What's up in

Computer Science

geometry

Statistics Postdoc Tames Decades-Old Geometry Problem

March 1, 2021

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

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

Q&A

The Computer Scientist Who Shrinks Big Data

December 7, 2020

Jelani Nelson designs clever algorithms that only have to remember slivers of massive data sets. He also teaches kids in Ethiopia how to code.

computer security

Computer Scientists Achieve ‘Crown Jewel’ of Cryptography

November 10, 2020

A cryptographic master tool called indistinguishability obfuscation has for years seemed too good to be true. Three researchers have figured out that it can work.

Yarn models of a deep learning network and a brain.
neuroscience

Deep Neural Networks Help to Explain Living Brains

October 28, 2020

Deep neural networks, often criticized as “black boxes,” are helping neuroscientists understand the organization of living brains.

Q&A

To Boldly Go Where No Internet Protocol Has Gone Before

October 21, 2020

Vinton Cerf helped create the internet 40 years ago, and he’s still working to connect people around the world — and off it.