Sigmetrics is growing!

As many of you probably already know, Sigmetrics decisions came out last week…hopefully, the wounds from the reviews have healed by now!

As I already mentioned in an earlier post, we were lucky enough to get two papers accepted this year, so of course I was happy with the results.  But, I am actually happy for another reason too:  I’m on the Sigmetrics Board of Directors, and we made a concentrated effort this year to grow the community by attempting to attract a broader community, more submissions, and also to accept more papers.

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Competing epidemics: Crowning a pandemaniac

I’ve already blogged once about the first miniproject of my class this term, rankmaniac, and now after a one-week break, it’s time for the second miniproject of the term: pandemaniac.

This is the part of the course that I’ve been looking forward to the most since the beginning of the term.  We’ve been prepping the infrastructure for the assignment since the Fall and now, thanks to two impressive undergrads (Max Hirschhorn and Angela Gong), we have a nice system built that will allow the students in the class to seed competing cascades and then watch them play out step by step…but, I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Missed the trifecta

In an earlier post I wrote about an unusual submission trifecta I had this fall:  I submitted to each of NSDI, STOC, and Sigmetrics (a pure systems conference, a pure theory conference, and hybrid conference) within the span of a couple months.

As far as I know, no one has managed to complete this triple crown of acceptances in a given year (even when the list is broadened to STOC/FOCS, Sigcomm/NSDI, and Sigmetrics/Performance), though there is at least one person who has come quite close: Brighten Godfrey, who managed to have an NSDI and Sigmetrics paper within 12 months of each other, with a SODA paper in between…

Well, we now have heard back from all three and, unfortunately, we didn’t succeed with the triple crown.  We got an accept from NSDI and two accepts from Sigmetrics, but didn’t make it into STOC.  Drat, so close! So, the triple crown remains elusive for another year…

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What makes Caltech special?

As you may have heard, Caltech has been ranked #1 in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings the last few years…

That’s nice and all, but Caltech is such an oddball of a place that to some extent, where it places in such rankings is more a function of how they normalize by size than anything else.  Caltech is simply an order-of-magnitude smaller than other places (we have only ~300 faculty institute-wide), so if you don’t normalize it suffers…

But, while rankings are always problematic, I think the feature that the THE put out about Caltech this week actually summarizes very well what makes Caltech such a special and unique place…and, of course, it comes from its size.

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Releasing Rankmaniac

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m teaching my “flagship” course this winter, a unique networks course that focuses on the structure and economics of networks using both a theoretical and an applied perspective.

One of the unique things about the course is that we have three fun/challenging mini-project competitions: rankmaniac, pandemaniac, and clickmaniac.  The first of these is rankmaniac, and it’s going out in class today…which means that the next week is one of my favorite parts of the class.

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