“Volunteer computing”, enables participants to contribute computing power of their laptop, smartphone or tablet to the project of their choice. This power is used by scientists to do modelling and simulations for research on topics such as modelling climate change, the spread of diseases, or traffic flow in urban road systems. Such processes often require an amount of computing power unavailable to single research institutions or universities, but that the crowd can contribute by combining thousands of consumer devices.
The project uses volunteer computing to model clinical epidemiology. The results are used to inform decisions on which new or existing tools to prioritize, the target product profiles for vaccines, and also to optimize deployment of established interventions (such as mosquito nets). The models and their predictions are promoted to wide communities of users such as malariologists, planners, and policy specialists.
The proejct investigates and reduces uncertainties in climate modelling. It aims to do this by running hundreds of thousands of different models (a large climate ensemble) on volunteer computers, thereby leading to a better understanding of how models are affected by small changes in the many parameters known to influence the global climate.