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.
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