Impossible Computing #255

March 07, 2014

This week we're learning about the science and math on the cutting edge of computing research. We'll talk to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Scott Aaronson about the hype and the hope for the field of quantum computing. And we'll discuss one of the most intriguing open problems in mathematics with Lance Fortnow, Chair of the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, and author of "The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible." 


  • Scott Aaronson
  • Lance Fortnow
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Guest Bios

Scott Aaronson

Scott Aaronson is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. His research focuses on the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and more generally on the connections between computational complexity and physics. Aaronson is known for his blog as well as for founding the Complexity Zoo (an online encyclopedia of complexity classes); he’s also written about quantum computing for Scientific American and the New York Times. His first book, Quantum Computing Since Democritus, was published this year by Cambridge University Press. He’s received the Alan T. Waterman Award, the PECASE Award, and MIT’s Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Lance Fortnow

Lance Fortnow is professor and chair of the School of Computer Science of the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D from MIT in 1989 and before joining Georgia Tech held professorships at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. His research focuses on computational complexity, the theoretical study of efficient computation. He is married with two teenage girls, currently living in the Atlanta area.