Letter from the Director, October 2022

Dear friends,

I hope you are enjoying a beautiful autumn around the world. Given the last few years, I say, "So far, so good." On that front, I recommend watching the videos from the excellent workshop that took place at the Institute last week on Epidemics and Information Diffusion.

In this month’s newsletter, Simons Institute Senior Scientist Venkat Guruswami shares some new research results and conference news in his first contribution to our recurring column, Theory at the Institute and Beyond. We hope you’ll enjoy it. Thank you, Venkat!

In our SimonsTV corner this month, we have Jinyoung Park’s masterful talk in our Breakthroughs public lecture series highlighting exciting advances in the field. Also, last month, Eli Ben-Sasson and I sat down for an interview for an episode of StarkWare’s web series Stark @ Home, which they’ve titled “The Amazing Untold Invention Story of ZK.” I share that conversation with you. 

A few years ago, in response to the increasing prominence of algorithms in every aspect of society, the Simons Institute expanded its mission to include enhancing public understanding of algorithmic science. Since then, we’ve added new public lecture series, extended our reach on social media, and produced videos explaining topics in theoretical computer science to a broad audience. One short documentary we released last year, Until the Sun Engulfs the Earth, will be opening the Heidelberg Laureate Forum’s math and computer science film festival next month. In celebration, we’re sharing the film again in this month’s issue of the newsletter.

And please join our growing community of contributors by making an end-of-year contribution to our Richard M. Karp Fund in 2022. 

I hope to see you in Berkeley soon.


Shafi Goldwasser
Director, Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing