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algorithms

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.

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.

520px photo of army ants forming a bridge
Abstractions blog

The Simple Algorithm That Ants Use to Build Bridges

February 26, 2018

Even with no one in charge, army ants work collectively to build bridges out of their bodies. New research reveals the simple rules that lead to such complex group behavior.

520px photo of smarticles
Computer Science

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

February 14, 2018

New algorithms show how swarms of very simple robots can be made to work together as a group.

520px illustration for Quantum Supremacy
The Future of Quantum Computing

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

February 1, 2018

The quest for “quantum supremacy” – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.

A blue person made of code walks down a pink road patterned with hexagons
algorithms

Best-Ever Algorithm Found for Huge Streams of Data

October 24, 2017

To efficiently analyze a firehose of data, scientists first have to break big numbers into bits.

Abstractions blog

One-Way Salesman Finds Fast Path Home

October 5, 2017

The real-world version of the famous “traveling salesman problem” finally gets a good-enough solution.

Illustration: boxing gloves
Abstractions blog

Graph Isomorphism Vanquished — Again

January 14, 2017

Just five days after posting a retraction, László Babai announced that he had fixed the error in his landmark graph isomorphism algorithm.