[Bioclusters] Bioclusters workshop this year

Chris Dwan bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Mon, 20 Sep 2004 09:23:53 -0400

Earlier this year, some of us organized a workshop session at BioIT 
World / Expo in Boston for folks interested in bioclusters and 
infrastructure issues in bioinformatics.  We had good attendance, and 
it seems that we could usefully do this again this year.

We're trying to set some goals and parameters for the next such 
session.  At the time, we received some direct feedback. We're 
interested in more.  Two particular questions that have come up:

* Who should be the target audience, and what level should we aim for 
in the sessions?  It's possible to build this sort of thing as a 
traditional conference tutorial geared for novices, or as a more 
interactive forum for practitioners who want to share and update on 
their successes and troubles.  The event this year featured a series of 
speakers on fairly complex, current issues that larger sites are 
experiencing.  We got some comments that it was not terribly useful for 
the novice who is just building their first cluster or supporting their 
first lab full of researchers.

* Is location / collocation with a conference a big deal?  By working 
with BioIT-World / Expo we gained attendees who were already in Boston 
for that event.  We also got to ride on the administrative coat-tails 
of a much larger event.  However, cost and flexibility were issues.  If 
we were to do this again, it could be an independent event (most likely 
hosted by some kind sponsoring institution with an auditorium) or a 
sidebar to a conference.  Beyond that:  Is anyone on the list willing 
to travel to a remote destination just for the bioclusters gathering, 
or do we *have* to collocate with a conference to get out of town 

* Duration:  We had one day of sessions, plus a social time.  More?  

I would love to hear thoughts on those, or other, questions.

-Chris Dwan
  The BioTeam