Meet a World Community Grid Team Member: Jonathan Armstrong

19 Jan 2017   

This Texan’s role with World Community Grid focuses on helping the researchers’ work run smoothly, and he’s just as focused outside of work. Meet Jonathan!

Jonathan in IBM’s Austin, Texas office

Originally hailing from the San Antonio area, Jonathan Armstrong is a lifelong Texan. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Texas Tech University, and interned at IBM during his senior year. Immediately after graduation, he was hired to work at IBM’s Austin office in the services division.

“Our focus was on disruptive technologies,” he says. “In 2001, when I started working at IBM, these technologies included virtualization, automation, and grid computing.” For several years, Jonathan was involved in proof of concept and customer engagement work on these technologies, helping to determine how they might have the best real-world applications for IBM’s various markets. He also mentored a college student named Keith Uplinger who later became one of his World Community Grid teammates.

Jonathan’s background in a specific disruptive technology–grid computing–was put to a new use beginning in 2006, when he joined World Community Grid. From the beginning, his focus was on the research applications used by the scientists whose projects run on World Community Grid. Most of his work involves integrating the software applications chosen by our research partners into the World Community Grid platform. He is also involved with BOINC, the open-source platform used by World Community Grid and a number of other volunteer computing projects, and assists with work unit management. “This is a very small team, but a very productive one,” he says.

The first World Community Grid project Jonathan worked on was Help Defeat Cancer, which ran in 2006 and 2007. Several years later, Jonathan’s own father was diagnosed with cancer. “You or somebody you know is going to be diagnosed with one of the diseases that World Community Grid works to defeat,” he says. “Being involved with basic research, where the work really begins, is a meaningful way to be part of the solutions.” Happily, Jonathan’s father is now cancer-free.

Jonathan checking out his new quadcopter drone

Jonathan and his wife have been married for 19 years. They have three young children who are the primary focus of their time and energy outside of work. When he finds time he enjoys listening to live music around Austin. Jonathan also loves the outdoors, and spends time flying his new quadcopter drone.

Like all World Community Grid team members, Jonathan is grateful for the people who help make the work possible. He says, “A big thanks to the volunteers. Without you and the resources you contribute, we couldn’t do what we do.”