Letter from the Director, July 2023

Dear friends,

Greetings from Berkeley! Summer programs are in full swing at the Simons Institute and it’s been great to see and catch up with many friends from near and far.

This has been an exciting year for theoretical computer science, with important research developments arising at the Simons Institute and in the community at large — in such topics as the subspace flatness conjecture and Reed-Muller codes, to name just a couple. In this month’s newsletter, I delve into a few of these new results in the latest installment of our recurring column, Theory at the Institute and Beyond

In June, we co-hosted a workshop on Decoding Communication in Nonhuman Species, in collaboration with Oceankind and Project CETI, of which Shafi Goldwasser is the theory lead. The workshop convened researchers in machine learning, signal processing, data science, linguistics, and acoustics, to explore the frontiers of knowledge in nonhuman species communication. You can learn all about this exciting workshop in our feature article this month.

In our SimonsTV corner, I’m delighted to share two technical talks from our summer research program on Analysis and TCS: New Frontiers. First we have a boot camp presentation in 3 parts by Dor Minzer on PCPs and Global Hyper-Contractivity; and then from the workshop “Beyond the Boolean Cube,” we have Nima Anari’s talk, Parallel Discrete Sampling via Continuous Walks. And finally, we share a talk from the nonhuman communication workshop, Bryan Pardo’s Music Generation via Masked Acoustic Token Modeling.

The newsletter will be on pause through August, and then back in your mailbox in September. Until then, I wish you a wonderful rest of the summer.

All good wishes,

Venkat Guruswami
Interim Acting Director