Noam Nisan

To start with, I like the basic structure of this proposal.  While I
do like the CS conference system, I have to admit that the pan-TCS
conferences are becoming less useful as the field widens, and,
nostalgia aside, innovation is needed to maintain a general TCS
scientific community.  The proposed new structure seems to me to
indeed fit well with the rest of the TCS ecosystem
(journals+FOCS+specialized confs+arxiv+...)  I do think that a
name-change may be in place, reflecting the new format though.  (Maybe
something like CTOC, pronounced just like STOC but with the C standing
for conference/congress/confederated?)

My main problem with the new format is that, as detailed now, it does
not seem useful enough -- why would I come or send a student there?
Going to STOC/FOCS now has a double benefit: both for the speakers
(they are indeed listened to and they get significant credit) and the
listeners (the talks are good).  These two advantages will be gone
with the new format.  I am afraid that the weakly stated "few plenary
speakers" and "tutorials" are a step in the right direction but too
weak to be a real attraction.  I think that significant new
attractions are required  to make this "fly":  Either a strong program
of invited talks (like in the Congresses of Math or of game theory --
but this may be expensive since these speakers may require funding)
or, my preferred route, a "federated"-spirit having may specific
workshops and specialized conferences either as part of the new STOC
or as satellites (as is starting to happen around EC for example).

Finally, if a major change will happen, I wouldn't miss the change of
putting in other innovations as well: from videotaping and
distributing the talks (at least invited ones), to encouraging
preprints-on-arXiv, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment