I wish I could do a suresh-sariel-jeff version of STOC and other confs at FCRC, but I tend to have and present fragmented views of the worlds.
- Avi Wigderson gave an ambitious plenary talk at FCRC, providing an overview of hardness result for MAX 3-SAT and tracing many different lines of research in theory. Much needed talk to showcase the excitement and achievement of theory, but at various parts, even definitions quickly unravel into long conversations, and I think most of the non-theory audience will have to vow to go read the papers or a book; Avi brought all the enthusiasm necessary to make anyone vow to do just that.
- I gave a talk on suffix selection. Simple problem discussed in this blog earlier. I tried to avoid the mess of suffix trees, periodicity properties and integer manipulation data structures in a talk.
- Google was a sponsor, and had a booth at the conference. The normally perky Google people who staff the booth and the somber conf crowd interacted via the puzzles.
- I saw/talked with a lot of Rutgers faculty I normally don't see in the conferences I go to, thanks to the sprawling FCRC: Ricardo, Uli, Barbara. And others that I do typically see: Eric. And the strangely shifted context of students from Rutgers last seen at theory colloquium moving between various confs at FCRC.
- Flying back, red, bleary eyed, I read lower bounds for 2d range searching, a result and writing with certain personality, due to the big lion Mihai and his mane.