Theoretical computer science has produced a remarkable wealth of beautiful ideas with tremendous impact on computer science and beyond. Some of the most powerful contributions, such as P versus NP, pseudo randomness, zero-knowledge proofs, PCP, quantum computers, boosting, etc, not only represent major technical breakthroughs but also distill fundamental computational concepts and make deep connections between different fields and areas. STOC and FOCS played a critical role in nurturing these connections when the field was smaller and more intimate, by providing a forum where essential new ideas could be distilled, rapidly communicated, assimilated, discussed and reinterpreted. With the growth of theoretical computer science and the corresponding deluge of information, what is the most effective role that a conference can play in facilitating the type of dialog necessary for future powerful contributions to the field? The quest of ITCS is to embody the answer to this question.
Dialog and discussions between sub-areas of ITCS are facilitated by organizing ITCS as a single track conference, with "Chair rants" helping provide the context for each session. Moreover, submissions, refereeing and presentations emphasize the I in ITCS: new concepts or models, new lines of inquiry, new techniques or novel use of existing techniques, and new connections between areas. Communication is further aided by rapid dissemination (four months from submission to conference), and free access via electronic proceedings.