(Update on P vs NP: The proof uses Finite Model Theory which is sometimes called That stuff that Neil Immerman does.. Neil Immerman has found a flaw in it. See Lipton's Blog for more information. My prediction is still that something interesting will come out of this but NOT P ≠ NP. And for those of you who read my blog but do not follow Lance on Twitter (the empty set?) note that Lance tweeted Much ado about an unverified proof.. Of course, if we all felt that way then who would verify it? A PCP?)
Guest Post from Paul Beame!
While the complexity world is debating how much to invest in trying to
extract useful information from the recent attempt at resolving P vs NP,
there is another item that may be useful to complexity blog readers who
also happen to be members of the IEEE Computer Society which sponsors
the CCC, LICS, and FOCS conferences. Voting just opened in the
election for IEEE CS officers including the President.
I'd like to alert voters to a write-in campaign for
Joe Bumblis for president of the IEEE Computer Society.
As anyone who has run a CCC, FOCS, or LICS knows, the IEEE CS has had a
lot of very bureaucratic rules for running conferences. Conferences
are run by the IEEE CS Technical Committees (like the TC on Mathematical
Foundations of Computing which does CCC, LICS, and FOCS and which I
currently chair). These TCs are groups of volunteers who have little
power in the current organization of the IEEE CS. These TC
volunteers have long chafed against the bureaucracy, often with little
response from the main organization. The main officers of the IEEE CS
have been from the Publications and Standards part of the organization
and these groups dominate the nominating committees. The TC side of
the organization has been shut out. IEEE CS ran into financial
difficulty for a variety of reasons unrelated to conferences and the
result has been more bureaucracy based on the Standards mentality that
the way to fix things is to set up more rules, which pit CS staff in
opposition to TC and conference volunteers.
This year we finally succeeded in getting the IEEE CS to allow an option
that should substantially reduce bureaucracy for conferences like CCC,
LICS, and FOCS but the organization still resists anything like the
flexibility for TCs that SIGs have within ACM and still is tied to
bureaucratic rules. Many of the most active and thoughtful TC chairs
have agreed that we need to push a write-in campaign to finally get
someone from the TC side in a position of authority and Joe has agreed
to serve. Joe has been vice-chair of the board of TC chairs and would
bring a very different perspective that has a chance of shaking things
up. By comparison one of the other candidates for president recently
refused to authorize the LICS 2010 budget as part of the Federated Logic
Conference (long after registrations had opened) because it was charging
$10 too little for non-IEEE-members (or $8 too much for members,
depending on how you count). It took my intervention to expose the
ridiculousness of this position before he was overruled.
We need your vote now!
(NOTE FROM GASARCH- as someone who has run a CCC I can VERIFY what Paul is saying
without pointing to Lipton's blog or using a PCP.)