Main Index . . . dated 6th.July'95

Dear Friends,

We are closing down the PPS course for the summer, although work will continue and the pages will remain mounted at the normal URL (plus mirrors). This experiment has been a *resounding success* proving the tremendous potential for collaborative distance education and research of the new Internet and Web technologies. The ripples will take a long time to fade. We're glad you were part of it. We made lots of friends and learnt a lot. Comments received suggest you did too :-)

This text is mounted at URL
                                     for your convenience and reference.
Just bookmark it if you would rather not read such a long email now.

BUT _DO_ READ IT ;-)   . . . . . . . . . . .  thanks

We want to take this opportunity to deal with a number of issues that are either outstanding or on-going.


This course has been such a notable success due to *your* efforts - students, consultants, anyone and everyone who got involved in any and every way. Together, we have been breaking the frontiers of teaching technology and distance education. A complete roll call of thanks would be very long, but we can single out several individuals (in no particular order)

Dave and Jane Richardson for the Kinemage software and files
RogerSayle at GLAXO for RasMol
Henry Rzepa (with PMR) for chemical/MIME
Alan Bleasby at Daresbury and Dave Stampf at BNL for the mirroring
Paul Kummer, Daresbury WebMaster for emergency mirroring
Gail Isherwood-Schuman, WebMother at Brookhaven Lab Structural Biology for
various dollops of enthusiastic support and hard work under pressure
Marcus Speh of the Globewide Network Academy for early admin support
Gustavo Glusman and his wizards for BioMOO and its wonders
Lesley West and Stefan Sack for managing/curating the hyperglossary

The wonderful volunteer group leaders who helped so much :-

Ala(A) Ethan Benatan ethan+@pitt.edu 
Cys(C) Daniel Y. Dubois ddubois@rsvs.ulaval.ca 
Asp(D) Juergen Pleiss jpleiss@tebio1.biologie.uni-stuttgart.de 
Glu(E) Troy Messick tmessick@watson.Princeton.EDU 
Phe(F) Christian Frosch frosch@mzdmza.zdv.uni-mainz.de 
His(H) Djamel Medjahed djamel@cthulu.med.jhu.edu 
Ile(I) Morten Kjeldgaard morten@oase.kemi.aau.dk 
Lys(K) Kris Boulez Kris.Boulez@rug.ac.be 
Leu(L) Terence Walsh t.walsh@qut.edu.au 
Met(M) Damian Moran damian@chemindy.chem.mq.edu.au 
Asn(N) Andrzej Kierzek andrzejk@ibbrain.ibb.waw.pl 
Pro(P) Pete Dunton dunten@xray.bmc.uu.se 
Gln(Q) Jennifer Quirk jquirk@neuro.duke.edu 
Arg(R) Chandra Sekar Ramanathan chandu@hal.rx.uga.edu 
Ser(S) Simon Brocklehurst smb@bioch.ox.ac.uk 
Thr(T) Stephen Tate sat@ribosome.bio.warwick.ac.uk 
Val(V) Steve Ellis sellis@vt.edu 
Trp(W) Todd Scheuer scheuer@u.washington.edu 
Tyr(Y) Angeline Kantola kantola@u.washington.edu 
 . . . and all their helpers

David Houldershaw, Richard Westlake and John Bouquiere at Birkbeck for technical support, occasionally under stressful circumstances

Material Contributors :-
Kurt Berndt at Karolinska Inst., Sweden for a whole hyperchapter
Jon Cooper at Birkbeck for much timely and valuable material
Mark Dalton at Cray, Los Alamos for his Cell Biology course
Keith Wilkinson at Emory and Beatrice Gorinsky at Birkbeck
Mary Ann Tuli at EBI, UK and Henry Breszki, Strathclyde Univ.
Sami Raza formerly Birkbeck, now Leicester, for 'Amino Acids'
Alan Ward, Univ.Newcastle,UK for 'Amino Acids'
Oliver Smart at Birkbeck for 'Molecular Forces' (and a big Thank You for the use of jura)
Antti Iivanainen, Finland for 'Coiled-Coils'
BSM group at UCL for PROCHECK and CATH and other bits
Tim Hubbard's group for SCOP, Sanger Centre for PRODOM
John Overington at Pfizer for 'Alignment Database'
Manuel Peitsch at GLAXO, Geneva for beautiful images
Daniel Huson, Bielefeld for 'Wallpaper Symmetries' Mini Sowdhamini and Stephen Rufino for 'domains',
Raj Gill for 'Insulin', Judith Murray-Rust for Neurotrophins,
Robin Stephenson for various technical 'spells', all at Birkbeck
John Walshaw for much good'n'hard HTML authoring towards the end.

. . . and many, many more who pitched in along the way, shared with us all the benefit of their help, wisdom, knowledge, skills, and even those who wanted to but couldn't for pressure of Real Life.

And to GLAXO for support of PMR, Birkbeck for £support of AM, to Brookhaven and Daresbury for hosting our stuff and helping in other ways.

Fill the form at http://www.cryst.bbk.ac.uk/PPS/tmp/address_form.html so we get your postal address, etc.

They'll be sent out soon.

Send in material or URLs for projects/works that are completed or nearing completion to pps@www.cryst.bbk.ac.uk


Wouldn't It Be Nice If . . .

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way of collecting comments, suggestions, ideas, complaints, proposals, afterthoughts and anything else at all that people wanted to say in relation to anything to do with the course or the contents of this ramble? Well, there is!
Look at URL


and have your say.


Our plans now include

  1. Keep the material public, and enrich and extend it for everyone's benefit. You can send us stuff to add now or later (anon ftp to www.cryst.bbk.ac.uk:/upload/PPS/). Any extra or late contributions gratefully received, especially relating to sequence analysis, and/or structure prediction and/or modelling.

  2. We intend to run the course again as a fee-paying accredited one-year Advanced Certificate distance education course from January '96 but with more formal assessment and tutoring, and including more content on bioinformatics, sequence analysis and structure prediction. We will make announcements in the usual ways (BioNet newsgroups, our server, conferences, etc.) in the Autumn (fall), and are appealing for any consultants, contributors, or tutors who wish to be involved. We'll mount a form for registrations of interest in due course. We already have some people on file.

  3. The course material, including all the stuff we've mounted on our server is destined to be bundled onto a CD-ROM. This is a technically non-trivial and expensive exercise, but one which we think is worth doing. We want to include all externally-mounted stuff from couse participants and will be emailing y'all with requests for *written* copyright (and download) permissions. Eventual availability of the CD-ROM will be announced on our WebSite - drop by occasionally.

  4. We are considering other courses, and are developing plans to involve pharmaceutical companies and other organisations and institutions with an interest in education/training in our discipline areas. Any suggestions or offers of collaboration gratefully received. BTW, we never did get the EU grant funding we applied for ;( - that's science for you.

  5. Take a holiday (huh!)

Well that's all for now folks. Thanks for a wonderful experience.

See you in cyberspace :-)

Best Regards, Alan Mills and Peter Murray-Rust

for VSNS-PPS, and to virtually the whole world.