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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

STOC Business Meeting

This week I'm at the Federated Computing Research Conference in Portland, a collection of many mostly ACM conferences. Last night was the STOC business meeting.

The meeting had beer but the beer had no alcohol. Not an auspicious start.

289 registrants, a bit lower than the past few STOCs. With EC and Complexity at the same conference you would think STOC would draw larger but it doesn't.

The conference had 93 accepted papers out of 347 papers. Best papers (copied from proceedings):
The papers “Exponential Separation of Information and Communication for Boolean Function”, by Anat Ganor, Gillat Kol and Ran Raz, “2-Server PIR with sub-polynomial communication” by Zeev Dvir and Sivakanth Gopi, and “Lower bounds on the size of semidefinite programming relaxations ” by James Lee, Prasad Raghavendra and David Steurer, were selected for the STOC Best Paper Award. The paper “Inapproximability of Nash Equilibrium”, by Aviad Rubinstein, was selected for the Danny Lewin Best Student Paper Award.

These and the 2015 STOC papers are publicly accessible via acm-stoc.org/stoc2015/toc.html forever. part of a new STOC website with a history of past conferences.

Babai and Spielman and Teng officially received the awards we've mentioned below. The distinguished service award went to Avi Wigderson.

As of July 1 we have a new SIGACT Executive Committee: Paul Beame (ex-Chair), Anna Karlin, Michael Mitzenmacher (Chair), Toni Pitassi, Eric Vigoda, Ryan Williams

Lots of useful information about funding and more in  Salil Vadhan's CATCS Report.

Upcoming conferences:

  • FOCS 2015 October 17-20 in Berkeley
  • SODA 2016 January 1012 in Arlington, VA.Abstract deadline July 1
  • STOC 2016 - Cambridge, MA June 18-21 collocated with SoCG
  • STOC 2017 - Potential "Theory Festival" - see below
  • STOC 2018 - 50th STOC possibly near Marina del Ray, the home of the first STOC
The business meeting ended with a discussion about a "Theory Festival" for STOC 2017. The goal is to get STOC to be a "must attend" meeting the way SOSP is for systems and SIGCOMM for networking. Check out the many discussions on Boaz Barak's blog.

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