just as a thank you for everyone sticking with us while we've been dealing with these problems, and as a little payback for all the work lost; once we get the server up and running smoothly again we're going to have a temporary period of double credit (I'm thinking a day or two). Hopefully it will make up for a bit of the work that was lost.

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=2331#47270

The above was to ONLY make up for the credit we lost for the database being wiped. We've lost a lot more since then and those promised double credit days should not be tied to the new fundraising deal above. Those days were to make up for our credit that was dumped during the rollback. It's already been over 3 months since the above promise was made. Now the deal is changing?

I was unaware of Travis' previous promise. Those double credit days will be independent from the fund-raiser days. -Matthew

Thank You (as in Mad Max III, "Bust a deal, face the wheel." :)

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Message 50097 - Posted: 14 Jul 2011, 20:59:03 UTC - in response to Message 50094.

Chris! The main issue here is not the credit it self. It is all about that the staff must learn to stand by their own words & promises (Beyond had a beter expression for this:) ) and it seams to be sorted out now.

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Message 50099 - Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 11:42:25 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jul 2011, 12:15:02 UTC

One sees very well that the responsible are not politicians, and that's nice;-)
It sounds a little rascal in announcing the double credit days with a donation action
in the same breath, but once these projects are now living from donations. Do other projects too.

A politician would have said: "It is unfortunately only a day because Boinc(, or anybody else) is against it, but in tough negotiations.
I have a great deal enforced :...."

I have done a small (about 10 EURO) donation, I wanted to do anyway before, and when do the lot, then we have 20 double credit Days.

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Message 50100 - Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 14:38:54 UTC - in response to Message 50097.

Chris! The main issue here is not the credit it self. It is all about that the staff must learn to stand by their own words & promises (Beyond had a beter expression for this:) ) and it seams to be sorted out now.


That's true. And if one takes a closer look on other promises (screensaver coming soon) and other projects (dna@home) I assume the double credit days will be in septober or ocvember. ;)

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Message 50102 - Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 19:41:47 UTC - in response to Message 50100.

Chris! The main issue here is not the credit it self. It is all about that the staff must learn to stand by their own words & promises (Beyond had a beter expression for this:) ) and it seams to be sorted out now.


That's true. And if one takes a closer look on other promises (screensaver coming soon) and other projects (dna@home) I assume the double credit days will be in septober or ocvember. ;)


Ahh... but what year??
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Message 50103 - Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 19:47:35 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jul 2011, 20:40:14 UTC

I'm a bit conflicted with the issue of pay something (from all of us) and get more credits (for all of us) if we all give enough. I'm sure Dr. Newberg has only the best of intentions, but this seems to run contrary to volunteerism on BOINC in my opinion. This just ain't right! It's like buying votes. I give her high marks for watching out for her students, but maybe there's a better (unspecified) way?

I have no problem donating to projects to keep them running. I'd even help to keep Matt around :) Bribes (implied or overt) are another thing however.

I know, I know, the offer was never intended to be interpreted this way, but it does seem to be a first for BOINC for a non-profit organization.

I would respectfully suggest that this offer be reconsidered. I will yield to the multitude should their opinions be different than mine.

Rick Goddard
Laurel MD USA

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Message 50104 - Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 22:18:41 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jul 2011, 22:20:07 UTC

Purple Rabbit---I will disagree with you.

Any double-credit days that result from the donation drive will benefit ALL actively crunching MW crunchers...not just the donators. That's not bribery. It's an opportunity for all if you choose to participate...noone is forcing you to.

Fact is the project could use some more resources. We are trying to offer you all a very specific way to benefit from giving.
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Message 50110 - Posted: 16 Jul 2011, 2:56:42 UTC - in response to Message 50089.

I read it as that you have to 'pay' if you want any 'double credit'.


The double credit will run for everyone, but the number of days it will run for depends on the total amount raised by the fund-raiser.

-Matthew N

Yes, that's the way I read the letter.
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