Friday, August 11, 2006

Being a Researcher on Many Fronts

Many algorithmers (algorithmus -> algorithmi?) work in different "applied" areas besides the core area of algorithm research. Besides STOC/FOCS/SODA/ICALP/.... and specialized conferences within algorithms like SPAA/SoCG/..., they also publish in SIGCOMM/SIGMOD/SIGGRAPH/.... It has its benefits, but also significant costs. For example, the deadlines for these conferences sometimes come bunched together or they are spread out through the year with narrow gaps making one lurch from one deadline to another. Also critically, one has to pick amongst equals while traveling to conferences when they overlap. I am in a quandary: I have papers in ESA and its satellite workshop (thanks to my coauthors Gagan Aggarwal and Jon Feldman, my first paper on Auctions) in Zurich Sept 11 -- 15, I am giving a talk at SIGCOMM Minenet (detailed program here) in Pisa Sept 11 -- 15, and of course I want to be at VLDB in Korea, Sept 12 -- 15. Alas.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uncle's mother once told him "Even you, Paul, can be in only one place at one time".

2:36 PM  
Blogger Michael Mitzenmacher said...

I had a similar problem as Muthu -- I didn't even realize ESA and SIGCOMM were the same week until after I heard back that my papers were accepted, and then I had to figure out how to be two places at once. I assumed the conferences had to be different dates and hadn't thought to check while submitting.

For several years, SODA and INFOCOM had deadlines within a day or two of each other (and both within a day or two of July 4, as I recall, which was also a pain). That also drove me crazy.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A problem is that with few papers here and there, one never quite joins those other communities. Having published in prestigious conferences in Networks, Databases, Datastreams, Multimedia and AI, my work is yet barely known in those fields, as there just isn't enough volume for it to get noted.

Alex Lopez-Ortiz

9:11 AM  
Blogger metoo said...

Michael, which one did you decide to go to? :) I briefly thought about solving the problem by going to all my confs, one day each, traveling between Zurich, Seoul and Pisa, but am looking for a different plan now.

8:41 PM  
Blogger metoo said...

Alex, indeed. Worse, when you meet your colleagues in one of the communities, they ask, "so what have you been doing?" and your mind whirrs, trying to figure out which of the pieces of things you have been doing is appropriate to talk about....

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's even worse if some of your area conferences are outside of CS proper, e.g. computational biology :)

So if someone is solving problems in biology using algorithmic approaches and the results have ground breaking implications for the design of hot air baloons?..

2:41 PM  

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