What's up in

Computer Science

A close-up, head-on portrait of computer scientist Rediet Abebe.
Q&A

A Computer Scientist Who Tackles Inequality Through Algorithms

April 1, 2021

Rediet Abebe uses the tools of theoretical computer science to understand pressing social problems — and try to fix them.

Abel Prize

Pioneers Linking Math and Computer Science Win the Abel Prize

March 17, 2021

Avi Wigderson and László Lovász won for their work developing complexity theory and graph theory, respectively, and for connecting the two fields.

algorithms

New Algorithm Breaks Speed Limit for Solving Linear Equations

March 8, 2021

By harnessing randomness, a new algorithm achieves a fundamentally novel — and faster — way of performing one of the most basic computations in math and computer science.

An illustration showing Steven Strogatz at a microphone, surrounded by a swirl of icons representing different subjects.
The Joy of x

New Season of The Joy of x Podcast Explores Scientists’ Inner Lives

March 2, 2021

In a second season of enlightened conversations, Steven Strogatz and leading researchers nourish our pandemic-starved minds.

geometry

Statistics Postdoc Tames Decades-Old Geometry Problem

To the surprise of experts in the field, a postdoctoral statistician has solved one of the most important problems in high-dimensional convex geometry.

Animation of a neuron that periodically alters its responses to stimuli when it is reset into a new state by another input.
neural networks

Artificial Neural Nets Finally Yield Clues to How Brains Learn

February 18, 2021

The learning algorithm that enables the runaway success of deep neural networks doesn’t work in biological brains, but researchers are finding alternatives that could.

An animation showing chaotic swirls of purple coalesce into a single line
Abstractions blog

New Quantum Algorithms Finally Crack Nonlinear Equations

January 5, 2021

Two teams found different ways for quantum computers to process nonlinear systems by first disguising them as linear ones.

2020 in Review

The Year in Math and Computer Science

December 23, 2020

Even as mathematicians and computer scientists proved big results in computational complexity, number theory and geometry, computers proved themselves increasingly indispensable in mathematics.

Black and white photo of Claude Shannon in front of a computer
Quantized Columns

How Claude Shannon Invented the Future

December 22, 2020

Today’s information age is only possible thanks to the groundbreaking work of a lone genius.