A solicitation for TCS job market profiles

CATCS is piloting an effort this year to collect and disseminate profiles of junior theory researchers who are going on the job market during the 2019-20 academic year, complementing the job postings collected under the Jobs tab. The SIGecom community has run a similar effort very successfully for a number of years and we are following their lead. The goals are two-fold:

  • Provide a platform to job-seekers to advertise their credentials.
  • Provide an interface for institutions/individuals with open positions to find prospective candidates.

Candidates looking for theory jobs can fill out this form. The form asks for basic personal information, thesis title, graduation date (past or future), research/teaching interests, bibliographic information for three publications, and allows you to add links to publications and a brief CV.

The responses will be reviewed and, if approved, edited and posted on Theory Matters starting in Nov’19. There is no deadline, but for responses received after Nov 1 please allow two weeks for review before your profile appears on the website. Responses received by Dec 15 will have summaries published in the following issue of SIGACT News.


Travel funding for FOCS 2019

FOCS 2019 will be held in Baltimore, MA from Nov 9-12, 2019. The early registration deadline is October 9th.

For students interested in attending, Shang-Hua Teng has asked me to relay the message that there is some travel funding available, courtesy of the NSF. For details, see this website. Ignore the deadline on that page, but apply ASAP for full consideration. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Having or presenting papers at FOCS’19 is *not* a prerequisite.

Edit-a-thon update

This event was a great success! Thank you to all of the participants for contributing your time. Please keep up the momentum and continue to edit the pages you made a start on. Please continue to record your progress on the list of topics. Special thanks to Aviad Rubinstein and Yuval Filmus for offering expert advice at the event.

We plan to organize this event again at future STOCs, and hope many more people can participate. Even an hour of your time can have a huge impact on the community!


Wikipedia edit-a-thon at STOC’19

CATCS is organizing a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at STOC in Phoenix this year. The goal is to create/edit Wikipedia articles on TCS topics that need improvement. (A crowdsourced list of such topics is maintained here.) The event will be held on June 24th, 2019 in West 104A, starting right after the STOC business meeting around 9-9:30 pm.

We invite members of the community to participate. Prior experience with Wikipedia is a plus, but is not necessary. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form. Participants are asked to bring their own laptop or other device. Power outlets will be available. Light refreshments will be provided.

If you are interested in helping improve TCS coverage on Wikipedia but are unable to attend this event, please see this post for how you can help.


SIGACT Award deadlines

From the SIGACT executive committee:

The deadlines to submit nominations for the Gödel Prize, Knuth Prize, and SIGACT Distinguished Service Award are coming soon. Calls for nominations for all three awards can be found at the links below. Note that March 1 is now the permanent deadline for SIGACT Distinguished Service Award nominations, this year and in future years.

  • Gödel Prize: deadline February 15, 2019
  • Knuth Prize: deadline February 15, 2019
  • SIGACT Distinguished Service Award: deadline March 1, every year (including 2019)
    Those who intend to submit a nomination for the Distinguished Service Award are strongly encouraged to inform the Selection Committee Chair at least two weeks in advance.

CATCS mailing list and sign-up link

CATCS is starting up a new mailing list to send out annual newsletters. Messages will be sent out 1-2 times every year describing recent projects undertaken by the committee, funding opportunities, links to useful resources, etc. Anyone interested in hearing about our activities is welcome to sign up at this link. You do not have to be a member of SIGACT to sign up.

NSF Program Director openings in Algorithmic Foundations

One of the best ways to serve the US-based TCS community is to take up a position at the NSF. Beginning as early as 2019, NSF/CCF is seeking at least one program director for the Algorithmic Foundations core program. This is a rotator position, which is generally two or three years in duration. Please consider applying!

Besides service to the community, there are many other benefits from serving:

  • It’s an opportunity to meet a lot of people in one’s own field and others, and to become more well-known in research communities. Some institutions place value on the experience. Many rotators are able to use it to enhance career options.
  • A rotator can typically spend 20% (NSF-paid) time on research, including visits back to the home institution. The impact on research and advising may be considerable, but does not have to be a complete hiatus.
  • There is a wealth of opportunities for cultural and educational experiences for families who relocate to the area for a few years, which some find to offset the very considerable impacts associated with such a move.

The official posting for AF won’t appear until later, but postings for similar positions can be found here: https://www.nsf.gov/careers/openings/. For further information, please reach out to Tracy Kimbrel (tkimbrel@nsf.gov) or Shuchi Chawla (shuchi@cs.wisc.edu).

New NSF Core Program: Foundations of Emerging Technologies

NSF has announced the creation of a new core program within CCF, called Foundations of Emerging Technologies (FET). The FET core program joins the existing three core programs within CCF: Algorithmic Foundations (AF), Communications and Information Foundations (CIF), and Software Hardware Foundations (SHF).

FET aims to enable radical innovations across all areas traditionally supported by CCF, including the theory, algorithms, software, hardware, and architecture of computing and communication systems, through research at the intersection of computing and biological systems, nanoscale science and engineering, quantum information science, and other nascent, yet promising, areas. Of note to theorists, research in quantum computing and computational biology, formerly considered across these three core programs, is now addressed by the FET program.

FET is accepting proposals through the CCF Core Programs solicitation NSF 18-568 this fall.

For further information, see:
Program page: here.
Solicitation page: here.


2nd NAS Held Prize

A reminder about a fairly new major prize that is highly relevant to the TCS community (won last year by Prasad Raghavendra and David Steurer):

The National Academy of Sciences has initiated the Michael and Sheila Held Prize. The prize of $100,000 will be presented annually.  The Prize honors outstanding, innovative, creative and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science,  such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. The prize is intended to recognize recent work(defined as published within the last eight years). The prize was established in 2017 by the bequest of Michael and Sheila Held.

Nominations are due on October 1, 2018, and information about the submission process can be found at http://www.nasonline.org/held.

PS:  You can find information about many other awards related to TCS at the CATCS awards list.

CATCS Slides from STOC ’18

Here are the slides from Shuchi Chawla’s CATCS presentation at the STOC ’18 business meeting.  Shuchi will be the new CATCS chair, starting September 1.