The Program Committee Chair, Leo Guibas, then gave a collection of statistics on the submissions and acceptances of papers to this year's meeting. Of the 89 submissions of papers, 1 was withdrawn, 39 were accepted, and 6 were converted to "communciations" (poster presentations). In the "communications" category, there were 4 actual submissions, of which 3 were accepted; thus, in total, there were 9 communications papers in the conference. Leo remarked that the decline (relative to 1995, the first year for posters) in submissions to the communications category may be attributed to the Workshop on Applied Comutational Geometry (WACG) this year, and to some possible confusion that existed regarding the interplay between SoCG and WACG.
The discussion moved on then to the 1997 meeting, which is chaired by Jean-Daniel Boissonnat. The meeting will take place in Nice, France on June 4-6 (Wednesday through Friday). A web site has been set up at http://www.inria.fr/prisme/scg97/, for further information. The Program Committee Chair for 1997 is Raimund Seidel. Although Raimund was not present at the meeting, Ken Clarkson (one of next year's program committee members) read a list of names of those that are on the committee for next year:
The agenda then included time for various announcements:
(1) Roberto Tamassia made announcements concerning Graph Drawing '96 (http://www.research.att.com/orgs/ssr/people/north/gd96.html), to be held in Berkeley, CA, on September 18-20, 1996, and the ACM Workshop on Strategic Directions in Computing Research (SDCR, http://www.medg.lcs.mit.edu/doyle/sdcr/), which was held in Cambridge on June 14-15, 1996.
The SDCR workshop complements other ACM 50th anniversary activities, establishing a framework for technical appraisal of research directions in computing. It is sponsored by the ACM, with support from the NSF, ONR, and CRA. Highly visible members of academia, industry, and the government were invited to attend. The SDCR workshop includes a working group on computational geometry whose goals are to identify key research directions for the computational geometry community, to explore connections with other areas of science and engineering, and to suggest actions and initiatives to enhance the community's visibility, funding, impact and productivity. The position papers of the computational geometry working group participants (Pankaj K. Agarwal, Nancy Amato, Danny Chen, David Dobkin, Scot Drysdale, Steven Fortune, Mike Goodrich, John Hershberger, Joe O'Rourke, Franco Preparata, Joerg Sack, Subhash Suri, Roberto Tamassia (chair), Yanni Tollis, Jeff Vitter, and Sue Whitesides) are available at http://www.cs.brown.edu/people/rt/sdcr/cg.html. A draft of the working group report will be available at the end of August. The final version will be published in the December issue of Computing Surveys.
(2) Marc van Kreveld announced the ``Advanced School on Algorithmic Foundations of Geographical Information Systems'', to be held September 16-20, 1996, in Udine, Italy. The coordinators are Peter Widmayer, Thomas Roos, Juerg Nievergelt and Marc van Kreveld.
(3) Joe Mitchell made a brief statement about the bibliography project, coordinated through the generous energies of Bill Jones. All researchers are encouraged to use the bibliography resources and especially to be responsible about keeping the entries updated. Most notably, it is important for each person to make certain that her/his own entries are up to date! There was a unanimous vote to offer a warm "Thanks" to Bill Jones in acknowledgement of his remarkable contributions to the field in keeping this bibliography project going over the last several years.
Next, there was a brief discussion about the recent report written by the Task Force, chaired by Bernard Chazelle. Several recent messages on the internet "compgeom-discuss" mailing list have yielded fruitful discussions on the topics and issues raised in the report. For those interested individuals not yet subscribed to the compgeom-discuss list (which is a separate list from the compgeom-announce list to which more people belong), Jeff Erickson announced that his web pages include archives of the discussions, as well as pointers to the report itself. See http://http.cs.berkeley.edu/~jeffe/CGtaskforce.html, which is part of his quite extensive pages at http://http.cs.berkeley.edu/~jeffe/compgeom.html. [Since the meeting, these pages have moved to "http://www.cs.duke.edu/~jeffe/compgeom/[taskforce.html]". -Jeff]
[ A less elegant archive of the discussions of the taskforce report is available at http://netlib.bell-labs.com/netlib/compgeom/discuss/archive/96/taskforce.html, and compgeom-* list archives are available via http://netlib.bell-labs.com/netlib/compgeom/ . -Ken ]
Finally, Chee Yap lead a discussion on the issue of future workshops on application topics in CG. While the business meeting took place just prior to the actual WACG, so that the full success of WACG was not yet realized, it was anticipated that the overwhelmingly positive response to the workshop, and the preregistration counts, were significant evidence of the field's embracing of the idea of having applications play a stronger role in the annual ACM meetings. Originally, Chee Yap posed the idea at the 1995 business meeting of having "satellite" applications workshops co-located with SoCG. For 1996, the Steering Committee accepted and endorsed the proposal from Dinesh Manocha and Ming Lin to organize this year's WACG. Another possibility that has been raised is that either SoCG or a CG workshop try to co-locate with an established applications conference (e.g., robotics, vision, graphics, GIS).
For 1997, Leila de Floriani is planning to organize an applications workshop on GIS.
There was considerable discussion on the issues of how best to organize workshops and whether or not the workshop should become integrated into SoCG proper. Mark Overmars proposed that the format of SoCG be changed to reflect the prominence of applications at the meeting, and effectively to merge the workshop on applications into the symposium by making the symposium be a 4-day event, with (roughly) two days of the conference devoted to "Foundations" of computational geometry, and (roughly) two days devoted to "Applied Computational Geometry".
There are many details still to decide if this format is eventually adopted. One issue is whether or not the program will be intermixed (foundations papers interspersed with applications) and, if not, will there be the possibility to register only for one "half" of the meeting.
Joe O'Rourke made a motion that the field vote to endorse the idea of a joint format meeting, and that the Steering Committee be charged with the task of working out organizational details for the transition to occur during 1997 and 1998, with input from conference chairs and all members of the community. The vote was essentially unanimous in favor of this suggestion.
One point that was made strongly and widely endorsed was that the meeting should not make any one category of paper be "second class" -- e.g., all papers in the joint format meeting should appear in a single proceedings volume. (This was in response to the discussion about the possibility that the workshop be a separate event, with its own proceedings, e.g., published by Springer LNCS.) While this year's WACG will in fact be published by Springer in the LNCS, it was generally agreed that if the joint format meeting is adopted, there will be no need for a second proceedings.
Another reason given for the success of the WACG was the fact that it was promoted by organizers who are known well within the applications communities, and they succeeded in drawing in invited and contributed speakers who spanned disciplines whose members have not typically participated in recent SoCG meetings. Thus, it was decided that for 1997 and beyond that there should be effectively a "two-in-one" program committee, with two separate calls for papers, listing the respective subcommittees, for the "Foundations" and the "Applied" tracks. The rationale is that if the call for papers to the applications communities includes names of program committee members and a chair (or "subchair") perceived as members of their own communities, then we will be more likely to be taken seriously in our attempts to integrate pure and applied computational geometry.
The Steering Committee will coordinate with Raimund Seidel to attempt to effect this change. As always, input and suggestions from the community are most welcome and encouraged!