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The Turing Test — originally called the Imitation Game — was proposed by computing pioneer Alan Turing in 1950. Courtesy of Juan Alberto Sánchez Margallo

Alternative to Turing Test Proposed

November 21, 2014 4:39 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

A Georgia Tech professor recently offered an alternative to the celebrated “Turing Test” to determine whether a machine or computer program exhibits human-level intelligence. The Turing Test — originally called the Imitation Game — was proposed by computing pioneer Alan Turing in 1950. In practice, some applications of the test require a machine to engage in dialogue and convince a human judge that it is an actual person.

Still Holiday Shopping? 19 Great Gifts for Just about Anyone

November 19, 2014 1:35 pm | by John R. Joyce, Ph.D. | Blogs | Comments

Welcome to the second installment of Scientific Computing's holiday gift guide. This...

Self-Repairing Software Tackles Malware

November 14, 2014 3:54 pm | by University of Utah | News | Comments

Computer scientists have developed software that not only detects and eradicates never-before-...

Turing Award Prize Raised to $1 Million Cash

November 14, 2014 2:25 pm | by ACM | News | Comments

ACM has announced that the funding level for the ACM A.M. Turing Award is now $1,000,000, to be...

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Top down view of the gmon qubit chip (0.6 cm x 0.6 cm) connected to microwave frequency control lines (copper) with thin wire bonds. Courtesy of Michael Fang, Martinis Lab

Piece of the Quantum Puzzle: Achieving Controllability to Explore Simulation

November 13, 2014 1:57 pm | by Julie Cohen, UC Santa Barbara | News | Comments

While the Martinis Lab at UC Santa Barbara has been focusing on quantum computation, former postdoctoral fellow Pedram Roushan and several colleagues have been exploring qubits (quantum bits) for quantum simulation on a smaller scale. In conjunction with developing a general-purpose quantum computer, Martinis’ team worked on a new qubit architecture, which is an essential ingredient for quantum simulation.

John Joyce is a laboratory informatics specialist based in Richmond, VA.

Holiday Shopping? 25 Gifts Sheldon and Friends would Love

November 13, 2014 8:40 am | by John R. Joyce, Ph.D. | Blogs | Comments

Welcome to Scientific Computing's annual holiday gift guide. In this section, we've focused on identifying gifts suitable for the true Geeks out there. However, I believe everyone has a little geek in them, it just needs to be properly nurtured for it to catch fire.

By using a technique called ion doping, the team of researchers have discovered a material that could use light to bring together different computing functions into one component, leading to all-optical systems.

Lighting the Way for Super-fast Computers

November 12, 2014 3:28 pm | by University of Surrey | News | Comments

Findings demonstrate how glass can be manipulated to create a material that will enable computers to transfer information using light. This development could significantly increase computer processing speeds and power in the future. The findings show that it’s possible to change the electronic properties of amorphous chalcogenides, a glass material integral to data technologies such as CDs and DVDs.

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Highly motivated to organize the Argonne Training Program on Extreme-Scale Computing, Paul Messina reflects on what makes the program unique and a can’t-miss opportunity for the next generation of HPC scientists.

A Q&A with Paul Messina, Director of Science for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility

November 6, 2014 4:22 pm | by Brian Grabowski, Argonne National Laboratory | Articles | Comments

Highly motivated to organize the Argonne Training Program on Extreme-Scale Computing, Paul Messina reflects on what makes the program unique and a can’t-miss opportunity for the next generation of HPC scientists. ATPESC is an intense, two-week program that covers most of the topics and skills necessary to conduct computational science and engineering research on today’s and tomorrow’s high-end computers.

Traditionally, a person might enter a password or pull out a driver's license or passport as proof of identity. But increasingly, identification and authentication can also require an eye scan or a well-placed hand. It's a science known as biometrics, rec

Cybersecurity: Computer Scientist Sees New Possibilities for Ocular Biometrics

November 4, 2014 12:37 pm | by Miles O'Brien, NSF | News | Comments

Researhers are developing a three-layered, multi-biometric approach that tracks the movement of the eye globe and its muscles, and monitors how and where a person's brain focuses visual attention, in addition to scanning patterns in the iris. The system essentially upgrades the security of existing iris recognition technology with nothing more than a software upgrade.

Become an Eyelander vision training game: Researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, and Wesc Foundation have developed a new computer game which could hold the key to helping visually-impaired children lead independent lives. It is now in clinical t

Computational Neuroscientist Develops Computer Game to Aid Visually Impaired

November 3, 2014 11:14 am | by University of Lincoln | News | Comments

Researchers will begin testing a new computer game that they hope could hold the key to helping visually impaired children lead independent lives. Developed by a team of neuroscientists and video game designers, the Eyelander game features exploding volcanoes, a travelling avatar and animated landscapes.

A new system lets programmers identify sections of their code that can tolerate a little error. The system then determines which program instructions to assign to unreliable hardware components, to maximize energy savings while still meeting the programme

Harnessing Error-prone Chips Trades Computational Accuracy for Energy Savings

October 31, 2014 2:09 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

As transistors get smaller, they also grow less reliable. Increasing their operating voltage can help, but that means a corresponding increase in power consumption. With information technology consuming a steadily growing fraction of the world’s energy supplies, some researchers and hardware manufacturers are exploring the possibility of simply letting chips botch the occasional computation.

The software stores only the changes of the system state at specific points in time. Courtesy of Université du Luxembourg, Boshua

New Algorithm Provides Enormous Reduction in Computing Overhead

October 30, 2014 4:37 pm | by University of Luxembourg | News | Comments

The control of modern infrastructure, such as intelligent power grids, needs lots of computing capacity. Scientists have developed an algorithm that might revolutionize these processes. With their new software, researchers are able to forego the use of considerable amounts of computing capacity, enabling what they call micro mining.

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When properly understood, privacy rules are essential, Neil M. Richards, JD, professor of law says.

Right to Privacy: Achieving Meaningful Protection in a Big Data World

October 24, 2014 8:42 pm | by Washington University in St. Louis | News | Comments

In the digital age in which we live, monitoring, security breaches and hacks of sensitive data are all too common. It has been argued that privacy has no place in this big data environment and anything we put online can, and probably will, be seen by prying eyes. In a new paper, a privacy law expert makes the case that, when properly understood, privacy rules will be an essential and valuable part of our digital future.

Researchers found that people who played violent video games in 3-D showed more evidence of anger afterward than did people who played using traditional 2-D systems — even those with large screens. © lassedesignen / Fotolia

Violent 3-D Gaming Provokes More Anger

October 24, 2014 5:17 pm | by Jeff Grabmeier, The Ohio State University | News | Comments

Playing violent video games in 3-D makes everything seem more real — and that may have troubling consequences for players, a new study reveals. Researchers found that people who played violent video games in 3-D showed more evidence of anger afterward than did people who played using traditional 2-D systems — even those with large screens.

Researchers are expanding the applicability of biological circuits. Background: Microscopic image of human kidney cells with fluorescent proteins in cell culture.

Constructing Precisely Functioning, Programmable Bio-computers

October 23, 2014 3:40 pm | by Fabio Bergamin, ETH | News | Comments

Bio-engineers are working on the development of biological computers with the aim of designing small circuits made from biological material that can be integrated into cells to change their functions. In the future, such developments could enable cancer cells to be reprogrammed, thereby preventing them from dividing at an uncontrollable rate. Stem cells could likewise be reprogrammed into differentiated organ cells.

Set up of the experiment showing the orthogonal side illumination  © Vetlugin et al.

Quantum Holograms could become Quantum Information Memory

October 22, 2014 12:22 pm | by Springer | News | Comments

Russian scientists have developed a theoretical model of quantum memory for light, adapting the concept of a hologram to a quantum system. The authors demonstrate for the first time that it is theoretically possible to retrieve, on demand, a given portion of the stored quantized light signal of a holographic image — set in a given direction in a given position in time sequence.

Companies can log on, cost-free, at http://cyberchain.rhsmith.umd.edu and track developing threats, plus map their IT supply chains and anonymously measure themselves against industry peers and NIST standards.

Counter-measure Offers Cyber Protection for Supply Chains

October 22, 2014 10:14 am | by University of Maryland | News | Comments

The supply chain is ground zero for several recent cyber breaches. Hackers, for example, prey on vendors that have remote access to a larger company's global IT systems, software and networks. In the 2013 Target breach, the attacker infiltrated a vulnerable link: a refrigeration system supplier connected to the retailer's IT system. A counter-measure, via a user-ready online portal, has been developed at the Supply Chain Management Center.

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Quantum Entanglement Made Tangible

October 5, 2014 11:46 pm | by Nik Papageorgiou | News | Comments

EPFL scientists have designed a first-ever experiment for demonstrating quantum entanglement in the macroscopic realm. Unlike other such proposals, the experiment is relatively easy to set up and run with existing semiconductor devices. Interest in entanglement is increasing today, as it challenges the foundations of quantum mechanics itself.

A Purdue-based startup is developing high-temperature "plasmonic metamaterials" that could dramatically increase data-storage capabilities, improve solar-cell and waste-heat recovery performance and provide a new avenue for clinical therapeutics.

Plasmonics Advances Optics, Improves Data-storage, Solar Cell Performance

October 3, 2014 2:26 pm | by Purdue University | News | Comments

A Purdue-based startup is developing high-temperature "plasmonic metamaterials" that could dramatically increase data-storage capabilities, improve solar-cell and waste-heat recovery performance and provide a new avenue for clinical therapeutics.

Where are the quantum computers? Aren’t they supposed to be speeding up decryption and internet searches? After two decades of research, you still can’t find them in stores. Well, it took two decades or more of research dedicated to semiconductors and cir

Quantum Environmentalism

October 3, 2014 2:13 pm | by The Joint Quantum Institute | News | Comments

Where are the quantum computers? Aren’t they supposed to be speeding up decryption and internet searches? After two decades of research, you still can’t find them in stores. Well, it took two decades or more of research dedicated to semiconductors and circuit integration before we had digital computers. For quantum computers too it will take technology more time to catch up to the science.

Researchers have brought ultra-fast, nano-scale data storage within striking reach, using technology that mimics the human brain. They have built a novel nano-structure that offers a new platform for the development of highly stable and reliable nanoscale

Nano-scale Data Storage Mimics Brain Cells to Boost Memory Power

October 1, 2014 3:56 pm | by RMIT University | News | Comments

Researchers have brought ultra-fast, nano-scale data storage within striking reach, using technology that mimics the human brain. They have built a novel nano-structure that offers a new platform for the development of highly stable and reliable nanoscale memory devices.

A researcher proposes to construct a new quantum computer, able to perform multiple operations in a few seconds, which is based on the diamond structure to process information similarly to regular computers but with their own units of information called q

From Diamonds to Supercomputers

September 29, 2014 3:37 pm | by Investigación y Desarrollo | News | Comments

A researcher proposes to construct a new quantum computer, able to perform multiple operations in a few seconds, which is based on the diamond structure to process information similarly to regular computers but with their own units of information called qubits that allow much faster data processing, equal to one thousand computers working simultaneously.

A qubit (quantum bit) is the quantum state of a two-level quantum system. Courtesy of Clemens Adolphs

Putting the Squeeze on Quantum Information

September 26, 2014 12:56 pm | by Canadian Institute for Advanced Research | News | Comments

Researchers have shown that information stored in quantum bits can be exponentially compressed without losing information. The achievement is an important proof of principle, and could be useful for efficient quantum communications and information storage. Compression is vital for modern digital communication. It helps movies to stream quickly over the Internet and millions of telephone calls to bounce off of satellites.

People who practice yoga and meditation long term can learn to control a computer with their minds faster and better than people with little or no yoga or meditation experience, new research shows. The research could have major implications for treatments

Meditation may Help People Control Computers with Their Mind

September 26, 2014 12:32 pm | by University of Minnesota | News | Comments

New research by biomedical engineers at the University of Minnesota shows that people who practice yoga and meditation long-term can learn to control a computer with their minds faster and better than people with little or no yoga or meditation experience. The research could have major implications for treatments of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.

Magnetic states at oxide interfaces controlled by electricity. Top image shows magnetic state with -3 volts applied, and bottom image shows nonmagnetic state with 0 volts applied.

New Discovery Could Pave the Way for Spin-based Computing

September 26, 2014 11:12 am | by University of Pittsburgh | News | Comments

Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world. Semiconductors process electrical information, while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage. A University of Pittsburgh research team has discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material, paving the way for new ultrahigh density storage and computing architectures.

Graphic showing the intensity of the radio beams after twisting Courtesy of Alan Willner / USC Viterbi

Scientists Twist Radio Beams to Send Data, Reach Speeds of 32 Gibit/s

September 17, 2014 2:55 pm | by University of Southern California | News | Comments

Building on previous research that twisted light to send data at unheard-of speeds, scientists at University of Southern California (USC) have developed a similar technique with radiowaves, reaching high speeds without some of the hassles that can go with optical systems.

On the right, an artificial atom generates sound waves consisting of ripples on the surface of a solid. The sound, known as a surface acoustic wave (SAW) is picked up on the left by a "microphone" composed of interlaced metal fingers. According to theory,

Sound of an Atom Captured

September 12, 2014 3:16 pm | by Johanna Wilde and Martin Gustafsson, Chalmers University of Technology | News | Comments

The interaction between atoms and light is well-known and has been studied extensively in the field of quantum optics. However, to achieve the same kind of interaction with sound waves has been a more challenging undertaking. In collaboration between experimental and theoretical physicists, Chalmers University of Technology researchers have succeeded in making acoustic waves couple to an artificial atom.

It is extremely rare to come across with a phenomenon that bridges materials science, particle physics, relativity and topology.

New Species of Electrons Can Lead to Better Computing

September 11, 2014 4:18 pm | by The University of Manchester | News | Comments

Electrons that break the rules and move perpendicular to the applied electric field could be the key to delivering next generation, low-energy computers, a collaboration of scientists from The University of Manchester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found. They report a material in which electrons move at a controllable angle to applied fields, similar to sailboats driven diagonally to the wind.

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) Beamline 7.3.3 (SAXS/WAXS/GISAXS/GIWAXS) and endstation at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Courtesy of Roy Kaltschmidt

Tools for Reducing, Managing, Analyzing and Visualizing Data Transform Beamline Science

September 10, 2014 3:48 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Some mysteries of science can only be explained on a nanometer scale — even smaller than a single strand of human DNA, which is about 2.5 nanometers wide. At this scale, scientists can investigate the structure and behavior of proteins that help our bodies fight infectious microbes, and even catch chemical reactions in action. To resolve these very fine details, they rely on synchrotron light sources like the ALS at Berkeley Lab.

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