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February 02, 2004

Decisions in Madison

One of the tasks that consumed significant amount of time in the past month was the reviewing process for Usenix'04; Usenix' main technical conference to be held in Boston at the end of June. There were so many submissions to this conference that I got stuck with 33 papers to review. Each of the papers was 12-14 pages of decent research material. This was a lot of hard work. I only farmed out two reviews and did the rest myself.

The reviewing process was finalized this weekend when the program committee came together to discuss the results and select the 21 best papers for the program. Remzi and Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau were the PC chairs and also hosted the meeting at uwisc in Madison (Brrrr, even too cold for an Ithacan). The meeting started at 8 AM and it took until 8 PM before the decisions were final. The meeting was intense and some Tylenol was passed during the meeting to elevate the headaches caused by some of the discussion. But overall it was very professional and Remzi kept good control over the process. I have been in PC meetings where the emotions run pretty high, and the discussions will include all sorts of personal grudges, but this meeting had 100% integrity.

The quality of the resulting program is high, and has the mixture of research and experience papers that Usenix has become famous for. I am assuming that the program will become public by next week or so.

Lunch time at the meeting. From left to right around the table:
Fred Douglis (IBM Watson), Atul Adya (Microsoft Research), Yuanyuan Zhou (Illinois),
Eddie Kohler (UCLA), Wilson Hsieh(Utah/Google), Fay Chang (Google),
Carl Staelin (HP-labs), Val Henson (Sun), Honesty Young (IBM Almaden),
Scott Kaplan (Amherst) and Vivek Pai (Princeton).

Posted by Werner Vogels at February 2, 2004 11:22 AM