Monday, August 25, 2008

FOCS Best Student Paper

It seems I won the best student paper at FOCS. Yay. I suppose having 3 of the 5 student papers finally did the trick. :)

The prize goes to Succincter, which seems to make it the first "best student paper" at STOC or FOCS given for a data structure. I can't remember any "best paper" given for a data structure either, though I cannot find these lists. My special thanks for people in approximation algorithms, hardness of approximation, game theory, coding theory, complexity theory, quantum computing, and cryptography for making this possible :)

All in all, I think "Succincter" is a decent pick. It's a paper that might have a big impact on how we think about succinct data structures in the future. It's also a problem that's been pestering me since June'05, when Seth described it to me during my visit at Max Planck, Saarbrücken. (Thanks, Seth!) Finally, it got some brilliant reviews, including one that only said "Yes" and one calling the question a "target known for at least 2 decades".

On this last point, the key lesson seems to be that you should write your introduction in the last 45 minutes before the deadline, after sleeping 2 hours/night for 3 days in a row. After an incoherent introduction, the reviewers will feel the need to sing their praise of the paper. By contrast, as I learned from the reviews of another student paper, it is "incredibly poor taste" to say in your introduction that your results are clean, or, god forbid, explain how they simplify a proof by some other people.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! For a paper called 'succincter', 'yes' is indeed an appropriately succinct review !

Florin Manea said...

Cool! Congratulations! However, I liked the (Data) Structures paper more :)

Anonymous said...

The paper may be great but the rarely used word in the title unfortunately brings to mind only a rhyming word:


Anonymous said...

dude, u r just crazy... u keep getting sarcasting whatever stuff you blog about... i mean cmon...