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[Computational Complexity] Tradition

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  • Lance
    A conversation with a graduate student today. Student: Why doesn t FOCS have a best paper award this year? Me: They often don t announce the winners until the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5, 2005
      A conversation with a graduate student today.
      • Student: Why doesn't FOCS have a best paper award this year?
      • Me: They often don't announce the winners until the conference begins.
      • Student: Traditionally the best paper get longer talks and there are none scheduled.
      • Me: There's no such thing as tradition at STOC and FOCS. Rest assured (though I have no prior knowledge) there will be a best paper award given.
      I've heard that by tradition FOCS has had single sessions and STOC has had parallel sessions. Not long ago both had parallel sessions and before that FOCS had the parallel sessions (the first time with a two volume proceedings) and STOC had single sessions, and before that both had single sessions. STOC/FOCS used to be Monday-Wednesday, now they are Saturday-Tuesday and sometimes not. STOC/FOCS were always in North American and then they weren't. FOCS once had the only best student paper award and then had the only best student paper award named after somebody. Now they both do. We've had invited speakers. We've not had invited speakers. We've had tutorials. We've not had tutorials. One day one of the conferences will have electronic proceedings and the other won't and that will be tradition.

      The decisions of how STOC and FOCS are run are up to the program committee with constraints on schedule and the local arrangements site. Two or three years of the same in a row becomes a "tradition" and hard to change. But we shouldn't let these "traditions" prevent us from running the best possible conferences and nor should you count on them to continue as is. Traditions keep us in the past, change pushes us to the future.

      --
      Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 10/05/2005 10:07:00 PM

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