Flash Mob Supercomputer

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 22 Some class science projects get out of hand.

That is certainly the case with Patrick Miller’s graduate course in do-it-yourself
supercomputing at the University of San Francisco. On April 3, his students plan
to assemble the first "flash mob supercomputer" in the school gym.

While brainstorming about how to build a home-brew computer powerful enough to
be added to a list of the world’s 500 fastest computers, Mr. Miller and his students,
along with Gregory D. Benson, an associate professor of computer science, came
up with the idea of an electronic barn-raising. They decided to build on the
concept of flash mobs, the sudden Internet-organized gatherings with no particular
purpose that became an unlikely fad last summer.

Last week, the class put out a call for about 1,200 volunteers to bring their
computers to the Koret Gym here for a day and plug them into a shared high-speed

from the
New York Times

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