Friday, November 14, 2008

Land of Il Principe and Principessa

Italy has generated so much genius through the years that it transcends the need to invoke an Italian genius, current or past, in art, writing, movies, fashion, soccer, or anything. For such a fabulous country, it has an academic system so twisted that it almost always invokes Il Principe. So, here is a shout-out to the academics in Italy who triumph despite the system.

ps: Italian academia has been in my psyche both through experiences of friends and this recent IHT article, but Luca's post on the Italian Academics' strike led to my post.

pps: I have no idea what the voluble Benigni says on the clip.

ppps: I wanted to name this blog Paese che vai, non usanza che trovi, but I did not know where to put the non in the second half.

Monday, November 10, 2008

STOC Comfort Zone

I returned home from a long day at work and browsed the blog world to detect a buzz (geomblog, mybiasedcoin, computational complexity, 3dpancakes, and may be elsewhere) about the impending STOC abstract deadline. What I want to do before falling asleep is to submit the following:

\title{Improved algorithms for a few problems}
In the next 7 days, I intend to design improved algorithms for some problems in one of these areas (a) string matching, (b) data streams, or (c) sponsored search auctions. May be all three or combination of those areas, but none outside this set. A writeup describing these algorithms will be submitted.

Seriously though, one of the pleasures of STOC/FOCS/SODA/... deadlines is the comfort zone one reaches of requiring nothing of oneself other than getting new ideas, developing new techniques, proving important theorems, angsting as the results evolve wildly and deadline nears, writing up the results in a painless manner (leaving out corner cases and boring details), and ultimately holding a warm, latexed output in hand, fitting neatly in 10 pages, spilling its guts beyond the bib.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

MirĂ³ at Moma

Rainy Saturday afternoon
Spent in whimsy with MirĂ³
And his anti-paintings:
collages, reliefs, pastels, masonite and tar.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can

Generations are continuous collages of course, but one can point to a discrete generation that got the world past the last war, and one after the war that got us past the humps in civil rights and women rights. Today I am reminded of the humps for other rights that some generation has to be fight, may be this one that is starting today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Drums Without Borders (Tambores Sem Fronteiras)

By popular demand (just one email demand, short and thought out), here is a post on music. I like percussion. Ultra patient and flawless like on the left where Zakir Hussain and Leonard Ito jam on tabla and Taiko drum resp. Or unbridled like the Maracatu from North Brazil on the right. (I watched MaracatuNY perform, turning a small east side joint into a carnaval street.

Monday, November 03, 2008

ICALP 09 (Track C)

ICALP is building a tradition of Track C (besides the A for Algorithms and Complexity, and B for Logic and semantics). The 2009 edition will have a Track C on Foundations of Networked Computation: Models, Algorithms and Information Management. The deadline is Feb 10 and the conference will be at Rhodes, Greece (yay!) during July 5--12. The PC chairs are Alberto Marchetti Spaccamela and Yossi Matias. Topics are:
  • Algorithmic Aspects of Networks
  • Auctions
  • Computing with Incentives
  • E-commerce, Privacy, Spam
  • Formal Methods for Network Information Management
  • Foundations of Trust and Reputation in Networks
  • Internet Algorithmics
  • Mobile and Wireless Networks
  • Models of Complex Networks
  • Models and Algorithms for Global Computing
  • Models of Mobile Computation
  • Networks Economics
  • Networks of Low Capability Devices
  • Overlay Networks and P2P Systems
  • Social Networks
  • Specification, Semantics, Synchronization of Networked Systems
  • Theory of Security in Networks and Distributed Computing
  • Web Searching, Ranking
  • Web Mining and Analysis
  • This promises to be interesting.