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Adrian German
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN

Registered: Mar 2005
Posts: 19

2008 Midwest NKS Conference: Call for Papers and/or Participation

(Extension of Abstract Submission Due Date)

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 our conference has been chosen with this quote in mind. Our 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, via videoconference TO BE CONFIRMED)
William Bialek (Princeton University)
Cristian Calude (University of Auckland)
Gregory Chaitin (IBM Research)
David Deutsch (Oxford University, via videoconference)
Edward Fredkin (Carnegie Mellon University)
Tony Leggett (University of Illinois)
Seth Lloyd (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Dana Scott (Carnegie Mellon University)
Stephen Wolfram (Wolfram Research)
Leonid Levin (Boston University TO BE CONFIRMED)

Round table moderators

James Gleick (author of Chaos, Genius and Isaac Newton)
Gerardo Ortiz (Indiana University Bloomington)
Hector Zenil (Univ. of Paris 1 and Univ of Lille 1)

Conference topics

Topics of interest for submissions include (but are not limited to):

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

It is encouraged to relate the above topics with the conference title (What is computation? (How) does nature compute?) and the points of intersection between classical computation, quantum computation, algorithmic information theory, and the principle of computational equivalence.

Important Dates
Authors are invited to submit a title and a long abstract of one or two pages providing a perspective on research results related to the topics above. Accepted abstracts will be presented during the first day of the conference on Fri morning and early afternoon October 31. Papers that have been accepted for presentation will be considered for publication in the journal of Complex Systems (http://www.complex-systems.com/) which will have a special number dedicated to this conference.

Title and short abstract due: 25 August 2008
Abstract Submission New Due Date: 5 September)
Abstract notification: 15 September 2008
Conference: 31 Oct-2 Nov 2008

Conference paper due: 31 October 2008
Paper notification: 1 December 2008
Camera-ready paper due: 15 December 2008

The short abstracts must be in English and provide sufficient details to allow the organizing committee and the advisory board to assess the potential merits of each submission. One author of each accepted abstract will be expected to attend the conference and make the presentation. Abstracts/papers submitted for consideration must be unpublished, original work of the authors that has not been submitted for publication elsewhere, but may contain previously published material. Short abstracts must be submitted electronically by the date above to hectorz@andrew.cmu.edu with "2008 Midwest NKS Conf. Short Abstract" included in the subject line.

The symposium is a four 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.

Organizing committee
Adrian German (Indiana University Bloomington)
Gerardo Ortiz (Indiana University Bloomington)
Hector Zenil (Univ. of Paris 1 and Univ. of Lille 1)


Last edited by Adrian German on 08-28-2008 at 11:02 PM

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