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Communications of the ACM

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


Practicing Medicine at the Nanoscale
From ACM News

Practicing Medicine at the Nanoscale

Modern medicine is largely based on treating patients with "small-molecule" drugs, which include pain relievers like aspirin and antibiotics such as penicillin.

Teaching Robots Lateral Thinking
From ACM News

Teaching Robots Lateral Thinking

Many commercial robotic arms perform what roboticists call "pick and place" tasks: The arm picks up an object in one location and places it in another.

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...

The Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife
From ACM News

The Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife

The device doesn't look like much: a caterpillar-sized assembly of metal rings and strips resembling something you might find buried in a home-workshop drawer.

Proving Quantum Computers Feasible
From ACM News

Proving Quantum Computers Feasible

Quantum computers are devices—still largely theoretical—that could perform certain types of computations much faster than classical computers; one way they might...

Predicting What Topics Will Trend on Twitter
From ACM News

Predicting What Topics Will Trend on Twitter

Twitter's home page features a regularly updated list of topics that are "trending," meaning that tweets about them have suddenly exploded in volume.

3 Questions: A Web For Everyone
From ACM Opinion

3 Questions: A Web For Everyone

During the opening ceremonies of this summer’s Olympic games in London, a musical performance culminated with a stage-set house rising into the rafters to reveal...

Automatic Building Mapping Could Help Emergency Responders
From ACM News

Automatic Building Mapping Could Help Emergency Responders

MIT researchers have built a wearable sensor system that automatically creates a digital map of the environment through which the wearer is moving.

Making Web Applications More Efficient
From ACM News

Making Web Applications More Efficient

Most major Websites these days maintain huge databases: Shopping sites have databases of inventory and customer ratings, travel sites have databases of seat availability...

New Router Enhances the Precision of Woodworking
From ACM News

New Router Enhances the Precision of Woodworking

Anyone who has tried to build a piece of furniture from scratch knows the frustration of painstakingly cutting pieces of wood, only to discover that they won't...

Researchers Amplify Variations in Video, Making the Invisible Visible
From ACM News

Researchers Amplify Variations in Video, Making the Invisible Visible

At this summer's Siggraph—the premier computer-graphics conference—researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will present new...

The Robot Revolution Is Just Beginning
From ACM News

The Robot Revolution Is Just Beginning

When industrial robots were first introduced in the early 1960s initially on automobile assembly lines—computers were still in their infancy, so the robots were...

Simulating Tomorrow's Chips
From ACM News

Simulating Tomorrow's Chips

Most computer chips today have anywhere from four to 10 separate cores, or processing units, which can work in parallel, increasing the chips' efficiency. But the...

Shifting Sands
From ACM News

Shifting Sands

Sand in an hourglass might seem simple and straightforward, but such granular materials are actually tricky to model.

Self-Sculpting Sand
From ACM News

Self-Sculpting Sand

Imagine that you have a big box of sand in which you bury a tiny model of a footstool.

From ACM News

Guiding Robot Planes with Hand Gestures

Aircraft-carrier crew use a set of standard hand gestures to guide planes on the carrier deck. But as robot planes are increasingly used for routine air missions...

Sometimes the Quickest Path Is Not a Sraight Line
From ACM News

Sometimes the Quickest Path Is Not a Sraight Line

Sometimes the fastest pathway from point A to point B is not a straight line: for example, if you're underwater and contending with strong and shifting currents...

Hail to the Geeks
From ACM News

Hail to the Geeks

Basketball dominates the American sports landscape in March. So perhaps it’s fitting that the sixth annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, held last week...

Tiny 3D Chips
From ACM News

Tiny 3D Chips

Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are small devices with huge potential. Typically made of components less than 100 microns in size—the diameter of a human...

Microchips' Optical Future
From ACM News

Microchips' Optical Future

To keep energy consumption under control, future chips may need to move data using light instead of electricity—and the technical expertise to build them may reside...
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