SXSW Interactive 2016

Crowdsourcing To Bring Clean Water to Millions


How can scientists tackle complex challenges, like the lack of access to clean water for a billion people around the world? By crowdsourcing the problem! Learn how an international research team tapped into computing power donated by 150k volunteers to simulate water flow through carbon nanotubes at an unprecedented level of detail, revealing a breakthrough discovery that could lead to more efficient water filtration and desalination, as well as possible uses in clean energy and medicine. While scientists have speculated about using nanotech for water filtration, previous studies missed this discovery because they didn't have enough computing power. Welcome to the power of crowdsourcing!

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  1. How can crowdsourcing help scientists take on large complex problems, to tackle some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges?
  2. How did 150k people help scientists unleash the potential to improve access to clean water for millions?
  3. How can you use your computer or mobile device's otherwise wasted computing capacity to power the next scientific discovery?



Juan Hindo, Program Mgr, IBM

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