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SETI@home is a scientific experiment that will harness the power of hundreds of thousands of Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data. There's a small but captivating possibility that your computer will detect the faint murmur of a civilization beyond Earth.

UNIX users: Download SETI@home files here.

Windows and Macintosh users: Versions of SETI@home for these computers are undergoing final testing and will be released about May 15, 1999 (sorry for the delay). To be notified by email, please enter your full email address and .

  Use SETI@home   Learn about SETI and SETI@home
  How you can help   The Project

Sponsors and technology partners of SETI@home include The Planetary Society, Paramount Pictures, Sun Microsystems, Fuji Film Computer Products, Informix, Engineering Design Team, The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), and The SETI Institute. SETI@home is also supported by private donations. It is based at the University of California at Berkeley. Learn about other UC Berkeley SETI projects.

Questions? Send us email.


The members of the SETI@home team are:

    Dr. David P. Anderson, Project Director. David is Chief Technology Officer at Inc. A former member of the Computer Science faculty at UC Berkeley, he has authored 65 research papers in operating systems, distributed computing, and computer graphics.

    Dan Werthimer, Chief Scientist. Dan is Principal Investigator of the SERENDIP Project at UC Berkeley. He has been actively involved in SETI observations for 20 years, publishing over 35 papers and books on the subject. Dan is the designer of the SERENDIP and SETI@Home data collection hardware.

    Jeff Cobb, Scientific Programmer.
    Eric Korpela, Research Astronomer.
    Kyle Granger, UI/Graphics Programmer.
    Matt Lebofsky, Scientific Programmer.

The SETI@home advisory panel includes:

    David Gedye. David founded the SETI@home project, and acted as its first Director from 1995 to 1997. David is Engineering Director for the APEX Online Education project.

    Dr. Woodruff T. Sullivan III. Woody is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington, and has been an active member of the academic SETI community for more than 20 years.

and the following members of The SETI Institute:

    Dr. Frank Drake, President, SETI Institute.
    Dr. Jill Tarter, Director, Project Phoenix.
    Tom Pierson, Executive Director, SETI Institute.
    Dr. Kent Cullers, Project Phoenix Scientist.
    Dr. John Dreher, Project Phoenix Scientist.
    Greg Klerkx, SETI Institute.

The client analysis code was designed by Dan Werthimer, Mike Lampton, Charles Donnelly and Jeff Cobb, and was implemented by Jeff Cobb. Other contributing programmers include David Anderson, James F. Causey, Ragnar Hojland Espinosa, Kelly French, Kyle Granger, Patrick Keane, Eric Korpela, Matt Lebofsky, Michael Pfeiffer, Brian Pike, Stein M. Sandbech, Ted Wright, and Steffen Zahn.

Philippe Verdy and Ron Hipschmann assisted in developing this web site.

Many thanks to Craig Kasnoff, who participated in the project's formative discussions and made key introductions. Ralph Derrickson has supported the project from its inception, and given much needed business advice.

  Project Plan

A history and future schedule of SETI@home:

1996: David Gedye, along with Craig Kasnoff, conceived the idea for SETI@home and formed the initial project team. A scientific plan was developed that received widespread academic support at the 5th International Conference in Bioastronomy in July 1996.

1997: The signal analysis code and prototypes of the client and server software were developed.

1998: Most of this year has been devoted to fundraising. In 9/98 we began working on the data recording system and on the final version of the client software. In 11/98 we plan to begin recording data and to begin testing the client software.

1999: From 1/99 through 3/99 we will test and debug the client software, develop the final version of the server software, and prepare the web site for launch. The launch is scheduled for 4/99.

2000-2001: To survey as much of the sky as possible, the experiment will run for two years. The web site will be updated regularly with progress reports, and explanations of the results found so far.


April 6, 1999. We released the UNIX version of the SETI@home client. Within a few hours, a couple of thousand people were using the program. As expected, this created a heavy load on the server for the first time, and we hastily fixed a number of problems.

March 28, 1999. We are continuing beta-testing and debugging of the Windows and UNIX versions of the client. The Macintosh version is nearing completion. We're still on schedule for an April launch, though it may be towards the end of the month.

February 22, 1999. Our server-side software has been modified to use an Informix relational database for all storage.

January 20, 1999. The University of California Digital Media Innovation Program has awarded SETI@home a grant to match funding from our sponsors.

January 20, 1999. The Windows version of the client now seems to be stable, and we have expanded testing to about 50 users. We have started porting the client to Macintosh, and are also rewriting the server-side software to allow it to handle 100,000+ users.

November 20, 1998. Today we began testing the SETI@home screensaver with real users. Our first distribution was to 3 users, and over the next few months we will ramp up to 100 or so.

November 20, 1998. The data recording system is completed and operational at Arecibo. We have begun recording and collecting tapes (35 Gigabytes each) of the data the will eventually be distributed to SETI@home users.

October 7 1998. We have received some funding commitments (announcements forthcoming). We have begun development of the data recorder and the data-handling software, and are continuing development of the client software.

July 30 1998. Several dozen volunteer programmers have contributed to the development of the client program, and volunteers from around the world have translated the web page into several languages. Engineering Design Team Inc. (EDT) has donated analog-to-digital interfaces for the data collection system.

We continue to seek the funding that we need to complete the science-only version of the system. We have some good possibilities, but nothing definite so far. Because of this, the schedule for the science-only version has slipped at least a couple of months.

June 10 1998. The UC Berkeley SETI program received the Smithsonian Institute medal for first place in 1998 science and technology innovation. More....

June 1998. Sun Microsystems has agreed to make a donation of computer hardware to SETI@home. This donation is of major importance, as the computers will form the backbone of our data recording and distribution systems.

May 1998. The Center for Electronic Art in San Francisco is running a workshop to design an enhanced Web site and other graphical elements for SETI@home.

March 1998. The Planetary Society has offered its support to the project as a co-sponsor, and will be assisting us in recruiting other sponsors.

September 1997. More than 35,000 people have joined the SETI@home mailing list, many after seeing Dan Werthimer discuss the project on the Discovery Channel. Also during September -- the first magnetic tape of test data from Arecibo was returned to Berkeley. This will be used to test the analysis algorithms, and get an initial sense of the terrestrial interference characteristics.

August 1997. Dan Werthimer was interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered. Other stories this month included one by PC World. The SETI@home mailing list grew to 10,000 people. Senior members of the SETI Institute accepted invitations to sit on our advisory board.

June 1997. The SETI@home web site was established, and David Gedye was interviewed by the New York Times.

  Sponsors and Acknowledgements

If you'd like to become one of the project's Founding Supporters, please click here. Donations are fully tax deductible.

Corporations may become Corporate Sponsors of SETI@home with a minimum $5K (or equivalent in-kind) donation. We are also interested in Corporate Participants willing to run SETI@home on their PCs. Please send email for more information.

Sponsors and technology partners of SETI@home include:

The Planetary Society
The Planetary Society
Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Fuji Film Computer Products
Fuji Film Computer Products
Engineering Design Team, Inc.
The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO)
The SETI Institute
The SETI Institute
The Friends of SETI@home
(people like you) !
Donate !

Thanks also to Starwave, who sponsored the scientific feasibility study.

Copyright (c) 1999 SETI@home