At a "secret session" yesterday afternoon, Laszlo Babai disclosed the secret to getting a paper accepted to STOC. Let *n* be the number of authors and let *p _{k}* be the number of previous STOC/FOCS papers by the

*k*th author.

- Satisfy the inequality Σ
_{k}*p*_{k}^{1/4}> 2^{4/7}*n*^{6/7}. - Make sure
*p*> 0 for all_{k}*k*. (No novice co-authors.) - Have at least one co-author who has been a STOC/FOCS co-author with at least one member of the program committee.
- Submit late (after the median submission).
- Have an
*even*number of authors.

The overall acceptance rate at STOC 2004 was 25.8% (70 acceptances out of 271 submissions). Each of these five conditions was positively correlated with the probability of acceptance. Papers that followed all five criteria had a **76.9%** acceptance probability (10 out of 13)!

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