What does it mean to "chair a PCW session"?

At the Rubin Project and Community Workshop (PCW), the session chairs are responsible for organizing and running their session.

This includes:

  • soliciting volunteers or inviting people to give presentations
  • creating the agenda and abstract for the session
  • ensuring there agenda includes is ample time for discussion
  • facilitating the discussion and promoting research inclusion
  • requesting Rubin staff with particular expertise to be present, if needed

This is a considerably different style compared to other meetings where “chairing” a session typically means only to introduce speakers and ensure they keep to time.

Chairs for science sessions (see below) are identified by the PCW Science Organizing Committee. The SOC takes in all of the science community’s suggestions for breakout session topics, arranges to accommodate as many as possible in the PCW schedule, and reaches out to people who have volunteered to chair or who the SOC thinks might be interested in chairing. Ideally, two chairs are identified per session to share the duties. Sessions are 1.5 hours long.

The SOC then supports the volunteer session chairs in every step of their preparations, to ensure a smooth and successful event. If you volunteer, you will have help!

If you have any questions about chairing a PCW session, please feel free to respond in this thread or send a direct message to the SOC chair @MelissaGraham.

What is a 'science session', and what other types of PCW sessions are there?

Although almost all sessions at the Rubin Project and Community Workshop are open to everyone, the Organizing Committee tries to classify the many parallel breakout sessions by the target audience, namely as ‘project’ (Rubin staff) or ‘community’.

A session classified as ‘project’ might be, e.g., a technical meeting of a team of Rubin developers. Sessions classified as ‘community’ (or ‘science’) are usually on astronomical research topics, suggested by members of the broader science community or the LSST Science Collaborations. A session classified as ‘project/community’ typically means that it is a session chaired by Rubin staff with a target audience of non-staff.

These classifications are just meant to provide an additional piece of information about the session for attendees – again, no sessions are closed unless explicitly stated (e.g., there might be a few board meetings in the schedule). Community members are welcome to attend sessions classified as ‘project’. And the session abstracts will provide even more details to help all attendees figure out which of the many breakout sessions they would most enjoy.

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