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computer science

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Is AlphaGo Really Such a Big Deal?

The Go-playing program teaches itself to replicate something very much like human intuition, an advance that promises far-reaching consequences.

Q&A

Searching for the Algorithms Underlying Life

The biological world is computational at its core, argues computer scientist Leslie Valiant.

Computer Science

Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse

Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field.

Mathematics

‘Outsiders’ Crack 50-Year-Old Math Problem

Three computer scientists have solved a problem central to a dozen far-flung mathematical fields.

Quantized Columns

The Physical Origin of Universal Computing

The physical nature of computers might reveal deep truths about their uniquely powerful abstract abilities.

Mathematics

Theorists Draw Closer to Perfect Coloring

A theorem for coloring a large class of “perfect” mathematical networks could ease the way for a long-sought general coloring proof.

Computer Science

A New Map Traces the Limits of Computation

A major advance in computational complexity reveals deep connections between the classes of problems that computers can — and can’t — possibly do.

cryptography

A Tricky Path to Quantum-Safe Encryption

In the drive to safeguard data from future quantum computers, cryptographers have stumbled upon a thin red line between security and efficiency.

Computer Science

A New Design for Cryptography’s Black Box

A recent cryptographic breakthrough has proven difficult to put into practice. But new advances show how near-perfect computer security might be surprisingly close at hand.