DELTA Workshop at the Harvard University Herbaria

Dave Boufford boufford at HUH.HARVARD.EDU
Sat May 7 10:34:07 CDT 1994

                      (DEscription Language for TAxonomy)
                     -------------  workshop -------------

                        led by Dr. Mike Dallwitz, CSIRO

                             12-15 September 1994
                         Harvard  University Herbaria
                           Cambridge, Massachusetts

      The DELTA (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) format is the
internationally recognized standard for coding descriptive taxonomic
information.  The associated programs, which have been under development
since the mid 1970s, have facilities for maintaining data, producing natural
language descriptions and keys, interactive identification and information
retrieval, and converting data to formats required by programs for cladistic
and phenetic analysis.

      The DELTA system combines traditional taxonomic practice with modern
information science. A working knowledge of the system is a valuable skill
for all involved in the practice of teaching of biological information
storage,analysis and dissemination.

      This DELTA workshop is aimed at those already using DELTA to some
extent.  A prerequisite for the DELTA workshop will be that participants (or
at least one of each pair of participants at each computer) should have a
preliminary working data set at the start of the course (i.e. DELTA data

      Numbers of participants are restricted to about 20-25, working singly
or in pairs on MS-DOS microcomputers.  The workshop will be led by Dr. Mike
Dallwitz (CSIRO Division of Entomology).


      The Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA
02138, USA



Monday: Generating and typesetting natural-language descriptions. Adding
extra characters and reordering the characters.

Tuesday: Introduction to INTKEY - interactive identification and information

Wednesday: Generating printed keys; optimizing by weighting and parameter

Thursday: Advanced use of INTKEY - generating diagnostic descriptions and
group descriptions; extracting subsets of the data; generating files for
input to other programs; incorporating images in INTKEY data sets.
Translating DELTA data for input to phenetic and cladistic programs;
running the phenetic programs supplied with the DELTA package.


Development by participants of their own data sets. Exploration of existing
data sets (Grass Genera of the World; The Families of Flowering Plants;
Beetle Larvae of the World; etc.).


      The fee for the workshop is $100 per person to cover the cost of
lunches, mid morning and mid afternoon snacks and incidentals related to the
workshop.  It is desirable for participants to bring their own computer, but
for those who are unable, a computer can be provided for a one week rental
fee of $135.

      Housing, breakfast and dinner are at the participant's own expense.  A
list of inexpensive housing in the Boston/Cambridge area will be provided.
A wide range of restaurants, from inexpensive to moderately expensive,
are within a 10 to 15 minute walk of the herbarium building.

NOTE:  workshop spaces are limited and enrolment is on a first come basis.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION or to apply please contact:

David E. Boufford
Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
e-mail:  boufford at
tel.     617-495-0794
fax      617-495-9484

Due to travel, replies will not be sent until after 20 June

   -------------------------------- Cut Here -------------------------------

Application for DELTA workshop        To:  DELTA Workshop
                                           Harvard University Herbaria
                                           22 Divinity Avenue
                                           Cambridge, MA 02138
                                           12 thru 15 September 1994

Name        :
Institution :
Address     :

e-mail :
tel.   :
fax    :

Registration fee:          .....................................  $ 100
I need ____ do not need ____ to rent a computer  ...............    135

Total                      .....................................   _____

David E. Boufford
Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA  02138, U.S.A.
Tel.  [1] 617-495-0794; FAX  [1] 617-495-9484

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