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computer science

Abstractions blog

One-Way Salesman Finds Fast Path Home

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

Information dog bottleneck
Wired to Learn: The Next AI

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea is helping to explain the puzzling success of today’s artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn.

Brain made of wires
Wired to Learn: The Next AI

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn

A tiny self-organized mesh full of artificial synapses recalls its experiences and can solve simple problems. Its inventors hope it points the way to devices that match the brain’s energy-efficient computing prowess.

Digital question marks surrounded by vines
Wired to Learn: The Next AI

Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious

Computer scientists are finding ways to code curiosity into intelligent machines.

Subhash Khot
Thinking Places

Subhash Khot, Playing Unique Games in Washington Square Park

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.

Jessica Flack
Q&A

How Nature Solves Problems Through Computation

The evolutionary biologist Jessica Flack seeks the computational rules that groups of organisms use to solve problems.

Q&A

Wanted: More Data, the Dirtier the Better

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.

Abstractions blog

Why Quantum Computers Might Not Break Cryptography

A new paper claims that a common digital security system could be tweaked to withstand attacks even from a powerful quantum computer.

Abstractions blog

How to Use a Sphere to Talk to Mars

To avoid garbled messages, mathematicians might translate them into geometric form.