Monday, November 17, 2008

Call for Nominations: Gödel Prize 2009

The Call for Nominations for the 2009 Gödel Prize has been posted (see this pdf file). Nominations for the award should be submitted to the Award Committee Chair, Shafi Goldwasser. The deadline for nominations is January 31st, 2009.

Do nominate your favourite papers, and recall that any research paper, or series of papers, by a single author or by a team of authors is deemed eligible if the paper was published in a recognized refereed journal before the nomination, but the main results were not published (in either preliminary or final form) in a journal or conference proceedings before January 1st, 1995.


Anonymous said...

A quick look at the award committee shows that it comprises 3 complexity/algorithms theorists and two semanticists. Hence the price will go to a complexity/algorithms person.

Luca Aceto said...

It is true that so far the Gödel prize has gone mostly to volume A contributions. Whether this is because, in general, volume A papers are considered to be worthier of this award than volume B ones I do not know. (I have never been a member of the Gödel prize committee.) It is also conceivable that volume B researchers are not proactive enough in nominating papers for the award.

Note also that the EATCS Council nominates three members for the committee, and these three scientists cover roughly the whole spectrum of interests within the organization. This means that at least one of those committee members is from the areas of algorithms and complexity. These are typically the areas covered by the committee members nominated by SIGACT.

Anonymous said...

Scientific results are not really comparable anyway. How can you say that e.g. the full abstraction results for PCF are of lower quality/importance than the smoothed analysis of the simplex algorithm? According to what objective criteria? Moreover, there is probably nobody who's an expert enough in both fields to grasp both results in their entire depth.

Finally judges have a vested interest in giving prizes to members of their own research tradition: (1) the prize winners become more prominent and more likely to be asked to make funding decisions, and they will naturally push their own research area, (2) the prize winners will make an educated guess as to who on the committee voted for them which creates a sense of obligation.

One can extract empirically testable hypotheses out of this: is the composition of the award committee a good predictor of the prize winner's research area?

Anyway, to end on a positive note, the semantics community lack an awareness of the importance of PR/is too honest. To change this, we should establish our own prices (how about the Luca Aceto award for work in the axiomatisation of process equivalence?) Our conferences (Concur, Express, Fossacs ...) should all have best-paper-award, best student paper awards, best-applied-paper, best-theory-paper etc, so that after a few years we all are laden with honours, which will make us much more powerful when we talk with sponsors.

It's a bit of an arms race, but since other disciplines do it, we cannot afford being complacent.

Anonymous said...

Prediction confirmed: