As Moore’s Law runs out of steam, and fabrication of Boolean circuits on silicon appears to be reaching its limits, some computer scientists and physicists are looking beyond the limits of current computing to “reversible computing.” That is, instead of one-way circuits that produce a deterministic output from given inputs, reversible computing works both ways: Inputs can be obtained from outputs by running the circuits in reverse. Generally speaking, computation runs in one direction, producing outputs from inputs, without the ability to run backwards and compute inputs from outputs. Continue reading Is Computing in Reverse the Next Big Thing?
A few months ago Science sent many people a sample of the magazine and a solicitation to subscribe. As seems to be the manner in which these things are done, there were several enticements included in the package. The one that caught our eyes was the free T-shirt. Continue reading Your Science T-Shirt Doesn’t Fly
Some people have the strange idea that science is too straight-laced to be funny. These people are not scientists. True scientists love to tell jokes about themselves. To prove the point (scientists are always trying to prove a point), here is a collection of examples. Continue reading The Funny Side of Science
Emö Rubik invented the Rubik’s Cube in 1974 and it became the world’s most popular puzzle. The cube consists of 26 cubelets that move and turn when the faces are twisted. This cube (pictured above) is in a solved position when each face is a uniform color. The goal is to take a randomized cube though a series of face twists to transform it into the solved position. Learning to solve a Rubik’s Cube can teach us something about learning to program.
Programming has always been seen as a skill in addition to a thinking process. But what exactly does it mean when we say programming is a skill? How is this a useful insight? Continue reading Can a Rubik’s Cube Teach You Programming?