Sofia Vieira Pinto at the 10th edition of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum

The 10th Heidelberg Laureate Forum took place in Germany September 24-29, bringing together some of the brightest minds in mathematics and computer science. At this conference, 200 carefully selected young researchers in mathematics and computer science, spend a week interacting with the laureates of these disciplines: recipients of the Abel Prize, ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing, Fields Medal, IMU Abacus Medal and Nevanlinna Prize. Established in 2013, the HLF is annually organized by the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF).

With a blend of scientific and social program elements, the HLF platform is especially designed to initiate exchange among the participants. Laureates give lectures on subjects of their choosing which are primarily directed at the participating young scientists. Those lectures should be the starting point of intensive discussions between the laureates and the young researchers during the forum. This means that the Forum is not a classical scientific conference but a networking event meant to motivate and inspire the next generation of scientists. Providing a space for ideas to take shape and evolve is what defines the Forum’s underlying purpose.

Among these young researchers we find Sofia Vieira Pinto, a third-year L.EIC student, who was selected to take part in this fervent meeting. “It was undoubtedly one of the most memorable weeks of my career so far”, tells us Sofia upon her return to FEUP. “There’s no way to describe in mere words all the contacts, conversations and even friendships that took place over the course of these days. I had the opportunity to make contact with numerous award-winners and listen to the life stories of those who already have many pages to tell. It was a period of learning, development and personal fulfilment such as I’ve never experienced. It still feels like a dream come true”, concludes our promising student.

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