Monday, August 28, 2006

Did all those trees die in vain?

The first computer science section is Saturday afternoon, and it is all about Israeli theory: Omer Reingold and I are speaking, and Avi Wigderson chairs the section. I talk about the complexity-theoretic approach to derandomization and pseudorandomness, and about the coding theory / average-case complexity and the extractors / pseudorandom generators connections. Omer talks about expanders, pseudorandom walks, and L=SL. Here are the slides of my talk. (Based on this paper.)

The attendance is very good, both in quantity and quality, but nobody asks questions after the talk.

Invited speakers are presented with a gift from the organizers. It is an exquisite, two-volume, leather-bound edition of the work of Archimedes. One volume contains a reproduction of the original hand-written ancient Greek. In recognition of the fact that not many people can read ancient Greek, the second volume helpfully contains a Spanish translation.

When I made travel plans for the conference, I assumed that I would start teaching tomorrow. Instead, thanks to a timely approval of my green card, I will spend the semester securing the cyberspace at IPAM, in Los Angeles. So, even though I could have stayed longer, I left on Sunday morning and I am going to miss Ben Green's talk and the rest of the computer science program, not to mention Random-Approx in Barcelona. Between the two-volume Archimedes thing, the two-volume proceedings, and the volume of abstracts, it is a miracle that I am able to close my bag. At the airport, they find my bag to be overweight, and I have to pay 19 Euros.

Here is all the stuff I had to carry:


  1. Anonymous Anonymous
    8/28/2006 11:14:00 AM

    Alas!! Who is going to tell us about more ICM news?

  2. Anonymous Anonymous
    8/28/2006 01:25:00 PM

    Congratulations on getting your green card.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous
    8/28/2006 02:10:00 PM

    Where would you have begun teaching if you hadn't received your green card? Spain?

  4. Blogger Luca
    8/28/2006 03:09:00 PM

    #3: I would have thaught at Berkeley, with my visa that was valid unitl 2008. My visit at IPAM, however, is classified as "employment" by immigration regulations, which is fine with the green card but was not allowed with the previous visa. The semester at Berkeley starts today, while the semester at IPAM starts in two weeks. If I had known before about the green card, I would have stayed in Spain an extra week.

  5. Anonymous Anonymous
    8/28/2006 06:35:00 PM

    The difference being that at Berkeley you are not employed but a grad student?

  6. Anonymous Anonymous
    8/31/2006 03:58:00 PM

    hi, I was a volunteer in the Icm. I hope you enjoyed the congress and Madrid :) It has been very nice to read about the congress and about you :) I hope you don´t matter :)


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