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Profile Zydor
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Message 7731 - Posted: 21 Mar 2009 | 23:09:18 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2009 | 23:13:12 UTC

Change it .... Doubtless its good stuff for those trained in it, that however will be a miniscule number of GPUGrid Crunchers in comparison to the overall total.

I have a physics background (albeit very lowly compared to this stuff) and the explanations left me for dead rofl :)

There should be proper explanations of the science, there is no doubt, and those explanations need to be readily available - say a prominent clickable link from the Home Page.

For the rest of us mere mortals - the ones the Project wants to attract to Crunch the WUs, a more real world explanation of the use and possible outcomes people are striving for with this work would be a great Pull for a visitor looking for a Project. I suspect an internal Project purist Scientist may bulk at such imprecise generalisations, however at it stands the page does nothing for the real world.

A revamped Home page does not have to "promise the world", and indeed should avoid exagerated claims of possible future discovery. It should however be readable by mere mortals in a format that interests and excites. There is a brief sentance refering to applications for a type of mental illness - I got that inference, and is a good thing, the rest went way over my head - and was frankly a waste of valuable Web Space.

I followed one link to the Wiki entry - baaaaaad move rofl - its even worse :) For Wiki thats fine tho, thats what its there for. This Home Page needs to be about explaining what the real world advantages of helping are. Some may say that will not attract many people, that may end up being the case, but it will be a darn sight more than the current content :)

Lets use what is a good solid Web Site with a clean impressive design as it is now, in a creative way, to produce interesting content and updates from the Scientist side of the Project. It need not be much, and may well be somewhat simplistic and generalised for their tastes - understandably so - they have their own work to do - but communication, contact and content is all in these kind of Projects - its in their own interests to help us .......

Regards
Zy

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Message 7739 - Posted: 22 Mar 2009 | 9:11:53 UTC - in response to Message 7731.
Last modified: 22 Mar 2009 | 9:12:30 UTC

Points taken. Thanks for helping us improving the website.

gdf

Profile Paul D. Buck
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Message 8318 - Posted: 9 Apr 2009 | 5:54:22 UTC

I tried to make this point over at ABC, and if you look in NC (or my postings I am sure you can still find the discussion), but, it was the same essential point. The true goal of the "glossy advertising" on the front page is to try to get the non-scientist and non-geek to come in because of the value of the project.

Yes, maybe it has to be written to the ignorant 6 year old level (the accusation leveled at me that I could not understand something that all 6 year olds do), but, are you trying to get me in, or impress me with how much smarter you are than me ...

Though the one lesson I learned when I was a teacher (both in the USN for 3 years and as a college level type) is that if you cannot explain it to someone who is NOT an expert in your field, well, you don't really understand the subject either ...

I have suggested to many projects, and now this one, that this is also a learning experience for people ... and if we can start to develop material that brings people in ... well who knows ...

One of the universal constants in the world of BOINC is that we do want to understand the science and even if we don't we do want to make the attempt and those projects that do let us see the papers and the work ... well ... the word loyalty comes to mind ...

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Message 8706 - Posted: 21 Apr 2009 | 23:54:06 UTC - in response to Message 8318.

Sorry for a tardy response ...... been one of those months :)

I agree totally that this kind of thing is very often misunderstood by those heavily into the scientific aspects, they forget what it was like when they first started.

On a practical level, a personal illustration of this. I first came to GPUGRID on 6 Feb, and just ticked along in a resource sense until I could get a feel of the Project, how its run, what it does, and why it does it. I didnt properly look at the science pages, as I could see they were down in the engine room of it all, I was only standing in the doorway rofl.

Then a couple of weeks ago I looked harder at the science pages, and tried to wade through it all. One bit did catch my attention:

"Sodium ions have been shown to play an important role in the binding of antipsychotic drugs to the D2 Dopamine receptor. Understanding the sodium-induced mechanism is of great interest for future drug design in the treatment of schizophrenia."

My daughter has schizophrenia, a classic case that surfaced in late teens, and formally diagnosed when she was 22. Its now ten years later, and I am always interested in hearing and seeing long term trends on the topic. She will not be "cured", all that can be done is syptom treatment, at present and for the foreseeable future, a cure is an unrealistic expectation. However it may happen for future generations given resource and research, who knows, and if we can play a small part in helping that happen, that can only be a good thing. I would - quite literally - not wish schizophrenia on my worst enemy, its an horrific debilitating condition.

When I saw that I switched all the use of my one card to GPUGRID - it was 50% SETI. That will not exactly change the face of life as we know it, clearly, but every little bit helps, particularly if you can identify with the condition being researched. As a consequence, I am now working on making funds available to revamp two PCs with better NVidea cards to boost the WUs for the Project. Wont happen "next week", but it will happen in the not too distant future.

The point of that story is I doubt I am alone in this kind of thing. People want to identify with the activity they undertake, if they dont they are liable to move on. The rest of that page just might as well be printed in "Martian" as far as the average person is concerned. This extract floats very few boats with us mere mortals .........

"This workunit investigates the conformational differences that arise when TPI enzymes undergo tyrosine nitration as a consequence of inflammation, defective mithocondrial respiration and oxydative stress. Workunits last around one day and must completed before 4 days"

Uh Huh rofl :)

Regards
Zy

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Message 8720 - Posted: 22 Apr 2009 | 14:04:19 UTC - in response to Message 8706.

Thanks for this message. I really appreciate it.

gdf

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Message 8726 - Posted: 22 Apr 2009 | 15:02:53 UTC - in response to Message 8706.

Thanks a lot.

I am personally going to make an effort to keep the science section as clear and understandable as possible. I already have a few ideas for it... I only need to find enough time to implement them.

ignasi

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Message 8728 - Posted: 22 Apr 2009 | 16:08:15 UTC - in response to Message 8726.

I hope the respective content providors do not take my cooment on content too personaly, it was not intended to beat up anyone. I am acutely concious of the efforts many go to in the Project Team - "Above and Beyond" is an apt phrase - in their own time, as well as normal days, to keep all this going.

I have little doubt the explanations given are - in the scientific community - well regarded as a consise and apt summation, no one goes public with content such as that unless it is. As Paul aptly expressed it, this aspect is often, and understandably, forgotten. The whole point of the OP was just a gentle nudge and plea not to forget us mere mortals who want to see, learn and identify - its just that the latter is hard to do when pitched straight in at research level explanations.

Keep Crunching :)

Regards
Zy

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Message 9500 - Posted: 9 May 2009 | 5:13:27 UTC - in response to Message 8728.
Last modified: 9 May 2009 | 5:21:10 UTC

I've seen a few BOINC projects where the home page contains one or more links to one or more page(s) on which which real-world problems the project helps. The home page contains only a short list of these problems, to attract attention to the link(s). Would you consider that approach?

In the meantime, I happen to have gathered a short list of web sites related to schizophrenia research done elsewhere. Would you like a thread devoted to schizophrenia information somewhere, and if so, in which message board?

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Message 9501 - Posted: 9 May 2009 | 5:16:52 UTC - in response to Message 8728.
Last modified: 9 May 2009 | 5:17:50 UTC

(duplicate message)

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Message 9505 - Posted: 9 May 2009 | 8:16:20 UTC - in response to Message 9501.

What about changing the name of the forum:
Meet and contribute
Meet other partecipants and scientists and contribute to project dev

to something like:
Meet and Science discussions
Meet other partecipants and scientists and discuss scientific issues

Any other idea?

The new framework for the science page of the project is almost ready. We will need your help to see how well we are doing.
gdf

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Message 9532 - Posted: 9 May 2009 | 12:48:23 UTC - in response to Message 9505.

As a cruncher, when I participate in projects I think about them from two perspectives: "Project" and "Crunching".

This thread seems to be focused on the Project / Science aspect including content and how to facilitate communication on the website.

I see the two basic methods of communication being the Science page and the forums. Maybe a forum that has a slighly loftier title ... "What are our goals?", "What are we solving?", "Meet the Projects", "Project Discussion", "Science Projects". Yes, I am leaning away from the word "Science" and towards "Project" to make it less intimidating.

Project page:
Not that I can understand the "real" science ("damn it Jim, I'm a doctor not a molecular biologist") but I like to participate on a project (albeit on a low level) with smart people (the scientists) so would like to see you continue presenting hardcore science. At the end of each sub-project description you could have a sentence something like "To learn more or discuss this project please visit our forums" with a link right there, at that location of the page to the forum to help draw people directly along. I suggest this because as soon as you start to scroll any page you can no longer see the forum link on the header which causes a disconnect.

I am tempted to suggest a separate subforum for each subproject but I doubt there would be enough traffic on each to keep them "active". As a surfer, I look at the last post date, if it has been a long time then whatever is in there *can't* be very good/ important because there is no active discussion. Like at a carnival when a barker finally gets a coule of people to his/her attraction they need to bark less because in general the more people who are interested / participating then it *must* be interesting. :-))

So keeping with a single subforum. The forum itself could have an opening post(stickey) for each subproject that provides a somewhat more general of the why we are doing what we are doing, the project's goals, approach, direction, etc. pehaps even the names of the scientists involved (assuming you don't all work on all the projects :-). This subforum provides a place for the posts that have external links (could be stickied if popular).

I have a general suggestion about your forum descriptions ... drop the negatives ... "Problems with ..." just doesn't look good :-). Along with rewroding the descriptions I might also re-arrange the order of the forums based on how you want them to be used because while forums tend to grow organically, most plants lean towards the sun :-)

I have more thoughts but it may be a while before I can articulate them properly.

Steve
____________
Thanks - Steve

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Message 9570 - Posted: 10 May 2009 | 2:58:26 UTC - in response to Message 9505.

What about changing the name of the forum:
Meet and contribute
Meet other partecipants and scientists and contribute to project dev

to something like:
Meet and Science discussions
Meet other partecipants and scientists and discuss scientific issues

Any other idea?

The new framework for the science page of the project is almost ready. We will need your help to see how well we are doing.
gdf


How about modifying that somewhat to make it clear that one forum's purpose is for discussing this project's science only, and there's another one for more general discussions? I'd expect some of the scientists to decide that they don't have much time to participate in the more general one.

There should also be a forum for discussing problems in the software and problems in the workunits.

I don't insist on any particular names for these forums, as long as they reflect their purposes.

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Message 10139 - Posted: 24 May 2009 | 20:03:24 UTC - in response to Message 9570.

I completely understand and agree with Zydor.
I've observed and quickly acted when GPU computing became available, seeing the untaped potential in it, and thus I've turned all my attention to bio~research related fields such as GPUGRID.

For me too, the science section is important and I appreciate that we have one, its just unfortunately for me, not much of what's described in there makes much sense, and most of all, I can't really keep track of the progress.

Also, it would be lovely to see reports about practical utilization of the finished research carried on here, of course if there is any.

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Message 12641 - Posted: 23 Sep 2009 | 0:24:47 UTC - in response to Message 10139.

Some changes I'd like to see on the science page:

1. Make sure phospate is the correct spelling.

2. Mention if you've started including workunits related to medical conditions other than schizophrenia, and if so, at least the ones with the most importance. For example, I believe I've seen workunits with HIVPR in their names. Are these related to HIV/AIDS?

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