Report from ESA 2010

I’m at European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2010), which together with affiliated workshops has drawn around 220 participants. More than 25% are from outside Europe, so this is truly an international conference. The number of participants is somewhat higher than last year, mostly because of the WABI workshop.

Highlights of the business meeting:

  • 245 submissions to ESA, 27% accepted.
  • Acceptance probability was highly dependent on the number of words in the title, with 2 and 16 words being best (100%) and 8-9 words being worst (<10%). I am proud to say that our paper was accepted, even though we made the mistake of having an 8-word title!
  • Italy had the most convincing acceptance statistics, 54%.
  • 12 papers were rejected because of not adhering to the submission guidelines! The steering committee (where I am member) decided that the strict enforcement should continue, but perhaps more should be done to inform authors in advance about this.
  • ESA 2011 will be in Saarbr├╝cken (September 5-9), ESA 2012 will be in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It looks like the event is growing, with more workshops joining.
  • Mark de Berg replaces Lars Arge as chair of the ESA steering committee.

Beyond attending my own talk, I have seen a number of nice results presented. For example, Justin Thaler talked about ways of certifying computations such that they can be checked by a weak (streaming algorithm) verifier, with possible applications in cloud computing. Hannah Bast talked about her work that allows Google to now present routes involving public transportation in milliseconds. Eran Halperin gave a nice invited talk about finding genetic reasons for human diseases. Paolo Ferragina is giving an interesting invited talk tomorrow that should involve a model for the energy consumption of memory access! The best student paper award is given (tomorrow) to a paper authored by Christian Wulff-Nielsen from University of Copenhagen. Congratulations! After that, I will be heading back home.

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