Letter from the Director, February 2023

Dear friends,

Greetings from Berkeley, where February is a mixture of glorious spring blossoms and surprise snow flurries.

In this issue of the newsletter, Senior Scientist Venkat Guruswami offers the latest installment in his recurring article series, Theory at the Institute and Beyond. In it, he shares with us some of the exciting science behind our Spring 2023 research program on Meta-Complexity.

In our SimonsTV corner this month, we are showcasing talks related to computational complexity: one by Richard Karp, which explores the early days of the field, and another by Eric Allender, focused on meta-complexity. 

I am especially delighted to share last week’s Theoretically Speaking public lecture by Pixar co-founder Alvy Ray Smith, about his voyage from an early career as a theoretical computer scientist to pioneering the digital graphics revolution.

We are extremely grateful to Alvy for recently gifting the Simons Institute his original artwork, synapse, for the iconic cover of the FOCS proceedings, which we will be unveiling at the Institute later this year. 

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,

Shafi Goldwasser
Director, Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing