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Innovation promises to cut power use at big data companies

July 18, 2012 10:00 am | News | Comments

Big data needs big power. The server farms that undergird the Internet run on a vast tide of electricity. Even companies that have invested in upgrades to minimize their eco-footprint use tremendous amounts: The New York Times estimates that Google, for example, uses enough electricity in its data centers to power about 200,000 homes. Now, a team of Princeton University engineers has a solution that could radically cut that power use.

Humanizing computer aids affects trust, dependence

July 17, 2012 10:56 am | News | Comments

Computerized aids that include person-like characteristics can influence trust and dependence among adults, according to a Clemson University researcher. A recently published study by a Clemson University psychology associate professor examined how decision making would be affected by a human-like aid. The study focused on adults; trust, dependence, and performance while using a computerized decision-making aid for persons with diabetes.

Titan supercomputer hours awarded to collaborative protein project

July 16, 2012 11:01 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have been awarded processing time on a new supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study how proteins fold into their 3D shapes.

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Research raises questions about iris recognition systems

July 13, 2012 3:55 am | News | Comments

Since the early days of iris recognition technologies, it has been assumed that the iris was a "stable" biometric over a person's lifetime—"one enrollment for life." However, new research from University of Notre Dame researchers has found that iris biometric enrollment is susceptible to an aging process that causes recognition performance to degrade slowly over time.

Peering into the heart of a supernova

July 12, 2012 6:32 am | News | Comments

Using computer simulations, researchers from the California Institute of Technology have determined that if the interior of a dying star is spinning rapidly just before it explodes in a magnificent supernova, two different types of signals emanating from that stellar core will oscillate together at the same frequency. This could be a piece of "smoking-gun evidence" that would lead to a better understanding of supernovae.

Naval sensor and software suite hunts down hundreds of boats

July 11, 2012 4:23 am | News | Comments

A vessel hunting system called “Rough Rhino,” sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and deployed aboard U.S. aircraft, ships and partner nation ships operating in waters off the coast of Senegal and Cape Verde, has helped track more than 600 targets since it’s been in operation. The effort has culminated in 24 boardings.

Solid-state terahertz devices could scan for cancer

July 11, 2012 3:49 am | by Bill Steele, Cornell University | News | Comments

Cornell University researchers have developed a new method of generating terahertz signals on an inexpensive silicon chip, offering possible applications in medical imaging, security scanning, and wireless data transfer.

Searching genomic data faster

July 10, 2012 12:44 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Biologists' capacity for generating genomic data is increasing more rapidly than computer power. A team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University researchers have developed a new algorithm that reduces the time it takes to find a particular gene sequence in a database of genomes.

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Toward achieving 1 million times increase in computing efficiency

July 10, 2012 10:15 am | News | Comments

Northwestern University researchers have created an entirely new family of logic circuits based on magnetic semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to logic circuits up to 1 million times more power-efficient than today's.

New chip captures power from multiple sources

July 9, 2012 3:56 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have taken a step toward battery-free monitoring systems. Previous work focused on the development of computer and wireless-communication chips that operate at extremely low power levels, and on a variety of devices that can harness power from natural light, heat, and vibrations in the environment. The latest development is a chip that could harness all three of these ambient power sources at once.

Study: Computing advances vital to sustainability efforts

June 29, 2012 8:17 am | News | Comments

Innovation in computing will be essential to finding real-world solutions to sustainability challenges. The immense scale, numerous interconnected effects of actions over time, and diverse scope of these challenges require the ability to collect, structure, and analyze vast amounts of data.

Princeton researchers working at forefront of 'exascale' supercomputing

June 28, 2012 10:22 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Princeton University are composing the complex codes designed to instruct a new class of powerful computers that will allow researchers to tackle problems that were previously too difficult to solve. These supercomputers, operating at a speed called the "exascale," will produce realistic simulations of complex phenomena in nature such as fusion reactions, earthquakes, and climate change.

ORNL, UTK team maps the nuclear landscape

June 27, 2012 10:38 am | News | Comments

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee team has used the Jaguar supercomputer to calculate the number of isotopes allowed by the laws of physics. The team used a quantum approach known as density functional theory, applying it independently to six models of the nuclear interaction to determine that there are about 7,000 possible combinations of protons and neutrons allowed in bound nuclei with up to 120 protons.

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IBM, Livermore form Deep Computing Solution collaboration

June 27, 2012 8:32 am | News | Comments

Researchers at IBM and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced that they are broadening their nearly 20-year collaboration in high-performance computing by joining forces to work with industrial partners to help boost their competitiveness in the global economy.

Dancing robot does more than just “shimi” to the beat

June 26, 2012 12:15 pm | by Jason Maderer and Liz Klipp | News | Comments

Shimi, a musical companion developed by Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology, recommends songs, dances to the beat and keeps the music pumping based on listener feedback. Powered by an Android phone, the robot is also app-based, meaning it can perform other functions, such as face recognition, based on the type of software programmed for it.

Rewriting quantum chips with a beam of light

June 26, 2012 8:31 am | News | Comments

The promise of ultrafast quantum computing has moved a step closer to reality with a technique to create rewritable computer chips using a beam of light. Researchers from The City College of New York and the University of California, Berkeley used light to control the spin of an atom's nucleus in order to encode information.

Graph500 adds new measurement of supercomputing performance

June 25, 2012 8:15 am | News | Comments

Supercomputing performance is getting a new measurement with the Graph500 executive committee's announcement of specifications for a more representative way to rate the large-scale data analytics at the heart of high-performance computing. An international team announced the single-source shortest-path specification to assess computing performance at the International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg, Germany.

Computer science tackles 30-year-old economics problem

June 25, 2012 5:44 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Nobel winner Roger Myerson's work on single-item auctions was groundbreaking research, but his question regarding the best way to organize an auction in which bidders are competing for multiple items has remained unanswered for decades. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed an algorithm to generalize this problem.

Researchers use computer model to probe mysteries of human immune system

June 25, 2012 4:21 am | News | Comments

A new computational model developed by a team of Virginia Tech researchers provides a framework to better understand responses of macrophage cells of the human immune system. The Virginia Tech team used the Metropolis algorithm, a computer simulation technique widely used in physics and chemistry, to enumerate possible molecular mechanisms giving rise to priming and tolerance.

Researchers advance biometric security

June 21, 2012 11:11 am | News | Comments

Researchers in the Biometric Technologies Laboratory at the University of Calgary have developed a way for security systems to combine different biometric measurements—such as eye color, face shape, or fingerprints—and create a learning system that simulates the brain in making decisions about information from different sources.

Study of phase change materials could lead to better computer memory

June 21, 2012 10:57 am | News | Comments

Memory devices for computers require a large collection of components that can switch between two states, which represent the 1s and 0s of binary language. Engineers hope to make next-generation chips with materials that distinguish between these states by physically rearranging their atoms into different phases. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have now provided new insight into how this phase change happens.

$27 million award bolsters research computing grid

June 21, 2012 9:33 am | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation have committed up to $27 million to Open Science Grid, a nine-member partnership extending the reach of distributed high-throughput computing networks.

NNSA's Sequoia supercomputer ranked as world's fastest

June 18, 2012 9:41 am | News | Comments

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced that a supercomputer called Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was ranked the world's most powerful computing system. Clocking in at 16.32 sustained petaflops, Sequoia earned the No. 1 ranking on the industry standard Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers.

Making it easier to build secure Web applications

June 18, 2012 9:30 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Two years ago, a fledgling social-networking site called Blippy accidentally posted the credit card numbers of its users online. While that was a particularly egregious example, such inadvertent information leaks happen all the time. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new programming system that could help prevent such inadvertent information leaks.

Japanese researchers achieve world record cryptanalysis of cryptography

June 18, 2012 7:03 am | News | Comments

Fujitsu Laboratories, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, and Kyushu University jointly broke a world cryptography record with the successful cryptanalysis of a 278-digit (923-bit)-long pairing-based cryptography, which is now becoming the next generation cryptography standard.

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