For a programmer, this is a challenge equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. Officials at the NASA Ames Research Center announced last week that they are seeking talented code wizards to help tap the full potential of the massive Pleiades supercomputer.
Considered one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, Pleiades and its 210,000 processors still can't handle the near-insatiable demand for data-crunching among researchers. At any given time, 300 or more research projects are simultaneously running on the machine and hundreds more are waiting for a turn. NASA engineers have designed their own software dubbed FUN3D to allocate this computational power, but they believe this code could be streamlined to make it much faster.
Taking a cue from other successful crowdsourcing campaigns, NASA officials are now inviting independent programmers to take a stab at boosting Pleiades' performance. They note that even an algorithm tweak that shaves off a few milliseconds could be dramatic, especially if that code is cycled through millions of times.
NASA and its private partners are offering a prize purse of $55,000 split between the top programmers in two categories. The deadline to enter is June 29. More information on the challenge can be found at here.