Essays and Opinions by Oded Goldreich
last updated: Sept. 2017
The following essays (listed in chronological order)
can be obtained in either PostScript or PDF:
of some trends in the TCS community, 1991.
of Computation: A Scientific Perspective, 2001 (with A. Wigderson).
- On our duties as scientists, March 2004
(rev. Aug. 2009).
- How to write a paper, March 2004.
(This is an augmented version of the essay
How NOT to write a paper,
written in 1991, revised in 1996.)
- On Teaching the Basics of Complexity Theory,
- Contemplations on testing graph properties,
- Another motivation for
reducing the randomness complexity of algorithms, Nov. 2006.
- On Post-Modern Cryptography, Nov. 2006.
- Demystifying the Master Thesis and Research
in General: The Story of Some Master Theses, Jan.2007.
- On the status of intellectual values in TOC,
- On Struggle and Competition in
Scientific Fields, Jan. 2012.
- On Intellectual and Instrumental Values
in Science, Apr. 2012.
- On Scientific Evaluation and its
relation to Understanding, Imagination, and Taste, May 2012.
- Lessons from Kant:
On Knowledge, Morality, and Beauty, June 2012.
- On the philosophical basis of
computational theories, Feb. 2014.
- Content-Oblivious Quality Measures
and the Control of Academia, July 2015.
Short statements of opinions
(miscellaneous brief comments):
On examples, conflict-of-interest, chairing committees,
resolving the P-vs-NP Question, 2nd/3rd tier TCS-wide venues,
levels of scientific disagreement and/or interest,
obsession with originality, the importance of good expositions,
answering email requests, concrete challenges, festivals (aka conferences),
the role of luck, parallels to art, the futility of careerism,
informative citations, errors, ordering publications in one's CV,
order of co-authors to a publication, exercises, argumentativeness,
languages versus sets, more on parallels to art, on folklore in TOC,
- On Resolving the P vs NP Problem
(or, on checking claims of resolving famous open problems),
an old undated post.
- On TCS Conferences [fragments], 1997.
- On the role of program committees
(and their operation), 1999.
- On graduate studies, 2001.
- Comments on the nature of TCS research,
- On awards (theory and practice),
2002 and 2004.
- On the role of journals, 2003.
- On Quantum Computing, 2004.
- Some suggestions to program committees, 2004.
- On "rejection", 2006.
- On the term "provable security", 2006.
- On Conceptual Contributions in Theory,
joint statement by ten TCS-ists, March 2008.
- On the evaluation of scientific work, 2008.
- What's currently wrong with STOC/FOCS, 2009.
- Where to submit
(i.e., to which conference and/or journal), 2009.
- Why I refuse to take part in internet discussions, 2010
Add'l comments (in Hebrew).
- A letter to CACM editor
regarding computational complexity, 2010.
- On Weber's 1919 essay "Science as a Vocation",
- On conferences versus journals, 2011.
- On talking about the ``Laws of Nature'', 2011.
- Why do people become
and remain scientists, Dec. 2011.
- On offering advice to aspiring scientists,
- On theory vs practice in CS, Jan. 2012.
- On Understanding, Discussing, and Arguing
(or on my reservations regarding blog comments), Jan. 2012.
- On Disagreeing, Feb. 2012.
- On Modest, Suggestive, and Imposing
Theories (and Fields), Apr. 2012.
- About myself
(information rather than opinions), May 2012.
- On the personal, cultural, and political aspect
of LGBT, June 2012.
- Research-Life Stories
(also not exactly opinions), Feb 2013.
- On intellectual passion and its unfortunate
confusion with sexual passion (and how it may relate to issues of gender),
- On Cryptographic Assumptions,
- What is more fundamental than a bit?,
- On the closure of Microsoft-Research Silicon
Valley Lab, Sept. 2014.
- On the emotional difficulty of conducting
research, Sept. 2014.
- On chaging the format of STOC, May 2015.
- TCS = TOC + TOP, May 2015.
- More on bad attitudes that gain dominance
in TOC, July 2016.
- On External and Internal Goods in Science,
- Why is anonymous submission a bad idea,
My impression is that FOCS and STOC do not function any more
as forums devoted to the presentation and exchange of ideas
(but rather function as "weight-lifting competitions").
A variety of personal webpages, in which researchers
present their own choices of (relatively) recent works
may be able to partially compensate for this loss.
My own contribution to this project
appears HERE (starting 2009).
Politics and Academia (esp., in Israel in the 21st century)
The administration of higher-education is part of public politics,
but is also part of academic life. Therefore it is debateable whether
the standard objections to
posting political views on a website
maintained by one's host institute should apply here.
Anyhow, here are some views regarding
the administration of higher-education in Israel in the 21st century.
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