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Suresh Venkatasubramanian
Works at U. Utah
Attended Stanford
Lives in Salt Lake City


On guiding without telling: riffing off of something Ta-Nehisi Coates said in a recent article. 
Despite my very obvious political biases, I've never felt it was really my job to get people to agree with me. My first duty, as a writer, is to myself. In that sense I simply hope to ask all the questions that keep me up at night. My second duty is to my readers. In that sense, I hope to make ...
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I've been reading Rawls to understand his notions of social justice. I didn't realize he was also a bad tipper :)
A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes
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A followup to my earlier post. 
I had floated a trial balloon (this is election season after all!) about making reviews of my papers public. I had originally thought that my coauthors would object to this plan, for fear of retribution from reviewers, or feelings of shame about the reviews (things that I was concerned with).
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I think the same argument applies, and even worse. I don't think an author would be happy that their (as yet confidential) paper was critiqued online
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(From +Yusu Wang.  Please submit your workshop proposals!)

Call for CG Week Workshops/Tutorials Proposals
SoCG Workshops (June 14–17, 2016), and
Joint STOC/SoCG Workshop Day (June 18, 2016)
Boston, MA

This year, the CG Week will follow its tradition and host workshop events during the Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG) 2016 conference. Different from previous years, this year there would be two types of workshops. 

Regular SoCG Workshops: We plan to host workshops during the SoCG conference dates as usual. Typically, these workshops happen on the afternoons during the SoCG conference, while mornings will host standard talks for SoCG papers. These workshops will happen during the June 14--17, 2016. See for more information about both CG Week and the regular SoCG Workshops. 

Joint SoCG/STOC Workshop Day: This year, the 48th ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC 2016) and the  32nd International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2016) will be co-located in Cambridge/Boston, MA. In particular, SoCG 2016 will take place June 14 – 17, 2016, and STOC 2016 will take place June 19 – 21, 2016. STOC brings together a global community of researchers working in a broad range of topics in theoretical computer science. SoCG attracts an international community of researchers working on computational aspects of geometry and topology. To foster closer interaction and better cross-fertilization between the two communities, there will be a Joint STOC/SoCG Workshop Day on Saturday June 18, 2016. This single day event will feature two invited talks, and several parallel workshops. See for more information.

We invite proposals for workshops and tutorials on topics related to computational geometry/topology and theoretical computer science to be submitted for either types of workshops. For workshops submitted to the Joint Workshop Day, we especially encourage topics that are likely to be of interest to researchers in both SoCG and STOC communities.

We expect a typical regular SoCG workshop to be about 3 hours in total time (spans one afternoon). For the Joint Workshop Day, we expect a typical event to consist of either a single 2 to 2.5 hour session, or spans two sessions totaling about 4 hours. The individual workshop organizers can decide the precise form of its workshop session. For example, a typical event may feature a combination of invited talks and contributed presentations. Some workshops may also include tutorials, panel discussions and software demos. The workshops will have no formal proceedings.  Optionally, the organizers may coordinate with journals to publish special issues, or arrange for other dissemination (via arXiv, webpages, or printed booklets, for example). 


Proposals (for both the regular SoCG workshops and the Joint Workshop Day) should be submitted by email to Proposals should be brief (at most 3 typeset pages) and should include the following information:
     1. Title or theme of the workshop/minisymposium/tutorial event
     2. Name and email address of the organizer(s)
     3. Brief scientific summary and discussion of merits of the proposed topic as a joint SoCG/STOC event, and intended audience. 
     4. A description of the proposed format and agenda, and potential invited speakers/panelists
     5. Please indicate the proposed length of the workshop, that is, whether it is a one-session event or a full-day two-session event. You can also specify the minimum and ideal duration for the proposed event. 
     6. Please indicate whether you are interested in the Joint workshop day or the regular SoCG workshops. If you propose for a workshop during the Joint workshop day, you could also specify if you are interested in moving your event to regular SoCG conference time in cases that Joint Workshop Day slots are full. 
     7. OPTIONAL: Plans for dissemination if any (such as journal special issues), and/or past experience of the organizer(s) relevant to the event. 
Feb. 22, 2016: Workshop proposals due
March 1st, 2016: Notification of acceptance/rejection
June 14-17, 2016, regular SoCG Workshops / CG Week
June 18, 2016: Joint STOC/SoCG Workshop Day in Cambridge/Boston, MA, USA.

• Suresh Venkatasubramanian (University of Utah) 
• Yusu Wang (Ohio State University)

• Alexandr Andoni (Columbia University)
• Chandra Chekuri (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
• Suresh Venkatasubramanian (University of Utah) 
• Yusu Wang (Ohio State University)

SoCG and STOC organizers will provide assistance with logistics including registration, meeting rooms, coffee breaks, wireless network, and a link to the web page of the event. Please feel free to contact Yusu Wang ( or send emails to if you have any questions. 
More information on the SoCG conference and CG Week can be found at The information on the Joint STOC/SoCG Workshop Day can also be found at: as well as the STOC website . 
Information architecture, Web Design, Web Standards.
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A response by +Piotr Indyk to an editorial by 
+Moshe Vardi 
(ed: In a recent CACM editorial, CACM editor-in-chief +Moshe Vardi discussed Babai's result on graph isomorphism and the recent hardness result for edit distance in the context of a larger discussion on the significance of complexity-theoretic assumptions. +Piotr Indyk (one of the authors of the ...
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Let me add my own snippet of the article (to add to what others have)

"When I go outside at night and look up at the stars, the feeling that I get is not comfort. The feeling that I get is a kind of delicious discomfort at knowing that there is so much out there that I do not understand and the joy in recognizing that there is enormous mystery, which is not a comfortable thing. This, I think, is the principal gift of education."
Learning, like magic, should make people uncomfortable, because neither are passive acts. Elaborating on the analogy, he continued, “Magic doesn’t wash over you like a gentle, reassuring lullaby. In magic, what you see comes into conflict with what you know, and that discomfort creates a kind of energy and a spark that is extremely exciting. That level of participation that magic brings from you by making you uncomfortable is a very good thing.”
Teller, of the entertainment duo Penn & Teller, explains how magic and discomfort made his teaching come alive.
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Professor Minsky laid the foundation for the field by demonstrating the possibilities of imparting common-sense reasoning to computers.
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Via +Rasmus Pagh
Know how to get the most out of your predictive tools.
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Man vs Machine at ITA. 
I've been lounging in San Diego at my favorite conference, the Information Theory and Applications workshop. It's so friendly that even the sea lions are invited (the Marine Room is where we had the conference banquet). Sadly this year I was mired in deadlines and couldn't take advantage of the ...
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Thus js great. I wish my great grandmother who was a great cook was around now.
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Would you work with me if I wanted to make all reviews for my submissions public ? 
I was reading a post on G+ about a musician who keeps all her performance reviews on her website and annotates them with a response. Not to "fight back", but to add to the reviews (that are occasionally negative). I'm very tempted to do the same thing myself with my submissions.
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I think writing reviews is another place where one can apply what Hillel said: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation. Now go and learn." 
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NEW YORK – Jan. 26, 2016 – From bringing more transparency to law enforcement to helping people understand how their personal information is used online, the 17 winners of the Knight News Challenge on Data reveal how people can use data to make important decisions about their lives and their communities.
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Paging +David Eppstein - I actually thought the RKHS example was ok, but I'll grant that I'm not the target audience.
Ever look up an obscure scientific topic? Who is that information meant for?
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While the nuances of allegations made about specific Wikipedia entries could be  debated all day, the take-home message still stands IMHO: subject experts should try much harder to present technical topics in a more easy-to-understand manner. Indeed, it's true that doing so for deep mathematical results is quite tough - but try we should!

Even in the RKHS entry, it would be nice for the reader to get an intuitive idea for what a "kernel" is, for instance. May be the link to the kernel trick (in machine learning) could be presented/linked right at the start.
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Suresh's Collections
8 communities
I like algorithms. And I hope they're fair.
CS prof, interested in algorithms, geometry, data mining, clustering
  • Stanford
  • IIT Kanpur
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  • U. Utah
    Associate professor, present
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Salt Lake City
Aarhus, DK - Stanford, CA - Philadelphia, PA - Morristown, NJ - New Delhi, India - Berkeley, CA
That this restaurant has an overall rating less than 4 is a travesty. Skip Finca's overrated food and preserve your ear drums: Cafe Madrid is a much more intimate (read: quiet and charming) Spanish fine dining experience, with possibly the best service I've ever had in Salt Lake City. Call ahead if you want the paella: it's worth it.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
3 reviews