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

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.

A graphic showing improvements in the speed of matrix multiplication

Matrix Multiplication Inches Closer to Mythic Goal

March 23, 2021

A recent paper set the fastest record for multiplying two matrices. But it also marks the end of the line for a method researchers have relied on for decades to make improvements.

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.


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.


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.


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.

An illustration of computer scientists looking down a new road that breaks open a traveling salesperson route.

Computer Scientists Break Traveling Salesperson Record

October 8, 2020

After 44 years, there’s finally a better way to find approximate solutions to the notoriously difficult traveling salesperson problem.