Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yakov Fain, Elizabeth White, Tim Hinds, Karyn Jeffery, Nate Vickery

News Feed Item

Appirio's Crowdsourcing Community Creates Breakthrough Solutions to Support the Advancement of Space Science and Protect Planet Earth

Protecting Earth From Asteroids and Finding Anomalies in Saturn's Rings Are Just a Few Ways [topcoder] Is Helping NASA Push the Boundaries of Innovation for All Humankind

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/07/14 -- Appirio today announced that, in partnership with the Harvard NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), the company and its [topcoder]™ community are helping NASA and other government agencies solve some of their most complex real-world challenges. Over the last three years, the [topcoder] community of 630,000 data scientists, developers and designers have helped NASA and a number of other U.S. government agencies tackle issues ranging from tracking asteroids, to improving deep space networking, to predicting a chemical's systemic lowest effect level, just to name a few. To date, the crowdsourcing efforts have received thousands of different submissions from more than 20 countries with over $1.5 million awarded to [topcoder] community members.

The NTL was established in 2011 in a joint effort with NASA and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University to put the power of the fast-growing [topcoder] crowdsourcing development community to work solving complex challenges around human exploration, science and space technology. Following the successful crowdsourcing initiatives with NASA and the NTL, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requested that NASA establish the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). The purpose of the CoECI is to educate, share best practices and measure the impact of crowdsourcing and open innovation across other government agencies as well as within NASA.

Current challenges that NASA is working on with the [topcoder] community of more than 630,000 developers, designers and data scientists include:

  • Asteroid Data Hunter: The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge, part of the Asteroid Grand Challenge series, is running on [topcoder] and is being conducted in partnership with Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI). In the latest challenge, the community was tasked with developing an algorithm that can validate asteroid detections and reduce false identifications in images from ground-based telescopes by learning from years of human input. Phase two of the challenge is launching on August 11 and will aim to increase the detection sensitivity. The successful solution will need to minimize the number of false asteroid detections by leveraging the Phase one algorithms and ignore imperfections in the data. For more information or to sign up to compete in the Asteroid Data Hunter and Asteroid Tracker (which is now live) marathon matches visit topcoder.com/asteroids.

  • Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Challenge Series: Sending email to and from the International Space Station (ISS) over a distance of 44,000 miles can be a complicated and unreliable process. Over the past year, the [topcoder] community has contributed to both the design and implementation of NASA's open source Disruption Tolerant Networking Protocol. In this latest effort, the [topcoder] community is adapting an existing enterprise email system to use DTN. The solution will convert email and calendar traffic to bundles instead of packets for sharing data between Earth and the ISS reliably, safely and securely.

  • ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker): Living in a microgravity environment onboard the International Space Station makes humans susceptible to nutrient deficiencies and bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis. To help NASA scientists and doctors monitor and solve this problem, [topcoder] designed and developed an iPad-based application that provides astronauts on the ISS with an efficient, rapid, and accurate method for tracking their dietary intake. Recently, the iPad app was demonstrated at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco by former astronaut Leland Melvin.

  • Planetary Data Systems Challenge: The Cassini spacecraft is orbiting Saturn in an extended mission to study the planet. Using actual images from the spacecraft, the goal is to create an algorithm that will help scientists better understand ring phenomena, ring structure, and potentially find new moons. This is a set of challenges to help find anomalies and features of interest in the rings of Saturn that are not otherwise detectable by a computer due to false-positives. Results of this challenge will be available in Fall 2014.

"As NASA continues to push the boundaries of human imagination and innovation, we have seen the value in utilizing a citizen-based professional crowd to complement our internal efforts and solve complex real-world challenges," said Jason Crusan, NASA Tournament Lab director. "Tapping into a diverse pool of the world's top technical talent has not only resulted in new and innovative ways to advance technologies to further space exploration, but has also led to a whole new way of thinking for NASA, and other government agencies, providing us with an additional set of on-demand tools to tackle complex projects."

Additional government agencies working with [topcoder] through the CoECI structure include the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid (CMS), USAID, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For example, the EPA pursued the ToxCast Prediction Challenge to address the lack of information on the thousands of chemicals that humans are exposed to every day. The diverse [topcoder] community was challenged to predict the lowest dose at which a chemical causes adverse effects in traditional chemical toxicity tests. The algorithm contest consisted of two phases with a total of 338 registrants, 49 competitors, and 804 submissions. The winning submission to the three-week contest provided an approach towards addressing the toxicity problem that heavily leveraged data science techniques and has potential for further advancement. Interestingly, but common to [topcoder] results, most of the highest-ranked solutions were provided by competitors without specific expertise in a chemistry-related field. These solutions matched or exceeded solutions provided by subject domain experts. As a result, the EPA will be showcasing the top two winners' findings at the 2nd Annual Data Summit on September 29 & 30 at the EPA Research Triangle Park Campus in North Carolina. Register for the Data Summit now to be a part of the dialogue about ways to use this new data to transform chemical safety evaluations.

"The [topcoder] community has really taken a leading role in the field of Data Science when it comes to providing the best expertise across the world in algorithmic and statistical work, as well as digitization, and computer science," said Dr. Karim R. Lakhani, Principal Investigator of Harvard-NTL and Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration. "These data scientists have been able take the complex, data intensive problems facing NASA and other federal agencies, analyze it, and then turn that analysis into creating actual solutions to advance some of their most important initiatives."

"The results [topcoder] has achieved impacting science and technology with NASA, the NTL and OSTP have inspired other parts of government to examine how they can use communities to redefine how research and development is done," said Narinder Singh, president of [topcoder] and co-founder of Appirio. "Just as many of our enterprise customers are utilizing the global talent pool of the [topcoder] community to execute disruptive strategies, the federal government is tapping into that same talent pool to solve some of its most pressing and complex problems. In some cases, the solutions that are created might literally change the world."

Additional resources:

About Appirio
Appirio is a global cloud consultancy that helps customers achieve results in weeks, not years by harnessing the power of the world's top talent. Appirio's 630,000 member [topcoder] community and crowdsourcing platform, combined with the company's business and technical expertise, have helped 800+ enterprises confidently use technology to increase innovation and transform business. Founded in 2006, Appirio is a trusted partner to companies such as Apria, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Japan Post Network, L'Oreal, NetApp, The Four Seasons and Virgin America.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...