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Conferences and workshops are often great - getting together and being together is an ideal setting for doing research and learning things. However, there are various reasons to encourage the possibility of having conferences and workshop through "cyber space". The cost of travel, in terms of time, money, $CO_2$, is large.

Q1: My first question is about software that makes it possible to run lectures with long-distance participation. What are the features and what are additional features we would like to see.

Q2 My second question is about what could be good ideas for running a long-distance workshops or conferences. (This question is mainly experience-based rather than opinion-based.) Hybrid setting with conventional conference that allows some participation from cyber space? Completely cyber conference where each participant stays in his office/study.?

I have some experience with the TCS+ seminars which are completely in cyberspace and participants from the audience can ask questions. They work rather well. (But only a few participants per talk.) I am not familiar of similar things in mathematics.

Very related question: Tools for long-distance collaboration (This is about tools for long distance collaboration, in general. Not specific to seminars/workshops/conferences and also asked nine years ago.)

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    $\begingroup$ I have much more in opinions than in experience to offer. It seems that you want to "preserve the conference experience" in a software medium. If this is so, you should details those parts you want preserved. If instead you are reimagining what a conference could look like, and are asking for such imaginings, then rewrite the question to emphasize that aspect. Either way, I suspect you intend a different question from what is written. Gerhard "Isn't Sure What's Really Wanted" Paseman, 2019.12.28. $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Paseman Dec 28 '19 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ In pure mathematics there's the ECHT which is fully electronic (although some talks have also a local audience) $\endgroup$ – Denis Nardin Dec 29 '19 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ I have no ideas/experience, thus I cann't provide an answer, but I think that your project is very good and important. I've evoked in the past that similar things, workshops, conferences or a journal, could be worked in sites as this MathOverflow, as natural extensions. $\endgroup$ – user142929 Dec 30 '19 at 21:00
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In addition to the homotopy type theory seminar already mentioned, there is also the electronic Computational Homotopy Theory Seminar:

https://s.wayne.edu/isaksen/echt/

Every week, the audience consists of a physically present group, and others who use Zoom to connect. It's pretty seamless to click the link and join (no need for the organizer to manage who has access, etc). The organizer has the ability to mute all microphones, and then audience members can unmute themselves to ask a question. The organizer can presumably also kick people out (e.g., if someone got the link and was trying to be disruptive). Maybe you could reach out to Dan Isaksen for advice, as this seminar is very well organized and successful.

A group of homotopy theorists also published a paper about "less climate-impactful conferencing." This was after they ran a conference that had two hubs instead of one. You could imagine generalizing their model to regional hubs. Hope this helps!

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  • $\begingroup$ Re: "LESS CLIMATE-IMPACTFUL CONFERENCING". Our goal is to illustrate the feasibility of multi-hub conferences and to encourage others to follow our example by simply organising a bunch of them and showing that they work well: the first one (summer 2018) was this one: mpim-bonn.mpg.de/HAMP the second one (summer 2020) risks unfortunately being cancelled because of the current pandemic mpim-bonn.mpg.de/grt2020 the third one (summer 2021) is in advanced stages of planning, but no website exists yet. The fourth one (summer 2022) already has a core group of three organisers. $\endgroup$ – André Henriques Mar 15 at 23:18
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The HoTTEST seminar comes to mind, intended for 60 min talks and 30 min discussion. You can check the link:

https://www.uwo.ca/math/faculty/kapulkin/seminars/hottest.html

for details on the software they use and further information. They also mention a couple of other seminars done electronically as well.

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The Northeastern Combinatorics Network has been running a Virtual Combinatorics Colloquium since March 2018 using Zoom and encouraging local viewing parties. Not exactly a conference, but perhaps a relevant existing program.

https://sites.google.com/view/northeastcombinatoricsnetwork/virtual-combinatorics-colloquium

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A blog post (Edit: hackernews thread) has been written today by Terence Tao citing:

As well as 3 relevant platforms: Zoom, Respondus and BlueJeans

Surely there are more out there waiting to be mentioned

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Given that this kind of information would be very useful to all those of use who are unexpectedly having to learn at short notice how to give courses online, I have created a wiki to collect tips and experiences with different tools: http://mathteach.wikidot.com/ . Please contribute!

(This is not really an answer to the question, since the wiki is currently almost empty.)

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