Bellairs Workshop on Combinatorial Optimization

April 10th - April 17th, 2015.

Bellairs Research Institute, Barbados

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This continues a tradition of workshops on Combinatorial Optimization and Algorithms. The theme this year is "Discrepancy and Modern Roundings" and we plan to hear some recent progress on algorithmic discrepancy and other dependent rounding techniques. As always, the aim is to promote discussions in a relaxed atmosphere, hopefully leading participants to future collaborative work. Accommodation at Bellairs is spartan (usually two to a room) at a modest daily rate. Friday, April 10th, is the arrival day, with a full program scheduled for Sunday to Thursday. Participants will depart on either Friday (or with permission of the institute, Saturday).

Location: The workshop takes place at the Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados.
The institute is only metres from the beautiful west coast beaches of the island. Here are
some photos of the Institute. The airport is on the south-east point of the island and
Bellairs is on the west side (about a 30 minute taxi drive). Here is a map of Barbados.

Some Previous Editions:
2013: Combinatorial Optimization
2012: Algorithmic Game Theory
2011: Approximation Algorithms
2010: Approximation Algorithms
2009: Algorithmic Game Theory
2008: Integer Programming
2007: Combinatorial Optimization

Schedule: The workshop schedule is here.

Participants: Nikhil Bansal (Eindhoven), Yang Cai (McGill), Fritz Eisenbrand (EPFL), Aline Ene (Warwick), Zachary Friggstad (Alberta), Anupam Gupta (CMU), Nick Harvey (UBC), Fotis Illiopoulos (Berkeley), Muhammad Khan (McGill), Jochen Konemann (Waterloo), James R Lee (U. Washington), Seffi Naor (Technion), Alantha Newman (DIMACS), Sasho Nikolov (Rutgers), Neil Olver (Amsterdam), Thomas Rothvoss (UW), Barna Saha (UMASS), Laura Sanita (Waterloo), Roy Schwartz (Princeton), Bruce Shepherd (McGill), Mohit Singh (MSR), Aravind Srinivasan (Maryland), Ola Svensson (EPFL), Chaitanya Swamy (Waterloo), Richard Torres (McGill), Nisheeth Vishnoi (EPFL), Chenglong Zou (McGill)

Directions: Tell the taxi drivers to take you to Bellairs Research Centre in Holetown.
Holetown is on the main street - you can't really miss it. The taxi ride should cost about $45 U.S.
There are buses but one must first travel to Bridgetown (the capital) and transfer to another line.

Some things to know: Barbados is safe and one shouldn't worry about travelling
alone. US currency is freely accepted at 2 Barbadian dollars per US dollar. Other
currencies (Pound sterling, Canadian dollars) are not accepted; you will have to change
them at banks or at the airport.  People had trouble using their bank cards from
Europe, but Canadian and US cards seem to work fine. Note that some of the better restaurants
in the area do require long trousers in the evenings.

Computers: There is wireless hookup for laptops so you can bring your own laptop.
There are also several computers (and one printer) available. There is a small
weekly fee for using the internet connections.

Accommodation: Reservations are already made. You pay Bellairs directly
during the workshop. The cost of a room is around $40 US per day per person.
Breakfast is provided. We tend to buy lunch at local restaurants
or at the shopping centre 10 minutes walk from the Institute. The cook prepares dinner
(6pm sharp) for approximately $20 U.S. The accommodations are of the level of student
dormitories, please do not expect the level of the (very expensive) hotels on either side of
the institute. We can of course expect the mathematics and scenery to be at a very high level.
If you snore considerably, please let us know in advance. It helps when making the
room assignments. Trust us, we have experience (famous last words of one colleague:
"I'm determined to teach myself to embrace this").

Family Policy: Participants are normally expected to stay the conference duration and to avoid distractions during the workshop, we request that family members join
you either only the week before or only the week after the workshop, but not during the workshop.

Visas: Visitors from North America and most of Europe do not need a visa
to visit Barbados. Nationals of some countries (e.g. India, Iran) do require a visa.
Strong Warning - Visas can take up to three or four weeks to be issued so apply early.

For more information please contact the organizers: Nick Harvey (nickhar@cs.ubc.ca) or Bruce Shepherd (bruce.shepherd@mcgill.ca).