Letter from the Director, November 2023

Dear friends,

Greetings from Berkeley. With the holidays approaching, the final workshops of each of the fall semester programs are upon us, with the workshop on Logic and Algebra for Query Evaluation taking place this week, and the workshop on Optimization and Algorithm Design scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving.

We’re delighted to be the recipient of two new grants. The UC Noyce Initiative has awarded $300,000 to the Simons Institute in support of our Summer 2025 research program on Cryptography. And we’ve received a sub-award of $1.2 million from the Department of Energy via Umesh Vazirani, which will go toward our Quantum Research Pod.

Last fall, the Institute’s Data-Driven Decision Processes Boot Camp hosted a series of talks on the life and legacy of David Blackwell. In her feature article this month, Fall 2022 science communicator in residence Sophia Chen explores one of the major themes of that symposium: Blackwell’s approachability theorem. 

In our SimonsTV corner, we are sharing three of our favorite talks from this fall: Monika Henzinger’s Richard M. Karp Distinguished Lecture on Dynamic Graph Algorithms; Paul Milgrom’s talk on Algorithmic Mechanism Design with Investment, from the workshop on Online and Matching-Based Market Design; and Leonardo de Moura’s presentation on Machine-Checked Proofs and the Rise of Formal Methods in Mathematics, from our Theoretically Speaking public lecture series. 

Wishing you bright fall days!


Venkatesan Guruswami
Interim Acting Director