Questions tagged [soft-question]

A soft question is a question (possibly subjective) about the field of theoretical computer science as opposed to being a question in theoretical computer science.

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1answer
231 views

Which universities in the U.S. are doing research in type theory?

The question is meant to be broad in that recommendations with mentions of the particular areas within type theory research are greatly appreciated. Also, the research need not be conducted in ...
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0answers
49 views

Decision tree vs. pebble game lower bounds

This question concerns two types of lower bounds. In a pebbling lower bound, we are concerned with the complexity of constructing the output from the input. For example, if the only way we could ...
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3answers
922 views

Is it right to ask a TCS researcher about the real life application of the problem she/he is working on?

I have attended a decent number of TCS conferences. It is good that researchers solve difficult problems. However, I am often interested in the reason why a problem is interesting in the first place. ...
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0answers
141 views

I think I may have discovered a new algorithm for a common problem. Now what?

I was trying to solve a common problem the other week and upon checking Stackoverflow there was a solution, but it just seemed like there should be a better way to do it. I thought about it for a ...
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6answers
5k views

Can theoretical computer science be applied in social sciences?

I'm very new to this field - technically not in it but want to be. I'm very early in my academic career (sophomore at a community college) but decided that I want to add a math major along with my ...
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3answers
4k views

Reviewing a paper and found a better solution

I was reviewing a paper of a double-blind conference (ML/AI-based conference). The authors improved the approximation bounds for some special instances of a problem. To understand their proof better, ...
3
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2answers
248 views

How to acknowledge answers of TCS in the paper?

I am researcher in a company from last 5 years. I have received few answers on Theoretical Computer Science stack exchange regarding my current research work. They are not the main part of the paper ...
15
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1answer
781 views

Why most of the top TCS conferences are not double-blind?

I have found that the most notable TCS conferences like FOCS, STOC, SODA, and ICALP are single-blind. That is the authors do not know the identity of reviewers; however, the reviewers know the ...
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0answers
86 views

Simple randomized priority queue matching the Fibonacci heap time bounds?

Since the Fibonacci heap was developed, many other priority queues have been invented with equivalent time bounds and a simpler design (e.g. hollow heaps, quake heaps, etc.). Many classical worst-case ...
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0answers
209 views

What kind of research can be considered publishable for undergraduate or graduate students (MSc level)

I'am currently doing a non-research Dipl.Eng (Engineering Diploma in French school system equivalent to MSc) in Computer Science. The courses I am currently taking are software oriented, there's an ...
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4answers
3k views

Algorithms Careers

I’ve been writing software for a living for a number of years now. I have graduate background in mathematics and I am wondering whether knowledge of higher algorithms is utilized anywhere in industry. ...
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1answer
139 views

Do theoretical computer scientists work more with proving theorems, or work more with data?

As theoretical computer scientists, do you work more with proving theorems, or do you work more with data? According to How to Criticize Computer Scientists, computer scientists can be divided into ...
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0answers
158 views

The graph of problem reductions

A classical approach to study the complexity of a problem $P$ is to efficiently reduce a well known problem $P'$ to $P$, thus showing that $P$ is at least as difficult as $P'$. The TCS literature ...
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2answers
136 views

Looking for some lecture videos on logic, models of computation and computational complexity/tcs fundamentals [closed]

Looking for some lecture videos (introductory level) on logic, models of computation as well as computational complexity/ other theoretical computer science fundamentals
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1answer
149 views

What math courses should I revisit to prepare for a CS Ph.D. (Reinforcement learning and Game Theory)?

I am planning to join a CS Ph.D. program in 6 months. My topics of research will be in the area of Reinforcement Learning and Game Theory. Even though I have a good grasp of these two topics’ ...
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1answer
291 views

Advice on undergraduate research

I am a junior in college who is very interested in doing some sort of REU/research internship in theoretical computer science this summer, as I would like to get research experience before potentially ...
3
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1answer
293 views

Which are the best universities for a DPhil/PhD in proof theory and automated reasoning?

I'm an undergraduate student studying computer science and I'm interested in doing a PhD after I graduate. I would like to do research in proof theory and automated reasoning, specifically in ...
1
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1answer
148 views

Publishing by showing falsity of existing results [closed]

Is it valid to publish a minor result related to computer science complexity theory and classes that disproves and falsifies an existing result? Would that be a valid and respectable endeavor?
16
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2answers
490 views

Publishing short and simple results

I have a manuscript that has been conference-rejected 3 times up to this point. Just to clear things up, I am by no means a senior researcher but I am not a junior who cannot judge the strength of my ...
3
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1answer
160 views

Formal theory about explaining algorithms

There is a lot of algorithms written in formal languages, but I have never seen any formal system which target is to explain or give a rationale behind an algorithm. It seems that when constructing ...
4
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1answer
222 views

Should one study undergrad TCS materials before taking grad-level ones? (soft question)

I am a 1st year PhD student. I got a bachelor's degree in CS but I didn't start learning TCS systematically until this year. This dumb question came to me when I opened an undergrad complexity lecture ...
32
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9answers
3k views

Any fundamental papers in TCS which were found to be incorrect/wrong later?

I am asking this question out of curiosity. I recently encountered this well-known paper on (published in 2009): the hardness_of_Euclidean_kmeans The paper showed that the previous NP-hardness ...
15
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5answers
2k views

Why do TCS papers have author names in alphabetical order of their surnames?

I am currently doing a Ph.D. in Theoretical Computer Science, and any research paper I encountered so far has the author's names in alphabetical order of their surnames. For example consider the most ...
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1answer
215 views

Online TCS Seminars

I want to have a list of online seminars that holds now. So far I know only about TCS+(https://sites.google.com/site/plustcs/) seminars. I would like to ask if there are other TCS seminars.
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0answers
140 views

How to succeed in remote TCS research as undergraduate

I am participating in a remote summer research program in theoretical computer science due to the current pandemic. I recognize that given the current situation, it may be harder to collaborate with ...
28
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1answer
1k views

Are there any public synchronous discussion forums (slack, discord, etc.) for TCS

I'm a 2nd year masters student studying theoretical CS (algorithms to be precise). I would like to know if there are any public synchronous discussion groups (slack, discord, etc.) for TCS. CSTheory ...
9
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4answers
1k views

How do conference proceedings add to academic prestige?

I come from mathematics and, for whatever reason, am trying to publish in theoretical computer science. I'm still trying to understand the role of conference proceedings, and I have two specific ...
6
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1answer
325 views

Is the basis of parity functions the only orthonormal basis for Boolean functions?

Is there another orthonormal basis of functions for Boolean functions? Or, more specifically, besides the parity functions, is there another explicit function (which is common and has a name) that can ...
10
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4answers
820 views

What podcast should everybody listen to?

This list was inspired by the lists: What are the popular science books that inspire TCS? What Books Should Everyone Read? What papers should everyone read? What videos should everybody watch? I don'...
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1answer
91 views

What is 'circuit problem' mentioned in Kempe-Kitaev-Regev's local hamiltonian problem paper

I have been going through Kempe-Kitaev-Regev's paper The Complexity of the Local Hamiltonian Problem. In the first paragraph of page 3, the authors point out that: To the best of our knowledge, ...
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1answer
181 views

Analytic Number theory in TCS [closed]

Are there any applications of analytic number theory in TCS?
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0answers
133 views

Program size versus program running time

Short "naive" question: Is it true that faster algorithms require longer programs ? Given a decision problem $A$ and a reasonable model of computation, there can be many ways (algorithms) ...
5
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0answers
171 views

What research is being done in classical complexity theory?

As far as I'm aware, classical complexity theory is being replaced by more recent forms of complexity theory, such as communication complexity and quantum complexity. What happened to results such as ...
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1answer
172 views

Diving straight into "research" versus studying broadly as an undergrad (soft question)

I'm nearing the end of my first year as an undergraduate and am very confident that I want to pursue a PhD in TCS. Fortunately because I quickly realized what I'm interested in and have a solid ...
13
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0answers
381 views

What percentage of SODA papers are galactic algorithms?

Consider papers published in major theoretical CS conferences during the last 5 year, where the main result is that there exists an algorithm with some time or space complexity to solve some problem. ...
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0answers
21 views

Sorting using comparisons that are not simple mappings of simple comparisons

The Python language has a sort(x) function that sorts a list based on the intrinsic comparison operator associated with the type of the elements of its input list x. One can also provide a cmp ...
4
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0answers
101 views

Status of the Junta Problem (soft question)

Does the learning theory community in general believe that juntas can be learned in polynomial time? The naive algorithm works in quasi-polynomial time. MOS's paper shows how to solve the junta ...
13
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1answer
273 views

Dialogue writing style & Yuri Gurevich's imaginary student: Quisani

Recently, while I was looking for more sources of crossing sequence in computational complexity theory, I came across the article "Is Randomness 'Native' to Computer Scientist?" written by M. Ferbus-...
4
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1answer
206 views

What are the criteria for inviting conference papers (e.g. SODA) for special issue?

This is mostly for some immigration related document that I am trying to write and want to reference an online link which mentions that only a select few papers are invited for special issue for SODA ...
21
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1answer
1k views

Turing award papers

I was wondering if there are individual publications that have led their authors to win the Turing Prize or if the Turing Prize is the result of a lifetime's work and multiple publications and results....
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0answers
114 views

Metrics for modelling convergence in the lambda-calculus

I wonder if there have been efforts to reconcile the measure approach to termination and Scott's domain theory or other topological models of computation. In other words, can we translate this measure ...
4
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0answers
205 views

Advice for new grad student [closed]

I'm a first year PhD student in a CS department at what some would probably consider a mid-tier university. I've been reading from Vershynin's High-Dimensional Probability and been trying to learn ...
1
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2answers
165 views

Are patents good sources for academic research?

I'm a freshman Master's student in Computer Science and I need to write a paper for my Operating System class. While looking through research articles using google scholar I found that a lot results ...
2
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0answers
170 views

Quantum advantage beyond the black-box model

Question Aaronson wrote in his thesis that “essentially all quantum algorithms that we know today—from Shor’s algorithm, as discussed previously, to Grover’s algorithm, to the quantum adiabatic ...
5
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1answer
276 views

Site with collection of exercises in TCS?

Is there a website with a large collection of exercises for theoretical computer science, sorted by topics? I know that many exercises can be found in different textbooks, I'm looking for an online ...
7
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3answers
778 views

How to efficiently read the theoretical computer science research papers?

I am a computer science graduate student works in theory. The general advice is to go through the paper and then in the second or third round try to understand the detail. Read the abstract, ...
2
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0answers
161 views

Book recommendation treewidth

I am searching for a good book (or survey paper) on treewidth. I would be delighted if the book/paper surveys multiple approaches to treewidth (eg: structural, algorithmic, `language-theoretic') and ...
7
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0answers
179 views

Tortoise and hare algorithms

Consider the problem: Given an array $a[0..n]$ where $n\ge 1$ and $a[i]\in [n]$ for all $i=0,\ldots,n$ find two indices $s\neq t$ so that $a[s] = a[t]$. This problem has a stunning solution running ...
2
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1answer
263 views

How far has computer science moved past Knuth's TAoCP, if at all? [closed]

The seminal book The Art of Computer Programming got its start in 1968. I have been finding references to it in many literature reviews, apparently there are many problems for which a review by Knuth ...
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0answers
322 views

Is Combinatory Logic (CL) still relevant for programming language theory?

I've been reading up on R. Smullyan's "To Mock a Mockingbird" and Hindley's "Lambda-Calculus and Combinators: An Introduction". I've even read Schonfinkel's 1924 paper introducing the idea of ...

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