## ICS2011 at ITCS, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

The title of this post “To life, to Science and to Innovations” was Silvio Micali’s toast at the second conference on Innovations in Computer Science and Silvio’s words have a good chance of becomeing the official toast of this emerging event.  ICS2011 which took place in Beijing was a very interesting conference, and ITCS at Tsinghua University is a great research institute. I completely share the sentiments and excitements of Noam Nisan’s (who is freezing with me against the background of the forbidden city in the picture below) about ITCS from this post from June 2009.

My talk entitled “Influence and Noise” was meant to be (to the horror of some friends, perhaps as much horror as was elicited by my outfit) even more non-technical than the talk shown at this post. I tried to avoid formulas at all costs. (But formulas are fairly efficient, I must say. Explaining things in words is lengthier.) The planned five parts of the talk were: I. Cause and influence, II. Choice, power, and manipulation, III. Randomness, IV Noise and V Computational complexity. This was too ambitious and I ended in the middle of IV.  Here are the slides. (Additional verbal explanation is needed for quite a few slides.)

In the last evening of the meeting after Bernard Chazelle and Amy Yuexuan Wang sang a Chinese song together, it was time for a new innovation: singing TCS-oriented songs. Clearly, the Rolling Stones’ “I Can Get No Satisfaction” refers to 3-SAT and the $NP \ne P$ problem and, twenty years after our first public appearance, Bernard and I sang this song adding background voices “because P is not equal to NP”.  Then Peter Bro Miltersen joined us for “when I will be $2^6$“.

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### 7 Responses to To Life, to Science and to Innovations

1. anon says:

The colors used in the slides are painful. Blue background and red text. Where does this combination of colors occur in nature? Nowhere, it’s something we humans were not used to seeing during our evolution, which implies a lot of eye-strain. Maybe it was not so bad on a projector, but on a screen it’s downright unusable.

Comic-sans should be banned (unless it’s use was some sort of elaborate joke).

2. Someone says:

The slides color was very good on the projector. Gil’s non-technical talk was also very good.
Comic sans-serif should not be banned.

3. liza says:

Dear Gil,

Thank you again for your efforts to make these deep and interesting questions accessible to the public, your insistence on making the talk non-technical is greatly appreciated.
(and seeing my pseudonym up on those slides is surely the pinnacle of what I ever dreamed would become of my short academic career.)

4. Nice.
You look great in the photo with forbidden city in the background.
and
“But, formulas are fairly efficient, I must say”
Nicely told.

5. proaonuiq says:

Nice picture ! Taken from Jingshan Park on the Forbiden city back gate, i guess.

One side of the coin made me feel nostalgic. Jianguomenwai to DongSanHuan (near Tsinghua and Beijing Univs.) back and forth, passing through this area, every day during more than one year !

But the other side…even skiing at 30 bellow zero Celsius at 3000 mt over sea level I did not felt as freezy as during Beijing winter. And, by the way, dusty: east winds carrying Gobi sands just in (winter) time.