Monday, April 30, 2012

Claude Shannon - Father of Information Theory

Claude E. Shannon (1916-2001)
Today 96 years ago, Claude E. Shannon was born, the "father of information theory", whose groundbreaking work ushered in the Digital Revolution. Of course Shannon is famous for having founded information theory with one landmark paper published in 1948. But he is also credited with founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937, when, as a 21-year-old master's student at MIT, he wrote a thesis demonstrating that electrical application of Boolean algebra could construct and resolve any logical, numerical relationship. Believe it or not, it has been claimed that this was the most important master's thesis of all time. Shannon contributed to the field of cryptanalysis during World War II and afterwards, including basic work on code breaking.

At yovisto, there are many references to the work of Shannon. Obviously, because he has laid some of the foundations of computer science (and information theory), and on the other hand there are many basic lectures referring to these topics. But, there is also a very nice documentary about Claude Shannon exploring his life and the major influence his work had on today`s digital world through interviews with his friends and colleagues.

Further Reading:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics

Kurt Gödel (1906-1978)
On April 28, 1906, Kurt Gödel was born. He was one of the most significant logicians of all time. Gödel made an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century, a time when many, such as Bertrand Russell, A. N. Whitehead and David Hilbert, were pioneering the use of logic and set theory to understand the foundations of mathematics.

Gödel is best known for his two incompleteness theorems, published in 1931 when he was 25 years old, one year after finishing his doctorate at the University of Vienna. The more famous incompleteness theorem states that for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers (for example Peano arithmetic), there are true propositions about the naturals that cannot be proved from the axioms. To prove this theorem, Gödel developed a technique now known as Gödel numbering, which codes formal expressions as natural numbers.

Unfortunately, at yovisto, we don't have original video footage of Gödel. But we have some lectures from Princeton honoring Kurt Gödel and his works to mark the centenary year of his birth back in 2006:
Related Articles at yovisto Blog:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Science Slam kicks off in Potsdam

The first Science Slam in Potsdam took place yesterday at the Hans-Otto-Theater and we were there to see five young scientists presenting their latest studies on five different topics.
The rules of the Science Slam are easy. The participants have 10 minutes to present their own research results in an entertaining way. The audience then picks the winner by the volume of their applause.

Featured scientist was Prof. Bernd Walz. As an established zoologist and former vice president of the University of Potsdam he did not take part in the competition, but presented his work on the topic 'What get's the water into our spit?'

Winner of the evening was bio-technologist Ilka Wagner with her presentation 'With hair and skin - the fifth element of substance testing.' Ilka and her research team built a smartphone-sized human bio-reactor, which makes it possible to test new medications before they will be used on humans or animals. The result is a cheaper and healthier medical drug research.

Dr. Jobst Heitzig is a climate scientist at the 'Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research' and demonstrated his work on the 'Game Theory for Climate Coalistions'.

Dr. Peter Westerhoff earned much applause for his presentation about 'Instrumented Implants'. His work group at the 'Julius Wollf Institute' researches on and builds new implants with a new technology that allows to measure temperatures and powers of shoulder-, knee-, and hip-implants.

Dr. Jörg Enders was in search of topmodels in the mathematical sense. He researched on the dependency of curvature and time on objects. As a result, he presented the audience that a basketball is a perfect topmodel and Angela Merkel is somehow not.

Alexander Bernhard analyzed zombie-movies from different decades and tried to deduce changes in society from the behavior of actors in these movies.

Watch the video of slammer Peter Westerhoff on Yovisto (in German), he already attended the Science Slam in Berlin. More videos of the Science Slam in Potsdam will be up soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Keynote by Bernard Stiegler now on Yovisto

You can now watch Bernard Stiegler's Keynote at the World Wide Web Conference 2012 in Lyon on Yovisto.

Bernard Stiegler is a director of IRI (Innovation and Research Institute) at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, a Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmith College in London and a professor at the University of Technology of Compiègne where he teaches philosophy. Before taking up the post at the Pompidou Center, he was program director at the International College of Philosophy, Deputy Director General of the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, then Director General at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). Bernard Stiegler has published widely on philosophy, technology, digitization, capitalism, and consumer culture. Among his writings, his three volumes of /La Technique et Le Temps /(English Translation: /Technics and Time/), Acting out, translated by David Barison, Daniel Ross, and Patrick Crogan, Stanford University Press, 2009, two volumes of /De La Misère Symbolique,/ three volumes of /Mécréance et Discrédit/ and two volumes /Constituer l’Europe/ are particularly well known.
Professor Stiegler has a long term engagement with the relation between technology and philosophy, not only in a theoretical sense, but also situating them in industry and society as practices. He is one of the founders of the political group Ars Industrialis based in Paris, which calls for an industrial politics of spirit, by exploring the possibilities of the technology of spirit, to bring forth a new “life of the mind”. He published extensively on the problem of individuationi in consumer capitalism, and he is working on the new possibility of an economy of contribution.

A download of Stiegler's presentation is also available. 

To watch more 'WWW 2012' Videos visit: