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Posts Tagged "Heidelberg Laureate Forum"

Guest Blog

Dealing with the Unexpected: William Kahan and the Need for Graceful Exits

William Kahan during his lecture at #hlf13. ©HLFF, Christian Flemming

In a previous post, I took a trip down read-only memory lane with William Kahan. On the same trip, Kahan told me about his first commercial programming job. The software was meant to aid the operations of Trans-Canada Air Lines (now Air Canada) by helping it save on, wait for it: telegraph charges. To this [...]

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Guest Blog

Voevodsky’s Mathematical Revolution

Vladimir Voevodsky during his talk at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. ©HLFF, Christian Flemming

On last Thursday at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, Vladimir Voevodsky gave perhaps the most revolutionary scientific talk I’ve ever heard. I doubt if it generated much buzz among the young scientists in advance, though, because it had the inscrutable title “Univalent Foundations of Mathematics,” and the abstract contained sentences like this one: “Set-theoretic approach to foundations [...]

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Guest Blog

A Trip Down Read-Only Memory Lane with William Kahan

© Klaus Tschira Stiftung / Peter Badge

I’ve already written here about the weirdness of certain floating point operations – the case of the misbehaving Excel spreadsheet in particular – taking my cues, and my examples, from floating point pioneer William Kahan (notably this set of slides [PDF]). Before writing about the dire consequences of programs not equipped to handle such mistakes [...]

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Guest Blog

Balance–-How to Develop a Research Career and a Growing Family?

Avi Widgerson and Matthias Hagen during the workshop at #hlf13. Picture: Beatrice Lugger

How to find a balance? How to deal with career and kids? Matthias Hagen from Weimar University, Germany, had the idea for this workshop: “Balance – How to develop a research career and a growing family”. Avi Widgerson, Nevanlinna Laureate, and about 70 participants attended this. Especially the young researchers have to deal with career, [...]

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Guest Blog

The Talk That Wasn’t

Manuel Blum, 1995 Turing Award laureate and citizen of the Milky Way Galaxy. (Photo courtesy of Marlene Knoche.)

Today I had the real privilege of hearing Manuel Blum‘s talk at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. It was about… “Wait a minute!” I hear you saying. “Manuel Blum didn’t give a talk at the forum!” Well yes, that’s right, he didn’t. But at least he told me about the talk he would have given if [...]

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Guest Blog

The Creation of the Internet, Privacy and a Geek Joke: Interview with Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf and Markus Pössel at HLF13. Picture by Markus Pössel

Giving in to a sudden impulse of vanity, this is what I believe to be the first selfie I’ve ever posted online. To be fair, we share responsibility for posting this picture on the Internet. My part of the responsibility is the posting; the gentleman on the left is largely responsible for there being an [...]

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Guest Blog

A Happy Mathematical Birthday

A match made in mathematical heaven: Lisa Sauermann (left) and her boyfriend Jens Reinhold, who have won seven International Mathematics Olympiad medals between them.

During yesterday’s boat ride on the Neckar River, I had the chance to interview one of the youngest participants in this year’s Heidelberg Laureate Forum: Lisa Sauermann, an undergraduate at the University of Bonn, who was celebrating her 21st birthday. Even at such a young age, she has already accomplished some amazing things. She is [...]

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Guest Blog

Turing Award Genealogy

turing21b

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum invited laureates in mathematics and computer science to participate. There have been numerous comparisons between the mathematicians and the computer scientists. For example, a much larger proportion of Turing Award winners came to the forum than Fields Medal winners. Another difference between winners of the two honors is that Turing Award [...]

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Guest Blog

Assuring the Integrity of Voting Using Cryptography

Ron Rivest. Image by Julie Rehmeyer

American voters have no way of knowing that our votes have been counted, or counted correctly. We go to the polls and we punch buttons on a screen or fill out paper ballots and put them in a box, but we don’t know if the electronic voting machine works correctly, if the ballot box made [...]

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Guest Blog

Advice to a Young Mathematician

Sir Michael Atiyah during his talk at #hlf13. Picture: HLFF @Bernhard Kreutzer

I thought it would be a good idea to relay some of the advice given by Sir Michael Francis Atiyah during his talk on Tuesday. Always ask yourself questions. Atiyah says that one of the secrets of his success is to always be curious. Don’t get disheartened in your early years. Most mathematicians have a [...]

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