Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Page Six

Final guest post from FOCS attendee Rocco Servedio.

Well, another FOCS has come and gone. In 50 years -- 100, tops -- we will know which papers from the conference stood the test of time. But meanwhile on to more pressing matters. Last week Lance promised that I would provide "all the gossip from the conference;" I'd hate to disappoint, so here goes. All names have been changed to protect the guilty, and pronouns should not be used to infer gender. Presenting...


  • POTTED PROFESSOR: WHICH thirsty theorist drank so much beer at the business meeting that his PhD students had to help him back to his room? The greedy guzzler was next spotted Monday afternoon nursing a mug of black coffee in the back row and wincing at microphone feedback.

  • DINNER DILEMMA: WHICH graph theory guru created an scheduling snafu when he separately told two rival gangs of theorists that he'd "meet you in the lobby in 15 minutes?" Let's hope his administrative assistant at Famous University manages things better when he's on his home turf.

  • ENOUGH ALREADY! WHICH logorrheic logician went so far over time that he "practically had to be dragged off the podium?" Our sources say the session chair was scant seconds from pulling the projector plug when the babbling bore finally zipped it.

  • HEARTBREAKER: WHICH complexity theorist Casanova has a love life that's more complicated than the proof of the Parallel Repetition Theorem? It seems there's no lower bound on this cheating cad's bad behavior.

Sadly, as you've probably guessed, none of these things actually took place (or if they did I didn't know about it; if so that's even sadder). In all seriousness, thanks to Lance for letting me post these last few days; it was fun, especially the chance to branch out into fiction-writing at the end.


  1. Shouldn't "lower bound" be "upper bound"?

  2. I guess it is quite right...lower bound on bad behaviour (upper bound is on good behaviour) :-)

  3. Haa, it's too disappointing that none of these theoreticians actually exist. I guess we're too normal, or at least hide the colorful side of our lives successfully enough, that our FOCS/STOC conferences are way too well-organized. Thank you Rocco for a fun-filled post, fictional as it may be.

  4. For Casonova's sake, we NEED an easier
    proof of the parallel repeition theorem!

    bill gasarch

  5. Yeah, nice posts, Rocco.

    Lance: Geoff Blum.

  6. easier proofs ... my impression is that often alternative proofs are not so well appreciated: i mean it seems sometimes difficult to publish such results ...

  7. why is the title of the post Page six and not page 3. Is there any deep theory behind it?

  8. HAHAHA. Beautiful!