DIMACS Working Group Organizer's Guide:



This document gives general guidelines for working groups at DIMACS. It is intended to help working groups fulfill DIMACS Mission and to help organizers both in effectively planning their working group and making it a scientific success.

1). WHAT IS A WORKING GROUP?

Typically a smallish, interdisciplinary group of researchers coming together to work on problems in an area of common interest. We usually schedule a meeting of up to a week in duration, during which some formal and some informal presentations are made and there is a lot of time for discussion and interaction and the beginnings of collaborations. This is usually followed up by a second full meeting and/or identification of subgroups which come back to DIMACS to continue collaborations started at the first meeting. We hope that the groups will devise means by which to stay in contact in between meetings.

2). WHO IS INVOLVED? PUBLIC OR PRIVATE?

Our working groups are typically by invitation only. However, we publicize them and will in most cases encourage interested people to join. We also sometimes make the first meeting a full public workshop and then only the follow-up meeting a smaller invitation-only event. Or, we have an associated public workshop at the time of the first meeting -- see item 3).

3). ASSOCIATED PUBLIC WORKSHOP:

We often schedule a public workshop just before or just after the meeting of a working group -- when people who would naturally be invited speakers are already here. You have to decide whether or not you want to do this.

4). DIMACS STAFF SUPPORT:

We try to make this really easy for you. Please make use of our staff's help so you can concentrate on the scientific part of the program.

Publicity Coordinator
Scheduling and reservation of facilities
Publicity

Workshop Coordinator
Catering
Local Arrangements

Financial Assistant
Travel Reimbursements

Unit Computing Manager
Computing

Visitor Coordinator
Visitor Assistance (visas, office assignments for organizers)
5). CATERING:

We arrange this for you. You work with the Workshop Coordinator. Tradition at DIMACS is that you have breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks and one social event (wine and cheese, banquet, etc.) with each workshop or working group meeting. DIMACS will cover the catering costs.

6). REGISTRATION FEES:

We charge registration for the public events. Fees are automatically waived for those working for a DIMACS-affiliated organization and are minimal for students and postdocs. You may waive registration fees for anyone, but the waiver counts against your budget. Organizers and speakers are expected to pay registration fees. DIMACS keeps the registration fees and uses them to pay for staff time or future related programs.

7). BUDGET:

We will give you a budget. Things to be covered:
a). Waived registration fees.
b). Travel and local expense reimbursements to speakers and participants. SPECIAL NOTE: WE CAN ONLY REIMBURSE FOR TRAVEL ON U.S. FLAG AIR CARRIERS. UNIVERSITY RULES DO NOT ALLOW EXCEPTIONS. ALSO, AIRFARE MUST BE COACH OR ECONOMY CLASS. WE CANNOT REIMBURSE FOR FIRST CLASS OR BUSINESS CLASS.
c). Budget guidance:
i). Put CAPS on travel support; don't say "we will cover your expenses." Some people cover expenses of a few people fully, others give everyone a little.
ii). For more guidance, see: http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops/Organizers/ws-budget.html
This page was developed for workshop organizers and may have a few things that do not apply to working group organizers, but we think you will find it helpful.

It is sometimes possible to leverage your budget by making arrangements for participants in a workshop or working group to visit DIMACS before or after a workshop or working group. You should contact the special focus organizer in which your workshop or working group falls to discuss this if this opportunity arises.

8). JUNIOR PEOPLE, UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS:

Please involve students and postdocs in your working group. Also, please pay attention in your planning to involving underrepresented groups: women, minorities.

9). CONTRIBUTED PAPERS/POSTER SESSIONS:

If you want to allow contributed papers and/or have a poster session in the public meeting associated with your working group, then you should decide on a deadline for applications, format for applications, and a procedure for deciding on what contributions are accepted.

10). PUBLICITY AND DEADLINES:

a). Announcement of working group and associated workshop: As soon as the working group/workshop is approved. Goes on the working group website and gets sent out to appropriate mailing lists. It will not be mailed out if you want your working group to be by invitation only. However, it will still appear on the DIMACS calendar and website.

b). Call for Participation: This will be sent out asking people to participate and soliciting contributed papers or posters if you are having them.

c). Names of Invited Speakers in the Associated Public Workshop: Our goal is to have this 3 months in advance. Potential attendees need it to make their travel plans.

d). Names of Working Group Participants: Names go on our website, as early as possible so we can establish a mailing list alias that will enhance communication among members of the group.

e). Preliminary Program for Associated Public Workshop: Rough program with times, speakers, titles, abstracts: three months in advance.

f). Program for Working Group Meetings: We have found that some formal program is necessary to give the meeting structure and keep the interest of the participants. Times may be approximate and most presentations can be informal. Still, we like to post this on the working group website a month or so in advance so people know what to expect.

11). WORKING GROUP PUBLICATIONS:

DIMACS has a book series published by the American Mathematical Society. (See http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Volumes/). You may want to think of a book in this series. If not, consider a special issue of a journal. Alternatively, if your working group is part of a special focus, contact the special focus organizers to see if they might want to have papers by several of your featured speakers included in a special focus book to be published in our series.

12). WORKING GROUP REPORT/WEBSITE:

The working group will have a website. We ask you to work with us in developing it and putting in links to members' home pages, literature sources, etc. You can post problems and challenges here and anything else the group might find useful.

We ask you to send us a working group report after each meeting is completed. This helps us with our funding agencies. It should summarize the highlights of the working group's meeting, with an emphasis on existing results and research efforts and new research challenges. Some of our groups will be asked by the funding agencies to prepare more elaborate reports. In this case, we will try to provide a graduate student to help with this.

13). FOR MORE INFORMATION:

See the Workshop Organizers' Guide at:

http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops/Organizers/ws-overview.html

Note that this is written with a public workshop in mind. But it should still have a lot of useful information for your working group.


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Document last modified on August 17, 2011.