Southwestern Oklahoma State University United States

Global Grid Impact on Regional Universities in Oklahoma
Warren Moseley and Mary Ann Phillips
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
United States
Abstract: This poster covers the effort at Southwestern Oklahoma State to upgrade its computing power.
Regional Universities in Oklahoma have limited resources in the area of High Performance Computing.
This poster is about the use of Volunteering Computing at Southwestern Oklahoma State University for the
purpose of allowing undergraduate research in areas that require intense computational demands. It allows
students to share computing resources and to interact on a collaborative level with students at larger
universities both locally and globally. Volunteer computing uses computers belonging to ordinary people,
like you, to create a computing grid that can rival the most powerful supercomputers in the world. While
you're not using your computer, someone else is using it for research. While not in use volunteer computing
software uses your leftover computer power to solve calculations, perform simulations and otherwise
contribute to some amazing projects.
This poster covers the effort at Southwestern Oklahoma State to upgrade its computing power.
Since 2000 several large-scale cooperative and voulnteering projects are worthy of note. These projects
allow for smaller schools to participate in large-scale projects. An example is the Berkeley Open
Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC). BOINC is an open source middleware system for
volunteer and grid computing1. The simple idea of BOINC is that each computer has a screen saver and
when this screen saver activates it sends a message to BOINC requesting permission to volunteer with
limited computing power. BOINC sends a segment of the problem to be solved by the single local
computer. BOINC respond with a small fraction of the problem total solution. This allow for projects to be
carried out that exceed the computing demand of most supercomputers. It allows for big thinking in an
environment that has limited resources. Some of the projects that Southwestern Oklahoma State
participates in are:
1) Einstein@Home – An Astrophysics Project at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
2) Climate Prediction Model2; Oxford University’s attempt to global climate conditions.
3) DNA@home - Rensselaer Polytechnic University; discovery of the action of gene sequences.
4) MilkyWay@home3 project.
The Climate Prediction Model has more than 565,000 computers from all over the world and currently our
University sixth in the amount of participation. While projects of this scale are interesting they are difficult
to construct and don’t really allow much student involvement.
Another project that is reaching out to the smaller colleges as well as the large colleges is OSCER
(Oklahoma Supercomputing Center for Education and Research). 4 This is a project at the University of
Oklahoma that ties researchers together and provides them with massive computer power.
BOINC a Berkely