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Avi Wigderson: Gödel, von Neumann, and Theoretical Computer Science


Kurt Gödel and John von Neumann have both been at the Institute for Advanced Study from its very early years. Among the faculty of the school of Mathematics of that period they were unique in their strong interest in computation, and record shows they exchanged ideas of the subject. Their research and thoughts had tremendous influence on the computer revolution we all live today. In this talk I will focus on their impact on Theoretical Computer Science - the mathematical foundations of computing. I will introduce the audience to a few central areas of current research in this exciting field, and show some of their roots in Gödel's and von Neumann's work.