Summer Technology Camp Joins List of Companies Assisting Stanford Scientists through Distributed Computing Project

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iD Tech Camps, North America's largest youth technology summer camp, installs Folding@home software on over 3,000 computers to help research protein folding and related diseases

Every computer contributes at least a small amount towards gaining a better grasp on what it is exactly that causes such diseases and syndromes.

iD Tech Camps, North America’s largest youth technology summer camp, has recently dedicated over 3,000 computers to running Stanford University’s Folding@home application.

The software – which allows all users to band together to form one large supercomputer – uses intensive computational methods to help scientists more thoroughly understand “protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases.”

Specifically, proteins are the underlying keys to biology, but before they can begin to work for our bodies, they must fold. While the process is still very much a mystery, it is known that protein folding is linked to a number of diseases – when proteins fold incorrectly, results can include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many cancer-related syndromes.

In all of this, the role of the computer is to provide accurate simulations which permit scientists to better understand results – more so than if they were to gather information solely from experiments. While the simulations don’t replace experiments, they are useful because they go above and beyond what can be seen in the lab, opening new avenues to hopefully finding cures and new preventions.

With an average of 50 computers at 60 different summer camp locations, iD Tech Camps powers these 3,000 computers each and every summer, giving kids and teens from all parts of the country the opportunity to take a course in video game design, programming, web design, graphic arts, robotics and more.

“We actually spend a lot of time planning, projecting and staffing to make sure there is never a need for our campers to share computers while working on their projects,” said Pete Ingram-Cauchi, President and CEO of iD Tech Camps. “But, by installing the Folding@home application on our camp computers, as a company, we are very happy to share our computers with Stanford’s scientists.”

Because the Folding@home application runs in the background of the CPU, it utilizes otherwise unused CPU power, virtually working unnoticeably to computer users.

“We thought installing Folding@home would be a very useful way to take advantage of the many computers we use during the summer season,” adds Ingram-Cauchi. “While protein folding is a very complex subject to understand and unravel, every computer contributes at least a small amount towards gaining a better grasp on what it is exactly that causes such diseases and syndromes.”

As iD Tech Camps’ involvement shows, anybody can easily assist with the study of these diseases by simply running the piece of software.

About iD Tech Camps
iD Tech Camps is North America’s #1 provider of summer computer camps and technology camps for kids and teens with programs at 60 elite universities in the USA and Canada. Locations include Stanford, Princeton and Harvard. Established in 1999 in Silicon Valley, the company is family-owned and operated. iD Tech Camps offers technology courses including Video Game Design, 3D Game Modding, Maya®, Game Development, Programming in C++ and Java, Programming iPhone® Apps, Robotics, Web Design, Flash® Animation, Graphic Arts, Digital Photography and Video Editing. The summer camps consist of weeklong day camps and sleep away camps, and multi-week teen academies. Courses are appropriate for beginner to advanced learners. The company teaches the latest technologies from Apple®, Adobe®, Microsoft®, Autodesk®, Sony®, Valve® and more.

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Ryan Barone
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