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

News

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


MilkyWay Maintainance Continuing 2/2/2021
Hi Everyone,

The MilkyWay@home server will continue to experience maintenance outages today as we work on resolving the problem with the transitioner. Again, thanks for all your patience. You can check the status of the server at any time at https://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/server_status.php.

Best,
Tom
2 Feb 2021, 16:28:20 UTC · Discuss


Milky Way Maintainance 2/1/2021
Hey Everyone,

The MilkyWay server will be going down from 4PM today until midnight. After this outage, we should have the server up and running as normal, and the workunit generation issue will hopefully be solved.

Best,
Tom
1 Feb 2021, 17:54:13 UTC · Discuss


MilkyWay Workunit Generation Outage
Hello Everyone,

MilkyWay@home is experiencing a temporary outage of the stream_fit_generator and the nbody_work_generator. You can see the status of the server here: https://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/server_status.php. This outage means that you will not receive new workunits from the server. You may receive jobs for validation, but those tasks will begin to slow down as workunits finish validating.

I have spent some time tracking down the problem, and I think that I know how to fix things. However, I need to make sure that my proposed fix won't accidentally break anything else, which will take some time, especially since it is the weekend. I would expect the workunit generation to remain down at least until tomorrow afternoon. I will post an update as soon as we know more.

Apologies for any inconvenience that this issue caused. Thank you to the people who let me know that there was a problem. As always, we appreciate all the time and effort our volunteers have spent on this project.

Best,
Tom
31 Jan 2021, 23:59:36 UTC · Discuss


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