Juraj Hromkovič: Teaching Mathematics and Computer Science as Research Instruments 

10. 11. 2017, Refectory of Augustinian Abbey at Mendel square, Brno.

About the lecture

"We view mathematics as a language that was and is developed in order to describe what is describable in an unambiguous way (everybody mastering this language interprets each sentence in the same way) and in order to have a language in which the correctness of each argumentation is verifiable. Together with experiments mathematics became the main research instrument for discovering our world. In this talk we present the history of the development of mathematics and computer science in a concise way and recognize that the main contributions of science are not in discovering facts, but in introducing new concepts that increase the power of our research instruments.

Finally, we discuss why and how we have to change our education in mathematics and science that is still living in a more than 100 years old world of technical revolution. The main idea is based on moving from teaching long time optimized and finalized products of scientific work as facts, relationships and methods to teaching the processes of the development of research instruments and of making discoveries. The main goal is to force the intellectual growth of young people, to motivate them to strive to understand and to be creative."

Juraj Hromkovic

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

  • Juraj Hromkovic is professor of Information Technology and Eduation at the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich since January 2004.
  • His research and teaching interests focus on informatics education, algorithmics for hard problems, complexity theory with special emphasis on the relationship between determinsm, randomness, and nondeterminism.
  • Born in Bratislava in 1958, he studied computer science at the Comenius University, where he received his PhD in 1986 and his habilitation in 1989.
  • From 1990 to 1994, he was visiting professor at the University of Paderborn, from 1994 to 1997 professor for parallel computing at Christian Albrechts University Kiel, from 1997 to 2003 professor for algorithmics and complexity at RWTH Aachen.
  • In 2001, he was elected member of the Slovak Academic Society. Since 2010, he is member of Academia Europaea. In 2015, he was honored by the Slovak state award Goodwill Envoy. In 2017, he got the Pribina Cross of the first order from the President of the Slovak Republic.

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