Charity Engine

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Charity Engine
IndustryDistributed Computing
FounderMark McAndrew
United Kingdom
Key people
Mark McAndrew, Matt Blumberg, Mark Roberts, Stephen Wolfram (Advisor)
ProductsCharity Engine PC app
OwnerThe Worldwide Computer Company Limited

Charity Engine is a free PC app based on Berkeley University's BOINC software, run by The Worldwide Computer Company Limited. The project works by selling spare home computing power to universities and corporations, then sharing the profits between eight partner charities and periodic cash prize draws for the users;[1] those running the Charity Engine BOINC software on their home computers. When there are no corporations purchasing the computing power, Charity Engine donates it to existing volunteer computing projects such as Rosetta@home, Einstein@Home, and Malaria Control, and prize draws are funded by donations.[2]

The company was founded by former journalist Mark McAndrew,[3] who was writing a science fiction novel featuring a similar organisation. He abandoned the book in favour of creating the idea in real life, with the assistance of professor David Anderson from UC Berkeley who created BOINC.[4] The company was incorporated in 2008, but did not start trading until 2011.[5]

The company received €70,000 of EU innovation funding through the Framework Programme 7 (FP7).[6]

Protein folding[edit]

In August 2014 the Rosetta@home project reported Charity Engine had contributed over 125,000 new PCs to its grid.[7]

In January 2017, Charity Engine was credited as a significant contributor to solving protein-folding problems in the paper "Protein structure determination using metagenome sequence data" published by the journal Science.[8]

Sums of three cubes problem[edit]

In September 2019 a team led by Andrew Booker at the University of Bristol and Andrew Sutherland at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used Charity Engine to solve the sums of three cubes problem for the number 42,[9][10] as well find solutions for 4 other numbers in the same problem. The numbers found by Charity Engine are:



  1. ^ "Spare Some Idle CPU Cycles For Charity This Season". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  2. ^ "How It Works". Charity Engine. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  3. ^ Ward, Mark (2012-05-10). "Idle home PCs could raise cash for Charity Engine". BBC News. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Ariel (2012-01-10). "Charity Engine: The Ethical Supercomputer That Can Win You $10,000". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  5. ^ "THE WORLDWIDE COMPUTER COMPANY LIMITED - Filing history (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  6. ^ "Charity Engine: power of home PCs harnessed as one supercomputer". GOV.UK. Innovate UK. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  7. ^ "The Power of Charity For Protein Design". University of Washington. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  8. ^ "Big data (and volunteers) help scientists solve hundreds of protein puzzles". GeekWire. 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  9. ^ "Sum of three cubes for 42 finally solved -- using real life planetary computer". Science Daily. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  10. ^ Lu, Donna. "Mathematicians find a completely new way to write the number 3". New Scientist. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  11. ^ "ON A QUESTION OF MORDELL" (PDF). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]

Charity Engine Website