Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TAMC conference accepts are out/What does a name tell you about a general theory conference?

The TAMC conference list-of-accepts is posted here. TAMC stands for Theory and Application of Models of Computation.

For general theory conferences does the name tell you anything? I will consider FOCS, STOC, ICALP, TAMS, COCOON. (I am sure there are more general-theory conferences-- I invite you to comment on them and on if their name tells you anything.)
  1. FOCS- Foundations of Computer Science. Are there more papers on the Foundations of computer science here than at STOC or ICALP or TAMS or COCOON? Since people speak of STOC/FOCS papers the question is- are they different?
  2. STOC- Symposium on Theory of Computation. What is Theory? There are large parts of theory that are left out such as Semantics.
  3. ICALP- International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming. AH- its a Colloquim not a conference. ICALP does has a different flavor than FOCS and STOC; however, I don't think the name captures it. By the name it could be more of a PL conference, and its not. Also- I had thought they changed the A to mean Algorithms. Is that one of those items they debate in the business meeting? Should they change it to Algorithms?
  4. COCOON-Computing and Combinatorics Conference. Does this have more Combinatorics then STOC, FOCS, ICALP? Is this intended to be a general theory conference?
  5. TAMC Theory and Application of Models of Computation. I don't think the papers are more on models than the other conferences.
The best way to tell what a conference is about is to look at the Call for Papers list of topics. The name does not tell you much.


  1. I would have counted SODA (Symposium on Discrete Algorithms) as a theory conference, yet one where the name does not really capture the difference (or similarity) with other theory conference.

    Bill: did you receive my book review?

  2. 1) I was referring to GENERAL theory conferences. SODA, CCC, SCG, and others
    that are specialized have fine names
    that are indicative.

    2) Email me privately about book review

  3. Who cares about TAMC? Despite the negative things that people have to say about STOC/FOCS (a lot of which do make sense), these conferences are the standard-bearers of the field. My conjecture us that not many would write a paper with the explicit goal of getting it accepted at TAMC. Most of what we see here are rejects from other places.

  4. 2 Anonymous: There is also a good old European tradition to submit to the conference with the nearest deadline :-)

  5. What do the author names tell you about a general theory conference?

    If my paper gets into the same conference as a Bill Gasarch or Lance Fortnow paper did, does that tell me something about the conference?

    Are these conferences all interchangeable in terms of their name and the thing that differs is the reputation?

  6. I don't think the Call for Papers says much -- the list of topics is usually generic and common to all the conferences. A better strategy might be to look at the PC members, or as Anon above me says, the authors of papers from previous years.