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.

 

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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.

New TCS Awards List

David Woodruff compiled a list of major awards that are relevant to the theoretical computer science community.  Included is a brief description of each, a link to the nomination instructions, and examples of researchers from TCS and related fields that won the award in the past.  See https://thmatters.wordpress.com/tcs-awards-list/.  (Also available under the “Resources” tab at TheoryMatters.)  Nominate a deserving theorist!

Graduating Bits/New TCS Book

  1. One great tradition at the ITCS conference is the “graduating bits” session, where graduating PhD students and postdocs give brief overviews of their research in advance of going out on the job market.  See here for instructions on how to apply (the deadline is January 8, 2018, and the session is four days later).  Hopefully these talks will be recorded and archived as well.
  2. Avi Wigderson has a new book coming out, Mathematics and Computation, with a draft freely available on the Web.  In addition to being a great overview of many of the “greatest hits” of theoretical computer science, the last chapter (Chapter 20) lays out how TCS has influenced and connected to the life sciences, the social sciences, and technology.

Opening for NSF CCF Division Director

Rao Kosaraju will be stepping down soon from his position as Director of the Division of Computing and Communication Foundations at NSF, after several years of terrific service.  The official job announcement for a new director was just posted.  This is an extremely important position — please consider applying!