Monday, July 17, 2017

Why you should join the EATCS and convince your colleagues to do so too

Let me state at the outset that, as former president of the EATCS, I am somewhat biased on the matter I cover in this post. However, I do believe that what I write below is based on facts rather than bias. I hope that you will draw your own conclusions and join a scientific associations that provides sterling support for theoretical computer science as a whole.

The first question I am typically asked when I encourage a colleague to join the EATCS is  "What is in it for me?" This question is natural and easy to answer (see here), but I believe that it is the wrong question to ask. As someone who has lived a fair number of years in sunny, socialist Scandinavia and a closely related country, I have grown into thinking that a better question would be "What's in it for the TCS community?" To my mind, the answer to this second question is even clearer.

The EATCS is a scientific association that, compatibly with its limited resources, does much for TCS.
  • Its Bulletin has been open access for over ten years. Anyone can read it for free, unlike many other bulletins and newsletters that are only available to members of professional societies. This is made possible by the support of the EATCS members for the benefit of everyone. 
  • The proceedings of ICALP have been open access since last year. The association lost money by deciding to go for open-access proceedings, but its council felt that the time had come to serve the community in this way. 
  • The EATCS provides financial support to conferences and young researcher schools, and sponsors prizes and awards that put TCS research in the limelight. When I was the president of the EATCS, I was surprised to receive sponsorship requests from the organizers of conferences that were officially "sponsored" by incomparably larger and richer professional societies. The EATCS provided a small financial sponsorship to some of those events, as part of its mission. Now I have a better idea of why those conferences were asking for EATCS sponsorship. 
  • Conferences that collect EATCS membership fees receive some of those fees back from the association. I have come to understand that this is not the case for other professional societies. 
I could go on, but this short list should be sufficient to help you make up your mind and I do not want this post to turn into a rant. The bottom line is that by joining the EATCS, you will support TCS for a mere 30 € per year (two years if you are a student). Do you need more reasons to join and help the community?

If you have any questions or doubts, air them as comments to this blog post. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Call for guest bloggers at ICALP 2017

I would like to have some blog coverage for ICALP 2017. If you are attending the conference in Warsaw and you are interested in guest blogging, drop me a line. Ideally, I would like to have a guest blogger for each of the tracks in the conference. You are, of course, also most welcome to blog about the invited talks, the award ceremony, the general assembly, the affiliated workshops and any other aspect of the conference you fancy. 

Unfortunately, I cannot attend ICALP this year, so there won't be any reporting from me.