ScienceAtHome is a diverse team of scientists, data scientists, game developers, designers and visual artists. We create fun scientific games, with the aim of revolutionising scientific research and teaching by game-play.
ScienceAtHome is based at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University. The main objectives of the Department are to carry out research at the highest international level, to offer research-based teaching at Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. levels and to exchange knowledge with other areas of society.
For years Jacob Sherson had dreamt of creating a quantum computer. Hard work and crucial discoveries had brought him closer to the goal, but many challenges still remained. A quest as ambitious as building a quantum computer brings complex theoretical issues that scientists and computers of today cannot solve.
"Why not gamify these complicated problems and ask players all around the world to help us?"—This thought entered Jacob's head as he was cycling to work one day. And there, the first seed of ScienceAtHome was planted!
The first game
In 2011 the freshly established project started an adventure full of surprises. The ups and downs of creating player-friendly interfaces, testing, recruiting the first players, failing and starting all over again... After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, in the summer of 2012, ScienceAtHome took a turn. The first game, Quantum Moves, was born!
Soon almost 2000 players were tackling Quantum Moves and generating a lot of data for ScienceAtHome. 300 000 unique play trajectories were analysed by our scientists, with more and more player data pouring in all the time. These were big numbers that encouraged the team along the way. What's more, player data showed exactly what Jacob's first idea hinted at. Humans can solve the quantum problem more efficiently than computers!
After the first success, we were hungry for more scientific games and invited researchers from other disciplines to join our effort. Our team was ready to tackle the challenge of new scientific problems such as why and how human learning can outperform quantum algorithms. So far, cognitive scientists, psychologists and even linguists have joined the ScienceAtHome family. Players and researchers, are you ready to join our citizen science hub as well?