Cody O’Loughlin for Quanta Magazine


The Architect of Modern Algorithms

Barbara Liskov pioneered the modern approach to writing code. She warns that the challenges facing computer science today can’t be overcome with good design alone.

Animation showing virtual players hiding and seeking in a digital arena
artificial intelligence

Playing Hide-and-Seek, Machines Invent New Tools

After millions of games, machine learning algorithms found creative solutions and unexpected new strategies that could transfer to the real world.

Lungs made from a collection of “tasting” tongues.

Cells That ‘Taste’ Danger Set Off Immune Responses

Taste and smell receptors in unexpected organs monitor the state of the body’s natural microbial health and raise an alarm over invading parasites.

Neutrinos and matrices
mathematical physics

Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Basic Math

Three physicists stumbled across an unexpected relationship between some of the most ubiquitous objects in math.

Virginia Trimble at UC Irvine.

Virginia Trimble Has Seen the Stars

How a young celebrity became one of the first female astronomers at Caltech, befriended Richard Feynman, and ended up the world’s foremost chronicler of the science of the night sky.

Illustration of a woman with “hands” behind her eyes and “eyes” in her hands, showing how the brain integrates its sense of the world with the actions to be taken in response.

‘Noise’ in the Brain Encodes Surprisingly Important Signals

Activity in the visual cortex and other sensory areas is dominated by signals about body movements, down to little tics and twitches. Scientists are now rethinking how they study and conceive of perception.

Illustration of robots evolving out of the mud.
artificial intelligence

Computers Evolve a New Path Toward Human Intelligence

By ignoring their goals, evolutionary algorithms have solved longstanding challenges in artificial intelligence.

An illustration of a mathematician staring up at an infinite pile of cubes of varying sizes and colors.
Quantized Academy

Why the Sum of Three Cubes Is a Hard Math Problem

Looking for answers in infinite space is hard. High school math can help narrow your search.

Latest Podcast

quantum computing

Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster

In a Paris lab, researchers have shown for the first time that quantum methods of transmitting information are superior to classical ones.

Latest Puzzle

insights puzzle

How Randomness Can Arise From Determinism

Playing with a simple bean machine illustrates how deterministic laws can produce probabilistic, random-seeming behavior.

Latest Multimedia

Art for "What Are Feynman Diagrams?"
In Theory

How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics

In the late 1940s, Richard Feynman invented a visual tool for simplifying particle calculations that forever changed theoretical physics.

About Quanta Magazine

Illuminating basic science and math research through public service journalism.

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Quanta Magazine is committed to in-depth, accurate journalism that serves the public interest. Each article braids the complexities of science with the malleable art of storytelling and is meticulously reported, edited and fact-checked. Launched and funded by the Simons Foundation, Quanta is editorially independent — our articles do not reflect or represent the views of the foundation.

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