Banf International Research Station
For more information on the BIRS program,Click here
What is BIRS? The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a joint Canada-US-Mexico initiative that seeks to bring together people from a wide range of mathematical, scientific and industry backgrounds and to create a forum for the exchange of knowledge and methods between these specialists.
For information relating to the history, mandate, governance, and program descriptions of BIRS, feel free to explore our website at: https://www.birs.ca/about
Please note that while BIRS provides logistical support for the activities at CMO, is not responsible for any aspect of its local operations. Participants assume responsibility for their own travel and well being as is customary for conferences of this nature.
About CMO (Casa Matemática Oaxaca)
What is CMO?
Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) is an International research facility affiliated with the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) of Canada. CMO will host scientific activities and gather mathematicians from around the world in an environment that will promote innovative ideas in the mathematics field. CMO will also support activities to promote local development through research and teaching of mathematics.
The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) in Mexico, and the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) in Banff, are collaborative Canada-US-Mexico ventures that provide an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry.
The research station in Banff is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT). The research station in Oaxaca is funded by CONACYT.
In the following lines you will find a few words about the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) and Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO).
Inaugurated in 2003, BIRS is a joint Canada-US-Mexico initiative that addresses the imperatives of collaborative and cross-disciplinary research with a focus on the mathematical sciences and their vast array of applications in the sciences and in industry. Its modus operandi facilitates intense and prolonged interactions between scientists in a secluded environment, with uninterrupted research activities in a variety of formats, all in a most inspiring and supportive setting.
In 2005, Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) joined Alberta Innovation, the US National Science Foundation and Canada’s Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, becoming a BIRS sponsor.
In 2013, upon the initiative of three of the main mathematical institutions in México: the Instituto de Matemáticas and the Centro de Ciencias Matemáticas, both from the National University of Mexico, UNAM, and the Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas (CIMAT), a CONACYT research center, CONACYT supported the creation of Casa Matemática Oaxaca as a BIRS affiliated research Centre.
There were many reasons to select Oaxaca as the seat of the new international station: Oaxaca is one of the most charming, beautiful, enjoyable and interesting cities one can find in Mexico and in the world. It is a cultural capital, with a base of academic institutions that offer a propitious environment for the confluence of mathematical researchers. It has multiple historical, gastronomic and artistic attractions with deep roots in the ethnic richness of its original cultures. And additionally, its geographical location and climate makes it an ideal place to host scientists from all over the world, inspiring creativity and collaborative work.
CIMAT, led by its Director José Antonio de la Peña, brilliantly conducted the CMO-BIRS program during 2015 and 2016. Its temporary headquarters were at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles, in the outskirts of the city of Oaxaca.
The responsibility of conducting the CMO-BIRS program is now in the hands of UNAM’s Institute of Mathematics. Founded in 1942, it is the oldest mathematics research Institute in Latin America and it has been ever since a houselight for mathematics in Mexico.
Casa Matemática Oaxaca will keep this year its headquarters at Los Laureles. We will work hard to ensure that you will have a most fruitful and enjoyable experience at Casa Matemática Oaxaca.
Dr. Hortensia Galeana. Director Casa Matemática Oaxaca
Accommodation is at the Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles, in Oaxaca city. Accommodation and meals are provided free of charge during the workshop dates (Sunday night to mid-day Friday), for invited participants only. If you bring guests, they will have to pay for their own meals. As well, there will be an additional room charge per night for guests.
If you wish to arrive before the workshop begins or stay after the workshop ends, you must arrange and pay for your own accommodation.
Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles will offer a special rate for CMO-BIRS participants; however, due to other workshops, there may not be availability. Other accommodation may be found using Trip Advisor.
For rates and other useful information regarding accommodation and guest click here.
Where will I be staying?
Participants of CMO workshops will stay at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles in Oaxaca. You will receive notice in your registration package (approximately four weeks in advance).
For how long can I stay at the facility?
Participants in 5-day workshops can check into their hotel on Sunday and typically remain until the Friday of the same week.
If you plan to arrive before Sunday or intend to remain in Oaxaca or Mexico beyond Friday, please note that you will be expected to book your own accommodation. Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles will offer a special rate for CMO-BIRS participants; however, due to other workshops, there may not be availability. Other accommodation may be found using Trip Advisor.
May I bring a guest?
Yes. However, please note that if you bring guests, they will have to pay for their own meals. As well, there will be an additional room charge per night for guests: Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles - 700 Mexican pesos per night (including taxes). No meals included.
Do I need to stay in CMO's accommodation?
Accommodation at the Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles is automatically granted to all workshop participants. If, however, you do not feel that such accommodation is right for you, a number of alternatives are available. CMO recommends using Trip Advisor to find alternatives.
What sorts of amenities are available in my room?
Each room has air conditioning/heating, towels, cotton bathrobes, hairdryer, soaps and shampoos, classic-style furnishings, 25 inch color television, wireless Internet in all areas and office center.
Is there a way for me to get my laundry done at the hotel?
Yes. Laundry services are available to all hotel guests.
If I have mobility issues, will I be able to navigate the CMO and hotel accommodation?
Please include your request in your registration, at least two weeks in advance, and confirm via email at email@example.com.
Is there a telephone line through which I can be reached during my stay with CMO?
Yes, there will be a telephone in each room. Once you have received your hotel assignment, you may have your calls directed either to Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles: +52 951 501-5300
Do I need a visa in order to come to CMO?
For visa Information please visit www.inm.gob.mx/index. However, we suggest you check with the Embassy of Mexico in the country of origin for any updated information.
If you require a visa support letter please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I find information for travel funding?
Although CMO provides meals and accommodation to workshop participants free of cost, it unfortunately cannot subsidize travel costs to and from Oaxaca and Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles.
Where do I check in for the workshop?
For lodging at your assigned hotel:
Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles Check-in is from 3:00 pm
The hotel is located at: Calle Hidalgo # 21, San Felipe del Agua, C.P. 68020 Oaxaca, Oax.
Tel: (52) 951 501 5300 or (52) 951 520 0890
Where do I go for the workshop?
San Felipe Conference Room at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles.
What are my transportation options for getting to CMO?
Book your flight to the Xoxocotlán International Airport (OAX), in Oaxaca. For detailed information on transportation to your hotel, please click here.
Where and how do I get my meals?
Lunch and dinner will be at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles. Breakfast will be at your assigned hotel. CMO participants will receive a scheduled breakfast, lunch and dinner, for which the menu will be fixed (ie. you will not have a choice of options). If you have any dietary restrictions, please include your request in your online registration or via email at email@example.com, at least two weeks in advance.
What are the meal costs for guests?
If your guest wishes to join you for meals he/she may order off the regular hotel menu with a special discount of 20% at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included for the 5-day workshop.
The meals included in your workshop start with dinner on Sunday evening and end with lunch on the last day of the workshop.
➢ Breakfast 7:30 – 9:00 am, at your assigned hotel.
➢ Lunch 13:30 – 15:00 pm, Restaurant Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles, Monday – Friday
➢ Dinner 19:00 – 21:00 pm, Restaurant Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles, Monday – Thursday
➢ Dinner 19:30 – 22:00 pm, Restaurant Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles, Sunday only.
➢ Continuous Coffee Breaks: Conference Room San Felipe, Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles
Note: Workshop organizer may suggest a different schedule
Are there any computers available for use at the hotels?
Yes. There are four laptops available at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles for participants to use.
Can I access the Internet from my laptop while at the hotels?
Yes. Each hotel has both ethernet ports as well as wireless internet access.
Can I print from my own laptop while at the workshop?
No. However, for your convenience, there will be a printer available at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles that may be used with any of the four laptops provided.
Town of Oaxaca Information
What are the climate conditions in Oaxaca ?
Over the course of a year, the temperature in Oaxaca typically varies from 9°C to 31°C and is rarely below 6°C or above 34°C. Good sources for this information are https://weatherspark.com and https://espanol.weather.com/weather/today.
What are some good places to visit in Oaxaca and surroundings?
There are several amazing places to visit in Oaxaca. You can find information at http://www.oaxaca.travel/index.php/es/
If you plan to extend your trip in Oaxaca and are looking for adventure, consider the Copalita Trail – a five-day trek that takes you from the alpine region of Oaxaca, all the way down to the coveted pristine beaches of the Pacific. Find more information at www.caminocopalita.com.
What are the electrical systems and plug types used in Oaxaca ?
México uses 100–127 Volt, 60 Hz electrical outlets, the same electrical standards as the U.S. and Canada.
Where can I exchange currencies?
It is highly advised to exchange currencies in your country of origin, where you will probably get a better exchange rate with your currency. There are several currency exchanges in downtown Oaxaca, and a bus from the hotels to downtown that takes about 15 minutes. Please note that many businesses in Oaxaca only accept cash payments; therefore, it is highly advisable that you obtain some local currency to use.
What is the etiquette around tipping?
For information on tipping guidelines in and around Oaxaca city, please visit the Trip Advisor website.
Construction of new facilities is underway. In the meantime, CMO will operate out of the Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles, in the city of Oaxaca.
All lectures will be held in the Conference Room San Felipe at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles. An LCD projector, one projection screen, a laptop, a digital document camera, chalkboards and wireless internet access are available to presenters. Capacity: 50.
Meeting Room: The meeting room is for informal group discussions. A printer, laptops, chalkboards, water and wireless Internet access, are freely available in the meeting room. Capacity: 10.
Hotel Hacienda Los LaurelesCMO Meeting Facilities
Conference Room San FelipeCMO Meeting Facilities
Meeting RoomCMO Meeting Facilities
Meeting RoomCMO Meeting Facilities
Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles
Address: Hidalgo # 21 San Felipe del Agua; Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, 68020, México.
Check-in / Check-out:
All check-in/check-out procedures are handled at the Front Desk of the Hotel. Check-in is 2:00 pm and check-out is 12:00 noon. If you need to store luggage at the time you check-out, please leave it at the Front Desk of the Hotel.
Lodging and meals are provided free of charge during the workshop dates (Sunday night to mid-day Friday), for invited participants only. Accommodations are located at the Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles in Oaxaca City.
All lectures will be held in the Conference Room San Felipe at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles. An LCD projector, one projection screen, a laptop, a digital document camera, chalkboards and wireless internet access are available to presenters; Wifi: CMO-BIRS, Password: cmo_oaxaca. Capacity: 50.
The meeting room at each hotel is for informal group discussions. A printer, laptops, chalkboards, water and wireless internet access are freely available in the meeting room. This room has been furnished and stocked for your convenience and enjoyment and you are invited to come and go as you please.
For your convenience, there will be a CMO office at Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles, Room 104.
Tea, coffee and small snacks are provided during coffee breaks and are complimentary. Chalkboards are available at each hotel (check at the front desk in your hotel for location) for your convenience—feel free to use them.
CMO-BIRS Computer System:
There are laptops available at CMO-BIRS meeting room at each hotel for participants to use and there will be one at the CMO Office.
For your convenience, there is a printer located in the Meeting Room and one inside the CMO office. Nametags: can be found in your hotel room. Workshop Schedules: You will find these at the entrance of the conference room and at the entrance of the hotel.
Information for Organizers
If I want to organize a workshop at CMO, what should I do?
All potential organizers must submit an application and proposal to the BIRS Scientific Advisory Board. Information on this process is found on the BIRS website, as well as updated calls for proposals and deadlines. Please consult our “For Applicants” section at: http://www.birs.ca/applicants/guidelines
What is the “organizer interface”?
The organizer interface is an online program that allows all organizers to manage the various events that they are planning. Through the interface, organizers can access lists of invitees, see breakdowns of who is attending workshops (or not) etc. It is very important that organizers check their interface accounts regularly, particularly in the early stages of the invitation process, as invitations cannot be sent out to potential participants until all of the invitees’ relevant information (names, email addresses and so on) has been entered into the interface by the organizer him/herself and the draft list of invitees has been confirmed by him/her. Please always send the BIRS program coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) a note when new invitee information has been entered into the interface so that we know when and how to proceed.
How do I create an account on the organizer interface?
Go to https://www.birs.ca/orgs and click on “Create Account”. Set up a username and password, which you can use to log into the interface every subsequent time. Be sure to use the same email address in logging into the interface as you used in registering for the workshop. This will allow the system to identify you as an organizer.
How do I send out invitations to participants?
Organizers are tasked with making initial invitee lists and entering all potential invitee information (names, email addresses etc) into the organizer interface. All invitees must be initially classified as either “participants” (maximum 42 in most cases, but check the event details beforehand, because sometimes the maximum number of participants allowed is smaller) or as “back-up participants”. When this has been completed, send the BIRS program coordinator (email@example.com) a quick note. We will send you back a confirmation before we send out official invitations from our central database.
Through your interface account you can track the number of people who accept or decline invitations. After a time, we may prompt you to choose some of the people from your “back-up participants” list to become formal, invited potential participants. We will then send out a second round of invitations on your behalf.
Planning Your 5-day CMO-BIRS Workshop
Please visit this link for information on planning your 5-day CMO-BIRS Workshop.
After Your 5-day CMO-BIRS Workshop
Please visit this link for information on processes to complete after your 5-day CMO-BIRS Workshop.
Reply to an Invitation
To accept or decline an invitation to a CMO workshop (in Mexico), please visit https://www.birs.ca/cmo-rsvp.
If you are interested in attending a CMO workshop, please refer to the guidelines below.
For Faculty: Please email the BIRS Program Coordinator ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), who will then submit your request to the organizers of the workshop you are interested in attending.
For Students and Postdocs: Please email the BIRS Program Coordinator ( email@example.com ) with a brief letter of recommendation from your supervisor. We will then submit your request to the organizers of the workshop you are interested in attending.
I would like to participate in a workshop. Can I register somewhere?
Workshop participation is by invitation only. Individual workshop organizers are responsible for drafting lists of potential invitees, not CMO or BIRS directly; however, if you are interested in participating in a particular workshop you can email a BIRS administrator, who will forward your statement of interest to one of the organizers involved. If you are a student we recommend sending a letter of recommendation from your supervisor along with your initial email.
Could BIRS send me my invitations and information packages by regular post?
BIRS is unfortunately unable to do this, for a number of reasons, particularly due to the sheer volume of information that we require from all participants, compatibility with our online database, and the occasional need for very prompt replies. If a participant is unable to be reached by email on a regular basis, he/she should contact his/her workshop contact organizer to make alternate arrangements.
How do I change my registration details?
You can email the BIRS Program Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been invited to attend a workshop, but I won’t know if I will be able to commit to it until after the RSVP deadline. What should I do?
It is important for BIRS administrators to know who is attending any given workshop well in advance of the workshop itself. This allows us not only to think about room allocation and meal plans, but also to potentially invite more people to join the workshop, if definite places remain. As such, we would ask that you respond to all of our emails as promptly as possible; however, we understand that it can be difficult for some people to commit to certain workshops so early on, especially if traveling from abroad. We would ask that if you are unable to give us a definite answer before the deadline, you write to us to tell us so, stating your reason for delay and when you are likely to know by. This will greatly facilitate our planning! We will forward your email to the appropriate organizers.
I was contacted by BIRS a while ago, but haven’t received any invitations or updates since then. Why is that?
If you think you haven’t received information from BIRS that you ought to have, we recommend first checking your spam/junk mail folder. Should that fail, please contact us for any missing information at: email@example.com.
Can I see the detailed schedule and abstracts for my workshop in advance?
BIRS administrators post detailed schedules and abstracts for workshops to the website as soon as they are made available to us. These can be found by going to http://www.birs.ca/location/cmo/2020/all. Select the year of the event you will be attending in the scroll-down menu at the top of the page. By clicking on the code next to the title (ex: 12w5083) you will be brought to the workshop-specific homepage. There you will find any schedules or abstracts that have been posted.
As a presenter, will I be able to publish workshop lecture slides to the web?
Yes. The following instructions explain how to publish files related to your workshop on the workshop web page: https://www.birs.ca/cmo/publishing-cmo-slides.
I need to write a workshop report. Are there any guidelines or templates available?
You can find old workshop reports online at: http://www.birs.ca/reports. Bear in mind that your audience are scientists.
What is the purpose of the testimonials that participants and organizers are asked to volunteer to write after workshops?
The benefits of testimonials are three-fold.
- For participants, they provide an opportunity to think back on the past few days and to recall and organize one’s thoughts on what was learned throughout their time at CMO.
- For the workshop community at large, they enable people to see what stood out to their colleagues in each workshop; their colleagues may perhaps emphasize important aspects of the week they hadn’t before considered to be of note.
- For BIRS and CMO, feedback helps us to see our strengths and our weaknesses. Positive testimonials also enable us to show our sponsors that the funds they have granted us are being put to good use. Testimonials are invaluable to us in the funding renewal process and participants’ taking the time to write one is thus very much appreciated!
How do I write a testimonial?
You may be contacted directly by email by our Scientific Director, requesting you to give us your input. If so, a link should be included in the email and you need only follow the steps as they appear.
If this is not the case, you can access a simple testimonial-writing page via our website at https://www.birs.ca/feedback.
What sorts of remarks should I make in a testimonial?
The content of a testimonial is largely up to you. Some people choose to write long paragraphs, while other people simply jot down a sentence or two. You can reflect upon the organization of the workshop, the setting and facilities in Oaxaca, the mathematical and scientific aspects of your specific workshop, or whatever else you deem to be appropriate. There are some guidelines on what to include as potential “scientific content” on our online testimonial-writing page at: http://www.birs.ca/feedback. You can see examples of testimonials by following the link on the BIRS homepage, where we publish excerpts of testimonials for the various workshops held in our facilities at http://www.birs.ca/testimonials/cmo. We endeavor to preserve the integrity of each testimonial, although we reserve the right to occasionally edit for grammar, clarity or anonymity, where appropriate.