iEvoBio: Informatics for Phyogenetics, Evolution, and Biodiversity Conference - Norman, Oklahoma, USA. Featuring: Data Integration Challenge



Frequently Asked Questions

What are Lightning Talks?

Lightning talks are short presentations, typically limited to 5 minutes. They are ideal for drawing the attention of the audience to new developments and to resources or subsequent events where more in-depth information can be obtained. Topics of lightning talks can range widely, including a new software tool or new features of an existing tool, introducing a software bazaar demonstration, and efforts to form a special interest or Birds-of-a-feather group. 

As a speaker, focus on the most salient aspects of what you are drawing attention too. You should have something that wows people early on, and not plan to have more than 5 slides.

See the Wikipedia articles on Lightning Talks and Pecha Kucha for further information.


What are Birds-of-a-Feather gatherings?

Birds-of-a-Feather gatherings, usually abbreviated BoFs, are informal discussion groups that often form in an ad-hoc manner and without a preset agenda. BoFs still have a leader who initiates or leads the discussion. See the Wikipedia article on Birds-of-a-Feather for more information.

At iEvoBio, BoFs can be proposed by anyone who is willing to lead such a group. Sign-up sheets will be provided online and on-site where attendees can state their shared interest in the proposed topic, and based on the number of sign-ups the organizers will designate space to groups.

The topics of BoFs can range widely, including how to use a particular software tool, how to use a database API, how to solve a particular computational challenge, and how best to address a specific cyberinfrastructure gap.


What is a Software Bazaar?

At iEvoBio, the Software Bazaar replaces the poster session. Participating presenters will demonstrate their software or database live on laptop computers, and attendees will be able to interact with the software as well as speak with the presenter, much like in a poster session.


Is data integration the theme of the conference?

Data integration is the theme of the iEvoBio conference challenge, not the whole conference. We expect contributions to other parts of the conference to generally fall into the area of informatics aimed at advancing research in phylogenetics, evolution, and biodiversity. Although data integration is one such topic, there are many others, including new tools, cyberinfrastructure development, large-scale data analysis, and data visualization.


My software uses a commercial or proprietary API. Is it eligible?

The open-source requirement for contributed content to iEvoBio applies to the software that is being presented to the community, not 3rd party APIs that it might use. If your software meets those requirements, it is eligible.

For example, if you write open-source software that uses the (proprietary) Google Maps API, it is eligible for iEvoBio. Conversely, proprietary software that uses the (open-source) TreeBASE API would not be eligible. 


My software uses a commercial or proprietary runtime environment. Is it eligible?

The open-source requirement for contributed content to iEvoBio applies to the software that is being presented to the community, not the runtime environment needed to use it. If your software meets those requirements, it is eligible.

For example, open-source Matlab or Mathematica modules are eligible for iEvoBio. Likewise, open-source components for the (proprietary) ArcGIS platform are eligible. Conversely, a proprietary package for the (open-source) R statistics platform is not eligible.


What is a challenge?

A challenge is a task or problem issued by the sponsor, soliciting entries that aim to solve or address the problem. Most challenges, including the iEvoBio challenge, are competitive.  The sponsors award a prize to those judged to provide the best entry or solution.


Who judges the challenge?

For the iEvoBio challenge, the attendees at the conference will judge the winners through a vote.


How do I upload my slides to SlideShare?

Join SlideShare (or log into your SlideShare account). Upload your talk, and join the iEvoBio11 event. Go to your uploaded file (under More . . .) and send it to the event, which will appear in your list.


Will there be Wifi at the conference?

Yes. The details are still being worked out. If you intend to contribute to the software bazaar and expect to have particularly high bandwidth needs during that session, please contact the Organizing Committee (



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