• SETI.USA Team History

    This article was written for the March 2010 Team SETI.USA News for the team's 5th Anniversary.
    Re-posted to our new forums by request.

    SETI.USA Team History

    The year was 2005 and SETI.Germany was the #1 team on the SETI@Home project with a lead that was apparently untouchable by any challengers. In a dorm room filled with ancient computers searching for a signal of extraterrestrial life our original team founder Project III was struck with an epiphany. Noticing that the USA had more active participants on the project producing more credit per day than the country of the top team he thought why couldn’t the United States capture the #1 position? He realized it was because the production of the USA was fragmented across numerous teams. There needed to be a team that would attempt to unite those crunchers into a power house that had the capability to unseat the reining team on SETI@Home.

    On March 24, 2005 team SETI.USA was founded. Choosing a name for the team was intuitive; as the goal was to unseat SETI.Germany from its #1 position SETI.USA would be the team to do so. Project III and his friend JoeJoe worked the SETI@Home message boards attempting to recruit new members and boasting of the fledgling team’s plan of unseating SETI.Germany from the top of the leader board. Their posts were dismissed, and ridiculed, told their goal was unattainable, if the current larger teams on the project could not catch SETI.Germany this upstart team consisting of only a handful of members had no chance in doing so. Believing in their vision Project III and JoeJoe continued their efforts and although the majority of replies to their posts were negative a few members slowly started to join the team. A few months later JoeJoe managed to recruit a couple members by the nicks of BlkJack-21 & Fshslar (Fish) who also became involved in recruiting members to join the mission and developed the team’s first web site. These four members, Project III, JoeJoe, BlkJack-21, and Fish were the main driving force for our team in its infancy.


    The “Four Horsemen” 12.26.2005 - BlkJack-21, Fish, Project III, JoeJoe

    On Oct 23, 2005 the team gained its 100th member! In actuality the membership at that time was slightly less as a few early members had multiple user IDs set up to make the team look larger than it actually was hoping this would attract others to join the team. On Halloween night, the team made its goal of 1,000,000 cobblestones on the SETI@home project. By Dec 22 SETI.USA had moved up into the top 10 teams for daily output on the SETI@Home project with a team output near 86,000 cobblestones a day increasing to 100,000 cobblestones by the Dec 26th.

    With the continuing addition of new enthused and dedicated members SETI.USA was steadily moving up the leader board. In 2006 milestones and team accomplishments increased in an exponential manner. With other projects coming online in BOINC and the teams output no longer dedicated to only SETI@Home the team passed 5,000,000 total credits on the project on Jan 01 and doubled that by Jan 21. Things were really starting to move at this point. On Jan 22, 2006 for the first time SETI.USA surpassed SETI.Germany’s output on the SETI@Home project for the first time. The title of top producing team was exchanged between the two teams a few times but on Jan 25 SETI.USA re-gained and would except for a couple brief periods maintain the lead in daily output on SETI@Home. With an approximate 90,000,000 credit gap between the two teams we were now gaining on the #1 position daily.

    The team’s motto “Together we will accomplish something amazing!” was certainly true, 10 months earlier no one had heard of team SETI.USA now they were the top producing team and still growing!

    Feb 03, 2006 SETI.USA became the first team to pass a daily output of 1,000,000 cobblestones on the SETI@Home project. One of the many firsts to follow in the team’s future. Feb 21st would see the team pass 1300 members; by May 10th the team’s strength would be up to 2100 members. The team was still picking up speed and many finally realized that yes, SETI.USA may indeed have the ability to gain the #1 position on SETI@Home unseating the once though untouchable SETI.Germany.

    In June 2006 the team was being noticed by those outside of the BOINC community. Two of our members BlkJack-21 and Daniel Schaalma were interviewed by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal regarding SETI.USA’s participation in the SETI@Home project. On Jun 28, 2006 the article “How Many Computers Does It Take to Make Contact with E.T.s?” was published by the Wall Street Journal. Although there were some inaccuracies regarding the founders of our team and a comment taken out of context by the reporter to support his position (who would have thought that would happen at the WSJ?) the article was overall beneficial in giving our team exposure and we believed helped in recruiting additional members. The article is still available online and can be viewed at:


    Mar 08, 2007 SETI.USA passed SETI.Germany in total credit on the SETI@Home project. In less than two years since its inception team SETI.USA passed all teams participating in SETI@Home and became the #1 team for total credit on the project. SETI.USA’s #1 position has never been threatened and today retains over a 239,000,000 lead there thanks to ALL of its dedicated members.
    After completing the team’s original goal and expanding our lead many members moved on to other projects running under BOINC. The team set out with a new goal of becoming the #1 team for total credit across all BOINC projects. This was accomplished on Sep 19, 2007.

    Although our team has had its “ups and downs” the ups greatly outweigh the downs. SETI.USA remains a major player in teams participating in BOINC. Our team currently is 1st in total BOINC credit. SETI.USA leads the way with 23 #1 positions in BOINC projects and has more “top 10” ranks at 79 than any other team.

    What does the future hold for SETI.USA? That’s entirely up to the team’s members. SETI.USA has been successful in its endeavors only because of the wonderful group of highly dedicated members that have joined us here. This team is nothing without its members. Each and every team member whether he has one computer or hundreds is vital to the success of the team’s future challenges.
    Let’s make the next 5 years even more exciting and successful than the past 5 have been working together to keep SETI.USA the best distributed computing team participating in BOINC.

    “Together we will accomplish something amazing!”…
    This article was originally published in forum thread: SETI.USA Team History started by DrBob View original post
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