Monday, July 20, 2015

ICALP 2015: EATCS General Assembly

The annual EATCS General Assembly took place at ICALP 2015 in Kyoto from 17:30 till 19:00 on July 2015. The LICS 2015 business meeting took place at the same time, which meant that the number of participants at both meetings was not as high as it would have been normally.

I kicked off the meeting by honouring the memory of Jiří Matoušek (1963–2015), a true giant of Discrete Mathematics and TCS who also happened to have strong ties with the Japanese TCS community.

This was followed by a report from the local organizers (delivered by Kazuo Iwama) and by the PC chairs (delivered by Bettina Speckmann, who chaired the PC for Track A). During her presentation, Bettina made a personal observation related to the lack of "applied papers" at ICALP and suggested that this might be a new candidate for track C of the conference. This proposal was discussed a little, but did not get much support.

The organization for ICALP 2016, which will take place in the period 11-15 July 2016 in Rome, is going well and the preliminary CFP was ready for distribution in Kyoto. I presented the report from the conference organizers and was able to announce the invited speakers for the conference.

ICALP 2017 will be held in Warsaw, Poland. The proposed dates are July 10-14, 2017. The local chairs will be Mikolaj Bojanczyk and Piotr Sankowski.

Next I had a discussion with the participants related to the future of ICALP. In particular, I asked the following questions:
  • Does ICALP cover TCS sufficiently broadly?
  • What do you think of the current acceptance rates at ICALP?
  • Would you like to see 20-minute presentation slots with 15 minutes for presenting the paper (possibly leading to more slots and the acceptance of more papers)?
  • What would you like to see at ICALP that we don’t do?
  • Any criticisms/kudos/suggestions?
Based on the feedback I received from the audience in Kyoto, ICALP attendees seem to be fairly happy with the coverage of TCS the conference provides. They think that the current acceptance rates and the 25-minute presentation slots are fine.

I welcome feedback on any of the above points. The EATCS is here to serve the community (that is, you)!

At this point, I had to go and present a bid to hold LICS 2017 in Reykjavik, so the general assembly continued without me for a while.

Tony Kucera reported on the the EATCS Young Researcher Schools. The Second EATCS Young Researcher School, Understanding Complexity and Concurrency through Topology of Data, will be held in the period 13–22 July in Camerino, Italy, organized by Emanuela Merelli. Feel free to contact Tony if you have proposals for future schools.

Next, Kazuo Iwama delivered his report as editor in chief of the Bulletin of the EATCS.  I think that the Bulletin is going well under Kazuo's energetic and expert editorship. However, we do not rest on our laurels and there is always room for improvement.
  • What do you think of the current content of the BEATCS?
  • What kind of regular columns would you like to see?
  • What type of contributions should we solicit?

If you have any criticisms/kudos/suggestions please contact Kazuo and/or me.

The reports from the treasurer and the secretary of the EATCS reflected the good shape the EATCS is in these days. I thanked Ioannis Chatzigiannakis,  Efi Chita and Dirk Janssens for the great work they do for the EATCS.

After the summer break, we will electing 10 new members to the Council of the EATCS. The list of nominees so far, organized by country, is as follows:
  • Austria: Monika Henzinger
  • Denmark/Sweden: Thore Husfeldt
  • Finland: Jarkko Kari, Jukka Suomela
  • France: Anca Muscholl
  • Germany: Ulrich Meyer, Thomas Schwentick
  • Hungary: Zoltan Esik
  • Iceland: Magnus Halldorsson
  • Israel: Boaz Patt-Shamir
  • Netherlands: Jos Baeten, Gerhard Woeginger
  • Norway: Fedor Fomin
  • Spain: Elvira Mayordomo
  • Switzerland: Roger Wattenhofer
You are still on time to nominate colleagues for the election, which will start towards the end of August. You can do so by sending an email to secretary office and to me. 

I concluded the general assembly with my ritual report from the president on recent activities of the EATCS. You can find the details in my slides. Here I will limit myself to posting the questions I asked the participants in the general assembly in Kyoto.
  • What should the EATCS do for the TCS community?
  • What activities should the EATCS support (financially or otherwise)?
  • How can we make EATCS membership more attractive (especially among the younger generations)?
  • In the short term, what do you want me to try and achieve in the second year of my second term as president of the EATCS?
I am genuinely interested in your opinions. You are the life and blood of the EATCS, and the EATCS is here to serve the community. 

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