Month: September 2022

Here’s what you should know about Microsoft’s 2022 Windows 11 update

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for your computer.

After launching Windows 11 last fall, Microsoft is polishing it up with the first of many regular “feature updates” the operating system will get during its life span.

Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer of Windows and Devices, said that the update was designed to make our PCs “easier and safer to use,” and that the new software began rolling out to users in more than 190 countries on Tuesday. But what’s actually waiting for you on the other side of that update? And what happens if your computer isn’t compatible with it?

Here’s what you should know about how Windows is changing.

People who are already using Windows 11 on their PCs can install this new update free. Some people still using Windows 10 on their PCs may be able

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Computer Science Education Is Gaining Momentum. But Some Say Not Fast Enough

Major American companieslawmakers on both sides of the aisle, union leaders, and some big-name city superintendents agree: Expanding computer science education is critical to preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s careers.

Despite that sentiment—and billions of dollars in one-time federal money for new laptops, tablets, and internet connectivity—the number of students taking computer science education courses continues to rise at just a modest pace and stubborn gaps in access to courses persist, concludes a report released Sept. 21 by, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to the subject.

A little more than half—53 percent—of US high schools offered foundational computer science classes in 2022. That’s just a small increase from 51 percent the previous year, but a significant jump from 35 percent several years ago. And across all states, 6 percent of high school students are enrolled in computer science courses, up from 4.7 percent last year.


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MassMutual Gives $3 Million to Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences | BU Today

The Center for Computing & Data Sciences will house a new faculty that has received a $3 million gift from MassMutual. Photo by Janice Checcio

University News

Insurer’s second gift to CDS will support research into responsible data use

Fortune 500 life insurer MassMutual has given $3 million to BU’s Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS) to support research into the responsible uses of data.

The gift will also go towards the CDS endowment and long-term programming. It follows the company’s $1 million gift last year to the University’s newest academic unit.

“The [new] gift will be crucial in supporting translational research by faculty and students—work focused on how to integrate results from basic research in real-world products and systems,” says Azer Bestavros, BU associate provost for computing and data sciences. “This type of applied work is hard to fund through government-sponsored research, which tends to favor long-term basic

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Exploring Quantum Computing | Insights

So much of our lives is reliant upon computing, and quantum computing has the potential to upend the encryption we rely upon, as well as scientific fields of study. This post explores this exciting, entirely new form of computing and how it stands to solve a variety of currently unsolvable problems.

I. Classical Computing: Where We Are Today

First, we should take a quick look back at “classical computing.” Classical computing covers every computer we interact with today, from our laptops to our smartphones. The history of classical computing is a story of human ingenuity, where we use anything at our fingertips to count and speed calculations.

And fingers are the perfect place to start. Our numerical system is Base-10, which means we use ten numerals (0-9) before we need a second numeral to describe the next number (10). We take it for granted that we count by tens, but

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Brown mathematicians’ algorithm to serve as cryptography standard for quantum computing era

PROVIDENCE, RI [Brown University] — Mathematicians often toil in obscurity, and that’s likely because few people, apart from fellow mathematicians who share the same sub-specialty, understand what they do. Even when algorithms have practical applications, like helping drivers see approaching cars that the eye can’t discern, it’s the car manufacturer (or its software developer) that gets the credit.

This is especially true of cryptographers, the unsung heroes whose algorithms keep people’s communications and data secure when they use the internet — technology known as public key cryptography.

But sometimes, pure math impacts the real world. That happened this summer when the National Institute of Standards and Technologies selected four cryptography algorithms to serve as standards for public key security in the impending era of quantum computers, which will make current encryption systems quickly obsolete.

Three of the four chosen algorithms rest on work led by a team of mathematicians at

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