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HLF Blogs – Vint Cerf’s press conference: in quotes

This week, Katie and Paul are blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – a week-long maths conference where current young researchers in maths and computer science can meet and hear talks by top-level prize-winning researchers. For more information about the HLF, visit the Heidelberg Laureate Forum website.

© Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation / Kreutzer – 2017

Vint Cerf, who along with Robert E Kahn won the ACM Turing Award in 2004 for his work on the TCP/IP protocols underpinning the Internet, is one of the Laureates at this year’s HLF. On Friday he’ll be giving a lecture on an ‘Interplanetary Internet’, the protocols needed to deal with the unique challenges posed by telecommunications in space. But on Monday afternoon he chatted to a small group of journalists and bloggers on a wide variety of topics. With apologies for anything I’ve mangled, here’s a short selection of quotes from the man himself.

HLF Blogs – Math ⇔ Art: what is a rotogon?

This week, Katie and Paul are blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – a week-long maths conference where current young researchers in maths and computer science can meet and hear talks by top-level prize-winning researchers. For more information about the HLF, visit the Heidelberg Laureate Forum website.

Alongside this week’s Laureate Forum, there’s an art exhibition on display in the nearby Old University building. Math ⇔ Art (Math is Art, Art is Math) is a collection of computer-generated artworks by Italian astrophysicist Aldo Spizzichino. In addition to a long career in research and many publications, Spizzichino has also produced an impressive quantity of mathematical art.

Using Fortran to generate computer graphics, Spizzichino has explored many mathematical shapes, structures and ideas through visual representation. The exhibit invites visitors to enjoy the mathematical forms for their own intrinsic beauty and, in Spizzichino’s words, ‘to complete the work with their own interpretation’.

Scenes at a maths conference

We’re all trying to combat the stereotypes of mathematicians: we try our best to make our work accessible to the public; we wear clean clothes and make eye contact; some of us even had the good sense to be female. But sometimes, the woolly-headed mathematician of legend materialises in his pure form.

Here, in his own words, are a few things that happened at a conference recently attended by one of my friends.

Maths at the British Science Festival

The British Science Festival is organised annually by the British Science Association, and this year it’s hosted by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex from Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 September. For more details and full listings, see the main British Science Festival website.

We’ve pulled out some of the mathematics-related events in the main programme – from theatre reproductions to puzzle workshops and plenty of talks and lectures, there’s something for everyone!