MAINS Established in Heidelberg

Press release

Mathematics Informatics Station - MAINS established!

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation presents the exhibitions “Experiencing Mathematics” and “Masters of Abstraction” in its new residence.

As of now, visitors of MAINS in Heidelberg are able to experience how exciting mathematics and computer science can be and which roles they play in our everyday lives. MAINS, or “Mathematics Informatics Station,” is aptly named due to the proximity to Heidelberg’s main station and the subject matter it has on display. MAINS is both the venue for altering exhibitions and formats as well as the new premises of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF).

In 2013, Klaus Tschira established the HLFF, a subsidiary of the German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), with the goal of fostering scientific exchange and young researchers of mathematics and computer science. In September of that same year, the HLFF hosted the 1st Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an international and cross-generational networking event where 200 outstanding young researchers from mathematics and computer science interact with the recipients of most prestigious prizes in these disciplines. The 5th HLF will take place in September of this year.

Another focus of the Foundation is to increase awareness of the social importance of mathematics and computer science. In order to accomplish this, exhibitions and film screenings were hosted and open to the public over the past few years. Until now, these so-called “outreach” activities did not have a real home.

This will change with the opening of MAINS, located in the former showrooms of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG located at Kurfürstenanlage 52, Heidelberg, Germany. The Foundation will use various exhibitions and event formats to invite the public to approach mathematics and computer science in a different way.

Beate Spiegel, Managing Director of KTS and Chairperson of the HLFF, said at the dedication on May 19, “I am sure that we have found a good location for our purpose: In Heidelberg, as one of the most important scientific cities in Germany, in a district that has immensely developed in the past few years and still has much ahead, in the neighborhood of many important institutions and university facilities and, of course, close to the main station as the central transport hub.”

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Well wishes for the new location were delivered by Dr. Jan Gradel of the City of Heidelberg, as well as by representatives of both Scientific Partners of the HLFF: Dr. A. Stephen K. Hashmi, Professor of Chemistry, for Heidelberg University, and Dr. Tilmann Gneiting, Professor of Computational Statistics, for Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS).

Professors Leonard Adleman, Stephen Cook and Robert Tarjan were able to attend as three special representatives of the “Masters of Abstraction” exhibition and were briefly interviewed about their work by the Scientific Chairperson of the HLFF, Professor Dr. Andreas Reuter.

All three have received the ACM A.M. Turing Award, widely regarded as the Nobel Prize in computer science and the most prestigious prize in the discipline. Their portraits can be seen in the “Masters of Abstraction” exhibition, hanging among over 100 additional photographs of recipients of the most distinguished awards in mathematics and computer science. The KTS, respectively the HLFF, has commissioned Peter Badge, the photographer from Berlin, to travel around the world capturing the portraits of all recipients of the Abel Prize, the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the ACM Prize in Computing, the Fields Medal and the Nevanlinna Prize.

Afterwards, Andreas Reuter invited Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, Professor of Mathematics at the Paris Descartes University, to introduce the “Experiencing Mathematics” exhibiton.

The event came to a close with Andreas Epple of Epple Holding GmbH and landlord of the space symbolically handing over the key to Beate Spiegel and the HLF team.

“Experiencing Mathematics” is an international exhibition initiated and supported by UNESCO, which has been shown over 150 times and in 30 different countries since its opening in 2004. With the exhibition in Heidelberg, “Experiencing Mathematics” is making its first visit to Germany. It is directed at people of all ages and all levels of expertise, from those who rarely deal with mathematics to those with experience in the field, as well as being suited for families and school groups. The exhibition is shown until August 31, 2017, at the MAINS, Kurfürstenanlage 52, 69115 Heidelberg, at the following times: Thursday to Sunday and on holidays from 2-7 p.m. Entrance is free of charge. Tours are free and can be arranged for school groups at any time.

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More information about “Experiencing Mathematics” can be found here.

“Masters of Abstraction”

Peter Badge was born in 1974 in Hamburg, Germany. He began his career as a freelance artist and photographer in 1993, moving to Berlin in 1995 to study art history where he still lives and works today. After being commissioned by the KTS, respectively the HLFF (in cooperation with the award-granting institutions), Badge has been photographing all recipients of the Abel Prize, the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the ACM Prize in Computing, the Fields Medal and the Nevanlinna Prize. The exhibition is shown until August 31, 2017, at the MAINS, Kurfürstenanlage 52, 69115 Heidelberg, at the following times: Thursday to Sunday and on holidays from 2-7 p.m. Entrance is free of charge.

More information about “Masters of Abstraction” can be found here.

Background

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will take place from September 24–29, 2017. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA).

More information about the HLF can be found here.

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Manjil Saikia

Managing Editor of Gonit Sora and Research Fellow, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Vienna, Austria.
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