computer science

The human brain faces a difficult trade-off. On the one hand it needs to be complex to ensure high performance, and on the other it needs to minimise "wiring cost" — the sum of the length of all the connections — because communication over distance takes a lot of energy. It's a problem well-known to computer scientists. And it seems that market driven human invention and natural selection have come up with similar solutions.
Researchers have unveiled the first prototypes of robots that can develop emotions and express them too. If you treat these robots well, they'll form an attachment to you, looking for hugs when they feel sad and responding to reassuring strokes when they are distressed. But how do you get emotions into machines that only understand the language of maths?

The human genome is represented by a sequence of 3 billion As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. With such large numbers, sequencing the entire genome of a complex organism isn't just a challenge in biochemistry. It's a logistical nightmare, which can only be solved with clever algorithms.

Human versus machine: who's better at proving theorems?
Alan Turing is the father of computer science and contributed significantly to the WW2 effort, but his life came to a tragic end. Stefan Kopieczek explores his story.
Lewis Dartnell turns the universe into a matrix to model traffic, forest fires and sprawling cities.
Debate surrounds $25000 prize won by undergraduate for solving universal Turing machine problem

Plus 1000 — Mathematical lives

  • Plus 100 —the best maths of the last century
  • More maths grads
If you've ever watched a flock of birds flying at dusk, or a school of fish reacting to a predator, you'll have been amazed by their perfectly choreographed moves. Yet, complex as this behaviour may seem, it's not all that hard to model it on a computer. Lewis Dartnell presents a hands-on guide for creating your own simulations — no previous experience necessary.
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