Volunteer computing projects cover a number of different scientific areas, and different levels of participation.
Some are based at universities and research laboratories, whilst others are run by companies and individuals. Some projects are passive requiring only your computing power with some requesting for more active participation.
Just like with any volunteering work, ensure you research the project thoroughly by first reading the project website. Many projects can be found on the BOINC website or the World Community Grid.
The following questions may help you to decide on a project:
- Do the goals of the project suit your own personal goals?
- Does the project have any results published?
- Who owns the results of the computation?
- Will they be freely available to the public?
- Will they belong to a company/corporate entity?
- Would you like to be actively involved in the science, or just contributing your PC’s processing power?
- Would you like to develop your skills? Consider the skills you have to offer. Check out the Help Wanted section on the BOINC homepage to see what you can do.