NIPS*2002 call for workshops

From: Zoubin Ghahramani (
Date: Wed May 15 2002 - 00:57:50 CEST


              Neural Information Processing Systems
                      Natural and Synthetic
                    Post-Conference Workshops
                    December 13 and 14, 2002
              Whistler/Blackcomb Resort, BC, Canada


Following the regular program of the Neural Information
Processing Systems 2002 conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada,
workshops on various current topics in neural information
processing will be held on December 13 and 14, 2002, in Whistler,
BC, Canada. We invite researchers interested in chairing one of
these workshops to submit workshop proposals.

The goal of the workshops is to provide an informal forum for
researchers to discuss important research questions and
challenges. Controversial issues, open problems, and comparisons
of competing approaches are encouraged and preferred as workshop
topics. Representation of alternative viewpoints and panel-style
discussions are particularly encouraged. Workshop topics
include, but are not limited to, the following:

Active Learning, Attention, Audition, Bayesian Analysis, Bayesian
Networks, Benchmarking, Brain Imaging, Computational Complexity,
Computational Molecular Biology, Control, Genetic Algorithms,
Graphical Models, Hippocampus and Memory, Hybrid
Supervised/Unsupervised Learning, Hybrid HMM/ANN Systems,
Implementations, Independent Component Analysis, Mean-Field
Methods, Markov Chain Monte-Carlo Methods, Music, Network
Dynamics, Neural Coding, Neural Plasticity, On-Line Learning,
Optimization, Recurrent Nets, Robot Learning, Rule Extraction,
Self-Organization, Sensory Biophysics, Signal Processing, Spike
Timing, Support Vectors, Speech, Time Series, Topological Maps,
and Vision.

Detailed descriptions of previous workshops may be found at

There will be six hours of workshop meetings per day, split into
morning and afternoon sessions, with free time in between for
ongoing individual exchange or outdoor activities.

Selected workshops may be invited to submit proceedings for
publication in the post-NIPS workshops monographs series published
by the MIT Press.

Workshop organizers have several responsibilities including:

-- Coordinating workshop participation and content, which includes
   arranging short informal presentations by experts,
   arranging for expert commentators to sit on a discussion panel,
   formulating a set of discussion topics, etc.

-- Moderating the discussion, and reporting its findings and
   conclusions to the group during evening plenary sessions

-- Writing a brief summary and/or coordinating submitted material
   for post-conference electronic dissemination.


Interested parties should submit a short proposal for a
workshop of interest via email by August 9, 2002.

Proposals should include title, description of what the workshop
is to address and accomplish, proposed workshop length (1 or 2
days), planned format (e.g., lectures, group discussions, panel
discussion, combinations of the above, etc.), and proposed
speakers. Names of potential invitees should be given where
possible. Preference will be given to workshops that reserve a
significant portion of time for open discussion or panel
discussion, as opposed to pure "mini-conference" format. An
example format is:

  Tutorial lecture providing background and introducing
          terminology relevant to the topic.

  Two short lectures introducing different approaches,
  alternating with discussions after each lecture.

  Discussion or panel presentation.

  Short talks or panels alternating with discussion and
  question/answer sessions.

  General discussion and wrap-up.

We suggest that organizers allocate at least 50% of the workshop
schedule to questions, discussion, and breaks. Past experience
suggests that workshops otherwise degrade into mini-conferences
as talks begin to run over. For the same reason, we strongly
recommend that each workshop include no more than 12 talks per day.

The proposal should motivate why the topic is of interest or
controversial, why it should be discussed, and who the targeted group
of participants is. It also should include a brief resume of the
prospective workshop chair with a list of publications to establish
scholarship in the field. We encourage workshops that build,
continue, or arise from one or more workshops from previous
years. Please mention any such connections.

NIPS does not provide travel funding for workshop speakers. In the
past, some workshops have sought and received funding from external
sources to bring in outside speakers. In addition, the organizers of
each accepted workshop can name up to four people (six people for
2-day workshops) to receive discounted registration for the workshop

Submissions should include the name, address, email address, phone and
fax numbers for all organizers. If there is more than one organizer,
please designate one organizer as the primary contact.

Proposals should be emailed as plain text to Please do not use
attachments, Microsoft Word, postscript, html, or pdf files.
Questions may be addressed to

Information about the main conference and the workshop program
can be found at

         Barak A. Pearlmutter, University of New Mexico
            Robert A. Jacobs, University of Rochester
                  NIPS*2002 Workshops Co-Chairs

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