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big data

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.


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.

Photo of Mario Jurić

Prepping for a Flood of Heavenly Bodies

October 24, 2018

Mario Jurić is leading the push to get astronomy ready for the torrents of data that are about to flow.

Photo of Judea Pearl

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.

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

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.


Wanted: More Data, the Dirtier the Better

June 6, 2017

The computational immunologist Purvesh Khatri embraces messy data as a way to capture the messiness of disease. As a result, he’s making elusive genomic discoveries.

Tidal pool with ocean life
Abstractions blog

Awash in Sea of Data, Ecologists Turn to Open Access Tools

May 24, 2017

To assess the ocean’s health, ecology’s “rugged individualists” learned to get with the big data program.

Quantized Columns

Big Data’s Mathematical Mysteries

December 3, 2015

Machine learning works spectacularly well, but mathematicians aren’t quite sure why.

Data Driven: The New Big Science

The Future Fabric of Data Analysis

October 9, 2013

The nature of computing has changed dramatically over the last decade, and more innovation is needed to weather the gathering data storm.