Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blogging and Meeting CS Greats at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum "offers a select group of young researchers in mathematics and computer science the extraordinary chance to meet the preeminent scientists of their field for one week of cross-generational, scientific dialogue."  Although I would qualify as a young researcher who could have applied to attend, I hadn't actually heard of the forum by this year's deadline.  Instead, I was contacted by one of the lovely media organizers for the event to see if I'd be interested in blogging (oh, and by the way, expenses to and within Germany will be paid).  I'm sure you can imagine my answer!

Here's how the event is described by its organizers:
For the third time, recipients of the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the Fields Medal, the Nevanlinna Prize and the Abel Prize gather in Heidelberg to meet with 200 young researchers from all over the world. For one week, the laureates of mathematics and computer science will exchange with young researchers through lectures and workshops, plus a “hot topic” session discussing the socio-ethical challenges of Big Data.
I'm personally quite excited to hear from some of the pioneers of computing (though I am disappointed they are all men, when there are indeed female Turing Award winners).  When I registered as a journalist for the forum, I requested the chance to interview John Hopcroft because of his passion for computer science education.  It will also be awesome to see the likes of Stephen Cook (laid the foundations of NP-completeness theory), Frederick Brooks (originator of the 8-bit byte and author of The Mythical Man Month), and Ivan Sutherland (pioneered the graphical user interface with Sketchpad).

Other interesting aspects of the forum are the social and outreach components.  The laureates get together with local students on Wednesday morning, while the young researchers visit local institutions (hopefully I can go with the laureates!).  The welcome dinner Monday night is being held at Heidelberg Castle, and we get to visit (and wine and dine at) the Speyer Museum of Technology. Check out the full forum schedule here.

I want to tell you more about the events on big data, but I'll save that for the next blog post.  Stay tuned for more about the forum leading up to and during the week of (August 23-28).  Also be aware that the events will be recorded and archived publicly online, so you can check it out for yourself later on.


Christian Muise said...

Congrats! I'll see you there ;).

"though I am disappointed they are all men" -- exactly the impression I got when I looked at the laureate list (and almost all are exclusively Caucasian). Wonder what the attendance will be like...

Gail Carmichael said...

Seriously? You're going?! (I almost said "all white old dudes" in my post, but they aren't all quite white, so...)

Gail Carmichael said...

PS Andrew is coming too!

Foghor Tanshi said...

Gail I'm coming too. Was selected to participate as a young researcher. See you there!

Gail Carmichael said...

No way! You have to come me and say hi! :D

HeidelbergLaureateForum said...

First of all, congratulations that both of you will attend the 3rd HLF in August!
@ Gail Carmichael – The invitation to participate in the HLF is sent to all award recipients (Fields Medal, Abel Prize, Nevanlinna Prize and the ACM A.M. Turing Award). Who accepts the invitation is out of our hands, but is extended to every laureate.
@ Christian Muise – The HLF has been and will continue to be a profoundly international event, with young researchers from nearly 60 countries at last year’s Forum.
We have maintained an average of 30% female participants, with this year’s HLF exceeding the average.
We look forward to seeing you at the 3rd HLF.

Christian Muise said...

@HLF Wonderful to hear the average is moving in the right direction! Looking forward to a wonderful week.

Gail Carmichael said...

@HLF - Too bad that the women don't seem accept the invitation. Just thinking out loud without a concrete proposal, but I wonder if there's anything that could be done to encourage female laureates to attend (without making them feel like token females)? Nice to hear about the 30% mark for the young researchers though!

Foghor Tanshi said...

@ Gail, sure thing!

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