Chaitin cutting an Omega cake with Leibniz cookies.

The NKS Science Conference 2007 held at the University of Vermont included a special session featuring the contributors to the volume  “Randomness and Complexity: From Leibniz to Chaitin” (see related post),  recently published by World Scientific and edited by Cristian Calude. The session was organized by Calude and myself.

The program was as follows:
9:45am-12 noon
A. Presentations from “Randomness & Complexity: From Leibniz to Chaitin”, Angell Lecture Center B106:

* Cristian Calude, “Proving and Programming”
* John Casti, “Greg Chaitin: Twenty Years of Personal and Intellectual Friendship”
* Karl Svozil, “The Randomness Information Paradox: Recovering Information in Complex Systems”
* Paul Davies, “The Implications of a Cosmological Information Bound for Complexity, Quantum Information and the Nature of Physical Law”
* Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, “Where Do New Ideas Come From? How Do They Emerge? Epistemology as Computation (Information Processing)”
* Ugo Pagallo, “Chaitin’s Thin Line in the Sand. Information, Algorithms, and the Role of Ignorance in Social Complex Networks”
* Hector Zenil, “On the Algorithmic Complexity for Short Sequences”
* Gregory Chaitin, “On the Principle of Sufficient Reason”

Calude began by talking about  “Randomness and Complexity: From Leibniz to Chaitin”, published to mark Gregory Chaitin’s  60th birthday.

The blog entry of my presentation is posted here:
http://blog.wolframscience.com/

while an extended version of the published paper (co-authored with Jean-Paul Delahaye)  from which that presentation was culled is available here:
http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.1043

Following the  presentations, there was a panel discussion on the subject “What is Randomness?” organized by myself  in collaboration with Cristian Calude (who edited the book), and Wolfram Research’s Catherine Boucher and Todd Rowland. It was held at the Angell Lecture Center and  featured Cristian Calude himself, John Casti, Gregory Chaitin, Paul Davies, Karl Svozil and Stephen Wolfram.



Gregory Chaitin cutting his Omega cake surrounded by Leibniz cookies

We  had a good time discussing various topics of interest  at a  luncheon on the university campus and again at dinner the following night in downtown Burlington. At the luncheon, Stephen Wolfram provided an overview of Chaitin’s prominent career as a pioneer of  algorithmic information theory and then invited Chaitin to cut an Omega cake surrounded by Leibniz cookies.

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