Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Theory in Japan

Japan has produced some excellent theorists, like Seinosuke Toda who won the 1998 Gödel prize for his paper reducing the polynomial-time hierarchy to counting solutions of NP problems. But Japan has not had the large international impact in theoretical computer science as countries like Israel, India or Hungary.

In this trip I am seeing signs that this may change for the better. The conference is kicking off a new project New Horizons in Computing that shows a serious commitment of the Japanese government to computer science theory. The large turnout, over 130 registrants the majority of which are students, shows a keen interest in theory from the academic side as well.

I'd like to see more Japanese go abroad for graduate work and postdoc positions and more Japanese universities making theory an important part of their computer science programs. But given the excitement I see at this meeting I am very hopeful that Japan will also become a true theory powerhouse in the near future.


  1. Congrats to Boaz Barak, winner of the ACM Best Dissertation Award!

  2. A most deserving winner!