From Tue Jan 23 00:00:38 1996
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 23:59:20 -0500
Subject: guidelines for workshop organizers

Instructions for Organizers of Workshops and Miniworkshops for the DIMACS Special Year on Mathematical Support for Molecular Biology

  1. DIMACS has a full-time workshop coordinator whose job is to help workshop organizers with all the usually-painful details of organization: rooms, housing, catering, publicity, getting people paid, travel, visas, etc. The organizer's responsibilities are mainly to put the program together.

  2. Each workshop will have a suggested duration, a tentative date or time of year, and a suggested DIMACS location. These choices have been made by the special year organizers in order to balance the program, spread the costs around, etc. Of course, all of these items are negotiable! The dates for the workshop need to be set as soon as possible and need to be coordinated with the special year organizers.

  3. Each workshop organizer will be given a budget allocation. DIMACS provides copying, publicity, and the assistance by workshop staff before, during, and after the workshop, at no charge to the workshop. The workshops typically use their budgets to pay travel and local expenses for speakers and participants, to pay for catering (meals plus social events), and perhaps to pay for special equipment needs (e.g., rental of video equipment).

  4. Each workshop has an organizing committee of at least two people (and sometimes a large number). We like to have at least one permanent member of DIMACS on each organizing committee. We would also like to have involvement of both mathematicians/computer scientists and biologists on the organizing committee. Appointment of the organizing committee is left to the organizer (though we need to be kept informed and we will try to help if asked). In some cases, we will provide suggestions, but these are only suggestions.

  5. We would like to see each workshop support some young people (graduate students, postdocs) who might otherwise not attend.

  6. The special year has a visitor budget in addition to the workshop budget. Typically, some workshop participants and organizers are encouraged to spend an extra week or two at DIMACS either prior to or after the workshop. The workshop organizers should work with the special year committee to make these arrangements. Sometimes the workshop can save itself a great deal of expense by having the visitor budget cover some or most of the costs of participants who will stay on for the special year.

  7. We would like to see each workshop have some expository talks and some strongly applied component. We would like to see an open problem session at each workshop. We would especially love to see industrial involvement in the workshop. We will be running an algorithms implementation challenge in connection with the special year, and some of the workshops will want to devote some sessions to problems that might give rise to implementation questions.

  8. We strongly encourage each workshop organizer to involve women and minorities as members of organizing committees, as speakers, and as participants. In some cases, additional funds might be provided by DIMACS to help with special cases.

  9. Most DIMACS workshops are open to all comers, with some main invited speakers, some shorter invited talks, some contributed papers, perhaps poster sessions, and some attendees not giving talks. However, the balance of these things, and whether or not they are included, is left up to the organizer. In the case of miniworkshops, it is possible that in some cases the organizer will want to leave them small and limit attendance in some way.

  10. Publicity for the workshops will be important and it needs to be sent out relatively early. We will put out a preliminary announcement on the DIMACS information service and on various electronic nets, as well as putting this out in national journals. The workshop organizer will be asked to provide materials for the publicity, and the DIMACS staff will do the rest (hopefully!). Later, a call for papers, preliminary program and final program will be needed.

  11. DIMACS publishes a book series through the American Mathematical Society. The series publishes monographs, volumes of expository papers, and proceedings of DIMACS workshops. We will be putting together a volume of the most important expository papers coming out of the special year, and ask each workshop organizer to encourage the main speakers to give us papers for that volume. Workshop organizers are encouraged to consider putting out volumes based on their workshops, or to explore with other workshop organizers the possibility of combining two or more workshops to make one volume. It is not unusual for papers appearing in a conference volume to be published in an expanded or revised form in a journal, and the new Journal of Computational Biology is especially interested in getting such papers. If a workshop will have a volume, then of course its main expository papers should most likely be saved for that volume rather than the special year volume. We ask that you give the volume careful thought early on, and let speakers know what is being planned. We also ask you to keep the special year organizers informed about your plans for a volume.

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DIMACS Homepage
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Document last modified on February 23, 2000.