Academic Engagement

Expand Citizen Science Projects to the Greater Public

A great number of challenging projects that utilize home computing power (ie: people donating their computers' resources to solve things like protein structures for drug development, or solving mathematical puzzles) encourage the public to get involved in solving problems that affect society at large.

 

Since the average person does not own a supercomputer, and does not want to spend their free time pursuing esoteric topics that aren't entertaining, I propose utilizing the popularity of the cryptocurrency mining craze and putting that energy and computing power towards projects that directly support Homeland Security and other scientific pursuits.

 

People put their PCs to work on mining because they get a direct monetary benefit from it. Could Homeland Security offer a similar form of payment for putting computing power to use for important projects? Some type of cryptocurrency, travel perk rewards, or some other type of payment. A lot of resources are being wasted on propping up a digital currency when they could be used towards advancing the country's research, scientific, and security goals. No one is going to spend their limited free-time or energy bill without some type of incentive.

 

Could we re-direct this massive resource towards accomplishing feats of physics, biology, and other important pursuits? I feel like this would be combined with a refresher on computer and network security and the importance of hardening local networks and end-user security. In a similar vein, what if we expanded early detection ability using this outside of private firewall detections...a white hat community on a massive scale? These are ideas to think about.

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Idea No. 1953