A part-time, two person effort UMBC VP for Research Don Engel and his wife Marianne nearly won the DARPA Shredder Challenge. Their entry, Schroddon got a late start, but held the top leaderboard spot for quite a while before being bested by “All Your Shreds Are Belong To U.S.” at the end. The first prize was $50,000 and second was … well, priceless.
Game over. DARPA has announced that the MIT Red Balloon Challenge Team won the DARPA Network Challenge and its $40,000 prize. The MIT team received the prize for being the first entrant to identify the locations of all ten red balloons.
The MIT team used a kind of inverse pyramid scheme to encourage people to collaborate.
DARPA will hold the DARPA Network Challenge to explore how “broad-scope problems can be solved using Internet-based technologies.
“To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internet, DARPA has announced the DARPA Network Challenge, a competition that will explore the role the Internet and social networking plays in the timely communication, wide area team-building and urgent mobilization required to solve broad scope, time-critical problems.
The challenge is to be the first to submit the locations of ten moored, 8 foot, red weather balloons located at ten fixed locations in the continental United States. Balloons will be in readily accessible locations and visible from nearby roadways.”
According to the rules, the balloons will be on display from 10:00AM to 4:00PM on Saturday, 5 December 2009. A prize of $40,000 will be awarded to the first participant to submit the latitude and longitude of all ten weather balloons within the contest period, which ends on 14 December 2009.
The ScienceInsider feed from Science has a story, DARPA to Explore Geoengineering, about how DARPA is exploring the concept of geoengineering, i.e., the modification of Earth’s environment on a large scale to suit human needs and promote habitability.
“An official advisory group to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is convening an unclassified meeting next week to discuss geoengineering, ScienceInsider has learned. DARPA is the latest in a number of official science funding agencies or top scientific societies that are exploring the controversial idea. But one leading advocate of the work opposes the military developing geoengineering techniques.
The 1-day meeting, to be held Wednesday at Stanford University, will be led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champlaign engineering professor Bill King under the auspices of the Defense Sciences Research Council, which advises DARPA. An agenda for the unpublicized event viewed by ScienceInsider listed top researchers who have studied geoengineering as speakers, including geochemist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science and astrophysicist Gregory Benford of University of California-Irvine.”