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computational complexity

Art for "Computer Scientists Expand the Frontier of Verifiable Knowledge"
quantum information theory

Computer Scientists Expand the Frontier of Verifiable Knowledge

May 23, 2019

The universe of problems that a computer can check has grown. The researchers’ secret ingredient? Quantum entanglement.

Art for "Mathematicians Discover the Perfect Way to Multiply"
number theory

Mathematicians Discover the Perfect Way to Multiply

April 11, 2019

By chopping up large numbers into smaller ones, researchers have rewritten a fundamental mathematical speed limit.

Art for "In Quantum Games, There’s No Way to Play the Odds"
Abstractions blog

In Quantum Games, There’s No Way to Play the Odds

April 1, 2019

These games combine quantum entanglement, infinity and impossible-to-calculate winning probabilities. But if researchers can crack them, they’ll reveal deep mathematical secrets.

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.

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.

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.

Subhash Khot
Thinking Places

Subhash Khot, Playing Unique Games in Washington Square Park

July 10, 2017

The theoretical computer scientist behind the influential Unique Games Conjecture delights in the wonders of New York’s Washington Square Park, where he ponders the impossible.