Organised and sponsored by the Africa@home partnership.
The AIMS workshop on Volunteer Computing for Africa will introduce participants to state-of-the-art open source software technologies behind distributed computing and cyber-volunteerism on the Internet. Participants will gain hands-on experience with these technologies, so that they can harness the power of volunteer computers worldwide for their own research or to support research of their colleagues in universities and research labs across Africa. Volunteer computing is a new and rapidly growing trend that can help in efforts to tackle some of the major humanitarian challenges faced by Africa, and can also bridge the digital divide by putting African researchers at the centre of international humanitarian projects.
The workshop will focus on the most popular platform for volunteer computing today, BOINC, which stands for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing. BOINC allows volunteer computers in homes and offices to run computer-intensive simulation programs such as MalariaControl.net, developed by researchers at the Swiss Tropical Institute. This was made possible through the multi-stakeholder partnership called Africa@home, which involves the CERN, the University of Geneva, the World Health Organization, several African academic institutions, the Swiss Tropical Institute, ICVolunteers and Informaticiens sans frontiÃ¨res (ISF), with the support of the Geneva International Academic Network.
The first phase of Africa@home (2005 and 2006) was an opportunity to help the Swiss Tropical Institute obtain the needed computer power to run their malaria modelling program called MalariaControl.net.
Since day one of the Africa@home project, it has involved African researchers in the different aspects of the project, aiming to ultimately build poles of expertise in different parts of Africa (involving to date cyber-volunteers from Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Centre Afrique, Tanzania, Spain and Switzerland).
The objective of the second phase of Africa@home is to use the BOINC technology for other computer applications, such as those linked to research about HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
It is in this context that a workshop will be organized at AIMS (African Institute for Matematical Sciences) in Muizenberg (Cape Province), from 16 to 22 July 2007.
Recruitment and selection of workshop participants and cyber-volunteers, onsite logistics of the workshop.