No beer. Had to buy my own.
Bil Kolata (SIAM rep) says: This year's SODA had the second-highest attendance, after Baltimore and 1999, the year that both short papers and quadruple parallel sessions were introduced and immediately panned.
Cliff Stein stands up. >1000 authors (double-counting), 580 unique reviewers, >300 attendees. Apparently it's Adam Buchsbaum's fault that there is no beer at the business meeting. Everybody boos. We had 23 applications for student travel, but there was only money for four. The best student paper award was given to "Balanced Allocation on Graphs" by Krishnaram Kenthapadi and Rina Panigrahy. Everybody claps. 437 subs, 138 (=31.6%) accepted, a very slight decrease from last year. Approximation algorithms, graph theory, data structures, game theory, and computational geometry were the most popular submission topics. Embeddings papers were most successful (47%); security and stochastic optimization were least successful (0% each). Lots of countries represented, but vast majorty are American. Argentina, Austria, Russia, Singapore, and Slovenai were the most succeswsful, with one acceptance out of one submission each. Almost all submissions arrived on the last day, and of those,mostly in the second to last hour! We're maturing! Good title: "Approximate number games: A Way to Design improved graph algorithms without data bounds" Bad title: "Efficiently routing and scheduling random dynamic trees with compplexity bounds." Most common author first names: Michael, Robert, David, MohammadTaghi, Yuval. Eight drinks.
Accept more papers? Quality wouldn't suffer, but more parallel sessions are unwieldy, and those boundary papers will be accepted somewhere else anyway. Poster session proposed, discussed, argued, and ultimately rejected. Mmmm. Beer. Nyah nyah. Many complaints from rejected authors about feedback. Cliff recommends decreasing author expectations (sic). Audience recommends sending all reviewer comments to authors by default. Cliff begs some future PC chair to be draconian about submission length. Oh, god, not this again. And I forgot to add the Submission Format Bonus Round!
Submission Format Bonus Round:
- Drink once if someone on the PC complains about long appendices.
- Drink once if someone suggest that the PC simply print out and review the first ten pages.
- Drink once if someone complains about a length discrepancy between submission format and publication format.
- Drink once if someone suggests that submitters will cheat with margins and font sizes if page limits are enforced strictly.
- Drink once if someone suggests submitting in camera-ready format.
- Drink once if someone complains that two-column submissions are unreadable.
- Drink once if someone suggests publishing in one-column format.
- Drink once is someone suggests putting full papers on the web before submission.
Hic! Damn. Now I'm out of beer.
ACM Transactions on Algorithms has published its first two issues. Yay! Submit more! TALG costs $50/year, which is already a factor 10 less than its predecessor J. Algorithms; this discount will incrase over time, approaching 100% in the limit, as Elsevier continues to raise its already ridiculous prices. Bloody mercenary baby-killers. They should burn like pigs in hell.
NSF has two upcoming programs that welcome submission from theoretical computer scientists interested in network design and information descurty: NeTS and Cyber Trust. The TCS funding committee is going to NSF to drum up at last $25M/year of funding, set longer-range targets commensurate with the prominence of TCS in the acedmic research community; make TCS a cluster within the CCF division; and increase grant size per researcher on small grants (to support more sutdents and reduce multiple submissions); and generally kick some bureaucrat ass. ACM and Microsoft sponsor undergraduate research programs; the community shoudl take more advantage of them. The programs, not the undergrads.
Cliff puts on his Michael Bender costume and announces SPAA in Cambridge, MA; the submission deadline is March 6. Michel Goemans reminds us of the Fulkerson Prize in Discrete Mathematics. Lenore Cowen announces the SIAM Discrete Math conference in Victoria, BC; the submission deadline is in early February.
Location Bonus Round! Monterrey, Mexico is not the same as Monterrey, California; it's in the desert. We're going to New Orleans. SIAM signed the hotel contract on August 17; Katrina hit on August 29; the hotel stayed open, so we can still go. (There is a rumor that the hotel offered to move the conference to another location, but was turned down.) Someone wearing a Martin Farach-Colton costume reminds us that one reason for voting for Mexico was to alternate between the US and the non-US, to help avoid US visa problems.
Proposals for Monterey CA (facetious); San Francisco; Las Vegas; Snowbird (facetious); Denver (facetious); Los Angeles; Santa Fe NM; Charleston SC; San Juan PR (facetious); El Paso (facetious); Cancun. First vote: SF 61; Vegas 45; LA 24; Charleston 13; Cancun 38. Second vote: Cancun 39; Vegas 35; SF 41. (Damn, Vegas is out.) David Johnson assumes that Cancun is too expensive; John Iacono replies that LATIN was only $130/day, at a nice hotel, including all the beer you can drink. Someone else points out that Vegas is even cheaper. Someone else points out that STOC and FOCS attracted more attendees when they were outside the US.
Discussion of hotel options ensues. Other conferences have bids. David Karger suggests that people submit potential conference locations in advance.
David Johnson decides not to have a runoff vote, but to let SIAM investigate the top three options, which means it'll be in San Francisco. Six drinks. No, wait, I'm still empty.
Meeting adjourned. What? No name-callling? No fisticuffs? What kind of lame... Oh right. No beer. Thanks, Adam.