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Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2017

This week our roving reporters Katie and Paul have gone on a trip to Heidelberg in Germany, where the world’s foremost undergraduate, masters, PhD and postdoc students in maths and computer science are gathering for the fifth annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum.

HLF Logo

The event has been running since 2012, and gathers students from across both subjects for talks, discussions and workshops with some of the world’s foremost laureates – top-level researchers and scientific leaders, including recipients of the Abel Prize, ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing, Fields Medal and the Nevanlinna Prize. It’s described as ‘the Oscars of maths conferences’, and we’ve already had a quite impressive bag of freebies on arrival so maybe that’s not too far wrong. Look out for an epic group selfie taken at the conference dinner.

We’ll be around for the whole week and will watch as many of the talks as possible – our mission is to produce blog posts for the HLF’s official in-house blog, and we’ll be reproducing all of our posts here at The Aperiodical as well, so you can see what the latest topics are at the top of maths and computer science research, and hear from the greatest minds in the subjects.

We’re excited to hear from (among others) Michael Atiyah, Stephen Smale, both Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman (hoping they’ll exchange some keys) and Manuel Blum. Sadly the list of laureates this year only contains one female speaker (Barbara Liskov), and isn’t otherwise massively diverse, but this seems to be a consequence of the lack of diversity within the awards the conference uses to select their speakers. However, our conference pack includes a booklet with a list of all the workshop leaders and delegates, who are from universities all over the world and many different backgrounds, and we’re excited to meet them all.

Watch this space for our write-ups on the latest maths proof techniques, quantum computing (if we can understand any of it), and many other topics, plus press conferences, interviews, a math-art exhibition, and poster presentations by the student delegates.

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