Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Ken Fogel, Sematext Blog

News Feed Item

Appirio's Crowdsourcing Community Creates Breakthrough Solutions to Support the Advancement of Space Science and Protect Planet Earth

Protecting Earth From Asteroids and Finding Anomalies in Saturn's Rings Are Just a Few Ways [topcoder] Is Helping NASA Push the Boundaries of Innovation for All Humankind

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/07/14 -- Appirio today announced that, in partnership with the Harvard NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), the company and its [topcoder]™ community are helping NASA and other government agencies solve some of their most complex real-world challenges. Over the last three years, the [topcoder] community of 630,000 data scientists, developers and designers have helped NASA and a number of other U.S. government agencies tackle issues ranging from tracking asteroids, to improving deep space networking, to predicting a chemical's systemic lowest effect level, just to name a few. To date, the crowdsourcing efforts have received thousands of different submissions from more than 20 countries with over $1.5 million awarded to [topcoder] community members.

The NTL was established in 2011 in a joint effort with NASA and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University to put the power of the fast-growing [topcoder] crowdsourcing development community to work solving complex challenges around human exploration, science and space technology. Following the successful crowdsourcing initiatives with NASA and the NTL, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requested that NASA establish the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). The purpose of the CoECI is to educate, share best practices and measure the impact of crowdsourcing and open innovation across other government agencies as well as within NASA.

Current challenges that NASA is working on with the [topcoder] community of more than 630,000 developers, designers and data scientists include:

  • Asteroid Data Hunter: The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge, part of the Asteroid Grand Challenge series, is running on [topcoder] and is being conducted in partnership with Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI). In the latest challenge, the community was tasked with developing an algorithm that can validate asteroid detections and reduce false identifications in images from ground-based telescopes by learning from years of human input. Phase two of the challenge is launching on August 11 and will aim to increase the detection sensitivity. The successful solution will need to minimize the number of false asteroid detections by leveraging the Phase one algorithms and ignore imperfections in the data. For more information or to sign up to compete in the Asteroid Data Hunter and Asteroid Tracker (which is now live) marathon matches visit topcoder.com/asteroids.

  • Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Challenge Series: Sending email to and from the International Space Station (ISS) over a distance of 44,000 miles can be a complicated and unreliable process. Over the past year, the [topcoder] community has contributed to both the design and implementation of NASA's open source Disruption Tolerant Networking Protocol. In this latest effort, the [topcoder] community is adapting an existing enterprise email system to use DTN. The solution will convert email and calendar traffic to bundles instead of packets for sharing data between Earth and the ISS reliably, safely and securely.

  • ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker): Living in a microgravity environment onboard the International Space Station makes humans susceptible to nutrient deficiencies and bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis. To help NASA scientists and doctors monitor and solve this problem, [topcoder] designed and developed an iPad-based application that provides astronauts on the ISS with an efficient, rapid, and accurate method for tracking their dietary intake. Recently, the iPad app was demonstrated at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco by former astronaut Leland Melvin.

  • Planetary Data Systems Challenge: The Cassini spacecraft is orbiting Saturn in an extended mission to study the planet. Using actual images from the spacecraft, the goal is to create an algorithm that will help scientists better understand ring phenomena, ring structure, and potentially find new moons. This is a set of challenges to help find anomalies and features of interest in the rings of Saturn that are not otherwise detectable by a computer due to false-positives. Results of this challenge will be available in Fall 2014.

"As NASA continues to push the boundaries of human imagination and innovation, we have seen the value in utilizing a citizen-based professional crowd to complement our internal efforts and solve complex real-world challenges," said Jason Crusan, NASA Tournament Lab director. "Tapping into a diverse pool of the world's top technical talent has not only resulted in new and innovative ways to advance technologies to further space exploration, but has also led to a whole new way of thinking for NASA, and other government agencies, providing us with an additional set of on-demand tools to tackle complex projects."

Additional government agencies working with [topcoder] through the CoECI structure include the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid (CMS), USAID, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For example, the EPA pursued the ToxCast Prediction Challenge to address the lack of information on the thousands of chemicals that humans are exposed to every day. The diverse [topcoder] community was challenged to predict the lowest dose at which a chemical causes adverse effects in traditional chemical toxicity tests. The algorithm contest consisted of two phases with a total of 338 registrants, 49 competitors, and 804 submissions. The winning submission to the three-week contest provided an approach towards addressing the toxicity problem that heavily leveraged data science techniques and has potential for further advancement. Interestingly, but common to [topcoder] results, most of the highest-ranked solutions were provided by competitors without specific expertise in a chemistry-related field. These solutions matched or exceeded solutions provided by subject domain experts. As a result, the EPA will be showcasing the top two winners' findings at the 2nd Annual Data Summit on September 29 & 30 at the EPA Research Triangle Park Campus in North Carolina. Register for the Data Summit now to be a part of the dialogue about ways to use this new data to transform chemical safety evaluations.

"The [topcoder] community has really taken a leading role in the field of Data Science when it comes to providing the best expertise across the world in algorithmic and statistical work, as well as digitization, and computer science," said Dr. Karim R. Lakhani, Principal Investigator of Harvard-NTL and Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration. "These data scientists have been able take the complex, data intensive problems facing NASA and other federal agencies, analyze it, and then turn that analysis into creating actual solutions to advance some of their most important initiatives."

"The results [topcoder] has achieved impacting science and technology with NASA, the NTL and OSTP have inspired other parts of government to examine how they can use communities to redefine how research and development is done," said Narinder Singh, president of [topcoder] and co-founder of Appirio. "Just as many of our enterprise customers are utilizing the global talent pool of the [topcoder] community to execute disruptive strategies, the federal government is tapping into that same talent pool to solve some of its most pressing and complex problems. In some cases, the solutions that are created might literally change the world."

Additional resources:

About Appirio
Appirio is a global cloud consultancy that helps customers achieve results in weeks, not years by harnessing the power of the world's top talent. Appirio's 630,000 member [topcoder] community and crowdsourcing platform, combined with the company's business and technical expertise, have helped 800+ enterprises confidently use technology to increase innovation and transform business. Founded in 2006, Appirio is a trusted partner to companies such as Apria, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Japan Post Network, L'Oreal, NetApp, The Four Seasons and Virgin America.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...