We expect to have an ``Oberwolfach-type'' program, with all talks of roughly the same length (20-45 min), not too many talks crowded together, and ample time for participants to present and discuss problems.
By understanding the biologists' problems, discrete mathematicians can hope to find practical algorithms for exact solution when possible and approximate solution where necessary. Experience has shown that it is not enough to abstract a problem and then classify it as NP-complete etc.; give-and-take between biologists and mathematicians is essential. We hope in this workshop to get past "language problems" and help biologists understand what the mathematicians can do while the mathematicians (and computer scientists) try to determine what is really needed. Often the mathematicians best able to solve the biologists' problems are not exposed to them. The workshop will be an opportunity to expose the mathematicians to such problems.
Among the principal mathematical subjects we plan to feature is the application of interval graphs and their generalizations, such as 2-unit-sphere graphs, to molecular biology. We should include string matching and algorithmic problems, although we don't want these topics to dominate, since they will already be featured in many of the other planned workshops.
The biological areas we should emphasize include sequence analysis, protein structure prediction, evolutionary tree reconstruction, phylogeny, RNA secondary structure, and certain questions in the fascinating area of popula- tion genetics, applied to prebiotic molecules a la Eigen.