David P. Anderson

1243 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 845-9854


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 (Berkeley Open Infrastruction for Network Computing), 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.

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.

2006 - present: Adjunct Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Houston.

I have ongoing collaborations with several U. of Houston faculty and co-advise graduate students.

1997 - 2016: Director, SETI@home, U.C. Berkeley

SETI@home is a research project that uses Internet-connected computers to analyze radio-telescope data 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.

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).