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HLF Review 2016

Outreach Schools at the

Outreach Schools at the Exhibition While each exhibition is open to the public and any interested visitors are welcome, a target audience is indeed the younger generation, specifically students. “Adventures in Computer Science” was designed to capture the interest of a wide range of ages with the hands-on exhibits enabling visitors to take hold of the learning-by-doing concept. At the same time, there was the Film Festival – Mathematics and Computer Science especially for school classes, with experts explaining the mathematical and computational contents of the films. Schools from all over Heidelberg and the surrounding region were informed and encouraged to bring a variety of classes to experience what lay behind the computer screen. College students with computer science backgrounds were on-site to lead each class through a guided tour of each station giving the younger pupils a more grounded understanding of the science behind computers. Several schools took advantage of the opportunity to enable their students to learn outside the classroom and came to experience the “Adventures in Computer Science.“ 108

Outreach Zuse Exhibition Konrad Zuse – Early Computing Machinery For the first time during the Forum week, the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) presented an exhibition in the Old University of Heidelberg as part of the accompanying program, which was also open to the public. Konrad Zuse’s Early Computing Machines (1935–1945) told the story of how Konrad Zuse’s initial ideas blossomed into the development of his machines and demonstrated the details of Zuse’s early computers. The German structural engineer, inventor and entrepreneur Konrad Zuse is attributed with inventing the computer. With the completion of his Z3 in 1941, he developed the first functional, fully automated, software-operated and programmable computer, and therefore the world’s first operational computer. 75 years after the premier public introduction of the Z3 in Berlin, the HLFF presented Konrad Zuse’s Early Computing Machines (1935–1945) from September 17–22, in the Senatssaal of the Old University in Heidelberg. Among the several exhibits, there was a reconstruction of the Z3 from the Konrad-Zuse-Museum in Hünfeld. The exhibition portrayed the path Konrad Zuse took from his first ideas to the development of his machines, while demonstrating the details of Zuse’s first computers. Zuse‘s concept of hierarchical computing architectures, or today’s microprogramming, was the common thread that wove the exhibition together. It was this concept that enabled the young Zuse to build the Z1, his mechanical calculator, which he accomplished essentially alone. The Z1 conceptually signaled the coming of the era of computers: it was completely binary, worked with floating point numbers and had separate memories and a processor. These features did not appear in commercial calculators until the 1950s. “This story has never been told in this way, and I’m certain that visitors will be very impressed,” said Raúl Rojas, Professor of Computer Science at the Freie Universität in Berlin. Together with the help from his team, he developed the exhibition especially for the HLFF. “It is difficult to grasp how a 26 year-old in Berlin in 1936 had such cutting edge ideas on his mind and that he tirelessly devoted himself to building his computers, in spite of the world being on the edge of war.” In addition to being organized by the HLFF, the exhibition dedicated to the German computer pioneer was connected to the Foundation on an even closer level. Andreas Reuter, the Scientific Chair of the HLFF, knew Konrad Zuse personally and distinctly remembered how meeting Zuse significantly influenced his career path. “My father worked in Zuse’s companies and so even 109