By applying some novel algorithms, computational techniques and the innovative programming language Unified Parallel C (UPC) to the cutting-edge de novo genome assembly tool Meraculous, a team of scientists simplified and sped up genome assembly, reducing a months-long process to mere minutes. This was primarily achieved by “parallelizing” the code to harness the processing power of supercomputers.
The Pentagon's Office of Force Readiness and Training recently teamed with Lockheed Martin and...
Planets tend to cool as they get older, but Saturn is hotter than astrophysicists say it should...
In response to public concerns about cryptographic security, the National Institute of Standards...
As we entered our first week of summer, the week’s biggest hits included a strong bent toward several “lighter” mathematical topics: learning how math drives Formula 1 and launches Angry Birds, inspiring young minds at MoMATH, and Pi Day under attack. You also won’t want to miss molecules exhibiting strange, exotic states, hot lava flows on Venus, and some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show.
As June 28, 2015, approaches, the Internet is once again anticipating controversy as the mathematical constant pi comes under threat from a group of detractors who will be marking "Tau Day." Tau Day’s revelers are campaigning for a constant twice as large as pi (about 6.28) to take its place, hence the June 28 celebration. Tau proponents say that, for many mathematical problems, tau makes more sense and makes calculations easier.
The idea of cloaking and rendering something invisible hit the small screen in 1966 when a Romulan Bird of Prey made an unseen, surprise attack on the Starship Enterprise. Not only did it make for a good storyline, it inspired budding scientists, offering a window of technology's potential. Today, pop culture has embraced the idea of hiding behind force fields, and mathematicians are looking at transforming science fiction into science.
A newly-designed material, which mimics the wing structure of owls, could help make wind turbines, computer fans and even planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.
Tapping at mobile phone games, waking up to sunlight on a pleasant morning or watching a Formula One race — such experiences are at the heart of modern life, and mathematics is working behind the scenes on all of them. Math is also used in many disciplines — from economics to engineering, biology to geography. But many of us struggle with math, and find formulas and theories difficult to grasp. A free online course could help.
The top most-visited stories of the past week included an amazing image of Jupiter’s second largest moon, solving billions of equations in just minutes, relief and delight as Philae woke up, Einstein saving the Quantum Cat, a fundamental change in wireless communications, a 40-year-old algorithm problem put to rest, news that a black hole’s surface is no deadly firewall, and an applied mathematician’s theory on MA flight 370.
My first impression upon entering the National Museum of Mathematics could be described as complete mathematical mayhem. Pre-teenagers were swarming dozens of exhibits in what seemed more like a huge play area than a museum dedicated to the study of an abstract science of numbers, quantity and shapes. However, as I waded in and began to understand specific exhibits, it quickly became obvious that this was a special place.
Supercomputers have helped scientists find a surprising link between cross-shaped (or cruciform) pieces of DNA and human cancer. The study found that small DNA cruciforms are mutagenic, altering DNA in a way that can increase risk of cancer in yeast, monkeys and in humans. Researchers found short inverted repeats of 30 base pairs and under in a reference database of mutations in human cancer that are somatic, meaning not inherited.
Network scientists have developed a new computational method that can leverage any body of knowledge to aid in the complex human task of fact-checking. In multiple experiments, the automated system consistently matched the assessment of human fact-checkers in terms of their certitude about the accuracy of these statements.
For several years now, researchers have been investigating techniques for amplifying movements captured by video but indiscernible to the human eye. Earlier this month, they presented a new version of the algorithm that can amplify small motions even when they’re contained within objects executing large motions.
Researchers have developed a new approach to studying the effect of multiple genetic variations on different traits. The new algorithm makes it possible to perform genetic analysis of up to 500,000 individuals — and many traits at the same time. Complex models that let you look at the combined action of many different variants have, until now, involved so much computation that it would take a year to run a single complex query.
The plight of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370) is one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history, but an interdisciplinary research team led by a Texas A&M University at Qatar math professor has theorized the ill-fated plane plunged vertically into the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014.
“The impact of human mobility on disease dynamics has been the focus of mathematical epidemiology for many years, especially since the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, which showed that an infectious agent can spread across the globe very rapidly via transportation networks,” says mathematician Gergely Röst. Röst is co-author of a paper that presents a mathematical model to study the effects of individual movement on infectious disease spread.
Stanford Professor Charbel Farhat and his research team at the Army High Performance Computing Research Center used a new, high-end, massively parallel computer to demonstrate the power of algorithms that instruct processors to work together to solve challenging problems. They directed 22,000 processors to solve billions of mathematical equations in just a few minutes, a rare feat in computer engineering.
Comparing the genomes of different species — or different members of the same species — is the basis of a great deal of modern biology. DNA sequences that are conserved across species are likely to be functionally important, while variations between members of the same species can indicate different susceptibilities to disease. The basic algorithm for determining how much two sequences of symbols have in common is more than 40 years old.
Last weekend was the final round of DARPA's contest to design control systems for a humanoid robot that could climb a ladder, remove debris, drive a utility vehicle and perform several other tasks related to a hypothetical disaster. When a bipedal robot takes a step, its foot strikes the ground at a number of different points. MIT researchers found a way to generalize the approach to more complex motions in 3-D.
NAG, Argonne and the National Physical Laboratory have announced awarding of the 2015 Wilkinson Prize for “dolfin-adjoint,” which automatically derives and solves adjoint and tangent linear equations from high-level mathematical specifications of finite element discretizations of partial differential equations. The prize is awarded every four years to the entry that best addresses all phases of the preparation of numerical software.
The way insects see and track their prey is being applied to a new robot in the hopes of improving robot visual systems. The project — which crosses the boundaries of neuroscience, mechanical engineering and computer science — builds on years of research into insect vision. The learnings from both insects and humans can be applied in a model virtual reality simulation, enabling an artificial intelligence system to 'pursue' an object.
When he wasn't busy scribbling out the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein seems to have spent a fair amount of time writing letters involving topics such as God, his son's geometry studies, even a little toy steam engine an uncle gave him when he was a boy. The Einstein Letters, which include more than two dozen missives, went up for sale at a California-based auction house. Some were in English and others in German.
Imagine that everything in your mind had been erased, and you had to learn everything all over again. What would that process be like? Two researchers at NTNU have made a robot that learns like a young child. At least, that’s the idea. The machine starts with nothing — it has to learn everything from scratch. The machine is called [self.]. It analyzes sound through a system based on the human ear, and learns to recognize images.
A human can make intuitive choices about what actions to take in order to achieve a goal. Robots have a far more difficult time choosing from of a universe of possible actions. Researchers at Brown University are developing a new algorithm that can learn that skill from a video game environment. They are developing the algorithm to help robots better plan their actions in complex environments.
Is RAID dead or alive? Are erasure codes replacing RAID for data protection? We present these questions, because some storage vendors promote RAID, while others promote erasure codes. Looking at how vendors are marketing data protection in their products, it almost appears that there is a battle between RAID and erasure code technology and that everyone will agree on a winner at some point.
Decentralized partially observable Markov decision processes are a way to model autonomous robots’ behavior in circumstances where neither their communication with each other nor their judgments about the outside world are perfect. The problem is that they’re as complicated as their name. They provide the most rigorous mathematical models of multiagent systems — not just robots, but any autonomous networked devices — under uncertainty.
The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured. Physicists have conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler's experiment then asks — at which point does the object decide?
Putting a hole in the center of a donut allows the pastry to cook evenly, inside and out. As it turns out, the hole in the center of the donut also holds answers for a type of more efficient and reliable quantum information teleportation, a critical goal for quantum information science. Taking advantage of the mathematical properties intrinsic to the torus, researchers have made great strides by realizing superdense teleportation.
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