This post isn’t directly related to financial modeling or real estate, but hear me out. It’s for a good cause.

Have you ever just sat there, staring at an Excel formula, and thought about it for a while?

If you’re on my web site, the odds are overwhelming that the answer is yes.

While you were sitting there thinking deep thoughts, your computer was waiting for you to do something, and millions upon millions of processor cycles were wasted. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do something productive with your computer while it was waiting for you to unwind a particularly nasty nested IF statement?

Distributed computing is the concept of using your spare computing power to be part of a larger network of machines, all of which are trying to solve a larger problem.  The World Community Grid enables anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet to donate their unused computing power to advance cutting-edge scientific research on topics related to health, poverty, and sustainability. In short, your computer could be doing something positive for the world while waiting for your next flash of insight on how to build the better financial model.  Through the contributions of over 650,000 individuals and 460 organizations, World Community Grid has supported 27 research projects to date, including searches for more effective treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS and neglected tropical diseases. Other projects are looking for low-cost water filtration systems and new materials for capturing solar energy efficiently.

I personally have four machines running their software both at home and at work. You don’t even notice it’s there; it basically kicks in when the computer isn’t in use and if you think about it, that’s a lot of times (i.e., lunch, coffee breaks, when you leave it on overnight and go home, etc.).

Want to sign up?  If nothing else, you can tell people that when you’re not building Excel models, you’re curing cancer.