Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing Education Session CFP

Steven M. Thompson thompson at RIBOZYME.VADMS.WSU.EDU
Thu Mar 14 14:17:14 EST 1996

Dear Colleague,

Please find enclosed a "Call for Participation" for the upcoming
educational issues session to be held as part of the 1997 Pacific
Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB '97).=20

We are very excited about this meeting and about our session.  We hosted a
similar session at PSB '96 that was favorably received and generated a
considerable amount of interest.  To the best of our knowledge no other
meetings on computational approaches to molecular biology provide a forum
on educational issues, yet this is and will remain an extremely important
and relevant topic in this field.=20

Please take a few minutes to fill out and return the enclosed
questionnaire if you didn't do it for us last year.  We would especially
like your comments regarding what you think are the most important issues
in biocomputing education.  Plan to submit a paper or poster if you can,
but at least mark the meeting on your calendar and consider joining us in
Hawaii next year.=20


           Susan J. Johns and Steven M. Thompson


A Call For Participation:


                          "The Workshop Setting"

                     Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing

                        Hawaii - January 6-9, 1997
                       Ritz Carlton Kapalua on Maui

Session Chairs:  Susan J. Johns and Steven M. Thompson
=09         Center for Visualization, Analysis and Design in
                 the Molecular Sciences (VADMS)
                 Washington State University
                 Pullman, WA  99164-1224

=09         phone: (509) 335-0424 & 335-0533
                 FAX:   (509) 335-9688 & 335-0540

                 e-mail: prcadams at ribozyme.vadms.wsu.edu
                         thompson at ribozyme.vadms.wsu.edu

We invite participation in the 1997 Pacific Symposium in Biocomputing=20
(PSB '97) Educational Issues Session.  The PSB '97 Biocomputing Education
Session will focus on "the workshop format:  How to fund, organize, and
implement for success."  We particularly want to encourage the submission
of manuscripts and poster abstracts covering various aspects of delivering
workshops within any subspecialty of biocomputing; however, we do not wish
to discourage the submission of general works in all manners of
biocomputing education as well.  Please refer to our World Wide Web pages
on this field for an overview of some of the many resources available

At present there is little defined curricula for computational molecular
biology.  Although specific individuals have developed courses or
workshops, educational materials such as textbooks or laboratory exercises
are not widely available.  In addition to the absence of formal materials,
there is also a lack of communication among those of us who are now
teaching courses in this domain.  Correcting the deficiencies regarding
the lack of educational materials and the lack of communication on
educational issues represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the
community of scientists who are currently doing research in biocomputing.=
Recognizing this need for an educational forum, the Pacific Symposium on
Biocomputing has once again included our session on biocomputing education
as part of its overall program.  Our hope is that this session will
further serve as an important node with regard to the dissemination of
educational materials, information, and approaches in this field.=20

Our session will be structured to encourage the open exchange of
information regarding teaching philosophies, teaching materials, and
teaching experiences --- "how" to teach biocomputing --- especially using
the workshop format, between all participants.  It will consist of a
poster session plus an hour long discussion forum with a panel consisting
of individuals who have presented successful biocomputing workshops.  We
will also nominate the best paper submitted to our session for possible
oral presentation during a general session.  The PSB conference co-chairs
will select a manuscript from the nominated papers submitted by each
session for these oral presentations.  We further hope to organize
informal discussion groups to be held periodically throughout the
conference.  We feel that this is particularly important in order to help
overcome many participants' inertia regarding intragroup conversation.


We encourage you to submit full technical papers on biocomputing
education, particularly using the workshop format, to be included in a
standard refereeing process.  Submitted papers will be peer reviewed by at
least three independent referees.  Those papers that are accepted will be
published in an archival proceedings.  The papers are restricted to 12
pages; PSB format templates will be provided.  We envision that such
papers could range from philosophical discussions on biocomputing
education to the nuts-and-bolts of particular workshops that are enjoying
significant success.  As mentioned above, we will select one manuscript
from the accepted papers for possible oral presentation.=20

Authors who do not wish to submit a peer-reviewed paper are encouraged to
submit a poster abstract.  These abstracts will not be published in the
proceedings.  However, they will be distributed to all attendees as a
separate volume.  Furthermore, all abstract authors will have the
opportunity to display their posters and/or deliver live computer
demonstrations.  We also envision that many of the discussion forum
panelists will be from this group as well as from those whom have
submitted papers.  If you have been involved in presenting biocomputing
technigues within a workshop format, please indicate in your submission
whether you would be interested in serving on this panel.=20

Even if you do not want to submit anything officially to the session, we
hope that you will be able to attend and participate in the conference.=20
Bring your outlines, syllabi, laboratory exercises, videotapes, or any=20
other instructional means, as well as your ideas to share among the=20
participants.  We want your involvement.
General Conference Description:

PSB '97 will be held January 6-9, 1997, and will be the 4th consecutive
annual meeting (inclusive of HICCS 94-95 biocomputing subsection) devoted
to the broad domain of computational biology, with an emphasis in the
data-rich area of molecular biology.  PSB '96 attracted 145 participants
from throughout the world.  PSB is one of the oldest, continously held
meetings devoted to the biology/computer science interface and is
distinguished from other conferences in this domain by its emphasis on
tool development.  Please refer to the PSB World Wide Web pages
(http://cgl.ucsf.edu/psb/) for an announcement of the upcoming meeting,
and the last meeting's announcement, attendee listing, and delivered
papers (many available in PostScript format for downloading).=20

Important specific features of this conference are:  1. organization of
the meeting is by the participants themselves, who submit proposals for
sessions that are then selected by the organizing committee; 2. the chosen
session chairs issue calls for papers for their respective sessions and
then oversee the review of the submitted papers; 3. invitations to give
oral presentations in the various sessions are predicated upon the
acceptance of peer-reviewed manuscripts; 4. the accepted papers are
published as a hardbound conference proceedings (PSB'96, ISBN
981-02-2578-4); 5. an electronic version of the conference proceedings is
also available; 6.  live software demonstrations across a broad domain of
biology are featured;  and 7. an educational issues forum is included
within this research meeting.  The teaching of computational biology and
molecular biology are in their formative stages; this educational forum
can play a pivotal role in the development of this field.=20

About 20 proposals for sessions were submitted to the organizing committee
for PSB '97; these were pared down to include at least the following six=20
topical areas:

=091) intelligent databases for molecular biology;=20
=092) recent developments in visualization;=20
=093) molecular evolution;=20
=094) analysis and prediction of protein structure;=20
=095) new directions in molecular dynamics, including quantum
=09=09mechanical/molecular mechanical hybrid systems;=20
=096) educational issues, particularly using the workshop format.=20

Key dates:

Immediate =09--=09Return of questionnaire
July 1=09=09--=09Manuscripts and poster abstracts due
=09=09=09(extensions allowed by arrangement)
August 15=09--=09Review process must be finished
September 15=09--=09Final, camera ready copy, due


   Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing --- Educational Issues Questionnaire

(We sent out a similar questionnaire last year; if you filled it out then,
there is no need to repeat the work, unless you want to update some
sections --- we have your data on file.  Thanks.)

Please provide us with the following information:



=09Address: =09=09=09=09=09=09=09=09


General comments on Biocomputing Education:

Courses or workshops you are teaching in the broadly defined field of
"Biocomputing" and the year such courses or workshops began:

A brief statement of your willingness to participate in the 1997 meeting=20
as one:

=A7 Who would submit a paper or poster abstract by July 1 describing course=
  workshop, or curriculum issues, and who would subsequently attend the=20
  meeting to present the poster or paper (oral paper presentation - if=20
  nominated by us and chosen for delivery by PSB organizing committee);

=09(yes or no):=20

=09if yes, tentative title, and whether you wish to submit in paper=20
        or poster format:

=A7 Who would plan to attend the meeting, participate in the panel discussi=
  the software demonstrations, and the poster session on educational issues=
  but who would not submit a paper or poster;=20

=09(yes or no):

=A7 Who might or might not attend the meeting, but who would be willing to=
  review papers.

=09(yes or no):

Names and addresses of others who might be interested in participating in t=
educational session, especially the names and addresses of possible referee=

Finally, as there might be some limited funds available to support
participants, please indicate whether you would require financial support
to attend the meeting.  Funds would be absolutely required,

=09yes or no:

Please e-mail the filled-out questionnaire to: =09

=09=09=09thompson at ribozyme.vadms.wsu.edu

or FAX to:=09=09(509) 335-9688=20

or snail-mail to:=09Steve Thompson
=09=09=09Washington State University
=09=09=09VADMS Center
=09=09=09Pullman WA 99164-1224

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