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Recent Discoveries in STEM

News

Recent Discoveries in STEM

Mark Wang

Google’s AlphaGo defeats Go World Champion 4-1
Google’s AlphaGo defeated the South Korean professional player Lee Sedol in a series of 5 Go games held in Seoul, South Korea in early March. AlphaGo is a computer program developed by Google’s Deepmind and was trained through thousands of regular game matches online before the match against Lee Sedol. The match was highly speculated to be in favor for the human player before the first game had begun, but the AI proved this assumption wrong by winning four out of five games against Lee Sedol. AlphaGo plays the ancient Chinese game of Go by using an algorithm that imitates human intuition.

Courtesy of Google

Courtesy of Google

Additional Resources:

Harvard Business Review: AlphaGo and the Limits of Machine Intuition

Google Official Blog: What we learned in Seoul with AlphaGo

MIT Technological Review: Five Lessons from AlphaGo's Historic Victory

 


Discovery of Gravitational waves
Physicists in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) have finally discovered gravitational waves using a gravitational wave detection equipment. The discovery now becomes a solid scientific evidence to a nearly century old theoretical prediction made by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity. Gravitational waves were found when physicists detected laser fluctuations caused by gravitational waves caused by two colliding black holes. By studying the frequency of the waves, physicists can infer the masses of the two black holes. 

Courtesy of GIZMODO

Courtesy of GIZMODO


New Species of Octopus Found
Scientists from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has discovered a small octopus deep in the Pacific Ocean floor near the Hawaiian islands and think that they may have found a completely new species of octopods. The small octopus was dubbed “Casper” by social media for its white, ghostlike appearance. The small octopus was found when scientists were trying to collect geological samples using remotely operated vehicle Okeanos Explorer.

Courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016

Courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016


Math Professor Solves Three Centuries Old Theorem
British professor Andrew Wiles of the University of Oxford has won the prestigious $700,000 Abel Prize by providing proof to Fermat’s Last Theorem. The math problem of Fermat’s Last Theorem has lingered since 1637 and stumped many of the greatest mathematicians for centuries. The problem behind Fermat’s Last Theorem is "There are no whole number solutions to the equation xn+ yn = zn when n is greater than 2." Wiles came across the math problem when he was just ten years old growing up in Cambridge, England and spent years to tackle the problem.

Courtesy of Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Courtesy of Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

 

Thumbnail Image Courtesy of WIRED.