Wednesday, June 04, 2014

STOC 2014

At the just completed STOC conference I received the 2014 SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize. Part of this citation reads"His blog, and many others that followed, changes the way our field communicates, both with itself and with the outside world." I owe this award to you, my readers and commenters. May the conversations always continue.

The true highlight of the conference happened a day earlier with the Turing award lectures of Silvio Micali and Shafi Goldwasser, two of the better Turing award lectures I've seen in a while. Silvio talked about the nature of proofs and Shafi showed the connections between cryptographic principles and their applications in the broader community. For example, the Goldreich-Levin hard-core bit led to list-decodable codes. The ACM taped both lectures and they should be on-line soon.

Notes from the business meeting

  • 372 conference attendees, 46% students. A great attendance.
  • 322 submissions, 91 accepts.
  • Best Paper: "The matching polytope has exponential extension complexity" by Thomas Rothvoss
  • Student Paper: "Online learning of local structure via semidefinite programming" by Paul Christiano
  • Gödel Prize (to be awarded at ICALP): "Optimal Aggregation Algorithms for Middleware" by Ronald Fagin, Amnon Lotem and Moni Naor
  • Future Conferences:
    • FOCS 2014 October 18-21 in Philadelphia. There will be a workshop to discuss ideas for STOC and FOCS moving forward.
    • ITCS 2015 January 11-13 at the Weizmann Institute in Israel (CFP)
    • STOC 2015 as part of FCRC in Portland, Oregon
    • STOC 2016 in Boston likely co-located with SoCG
    • Potential federated theory conference in 2017
  • NSF
  • New ACM Book Series


  1. Congratulations, Lance. This is an honor well-deserved, and not only for the blog!

  2. There will be a workshop to discuss ideas for STOC and FOCS moving forward.

    Here's a radical idea: let them grow slowly and in a controlled fashion like they did for their first 30 years of their existence, instead of freezing them into much diminished relevance like we've done over the last twenty five.

  3. Are the tutorial talks/slides for STOC available online? If not, it will be great to make them available for those lesser fortunes who could not attend the conference.