The Calm Before the Forum

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Laureates of mathematics and computer science meet the next generation
Heidelberg Laureate Forum

My husband and I are sitting in the restaurant of the historic brewery and hotel, Kulturbrauerei, where the wifi is good.  Now that we’ve recovered from having essentially no sleep Friday night while we traveled from Ottawa to Heidelberg, it’s time to get excited about the upcoming activities at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum.  Although I am in fact a young researcher (a part-time PhD student at Carleton University, to be specific), that’s not why I’m here.  I was invited to blog for the event, and I’m really looking forward to sharing my experiences with you.

A view of the castle and bridge appropriately called Old Bridge
A view of the castle and bridge appropriately called Old Bridge. Image by Gail Carmichael.

After we arrived in Frankfurt Saturday morning (which, I feel obliged to point out, was only midnight our time), we sleepily made our way to Heidelberg by train.  We decided to walk from the train station to our hotel. We thoroughly enjoyed the pleasant hour-long stroll along the river where we spotted a play park our daughter would have adored, and many lovely homes with a great view.  We were lucky enough to get our hotel room early, so we checked in, had lunch, and napped.

A outside-in view of the restaurant at Kulturbrauerei
A outside-in view of the restaurant at Kulturbrauerei. Image by Gail Carmichael.

The rest of our Saturday consisted of a wonderful media get-together at Kulturbrauerei, and some after-dark exploration.  We ended up at Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Palace), where we got some lovely views of the city at night.  We’re looking forward to the opportunity to get inside during one of the many social events hosted by the Forum.

Schloss Heidelberg is lit up very nicely at night
Schloss Heidelberg is lit up very nicely at night. Image by Gail Carmichael.

Today, the Forum kicks off with opening ceremonies and a reception.  Then we have a week of intellectual stimulation to look forward to, with lectures from the laureates as well as opportunities to engage with the young researchers.  I have a feeling our departure on Saturday is going to come all too soon…

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Gail is Manager of External Education Programs at Shopify where her team works to make learning computer science better for everyone. Previously, she taught computer science at Carleton University. Gail was a co-founder of Carleton's Women in Science and Engineering group (CU-WISE), and has lead many computer science outreach events. You can follow Gail on Twitter (@gailcarmichael) and her personal blog (The Female Perspective of Computer Science).


  1. Hi Gail,

    I was reading your blog when you mentioned Carleton University. Just some days ago, I was talking to Lucy Campbell because I’m registering as a new member of Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society. Yes! I made it to CAIMS as a new member.

    But, please let me introduce myself first. My name is Ernesto Icogo and I am a Filipino applied mathematician. I applied for a seat to the Heidelberg Laureate Forum but not so successful. Maybe next year. Several days after I submitted my application to HLF, I met several University of Heidelberg scientists and applied mathematicians in a workshop in Pattaya, Thailand. They are great people and I hope you’ll be able to meet them.

    I should mention Dr. Hans Georg Bock, the managing director of IWR Heidelberg, Dr. Anja Milde, the managing director of KoMSO (German Committee of Simulation and Optimization), Dr. Tom Krause, project manager at IWR Heidelberg as well as Dr. Ekaterina Kostina. I am very glad to have met them. After the Pattaya meeting, I was able to plan and organize the visit of Dr. Milde and Dr. Kraus to the Philippines for possible collaboration projects.

    While I am still in the process of migrating to Canada, I hope I can do the same for Canadian applied mathematics community in the near future. Please send my regards to those great guys at Heidelberg and to Lucy Campbell at Carleton.

    You are lucky you were able to join HLF. So, enjoy, make the most of your stay in Heidelberg and I hope to keep in touch with you in the near future in Canada. Or at least you will remember that you once received a reply from your blogspot. Thank you for the article you’ve written here. It was simply encouraging and motivating to join HLF someday

  2. Hi Ernesto! Thanks for the note, and I hope that you both enjoy coming to Canada and that you make it to HLF in the future. If you need any info about Carleton or Ottawa, let me know! 🙂

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