Innovations in Computer Science (ICS)

(unofficial page by Oded Goldreich)

I was among the founders of the Symposium on Innovations in Computer Science (ICS). The 1st Symposium took place in Beijing, China, January 5-7, 2010. In 2012, the conference was renamed Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science (ITCS). I was a member of the steering committee of ITCS till July 2016. Below is a personal statement of purpose for ICS, which I wrote in 2009.

A short personal statement of purpose (by Oded Goldreich, 2009)

Innovations in Computer Science (ICS) is a new conference in theoretical computer science, broadly construed, which aims at enhancing the excitement of participating in a TCS-wide conference. ICS is committed to the promotion of research that carries a strong conceptual message (which may be of a technical nature), and would refrain from the practice of evaluating research solely or mainly based on its perceived technical difficulty. ICS encourages submissions that are aligned with the current TCS research directions as well as transcend these boundaries.

Each real scientific work exhibit a mix of a conceptual message and technical details that support and instantiate this message. The conceptual message may be very "technical" in nature (e.g., a novel technique, or even merely the fact that the complexity bound on some problem was improved), still a conceptual message always exists in the core of a real scientific work. On the other hand, a conceptual message with no technical details does not appear in the domain of science.

Likewise, the evaluation of scientific work is typically a non-trivial function of both its conceptual message and its technical details; that is, in typical cases, none of these two aspects should dominate the evaluation. Unfortunately (at least according to my feeling), recent PCs of STOC/FOCS have shown little interest in the conceptual messages of the various submissions, and have confined their attention to evaluating the technical details (and specifically their "difficulty"). That is, in these PCs, an advantage in technical difficulty carries much more weight than a significant advantage in the conceptual message (which, at best, is discarded as having secondary importance). [See my opinion page What's currently wrong with STOC/FOCS.]

In contrast, Innovations in Computer Science (ICS) intends to give higher weight to the conceptual message of the submissions. This commitment is reflected in the name chosen for ICS.

To the ITCS official site and Oded Goldreich's homepage.