The list of accepted papers for STOC’06 is now available. The process of forming this list confirmed my fundamental respect for the scientific peer review process — a process that, in its speed, objectivity, and reliance on reasoned argument, might someday rival such renowned deliberative bodies as the US House of Representatives.
For this experience I’m deeply grateful to my 19 fellow program committee members, except of course when they mistakenly disagreed with me. I’m especially grateful to Jon Kleinberg, the PC chair, for inviting me to join the committee, even though he only gave me an A- in his COMS681 Analysis of Algorithms class my freshman year at Cornell. Finally I feel like I’ve made it.
I’d love to tell you all about the heated debates, shifting alliances, and last-minute turnarounds that characterized our committee meeting in the moonlit Fortress of STOC — until we, clad in hooded robes, brandishing our laptops as torches, and calling on NEXP and PSPACE for benediction, sealed the minutes of our deliberations in the sacred Vault of Turing, which no one without a PhD in a technical subject can gaze upon and live, and which can only be opened if all twenty of us come together with twenty golden keys. (We thought of using encryption, but it seemed too complicated and theoretical.)
Yes, I’d love to tell you about it, but I’d have to kill you afterwards, and then who would be left to read my blog?