HLFF Spotlight

Young Researchers at 9th HLF

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum has a single purpose: To provide some of the brightest minds in mathematics and computer science with the space and time to make connections and find inspiration. The HLFF Spotlight series shines a light on some of the brilliant young researchers attending the event, their background and research, as well as their expectations for the HLF.

Combating Food Scarcity with AI – Laeticia Onyejegbu

Laeticia Onyejegbu is a professor for computer science, artificial intelligence and machine learning at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and actively engages in projects promoting a responsible use of AI, especially on the African continent. In our interview, she talks about her efforts to prevent food scarcity resulting from climate change by utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI. Laeticia is attending the 9th HLF in September, 2022.


Accessible and Sustainable AI – Bita Darvish Rouhani

In this episode, Bita Darvish Rouhani talks about her work at the boundary between artificial intelligence, computer architecture and ethics as a principal research manager and tech lead at Microsoft Azure. In the interview, Bita tells us about her work on AI at a scale, how her background helped inspire her to combat inequality and how building sustainable AI ecosystems requires us to challenge the status quo in computing. Bita is attending the 9th HLF in September, 2022.


The Pleasure of Abstract Structures – Paul Siewert

Paul Siewert is an upcoming attendee of the 9th HLF and a Bachelor’s student in the fields of mathematics and linguistics at the University of Göttingen. While still early in his academic career, Paul has already demonstrated a considerable amount of talent for and devotion to mathematics. In our interview, Paul talks about his project on challenging the computational limits of FRACTRAN, for which he received the first prize in the German youth research competition “Jugend forscht”. He also discusses his future academic plans, talks about his motivation for studying mathematics and explains why he is looking forward to the 9th HLF.


Robotics and AI – Christoforos Mavrogiannis

In this episode, Christoforos Mavrogiannis talks about his work at the intersection of robotics and artificial intelligence. He specializes in “human-robot interaction”, specifically in crowd navigation, and explains how “teaching robots to behave” requires us to first carefully examine human behavior as well. Christoforos is a postdoc at the University of Washington in Seattle and is attending the 9th HLF in September, 2022.


The Internet of Things – Khac-Hoang Ngo

Khac-Hoang Ngo is an upcoming attendee of the 9th HLF and postdoctoral research fellow in the field of telecommunications at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Originally from Vietnam, he conducted his PhD research at the CentraleSupélec, Paris-Saclay University and Huawei Paris Research Center on the topic of noncoherent wireless communications. In our interview, he talks about how his participation at the 7th HLF shaped his career decisions, why he wants to participate again and what running a marathon and conducting research have in common.


Pointless Topology? – Cerene Rathilal

In this episode, Cerene Rathilal talks about the differences between general and pointfree topology, giving back to the community and why she is excited to return for this year’s 9th HLF. Cerene is a mathematician at the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics in South Africa. She attended the 6th HLF in 2018 and will be participating again in 2022.


Inspiring Women in STEM – Celia Rubio Madrigal

Celia Rubio Madrigal is an upcoming attendee of the 9th HLF and a graduate in Mathematics and Computer Science of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. Celia enjoys challenges and topics that require a fair bit of interdisciplinarity, and has therefore recently narrowed her focus to AI and machine learning for her Master’s degree. Celia talks about her research projects, her motivations for studying mathematics and computer science, how she applies mathematics to musical theory in her free time as well as how to inspire more women in STEM fields.