"You can do your part to help tackle such global issues as
disease control and climate prediction simply by volunteering your
computer's resources to solve complex computational problems. The
concept, known as volunteer computing, benefits universities and
research institutions around the world, who conduct projects that
often have humanitarian goals, such as predicting and controlling
the spread of malaria in Africa.
"To get involved, you download and install client software,
which periodically downloads tasks for your computer to process
using otherwise idle CPU cycles, memory, and disk space..."