Moshe Vardi

My reaction to this propose is WOW! It is quite a dramatic proposal.
It'd bring about a significant change in the culture of the theory community in the US.

Some thoughts:

1. Right now the proposal is clear on what it proposes, but it is not clear on the motivation. Obviously, there is a sense that thngs are not working well right now, but no analysis of what is not working well and how that can be remedied.

2. What will be the impact on the publication culture of the SIGACT community? There will be a lot of theory papers to shoehorn into FOCS. FOCS will become brutally competitive, perhaps too competitive. Is the goal to push more papers to journals? Should this goal be spelled out?

3. An aspect that it not addressed explicitly in the proposal is the fragmentation of the theory community. While SIGACT nominally represents
the theory community in the US, in reality it represents the STOC-FOCS-SODA community. This is in contrast, for example, to EATCS, which has managed to stay broadly representative. Will the new STOC format help STOC regain its breadth?

In summary, I think this is a bold proposal, which I find quite attractive. It holds the potential of reshaping how the US theory community runs its business. At the same time, it is not bold enough.
It does not explicitly describes what the problems are and what the goals are. I wonder whether just changing STOC, leaving FOCS and SOA unchanged, would accomplish the underlying goals. (For example, I could imagine that this change could be accompanied by FOCS significantly expanding the number of papers it accepts.) I realize that FOCS and SODA are independent organizations, but there is only one underlying community.

No comments:

Post a Comment