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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.

May 2018


From ACM News

Spying on a Storm's Infrasonic Signals to Improve Tornado Warnings

Spying on a Storm's Infrasonic Signals to Improve Tornado Warnings

Tornado survivors often compare the terrifying, deafening roars of a twister's furious winds to the sound of a freight train. But storms also emit sounds that are inaudible to human ears right before producing a tornado.


From ACM TechNews

How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature's Mysterious Patterns

How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature's Mysterious Patterns

Mathematician and cryptologist Alan Turing was also a naturalist who used math to explain patterns in nature.


From ACM TechNews

Navigation System Helps Autonomous Cars Tackle Country Roads

Navigation System Helps Autonomous Cars Tackle Country Roads

MapLite is a navigation system that helps autonomous vehicles drive on previously unencountered roadways.


From ACM TechNews

Brain Drain: Many Canadian Science, Tech Grads Heading to ­.S. for Work

Brain Drain: Many Canadian Science, Tech Grads Heading to ­.S. for Work

Canada's loss of technology and innovation talent to the U.S. has surpassed levels previously identified as harmful to economic expansion.


From ACM TechNews

Flying Beetle Cyborgs Guided With Tiny Battery-Powered Backpacks

Flying Beetle Cyborgs Guided With Tiny Battery-Powered Backpacks

Researchers in Singapore have developed cyborg flying beetles.


From ACM TechNews

An AI for Deciphering What Animals Do All Day

An AI for Deciphering What Animals Do All Day

Columbia University researchers have demonstrated how an algorithm for filtering spam can parse hours of video footage to reveal the behaviors of Hydra.


From ACM News

The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery

The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery

Ken Shen was racing against the sun.


From ACM News

Particle Physicists Turn to AI to Cope with CERN's Collision Deluge

Particle Physicists Turn to AI to Cope with CERN's Collision Deluge

Physicists at the world's leading atom smasher are calling for help. In the next decade, they plan to produce up to 20 times more particle collisions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) than they do now, but current detector systems…


From ACM News

Sessions: Congress May Need to 'Take Action' on Encryption

Sessions: Congress May Need to 'Take Action' on Encryption

Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated in a Monday speech that Congress may ultimately have to wade into the debate about federal law enforcement agencies unlocking encrypted devices that are tied to ongoing investigations.


From ACM News

White House Will Host AI Summit

White House Will Host AI Summit

The White House plans to convene  executives from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel, and 34 other major U.S. companies as it seeks to supercharge the deployment of powerful robots, algorithms, and the broader field of artificial…


From ACM TechNews

Custom Silicon Microparticles Dynamically Reconfigure on Demand

Custom Silicon Microparticles Dynamically Reconfigure on Demand

Researchers have demonstrated custom semiconductor microparticles that can be manipulated into various configurations repeatedly while suspended in water.


From ACM TechNews

Man vs. Machine?

Man vs. Machine?

Deep learning computers in Case Western Reserve University's diagnostic imaging laboratory routinely outperform humans in diagnosing heart failure and detecting cancer.


From ACM News

Are Human Brains Quantum Computers?

Are Human Brains Quantum Computers?

Research project could explain how memory, and the brain's biology, works.


From ACM News

R and Python are Joining Forces, in The Most Ambitious Crossover Event of the Year—for Programmers

R and Python are Joining Forces, in The Most Ambitious Crossover Event of the Year—for Programmers


From ACM News

Driverless Car Startup Drive.ai Launching Ride-hailing Service in Texas

Driverless Car Startup Drive.ai Launching Ride-hailing Service in Texas

From day one, Drive.ai has positioned itself as the driverless car company that thinks most about human-technology interactions.


From ACM News

How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature's Mysterious Patterns  

How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature's Mysterious Patterns  

Many have heard of Alan Turing, the mathematician and logician who invented modern computing in 1935.


From ACM News

Facebook Adds A.I. Labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh, Pressuring Local ­niversities

Facebook Adds A.I. Labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh, Pressuring Local ­niversities

At a conference in Silicon Valley this week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, vowed that his company would "keep building" despite a swirl of questions around the way it has dealt with misinformation and the personal…


From ACM News

The 15 People Who Keep Wikipedia's Editors From Killing Each Other

The 15 People Who Keep Wikipedia's Editors From Killing Each Other

Wikipedia editors got locked in a dispute several months ago about the biographical summary boxes that sit atop some pages of the online encyclopedia. The tiff quickly turned heated.


From ACM TechNews

A Surprising New Superconductor

A Surprising New Superconductor

Researchers have developed  a process for producing an ultrathin layer of rhenium sandwiched between gold layers that can superconduct at temperatures higher than 6 degrees Kelvin.


From ACM TechNews

Mining for Gold With a Computer

Mining for Gold With a Computer

Engineers from Texas A&M University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University used image-analysis software to gain new insights into nanoporous gold.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Find the Longest Straight Line You Could Sail Without Hitting Land

Computer Scientists Find the Longest Straight Line You Could Sail Without Hitting Land

A new algorithm can calculate the longest straight-line path around the world on land or sea.


From ACM TechNews

Gait Assessed With Body-Worn Sensors May Help Detect Alzheimer's

Gait Assessed With Body-Worn Sensors May Help Detect Alzheimer's

A recent pilot study at the University of Newcastle recently demonstrated that low-cost wearable devices could improve clinical trial efficiency.


From ACM TechNews

Data Science Team Receives ACM Software Prize

Data Science Team Receives ACM Software Prize

ACM is recognizing an international team of researchers with the 2018 Software System Award for Project Jupyter.


From ACM TechNews

Could Robots Be Counselors? Early Research Shows Positive ­ser Experience

Could Robots Be Counselors? Early Research Shows Positive ­ser Experience

Researchers have demonstrated that a humanoid social robot can deliver a positive motivational interview.


From ACM News

JPMorgan Taps Carnegie Mellon Professor for New AI Role

JPMorgan Taps Carnegie Mellon Professor for New AI Role

Manuela Veloso will build on the U.S. bank's existing work applying machine learning technology.


From ACM News

Water Filter Inspired by Alan Turing Passes First Test

Water Filter Inspired by Alan Turing Passes First Test

Researchers in China have developed a filter that removes salt from water up to three times as fast as conventional filters. The membrane has a unique nanostructure of tubular strands, inspired by the mathematical-biology work…


From ACM News

Tech Giants Hit by NSA Spying Slam Encryption Backdoors

Tech Giants Hit by NSA Spying Slam Encryption Backdoors

A coalition of Silicon Valley tech giants has doubled down on its criticism of encryption backdoors following a proposal that would give law enforcement access to locked and encrypted devices.


From ACM TechNews

'Smart' Dresser Prototype Guides People With Dementia in Getting Dressed

'Smart' Dresser Prototype Guides People With Dementia in Getting Dressed

Researchers have created an intelligent dressing system that integrates automated tracking and recognition with guided assistance.


From ACM TechNews

AI To Help Soldiers Learn Faster in Combat

AI To Help Soldiers Learn Faster in Combat

A low-cost, lightweight hardware system can help soldiers learn more than 13 times faster than conventional methods.


From ACM TechNews

NASA's Swarmathon Improves Student Skills in Robotics, Computer Science

NASA's Swarmathon Improves Student Skills in Robotics, Computer Science

College and university students recently participated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's third annual Swarmathon, a robotic programming competition.