Papers we love, going forward

I started the Bangalore Chapter of Papers we love with Ramki almost 2 years ago - a community that loves to read academic computer science papers and meet once in a few weeks to discuss them.

We’ve been mostly bottlenecked by the availability of speakers, and haven’t had a meeting in almost 6 months now. In an attempt to rekindle the group, I’m reposting here the email I sent to the group today morning to get some visibility and feedback.

We haven’t had a meeting in over 6 months now and it needs to be addressed very seriously right now. I’d like to know a bit more about the issues.

I assume a lot of us are still reading papers, and the main question would be - “What are the factors that prevent you from talking?”. I’ve a few observations and suggestions.

  1. I think we’ve unknowingly set the bar too high. Talking about Shor’s algorithm is not for everyone - heck I didn’t even understand most of it. If you have an interesting paper to talk, its OK even if its not as groundbreaking as Shor’s or RAFT.

    I hope to lower the bar a bit. Let’s talk about simpler things too. We have to make this community approachable and accessible to a lot more.

  2. Let’s experiment with shorter TED style talks. I’ve been reading a lot of papers these days, but none of them can be stretched to a good 1hr talk like we used to have before. But I can talk about a whole bunch of things in 15m.

    Here are a few examples:

    1. Consistent Hashing
    2. Slab Allocator by Jeff Bonwick
    3. Fast String Searching by Andrew Hume and Daniel Sunday
    4. Kademlia or Chord

    There are a few topics I’d love to hear about. I’m not the best guy to talk about any of these.

    1. Kqueue - There us a brilliant paper by Jonathan Lemon of FreeBSD
    2. C4 Garbage collector - Can we find someone from Azul, Bangalore?
    3. CAP theorem
    4. Dynamo - A personal favorite paper
    5. Spanner, Chubby or any classic infrastructure paper from Google

    A few potential speakers, please feel free to volunteer now.

    1. Erlang/Beam internals - Vipin?
    2. GlusterFS - Ramki
    3. Anita - The million things she can talk about :)
    4. Haskell - Maybe Rahul Muttinenni

And to begin with, I’m scheduling a session 2 weeks from now, on Dec 3rd Saturday. I’m can do a ~20m session on Consistent Hashing. I hope few more will volunteer this time. 3 or 4 15-20m talks would be great.

Please add your concerns here. You can drop me an email privately if you prefer to do so.