The conference on Informatics for Phylogenetics, Evolution, and Biodiversity (iEvoBio) is again holding a Challenge competition in 2012, on the theme "Synthesizing Phylogenies". Somewhere, buried in large sets of trees, lies a stunning new revelation, a baffling discovery, the answer to a longstanding controversy, or simply something not obvious to the naked eye. The mission of the 2012 iEvoBio challenge is to find those revelations, discoveries and answers within your own data and/or within one of the datasets provided by the challenge. What new scientifically interesting results can you pull from these trees, using any combination of techniques at your disposal?
Further information on the nature of challenge entries and how to submit them can be found on the iEvoBio website at http://ievobio.org/challenge.html. Submissions are due by June 25, 2012. Selected candidates will make short oral presentations to demonstrate their work in a "Challenge session" at the conference, and if suitable will automatically be entered into the Software Bazaar track of the conference.
Cash prizes will be awarded for first place (USD 1,500) and runner-up entries. The winning entries will be selected by a vote of the iEvoBio meeting participants.
Alongside the iEvoBio Challenge, 2012 iEvoBio sponsor Biomatters Ltd is running the Geneious Challenge. The goal of this challenge is to develop a new plugin to Geneious Pro, using the public API, that enables a new and exciting visualization or analysis. The winning entry will receive a $1000 cash prize, and all entrants who submit by the deadline will receive a 12-month subscription license. The Geneious Challenge has the same open and closing dates as the iEvoBio Challenge. See http://ievobio.org/geneious_challenge.html for more information.
Separate from iEvoBio, the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is leading a Phylogenetic Tree challenge to encourage not only the development of large phylogenies, but their practical use. Together with the Global Names project they will choose two winning entries: one for the best large tree and one for the most promising but not necessarily large tree -- both in Darwin Core Archive format suitable for use in major biodiversity websites such as EOL. The two winners will receive paid trips to the 2012 iEvoBio conference. See http://eol.org/info/tree_challenge for more information.
More details about the iEvoBio conference and program are available at http://ievobio.org. You can also find continuous updates on the conference's Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/iEvoBio and Google+ page, or subscribe to the low-traffic iEvoBio announcements mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/ievobio-announce.
iEvoBio 2012 is sponsored by the US National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) and by Biomatters Ltd., in partnership with the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and the Systematic Biologists (SSB).
The iEvoBio 2012 Organizing Committee:
Hilmar Lapp, US National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (chair)
Robert Beiko, Dalhousie University
Nico Cellinese, University of Florida
Robert Guralnick, University of Colorado at Boulder
Rebecca Kao, Denver Botanic Gardens
Ellinor Michel, Natural History Museum, London
Nadia Talent, Royal Ontario Museum
Andrea Thomer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign