About the Simons Institute
The Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing is an exciting new venue for collaborative research in theoretical computer science. Established on July 1, 2012 with a grant of $60 million from the Simons Foundation, the Institute will be housed in Calvin Hall, a dedicated building on the UC Berkeley campus. Its goal is to bring together the world's leading researchers in theoretical computer science and related fields, as well as the next generation of outstanding young scholars, to explore deep unsolved problems about the nature and limits of computation.
In addition to its core focus on the mathematical foundations of computer science, the Institute recognizes that natural phenomena in many scientific fields (including mathematics, statistics, physics, astronomy, biology and economics) are intrinsically computational in nature: examples include chemical processes in living cells, the self-organizing behavior of complex systems consisting of many interacting particles, mechanisms governing human evolution, and the collective behavior of competing agents in an economy. The Institute aims to explore these neighboring areas through a computational lens. The insights gained in this way will often reflect back to the theory of computation, opening new directions and advancing our understanding of fundamental issues in core complexity theory and algorithms.
The Institute will begin operations with a small number of workshops and symposia in Spring 2013. Starting in Fall 2013, most of the Institute's activities will be based around a rotating sequence of programs. A program typically runs for one semester, and there will usually be two programs at any given time. Run by a small group of organizers, a program will include 30-35 long-term participants (a mix of senior and junior researchers), with additional visitors attending workshops during the semester. The Institute is committed to identifying programs that can potentially lead to substantial advances in the field, rather than "business as usual."
Proposals for programs are solicited from the worldwide theoretical CS community and may be submitted at any time. Proposals are reviewed by the Institute's Scientific Advisory Board, which meets twice a year. Proposal selection should normally occur approximately 1.5 to 2 years in advance of the start of the program.