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computer science

Photo of Been Kim

A New Approach to Understanding How Machines Think

Neural networks are famously incomprehensible, so Been Kim is developing a “translator for humans.”

Mathematics - abstract illustration
2018 in Review

The Year in Math and Computer Science

Several mathematicians under the age of 30 left their marks all over the field, and amateur problem-solvers of all ages made significant contributions to long-dormant puzzles.

Art for "Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster"
quantum computing

Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster

In a Paris lab, researchers have shown for the first time that quantum methods of transmitting information are superior to classical ones.

Illustration of lock with polynomials surrounding it
Abstractions blog

Mathematicians Seal Back Door to Breaking RSA Encryption

Digital security depends on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. A new proof shows why one method for breaking digital encryption won’t work.

Art for "Biology and Computer Science Explore Algorithmic Evolution"
mathematical biology

Mathematical Simplicity May Drive Evolution’s Speed

Some researchers are using a complexity framework thought to be purely theoretical to understand evolutionary dynamics in biological and computational systems.

Photo of Urmila Mahadev
quantum computing

Graduate Student Solves Quantum Verification Problem

Urmila Mahadev spent eight years in graduate school solving one of the most basic questions in quantum computation: How do you know whether a quantum computer has done anything quantum at all?

Art for "Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room"
artificial intelligence

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room

A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Art for "New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell"
artificial intelligence

New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell

Machine learning techniques are commonly based on how the visual system processes information. To beat their limitations, scientists are drawing inspiration from the sense of smell.

Illustration of a bunny hiding around a corner

The New Science of Seeing Around Corners

Computer vision researchers have uncovered a world of visual signals hiding in our midst, including subtle motions that betray what’s being said and faint images of what’s around a corner.