I Spy a Red Ballon!

I figure the CD community could win this one. What should we do with the $40 K?

Hi Everyone,

I need your help. My organization (GTRI) is participating in an social networking experiment tomorrow called the DARPA Network Challenge. An article describing the challenge is below, but the gist is this…10 red weather balloons will be flown tomorrow around the continental U.S. The balloons will be near major roadways; they will not be hidden on back roads. The first team that can identify the location of all 10 balloons will receive a prize of $40k. If GTRI wins, we will donate the money to the American Red Cross. The goal behind the project is to see how quickly a team can form a social network to collect information. We need people to join our team and look for red balloons tomorrow! If you see one, please contact us immediately any of the following ways:

Web: http://www.ispyaredballoon.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201028633372
Cell or Text: (262) I-SPY-SPY (262-477-9779)
Email: [email protected]

If you have questions, please let me know. Feel free to send this to anyone that would like to participate!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Margaret Loper, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist
Information Technology & Telecommunications Laboratory
Georgia Tech Research Institute
[email][email protected][/email]

Greg Needel will not be pleased. :wink:

We can use this to our advantage… Muhahaha.

…and? :wink:

Should I contact Margaret or are you trying to set up a CD network to capture the prize for FIRST?

Let me know since I was planning on looking in the Green Bay area tomorrow just for fun.

I guess I’m going to spend alot of time looking out the window tomorrow at work. Count that section of Indianapolis as covered.

I am never one to be discouraged. I think that competition is a good thing and different groups will have different tactics for solving the problem. Good luck to you and your group tomorrow.

for those interested in another group you can also check out http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=163627713147

For those interested in the better group :wink:

Ineresting group working on this:

So far they have probably 100 locations for 10 ballons. CAn someone help me with the math on this?

A MIT Team has won.


Just curious, how did they do it? Anyone know?

They probably use their Alumni association to help out with their findings. They must have alumni all over the country. Send out mass emails and phone calls. They had every town covered.:wink:

Oh darn… eventually FIRSTers will out number them. :]

They set up a web system that incentified the recruitment of people to give balloon info to them. Ie. The person that finds the balloon first gets 2k. The person who referred them gets 1k, etc. I did not see another group (including mine) that had this system in place, most other groups just gave prize money to people who specifically found the balloons.

This technique is very insightful. While not everyone will have the opportunity to see a red balloon, everyone would have the oportunity to invite others (dump their contacts) to the group. Very clever. It kind of reminds me of the 6 degrees to everyone. Which by the way would have paid out 2000/2/2/2/2/2/2 or $31.50 If each level had 10 unique contacts that registered/ participated, that would be 1 Million people.

In theory there should ahve been some remainder left from their payout system. I wonder how large that remainder was and who got it? If the original contact found the balloon they would only spend $2K of the up to $4K per balloon payout.