I'll have technical stuff up later. For now, a report back from the longest business meeting ever (no, I have no data to support that assertion).
As ever, the highlight of the meeting was the decision on where SODA will be held in 2013. After choosing sides of the room, Miami won over New Orleans 67 to 62 (if I remember the numbers correctly). Despite a lot of yelling from the New Orleans side to clarify that Miami is not the same as Miami Beach, and grim reminders of the last time SODA was in Miami, no one switched sides. Still, it was a close vote. Perhaps the Miami decision will be overruled...
About 20 minutes after the meeting was scheduled to be over, the possibility of merging the associated workshops (ALENEX and ANALCO) with SODA as additional tracks (under the "ESA model") was brought up. There wasn't much discussion at the time, but the main worries seem to be a lowering in paper quality or the gradual dieing out of those submissions leading to a SODA as it is currently but without the associated workshops. Before the suggestion, I had been thinking a lot about why it was I had been so much more excited about ESA this past September than I was about SODA. I think the lack of experimental/practical emphasis had a lot to do with this. ESA, even the theoretical track, seemed a bit more focused on solving interesting problems. I hope SODA follows suit, whatever the method.
Philanthropist, shopping mall developer Taubman dies at 91
39 minutes ago