APPROX/RANDOM 2021 will have a “Social Event” on Tuesday August 17 at
9am PDT, on our VirtualChair Gather platform!  We will (a) play trivia,
and (b) announce the winners of the first-ever APPROX/RANDOM cartoon
caption contest.  We need your help for both of these! (See below!)


In addition to fame and glory, the winners will receive their very own APPROX/RANDOM 2021 mug! If you don’t win and would still like a mug and are willing to pay $20 for it, please contact Mary Wootters at

We will have a TCS-themed game of trivia on the VirtualChair venue.  We need your help to come up with good trivia questions!  If you have suggestions, please enter them here:
Some mild guidelines: try to avoid anything too technical (“under which of the following conditions does PH collapse to its second level if the month starts with an M and Pluto is in conjunction with Saturn”) or too… niche (“what did Turing have for breakfast on January, 24th of 1937”).

Of course, we also need your help to answer the trivia questions!
Please come to the event, meet some new people, and maybe learn some new (RANDOM or APPROXimate) facts!

Cartoon Caption Contest:
We will hold a cartoon caption contest (in the spirit of the New Yorker caption contest).  Below are two cartoons in need of funny captions! And of course, as is well known all captions are funnier if they have to do with theoretical computer science.  Submit your TCS-flavored captions for these cartoons here:

The winners will be announced during the social event on Tuesday. (Update: the winning captions are shown below).

“Sweetie, you need to stop trying to make a homotopic transformation of your brother into a sugar cookie. He’s always going to be a potato head.” –Eric Vigoda
“O(1) time algorithm for shuffling” –Santosh Vempala 
“See, one shuffle and it’s all random — now that’s optimal mixing!” –Eric Vigoda
(Since these two captions had the same flavor, they were lumped together for voting so as not to split the vote, and they jointly won).

Looking forward to seeing you Tuesday at 9am PDT on Gather!