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This volume contains the papers presented at the sixth annual conference on Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS VI), which was held at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia, 22-26 September 1996, hosted by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). There were 249 registered participants at the meeting, with 81 people representing 17 countries outside the United States and Canada. So, while the overall attendance was slightly lower than for the previous two meetings, the ``overseas'' participation was higher, making this the most international meeting of the series so far-this is sure to change dramatically at next year's meeting to be held in Germany.
The ADASS VI program included 8 invited speakers and 31 contributed oral papers presented. In addition 81 poster papers and 11 computer demonstrations were available throughout the meeting. This year's conference also featured 11 BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions on special topics including FITS, Tcl/Tk, the Astrophysical Data System (ADS), AIPS and AIPS++, IDL, IRAF, Interactive Data Analysis Environments, Linux in Astronomy, Irregular Time Series, and a second discussion of the Future of Astronomical Data Systems. This volume contains 117 contributions, consisting of 34 papers presented orally (including 5 of the invited papers), 77 poster papers, 3 demonstration summaries, and 3 BoF reports.
The Sunday before the conference saw a Java tutorial, presented by Harry Foxwell of Sun Microsystems, Inc., the two sessions of which framed a lovely brunch buffet in the Omni hotel. Others took a bus tour to the NRAO's Green Bank, West Virginia site, which included a thrilling climb on the enormous Green Bank Telescope, then, as now, under construction. The Thursday after the conference was devoted to the IRAF Developers Workshop, as has become standard at ADASS conferences. The weather cooperated magnificently to enhance the historic setting of the conference banquet, which was held outdoors at Ash Lawn-Highland, the estate of President James Monroe. The conference site, located on Charlottesville's downtown pedestrian mall, brought within easy walking distance a number of fine restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream parlors, and, of course, pubs, all enveloped in fine early autumn weather. One of your editors (H.E.P.) fondly remembers giving a couple of visitors their first look at President Thomas Jefferson's magnificent Monticello on a postcard-perfect late Sunday afternoon.
The conference was sponsored by Associated Universities, Inc., the European Southern Observatory, the Gemini 8m Telescopes Project, the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the National Research Council of Canada, the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the University of Virginia. Corporate sponsors for the conference included GE Fanuc Automation, Sprint Communications, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. We are very grateful to both the sponsoring institutions and the corporate sponsors for their generous support.
A conference of this size cannot possibly succeed without the efforts and dedication of a large number of people; we are indebted to them all. The conference Program Organizing Committee (POC) was comprised of: Rudi Albrecht (ST-ECF/ESO), Roger Brissenden (SAO), Tim Cornwell (NRAO), Dennis Crabtree (DAO/CADC), Bob Hanisch (chair; STScI), Gareth Hunt (NRAO), George Jacoby (NOAO), Barry Madore (IPAC), Jonathan McDowell (SAO), Jan Noordam (NFRA), Dick Shaw (STScI), Karen Strom (UMass), and Doug Tody (NOAO).
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) was chaired by Richard Simon (NRAO). Other members were Alan Batson (UVa), David Brown (NRAO), Gareth Hunt (NRAO), Pat Murphy (NRAO), Bob O'Connell (UVa), Gene Runion (NRAO), Charles Tolbert (UVa), Jeff Uphoff (NRAO), and Carolyn White (NRAO). The LOC would like to express its thanks to Gayle Dodson, Phyllis Jackson, Joanne Nance, Bill Porter, Warren Richardson, Fred Schwab, Amy Shepherd, David Simon, Desiree Simon, Pat Smiley, and Dot Tarleton for invaluable help in making the conference a success.
ADASS VII will be held in Sonthofen, Bavaria, 14-17 September 1997. This will be hosted by the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility and the European Southern Observatory. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the Web page at http://ecf.hq.eso.org/adass/adass97.html.
After many years of dedicated service, Bob Hanisch stepped down from the POC at the conclusion of this conference. He has been the chair of the POC of this conference series since its inception, and his guiding hand has been behind all of the conferences to date. We are sure that we speak for the whole community served by this conference series when we thank him profusely for his efforts. We look forward to seeing him and hearing from him as a participant in future conferences.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Harry E. Payne
Space Telescope Science Institute
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