From Sep 24 to 29, the 5th edition of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) took place, mainly on premisses of the University of Heidelberg. It intends to bring together laureates in mathematics and computer science with young researchers. The program roughly looks like this: during the mornings, the laureates give presentations on their field, their experience, their opinion where things are leading to, interesting research questions etc. During breaks, workshops, poster sessions, social and other events, there is plenty of room to pick up one or the aspect, e.g., from those presentations and have a fruitful discussion with some of the leading brains in the field. One of my favourite moments was a coincidental lunch time chat with Sir Michael Atiyah on a variety of topics and that variety makes it so fascinating.
Material from the HLF is available on the internet:
- Recordings of the presentations, even last year’s, can be found in the HLF Youtube channel.
- Blogs on the HLF 2017 can be found here.
- Tweets on the HLF 2017 can be found under the #HLF17 hashtag and from the HLF’s official Twitter account @HLForum.
- Finally, there is a photo gallery on Flickr.
I could not attend all the presentations this year. But from those that I could attend, I recommend the following 3; this is an arbitrary, sobjective selection as all presentations had impressive content:
- Jeffrey A. Dean: “Deep Learning and the Grand Engineering Challenges”. Jeff gave a huge set of insights and examples on the potential of deep learning.
- John E. Hopcroft: “Deep Learning Research”. If you wonder about the relationship between maths and computer science then watch the first 5 minutes of John’s presentation. Later, he showed some fascinating potential of neural networks in image processing.
- Aaron Ciechanover: “The Personalized Medicine Revolution: Are We Going to Cure all Diseases and at What Price?”. Aaron presented this year’s Lindau lecture. He talked about exiting the era where the treatment of many diseases is “one size fits all”, and enter a new era of “personalized medicine” where the treatment is tailored according to the patient’s molecular/mutational profile.