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Scifoo 2008 photos

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Scifoo 2008 was tremendous fun. Thanks to all the organizers from Google, Nature and O’Reilly who made it happen.

I guess I’m used to meetings with enormous concentrations of brainpower, but usually the attendees share similar backgrounds. At Scifoo the diversity of knowledge is overwhelming.

I didn’t take very many photos because I was too busy trying to absorb every bit of information I could during the conference.

Here’s a shot of the crowd at the last session, which consisted of 2 minute recaps of some popular talks. Coincidentally, there are a number of physicists in the foreground: Wally Gilbert (a student of Abdus Salam who later won the Nobel prize for work in molecular biology and co-founded Biogen. He was a Senior Fellow when I was at Harvard), Sabine Hossenfelder (Perimeter Institute and blogger) and Paul Davies (relativist and author, looking down into his bag).

In this shot you can see Sara Winge, Tim O’Reilly, Chris DiBona and Timo Hannay at the front of the room.

This is a shot I took at lunch of Shane Carruth, who wrote and directed the movie Primer. I had a great time discussing the similarities between indie film making and tech startups with him. The next day he was off to Hollywood to pitch the script he’s been writing for the last 2 years. Good luck Shane! (As is typical of Scifoo, the guys not pictured who were eating with us included an entrepreneur biologist whose company makes stem cells, and the physicist Lee Smolin.)

This one was taken by Esther Dyson. In the foreground are George Dyson, Stewart Brand, Danny Hillis and Neal Stephenson (who attended my high school and shares my interest in jiujitsu đŸ™‚ George Dyson gave an amazing talk on the history of the Monte Carlo method, focusing on a newly discovered set of telegrams between von Neumann and his wife which spanned the development of the atomic bomb and the first electronic computers. I’ve always been astonished that no one has written a great biography of von Neumann, but George may be taking on that task.

Here’s another nice set at Flickr. And another, which includes this shot of the session boards:

Written by infoproc

August 11, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Posted in photos, scifoo

Scifoo 2008

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I’m off to the Googleplex tomorrow for Scifoo 2008, sponsored by Google, Nature and O’Reilly.

Here’s the Nature web page; maybe I’ll show up in some of the photos. This one is from last year:

With all the interesting people and talks (and Olympics going on in the background!), I doubt I will post very much for the next few days!

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August 7, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Posted in foo camp, science, scifoo

Conference fun

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My summer schedule is filling up already!

Paris, May 26-28: Black hole information at Institut Henri Poincaré.

Foo camp, Sebastapol, July 11-13: woo hoo! O’Reilly Media’s annual un-conference. My report from last year, including video.

Sci Foo, Googleplex, Aug 8-10: co-organized by Google, O’Reilly Media and Nature. Flickr photos from last year (2007).

Trento, Italy Sept. 1-5: statistical thermalization, at the European Center for Nuclear Theory (ECT).

Written by infoproc

May 11, 2008 at 11:40 pm