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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

February 2018


From ACM News

Newly Discovered Form of Water Ice Is 'really Strange'

Newly Discovered Form of Water Ice Is 'really Strange'

Scientists have confirmed a form of water that is simultaneously solid and liquid. It is the latest advance in the study of water, a seemingly simple substance that can shift between many different configurations.


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputing More Light Than Heat

Supercomputing More Light Than Heat

Researchers have used the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment to gain access to more than 975,000 compute hours on the Maverick supercomputing system.


From ACM TechNews

Automating Materials Design

Automating Materials Design

Researchers say they have developed a system that can numerically specify the properties designers want in a material, then generate a microstructure that matches the specification.


From ACM TechNews

New UC Riverside Research Advances Spintronics Technology

New UC Riverside Research Advances Spintronics Technology

Researchers have advanced spintronics via new methods to detect signals from spintronic components made of inexpensive metals and silicon.


From ACM News

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

The quest for "quantum supremacy" – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.


From ACM News

New Nasa Space Sensors to Address Key Earth Questions

New Nasa Space Sensors to Address Key Earth Questions

Why is the Arctic warming faster than the rest of the planet?


From ACM News

The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy

The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy

After decades of heavy slog with no promise of success, quantum computing is suddenly buzzing with almost feverish excitement and activity.


From ACM TechNews

NSF Grant Awarded to Fund Study of Using Augmented Reality to Interest Girls in STEM

NSF Grant Awarded to Fund Study of Using Augmented Reality to Interest Girls in STEM

Researchers at the University of Maryland' Center for Environmental Sciences' Appalachian Laboratory have received a U.S. National Science Foundation grant to use augmented reality design experiences to pique teenaged girls' …


From ACM TechNews

China Plans to Use AI to Boost the Thinking Skills of Nuclear Submarine Commanders

China Plans to Use AI to Boost the Thinking Skills of Nuclear Submarine Commanders

China is planning to enhance its nuclear submarines' computer systems with artificial intelligence to augment the potential thinking skills of commanding officers, according to a senior scientist involved with the program.


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Algorithm Could Help AI Think Faster

Quantum Algorithm Could Help AI Think Faster

Researchers at the Center for Quantum Technologies in Singapore propose a "quantum linear system algorithm" to help crunch numbers on a wide array of problems.


From ACM TechNews

Neural Networks Allow US to 'Read Faces' in a New Way

Neural Networks Allow US to 'Read Faces' in a New Way

Stanford University professor Michal Kosinski is using deep neural networks to illustrate the use of facial-recognition technology for invasive monitoring


From ACM TechNews

U.k. Humandrive Initiative to Test Self-Driving Cars on Country Roads

U.k. Humandrive Initiative to Test Self-Driving Cars on Country Roads

The HumanDrive initiative in the U.K. seeks to refine driverless automobile navigation systems for conditions that include country roads and high-speed roundabouts, via a new autonomous car trial.


From ACM News

How to Control a Machine Using Your Mind

How to Control a Machine Using Your Mind

Bill Kochevar's life was changed, seemingly irrevocably, when he was paralysed from the shoulders down following a cycling accident nearly a decade ago.


From ACM News

Physicists Harness Twisted Mathematics to Make Powerful Laser

Physicists Harness Twisted Mathematics to Make Powerful Laser

Researchers have exploited the twisty nature of topological physics to produce a high-quality beam of laser light—a step that could lead to the first practical application of this burgeoning field.


From ACM News

If Workers Slack Off, the Wristband Will Know. (and Amazon Has a Patent For It.)

If Workers Slack Off, the Wristband Will Know. (and Amazon Has a Patent For It.)

What if your employer made you wear a wristband that tracked your every move, and that even nudged you via vibrations when it judged that you were doing something wrong?


From ACM News

China Wants to Make the Chips that Will Add AI to Any Gadget

China Wants to Make the Chips that Will Add AI to Any Gadget

In an office at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a computer chip is crunching data from a nearby camera, looking for faces stored in a database.


From ACM TechNews

MIT Enlisting Hundreds of Scientists in Effort to Make Computers Think More Like People

MIT Enlisting Hundreds of Scientists in Effort to Make Computers Think More Like People

MIT has launched the MIT Intelligence Quest, an agenda to coordinate the efforts of MIT's many experts to train computers to think in a more human-like manner.


From ACM TechNews

Vanderbilt Wins Top Prize in First Round of DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge

Vanderbilt Wins Top Prize in First Round of DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge

Vanderbilt University's MarmotE team has won the first round of the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge, which focuses on using machine intelligence to allocate bands for use on the radio frequency spectrum.


From ACM TechNews

Breaking Down Barriers to Computer Science For Students With Disabilities

Breaking Down Barriers to Computer Science For Students With Disabilities

Disabled students are often shortchanged in computer science education, and Sheryl Burgstahler, director of the University of Washington's DO-IT Center, is working with others to make it more widely available.


From ACM TechNews

Penn Engineering Research Gives Optical Switches the 'contrast' of Electronic Transistors

Penn Engineering Research Gives Optical Switches the 'contrast' of Electronic Transistors

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they have found a way to precisely control a combination of optical signals, producing outputs with a near-perfect contrast and extremely large on/off ratios.


From ACM TechNews

A Small-Scale Demonstration Shows How Quantum Computing Could Revolutionize Data Analysis

A Small-Scale Demonstration Shows How Quantum Computing Could Revolutionize Data Analysis

An experiment by researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China used quantum computers to calculate Betti numbers. The work "suggests that data analytics may be an important future application for quantum computing…


From ACM Careers

Inside Amazon's Artificial Intelligence Flywheel

Inside Amazon's Artificial Intelligence Flywheel

In early 2014, Srikanth Thirumalai met with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.


From ACM News

Speed of Light Could Be Dropped to Zero Using Crystals

Speed of Light Could Be Dropped to Zero Using Crystals

In a vacuum like space, the speed of light is just over 186,280 miles per second. Scientists have now shown it's possible to slow it down to zero miles per second without sacrificing its brightness, regardless of its frequency…


From ACM TechNews

Applying Machine Learning to the Universe's Mysteries

Applying Machine Learning to the Universe's Mysteries

Berkeley Lab scientists and their collaborators used neural networks to analyze simulations of heavy ion collisions.


From ACM TechNews

Facebook Is Trying to Teach Chatbots How to Chit-Chat

Facebook Is Trying to Teach Chatbots How to Chit-Chat

Researchers at Facebook's FAIR lab have developed Persona-Chat, a dataset of more than 160,000 lines of dialogue taken from workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk marketplace, to train chatbots to be more lifelike when they interact…


From ACM TechNews

Ua Researchers Observe Electrons Zipping Around in Crystals

Ua Researchers Observe Electrons Zipping Around in Crystals

Researchers at the University of Arizona are investigating transition metal dichalcogenides' potential for enabling new techniques for data processing and storage.


From ACM TechNews

Ucf Researchers Lend a Hand on Additive Manufacturing

Ucf Researchers Lend a Hand on Additive Manufacturing

The U.S. Army and the U.S. Office of Naval Research are working with University of Central Florida researchers to help push the limits of additive manufacturing with metallic alloys.


From ACM News

Twitter Followers Vanish Amid Inquiries Into Fake Accounts

Twitter Followers Vanish Amid Inquiries Into Fake Accounts

More than a million followers have disappeared from the accounts of dozens of prominent Twitter users in recent days as the company faces growing criticism over the proliferation of fake accounts and scrutiny from federal and…


From Communications of the ACM

Quantum Technology Forgoes Unconditional Security to Extend its Reach

Quantum Technology Forgoes Unconditional Security to Extend its Reach

Two projects in China demonstrate the possibility of global quantum key distribution networks.


From Communications of the ACM

Going Serverless

Going Serverless

Serverless computing lets businesses and application developers focus on the program they need to run, without worrying about the machine on which it runs, or the resources it requires.