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The Golden TicketP, NP, and the Search for the Impossible$
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Lance Fortnow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175782

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175782.001.0001

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The Future

The Future

(p.155) Chapter 10 The Future
The Golden Ticket

Lance Fortnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores some of today's great challenges of computing. These challenges include parallel computation, dealing with big data, and the networking of everything. The chapter then argues that P versus NP goes well beyond a simple mathematical puzzle. The P versus NP problem is a way of thinking, a way to classify computational problems by their inherent difficulty. P versus NP also brings communities together. There are NP-complete problems in physics, biology, economics, and many other fields. Physicists and economists work on very different problems, but they share a commonality that can give great benefits from sharing tools and techniques. Tools developed to find the ground state of a physical system can help find equilibrium behavior in a complex economic environment. Ultimately, the inherent difficulty of NP problems leads to new technologies.

Keywords:   computing, parallel computation, big data, networking, P versus NP, NP-complete problems, new technologies, computational problems

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