son of pps (pps2@iona.cryst.bbk.ac.uk)
Sat, 6 Jan 1996 19:49:11 +0000 (GMT)

After the silence over the Seasonal break, heres an update of whats been
going on and whats about to happen.


As in last years course, Gail Schuman of Brookhaven has kindly provided a list
of course participants, to which you may add your own details using a web
form, if you wish. Its at


The course "Hypertree" is growing ( http://www.cryst.bbk.ac.uk/PPS2/top.html )
-as things progress, check the Noticeboard to see whats new.


With a week of registration still to go, we have 40 students enrolled from 10
different countries. As expected we have been experiencing a small rush of
applications in the New Year, which may well continue this week; so its
certainly possible that we'll end up with 50. Even though this is fewer
than took part in the VSNS-PPS course of '95, we are quite pleased with this
number, bearing in mind that the new course (unlike the previous one) is
formal, with students paying fees as a result. In '95, 70 people (students,
consultants and all shades inbetween) 'graduated'. We have something
approaching 100 people involved in total for '96.

At the end of the coming week we'll be in a position to split the students up
into groups, once registration has closed. The grouping will be a balancing act
between collecting together people from the same region/time-zone on the one
hand, to making sure that there is a good spread of backgrounds and technical
ability on the other. Some of our students are fairly new to the Internet;
others are very experienced. The disciplines of the Class of '96 include
physics, zoology, chemistry, as well as biochemistry and molecular biology;
ranging from professorial to student level, including teachers and researchers.
One of the students even doubles as a multimedia critic.

We had been thinking of a group size of 6 or 7 students, but this may have to
increase if we do get a lot of late enrolments.

Thanks again to all of you who have offered to act as "Group Advisors".If anyone
else would like to get involved in this role, please mail this list or


We will be revealing the introductory material to students at the beginning of
the week, and e-mailing them to inform them of who else is in their group-
students and advising consultants. During the first week (or so), students will
be finding their feet, making sure that they can e-mail us and the others in
their group, use the discussion lists, and are able to download and unpack
software and other files. Those who are a bit more advanced will be encouraged
to dip their toes into BioMOO (assuming they haven't already done so).

If we find that some of the less technically experienced students are struggling
a bit, then this initial phase can be extended into the second week, while
they are helped out by their fellow students, consultants and tutors. We aim to
take advantage of the flexibility offered by the Internet medium.


If enough of you are interested, we would like to hold a meeting of consultants
in the BIOMOO, within the next 2 or 3 weeks; ideally during the first week
proper of the course (15th-19th January)- please could we have your feedback
about this.


A reminder to subscribe to the other (currently 4) discussion lists, if you
have not already done so; of course you may only wish to subscribe to those
lists of particular interest to you, but we would encourage you to subscribe
to pps96-general. (See http://www.cryst.bbk.ac.uk/PPS2/mail/index.html ).

Thanks again to you all, we'll be in touch soon.

The Course Organizers