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Computer Science

algorithms

Universal Method to Sort Complex Information Found

August 13, 2018

The nearest neighbor problem asks where a new point fits into an existing data set. A few researchers set out to prove that there was no universal way to solve it. Instead, they found such a way.

Photo illustration of Constantinos Daskalakis
2018 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

A Poet of Computation Who Uncovers Distant Truths

August 1, 2018

The theoretical computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis has won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for explicating core questions in game theory and machine learning.

Art for "Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by Teenager"
quantum computing

Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by Teenager

July 31, 2018

18-year-old Ewin Tang has proven that classical computers can solve the “recommendation problem” nearly as fast as quantum computers. The result eliminates one of the best examples of quantum speedup.

Diagram showing show the hierarchy of different classes.
Abstractions blog

A Short Guide to Hard Problems

July 16, 2018

What’s easy for a computer to do, and what’s almost impossible? Those questions form the core of computational complexity. We present a map of the landscape.

Illustration for "Finally, A Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve"
computational complexity

Finally, a Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve

June 21, 2018

Computer scientists have been searching for years for a type of problem that a quantum computer can solve but that any possible future classical computer cannot. Now they’ve found one.

Art for "A Classical Math Problem Gets Pulled Into the Modern World"
algorithms

A Classical Math Problem Gets Pulled Into the Modern World

May 23, 2018

A century ago, the great mathematician David Hilbert posed a probing question in pure mathematics. A recent advance in optimization theory is bringing Hilbert’s work into a world of self-driving cars.

Photo of Judea Pearl
Q&A

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect

May 15, 2018

Judea Pearl, a pioneering figure in artificial intelligence, argues that AI has been stuck in a decades-long rut. His prescription for progress? Teach machines to understand the question why.

Art for "Artificial Neural Nets Grow Brainlike Navigation Cells"
Abstractions blog

Artificial Neural Nets Grow Brainlike Navigation Cells

May 9, 2018

Faced with a navigational challenge, neural networks spontaneously evolved units resembling the grid cells that help living animals find their way.

Lede art for "First Big Steps Toward Proving the Unique Games Conjecture"
computational complexity

First Big Steps Toward Proving the Unique Games Conjecture

April 24, 2018

The latest in a new series of proofs brings theoretical computer scientists within striking distance of one of the great conjectures of their discipline.