Dear Bridges Conference Presenters,

With just a few weeks to go, we are all excited about the Bridges 2010 Conference. The tentative Program is now online at the web site, and all authors should be thinking about their presentations. Here are a few general guidelines. Contact the organizers if you want more information.

It is important to remember that this conference is about making connections between art and mathematics. It is not purely a mathematics conference or an art conference. By "art" we mean all areas of artistic work: visual art, architecture, music, literature, poetry, textile art, etc. And by "mathematics" we mean pure and applied mathematics, including related areas of science and engineering.
Please consider the following speaking guidelines:

1. Regular talks are assigned 30 minute slots and short talks are assigned 15 minute slots. This includes time for questions and the last five 5 minutes must be free for changing speakers and moving between rooms. The conference will be held in two different buildings, a block apart, so participants need five minutes free before each talk begins in case they want to switch rooms and possibly buildings. So regular talks should be 20-22 minutes long, with 3-5 minutes allowed for questions and 5 minutes for the switch. Short talks can be about 8 minutes long with 2 minutes allowed for questions and 5 to switch. Allowing less time for your talk with more time for questions and discussion are fine.

2. You will be talking to an audience with a wide range of abilities and backgrounds. So, address your talk as much as possible to a mixed audience---an interdisciplinary community of scholars. Please avoid jargon and non-standard terminology, since many in the audience will not be familiar with the specialized vocabulary of your field.

3. The best talks are usually very visual, with interesting illustrations, photographs, or videos. Most people prepare a PowerPoint presentation to project while they speak. There is time to show more images in a presentation than can fit in a printed paper. Computer projectors are available in all the meeting rooms.

4. Never read a prepared paper. The worst improvised talk is more interesting to listen to than the best read paper.

5. If you are talking from an artistic viewpoint, you should show your own work or the work of other artists. Try to communicate the artistic intentions and the mathematical ideas involved.

6. If you are talking from the mathematical end of the spectrum, provide illustrations of the artistic connections, visual, musical, or whatever. Specialized mathematical ideas and complex proofs will not communicate well to a general audience. It is usually best if they remain in the written paper or a web resource, but mention in your talk if they are available.

7. If you are giving a workshop, please point out how your material can be used by teachers. Workshop sessions are 90 minutes long. Some participants may wish to come or go during the workshop, in order to attend an overlapping talk. You can decide for your workshop whether to fully accommodate people who arrive late or simply allow them to watch without full participation.

8. There will be a display room at the conference with tables for participants to display relevant math/art objects. You can bring interesting work or work-in-progress to further illustrate your talk and leave them in the display room for everyone to view during the remainder of the conference.

Remember also that Bridges is not just about talks, it is about meeting people and engaging in discussions. We expect you will find the chat breaks between formal sessions to be very rewarding. We hope that you will thoroughly enjoy participating in Bridges 2010!

George Hart
Bridges 2010 Program Committee Chair