Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Letter from the Director, March 2021

Dear friends,

Greetings from Berkeley. With the rising tide of vaccination in the US and in many places in the world, we look forward to seeing many of you at Calvin Lab in the coming months. I will keep you updated on opening information as soon as it becomes available. 

In this issue of the newsletter, we have a feature article by Fall 2020 Science Communicator in Residence Brian Christian on reinforcement learning based on pure observation, without interaction with the environment. And we share an interview with Arvind Raghunathan (Berkeley EECS, PhD '88), CEO of Roc360, inspired by his recent gift to the Simons Institute in honor of founding Institute Director Richard M. Karp and Arvind’s father, MV Raghunathan. 

In our SimonsTV corner, we share two talks given at the Institute this month: a Quantum Colloquium presentation by Matthias Troyer, Towards Practical Quantum Advantage, and Marijn Heule’s recent Richard M. Karp Distinguished Lecture, Trustworthy and Distributed Automated Reasoning.

The Simons Institute is currently inviting applications for Law and Society Fellowships for Spring and Fall 2022. And we are also extending a broad invitation to apply to participate in a research program in Spring 2022. 

Finally, please join me in congratulating Avi Wigderson and László Lovász on receiving the 2021 Abel Prize. In addition to the tremendous personal achievements of Avi and Laci, this is a wonderful recognition for the field of theoretical computer science as a whole.

See you soon,

Shafi Goldwasser
Director, Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing