Citizen Science Grid

The Citizen Science Grid is run by Travis Desell, an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of North Dakota. It is hosted by UND's Computational Research Center and Information Technology Systems and Services. The Citizen Science Grid is dedicated to supporting a wide range of research and educational projects using volunteer computing and citizen science, which you can read about and visit below.


Wildlife@Home is citizen science project aimed at analyzing video gathered from various cameras recording wildlife. Currently the project is looking at video of sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus, and two federally protected species, interior least terns, Sternula antillarum, and piping plovers, Charadruis melodus to examine their nesting habits and ecology.


The goal of DNA@Home is to discover what regulates the genes in DNA. Ever notice that skin cells are different from a muscle cells, which are different from a bone cells, even though all these cells have every gene in your genome? That's because not all genes are "on" all the time. Depending on the cell type and what the cell is trying to do at any given moment, only a subset of the genes are used, and the remainder are shut off. DNA@home uses statistical algorithms to unlock the key to this differential regulation, using your volunteered computers.

Climate Tweets

The Climate Tweets project is focused on personal opinions about climate change or global warming. The goal is to sort tweets and view the different views in various countries, how the discussion has changed over time, and how opinions change with political orientation. Classifying tweets allows us to discover patterns and coorelations in people's opinions about our world. It also helps us understand what people know about climate change. Please note that the tweets are unfiltered and may contain profanity or controversial views, and these are not the views of the Citizen Science Grid, any of our team, or funding agencies. Because of this the project is 18+.


The Subset Sum problem is described as follows: given a set of positive integers S and a target sum t, is there a subset of S whose sum is t? It is one of the well-know, so-called "hard" problems in computing. It's actually a very simple problem computationally, and the computer program to solve it is not extremely complicated. What's hard about it is the running time – all known exact algorithms have running time that is proportional to an exponential function of the number of elements in the set (for worst-case instances of the problem).

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[all] data export issues?

Are you still experiencing data export issues? I know our IT staff was having some problems with hardware and the recent migration of where the virtual machine for citizen science grid is being housed. It looks like everything is running on my end but I just wanted to double check with everyone in case some export process got lost in the transition.

Travis Desell on Wednesday, January 17th
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[wildlife] more maintenance issues

I apologize for slow loading on the flights this morning. Our IT staff has been doing some things which I think resulted in this. Looks like things are back up and going thankfully. If I hear any more I'll let you know.

Travis Desell on Wednesday, November 22nd
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[wildlife] maintenance issue

When our systems went down last thursday it looks like there was an issue mounting the storage that housed the imagery and video. They're working on this and hope to have a fix soon. Unfortunately this was done right before a holiday weekend, so the fix might not happen until monday.

Travis Desell on Saturday, November 11th
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[wildlife] emergency maintenance and validator back up

UND had to do some storage upgrades which took out most of our systems yesterday. I apologize for the downtime! This also created an error with the validator which I hopefully just fixed. Let me know if you are having any troubles uploading or downloading work!

Travis Desell on Friday, October 13th
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[wildlife] new runs up and going

I've started up some new runs, whose workunits should look like: "mnist_fixed_100ep_nopool_oct_3_X" where X = 1 to 5. Let me know if you're having any issues with these!

Travis Desell on Thursday, October 5th
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