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"Where the Action Is": O'Reilly's Second Bioinformatics Technology Conference Investigates Scientific Computing

October 29, 2002

Sebastopol, CA--From February 3-6, 2003, biologists, computer scientists, software engineers, mathematicians, and other related practitioners take up the essential challenge of integrating science and powerful computational tools at the 2003 O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference. This year's conference moves to the Westin Horton Plaza in San Diego, CA, one of the nation's centers of biotech activity.

Designed to bridge the gaps between communities, the second O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference also targets what may be the most important issue in bioinformatics: how to get the job done. "In spite of a year of economic uncertainty, biotechnology and bioinformatics continue to experience strong growth, and scientific computing continues to be where the action is," points out conference chair and O'Reilly & Associates editor Lorrie LeJeune. Elaborates O'Reilly founder and president Tim O'Reilly, "The fields of genomics, proteomics, and evolutionary biology are surging forward; clustering technology and grid computing for applied sciences are being refined and expanded; and more biologists than ever are programming in Perl, Python, and Java, and are building their own tools of the trade."

This year's conference promises to be even more appealing to both academic and industry audiences, and strikes a balance between open source and proprietary tools for munging biological data. After a full day of in-depth tutorials, including an encore presentation of Damian Conway's wildly popular all-day Perl tutorial, three busy days of conference sessions and events follow. Among the many experts scheduled to make presentations at the conference are: Alvis Brazma, Microarray Informatics Group Leader, European Bioinformatics Institute; James Gosling, co-inventor of Java, and VP and Fellow, Sun Microsystems; Jim Kent, research scientist at UC Santa Cruz; Suzanna Lewis, Informatics Group Leader, Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project; Francis Ouellette, Director, University of British Columbia Bioinformatics Centre; Lincoln Stein, Researcher, Cold Spring Harbor Lab; and Stephen Wolfram, creator of "Mathematica" and author of "A New Kind of Science."

Sessions at the O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference explore topics such as web services, grid computation, visualization, genomics, algorithms, pipelining and automation of data, and building open source applications, divided into the following tracks:

  • Toolkits: The latest tools, methods, and techniques to structure, visualize, and mine microbiological data.

  • Techniques: New applications that deliver methods and strategies for high-throughput analysis and visualization.

  • Bioinformatics Overview: Solutions and lessons learned through real-world clinical development.

  • End-User Applications: Solid grounding in essential methods for enhancing the researchers experience and results.

  • System Administration and Infrastructure: Creative methods, techniques, and best practices for collaborative systems and environments.

Other highlights include:

  • In addition to planning a concurrent track, Bioinformatics.Org will present its 2003 Benjamin Franklin Award to Jim Kent. Kent is being recognized for developing "GigAssembler," a 10,000 line program that he wrote in a month and then used to assemble the public human genome fragments, helping to keep the data in the public domain and unrestricted by commercial patents.

  • An expanded Poster Session is planned for this year's conference. Posters will continue to be reviewed for inclusion until mid-December.

  • Apple returns as a Platinum Sponsor, with a bevy of its most advanced hardware and software offerings to stock the Connectivity Room.

James Tisdall, author of O'Reilly's "Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics," said of O'Reilly's 2002 Bioinformatics Technology Conference: "I think the most important result of the conference is an enhanced dialogue between biologists and programmers...the most satisfying thing to me was the high level of interest on the part of newcomers to the bioinformatics field who were in attendance. This enthusiasm is bound to be translated into some good science in the months and years ahead."

Exhibition and Sponsorship

If you are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring an O'Reilly conference, contact Andrew Calvo at 707-827-7176, or andrewc@oreilly.com. To download the Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus, visit conferences.oreillynet.com/bio2003/sponsor_pkt.pdf.

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