Sunday, September 29, 2013


Note: the EATCS Fellow scheme is new, so at this stage, there is no risk that anyone that you may be thinking of nominating for this recognition, already has it; the field is wide open! Here is the link on the EATCS web site.

Please note: all nominees and nominators must be EATCS Members

Submit by December 31 of the current year for Fellow consideration by email to the EATCS Secretary ( The subject line of the email should read "EATCS Fellow Nomination - <surname of candidate>".


The EATCS Fellows Program is established by the Association to recognize outstanding EATCS Members for their scientific achievements in the field of Theoretical Computer Science. The Fellow status is conferred by the EATCS Fellows-Selection Committee upon a person having a track record of intellectual and organizational leadership within the EATCS community. Fellows are expected to be "model citizens" of the TCS community, helping to develop the standing of TCS beyond the frontiers of the community.

In order to be considered by the EATCS Fellows-Selection Committee, candidates must be nominated by at least four EATCS Members.  Please verify your membership at

The EATCS Fellows-Selection Committee consists of
  • Rocco De Nicola (IMT Lucca, Italy)
  • Paul Goldberg (Oxford, UK)
  • Anca Muscholl (Bordeaux, France, chair)
  • Dorothea Wagner (Karlsruhe, Germany)
  • Roger Wattenhofer (ETH Zurich, CH)


A nomination should consist of answers to the questions below. It can be co-signed by several EATCS members. At least two nomination letters per candidate are recommended. If you are supporting the nomination from within the candidate's field of expertise, it is expected that you will be specific about the individual's technical contributions.

To be considered, nominations for 2014 must be received by December 31, 2013.

1 Name of candidate
Candidate's current affiliation and position
Candidate's email address, postal address and phone number
Nominator(s) relationship to the candidate

2 Short summary of candidate’s accomplishments (citation — 25 words or less)

3 Candidate’s accomplishments: Identify the most important
contributions that qualify the candidate for the rank of EATCS Fellow
according to the following two categories:

A) Technical achievements
B) Outstanding service to the TCS community

Please limit your comments to at most three pages.

4 Nominator(s):
Affiliation(s), email and postal address(es), phone number(s)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Books on display

A visitor is pleased to see a copy of Mas-Colell, Whinston, and Green on my office bookcase. Admittedly I have not read much of it, but it’s the thought that counts. It, and other books, are a conversation-starter. A book collection on display is a way to talk about yourself, and your interests, in an acceptable, take-it-or-leave-it way. If we all stop using paper books and switch to e-books, there will be a downside. There is not much on-line worrying about this downside of e-books (maybe I used the wrong search terms), but there are a few articles on the merits of bookcases that other people can look at. This web page explains reasons why paper books are nice (as artifacts), but doesn’t quite make the point about books as a personal statement. The bookshelf as a personal statement is discussed in this article which has a link to a website where you can upload a picture of your bookshelf.

Just for balance, this article “Breaking The Sentimental Attachment To Books” offers advice on helping you get rid of books you don’t need.

Friday, September 13, 2013

improving text by cutting it down

In making revisions to a paper that was accepted to a journal, I was told to make sure the abstract had no more than 150 words. Of course, my immediate assumption was that the abstract had already been perfected, and having to cut about 40 words could only make it worse. In the event I managed to improve the text as a result, and was left admitting that it was a useful exercise, purely for the purpose of good writing. Maybe I should always cut my text by 20% as part of the process of polishing the writing.

Yet I’m still reluctant to put that idea into practice. It’s probably due to some kind of ingrained resistance to the idea that you can improve something by making an economy. Economising isn’t supposed to be beneficial, it’s supposed to be onerous, right? Maybe the worry is that if I cut 20% voluntarily, I’ll be required to cut another 20%, and there must be some point at which the “less is more” principle stops applying...

Monday, September 09, 2013

Postdoc positions in algorithmic game theory at the University of Oxford

Three postdoc positions in Algorithmic Game Theory are available at the University of Oxford funded by the ERC Advanced Grant "Algorithms, Games, Mechanisms, and the Price of Anarchy" (Principal Investigator: Elias Koutsoupias). The researchers will be based in the Department of Computer Science and will be part of the newly-established Algorithms group in Oxford (  Work for these posts includes investigating, designing, and analyzing mechanisms; extending the theory of the price of anarchy and stability; investigating game-playing issues that arise by applying the algorithmic approach (e.g. limitations in computation and communication) to classical game theory.

Candidates should have a first degree and a doctorate in computer science or related discipline and a record of research in algorithmic game theory or a related area.
Area: Algorithmic Game Theory
Number of positions: 3
Duration: 1 year (extendable to 5 years)
Deadline for applications: 12 noon on 10th October 2013
Further information and applications:

Informal inquiries are welcome and should be directed to Elias Koutsoupias (