A WIU team during the quarantine

Miscellaneous discussions. Things that don't have anything to do with Western, Leatherneck Athletics, college sports in general, etc.
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ghostmap
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:15 am

Tuesday night, I discovered there's a WIU team for Rosetta@home. I joined up, so now we have two active members.

For those unacquainted, Rosetta@home does molecular modeling of protein structures through distributed computing. The calculations require heavy lifting, suitable for a supercomputer. Absent one of those, the work is dealt out to a bunch of ordinary computers connected via the Internet.

Right now, much of the focus is on tackling COVID-19.

Participants and teams are awarded credit for work performed and there are scoreboards. On my arrival, WIU was ranked 187 among universities and 1326 among all teams. Since then, sixty-five university teams have eaten our dust and we're now in the top 800 overall. The point isn't much to brag, but to show the difference to be made by only a few more computers.

If anyone here wants to enlist their own, that'd be awesome.

Ideally, we'd get the university itself on board. There are over 550 computers in computer labs and resource centers across campus -- several of those currently closed due to COVID-19.

Who is it needs to be persuaded to arrange that computers idled by COVID-19 are deployed to combat COVID-19?
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ST_Lawson
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Wow ghostmap...how many machines do you have working on that?
I only have it running on my work computer that I brought home for the time being.

I know that years ago, they did put things like this on the lab computers, although they haven't been for a while. You do have to take into account the cost of the power needed to run the computer(s) as well. I'd imagine that if the labs are nearly all shut down, that saves the university a bit of $...which is something sorely needed right now.

I'm all for everyone loading this up on their own computers if they're willing to do so and letting it hack away at the problem.
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ghostmap
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:15 am

Wow ghostmap...how many machines do you have working on that?
Four. The workhorse is an old Dell R610 server with two hexcore processors. Next is an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 machine still under construction. Then a Dell Optiplex 380 and a laptop, neither too remarkable, except the laptop is running on a 16GB live persistent Linux flash drive. If I reboot from its hard drive, Rosetta was never installed. If I reboot from the flash drive, Rosetta continues where it left off.
I know that years ago, they did put things like this on the lab computers, although they haven't been for a while. You do have to take into account the cost of the power needed to run the computer(s) as well.
Fair point. I don't know the lab computer specs to really address power consumption. I'd guess the resource centers use Intel NUC desktops, low Wattage, adequate for most student purposes. Student purposes require each running a monitor; Rosetta can be run without. Then again, Rosetta will keep the CPU under load, so that trade-off is a research question.

Iowa State University has a three week old account running over thirty computers. Nine of them look thoroughly identical, I suspect all in the same campus lab.

In other news, we should now be within or just below the top 100 university teams once the database catches up on our current credits.
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