Sad News from NumberFields@home:Future of the Project Eric Driver / Project administrator / Project scientist wrote:
I've been procrastinating in sharing some news and I finally got around to doing it.
My old thesis advisor who has been backing this project retired in May. I don't actually work for the university, so this means the project has lost is primary benefactor.
The good news is that the university has allowed the project to continue. The bad news is that they will not be supporting any more hardware upgrades. This means when the current hardware fails the project will come to an end.
I'm hoping the current hardware can last several more years. One of the most critical parts is the hard drive, and we just got a new one about 1.5 years ago. Given that the previous hard drive lasted over 4 years, this is a positive.
This news has played into my reasoning on the order of the searches. Given that sf3 is practically guaranteed to be complete, I though it was prudent to use our finite time to first concentrate on sf7. The short term goal is to get sf7 to the same state that sf3 is currently in, which should take us into early next year. At that point, we can either spend the time to finish off sf3 and sf7, or continue on with sf6. Doing sf6 will allow us to find more fields in the finite time we have left, but finishing off sf3 and sf7 will allow us to say with 100% certainty that they are indeed complete. I am leaning towards finishing off sf3 and sf7, but that may change as time goes on.