Letter from the Director, December 2023

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Dear friends,

Greetings from Berkeley, where an exciting semester is drawing to a close. This week we say goodbye to the participants in our fall research programs on Logic and Algorithms in Database Theory and AI, and on Data Structures and Optimization for Fast Algorithms. We will resume activities early in the new year, with a reunion workshop for Data-Driven Decision Processes from January 3 through 5, 2024, and the synergistic spring programs on Error-Correcting Codes and on Quantum Algorithms, Complexity, and Fault Tolerance commencing on January 9.

In 2023–24, we are experimenting with a new format for our science communicator in residence program. Whereas in previous years visiting science communicators came to the Simons Institute for a semester or more, this year we have opened our doors for shorter visits of one to three weeks. This has enabled a number of science communicators with whom we have been in conversation for years to visit the Institute for the first time. The new format also allows us to welcome a greater number of science communicators over the course of the year, each of whom will be contributing a piece for our newsletter. This month we’re delighted to share Jordan Ellenberg’s feature article about this summer’s workshop on Structural Results. 

In November, we hosted the Institute’s ninth annual Industry Day. The day offered a succession of important talks from our industry partners and sponsors, our research fellows, and other researchers from campus and the Silicon Valley, intermingled with networking sessions. The event was so well attended that we had to worry about food supplies! Read more about the day’s activities and talks

In our SimonsTV corner this month, we’re featuring an Industry Day talk given by Alon Halevy (Meta, Reality Labs Research), exploring the use of AI technology in support of personal well-being. 

If you are a participant in our workshops and programs, if you enjoy our content on YouTube, or if you simply appreciate the beauty and importance of rigorous algorithmic science, please join me in making a gift to the Simons Institute this holiday season. Your generosity helps us foster pathbreaking research and collaborations, train the next generation of leaders in the field, and raise public awareness of the foundations of computing. All gifts will be matched one-to-one by Simons Foundation International.

On behalf of all of us at the Simons Institute, thank you for being part of our community. I wish you a happy new year and look forward to seeing you in 2024.

Best wishes,

Venkat Guruswami
Interim Acting Director