Journal Club

Highlighting recent, timely papers selected by Academy member labs

Category Archives: Computer sciences

An algorithm suggests a sidewalk-space redesign to make cities safer for pedestrians

A recent study in Communications Physics is among the first to systematically analyze whole city networks of spider-webbing roads and sidewalks. Examining 10 global cities, including Boston, Paris, and New York, researchers created an algorithm that could help planners choose … Continue reading

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Robot swarms communicate best when messages spread neighbor to neighbor

In the not-so-distant future, swarms of robots could help contain environmental disasters such as wildfires, by locating and dousing the most dangerous patches, even as flames move and spread. But how would these individual robots coordinate effectively to pull off … Continue reading

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New technique builds animal brain–like spontaneity into AI

A woman walking to a bus stop realizes that she forgot her keys; she suddenly turns around and runs home. Such spontaneous activities are hallmarks of animal behavior. Eager to capture the essence of the human brain, roboticists have tried … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Model helps explain how social networks form

One person might befriend another because of a shared love of basket weaving. Or, a friendship may instead blossom because that new friend has divergent interests, and can teach the other new hobbies. These opposing factors—seeking similarities and differences in … Continue reading

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Journal Club: A new, twisted topological insulator

About a decade ago, physicists began identifying and probing materials that suffer something of an identity crisis. On the surface of these crystals, electrons flow and form currents, like in a conductor. But in the interior, electrons are pinned and … Continue reading

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When to launch a cyber attack

The evolution of malicious software (“malware”) has proceeded so rapidly since the invention of the first computer virus three decades ago that the question is not whether but when a computer system will face a cyber attack. Such attacks were … Continue reading

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Discovering overlapping communities in real-world networks

Naturally-occurring networks are naturally modeled as being made up of many overlapping communities — for instance, our work and friends when it comes to social networks, or those describing different protein complexes in biology. Detecting such overlapping communities is an … Continue reading

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