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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5
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2answers
694 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
130 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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0answers
76 views

Open Problems in Quantum Complexity Theory (2021)

What are some open problems in quantum computing or complexity theory where a novice researcher could reasonably hope to make contributions with a few months of steady effort? I know this question has ...
15
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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 ...
12
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8answers
1k views

Interdisciplinary topics between control theory and theoretical computer science

I am in my second year in a MSc that doesn't relate too much with TCS though I wish it would. It's basically about control theory, signals and systems and I took classes in advanced systems (robust, ...
100
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5answers
22k views

List of TCS conferences and workshops

I would like to ask for help in compiling a list of as many TCS-related conferences and workshops as possible. My main motivation for doing this is to plan possible blog coverage of more theory ...
66
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10answers
8k views

Are there any open problems left about DFAs?

After studying deterministic finite state automata (DFA) in undergrad, I felt they are extremely well understood. My question is whether there is something we still don't understand about them. I don'...
7
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3answers
741 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, ...
16
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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
244 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
726 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 ...
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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0answers
82 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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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. ...
4
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0answers
198 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 ...
479
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72answers
174k views

What papers should everyone read?

This question is (inspired by)/(shamefully stolen from) a similar question at MathOverflow, but I expect the answers here will be quite different. We all have favorite papers in our own respective ...
-1
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1answer
137 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 ...
4
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0answers
151 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 ...
3
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2answers
135 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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5answers
4k views

What would you advise someone who wants to do research as a hobby?

I love doing TCS in my spare time. Lately I have been trying to do some research as a hobby. I'm looking for some extra input from people who do this full-time: Do you think it is possible to do this ...
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17answers
4k views

Physics results in TCS?

It seems clear that a number of subfields of theoretical computer science have been significantly impacted by results from theoretical physics. Two examples of this are Quantum computation ...
33
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5answers
10k views

What are some good introductory books on type theory?

I'm recently studying Haskell and programming languages. Could someone recommend some books on type theory?
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2answers
495 views

(concise?) definition of thread safety

Wikipedia has the following definition: Thread safety is a computer programming concept applicable in the context of multi-threaded programs. A piece of code is thread-safe if it only ...
6
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1answer
275 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 ...
1
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1answer
140 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’ ...
10
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4answers
789 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'...
3
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1answer
281 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 ...
12
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3answers
620 views

Is it beneficial to regularly read papers outside your field?

What do you think about regularly reading papers outside one's own field, even those which are not related to one's area? My intuition is that it can give a totally different perspective or technique ...
3
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0answers
113 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 ...
14
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1answer
426 views

Algebraic topology for termination proofs

I'm reading about various ways in which termination proofs of software verifiers are built: ad-hoc methods that detect recursions, term-rewriting, synthesis of lexicographic orderings... From the ad-...
1
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1answer
144 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
485 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 ...
70
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12answers
9k views

How important is knowing how to program for TCS?

Coming from a more mathematical background, I never really learned how to code. I am starting a PhD in TCS and many people were surprised by how little I knew about programming (and about computer in ...
255
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39answers
125k views

What Books Should Everyone Read?

[Timeline] This question has the same spirit of what papers should everyone read and what videos should everybody watch. It asks for remarkable books in different areas of theoretical computer ...
3
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1answer
156 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 ...
20
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1answer
3k views

How to write the introduction of a research paper?

Apologies if this is too broad a question for this forum, but I'm interested in specific tactics and tips that researchers (in TCS) use to write the introduction of a research paper.
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6answers
17k views

What is the best text of computation theory/theory of computation?

In University we used the Sipser text and while at the time I understood most of it, I forgot most of it as well, so it of course didn't leave all to great of an impression. I borrowed that book and ...
4
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1answer
216 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 ...
27
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7answers
4k views

Why would a TCS researcher need funding?

I was reading this. It says ... You won't find yourself as starving for funding like Pure Mathematics. (You'll still always find yourself starving for funding.)... Why do pure mathematicians need ...
4
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1answer
207 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.
39
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3answers
2k views

Is there a backup/replacement for the Complexity Zoo?

This is a non-technical question, but certainly relevant for the TCS community. If considered inappropriate, feel free to close. The Complexity Zoo webpage (http://qwiki.stanford.edu/index.php/...
81
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42answers
17k views

Funny TCS-related papers etc?

What is the funniest TCS-related published work you know? Please include only those that are intended to be funny. Works which are explicitly crafted to be intelligently humorous (rather than, say, ...
30
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2answers
856 views

Proof refutation: Amateur reviews of ambitious CoRR papers

I guess that I read too many ambitious CoRR papers. The problem is that those papers are not peer reviewed, but often sound interesting and pass basic plausibility checks. Or maybe they don't, and I ...
80
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9answers
10k views

Are research papers hard to read?

This question may not suit to here, but I couldn't find a better place to ask (it was closed in SO). I find research papers on computer science hard to understand. Of course the subjects are ...
8
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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 ...
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19answers
3k views

What tools do you use to give presentations?

I was wondering what tools that people in this field (theoretical computer science) use to create presentations. Since a great deal of computer science is not just writing papers but also giving ...
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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
322 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 ...

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