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subjectTheory
authorMIT News

An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


From ACM News

Herding Robots

Writing a program to control a single autonomous robot navigating an uncertain environment with an erratic communication link is hard enough; write one for multiple...

Seeing Things: A New Transparent Display System Could Provide Heads-up Data
From ACM News

Seeing Things: A New Transparent Display System Could Provide Heads-up Data

Transparent displays have a variety of potential applications—such as the ability to see navigation or dashboard information while looking through the windshield...

Marvin Minsky Honored For Lifetime Achievements in Artificial Intelligence
From ACM News

Marvin Minsky Honored For Lifetime Achievements in Artificial Intelligence

MIT Media Lab professor emeritus Marvin Minsky, 86, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, has won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award...

New Algorithm Can Dramatically Streamline Solutions to the 'max Flow' Problem
From ACM News

New Algorithm Can Dramatically Streamline Solutions to the 'max Flow' Problem

Finding the most efficient way to transport items across a network like the U.S. highway system or the Internet is a problem that has taxed mathematicians and computer...

New System Allows For High-Accuracy, Through-Wall, 3D Motion Tracking
From ACM News

New System Allows For High-Accuracy, Through-Wall, 3D Motion Tracking

Imagine playing a video game like Call of Duty or Battlefield and having the ability to lead your virtual army unit while moving freely throughout your house.

3-D Images, With Only One Photon Per Pixel
From ACM News

3-D Images, With Only One Photon Per Pixel

Lidar rangefinders, which are common tools in surveying and in autonomous-vehicle control, among other applications, gauge depth by emitting short bursts of laser...

How to Program Unreliable Chips
From ACM News

How to Program Unreliable Chips

As transistors get smaller, they also become less reliable.

Big Plans For Small Spacecraft
From ACM News

Big Plans For Small Spacecraft

It's hard to miss the rocket engine in Paulo Lozano's MIT office.

Making Martian Clouds on Earth
From ACM News

Making Martian Clouds on Earth

At first glance, Mars' clouds might easily be mistaken for those on Earth: Images of the Martian sky, taken by NASA's Opportunity rover, depict gauzy, high-altitude...

New Kind of Microscope Uses Neutrons
From ACM News

New Kind of Microscope Uses Neutrons

Researchers at MIT, working with partners at NASA, have developed a new concept for a microscope that would use neutrons—subatomic particles with no electrical...

Bringing 'common Sense' to Text Analytics
From ACM News

Bringing 'common Sense' to Text Analytics

Bringing "common sense" to artificial intelligence is one of the biggest challenges in computer science: It entails equipping computers with the shared knowledge...

Artificial-Intelligence Research Revives Its Old Ambitions
From ACM News

Artificial-Intelligence Research Revives Its Old Ambitions

The birth of artificial-intelligence research as an autonomous discipline is generally thought to have been the monthlong Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial...

Views You Can ­se? How Online Ratings Affect Your Judgment
From ACM News

Views You Can ­se? How Online Ratings Affect Your Judgment

Are you influenced by the opinions of other people—say, in the comments sections of websites?

Neuroscientists Plant False Memories in the Brain
From ACM News

Neuroscientists Plant False Memories in the Brain

The phenomenon of false memory has been well-documented: In many court cases, defendants have been found guilty based on testimony from witnesses and victims who...

Writing Programs Using Ordinary Language
From ACM News

Writing Programs Using Ordinary Language

In a pair of recent papers, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have demonstrated that, for a few specific tasks, it's...

New System ­ses Low-Power Wi-Fi Signal to Track Moving Humans—even Behind Walls
From ACM News

New System ­ses Low-Power Wi-Fi Signal to Track Moving Humans—even Behind Walls

The comic-book hero Superman uses his X-ray vision to spot bad guys lurking behind walls and other objects.

Valuing Versatility
From ACM News

Valuing Versatility

It's often said that we live in an age of increased specialization: physicians who treat just one ailment, scholars who study just one period, network administrators...

Can Control Theory Make Software Better?
From ACM TechNews

Can Control Theory Make Software Better?

Researchers recently demonstrated the application of control theory principles to formal verification, in a method that could benefit approximate computation. 

How to Predict the Progress of Technology
From ACM TechNews

How to Predict the Progress of Technology

Moore’s Law and Wright’s Law offer the best predictions of the pace of technological progress, researchers say. 

Storing Data in Individual Molecules
From ACM News

Storing Data in Individual Molecules

Moore's law—the well-known doubling of computer chips' computational power every 18 months or so—has been paced by a similarly steady increase in the storage capacity...
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