Paul Beame

I am afraid that I don't understand the value in your specific model for STOC and in net am very negative about it.  
That doesn't mean that I am opposed to STOC changing modes, though I admit to having an affection for its current role.   I would expect  that your current proposal would not be popular at a business meeting.  (Unfortunately I will not be able to attend STOC since it conflicts with my son's high school graduation.)   The two-page "papers" would be worthless.       As far as I am concerned this proposal would be tantamount to the removal of STOC as a serious venue for publication.     This would be a loss to the community in speed of dissemination.  Though it might be OK for math departments the whole notion would be at odds with the publication standards of the rest of Computer Science.     

If you are to pick a broader model I would choose something from successful large conferences in less math-oriented fields like ISIT or NIPS.    NIPS has a different levels of acceptances as well as many subsidiary workshops.    ISIT has regular though fairly lax reviewing and no limitation on multiple submissions.      Both have real proceedings.   

* One important note, no matter what the proposal:  If the selectivity of the conference is to change so significantly it ought to modify its name so as not to devalue the selectivity of earlier publications.   After all, CS promotion committees, egged on by the CRA, have given special dispensation to conferences like STOC and it would be very negative for the evaluation of previous work if the standards dropped so precipitously..  

Some other considerations that you do not discuss but seem essential to making a larger broader conference work.

* if the conference is to be so large then it will be beyond the ability of the current local organizers to run.   You will need to have it run by the ACM or something similar rather than by volunteers.     

* I can hardly imagine such a conference running for only 3 days.   This would require a shift to later dates when more of the community can make it to the conference without having to skip many classes.   This would force the conference to be held between June 15 and Aug 25 or so.   (Our classes go until June 13 for example and others start a week before Labor Day.)

In talking with Richard Ladner about trying to get a conference that would attract all of theory I realized that maybe trying to change STOC isn't required to do it. How about doing a Federated SIGACT Conference in the latter half of June 2013?    You could try to get:


I would hope that this would be a chance to bring SoCG and PODC back in contact.  The timing works out wrt Europe vs North America for CCC.  I am not sure about the rest.

We could have plenary Theory speakers and we'd need ACM to run the arrangements but by being way smaller than FCRC we could have lots of choice of venues in smaller cities.   We could run the whole thing in 5-6 days in the right location.   You might have a more liberal "SIGACT" track (though with the other conferences it might not be necessary.)

We'd need a location that didn't require that we provide food all the time so that we could keep registration fees low.

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