A total of 35 college computers are connected to IBM’s World Community Grid. Ebinger says the Bucks computers are processing 30 days of research every 24 hours. That means in just seven weeks, the college has sent more than three years’ worth of research to IBM.
Ebinger, who has worked at Bucks for more than 12 years, says other World Community Grid projects include research for AIDS, childhood cancer, and tuberculosis. He added that he hopes the college’s network could eventually contribute to these efforts as well.
“I would love to target the Bucks grid for other projects the World Community Grid has to offer, but right now, I feel COVID-19 is the priority,” said Ebinger. “When we have a vaccine or treatment and can congregate the way we used to, then we can discuss supporting the other projects.”
Meanwhile, he’s hopeful that these efforts will help bring an end to the worldwide pandemic, which has prompted Bucks to keep most students off campus, with courses offered through online and remote instruction this fall.
“I am delighted that a project I joined in my basement and supported in my free time has become such a huge contribution to further science,” he added.
For now, the dozens of computers silently process the data in the quiet confines of a computer lab in the Gateway Center on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus, undisturbed, except for Ebinger’s occasional visit to check on their connections and progress.