FOCS 2013
54th Annual IEEE Symposium on
Foundations of Computer Science

October 27–29, 2013
DoubleTree Hotel at the Berkeley Marina, Berkeley, California


54th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2013)

Berkeley, California, October 27–29, 2013.

The 54th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2013), sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Mathematical Foundations of Computing, will be held in Berkeley, California on October 27–29 (Sunday through Tuesday). Several workshops and invited tutorial presentations will be given on Saturday, October 26, 2013.

Papers presenting new and original research on theory of computation are sought. Typical but not exclusive topics of interest include: algorithms and data structures, computational complexity, cryptography, computational learning theory, computational game theory, parallel and distributed algorithms, quantum computing, computational geometry, computational applications of logic, algorithmic graph theory and combinatorics, optimization, randomness in computing, approximation algorithms, algorithmic coding theory, algebraic computation, and theoretical aspects of areas such as networks, privacy, information retrieval, computational biology, and databases. Papers that broaden the reach of the theory of computing, or raise important problems that can benefit from theoretical investigation and analysis, are encouraged.

Important Dates:

  • Submission deadline: 5 p.m. PDT, April 3, 2013.
  • Notification: by July 1, 2013.
  • Final version of accepted papers due (camera-ready deadline): August 15, 2013.

Submission instructions:

Authors are required to submit their papers electronically, in PDF (without security restrictions on copying or printing). Submissions should follow the guidelines specified below. The submission server will open in March and will close at the submission deadline specified above. Submissions will be judged solely on the basis of the papers submitted by the deadline; post-deadline revisions will not be allowed. All submissions will be treated as confidential, and will only be disclosed to the committee and their chosen sub-referees. An extended abstract of each accepted paper will need to be submitted by the camera-ready deadline and will appear in the proceedings. Instructions will be sent to authors of accepted papers at a later stage.

Online posting: Authors are encouraged to post full versions of their submissions in a freely accessible online repository such as the arXiv, the ECCC, or the Cryptology ePrint archive. Papers that are not written well enough for public dissemination are probably also not ready for submission to FOCS. Abstracts of accepted papers will be made public by the PC following notification. We expect that authors of accepted papers will make full versions of their papers, with proofs, available by the camera-ready deadline. (This should be done in a manner consistent with the ACM Copyright Policy.)

Submission format:

Submissions should be written such that their content, style, and appearance help to facilitate the reviewing process. Authors should keep in mind that PC members will be directly responsible for the evaluation of about 40-50 papers and will take part in accepting or rejecting a few hundred papers (under a strict and rather short time schedule). While the PC is committed to be as thorough as possible, authors should not expect submissions to be reviewed in full or to the level of detail normally expected of journal reviews. In addition, authors should keep in mind that their submission will be evaluated not only by experts in their subarea but also by the entire PC. The submission should be addressed to a broad spectrum of theoretical computer scientists, not solely to experts in the subarea.

Inadequate presentation may result in rejection either indirectly (the PC fails to appreciate the merits of the submission) or directly (the PC decides that the community will be better served by the paper being revised and resubmitted). More concrete guidelines follow.

Appearance: Submissions should be typeset using 11-point or larger fonts, in a single column, with ample spacing throughout and at least 1-inch margins all around. The title page of each submission should contain the paper’s title; each author’s name, affiliation, and email address; and a short abstract summarizing the paper’s contributions.

Presentation: There is no limit on the length of a submission, but the authors bear the burden of responsibility to make submissions accessible to the reviewers (in their subarea and in the theory of computing community at large). It is typically wise for a submission to contain, within its first few pages, a concise and clear presentation of the merits of the paper, including a discussion of its importance, prior work, and an outline (similar to a brief oral presentation) of key technical ideas and methods used to achieve the main claims. The submission should also allow reviewers to easily expand their understanding of any of the specifics to the extent they deem important to the evaluation of the submission. In particular, submissions should include all of the ideas necessary for an expert to fully verify the central claims in the paper.

Prior and simultaneous submission:

The conference will follow SIGACT’s policy on prior publication and simultaneous submissions. Work that has been previously published in another conference proceedings or journal, or which is scheduled for publication prior to December 2013, will not be considered for acceptance at FOCS 2013. Simultaneous submission of the same (or essentially the same) abstract to FOCS 2013 and to another conference with published proceedings or journal is not allowed. The program committee may interact with program chairs of other (past or future) conferences to find out about closely related submissions.


The Machtey award will be given to the best paper or papers written solely by one or more students. An abstract is eligible if all authors are full-time students at the time of submission. This should be indicated at the time of submission. All submissions are eligible for the Best Paper award. The committee may decide to split the awards between multiple papers, or to decline to make an award.

Presentation of Accepted Papers:

One author of each accepted paper will be expected to present the work at the conference. Authors are expected to contact the program chair before submission in case insufficient travel funds could prevent them from attending the conference.

Program Committee:

Alexandr Andoni Microsoft Research Silicon Valley
Maria-Florina Balcan Georgia Institute of Technology
Kenneth L. Clarkson IBM Research – Almaden
Moritz Hardt IBM Research – Almaden
Johan Håstad KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Nicole Immorlica Microsoft Research New England and Northwestern
Yuval Ishai Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Yael Tauman Kalai Microsoft Research New England
Tali Kaufman Bar Ilan University
Jonathan Kelner MIT
Adam Klivans University of Texas at Austin
Amit Kumar Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Yury Makarychev Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago
Raghu Meka IAS, Princeton and DIMACS, Rutgers
Peter Bro Miltersen University of Aarhus
Seffi Naor Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Harald Räcke TU München
Omer Reingold Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, Chair
Mohit Singh Microsoft Research Redmond
Madhu Sudan Microsoft Research New England
Paul Valiant Brown University
Virginia Vassilevska Williams UC Berkeley and Stanford
John Watrous University of Waterloo

Contact Information:

General Chair:

Program Committee Chair:

Local Arrangements Chairs:

David Shmoys
Cornell University

Omer Reingold

Christos H. Papadimitriou and
Umesh Vazirani
(University of California, Berkeley)