CINF Technical Program Highlights

ImageThe Boston 2015 national meeting turned out to be one of CINF's biggest yet, and I daresay one of the most diverse. At 180 papers and 16 symposia, we ended up having to parallel track several sessions. This included programming a parallel session against the Herman Skolnik Award symposium, which we traditionally try to avoid. Fortunately the organizers did such an excellent job with talk quality that we drew substantial audiences for both sessions: they were standing room only (even after I stole chairs from other rooms). I can't thank all of the Boston organizers enough for all their hard work recruiting the array of speakers, drawing in cross-divisional participants and audience members. Bravo!

After an early morning symposium diving deep into the philosophy of handling data flow, this time around we brought back, on an experimental basis, CINFlash lightning talks to demonstrate workflow tools, presented in rapid succession. Feedback for the format was very positive so that the “lightning demos” is something we’ll probably see more of in the future. In the rapidly evolving cheminformatics world, keeping tabs of new tools is always a challenge. This tied in with the afternoon symposium on “Data Visualization to Guide Optimization,” which ranged from philosophical approaches on large scale data visualization (woe unto the pie chart!) to SAR tools seeking to present analysis of the chemical data itself. The symposium generated some passionate commentary from the packed crowd. 

CINF was also very pleased to play a role in a careers panel breakfast, a Wikipedia chemistry edit-a-thon, and speed networking for undergraduate careers. We are focusing more and more on outreaching to other divisions as well as enhancing our role in continuing education. Chemical information is seeing increased relevancy across these fields, and I am delighted at the way the Boston national meeting included this work.

Even “General Papers,” which often attracts the leanest crowd on Thursday, drew decent attendance well into the afternoon. This always makes me happy as it often includes students and early-stage career chemists looking to share their research with the rest of the world. This time around we had eight presentations, and some lively discussion on subjects ranging from the use of periodicals to tautomer handling in commercial screening samples. We are still in the process of collecting presentation slides from the meeting (which always takes a while), so stay tuned for their posting (if shared by speakers) on the CINF website.

CINF has been looking forward to the spring 2016 ACS National Meeting for some time: with a theme like “Computers in Chemistry” we are pretty excited about the cross-divisional opportunities. We’ve put out the call for papers covering a wide range of topics with 15 symposia, and many other co-sponsored ones. Highlights include several fine-tuned topics on large scale data management and meta-data, mining chemistry- and biology-based data across various data sources and types, and broad ethical conundrums in dealing with all these issues. We have several others off the mainstream, so be sure to check out the call for papers (link).

Thanks again for the large array of people who contributed to making the Boston program one of our biggest and best yet. See you in San Diego!

Erin Davis, Chair, CINF Program Committee

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Recorded content from the 250th ACS National Meeting, August 16-20, 2015, including five CINF symposia (36 presentations in total), is available for ACS members at: