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.

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News

Validator Outage
Hey Everyone,

MilkyWay@home is currently experiencing an outage for the Separation Validator. I brought it back up once, and then it crashed again. I am trying to bring it back up. In the meantime, connections to the download/upload servers may stop and start intermittently as I work on the server.

Thanks for your patience, I will keep you updated as things change.

Tom
21 Sep 2021, 16:13:00 UTC · Discuss


NBody Runs (8/17/2021)
Hey everyone,

We've taken down the old runs and replaced them with new ones:
-de_nbody_08_17_2021_v176_40k__data__1
-de_nbody_08_17_2021_v176_40k__data__2
-de_nbody_08_17_2021_v176_40k__data__3

We expect these runs to converge smoothly. If there are any problems, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Thank you all for your continued support,

-Eric
17 Aug 2021, 20:25:14 UTC · Discuss


New Poll Regarding GPU Application of N-Body
Hey everyone,

We are currently looking at making a GPU version of N-Body. This code has been under development for quite some time, and the base code is finally working, though we would still need to implement some other features to run it alongside the CPU version. However, due to the complexity of our code and our need for double precision, the GPU version has a similar runtime to that of the CPU version, though there may be some speed-up on professional grade GPU cards. For reference, the GPU version of the Separation code is roughly 50-60 times faster than its CPU counterpart depending on the machine. Keeping that in mind, do you guys still want a GPU version of N-Body? I have put up a basic straw poll on https://www.strawpoll.me/45510486. If you wish to elaborate on your choice, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you all for your input, time, and consideration,

-Eric
21 Jul 2021, 17:46:03 UTC · Discuss


Separation Validator Updates/Brief Server Outage(s)
Hello Everyone,

I will be updating the separation validator starting at 3PM ET. The server will go down for a short time and then come back up. In the case that the new validator causes problems, the server will go back down again to revert to the old validator. I will be monitoring the situation and would appreciate input on any workunits that fail validation after the new validator goes live.

The server may go down/back up a few times during this process. Thanks for your patience. I'll keep you all posted on the status of things as they happen.

Best,
Tom
15 Jul 2021, 18:41:01 UTC · Discuss


New NBody Runs!
Hey everyone,

The last set of N-body runs has converged beautifully. Thus, we have replaced the old runs with a set of new ones:
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__4
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__5
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__6

Since the last set ran without problems, we expect this one to run smoothly, too. Thank you all for your continued support.

-Eric
10 Jul 2021, 20:44:17 UTC · Discuss


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