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Abstractions blog

All Is Not Fair in Cake-Cutting and Math

When divvying something up, there’s more than one way to define what’s fair.


How to Cut Cake Fairly and Finally Eat It Too

Computer scientists have come up with a bounded algorithm that can fairly divide a cake among any number of people.

computer security

Hacker-Proof Code Confirmed

Computer scientists can prove certain programs to be error-free with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems.

Quantum bits, or “qubits,” can be in a superposition of both zero and one.
quantum computing

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

Recent tests show that quantum computers made by D-Wave systems should solve some problems faster than ordinary computers. Researchers have begun to map out exactly which queries might benefit from these quantum machines.


Searching for the Algorithms Underlying Life

The biological world is computational at its core, argues computer scientist Leslie Valiant.

Computer Science

Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse

Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field.

Quantized Columns

The Physical Origin of Universal Computing

The physical nature of computers might reveal deep truths about their uniquely powerful abstract abilities.


Theorists Draw Closer to Perfect Coloring

A theorem for coloring a large class of “perfect” mathematical networks could ease the way for a long-sought general coloring proof.

Computer Science

A New Map Traces the Limits of Computation

A major advance in computational complexity reveals deep connections between the classes of problems that computers can — and can’t — possibly do.