Stafford County Economic Development, much like the rest of the country, has been figuring out creative ways to be useful in this new and uncertain time. Typically, the office would be filled with potential job applicants and remote workers making use of the Creative Incubator at Workspace 311. Early last week, however, the space closed to the public.
The workspace is outfitted with almost a dozen brand new desktops that were supposed to be put to use by the greater community of St. John. Looking at the workspace today, it may appear that no work is taking place in the empty computer bay. There is another type of work going on there. Folding.
The seemingly dormant workspace.
311 has transformed itself into the lastest space to help support the Folding at Home (FAH) organization as it fights world disease; more specifically COVID-19. The organization works with Stanford University to use something called 'distributed computing' to simulate proteins, and how they function in the body. Essentially, instead of having one computer the size of a building to work through calculations, a million computers already in people's homes take on the workload. This work load is distributed into smaller work units, almost like homework assignments, to each computer. After that work is completed, the computer waits in line for more work and the cycle continues.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak began, FAH has seen a massive 1300% increase in the amount of people signing up to help with the effort. Last week, the collective computer, composed of all these home computers, topped what is called the exaFLOP barrier. This means that they are capable of 1,500,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second, making it over 100x faster than all other supercomputers in existence combined. Stafford Co. Eco Devo.’s personal fleet of computers has worked round the clock to help with this effort, scoring over 200,000 points from delivering work units. While their offices remain closed, this number will only get larger as time goes on.
Taken after less than a week of work, this shows the work load the 311 office has accomplished.
If you are personally interested in joining this effort to help combat COVID-19, email email@example.com or log onto Foldingathome.org.
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Stafford County Economic Development
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