Volunteer from France Creates an International Team

By: Thomas Dupont
Founder, Crunchers Sans Frontieres
2 Sep 2016   

When Thomas Dupont discovered World Community Grid, he decided not only to contribute his own computing power, but also to create a team of volunteers that welcomes members from all over the globe. Here is his story in his own words.

Left to right: myself, Jessica (my wife) and Markus Walser (World Community Grid volunteer and linguistic coordinator of my team)

(Click here to read this article in French.)

My name is Thomas Hélye Vincent Dupont, and I am 38 years old. I am French, and of Norman origin. I currently live in Perpignan, a town in the south of France, with my wife, Jessica, and her young son, Julian. As a philanthropist, vegan, environmentalist and atheist, I spend my free time on cultural activities (literature, history, science, music and cinema) and I am particularly interested in distributed computing. I have a fondness for good wines and cigars. Add in some basketball and Call of Duty, and now you know all about my life!

I first learned about World Community Grid through an email sent in August 2013 by Dr. David Anderson to the BOINC mailing lists. David had forwarded a survey that World Community Grid was conducting to learn more about the needs and experiences of its volunteers. The survey was very comprehensive, and more than 15,000 members responded! To me, this initiative clearly demonstrates the attention that World Community Grid tries to give to its volunteers around the globe. I often like to repeat the maxim: “Without volunteers, there is no project.”

After reading this survey, I checked out World Community Grid’s website carefully. In my humble opinion, just about everything a volunteer could wish to find in a distributed computing project is present in World Community Grid—scientific projects related to fundamental issues (medical, humanitarian and ecological), a news section with project updates, links to papers in major scientific publications, a particularly active forum, a strong presence on major social networks, a team of dedicated, responsive leadership (I am thinking of those on the front line as Erika Tuttle, Keith Uplinger, Kevin Reed, Jonathan Armstrong and Juan Hindo), detailed statistics to measure daily contributions, the ability to create or join a team, pairing with BOINC and BOINCstats, a reward system through badges, and a user-friendly interface that is constantly improving. These are all the reasons that pushed me to not only join World Community Grid but to stay permanently! 

A few members of Crunchers Sans Frontières (left to right): David Kohler (volunteer) , Gil Rivet (moderator coordinator), Olivier Pierré (general coordinator ), Thomas Dupont (founder)

After registering as a volunteer and completing my first work units, my individual contribution was not enough for me—I wanted to do more. So I decided to create an international team whose sole purpose would be to support advanced scientific research through distributed computing, and the CRUNCHERS SANS FRONTIERES team was born. We are a team of heavily involved crunchers who are also focused on community, at a time when much of the internet relies heavily on anonymity. This is why our team’s website is a page where each volunteer reveals his true identity, age, city of residence and, for the less shy, a photograph. We consider ourselves as “professional crunchers” and “philanthropist geeks.” To date, the CRUNCHERS SANS FRONTIERES team has about twenty-four members of six different nationalities, and has contributed 300 years of run time to World Community Grid in only three years of existence! We also contribute to two other scientific projects: GPUGRID.net (almost like a university project on World Community Grid) and PrimeGrid (a specialized mathematical project in the search for prime numbers). 

All projects offered by World Community Grid volunteers deserve the attention of the entire world! They are highly interesting and important to the future of humanity. Our team decides to contribute to a project after having studied it carefully. Currently, we actively support five projects: Mapping Cancer Markers, Outsmart Ebola Together, Help Stop TB, OpenZika and FightAIDS@Home (Phase 2). We also supported Phase 1 of FightAIDS@Home, which is now completed.