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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3answers
723 views

Monitoring PhD positions in TCS

Are there any ways of getting to know about new PhD positions in TCS other then just looking trough ubniversity/research groups web sites? Maybe people from different branches (type theory, ...
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1answer
580 views

Connections between the Erdos Discrepancy Problem and (Theoretical) CS?

Recently there have been some new results on computer-based experimental study of the Erdos Discrepancy Problem (EDP) (via SAT solvers, cited below). This problem has been cited and studied by several ...
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1answer
370 views

Is it a bad idea to critique someone's paper in my first publication?

I am currently facing a situation that I am not sure how to handle. Basically, there is this problem $A$. Problem $A$ has been a hot topic in the past $5$ years. Last year, a paper was published in ...
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1answer
1k views

Accomplished autodidact theoretical computer scientists

While it is very common to see successful autodidact musicians, painters, authors and architects - I am not familiar with any famous autodidacts in the field of TCS. Are there any examples of an ...
8
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1answer
375 views

Recent Probabilistic Methods in Combinatorics and its appplications to Complexity Theory

I read the famous book by Alon and Spencer on the probabilistic method in combinatorics. Is there a survey or lecture notes on recent advances and relationships with the following complexity ...
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0answers
624 views

Why is single authorship so common among breakthrough papers in computer science?

Looking at the list of important papers in computer science one notices that the majority are authored by a single author. Those include classic papers of Turing, Shannon, Karp and Cook. Cook's solo ...
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6answers
2k views

“The Solution Problem” - How to get credit for your work as an undergrad?

I have come to a rather startling discovery in regards to a question that has been posed to me a number of times through my now almost 1 year of CS studies. Solving this problem is of great interest ...
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4answers
703 views

Do I have to give up the Law of the Excluded Middle in order to Learn $\lambda$-Calculus?

I know very little about what I am talking about in what follows, so I appreciate any all help in pointing out all of my mistakes -- otherwise I won't be able to learn more and advance in my knowledge ...
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5answers
555 views

What is a substantial contribution to software design, with respect to authorship?

Background I am a biologist. I wrote and am about to submit a manuscript that describes a statistical analysis of computer model; it is a statistical methods and modeling paper. After my manuscript ...
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3answers
492 views

How do you go from insights to formal solutions?

My question pertains to the problem of translating ideas and insights to the solution (of some problem) into formal notations, thus expressing the answer formally. In other words, having a bunch of ...
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5answers
2k views

Is a CS degree for me?

I'm a UK student who will soon be going to university and would like some advice from people who have already done this on what course to take. I really enjoy the theoretical side of computer ...
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4answers
303 views

Proofs on unconventional computing

Are there any interesting proofs on unconventional computing? When reading on the topic I most often see soft analysis – like following paragraph from Wikipedia (Natural computing): Swarm ...
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1answer
2k views

Why study type theory?

After reading the literature on type theory (especially the constructive kind - CTT) I'm left wondering "why" should one study type theory, specifically within the confines of "computing" in general? ...
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3answers
661 views

Different definitions of complexity

I'm a math student and have encountered the concept of (mainly time) complexity of algorithms in several courses so far (Analysis of Algorithms, Cryptography, Numerical Analysis). However what strikes ...
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3answers
756 views

What is the importance of a TCS researcher in a mostly applied CS department?

Stating the title in another way, how to convince a strong applied CS department that a theorist would be a better choice than one more applied computer scientist? I understand that it is natural for ...
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2answers
1k views

Deciding between different PhD programs

Edited Version What are the main characteristics and qualities that you would consider if you were going to choose a PhD program in theoretical computer science (or related areas) today (based on ...
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398 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, ...
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1answer
292 views

How to be formal while writing papers?

I am just beginning my second year of PhD. While my advisor is largely happy with my progress and work, there seems to be a recurring point in our discussions that I need to be more formal in my ...
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3answers
820 views

Do you use any article organizers? [closed]

There is an increasing number of scientific articles which I look through and somehow I feel a lack of a tool to keep track of the already read ones and my summary notes on it. Or another usage ...
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1answer
217 views

Where do people publish/submit their work on type theory?

Besides the most common venues (perhaps POPL, ICFP, LICS and FSCD), where else are papers on type theory commonly published? Especially, I'm looking for more "pure mathematical" venues/journals which ...
7
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2answers
689 views

How would a theory of computation course that culminated in lambda-calculus as “the” model of computation, instead of Turing machines, look like?

Currently, our ToC (Theory of Computation) courses are designed with the following progression of topics: Finite automata and regular languages Pushdown automata and context-free languages Turing ...
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2answers
457 views

A System for Visualizing Bibliography Information

I'm looking for a software for visualizing main trends in some field. Specifically, I want it to build a graph of the field with vertexes representing papers and edges representing how close papers ...
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1answer
250 views

(Self-)citation etiquette

This is particularly pertinent to the CS culture, where competitive conferences are often the main publication unit, which are then (sometimes) followed by journal versions. Suppose that a paper was ...
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4answers
556 views

Explaining computer science algorithms/concepts/ideas using metaphors

Recently I found an interesting algorithm book entitled 'Explaining Algorithms Using Metaphors' (Google books) by Michal Forišek and Monika Steinová. "Good" metaphors help people understand and even ...
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1answer
466 views

Papers on Prolog-like languages without closed world assumption (CWA)

Prolog execution process may be seen as a search that model scientific search for a proof of a proposition. At the same time, real world scientific search greatly differs from Prolog search in the ...
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1answer
1k views

TCS online library

My question isn't really related to TCS itself, it's more about technical and informational equipment of a computer scientist. There is a website SafariBooksOnline by O'Reilly Media where anyone can ...
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0answers
118 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 ...
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0answers
174 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 ...
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218 views

Low barrier to entry Computational Complexity problems

I could use some help navigating which areas of Computational Complexity (e.g. CCC, STOC topics) require the least amount of background knowledge to get involved in basic research. I am looking to ...
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0answers
297 views

Awards, grants and fellowships for PhD students in TCS

I think that a PhD student that received some awards and fellowships has better chance to get a good postdoc position. I was wondering what awards/grants/fellowships should one consider to apply for? ...
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532 views

Does a depth knowledge on theory of computation helps to be a better practitioner

I would like to know whether knowledge of the theory of computation can help you to be a better practitioner. Is it enough to obtain some depth of knowledge of algorithms and data structures, or would ...
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5answers
3k views

How to make a paper stronger?

After reading this question and David's answer I thought a more general question asking for tips would be useful. So how can authors make (and write) a paper stronger?
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2answers
1k views

If you have a casual conversation with someone and it leads to a paper, what do you owe them?

What if you had a casual conversation with someone, and that conversation lead to your findings? What do you owe them? When is it plagiarism? I read somewhere that "first to submit, wins" - so ...
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1answer
408 views

How to format author information in research papers?

Is there any standard style for adding author information in research papers? I see different papers use different styles. Some have affiliation and contact address only. Some have affiliation, email, ...
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1answer
453 views

Is it considered OK to email authors to inquire about their paper while subreviewing their paper for a conference?

More generally, how do you reconcile questions that you may have about the paper's technical material?
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2answers
622 views

Funding opportunities for non-european people going to Europe for a PhD in TCS

There are two chinese students who would like to come to Spain to pursue a PhD in TCS in our group. I know of course the funding possibilities in my country but wonder if you know any European and non-...
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1answer
260 views

Are there works on “quantum parametrized complexity”?

I am a research scholar who works in Algorithms and Complexity theory, I use parameterized complexity to some extent. I don't know if researchers in quantum complexity have started using ...
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3answers
2k views

Mathematical background needed for pursuing a PhD in TCS [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What kind of mathematical background is needed for complexity theory? I'm a final year undergrad and I'm looking to pursue a PhD in theoretical computer science in the long ...
6
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2answers
478 views

Is getting post-doc difficult in theoretical computer science with few published papers? [closed]

I am a Ph.D student ( expected to graduate in few months ) works in computational mathematics. In my PhD, I have published just couple of research papers. I am willing to go for a post-doc( US, Europe,...
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1answer
435 views

Physics and TCS

I was curious as to the ability to move between different academic disciplines with an advanced degree in TCS. So would I be able to move, with a little bit of elbow grease, between physics and ...
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2answers
449 views

Could any one enumerate some applications of enumerative combinatorics and Ramsey theory in TCS?

The combinatorics, needless to say, is very closely related to TCS. But I found it hard to find the applications of enumerative combinatorics or Ramsey theory. Or rather than being applied to TCS, ...
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0answers
307 views

What is the current status of Acta Informatica?

Almost everybody knows the journal Acta Informatica. Some really important publications appeared there over the years. Upon looking on the website of the journal I noticed the following: Number of ...
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0answers
397 views

What makes for a good paper abstract?

I am writing a paper for a TCS conference and wondering what the community's opinion is on how abstracts in TCS should be written, good practices, or rules of thumb. I thought that I had read enough ...
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0answers
863 views

What should I do to switch from math department to cs to research tcs topics?

This can be a very weird question, but I haven't seen the same situation with mine in this forum, so I'd like to put this. Let me introudce my situation first. I'm now a math student of master ...
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0answers
291 views

Formula in common: How to search for same/similar equations in other knowledge domains?

In a recent presentation by Sedgewick, he recounts in 1977 Flajolet noticed that they had a formula in common, both in different domains (see slide 4 in http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~rs/talks/AofA2AC....
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419 views

What is the origin and meaning of the phrase “Lambda the ultimate?”

I've been messing around with functional programming languages for a few years, and I keep encountering this phrase. I understand what lambda means, the idea of an anonymous function is both simple ...
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0answers
508 views

How fundamental is undecidability? [closed]

What does it mean that some problem is undecidable? For instance the halting problem. Does it mean that humans can never invent a new technique that always decides whether a turing machine will halt?...
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4answers
456 views

Natural notion for computational hardness

When I teach students concepts like intractable problems and efficient algorithms in discrete structures or data structures and algorithms, it is difficult for students to intuitively grasp somewhat ...
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2answers
468 views

Reading Papers with Unclear Typesetting

From time to time, I have to read a paper with unclear typesetting. By this, I mean: very small fonts; sometimes 8pt or smaller. very bad scan; Using bitmap fonts instead of vector ones. too old ...
5
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1answer
557 views

Simple Constructions of Special Graph Families

Consider the following definition, taken from Chung's 1978 paper: An $(n, m)$-concentrator is a graph with $n$ input vertices and $m$ output vertices, $n \ge m$, having the property that, for ...

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