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

Nbody WU Flush
Hey Everyone,

I'm going to turn the project off for a little while to cancel a bunch of WUs. There's no easy way to cancel only Nbody WUs (unless I want to sit and cancel them 999 at a time, because of how BOINC servers are set up), so I'm just going to cancel ~75% of the currently available jobs. This will reduce the enormous Nbody backlog and hopefully get things flowing more smoothly.

Best,
Tom
14 Apr 2022, 18:04:27 UTC · Discuss


Server Downtime March 28, 2022 (12 hours starting 00:00 UTC)
Hey Everyone,

I will be turning off the mysql DB for the server at midnight UTC (8PM EDT) for 12 hours. Last time I kept some processes running, but turned off the WU generators in order to give things time to catch up from the drive failure (they are currently still off). I don't think that the server finished rebuilding then, so I will be turning all MW processes completely off for 12 hours, and then hopefully by the time I turn things back on again, the drive will have rebuilt.

If you only tune in to the BOINC notices, apologies for the massive drops in RAC lately. These are related to a hard drive failure that we are still in the process of recovering from.

Thanks for your patience. I know that this has been very frustrating for all of you, and it has been frustrating for me as well.

Best,
Tom
27 Mar 2022, 19:35:05 UTC · Discuss


Server Downtime March 25, 2022 (24 hours starting 17:00 UTC)
Hey Everyone,

I'm going to be turning the project off for roughly 24 hours starting at 1 PM EST (17:00 UTC) on March 25th. This time will do three things: 1) It will allow me to clear the transitioner backlog, 2) It will temporarily stop generating new WUs, so we can work on the backlog of WUs waiting for validation, and 3) It will help the server rebuild the replacement drive that we put into the machine on Monday.

There will probably be at least 12 hours of downtime during this where you will not be able to contact the upload or download servers.

Best,
Tom
23 Mar 2022, 21:31:59 UTC · Discuss


Server Downtime 3/21 1PM EST
Hello Everyone,

We will be taking the server down at 1PM NY time to do a reboot and ensure that the replacement drive is rebuilding correctly. We plan on being out for a couple hours at most.

Best,
Tom
21 Mar 2022, 15:40:07 UTC · Discuss


Server Trouble
Hey Everyone,

The server appears to be having some connectivity issues. Additionally, one of the drives on the server appears to have failed - luckily things are mirrored so we haven't lost any data. However, I need to make a backup of things, which could take several hours. Once everything is backed up I'll try to clear out this transitioner/validator backlog and get things up to speed again.

Best,
Tom
21 Feb 2022, 19:44:42 UTC · Discuss


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