Just finished the morning sessions of day one. I guess it's time for the standard disclaimer – the talks I blog about are those I happened to attend and should not be interpreted as the "best" or even my personal "favorite" results, etc. etc. etc.
So about the sessions. Session one started at 8.30 AM and I'm embarrassed to admit that despite being the "guest blogger" of FOCS I missed the first talk. Somehow research before 9.00 AM is akin to hard liquor before breakfast for me. I just can't stomach it. I caught the end of the talk though, and was shocked that the room was packed! I took a picture, try and see who isn't there. :)
The second session was much closer to my research area – algorithmic game theory – and hence I got much more from those talks. One particular nice result was that from the paper Mechanism Design via Differential Privacy. The authors introduce a new solution concept for mechanism design which resolves many of our frustrations with dominant strategy mechanism design, and they do so through a creative connection to a seemingly unrelated field – privacy.