Michele and Michael continue their guest posts from Atlanta.
The first day of FOCS is officially over. 8 sessions, 26 talks and 270 proceedings pages have already gone by.
Following this blog we have learned many useful things. One of them is not to rank talks, another one is not to limit posts to dry descriptions of the presentations we attended.
So you're stuck with our (admittedly not so interesting) impressions and thoughts. The quality and level of the works presented is amazing, and often wanders above our heads. However it has been a very pleasant surprise that talks are often so good and entertaining that they become manageable even when the topics are not in our background. So only positive impressions came from Day 1.
As a colorful aside we will mention another conference that is taking place in the next room, aimed at soon-to-be-extremely-wealthy people. The mixture between the two communities during coffee-breaks is often entertaining and amusing, and we have to say we spotted a prominent computer scientist carrying around the "proceedings" of this other meeting... is this some kind of sign? and if so how should we interpret it?