Thank You Very Much! Stardust.

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Ronald C. Spencer
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:25 am
Location: Massachusetts

Thank You Very Much! Stardust.

Post by Ronald C. Spencer »

I was docked because of the system when it fouled up. 15 correct answers were listed as wrong. then you fixed the system. Now you have taken 8 more points away. Thanks a lot! I worked most of the time 8- 14 hours a day except when I wasn't feeling well, but even then I got 4 or 5 hours in. You really sent me a nice "thank you for all your work mr. astronomer" But alas I will loyally be there for phase 2.

Star Gezzer
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Location: Newport Oregon

Score

Post by Star Gezzer »

I am trying to figure out how nilium gained over 12,000 points

Ronald C. Spencer
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:25 am
Location: Massachusetts

Thank You very Much Stardust

Post by Ronald C. Spencer »

Something is very wrong. Now it's just like Congress . Almost every time they try to fix something they mess it up worse. What a slap in the face to people who give them hour after hour of dedicated time. Of course probably mistakes will not be acknowledged. This is very discouraging. Now I have had 23 correct answers marked as incorrect. Evelyn (ERSTRS) brought their new foul up to my attention through an email. They even pushed that SkyNetV4 the robot everyone was complaining about into my slot which was #7 and now I was set back to #8. I put hour after hour into this. Well, their only human and seldom do humans like to acknowledge their mistakes or even attempt it, very discouraging. Even the Top 100 certificates never appeared as promised so many times.

Ronald C. Spencer
Astronomer

ERSTRS
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:39 am
Location: home
Contact:

Thank you very much -- Spencer

Post by ERSTRS »

I support the vents from Spencer and others about the unfair judging for our efforts at stardusting. Personally, I can't complain since they gave me two more points than I had figured they owed me! My detailed records show 50 errors that Stardust Team made during the past year on my dusting, yet they gave me credit for 52, reducing my overall "Incorrects" from 193 to 141. However, for others whose stats were poorly figured or were even "busted" from Rank, the whole system is badly flawed, and I don't see how they can ever fix it.

What surprises me is that Spencer says he'll sign up for Phase 2 in spite of the fact that he knows first-hand he cannot trust the Stardust Team to put together a better, more accurate rating system the next time around. From my point of view, this entire study has been less than scientific, and the results cannot be trusted to be recorded accurately in Phase 2, anymore than they were in Phase 1. SO, my question still is: How can dusters learn to recognize tracks in Phase 2? They won't be able to learn to identity them accurately when they can't depend on the Corrects and Incorrects as their authority!

Also, as Spencer noted, where are the Certificates promised to the Top 100? And, I might add, how about the invite we were supposed to get to Houston afterward?

My sympathies go out to Spencer and the others who have been shafted by the system. It isn't fair to do that to those who've worked so diligently for the Stardust@Home project.

ERSTRS
Evelyn

Ronald C. Spencer
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:25 am
Location: Massachusetts

Thank You Very Much Stardust!

Post by Ronald C. Spencer »

Thank you Evelyn for your kind words of support. As you know I am terminal and if it were not for the Good Lord's help I would have been dead long ago. After some thought I have concluded it is no good to be bitter as it is like a cancer that knaws at you. I will look at it as a character builder. Even I have said things I wish I hadn't said at some times in my life. I know it wasn't a personal thing with Stardust even though I would rather have received the blow from a non astronomer or space science technician. Coming from your own has a sting to it. But I have really no doubts that the Stardust Team made a good attempt at making things right with good intentions. Astronomy is my first love as far as human endeavers. I had been an Associate Member of the American Astronomical Society since the late 70's and because of my loyalty to the Society and the fact that I am so ill they honored me with Emeritus Membership last November. I do keep busy on clear nights (late) observing variable stars for The American Association of Variabl Star Observer's. I have been with that astronomical organization for many years as well, along with being a Member of The Astronomical Society of the Pacific and The Planetary Society founded by that great astronomer Carl Sagan whose loss the astronomical community will feel for some time. I donate my computer cycles to SETI@ home searching for intelligent life in our galaxy, along with Einstein@home searching for pulsars and Einsteins gravitational waves and even black holes. I am also involved with LHC@home which is involved in particle physics with the help of the Large Hadron Collider. I am also involved with Rosetta@home searching for cures for breast cancer, ms, alsheimer's disease amongst others. Finally, I am involved with The World Community Grid with a program called FightAIDS@home searching for a protein that can be inserted into the proteas of the HIV/AIDs virus. If by chance I can have a part in finding cures and new medicines to save lives and improve the quality of life of thousands on Earth then I will pass away happilly should my medicines some day lose their potency. As you know from your friends Congestive Heart Failure is nothing to fool around with. I have a lot to be thankful for and just being able to wake up in the morning and hear the birds sing or to view Saturn or Jupiter or a Variable Star at night reminds me not to take things for granted but to relish and live to the fullest and have a purpose. I have developed nice friendships in this research, you and fjgiie amongst others. I look forward to Phase 2 in spite of this setback. You know how many hours I put into this and how I pressed on for the 7th place only to lose it along with the 28 correct determinations lost when the Stardust system had that flaw a month ago. Being an astronomer, there is no way I won't contribute to Phase 2 unless I start going downhill. If that occurs I have a better place to reside. Even some professional astronomer's have a personal faith and that gets me through the bumps in the journey. I want to thank the Stardust Team (really) for allowing me the priviledge of contributing since I have so much time on my hands. Sometimes being human I VENT! and have said some things I wish I hadn't to them, even when I first created this post. I can't wait for Phase 2 and I hope I can be well enough to go to Houston at the Johnson Space Center some day.

Ronald C. Spencer
Astronomer

DustSabre
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:51 pm

Post by DustSabre »

Still, folks, I think that we should realize that the system is probably somewhat broken given its current state of operation, and probably ought to have a re-work. However, I think we also need to realize that it's not likely to happen. Indeed, if phase II turned out to be a complete and total clean-the-board re-work, it would bring up questions about the value of the work done in phase I. ( Personally, I still wonder how they plan to integrate the phase I data with the phase II data. )
My sympathies go out to Spencer and the others who have been shafted by the system. It isn't fair to do that to those who've worked so diligently for the Stardust@Home project.
Well, I don't think I was shafted by the system. However, some people seem to have had some problems. It's important to see, though, that it's the big guys are more apt to accrue problems, making it look like they have been shafted to a greater degree than the low-downs.
What surprises me is that Spencer says he'll sign up for Phase 2 in spite of the fact that he knows first-hand he cannot trust the Stardust Team to put together a better, more accurate rating system the next time around.
Except that next time, he'll know the system is broken, and thus will expect to encounter problems. Forewarned is forearmed.
Also, as Spencer noted, where are the Certificates promised to the Top 100?
I thought they might have done away with those after it became problematic to figure out what sort of merit "Top 100" warranted, since it was always changing.
And, I might add, how about the invite we were supposed to get to Houston afterward?
Never heard about that. I would guess the same merit problem is here, too. A top 100 guy coming in with 500 points from early on, and another coming in with 50,000 points from later on, would be slightly unfair, to say the least.

All in all, the system works 95%, or better, of the time. All the screams are coming from the 5% or less that fails. Too much failure, I say, but still not terrible.
Last edited by DustSabre on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

ERSTRS
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:39 am
Location: home
Contact:

Thanks very much----to DustSabre

Post by ERSTRS »

DustSabre, there were two or three references to the fact that dusters would be invited for a tour at the end of (Phase 1) project. One news item mentioned the Johnson Space Center, which I was unable to locate, and the others refers just to the Berkeley lab. I was looking forward to the tour. Here are the two references I was able to find: ERSTRS

Keep your eyes peeled for cosmic debris: Andrew Westphal about Stardust@home
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May 28, 2006

Andrew Westphal is the director of Stardust@home. Wikinews interviewed him for May's Interview of the Month (IOTM) on May 18, 2006. As always, the interview was conducted on IRC, with multiple people asking questions.

Q: When samples are found, How will they be analyzed? Who gets the credit for finding the samples?

The first person who identifies an interstellar dust particle will be acknowledged on the website (and probably will be much in demand for interviews from the media!), will have the privilege of naming the particle, and will be a co-author on any papers that WE (at UCB) publish on the analysis of the particle. Also, although we are precluded from paying for travel expenses, we will invite those who discover particles AND the top performers to our lab for a hands-on tour.





About Stardust@Home
stardustathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ - 13k - Aug 5, 2007

By asking for help from talented volunteers like you from all over the world, we can do this project in months instead of years...... All in all there will be nearly a million such focus movies. These are available to Stardust@home users like you around the world. You can then view them with the aid of a special Virtual Microscope (VM) that works in your web browser.

Together, you and thousands of other Stardust@home participants will find the first pristine interstellar dust particles ever brought to Earth.

In recognition of the critical importance of the Stardust@home volunteers, the discoverer of an interstellar dust particle will appear as a co-author on any scientific paper by the Stardust@home collaboration announcing the discovery of the particle. The discoverer will also have the privilege of naming the particle! Each particle, as it is discovered, will be given some kind of alpha-numeric identifier (an address of sorts) for book-keeping purposes. But the name that people will actually call each particle will be given to it by its discoverer. To also recognize the efforts of our volunteers who work hard, but may not have found a particle, we will invite the top-ranked volunteers to come visit our lab in Berkeley for a special tour. (Unfortunately, we are legally precluded from covering travel expenses.)
Evelyn

DustSabre
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:51 pm

Post by DustSabre »

OK, you seem to have plenty of evidence to back you up.
Maybe they just haven't mentioned anything more about it yet. Also, perhaps they are waiting until phase II is over.

bmendez
Stardust@home Team
Stardust@home Team
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Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:28 am
Location: UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab
Contact:

Post by bmendez »

We are very sorry for the scoring errors that have occurred and the frustration they have caused. They are unintentional and to some extent inevitable in any kind of programming code as involved as that for Stardust@home. But they are very rare, minor errors that should not be taken personally.

We don't yet know the cause of the scoring problem because it occurs very rarely, and we can't to reproduce it ourselves. We have determined that dusters' responses are recorded correctly in the database, but somehow the score in the duster database is occasionally not incremented correctly. We've tried this ourselves many times and cannot reproduce it. However, we can reconstruct the correct score from the database, which is what we've done recently, and we'll do this periodically during Phase 2.

Because it is so rare, we only learned about this scoring problem from people's reports on the forum. To make further progress in understanding this and preventing it from happening in the first place, we will need more information (computing system + configuration, OS, browser, etc.). If someone feels that this is happening frequently they should report it. The problem may be some strange interaction of our code with the database or the OS. It is impossible to know either way until we can reproduce it, or at least get more information about it.

We are very sorry for our programming mistakes and do wish to correct the problems.

Despite this problem, the Stardust@home system has functioned as it was meant to. We have all dusters' responses in a database that we use for identifying tracks. This problem only affects scoring and small mismeasurements in people's scores or efficiencies have no effect on identifying candidates.

Indeed, the candidate movies that have been identified through the system via their high relative ratings show interesting features worth investigating, while the lower ranked movies do not. That is the point of the search after all. Having a large number of dusters helps insure that small errors in individual scores will not effect the overall project.

If it seems like fixing problems like the scoring issue takes us too long, that is because it is a lower priority in the project since it has no real effect on the results. We have much bigger issues than this. Probably the biggest one is that we have so much problem focusing on the rough patches of aerogel. We may be missing particles because of this, and once we figure out how to deal with it we will go back and rescan those areas. After all, nobody can find an interstellar dust particle in a bad focus movie.

That said, when Phase 2 begins, the website will display a list of all of the dusters who have been ranked in the top 100 at point or another during the search. Certificates will follow shortly thereafter. We apologize in the long delay in bringing this feature to reality.

Also, regarding the invitation to tour our facility. The invitation is to tour our facility at UC Berkeley, not NASA-Johnson. We still intend to honor that. The project is not complete, but has merely entered a new phase (one that was not anticipated when we first began, which is quite typical of science projects). That being said, if anyone in the Stardust@home Collaboration wishes to tour our stardust lab at UC Berkeley an ideal time to do it is during our campus open house, called Cal Day (see http://www.berkeley.edu/calday/). We open our doors to the public every year on that day and offer tours of the entire Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley.

As always, we ask for your patience and give you our most honest thanks for your outstanding contributions.

-Bryan
"I am made from the dust of the stars, and the oceans flow in my veins"
- RUSH

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