Update: 16 Oct 06 - Over 20 Million Served

Stardust@home project news.

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Stardust@home Team
Stardust@home Team
Posts: 530
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:28 am
Location: UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab

Update: 16 Oct 06 - Over 20 Million Served

Post by bmendez »

As of October 6th, 2006 the Stardust@home collaborators have performed more than 20 million searches! More than a quarter of the aerogel collector has been scanned and those focus movies uploaded.

The Stardust@home UC Berkeley team is continuing to review candidate tracks flagged by our thousands of world-wide collaborators. While Dr. Butterworth and her husband are home caring for their new baby, we have added three new faces to our team: Rastika Prasad, David Frank, and Nicole Kelley. They are undergraduate students at UC Berkeley who are helping out part time to create and upload new movies to the Amazon server and review candidates.

We are working on updates to the tutorial. The biggest update, still in the works, is some new direction on how to deal with inclusions in the aerogel. We are now confident that they should not be confused with real interstellar dust tracks and are asking volunteers to ignore them much as you would other artifacts like scratches, etc.

Finally, we acknowledge that the currently top-ranked volunteer, CerealKiller, is indeed a computer program created by one of the volunteers. He has admitted as much and discussed his program on the forum as well as with the team. We applaud CerealKiller for his efforts. The program has been very successful in achieving a high rank, much of that is due to its ability to search nonstop. We do encourage volunteers to be creative and go ahead and try their hand at such endeavors. Be assured that this in no way means that the help of the thousands of volunteers searching by hand is not needed.

Programs, such as CerealKiller may show promise, but we have much more confidence in the ability of our human collaborators to find interstellar dust effectively.

We have been considering creating a separate ranking for computer programs, so that those interested in the rankings can compare their work against fellow humans. However, CerealKiller has terminated the program for now, as it was simply an experiement on his part to see how well his algorithm would do.

Thank you as always and keep looking for that dust!
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