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September 03, 2009


Michael Mitzenmacher

Hey Jeff. I remember back in the day -- even back when we were graduate students -- how no matter what the discussion was in the business meetings at SODA, pretty much at the end of the day what David Johnson thought was the proper outcome was what happened. I remember finding that pretty disturbing at the time.

Having lived through being on the other side of conference organization a few times, I've found my attitude has softened quite a bit. We can argue about how well SODA is actually run and how it might be better, but the fact is that it's a large annual conference that has a lot of work behind it, a fair bit of that work seems to be David's, and he gets the train to run on time. Personally, I think having David be akin to a "benevolent dictator" is a far better thing than a lot of wackiness I'm used to hearing at the business meeting, and I thank him for taking on this community service, especially in a community that (in my opinion) suffers from a below-average output of community service and people willing to take on some of the less fun tasks that need to get done.

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