Mathematics and computer science have evolved into a matter of utmost importance in our modern society. We are confronted with the product of mathematical and computational research in all situations and aspects of our daily lives. To ensure that this technical revolution continues to thrive, science in all of its facets has to be persistently promoted and encouraged. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum rises to this challenge by bringing together the most exceptional mathematicians and computer scientists of their generations. Each year, in the last complete week of September, the recipients of the most prestigious awards in mathematics and computer science, the Abel Prize, ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing, Fields Medal, IMU Abacus Medal and Nevanlinna Prize, meet 200 selected young researchers from all over the world. Participants spend a week interacting and networking in a relaxed atmosphere designed to encourage scientific exchange.
Speaking for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, we are grateful for the close cooperation – as visible for example in the Peter Badge portrait series of Laureates in Heidelberg and Lindau, including joint exhibitions around the world. And the mutual Heidelberg and Lindau Lectures reflect our open-minded collaboration which adds to both and gives every meeting programme that extra something. (Photo: Chris Danneffel)
The HLF is an unforgettable experience. In this unique community, I found inspiration, collaborators and close friends.
The magical atmosphere of a medieval university town, with a castle and a majestic river, the leisurely pace, with plenty of time for interaction and discussions, makes the HLF feel like a throwback to an earlier time. One almost feels like it is entirely possible to run into Hegel, Helmholtz, Max Weber, or some other famous scientist, and often, it is.
For the Laureates, it is a chance to see old friends, make new ones, and to meet students eager to bounce their ideas off fellow students and to test them with the laureates they hold in such high esteem. The big surprise for the students is how approachable the laureates are. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The laureates who attend find the atmosphere heady with new ideas and the energy of the young scholars, eager to push the boundaries of knowledge in their fields.
HLF helped me gain inspiration from founding fathers of Computer Science and Nobel Prize winners. I will never forget the Neckar boat ride conversation with Nobel Prize 2011 Physics winner Brian P Schmidt on sortition viz. selection of government officials using random representative samples!
I’ve attended several Heidelberg Laureate Forums. In Heidelberg, I engage with math and computer science pioneers not as figures on the pages of history books but as real humans who have deep experiences solving hard problems. I appreciate the opportunity to ask the laureates my own questions, hear their answers in real time, and follow up with more questions. I’ve been left feeling inspired and reassured by their concern for humanity.
Bringing together extraordinary mathematicians and computer scientists with excellent young researchers helps foster individuals’ careers and their pathways into the scientific community. By combining new ideas with the knowledge of experience, the Heidelberg Laureate Forum continues to strengthen the city of Heidelberg as a center for science. We are proud that the institutional cooperation with Heidelberg University is able to make an important contribution to the success of the Forum.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has been an academic partner of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum since October 2016. We are very grateful for the opportunities provided by HLF to selected DAAD-supported master and PhD students, as well as postdocs, to network in Heidelberg with their fellow young researchers in mathematics and computer science from many countries of the world. Very memorable are the annual DAAD lunches for our fellows that were co-hosted by HLF laureates and involved lively and interesting discussions on science and young scientists’ career options.
It is an honour for me to be associated with the foundation of the Forum and will continue to support it for as long as possible. Long life to the HLF!
As a statistician, I tend to be skeptical when it comes to happenstance, but I joined HITS in 2013 – the same year that HLF was inaugurated – which I like to see as a happy coincidence. A special memory we at HITS have of the HLF is when in the first year Turing laureate Fred Brooks suddenly turned up one morning. He had sneaked in with a group of young researchers and immensely enjoyed the morning discussing science in Alan Turing – the seminar room at HITS bearing the name of his award.
During the HLF 2022 boat trip on the Neckar River, more than 20 Young Researchers working in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) self-organized a meeting. I was thrilled to be invited to join, along with HCI researchers John Richards and Laureate Shwetak Patel. In the sunshine of the boat’s top deck, we got to know each other and learn about global HCI research. Great to see interest in HCI growing worldwide and with such a bright future in the hands of these brilliant Young Researchers.
The Heidelberg Laureate Forum is a unique hub for young researchers, science journalists and of course the laureates. In the setting of the beautiful city of Heidelberg, new connections are made and collaborations are fostered. (Photo: Janine Kühn)
The interplay between mathematics and computer science has become ever more important, and some of the key problems facing humanity will require breakthroughs in the intersection between mathematics and computer science. The HLF can stimulate young talents globally to enter two areas of the science that are essential for our future.
I have enjoyed the HLF’s comfortable forum where senior and young scientists can meet and talk. It was particularly exciting to speak with individuals from many different nations because I believe that talent is universal, even when opportunity is not.
If the Heidelberg Laureate Forum did not yet exist, it would have to be invented! This statement is also true this year, when the Forum takes place for the tenth time. Successfully realising a brilliant idea is anything but a matter of course. [...] I am very grateful that I, together with several international colleagues, was able to accompany Klaus Tschira and his team on the HLF's road to success.
To me, the HLF means an incredible event and amazing community of interesting people. It offered me the opportunity to meet with giants in their fields and connect with them on a human level. I still remember the feeling of the awe when I left the train at Heidelberg and there was a huge billboard advertising the Forum.
The HLF provides a wonderful opportunity for the next generation of researchers to meet, form connections, and interact with experts from the relevant fields. This of course sounds great in writing but it is even more wonderful to see this happening in person in front of you throughout the week of the HLF. It is exactly this that I experienced in 2022. I was struck by the diversity and breadth of backgrounds and interests of participants, and impressed by how new connections were forged across both cultural and subject divides.
We will always fondly remember Prof. Tate as a true master of his discipline. He captivated all the students with stories of his life and of mathematics. We would like to thank the Heidelberg Laureate Forum for making such opportunities possible and giving our students the chance to meet with such famous mathematicians. Everyone at the KFG very much looks forward to the laureate visits each year.
To have been along since the beginning, when young mathematics talents first started meeting with the superstars of mathematics – that has always been a point of pride for us. We are pleased to be able to continue providing comfortable lodgings for students during their stay in Heidelberg. Congratulations on the first 10 years!
For me, the HLF is an annual fixed point that feels like the perfect blend of scientific exchange, family gathering, and input of new ideas from and by the whole world. I look forward to attending the HLF each year – a bit like other fixed points, as a birthday, Christmas, or summer holidays.
The Heidelberg Laureate Forum has been a permanent fixture in the city’s event calendar for many years. Hardly any other event has the same prominence in the Rhine-Neckar region. We are glad the HLF is able to attract such a great number of international guests to Heidelberg. Here’s to many more years!
There's much to say about what makes the HLF so special. The lectures, the pressure-free environment (which is so rare these days), the amazing connections you get to make. But my favorite is that every year, I make a list of what I expect to be the best sessions at the HLF – and every year, there's something even better.
The HLF is fantastic and worth the time! I was really happy that even with my many years of experience in science journalism, I learned a lot from the forum! It was engaging, insightful, passionate and progressive. I have memories of this that will last with me forever.
The MCI as the Entrepreneurial University and we as professors want to express our deepest gratitude for the incredible privilege of being a part of the esteemed HLF. The invitation to design and run the Scientific Interaction for several years gave us the chance to meet and support young researchers in mathematics and computer science. From the moment we joined, we have been consistently inspired by the unwavering commitment and passion displayed by everyone. We are immensely grateful for being part of it!
I have really fond memories of being the Lindau lecturer and of having great interactions with the young people.
I have had the privilege of attending the Heidelberg Laureate Forum since its beginning, experiencing the Forum as a great meeting place between young and older mathematicians and computer scientists. I look forward to celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and especially to learning how the Inspiring Minds Program is progressing. (Photo: Noel Tovia Matoff)
The HLF, to me, presents an unparalleled opportunity. An opportunity to learn, be inspired, network and collaborate. I vividly remember leaving the 2022 HLF overwhelmed with motivation and brimming with ideas. Greatness begets greatness and the HLF is a space that embodies this sentiment.
I participated in the HLF for the first time in 2016 as a postdoc. The following year, I went back as a science communicator and I've been a regular collaborator since. The HLF gave me my first opportunity to work with my double profile as scientist/communicator and the HLF team made me feel welcome and appreciated. The stimulating scientific environment, the encouragement of the HLF people and the enthusiasm of its participants makes the HLF a unique experience!
The laureates' visits to our school are some of the high points of the school year for me and I remember each one very well. The laureates took the time to explain their research to us in terms we could understand. It was inspiring to be able to learn about their life and vision from them directly.
For one week at the HLF, creative minds of mathematics and computer science are celebrated as stars – and deservedly so. We are delighted to be able to experience this amazing atmosphere through the laureates' school visits, which are always a highlight for the math enthusiasts in my classes. Years later, my students still rave about these inspiring encounters. It was also such a wonderful experience to be featured in one of the HLF's promo videos.
As a professor, I am thrilled to see how strong the exchange and interest of researchers in their experiences is, especially when young researchers from all over the world meet the award winners and spend an exciting, atmospheric and eventful week, and I am very happy to be there and to get involved.
I am always impressed by the vibrant and inspirational atmosphere of the event, created by young researchers from all parts of the globe who come together to meet and network with exceptional scientists in the fields of mathematics and computer science. As scientific partner of the HLF, we are proud to regularly contribute to this event by organizing talks, moderating scientific and social sessions, and by hosting groups of participants at HITS as part of the official program.
The HLF provides something truly valuable for young researchers: A unique network spanning across different disciplines, countries, and career stages. Promoting collaboration and connection in research and beyond is a mission that we at the German Scholars Organization share. Together, we can create opportunities to make that pivotal difference in the careers and lives of bright minds.
I was fortunate and privileged to be invited by John White of the ACM to participate in a discussion on the creation of an "annual gathering of Fields, Turing and Abel laureates" as part of an ACM delegation. [...] Ten years later, I am proud to have been part of the discussion to launch the Forum, the importance and impact of which I could not have measured at the time.
My field of study, evolutionary biology, would have been very muddled without mathematics: Indeed, it was through mathematical modelling that Darwin and Mendel were brought together in the Modern Synthesis around the 1930s. (Photo: Eva C. Simensen)
When I attended the 2018 HLF, I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of people I met and the broad range of application areas. This interdisciplinarity is something I didn’t expect when I attended for the first time (after all, the gathering is focused on mathematics and computer science). I believe the interdisciplinary nature of the Forum is a real superpower because some of the most interesting and impactful research arises at the intersections of different disciplines.
I have attended the HLF in person every year since it started, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 when the meeting was forced to be virtual. The meeting has given me the opportunity to reunite with old colleagues and to meet many new ones, but more importantly to interact with brilliant and enthusiastic young people from all over the world. What has most impressed me in recent years is the emergence of a self-organizing community of the young researchers. This I think is the most profound contribution of the event: It will have the greatest impact on future mathematics and computer science.
Congratulations on your 10-year anniversary! 10 years of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – 10 years of providing a platform for the meeting of extraordinary mathematicians and computer scientists. It fills us with pride and gratitude to have had the opportunity to be along for this journey for a decade already. We would like to express our appreciation for the many years of trust and collaboration.
The foundation of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum goes back to Klaus Tschira's long-standing participation and interest in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Their convincing idea inspired him: a week of intensive exchange between the Nobel heroes of their field and outstanding young scientists from all over the world.
We have been along for the ride since the very beginning. It has always been and remains a very special event that we greatly enjoy catering for.
The HLF has always tried to ensure there are plenty of opportunities for young researchers to listen to, engage with, and learn from the laureates and each other. The structure of the week, with a mix of formal lectures, informal presentations, workshops, and general discussions, helps provide the experience the HLF wants young researchers to have.
Congratulations to the Heidelberg Laureate Forum on their tenth anniversary! As the home of Germany’s oldest university as well as many more outstanding scientific institutions, Heidelberg has always been a draw for exceptional scientists. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum is part of that tradition. We are delighted to be able to once again welcome the world’s finest mathematicians and computer scientists to our city in September. (Photo: Julian Beekmann)
Every year, we are proud to be part of this event by organizing flights for guests, among them many famous mathematicians and computer scientists. We look forward to the next 10 years!
Journalists are encouraged to cover the 11th Heidelberg Laureate Forum for an opportunity to interact with some of the brightest minds in mathematics and computer science. Experience and report on a program of interactive elements that foster scientific exchange and dynamic discussions.
Journalists can apply for a limited number of travel grants from February 19 until April 28, 2024.
The application phase for young researchers to apply for participation in the 11th HLF has now concluded! We are overwhelmed by the amazing number of stellar candidates who applied this year. The HLFF wishes all candidates who applied the best of luck and looks forward to welcoming 200 brilliant young researchers in September for the 11th HLF!
From September 24–29, 2023 the 10th Heidelberg Laureate Forum took place. One week full of a compelling program, networking and interaction with 400 attendees among them about 200 young researchers and more than 30 laureates.
All lectures and panel discussions are available on YouTube. Photos can be found on Flickr. And for fascinating articles about the 10th HLF check out our HLFF Blog.