BIRS COVID-19 Outbreak March 17 Update: Meetings Proceeding Virtually

Posted on Tue, Mar 17 2020 09:01:00

Dear BIRS organizers and participants,

Despite the disruption to worldwide travel, this week’s BIRS workshop is off to a productive start, with 60 participants joining from their homes and offices around the world on Monday, via video conferencing. The virtual meeting is being hosted and managed by BIRS, allowing the workshop to proceed with their schedule of talks throughout the week. We invite and encourage all forthcoming meetings to proceed in this way.

The technology is very easy to use. Participants are sent a link to click, which offers the choice between a simple software download and run, or to join the meeting with their web browser. Once joined, the participants can enable their cameras and/or microphones, to participate fully in the meeting. The video collaboration service delivers clear audio and high definition video that is good enough for participants to see writing on a chalkboard and ask questions of the speaker. The talks are live streamed and recorded, as per usual at BIRS. Our live stream, directly from the video collaboration software, will be online whenever meetings are taking place, at http://www.birs.ca/live.

As the COVID-19 outbreak causes cancelations of events around the world, it is important that scientific research not grind to a halt. We have confirmed that the technology works, and allows these important research collaborations to continue. We urge you to take advantage of this pivotal moment, and proceed with your meeting, virtually.

Please discuss among your group if you would like to proceed with your meeting in this way, and let us know. BIRS will setup the video collaboration software, add the meeting links to your schedule, and email you or your workshop participants the links they should follow to join the meeting. Currently, we are using Zoom software, but are experimenting with other options, in search of the most optimal solution.

Nassif Ghoussoub
Director, Banff International Research Station

BIRS-CMO Measures related to the outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19, as of March 15, 2020

Posted on Sun, Mar 15 2020 17:08:00
Dear BIRS-CMO organizers and participants,

In view of the new travel restrictions imposed by various countries and the directives of the Mexican Health Services regarding gatherings (of any size) involving international participants, the following upcoming workshops will unfortunately have to be postponed to next year, 2021.

● 20w5083 Using Quantum Invariants to do Interesting Topology 04/26/2020-05/01/2020
● 20w5049 Kinetic Equations: Recent Developments and Novel Applications 05/03/2020 - 05/08/2020
● 20w5038 Geometric and Analytical Aspects of Nonlinear Elliptic Equations and Related Evolution Problems 05/10/2020-05/15/2020
● 20w5134 Modeling and Engineering of the Mammalian Embryo 05/17/2020-05/22/2020
● 20w5194 Topological Complexity and Motion Planning 05/24/2020-05/29/2020
● 20w5060 Outstanding Challenges in Computational Methods for Integral Equations 05/31/2020-06/05/2020

No decision has been made yet about the workshops scheduled for the period 06/07/2020-07/03/2020. These are:

● 20w5119 Advances in Mixed Characteristic Commutative Algebra and Geometric Connections 06/07/2020-06/12/2020
● 20w5173 Higher Segal Spaces and their Applications to Algebraic K-Theory, Hall Algebras, and Combinatorics 06/14/2020-06/19/2020
● 20w5137 Mathematical and Conceptual Aspects of Quantum Theory 06/21/2020-06/26/2020
● 20w5226 Moduli, Motives and Bundles – New Trends in Algebraic Geometry 06/28/2020-07/03/2020

We are continuously monitoring and following the instructions of Mexican Health Services and the World Health Organization.

We advise all participants traveling to Mexico to stay informed of the status of the countries they are departing from and returning to, and to make their own responsible decision about their future visits.

BIRS-CMO participants should be aware that many airlines are now offering free cancellation or rebooking of tickets.

Please check the BIRS website for any update about this situation.

**********************************************

José Seade
General Director, Casa Matemática Oaxaca
Professor Universidad nacional Autónoma de México

BIRS Measures related to the outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19, as of March 12, 2020

Posted on Thu, Mar 12 2020 16:03:00
Dear BIRS organizers and participants,

Note: Meetings are no longer cancelled, they are proceeding virtually. See this update for details. The message below is kept for historical record.

In view of the new travel restrictions imposed by various countries and the directives of the Alberta Health Services regarding gatherings (of any size) involving international participants, the following upcoming workshops will unfortunately have to be cancelled:

20w5214 The Interface Between Selective Inference and Machine Learning 03/08/2020 - 03/13/2020
20w5143 New Perspectives in Colouring and Structure 03/15/2020 - 03/20/2020
20w5229 Stochastic Mass Transports 03/22/2020 - 03/27/2020
20w5077 New Directions in Geometric Flows 03/29/2020 - 04/03/2020

No decision has been made yet about the workshops scheduled for the months of April and May. We are continuously monitoring and following the instructions of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Alberta Health Services and the World Health Organization.

We advise all participants traveling to Canada to stay informed of the status of the countries they are departing from and returning to, and to make their own responsible decision about their future visits.

BIRS participants should be aware that many airlines are now offering free cancellation or rebooking of tickets. Moreover, Canada’s three federal granting agencies (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC) confirm that the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable considering the impacts of COVID-19.

Please check the BIRS website for any update about this situation.

The impact of the outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19 on BIRS activities, as of March 02, 2020

Posted on Mon, Mar 02 2020 17:15:00
Dear Participants,

Due to the global increase in cases of COVID-19, BIRS has received inquiries about the impact of the outbreak on the operations of the Station. At this time, there is no change in the scheduled programs at BIRS. We are continuously monitoring and following the instructions of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Alberta Health Services and the World Health Organization. At this stage, the cancellation of gatherings such as those at BIRS are not recommended.

We advise all participants traveling to Canada to stay informed of the status of the countries they are departing from and returning to, and to make their own responsible decision about their visit.

We ask the participants originating from risk areas as defined in Alberta Health Services, to be particularly vigilant and cognizant of the fact that they might be subjected to additional screening at their points of entry to Canada. Actually, Canada’s Centres for Disease Control advise that visitors from some of these risk areas should stay home or self-isolate for 14 days after they leave their countries.

Please check the BIRS website for any update about this situation.
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