David P. Anderson



1985PhDComputer ScienceUniversity of Wisconsin - Madison
1982MSComputer ScienceUniversity of Wisconsin - Madison
1979MAMathematicsUniversity of Wisconsin - Madison
1977BAMathematicsWesleyan University


2002 - present: Research Scientist, Space Sciences Lab, U.C. Berkeley

I direct BOINC, a research project that develops middleware for volunteer computing. BOINC is used by SETI@home, Climateprediction.net, Einstein@home, and about 30 other scientific computing projects from universities and research labs around the world. I am Principal Investigator or co-PI on six National Science Foundation grants supporting BOINC.

From 1997 to 2016 I directed SETI@home, a research project that uses volunteer computing to analyze data from the Arecibo radio telescope in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Since its public launch in May 1999, over 3,000,000 people have contributed 2 million years of computer time, making SETI@home the largest computation ever performed. As project director, I raised funds (about $2M thus far, from a variety of private and public sources), hired and managed a team of 6 programmers and system administrators, handled news media, and managed the web site. I was also the technical lead, designing and managing the implementation of the client- and server-side software, and the database. I managed the transition of SETI@home to the BOINC platform. I am currently developing Nebula, a system for the back-end analysis of SETI@home results.

I worked on the Stardust@home project, led by Andrew Westphal at SSL, developing the "virtual microscope" technology enabling volunteers to look for particles of interstellar dust in microphotographs of an Aerogel collector.

Jan - Oct 2002: Chief Science Officer, United Devices

I provided strategic consulting for United Devices.

2000 - 2002: Chief Technology Officer, United Devices

This company developed a platform for Internet-scale distributed computing and storage, and marketed this platform in a number of application areas such as Bioinformatics and Web load testing. As CTO, I was responsible for the platform architecture, including its API, its cross-platform client software, and its back-end server and database.

1995 - 1999: Chief Technology Officer, Tunes.com, Berkeley CA.

I architected and implemented a database-driven, Web-based system for personalized music discovery and marketing. This system involves a number of technology components:

  • A system for automated sampling of CDs and encoding into multiple compressed formats (Real Audio, PAC). This was used to produce a library of about one million audio samples.
  • A relational database of CD information (UPC/track/title/artist etc.) combining data from several commercial sources.
  • A CGI-based Web interface for browsing, listening to, and rating musical selections.
  • Algorithms for obtaining user "music taste profiles" on the basis of listening patterns and ratings, and for generating listening suggestions based on these profiles and expert editorial data.

1995 - present: Consultant

My consulting contracts have included:

  • For Virtual University International. Developed basic technology (Java/Javascript/SQL) for presenting personalized structured instructional material via the Web.
  • For Hotwired.com: prototyped a collaborative-filtering system for content personalization.
  • For Jump! Software Inc.: Developed a web site for sheet music sales, and an associated aggregation/shipping system, using Cold Fusion, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access and VB.
I also developed and operated rare.com, a Web-based system for rating-based recommendation of movies, TV, and other entertainment; and HORSE, a kiosk-based science museum exhibit that teaches the principles of radio SETI using interactive audio and animation.

1992 - 1995: Director of Software Architecture, Sonic Solutions, San Rafael CA.

I was the technical leader in developing SonicSystem, a distributed digital audio editing system based on FDDI, Macintosh, and proprietary DSP and I/O boards. I designed and implemented a high-performance filesystem, a custom transport protocol, and a system for reserving device bandwidth so that multiple users can share resources without performance conflicts.

SonicSystem's core technology was reused in MediaNet, a high-speed network file system for I/O-intensive Macintosh applications, able to deliver 4 Megabytes per second from a remote disk to an application. I designed and implemented the entire software data path (client cache and readahead mechanism, NuBus DMA system, Macintosh OS hooks).

I was responsible for the system-level software of SonicSystem and MediaNet. My role included cross-platform software design, software architecture for Sonic's next generation of audio and video products, and the design of software interfaces for OEM partners.

1985 - 1992: Assistant Professor, CS Division, EECS Department, University of California at Berkeley.

While at Berkeley I taught undergraduate courses in operating systems and introductory programming, and graduate courses in operating systems, distributed systems and networks, and multimedia systems. I advised eight Masters and two Ph.D theses.

I organized and led several research projects at UC Berkeley, including:

  • The ACME project produced 1) a network I/O server for digital audio/video on Sun workstations, 2) a distributed C++ toolkit for this server, and 3) teleconferencing and A/V editing applications. I did related projects involving resource reservation and scheduling, file systems, and basic OS mechanisms for digital audio/video.
  • The DASH project developed a new operating system kernel for the Sparc and Sequent Symmetry architectures. DASH pioneered new ideas in security, virtual memory, real-time communication, multiprocessor support, and object-oriented kernel design.
  • The AERO project developed a system for fault-tolerant parallel distributed programming on heterogeneous networks of UNIX workstations.
  • The FORMULA and MOOD projects developed concurrent real-time programming systems for algorithmic computer music, based on Forth and C++ respectively.


1986: IBM Faculty Development grant.

1987: NSF Presidential Young Investigator award.


I am the sole inventor on two patents for technology related to MediaNet, several patents related to distributed computing, and a patent for an invention involving 3-D interactive television.

Professional Activities

National Science Foundation: reviewer and panel member.

Program committees:

  • SCoDiS-LaSCoG'2014 workshop
  • 2013 IEEE/ACM Utility Computing and Cloud conference
  • 2012 3rd Workshop on Scalable Computing in Distributed Systems
  • 2012 IEEE/ACM Utility Computing and Cloud conference
  • 2011: 9th International Conference on Parallel Processing and Applied Mathematics
  • The 4th IEEE International Workshop on Digital Computing Infrastructure and Applications (Program co-chair)
  • CCGrid 2011 (Program Vice-Chair)
  • PCGrid 2011
  • PCGrid 2010
  • PCGrid 2009
  • 2008 International Symposium on Computer and Information Sciences (ISCIS2008)
  • 2008 DAPSYS
  • 2008/2007/2006/2005/2004 GP2PC Workshop (CCGrid conference);
  • 2008 workshop on Economic Models for Distributed Systems (Mardi Gras Conference);
  • 2008 Second Workshop on Desktop Grids and Volunteer Computing (IEEE IPDPS Conference);
  • 2008 workshop on Grid Computing (HICSS conference);
  • 2006 International Conference on eScience and the Grid;
  • 2005 International Conference on eScience and the Grid (co-chair),
  • 2003, 2004, 2005 International Workshop on Global and Peer-to-Peer Computing;
  • 2000 International Computer Music Conference
  • 1995, 1996, 1998: ACM Multimedia conference
  • several other conferences.
Journal refereeing:
  • Guest editor of special issue of Scalable Computing - Practice and Experience (vol. 16 no 2, June 2015)
  • Journal of Grid Computing (member of Editorial Board)
  • Journal of Computer Science and Technology
  • Future Generation Computing Systems
  • Scalable Computing: Practice and Experience
  • ACM Computing Surveys
  • ACM Transactions on programming languages and systems
  • Communications of the ACM
  • ACM Transactions on Computer Systems,
  • ACM Transactions on Graphics, IEEE Computer,
  • IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
  • IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
  • IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing
  • The Journal of Multimedia Systems and Applications (editorial board member from 1992-2003).

I have given numerous invited talks on my research, including:


  • Science Gateways Community Institute Webinar
  • 2017 BOINC Workshop
  • Berkeley SETI Research Center
  • LASER talks at UC Berkeley and Stanford
  • Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD)
  • University of North Dakota
  • 2014 BOINC Workshop
  • Austin Forum (U. of Texas)
  • Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)
  • HUBbub 2013 conference, Indianapolis
  • ASPERA conference on computing in high-energy physics, Hannover Germany.
  • Institute for High Energy Physics, Beijing, China
  • Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
  • University of Houston
  • International Desktop Grid Forum meeting, Hannover, Germany
  • Adobe Developer Seminar (San Francisco)
  • SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing and Scientific Computing
  • London Citizen Cyberscience Summit
  • Half-day BOINC tutorial at Supercomputing 2010 conference
  • Institute for High Energy Physics, Beijing, China
  • Genome Informatics Alliance Meeting
  • Grid and Pervasive Computing 2009, Geneva (keynote speaker)
  • International Symposium on Grid Computing, Taipei (keynote speaker)
  • University of Basel, Switzerland
  • NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference, San Jose
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Geospatial Innovation Facility, UC Berkeley
  • Emtech panel on cloud computing (MIT)
  • Barcelona Biomedical Research Park
  • Leiden University
  • Math Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley
  • eMentor IT Workshop (Oslo)
  • University of Houston
  • Panel at AAAS meeting in SF
  • Workshop at IEEE IPDPS conference (keynote speaker)
  • University of Extremadura (Merida, Spain)
  • HispaLinux conference (Caceres, Spain)
  • UCB Neurobiology Dept.
  • Sony Research, Redwood City
  • Singapore University
  • Condor Week (Univ. of Wisconsin)
  • MIT Internet Application Design workshop
  • UC Berkeley Computer Science Distinguished Lecture
  • Google
  • Amazon.com seminar series
  • Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications (Sydney)
  • CERN
  • University of Illinois
  • International Computer Science Institute
  • Internet2 meeting, Univ. of Hawaii
  • Residencia de Estudiantes, Madrid
  • University of Paris - Sud
  • IPDPS conference (keynote speaker)
Pre-2002: talks at Apple, Bell Labs, Bellcore, DEC SRC, HP Labs, IBM Almaden, MIT Media Lab, Stanford, Sun, and Xerox PARC, Europen conference (keynote speaker).