Tuesday Extract – Scientific Program Includes Hot Topic Session

© Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation / Kreutzer – 2016

© Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation / Kreutzer – 2016

Today’s laureate lectures in the morning session began with Sir Andrew Wiles who received the Silver Plaque of the IMU, and was followed by ACM A.M. Turing Award laureate Joseph Sifakis. Fields Medalist Ngô Bảo Châu commenced the second session, which was brought to a close with ACM A.M. Turing Laureate Fred Brooks. Below are brief abstracts of the lectures, which are also available to stream online. After the lectures, the Scientific Program continued with the Hot Topic of the 4th HLF which revolved around the challenges presented by advancements in Artificial Intelligence.

Sir Andrew Wiles
“Equations in arithmetic”

I will describe some of the interactions between modern number theory and the problem of solving equations in rational numbers or integers’.

Joseph Sifakis
“On the Nature of Computing”

Computing is a domain of knowledge. Knowledge is truthful information that embedded into the right network of conceptual interrelations can be used to understand a subject or solve a problem. According to this definition, Physics, Biology but also Mathematics, Engineering, Social Sciences and Cooking are all domains of knowledge. This definition encompasses both, scientific knowledge about physical phenomena and engineering knowledge applied to design and build artefacts. For all domains of knowledge, Mathematics and Logic provide the models and their underlying laws; they formalize a priori knowledge which is independent of experience. (His full abstract is available online.)

Ngô Bảo Châu
“The Riemann zeta function and its generalizations”

Since the publication of Riemann’s memoir on prime numbers less than a given magnitude, the zeta function has never ceased to fascinate mathematicians. We will discuss its many appearances and generalizations in number theory.

Fred Brooks
“What Makes the Illusion Work? Studies in Effective Immersive Virtual Environments”

A virtual environment (VE) is a technological display to the senses that undertakes to make the user believe (to some degree) and behave as if he is present elsewhere. The vision, proposed by Sutherland in 1965, has driven a half-century of research and development, some at Chapel Hill. A major scientific challenge is how to measure the effectiveness of a VE system, the degree to which it causes the user to behave as if the illusion is real. We have pursued many measurement methods, arriving finally at physiological measurement of subconscious user responses, a measure that is objective, valid, quantitative, and contemporaneous. Our parameter studies of VE systems show, among other things, that system latency is a major factor, whereas the quality of illumination simulation has little effect. Display to the senses of feel, added to visual and aural, also makes a substantial difference.

Hot Topic – Artificial Intelligence

Experts discuss the costs and benefits created by developments brought on by Artificial Intelligence.

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has established itself at the forefront of technological innovation. That is precisely why AI is the focus of the Hot Topic at the 4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), ‘AI: From Lofty Dream to Technology Driver’, this September 20 at the New University in Heidelberg. The session is comprised of a panel discussion with leading researchers debating the current scientific trends in AI and its applications. That is followed by a broader discussion that dives into how the developments in AI affect our lives and society. The video of the session will be made available on the HLF YouTube channel a few weeks after the 4th HLF’s conclusion, and for now here is more information with a list of the panelists.

After the Hot Topic came to an end, participants made their way to Heidelberg’s Kulturbrauerei for the annual HLF “Oktoberfest”. There will be traditional cuisine, folklore, dancing and of course, freshly –brewed beer.

Photos from the 4th HLF are available on our flickr account.