NSF CAREER Program Webinar

NSF CAREER Program Webinar

May 26, 2015 1:00 PM  to 3:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, New York, GMT-04:00)

The NSF CAREER Coordinating Committee is hosting a webinar to provide an overview of the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) and to answer participants’ questions about development and submission of CAREER proposals.

The webinar includes an overview presentation followed by a question-and-answer period.  For more details, see http://www.nsf.gov/events/event_summ.jsp?cntn_id=134940

DIMACS seeking an Associate Director

The DIMACS Center at Rutgers University (dimacs.rutgers.edu) is seeking an Associate Director. DIMACS facilitates research, education, and outreach in discrete mathematics, computer science theory, algorithms, mathematical and statistical methods, and their applications.  The Associate Director is expected to play a leadership role in planning, developing, and running DIMACS activities and programs, including setting new directions.  A PhD in computer science, mathematics, operations research, statistics, or a related field is preferred. Applicants with a doctorate will be considered for Associate Director with a non-tenure-track calendar-year research faculty appointment at Rutgers. Highly qualified applicants without a doctorate will be considered for a staff appointment as Assistant Director. For more details, visit dimacs.rutgers.edu/AssociateDirector.

US-Israel BSF Travel Grants for Young Scientists


BSF is announcing the availability of funds for short scientific trips by young American or Israeli scientists to the other country. In 2015 the program will have two calls and each will support 10 trips. Grants will be $4,000 each.  The program is open to PhD students doing research that requires facilities or expertise that are not available in their home countries.  The deadline for the 1st call for 2015 is May 14, 2015.

Call for 2016 AAAS Symposium Proposals

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has put out a Call for Symposium Proposals for the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting, February 11-15 in Washington DC, with a proposal deadline of April 24.  

These symposia can be a way to increase awareness and even get popular press coverage of exciting research directions in theoretical computer science. Proposing and organizing a 90 or 180-minute symposium is not much work, but organizers should also work with institutional communications offices to draw attention to the symposium before the meeting (attendance at the symposia has high variance).

They are looking for proposals that either relate to the meeting theme “Global Science Engagement” (involving things such as innovation and international scientific collaboration, food and water security, sustainable development, infectious disease and health, climate change, natural disasters, and energy) or involve “groundbreaking areas of research, new and exciting developments, or cross-cutting activities in support of science, technology, and education.”

If you are thinking of submitting a proposal, we (CATCS) are happy to help and put you in touch with people who can offer advice.

DARPA Proposer’s Day on Privacy this Thursday (registration deadline tomorrow!)

DARPA is planning to start a new program to fund privacy research.  They are holding a “proposer’s day” this Thursday to share information about the program.  If you wish to attend, the registration deadline is tomorrow (Monday 3/9) 8am!

Good year to hire in CS theory

It’s hiring season and many departments are in the midst of deciding who to bring in for interviews.   When discussing the possibility of hiring theorists, here are a couple of reasons why this might be a particularly good year to do so:

1) This year there is an exceptionally strong and deep pool of theorists on the job market, due in part to the closing of the Microsoft Research Silicon Valley lab.  Many departments should be able to hire strong candidates (including ones not from MSR SV) who would be hard to get in a typical year.

2) Theory has a large role to play in many of the current priority areas for hiring, such as big data, machine learning, privacy, and security.  Many theorists can also serve as bridges to other departments, such as math, physics, economics, OR, EE, and more.

Simons Graduate Fellowships in Theoretical Computer Science

The Simons Foundation has put out a call for applications for the Simons Award for Graduate Students in Theoretical Computer Science program. From the solicitation: “These awards will be made to graduate students with an outstanding track record of research accomplishments.” “…the foundation seeks to identify and support these emerging stars by providing additional support to enable them to freely pursue their research interests.” “The award is not intended to replace the regular academic-year support of these outstanding students.”

The awards are for a period of two years (June 2015 to May 2017) for up to $24,000 per year.

Application deadline: February 12, 2015.

NSF Brain Initiative Opportunities

As part of the Brain Initiative, there is a new NSF program on Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems  (NSF-NCS) that can provide opportunities for some CS theory research.  For “Integrative Foundations” proposals submitted direclty to the NSF-NCS program ($500k-$1m over 2-4 years), letters of intent need to be submitted by tomorrow (December 10).  But it is also possible to submit a “Core+Extensions” project as a supplement (up to $100k) to a proposal to another NSF program (such as the Algorithmic Foundations program, deadline January 14 for small proposals).

Bala Kalyanasundaram (bkalyana@nsf.gov) is a good program officer to contact with questions about submitting proposals related to CS theory.

New NSF program: Algorithms in the Field

Research Opportunity from NSF for Algorithms in the Field

Guest post from Tracy Kimbrel, NSF Program Director for Computing and Communication Foundations

The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer Science and Engineering (CISE) recently announced a new program solicitation, Algorithms in the Field (AitF), which aims to promote collaboration between theory researchers and those in more applied areas.

The program originated from interest and excitement among the theory community and researchers in many applied fields during a well-attended workshop held in May 2011.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice in the design, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of algorithms can lead to new fields as well as broader cutting-edge applications. The premise is that by working jointly “in the field” researchers from these different communities will continually inform each other, innovate in their respective areas, and forge algorithms that are simultaneously validated by theory, systems, and applied communities.

The program synopsis reads as follows:

Algorithms in the Field encourages closer collaboration between two groups of researchers: (i) theoretical computer science researchers, who focus on the design and analysis of provably efficient and provably accurate algorithms for various computational models; and (ii) applied researchers including a combination of systems and domain experts (very broadly construed – including but not limited to researchers in computer architecture, programming languages and systems, computer networks, cyber-physical systems, cyber-human systems, machine learning, database and data analytics, etc.) who focus on the particular design constraints of applications and/or computing devices. Each proposal must have at least one co-PI interested in theoretical computer science and one interested in any of the other areas typically supported by CISE. Proposals are expected to address the dissemination of the algorithmic contributions and resulting applications, tools, languages, compilers, libraries, architectures, systems, data, etc.

I want to emphasize that lists of possible “field areas” such as those in the synopsis and other parts of the solicitation are not exhaustive and do not imply any limitation on scope.

NSF looks forward to the new research that will be supported through this endeavor.  The deadline for submissions is February 9, 2015.  Please read the full program solicitation for more information. A webinar will be held December 18, 2014 at 3 pm ET; details will be provided soon on the AitF page.

New theory jobs website

The CATCS setup a new website to post information on positions such as postdoc, faculty, teaching fellows for theoretical computer scientists, the website is http://cstheory-jobs.org/ (this replaces the old webpage at the center for Computational Intractability that was hacked over the summer). It is rather rudimentary, but hopefully it still gets the job done, and it is connected to the Theory of Computing Blog Aggregator.

I encourage people to use this to post information about availability for academic positions. I think this should be particularly useful for postdoc positions. I think oftentimes graduating students are not aware of which universities have postdoc positions, especially since in most institutions availability tends to change from year to year. So, if you are looking for postdocs in theoretical CS, please do post that information on the website. Posts should be short but describe the duration of the position and the deadline to apply, together with a link that points out to additional information.

Salil, Moses and Boaz


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