Change the World . . . with Your Computer
MARIST COLLEGE Joins World Community Grid

Millions of personal computers sit idly on desks and in homes worldwide. During this idle time, the mysteries of science and space continue to elude us. What if each of the world's estimated 650 million PCs could be linked to focus on humanity's most pressing issues?

To make this vision a reality, Marist College has become a partner of World Community Grid, joining the IBM Corporation and a group of leading academic institutions, associations, foundations, and companies. Marist is the first college or university in the U.S. to become a member of World Community Grid and is encouraging its students, faculty and staff to contribute their idle PC time to World Community Grid at www.worldcommunitygrid.org.

World Community Grid establishes a permanent, flexible infrastructure that provides researchers with a readily available pool of computational power that can be used to solve problems plaguing humanity. Importantly, World Community Grid is easy and safe to use.

To join, students, faculty and staff should go to www.worldcommunitygrid.org and simply download and install a free, small software program on their computers. When idle, computers request data from World Community Grid's server. Computers then perform computations using this data, send the results back to the server and prompt it for a new piece of work.

"World Community Grid provides our college community with an efficient and effective way to make a difference on problems that plague humanity," said Marist President Dennis J. Murray. "We are asking our students, faculty and staff to join World Community Grid as a way to give back in a meaningful and easy way."

Marist is asking that students, faculty and staff who join World Community Grid become a member of the Marist team. As part of the team, they will earn points as part of the university and as an individual. Marist will publicize the points it earns both internally and externally.

World Community Grid will address global humanitarian issues, such as:

  • New and existing infectious disease research: Researching cures for HIV and AIDS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), malaria and others.
  • Genomic and disease research: The Human Proteome Folding project - World Community Grid's first project - seeks to help identify the functions of the proteins that are coded by human genes.
  • Natural disasters and hunger: World Community Grid applications can help researchers and scientists with earthquake predictions, improving crop yields and evaluating the supply of critical natural resources like water.

What is grid technology?

Grid technology joins together many individual computers, creating a large system with massive computational power that exceeds the power of a few supercomputers. This capability can be applied, on a global scale, to very large and complex problems for the benefit of humanity.

The benefits are proven. In 2003, the IBM Corporation was one of the sponsors of a smallpox study that took advantage of grid computing. This study, using today's largest available super computers, would have taken years to complete. With grid computing, this study was completed in less than six months and identified 45 potential smallpox-treatment candidates.

IBM's world class and open eServer and Storage products, built with IBM's innovative and open Middleware products like WebSphere, DB2 and managed by Tivoli, serves as the technology behind grid computing. United Devices, the market leader in highly secure grid solutions for businesses of all sizes, developed the special software application that enables World Community Grid to operate. American Express and other leaders in the corporate community are partnering with World Community Grid and encouraging their employees to participate.

Marist is an independent, comprehensive liberal arts college nationally recognized for its leadership in the use of technology in and out of the classroom. Named by The Princeton Review as one of "The Best 357 Colleges" in America and a "top tier" college by U.S. News and World Report, Marist's 175-acre campus is located along the eastern shore of the scenic and historic Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY. With 30 undergraduate majors and eight masters degree programs, including numerous online offerings, Marist is dedicated to the development of the whole person in a way that will prepare graduates for an enlightened, sensitive and productive life in the global community of the 21st century.

Join World Community Grid as part of the Marist College team today! Please go to www.worldcommunitygrid.org.