News Item #28 (August 7, 1999)

329 Abstracts from 55 Countries – And Still Rising!

At the official deadline of August 1st for the submission of abstracts for the ICML contributed paper sessions, 329 abstracts had been submitted from 55 countries. This far exceeds the expectations of the ICML international programme executive and guarantees a rich and high-quality programme for the parallel sessions.

As was expected almost half the abstracts were submitted by people working in the UK and US, but the remainder show a very broad distribution across all regions of the world – except maybe Antarctica. The figure of 32 proposed papers from India reflects particular credit on Dr R P Kumar and his colleagues in the MLAI who have been second to none in the vigour with which they have encouraged their compatriots to participate in ICML.

The numbers are even more impressive when you add in the 24 invited speakers plus the many other presentations which will take place at sessions organised by participating organisations.

During the next few weeks the members of the international programme committee – a group as cosmopolitan as the abstracts themselves – will be using the internet to conduct a rigorous peer review of the papers in time for the programme committee meeting scheduled for London at the end of August. Perhaps some of the northern-hemisphere committee members will be ambitious enough to try hooking their laptops up to cellular modems and doing their peer reviewing from beach or hillside, but most of the work will no doubt be done in more prosaic settings such as office or living room.

Countries from which abstracts have been received (numbers of abstracts in brackets)

Argentina (5), Australia (9), Belgium (1), Brazil (12), Bulgaria (1), Burkina Faso (1), Canada (2), China (3), Czech Republic (2), Cuba (1), Egypt (1), Finland (2), France (2), Georgia (1), Germany (6), Ghana (1), Hungary (6), Iceland (1), India (32), Ireland (1), Israel (2), Italy (13), Japan (2), Kenya (7), Mauritanie (3), Mexico (4), Namibia (1), The Netherlands (2), New Zealand (1), Nigeria(1), Norway(4), Pakistan (3), Peru (1), Philippines (3), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Puerto Rico (2), Romania (1), Russia (1), Senegal (3), Spain (8), Sri Lanka (1), Swaziland (1), Sweden (7), Switzerland (2), Taiwan (1), Tanzania (1), Uganda (3), UK (63), USA (88), Uruguay (2), West Indies (1), Zambia (1), Zimbabwe (3).