Welcome to MilkyWay@home

What is MilkyWay@home?

Milkyway@Home uses the BOINC platform to harness volunteered computing resources, creating a highly accurate three dimensional model of the Milky Way galaxy using data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This project enables research in both astroinformatics and computer science.

In computer science, the project is investigating different optimization methods which are resilient to the fault-prone, heterogeneous and asynchronous nature of Internet computing; such as evolutionary and genetic algorithms, as well as asynchronous newton methods. While in astroinformatics, Milkyway@Home is generating highly accurate three dimensional models of the Sagittarius stream, which provides knowledge about how the Milky Way galaxy was formed and how tidal tails are created when galaxies merge.

Milkyway@Home is a joint effort between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's departments of Computer Science and Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy. Feel free to contact us via our forums, or email astro[at]cs.lists.rpi[dot]edu.

Read more on our Science Page, or check out our YouTube Channel!

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Social Media

People

Milkyway@Home is currently run by:
  • Travis Desell, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of North Dakota
  • Heidi Newberg, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Malik Magdon-Ismail, Professor of Computer Science
  • Carlos Varela, Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • Boleslaw Szymanski, Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor of Computer Science
  • Jake Weiss, Postdoctoral Researcher in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Eric Mendelsohn, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Blurf, Volunteer Forum Moderator
With Ongoing Support from:
  • Siddhartha Shelton, PhD Physics
  • Matthew Newby, Adjunct Faculty in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Jeffery Thompson, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Apllied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Matt Arsenault, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics
With previous support from:
  • Benjamin Willet, Postdoctoral Researcher in Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy
  • Nathan Cole, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy
  • Maia Marchetti, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Adam Susser, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Jake Bauer, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Steve Ulins, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics
  • Colin Rice, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics
  • Shane Reilly, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Joe Doran, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Brian Chitester, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Dave Przybylo, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • John Vickers, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy
  • Anthony Waters, Graduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Clayton Rayment, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy

Funding

Funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Milkway@home is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendtions expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

Individual grants are listed on the information page.

User of the Day

User profile Profile[IntelC]maxxmaxim500 thousand credit badge11 year member badge
Salve... Sono un ragazzo italiano, abito in provincia di Roma, faccio parte del team Boinc.Italy e sono felicissimo di dare un aiuto alla scienza.

News

New Separation Runs 6/9/2021
Hello Everyone,

I've just put some new separation runs up on the server. Remember those stripe 84 and 85 runs that would start to throw validate errors as they became more optimized? I've been testing and comparing runs on different builds and *hopefully* that problem has been resolved.

The names of the new runs are:

de_modfit_84_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix
de_modfit_84_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset2
de_modfit_84_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset3
de_modfit_85_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix
de_modfit_85_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset2
de_modfit_85_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset3

Please keep an eye on these runs and let me know if anything odd happens (validate errors or otherwise). With any luck, everything will work perfectly! These are the last runs that need to optimized before the latest results of separation can be submitted to a journal to be published.

Additionally, I have taken down the following runs:

de_modfit_80_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_81_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_82_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_83_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_86_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7

As always, the stopped runs will continue to show up in your workunit queue for a few days as they finish up. This is normal and expected. Thank you all for your support and help with this project.

Best,
Tom
9 Jun 2021, 23:14:57 UTC · Discuss


New NBody Runs! (05/19/2021)
Hey everyone!

It's been a while, and a lot has happened! We recently sent a paper for review on the mass and radial profile of the Orphan Stream, so we should be publishing the results of our last set of optimizations within the next few months. We have also been working on the latest version of the MW@home NBody application (v1.80). The simulation now includes the Large Magellanic Cloud in our gravitational calculations, and we added the capacity for our code to fit the orbit of our progenitor dwarf galaxy simultaneously with the mass and shape. This version has been in production for a long time, and we are happy to finally move on to the next phase of our project.

These are the runs that were just put up:
-de_nbody_05_19_2021_v180_40k__sim__1
-de_nbody_05_19_2021_v180_40k__sim__2
-de_nbody_05_19_2021_v180_40k__sim__3

This is a new version of NBody, so any old workunits will likely fail. These newer runs will (hopefully) work just fine. If you have any questions or have any issues with these new runs, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Thank you all for your continued support,

-Eric
19 May 2021, 20:32:15 UTC · Discuss


Where MilkyWay@home Was The Last Few Days
Hello Everyone,

On Friday, May 7th, RPI experienced a cyber-attack that forced RPI to rapidly take down their entire network. This included email, on-campus internet, and connection to the MilkyWay@home server. We were caught by surprise by the network going down, so we were unfortunately not able to warn our volunteers about this problem or shut down the server ahead of time.

We updated our social media a few times during this outage, but please understand that we did not know when service would come back up for MilkyWay@home until connection to the server actually came back up. During this time, RPI IT was working on understanding the extent of the attack, making sure that the attack did not get any worse, and setting up precautions for the future that would prevent this sort of attack. We were not in control of when the server went down or when it would go back up.

Please know that the attack did not impact Linux-based machines (such as the MilkyWay@home server). Additionally, no personal information on the website was accessed or affected by the cyber-attack.

Thank you volunteers for your patience and understanding. If you have any questions I'm happy to do my best to answer them.

Best,
Tom
17 May 2021, 20:42:23 UTC · Discuss


New Separation Runs 2/3/2021
Hey Everyone,

The following Separation runs had to come down due to the server outage:

de_modfit_80_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_4
de_modfit_81_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_4
de_modfit_82_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_4
de_modfit_83_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_4
de_modfit_86_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_4

I have put up the following new runs on the server:

de_modfit_80_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_81_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_82_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_83_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_84_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_85_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_86_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7

The skip from 4 to 7 involves me putting test runs on the server while we were debugging some of the recent problems. Please let me know when stripes 84 and 85 begin throwing validation errors and I can take those down when the errors/runs ratio reaches ~10%.

Best,
Tom
3 Feb 2021, 16:56:58 UTC · Discuss


The Last Couple Days
Hi Everyone,

As I'm sure you're all aware by now, the server went through a bit of maintenance the last couple days and now seems to be working normally. We had to clear out a lot of backlog workunits due to technical problems on our side. The bad news is that if you crunched workunits in the last two or three days, those workunits may have been deleted before they were validated, meaning that you might not be getting credit for them. The good news is that the server is working again and that we have taken precautions so that this won't happen again in the future.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. This caught us by surprise just as it caught all of you by surprise, and know that we will always try our best to communicate with you all when these sorts of things happen.

Best,
Tom
3 Feb 2021, 16:49:59 UTC · Discuss


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