[sl4] 2008 Midwest NKS Conference: Call for Papers and/or Participation

From: Hector Zenil (hzenilc@gmail.com)
Date: Tue Aug 19 2008 - 10:04:16 MDT

  (We apologize if you receive multiple copies of this announcement)

  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 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.

Keynote speakers:

* Charles Bennett (IBM Research)
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

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 / Univ. of Lille 1)

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