Computer & electronics hardware

Adam Beberg

Year Honored



"Some computational problems, such as defeating today’s commercial encryption, strain even the most powerful machines. Adam Beberg has figured out how to tackle such challenges: Throw the unused time of 10,000 computers at them. Such ""distributed computing"" promises greater access to number-crunching power, possibly leading to scientific and technological breakthroughs. For example, SETI@home, a search for intelligent life in the universe, is following Beberg’s lead with a distributed computing scheme to analyze radio telescope data. In a realm with more commercial significance encryption Beberg’s ideas have already paid off. In 1997, he founded a nonprofit group called During the group’s first year, it hosted an alliance of computers called the Bovine Cooperative, which won a prize by breaking a form of encryption known as RC5.Beberg left in April to work on Cosm, an open-source distributed computing project. Says former colleague Michael Labriola, now CEO of Invisible Web Publishing: ""The ideas that came intuitively to him could literally change the world."