Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Reason to goto FOCS: Theory Day!

(Posted by request of Vijay V. Vazirani. Flame him for any spelling or grammar mistakes, or if you don't like the content.)

Another reason to goto FOCS: There will be a theory day on Saturday Oct 24:

  1. 50th Anniversary of Foundations of Computer Science, and
  2. 20th Anniversary of the ACO Program at Georgia Tech
This will be held in conjunction with FOCS 2009 on Saturday, October 24, 2009 in the LeCraw Auditorium on the Georgia Tech campus. The event will consist of one hour lectures by
  1. Richard Karp, University of California, Berkeley
  2. Mihalis Yannakakis, Columbia University
  3. Noga Alon, Tel Aviv University
  4. Manuel Blum, Carnegie Mellon University
To register and for more information please visit here

ACO is a multidisciplinary PhD Program in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

(Back to Bill. Flame him for any spelling or Grammar mistakes or if you don't like the content.) (1) Lance pointed out that you DO NOT need a paper to goto FOCS (or any other conference). This is even more true for Theory Day's where typically there are only 4 or 5 speakers. What if only those who were presenting went? What if they gave a theoryday and nobody came? (2) What do you think of having theory days or workshops or whatnot adjacent to a conference? I think its a great idea since it saves on travel time. Does it get more people to goto the conference? Does it get more people to goto the theory day or workshop? Is there any downside? For the user I suspect NO DOWNSIDE. For the organizers it may add some complications.


  1. This certainly makes it worthwhile to consider to go.

    Georgia Tech ACO program is one of the best out there for budding theoreticians. It is full of flexibility. A student could choose an advisor for any of the three participating departments, and what turned out to more important to me is that one could complete the required coursework entirely consisting of special classes, which are generously offered at G. Tech. I already had a (relatively) strong background on the broader CS and Math subject areas, so the ACO program puts me at a speed by not requiring the standard classes.

    There were some lose requirement to take broader CS classes, which I took, but later learned that the director incharge of the program (Prof. Duke at that time), did not care much about it. He just signed my course requirement completion form by saying, "Oh, I know you". I regret that, because I toiled hard hard for those systems classes which did not turn out to be needed (ACO program requirement official said at that time, one has to take any two classes not related to ACO program in one's own home department -- that was the only coursework requirement).

  2. Please flame me for my dependency on smart default editors for all these typos. This comment posting window is default but dumb editor.

  3. For those of us who cannot go (it's in the middle of the semester, etc.), I hope they would make videos of the talks available later on.

  4. Does anyone call it the "AC-zero" program?

  5. Kamal, no offense but you're hardly unbiased. Having done my undergrad at Georgia Tech, I can tell you that it's a very, very unfriendly place. I think there are a lot better places than Georgia Tech ACO. E.g. CMU.