I'm heading back to Chicago this morning. Dan Spielman had a special talk in honor of his recent Nevanlinna prize. He gave an amazing talk (as always) about solving Laplacian matrix that comes from graphs, basically putting springs at every edge, nailing down some vertices and seeing where the other vertices end up. Dan's and other talks were filmed, be sure to look for them on the FOCS page in the future.
I spent most of the conference in the hallways talking to people but as someone pointed out to me, I talked almost entirely to people I already knew. I've heard complaints before young people feel they can't talk to senior researchers at STOC/FOCS. We don't do that on purpose, just like to catch up with people we've known for years, but I should try harder to meet the younger crowd.
I had one of those interesting discussions with Ketan Mulmuley on his views on the P versus NP problem (yes we are from the same city but somehow it's easier to talk in these meetings). Ketan talks about his algebraic geometry approach as a very length process towards a solution. Complexity theorists need to give up ownership of the P v NP problem (can anyone "own" a mathematical problem?) and realize that we need the algebraic geometers to help or even lead us in this journey. Ketan also view the journey as more important that the eventual resolution of P and NP. The search for a solution of the Riemann Hypothesis has yet to produce a proof but no one would say that the effort to finding one has been a failure as great math has come from that line of work. The algebraic geometry path to P v NP will yield exciting work as well.
Posted By Lance to Computational Complexity
at 10/26/2010 08:22:00 AM