[FOM] Last call for participation: NKS Midwest Conference 2008

Hector Zenil hector.zenil-chavez at malix.univ-paris1.fr
Thu Oct 23 01:08:45 EDT 2008

(We apologize the multiple copies of this announcement)

                    2008 Midwest NKS Conference

     What is computation? (How) does nature compute?


                  2008 Midwest NKS Conference

                     Fri Oct 31 - Sun Nov 2, 2008
            Indiana University -- Bloomington, IN


In 1964, in one of the six Messenger lectures he delivered at Cornell  
University (later published as a book "The Character of Physical Law")  
Richard Feynman said: "It always bothers me that, according to the  
laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an  
infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no  
matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of  
time ... So I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics  
will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the  
machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple,  
like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities."

The topic of the conference has been chosen with this quote in mind.  
The conference will host a most distinguished group of scientists  
supporting different views of a computable universe, from those  
supporting the thesis that Nature performs (only) digital computation  
and does it up to a maximal level, to those supporting the thesis of  
nature as a quantum computer. Some strongly suggest however that the  
true nature of Nature can be only explained by the study of  
randomness. Randomness however preserves its mysterious reputation,  
for some of these authors it seems that randomness can be generated  
deterministically in the classical sense, while others claim the  
existence of "true" randomness from the principles underlying quantum  
mechanics necessarily to explain the complexity seen around. This  
event will become the place of confluence in which all these views  
will be presented, discussed and analyzed by the guests and the  
conference participants themselves. After presenting their views  
during the first three days of the conference, the keynote speakers  
will then participate in a round table discussion on the topic.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

* Charles Bennett (IBM Research)
Cristian Calude (University of Auckland)
Gregory Chaitin (IBM Research)
David Deutsch (Oxford University)
Edward Fredkin (Carnegie Mellon University)
* Lov K. Grover (Bell Labs / Lucent Technologies)
Tony Leggett (University of Illinois)
* Seth Lloyd (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Todd Rowland (Wolfram Research)
Rob de Ruyter (Indiana University)
Matthew Szudzik (Carnegie Mellon University)
Tommaso Toffoli (Boston University)
Stephen Wolfram (Wolfram Research)

* via videoconference.

Screening of the documentary "Julia Robinson and Hilbert Tenth's  
Problem" with the presence of the director George Csicsery followed by  
a brief foreword and post-movie Q&A session.

Round table

Cristian Calude (University of Auckland)
Gregory Chaitin (IBM Research)
Edward Fredkin (Carnegie Mellon University)
Tony Leggett (University of Illinois)
Rob de Ruyter (Indiana University)
Tommaso Toffoli (Boston University)
Stephen Wolfram (Wolfram Research)

George Johnson (The New York Times writer)
Gerardo Ortiz (University of Indiana Bloomington)
Hector Zenil (Univ. of Paris 1 / Univ. of Lille 1)

Contributed talks

Topics of interest (but are not limited to):

- The physics of computation
- Computational physics
- Foundations of computation
- Universality and Irreducibility
- Classical (digital) and quantum computation
- Algorithmic information theory

Two parallel session tracks (on Friday 31st.):

  08:30am-10:30am (Dogwood, IMU) Session Chair: Hector Zenil
     *  Tommaso Bolognesi (CNR/ISTI, Pisa, Italy): A notion of time in  
discrete universes based on network mobile automata.
     *  Gilles Dowek (Ecole Polytechnique and INRIA, France): Non  
deterministic computation over the real numbers.
     *  Enrique Zeleny (BUAP, Puebla, Mexico): Complexity in the  
universe of 'Mathematica' Programs
     *  Bruno Grenet (Ecole normale supérieure, Lyon, France):  
Acceptable Complexity Measures of Theorems.

08:30am-10:30am (Walnut, IMU) Session Chair: John Woodward
     *  Eric S. Rowland (Math. Dept. Rutgers University): Regularity  
vs. complexity in the binary representation of 3^n.
     *  Miquel Noguer i Alonso and Jason Cawley (UBS AG - UNED  
Switzerland and Wolfram Research): NKS Artificial Market Model
     *  Abby Nussey (Wolfram Research) - Outer Median Cellular  
Automaton Rules in 1D, 2D, and on Graphs.
     *  Paul-Jean Letourneau (Physics Dept., Univ. of British  
Columbia / Wolfram Research): Monoliths in ECA rule 146: new insights

10:45am-12:45pm (Dogwood, IMU) Session Chair: Tommaso Bolognesi
     *  Francis Bitonti (Pratt Institute GAUD, FAD Architecture, New  
York): Unnatural Selection
     *  Mike Round (Center for autoSocratic Excellence): Introducing  
the High-School Student to the Plausibility of the Computational  
     *  Paul Tarau (Dept. of Comp. Sci. and Eng. University of North  
Texas): Shapeshifting data types with isomorphisms and hylomorphisms
     *  Alexander G. D. Lamb (Santa Cruz, California): Exploring the  
Algorithmic Requirements for Rotationally-Invariant, Straight-Line  

10:45pm-12:45pm (Walnut, IMU) Session Chair: Paul Tarau
     *  John Woodward (School of Computer Science, The University of  
Nottingham, UK): A Syntactic Justification for Occam's razor
     *  Raymond Aschheim (Polytopics, France): Bitmaps for a digital toe
     *  Johan Veerman (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú): An  
Exhaustive Search of Arithmetical Cellular Automata with Three Colors
     *  Alastair Hewitt (Harvard University): The Computational  
Aspects of Choice and Selection in Natural Systems

     *  Mathematica Workshop (Part I, Rawles 100) by Todd Rowland and  
Matthew Szudzik

Important Dates

Online registration won't be accepted after Oct 26, 2008.

The symposium is a three days event organized to provide an atmosphere  
that fosters collaborative work, discussions and interactions.  
Lectures are given by the keynote speakers listed above and by the  
authors of accepted abstracts.

     *  Adrian German (Indiana University Bloomington)
     *  Gerardo Ortiz (Indiana University Bloomington)
     *  Hector Zenil (Univ. of Paris 1 / Univ. of Lille 1)

Contact info

     * Adrian German (dgerman at indiana.edu)
     * Hector Zenil-Chavez (hectorz at alumni.cmu.edu)

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