Nanocrafter Up for Award

CGSWebSiteNanocrafterCircleNanocrafter has been chosen as one of the top 10 in the Interactives category in the 2016 Visualization Challenge (The ‎Vizzies‬). In addition to standard judging, there’s also a public voting element this year – you can help us get to the top. The top vote-getter will be designated the People’s Choice. Voting starts today, November 12 and closes November 17 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). Tell everyone you know to vote for Nanocrafter and please share this post far and wide!

Good job on the top 10 ranking, Nanocrafter team!

Foldit vs. University of Michigan Science Challenge

Circle with Foldit GraphicEarlier today we released a special puzzle challenge for the Foldit community based on a structure of a protein solved by crystallographers in the Bardwell Lab at the University of Michigan.

Recently, our scientists learned the Bardwell scientists decided to challenge a class of undergraduate biochemistry students to build a model into this unrefined density map before publishing the results. Knowing our community would also enjoy a challenge, the lab also invited Foldit players to participate!

The Foldit community has four weeks to develop a protein model that fits this density. Can Foldit players outperform the University of Michigan students—or even the crystallographers themselves?

CGS and Allen Institute Bringing Collaborative Brainpower to Neuroscience

brain Today, we’re pleased to announce our newest project in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), we are pleased to announce plans to work with a growing community of citizen neuroscientists to develop a game whose ultimate goal is to produce a “periodic table of the neurons.” The effort will use crowd-sourcing to accelerate the discovery of 3-dimentional neuronal structures, while getting students and other non-“expert” citizens who participate excited about discovering some of the mysteries of the human brain. Read the full press release to learn more about the other creative new efforts announced by the White House yesterday to get more students and adults excited about science and space.

Our new project will join our well-established crowdsourcing efforts such as Foldit and Nanocrafter, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to continue our efforts to lend our expertise in the growing realm of citizen science.

Additionally, our Foldit community has some news regarding a special puzzle challenge via the Bardwell Lab at the University of Michigan.

What’s Happening This Fall

RainyCampus_35Fall quarter is under way, and the office here is humming with activity – we can’t discuss all of it yet, but we have some exciting new projects in the works. Until then, we can check in on our current projects and give you an update on where we’ll be next.

Foldit continues to lead the way in crowdsourcing mentions, with mentions and write-ups recently by Scinexx (German science magazine), Huffington Post, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. In case you missed it on Twitter, Foldit is also giving followers a sneak peek behind the scenes every Friday until the end of the quarter. We’re doing this by sharing pictures in the lab taken by one of our scientists. In Nanocrafter news, we’re fixing some of our most interesting bugs and reintroducing early challenges for the community to see how effective our changes have been. If you haven’t been by lately – give Nanocrafter a look!

Coming up, these fresh events for your calendar!

  • Pacific Science Center Life Sciences Research Center on November 6-8, 2015. Foldit scientists will be on hand each day during this event to provide hands-on science and face-to-face time! Entry to this event is included with the price of general admission – FREE for Pacific Science Center Members.
  • Computing Open House, 1pm – 5pm on Saturday, December 5th, 2015. This fun event for middle/high school students and families kicks off the start of Computer Science Education Week every year, so we can’t wait to see you there.

CGS Fall Update

KBT_6151“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather – and autumn’s best of cheer.” – Helen Hunt Jackson

With the return of fall just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at what’s going on now and what’s coming up in the busy days ahead as students return to campus.

Recently, we participated in the University of Washington Foundation board fall meeting by demonstrating new versions of Treefrog Treasure and Foldit currently in development. You can read a write up of the event over at the CSE blog.

In game news, we are conducting our annual Foldit Demographic Survey and also our first-ever Nanocrafter Demographic Survey, both available until October 8. Today, we also discovered this charming new ten minute video on YouTube taking players through some of the earliest levels of Nanocrafter. Take a peek and see how far you can go after that by logging in to the game today.

It has been a while since we have been out and about in the community. If you’ve missed us too, you’re in luck, as we will be attending a couple of events later this year. Be sure to your calendars for November! We’ll be back again at the ninth annual Pacific Science Center Life Sciences Research Center on November 6-8, 2015. Foldit scientists will be on hand to provide hands-on science and face-to-face time. This event is one of our favorites in our local community, and is rare opportunity to speak directly with lab scientists one on one. We can’t wait to see you there.

We would also love to visit with school groups this fall and winter to help us test features we are developing for our products. Several groups have already made arrangements, but there’s still enough room on the calendar! Contact our general email or our Community Manager directly to get started.

Our search continues for a Digital Learning Curriculum Specialist to coordinate and help create a set of modular blended instructional materials for K-12 math from a brand new perspective. Apply through the UW Hires site today!