Where is THIS Seti's science ?


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Ike
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Message 1334185 - Posted: 3 Feb 2013, 5:53:24 UTC

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for SETI, and I've crunched for this SETI@home since the beginning. And I realize that actually finding a real ET signal is very unlikely for various reasons.

But am I missing something ?
I don't see any science from this SETI@home, no statistics, no maps of interesting repeat pulses or repeat signals, nothing. With all the countless results that have come in, there's gotta be at least some statistics or trends they could write a paper up on. Maybe there is ? but I don't see anything.

Whenever I check this site, it's always about how many credits people have gotten, or the server/network ups and downs; which all is good talk. But no statistics or science from all the data and experiences they've amassed over the last 15 years.

If there are science papers on this SETI and any statistics, can someone point them out to me ?
If not, there seems to be a ton of analyzed data & experiences going to waste....

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Message 1334239 - Posted: 3 Feb 2013, 11:15:46 UTC
Last modified: 3 Feb 2013, 11:16:27 UTC

There are links somewhere to the broadcasts made 3 years ago for the 10th Anniversary, there was loads of info there if I recall. Also we are still waiting for Nitpicker to do the second sifts.

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Message 1334269 - Posted: 3 Feb 2013, 14:20:49 UTC - in response to Message 1334239.
Last modified: 3 Feb 2013, 14:21:30 UTC

Well I looked into that : http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=46636

The NTPCKR was conceived over 4 years ago and still nothing ?
and more concerning is if you look through threads like that, there are no responses from the actual people involved with it .....it's almost all just volunteers just speculating of what's going on.

This is a little concerning, since SETI@home has had one of the largest volunteer followings of any science project.

I see no papers or threads from any professors involved with the project; are there any professors involved by the way ???
Or is SETI just a revolving door of students/staff fixing and maintaining servers ?
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Message 1334296 - Posted: 3 Feb 2013, 15:58:28 UTC

I think that at present it is a fair comment, that the Lab staff do spend rather more time in admining servers than they would like to do. Because of that, there is a consideration being given to re-locating the servers elsewhere upon campus, that would release them from a lot of that work. Relocation

In terms of Nitpicker, I also share your disappointment that this initiative appears to not have borne any fruit so far, but there must be good reasons for it. As for Professors, I don't believe there are any Seti staff at that academic level. The Space Sciences Lab (SSL) has Professors at Director and Associate Director level. Seti@Home Director Dr. David Anderson is a PhD, as is Dr. Eric Korpela, and Project Scientist Dan Werthimer is a visiting Professor. Dan

This link gives a wealth of information about Seti and the people behind it. Seti background and incldes the videos I was talking about previously.

Keep the faith my friend, I have for over 12 years, I'm sure you can as well :-)

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Message 1334300 - Posted: 3 Feb 2013, 16:12:55 UTC
Last modified: 3 Feb 2013, 16:13:26 UTC

Yes and we have had a couple interesting signals found. But without being able to control where our data comes from (as in coordinates in the sky), and without the help of the "Nitpicker", we will just have to wait to see repeat signals...

And wait is what we do.
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Message 1334757 - Posted: 5 Feb 2013, 0:16:18 UTC

Good points and well said :)
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Message 1334947 - Posted: 5 Feb 2013, 20:24:53 UTC
Last modified: 5 Feb 2013, 20:25:31 UTC

There are quite a few PhDs involved with the project; I think that their other academic responsibilities take up most of their time. It's true that the NTPCKR system hasn't been used as much as it should have been... hardly. I think that this is because it is integrated with the upload/download servers that are badly in need of an upgrade, however if I remember correctly GPUUG contributed a NTPCKR server and it's usually inactive. There's a GPUUG fundraiser to get a new upload/download/NTPCKR server which will (we hope) run all the time. But it's going to need $20K and only about 3% of this has been raised.

The problem always has been, and continues to be, that SETI is poorly funded worldwide and this project runs on a shoestring budget, which leaves it vulnerable to outages and means there isn't enough processing of the results. Remember the WOW signal that everyone still makes a fuss over and even celebrates the anniversary of? This was a one-off, with no audio, never confirmed by any other location or by re-observation. In other words, I'd bet there are a hundred, if not a thousand signals somewhere in billion-plus SETI@Home results database that far exceed the WOW signal.

I just dropped two grand on a new cruncher to be starting up soon (I hope) but my investment is only minor compared to that of others. For example, msattler has probably twenty grand worth of computers and pays a few hundred a month in electricity bills. It would be beyond a shame if this was all going to waste. Considering the importance that it would have to all of humanity and the future of our species if a confirmed extraterrestrial intelligence was discovered, it's even more of a shame that SETI programs have everywhere been blocked, marginalized, defunded and deprioritized.

So, I will have to make up for this however I can. This project isn't perfect or optimal, but it's the best we have right now, so I keep at it.
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Message 1335427 - Posted: 7 Feb 2013, 11:22:05 UTC

What about the Astropulse units? Are they able to be used once we've finished crunching them, or do they too need more processing before conclusions can be extracted from the data? Are the Astropulse results just accumulating waiting for further funding, or are they being used in any way?

I ask because Astropulse was presented as being good for more than just SETI, and would like to think that some of what we were doing was being useful to somebody.
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Message 1335569 - Posted: 7 Feb 2013, 20:08:00 UTC

I've wondered the same thing for quite a while. I was looking forward to seeing the results from NTPCKR.

It seems to me that a number of people are willing to drop quite abit of money on high performance hardware for the purpose of crunching more work units, but, if the objective is scientific results, a better use of funds would be contributing to the project for upgraded hardware. I assume part of the reason for investing in your own hardware rather than contributing towards upgrading the project's hardware is that: 1) you'll own the hardware 2) the pursuit of work credits.

As I recall, the work NTPCKR does wouldn't lend itself to a 2nd phase of distributed work. But, would it make sense to either:
1) allow a limited number of trusted volunteers to run the NTPCKR software on their own machines, or
2) implement a method to allocate credits to contributors based on the amount of work processed by the project's hardware and the percentage of total funds the volunteer contributed towards the hardware?


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Message 1335580 - Posted: 7 Feb 2013, 20:39:30 UTC - in response to Message 1335569.

It seems to me that a number of people are willing to drop quite abit of money on high performance hardware for the purpose of crunching more work units, but, if the objective is scientific results, a better use of funds would be contributing to the project for upgraded hardware. I assume part of the reason for investing in your own hardware rather than contributing towards upgrading the project's hardware is that: 1) you'll own the hardware 2) the pursuit of work credits.


Correct... I did run a fundraiser that took in about $4K for hardware for the Green Bank project (which is on track... see the thread on the initial results paper) and I'll probably do another one soon. Money is better spent on the infrastructure as there's no shortage of crunchers, but my primary PC is about six years old and needs an upgrade, so may as well get something good. :^)

I don't think running NTPCKR as as distributed project is viable, as it needs fast, local access to the entire SAH results database, but I could be wrong.
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Message 1335906 - Posted: 8 Feb 2013, 20:53:56 UTC - in response to Message 1335580.

you also need to keep the source locally because someone is apt to edit the program to artificially register hits. I'm not saying that it would be easy but it could happen
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Message 1337411 - Posted: 12 Feb 2013, 11:13:47 UTC - in response to Message 1334300.

Yes and we have had a couple interesting signals found. But without being able to control where our data comes from (as in coordinates in the sky), and without the help of the "Nitpicker", we will just have to wait to see repeat signals...

And wait is what we do.



Couldn't agree more.
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Message 1345673 - Posted: 12 Mar 2013, 2:27:35 UTC - in response to Message 1334947.
Last modified: 12 Mar 2013, 2:29:27 UTC

There are quite a few PhDs involved with the project; I think that their other academic responsibilities take up most of their time. It's true that the NTPCKR system hasn't been used as much as it should have been... hardly. I think that this is because it is integrated with the upload/download servers that are badly in need of an upgrade, however if I remember correctly GPUUG contributed a NTPCKR server and it's usually inactive. There's a GPUUG fundraiser to get a new upload/download/NTPCKR server which will (we hope) run all the time. But it's going to need $20K and only about 3% of this has been raised.

The problem always has been, and continues to be, that SETI is poorly funded worldwide and this project runs on a shoestring budget...


Sorry, but I work at a university, and many professors write papers and do statistics with generated data without funding for their research.
The seti@home users have handed them tons of data on a plate, and they can't
even organize & correlate the data in an excel spreadsheet (which can handle
millions of cells of data) ? and then further analyze it with a statistical program ?

And do the "quite a few PhDs" you mention even look at these boards or the massive amounts of data generated by this project ? They obviously aren't reading this thread; no responses from anyone at the wheel of seti@home.

I think much of the reason seti@home has been steadily losing followers and funding is because of what this thread's about. From the beginning the PhD's involved with this project apparently haven't generated any scientific or statistical papers for seti@home... yes NTPCKR would help, but isn't the "only path" to writing up a scientific/statistical paper.

If they want to start drawing people and funding to seti@home, I think they'll need to start showing some analysis for the massive amount of data they've already accumulated...
Otherwise, what are we to think of this project ?
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Message 1345829 - Posted: 12 Mar 2013, 14:23:06 UTC

From the beginning the PhD's involved with this project apparently haven't generated any scientific or statistical papers for seti@home...

Ike you are wrong. Go to this site and scroll down to papers written.

Seti Papers

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Message 1345958 - Posted: 12 Mar 2013, 23:50:09 UTC - in response to Message 1345673.

Andrew Siemion and several other members of the SETI@home team have recently published a paper on SETI observations of the Kepler field, which is discussed here.
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Message 1345966 - Posted: 13 Mar 2013, 0:29:46 UTC - in response to Message 1345958.

Andrew Siemion and several other members of the SETI@home team have recently published a paper on SETI observations of the Kepler field, which is discussed here.


Thanks for the link, but that analysis is based on Kepler data, not statistical analysis of the data all the seti@home users have generated.

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Message 1345967 - Posted: 13 Mar 2013, 0:41:31 UTC - in response to Message 1345829.

From the beginning the PhD's involved with this project apparently haven't generated any scientific or statistical papers for seti@home...

Ike you are wrong. Go to this site and scroll down to papers written.

Seti Papers


Thanks for the link, but most of the links on that webpage are all about what seti@home is, does, and plans. Only one of them is on a paper that describes some interesting signals they found and plotted on a sky chart : http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/sah_papers/status_of_ucb_seti_efforts_2011.pdf

I don't see any scientific papers specifically on statistical analysis of the mountains of data they've raked in from seti@home users.
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Message 1346165 - Posted: 13 Mar 2013, 13:54:26 UTC - in response to Message 1345967.

... I don't see any scientific papers specifically on statistical analysis of the mountains of data they've raked in from seti@home users.

At the moment, the biggest 'contributions to science' and resultant papers from our distributed efforts are perhaps:


  • Use of the collected Arecibo data to map hydrogen throughout our galaxy and so build a detailed map of our galaxy itself;

  • The development of one now significant branch of distributed computing;

  • The development of building a community to support distributed computing;

  • And from that, all the spin-off projects utilising Boinc;

  • How to usefully use ultra-low-cost massive distributed computing.




We're also amassing results awaiting processing whenever a grant or sponsorship can be gained to fund someone to look through all the results and aim the next targeted search.


Welcome to the experiment, you are part of all that!

Happy crunchin',
Martin


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Message 1346257 - Posted: 13 Mar 2013, 19:09:39 UTC

Glad to be part of that experiment:)
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Message 1346259 - Posted: 13 Mar 2013, 19:12:09 UTC

+1

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