Albany 2013: Conversation 18

category image Albany 2013
Conversation 18
June 11-15 2013
©Adenine Press (2012)

Everything that You Wanted to Know. Albany 2013: The Logistics

Where is the Conversation held? Orientation ?
It is held at the University at Albany, located at 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222; it is a city by itself. It is an urban institution located away from city center and city life. The Conversation takes place in the academic podium which looks like (see below) something out of star wars.

At the center of the podium is a pool. The pool is surrounded by a glass enclosed concourse, and the lecture centers. The poster session of the 18th Conversation is held in the concourse, and the lectures are in LC-18.

Sponsored by:
University at Albany

    Department of Chemistry
    Department of Biology
    Office of the Dean, Arts and Sciences
    Office of the Vice President for Research
National Institutes of Health (pending)
JBSD and
Adenine Press

Click here to download a very light PDF(593 KB) of this document with maps and 2 page summary of schedule and events. This version is good to email, share over internet and read on the screen.

Click here to download a printer friendly PDF(3.9 MB) of this document with maps and 2 page summary of schedule and events. This version is good to print out and read.

Due to ongoing renovations the pool will not be accessible during the Conversation. In addition the glass windows are surrounded by new sheetrocked walls to completely isolate the concourse and lecture centers from construction noise.

Where am I staying? Empire Commons
You are staying at Empire Commons within campus, unless you have made your own arrangement to stay elsewhere. In the skyview of part of the campus below locate the Empire Commons on the north west of the diagram. Diagonally across you will find the 18th Conversation site and the pool. The location of this pool is a good reference point to orient yourself.
The very large grass circle is Collins Circle beyond which you see the main road Washington Av. On Washington Av. are located several hotels and motels. These hotels and motels are in totally barren locations, there are no humans, shops or restaurants anywhere near to walk by; these hotels and motels are just tasteless buildings with ugly signs that are strewn in between Washington Ave and Interstate 90, and are very boring and lonely places to stay. All the life is across at the University campus with grand gardens and tree-lined boulevards, breath taking fountains, shopping centers and a lot of places to eat, walk and hang around. On the map, in the left you see Empire Commons where 95% of the 18th Conversation participants are staying.

From the Empire Commons you can walk straight to the academic podium via Carillon Dr. West. When you have passed half of the podium, you will see an entrance to the podium with slender columns and a window to the Sun God. To get to LC-18 and Conversation site from Empire Commons, just follow the posted signs.


Empire Commons consist of 25 such buildings, painted either maroon or gold, and a rectangular community center.

Entrance to the podium with slender columns and a window to the Sun God.
How do you get to Albany, N. Y.? to Empire Commons
The map shown below gives you the location of the University at Albany within the context of the various interstate highways that run through Albany and the Albany airport. The University is located at the very heart of the interstate highways 87 and 90.

The GPS location of Empire Commons is: Liberty Ln and W University Dr., Albany NY 12201

Many of you from Boston, New York, Montreal and Buffalo may be coming by car. From Buffalo take 90 East and you are in Albany in 5 hrs. At Albany take exit 24, immediately you will see the signs for the University and 90 East, follow 90 East and take exit 2: at the end of the exit you will be facing the evocative architecture of the University; you can drive straight thru the lights into the University and follow the perimenter road (Univ. Dr. West) on your right to Empire Commons (see map below). If you are staying in a motel, at the end of exit 2 take a left (you are on Washington Ave) and within a minute you will see on the left the hotels Marriott Courtyard, Hilton Garden Inn, Extendedstay America and Fairfield Inn.

From New York, interstate 87 will deposit you at exit 24 and from there follow the above instructions. From Montreal, when you reach Albany, follow 90 East (exit 1E and stay right) and you will be at exit 2 described above within minutes.

If you are coming by car from Boston after driving some 150 miles on I-90 West you will see exit B1; pay toll and continue to drive to Albany for 18 miles. Take Exit 2 (Fuller Road, UAlbany). At the end of the exit you will see a roundabout, take the third exit at the roundabout to Fuller Road. Stay on fuller road, driving under the newly elevated Washington Avenue; you will see on the left yellow /orange buildings of the Empire Commons. Soon you will see a second roundabout, take the third exit in the roundabout to Tricentennial Dr. Within 0.2 miles you will reach W University Dr. Turn left, and you will be at Liberty Ln and Empire Commons within 0.1 miles.

Arriving at Empire Commons and Parking
Once you reach the front of Empire Commons, you will see the long Community Center. You can park in the nearby areas, register and checkin in at the Community Center. You need to pay $20.00 for parking from 11th to 14th of June. You can buy parking permits at registration. Drive your car to the South Gold Lot (see maps) area and park there, hang the permit from rearview mirror. You can also park in West Gold Lot. You can also park in Colonial Gold in front of the Community Center. In fact you can park in any University lot assigned to faculty and srudents, except Special Parking areas witch are marked. The University has very tight parking regulations. One cannot park in University property without parking permits. If you want to park without permit within the University, you must park at the lot for vistors for a fee. Everything is within walking distance. A detailed map of the University is posted elsewhere.

Arriving by Train. If you are enchanted by a train, riding along the exuberant and happy Hudson, the deers in natural expression running wild in the June sun, you can have a memorable travel from New York City Penn Station and disembark at Rensselaer/Albany Station; a cab will take you through downtown Albany, where the rows of antique brown stones challenge the imperium of Rockefeller concrete, to Empire Commons at the uptown campus; it is a 15 minute trip through the old and new world, but ask the cabby the fare before you board, and tell him that you want to go to Empire Commons, Community Center, uptown campus, 1400 Washington Ave.

Flying into Albany. For those who fly into the Albany airport, the University is about 10-15 minutes away in a taxi. It is impossible for us to pick all of you up at the airport. So take a cab to Empire Commons at the uptown campus of SUNY at 1400 Washington Ave.

Direct nonstop flight into Albany NY exists from the following hubs: Atlanta, GA (2 hrs 20 minutes); Washington DC (1 hr 20 minutes); and Chcago. IL (2 hrs). So fly into the above hubs and connect to Albany.

Many people come to New York City first, spent couple of glorious days in the city and then jump on an Amtrak train at Penn Station and get to Albany in about 2 hrs and 20 minutes. Others fly into Boston, then come to Albany in a car with their colleagues in Boston.

Date and time of arrival
All are expected to arrive on Tuesday June 11th, at least by afternoon, if at all possible. Posters can be mounted on their staions this after noon. See details later. The Cafeteria is open 4-7 pm for dinner. A Wine and Cheese Reception will be held for all delegates at Community Rm, Empire Commons, 8:30-11:30 pm. Even though all steps are taken to avoid inordinate delays for registration, it will help the system if the delegates can arrive between 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm, rather than between 4:00 pm - 10 pm. Arriving early in the day also provides time to put up the poster displays. Some of you have to arrive a day early because of flight regulations. Some of you have to stay over Saturday the 15th to save money on the airlines.

Are you arriving early? Are you leaving late?
Please note that Empire Commons is not a hotel and is not open 24 hrs. If you are arriving in the middle of the night or arriving earlier than the 11th of June and/or leaving after June 15th, you must let Prof. Sarma and Empire Commons know about this as soon as you know.. Below are the coordinates for Empire Commons:
email: univapts@albany.edu
office phone: 518-956-6250
phone (after hours): 518-708-0426

Living at Empire Commons
Living at Empire Commons is like living in a house; all buildings at Empire Commons are air conditioned, fully furnished and equipped. Each apartment has four bed rms, a living Rm, a kitchen and two baths and a laundary rm. The kitchen refrigerator will have no food or drinks. If you want bottled water, juice etc, in your kitchen refrigerator, you must bring them. During day time, you can buy them from University shops at the campus center.

The nearest shopping center is a 10 minute walk along fuller road to Stuyvesant Plaza as the map below shows.

If you are arriving early or leaving late, this shopping center is a good place to find a place to eat, buy a bottle of wine or go to the post office. There is a huge mall called Crossgate Mall near to Empire Commons. It is a seven minute bus ride in Bus #12. The bus leaves Collins Circle at the Univ. to Crossgate every 10-15 minutes.

Alcohol Use within the University
Of course, guests can buy and bring alcoholc products and consume them and serve them to others within the privacy of their apartments in Empire Commons. However, alcohol consumption is prohibited at any public place in the University, unless seved by a NY State License holder. Chartwells Organization holds the exclusive rights to serve alcoholic beverages in public places within the University.

Where do you register & pick up your stuff on the 11th of June?
The registration desk is at the Community Center, Empire Commons and it will open at 1:00 PM on Tuesday the 11th of June and will remain open till 11 PM on that day. Where ever you are staying, you must appear on the 11th of June at the registration desk at the Community Center and complete the formalities, pick up your Name Tag and the Book of Abstracts and the program.

Where do you register if you are coming after June 11th?
Go to LC 18 and register for the conference at the desk in front of this hall and pick up your materials.

Do Not Misplace Your Name Badge
At the Conversation site you will be given an official Name Badge. Do not misplace this. The security at the symposium hall (LC-18) will not admit you without it. If the name is misspelled or the affiliation is wrong, please correct it with a pen before a new one could be made.

Time & Place of Meals

Breakfasts: We provide complimentary continental breakfasts on all days of the conference starting at 7 am in the concourse close to LC-18. On Saturday June 15th, the breakfast is at 7: 30 am.

If you are interested in hot full breakfasts you can buy them at Campus Center Cafeteria staring as early as 7:30 am.

Lunches: Except for Saturday June 15, you buy lunch for cash at Campus Center Cafeteria or at the open air Barbecue Grill (weather permitting) at parents fountain in front of the Science library, just across from the Cafeteria Hall. They are open 11 am to 2:00 pm.

Dinners: Except for Wednesday June 12th and Friday June 14th, you buy dinner for cash at Campus Center Cafeteria, 4 to 7 pm.

Campus center has also other places that open at 8 am and close at 4 pm during summer. Here you can buy some food and supplies for your apartment refrigerator.

The reception on June 11th and all parties in the night are at Empire Commons. Time and place appears in the detailed program.

Special Meals: Kosher and Vegetarian: Those of you who have requested Kosher meals should identify themselves to the food staff during the meals. Vegetarian is always present in sufficient variety and quantity during all meals.

Meal Pass A white name badge will admit you to the Conversation and the meals identified as complimentary above. A gold name tag means that you have elected to attend only the Conversation. A green name tag means you are an accompanying person having meals at the Conversation.

Sign Up for Big Feast
If you have a white or green Name Tag, your cost for Big Feast on Friday night is covered. However, if you are planning to come for the big feast, you must sign up for the big feast on the sheets displayed at registration area.

Lecture Center 18 and other locations of interest
Lecture Center 18 (LC 18) is the place where we hold the symposium and it is located at the center of the University around a pool; the poster sessions will be held in the concourse around the pool. The map below, and the one later, provide you the locations of concern to you.

The Empire Commons buildings B1, B2, B3, B4 and B5, the Community Rm, the student and faculty parking lots have been assigned by the University to the 18th Conversation. You register and checkin on June 11th at the Community Rm. If you arrive in a car, you can temporarily park near the Community Rm for the purpose of registration and checkin. Pay $20.00 for conference parking, then you move the car to any of the parking lots mentioned above. A detailed map of parking places is posted elsewhere.
fig_9.gifBlowup of the pool and Campus Center. There is a fountain in front of the campus center. Enter Campus Center behind this fountain. The patroon room dining and ball rooms are upstairs; for the cafeteria walk straight, and take stairs down. Behind Campus Center, in front of Science Library, you will see the barbique grill for lunch.

Empire Commons buildings are fully wired for internet world wide communications and 18th Conversation guests are allowed access to internet during their stay for a fee. You must bring a standard Ethernet cable (that should not exceed 25 ft in length) to connect your laptop to the data connector on the wall boxes on each room. Sometimes people mistakenly use the phone jack and this won't provide network service. In most cases the data jacks are purple in color and the phone jacks are blue.

Empire Commons buidings have only emergency phone connections in their rooms. However we provide in building B4, Apartment 101 phones with free local calls, and telephone/credit card driven long distance calls. We urge our guests to have their cell phones' long distance and international access activated using appropriate roaming previledges.

Two Major Requests
    If you are scheduled to give a lecture, and certain emergencies precipitate and you cannot come, please let me know as soon as you are hit with the emergency. There are several people waiting and anxious to give lectures on some very important discoveries and they all are looking for space.

    If you have a poster abstract at the web site, and you are unable to come and present it as a poster, please let me know by email so that we can save a poster station. Please do not waste a station.

It may rain? Wake-up call? Valuables?
Even though the walk between LC18 and Empire Commons is only a few minutes, and because the Gods do not let us control the weather, please bring an umbrella, rain coat etc.; please bring an alarm clock. We strongly advise you not to keep any valuables inside your room. The University and Empire Commons are not responsible for any theft from your room. Give to front desk for safe keeping.

Registered, but not going to show up
If you are registered, and not plannning to come, please let us know by email, phone or fax.. Please let us know whether you are occupying poster space and accommodation space.

Have not yet paid the registration fee, despite reminders
If you have been reminded that we have not received the fees, please take care of it. The forms are avialbale at: Conversation web site.

Unregistered, but want to come
Go to Empire Commons on June 11th and register as a "walk in" & follow instructions just above.

Want to present a poster, have not yet submitted an abstract
Email an msdoc word file of the abstract now. If we accept the abstract, we will load it at the web site of the Conversation. We cannot publish your abstract in the Book of Abstracts because it is being printed now. When you come to Albany, bring with you 250 copies of your abstract and leave this at the desk for it in front of LC-18 for people to pick up. Contact Dr. Sarma by email to get the number of the poster station where you should mount your poster.

On Saturday, June 15th, after lunch you are ready to leave at about 2:00 pm. There are no organized trips to the airport or Amtrak rail station. Interested parties should get together and organize appropriate cab trips.

Poster Session: General
The poster papers are an exciting component of the Albany agenda. In order to assure their success it is imperative that the following procedures be followed:

All posters must be mounted on assigned stations on June 11th or before the start of the deliberations at 8:00 am next day morning.The posters shall remain in their stations throughout the symposium until Friday evening. Some 200 poster stations are in the concourse around LC18 and one will see large numbers of people milling around and reading the posters all the time. Posters are a continuing event at Albany. Because of this unusual aspect of the Albany Conversation one should prepare the posters as self-explanatory as possible. One should also leave blank sheets of paper to leave addresses to receive reprints and additional materials. Posters must be removed before 2:00 pm on Saturday. After that the University cleaning crew will throw them away.

Even though the poster session is a continuing event, the posters are formally presented at specific times as noted in the configuration and schedule. We anticipate the formal presentation of about 30-40 posters at each time. During the above periods the presenters are expected to "man"their posters instead of running around and reading other posters. We know that this is irresistible. Let us assure you that you are not going to miss any good stuff because all posters remain in their stations until Friday evening.

Poster Session: When and Where Should You Mount Your Poster?
All posters are mounted on June 11th at a station which displays the abstract number of your abstract in the Book of Abstracts. Poster abstracts are sequentially numbered in the book of abstracts appearing in the Journal Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics (Supplement Vol. 31, Issue S1, 2013), and 30- 40 or so posters are sequentially presented at one time in the poster session sequences Wednesday through Friday. People should mount their poster only in the station designated by abstract # of their abstract. Note that in the abstract book, the abstracts are arranged in no particular order; it also contains abstract of lectures and there could be 'no show' poster abstract. Look up in the author index, locate the abstract #'s, then go to that poster station bearing your number.

The area allowed for the poster is 4'x4'. Poster boards are hard peg boards with thousands of tiny holes. There are two ways to mount your poster: (1) Bring your poster all prepared on a light card-board 4'x4' and hang them on the poster station from hooks or using strings. (2) If you bring your poster in bits and pieces on several pieces of paper, use heavy duty tapes to attach them. You bring your own supplies to mount the poster. You can also use tapes in various colors to add a dash of brilliance to your station.

The map below shows the configuration of the Conversation site including LC-18 and where posters are mounted. They all happen in the concourse embracing the pool at the center of the University.
You will not know your poster station number until you see the Book of Abstracts which will be distributed free of charge at the Conversation site. In addition it can be downloaded from the Conversation site several weeks in advance.

Lecturers and Chairs of Sessions
All lectures will be held in Lecture Center 18 at the University. Speakers should set aside 1-3 minutes for discussion depending upon the length of the allotted time.Normally there will be no discussion after the short talks by the young investigators of the "lecture + poster" category because the discussion is supposed take place at the poster stations. The Chair of each session controls a light system of yellow and red. Chairs reserve the right to adjust the time of speakers in a session to avoid any inordinate delays in ending a particular session on time, for example morning sessions which eat up the lunch time. Within reason, Chairs have the right to terminate or shorten a speaker's time, if the speaker is incoherent and unable to communicate properly with the audience. Chairs are requested to make sure that during discussion periods, people who have questions should go to the microphone stands and identify themselves and then ask the questions; they are not allowed to shout questions at the speaker from their seats.

Lecture Facilities
The system in place in LC-18 allows the speaker to project the in-house equipment which includes: a PC, Document Camera and a DVD/VHS player. It also allows the speaker a Laptop/Aux and USB connection. In general in University at Albany, speakers feel comfortable to use projection from their own note books using their own programs.If you are a mac user, some of them will come with a special adapter to hookup, and bring this with you. Speakers are strongly advised to bring backup of their power point slides. The document camera allows display from overhead transparencies. There will be staff to help the speaker to set up their projections. If you are interested in further details of our system, they can be found at the YouTube:
YouTube Video on Univ at Albany Projections in LC-18

Final Check List
    Arrange your travel plans so that you reach Albany before 6:00 pm on Tuesday June 11th and leave after 2:30 pm on Saturday June 15th. Those travelling by planes, please take into consideration that they may never arrive or depart on time.
    If you are arriving earlier than the 11th of June, let Prof. Sarma know your arrival time so that appropriate arrangements can be done for letting you into Empire Commons.
    Your poster, heavy duty tape and strings
    power note books. backups and power supply compatible to US standards
    Alarm clock, umbrella and rain coat.
    A copy of this communication & the attached maps.
In this communication, I have tried to cover most of the matters you may be concerned with respect to the 18th Conversation. If some matters are not clear to you, please contact me.

I thank you for reading this communication.

I am looking forward to the pleasure of being your host, June 14-18, 2011

Ramaswamy H. Sarma
Chemistry Department
The University, Albany NY 12222 USA

email: rhs07@albany.edu
phone: 518-456-9362
fax: 518-452-4955

April 10 2013