The best paper award session at ICALP 2013 was held last Monday before the welcome reception (which included excellent, and plentiful, finger food and wine). Mark Bun, John Fearnley and Dominik Pajak delivered very good presentations of the award-winning papers. I hope that you will check out their papers. In the case of the paper by Mark and Justin Thaler, you can also read this expository blog post.
The EATCS Award and the Presburger Award were delivered last Tuesday in a joint ceremony that also included the award of honorary doctorates to Josef Gruska and Juris Hartmanis. (See this earlier post of mine for some more information on the ceremony for the honorary doctorates.)
The master of ceremony for the award session was Paul Spirakis. First Martin Dyer received the EATCS Award from Friedhelm Meyer auf der Heide and delivered a presentation entitled Counting ain't easy. Martin started by citing the following fragment of a rhyme from the Winnie the Pooh books:
Cheers for Pooh!
For Pooh -
(Why, what did he do?)
I thought you knew
He then proceeded to give an accessible historical overview of what he did do, covering essentially all the work mentioned in the laudatio for the award.
Last, but by no means least, Tony Kucera presented the Presburger Award 2013 to Erik Demaine. Unfortunately, Erik could not be with us in Riga, but we had a virtual presentation of the award to him via Skype. Moreover, Erik produced an excellent video of a presentation that we could play and enjoy at the conference. Rather than attempting to summarize Erik's inspirational talk, I will simply limit myself to letting him speak for himself.