ERCIM News No.28 - January 1997

ERCIM Meetings in Prague

by Michal Haindl and Jiri Wiedermann

The Czech Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematics (CRCIM) hosted a series of meetings, workshops and other events related to ERCIM activities from 4-9 November, 1996. All thirteen ERCIM institutes were represented by around 70 attendants ­ Directors, researchers and different ERCIM committees members. The participants spent in total 200 nights in Prague.

The ERCIM events in Prague started with two days of working group workshops. The 10th Database Research Group Workshop on Heterogeneous Information Management aimed to establish new contacts between researchers and to discuss common problems of this field (see the report article on page 37). The members of the Digital Libraries working group and other participants exchanged their views, research plans, and ideas for future co-operation among ERCIM institute libraries during the one-day Digital Libraries workshop.

The first two working days were concluded with the reception at the Villa Lanna.

The Executive Committee members worked the following day while other participants were free to prepare for the welcome reception in the New Town Hall. This is the building from which the adherents of Jan Hus (a famous Czech 'heretic' catholic priest condemned to the stake at Constance council) defenestrated several catholic counsellors in 1419 and thus started the Hussite wars. To be on the safe side, the reception took place in the cellar.

The ERCIM meeting participants were welcomed at the CRCIM Familiarization Day on 7 November. The day started with a general morning overview of all four CRCIM institutes (two institutes of the Academy of Sciences and two Universities). The afternoon consisted of visits and presentations either in the University or Academy sites (see ERCIM News no. 26 for details). We have to congratulate our University colleagues as they attracted more visitors than did the Academy team, but apparently still less than down town Prague itself did on this rainy afternoon.

The Familiarization Day ended at St. Thomas Pub, where augustinian monks established a brewery in the middle of the fourteenth century. Participants helped to support the Czech top ranking in world per capita beer consumption while listening to the Digital Libraries after-dinner speech of Prof. Daniel Atkins, from the University of Michigan.

The ERCIM Directors at the meeting in Prague. Left ro right: Pekka Silvenoinnen (VTT), Jose Tribolet (INESC), Aage Thunem (SINTEF), Gerard van Oortmerssen (CWI), Dennis Tsichritzis (GMD, President of ERCIM), Paul Williams (CCLRC), Morten Kyng (DANIT), JiÞí Wiedermann (CRCIM), Stelios Orphanoudakis (ICS-FORTH), Rainer Berling (SICS), Laszló Monostori (SZTAKI).

The Board of Directors and the Editorial Board met on Friday. The ERCIM Directors accepted DANIT as Danish representative into ERCIM. Dimitris Papadias from GMD Germany was awarded the 1000 ECU Cor Baayen Fellowship Award. This award for a promising young researcher from an ERCIM institute was awarded to Dimitris for his work in the field of spatial database technology (see next article in this issue). The Directors meeting ended in the afternoon with the presentation of CRCIM and SINTEF policy by Aage Thunem and JiÞí Wiedermann, respectively. This was the first time that the scientific and economic policy of selected ERCIM institutes were presented at the ERCIM Board of Directors meeting. This will be a continuing feature of the meeting.

The whole marathon of meetings ended on Saturday with the third day of the 2nd ERCIM Workshop on User Interfaces for All.

All the meetings took place in Panorama Hotel where all the participants stayed. Our thanks go to the Action M Agency for their perfect meeting organization.

The next series of ERCIM Meetings will take place at INRIA, Rocquencourt, France, in May 1997.

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