To achieve a possibly high impact of an ASCOS event,
TUTORIALS A number of tutorials, covering the basics of optical chemical sensors and important related fields, are held by invited lecturers who are internationally renowned specialists in their respective fields and good teachers. The tutorials concentrate on the basics of sensor technology, covering the principles and the limits of the methods as well as some practical applications, starting from a level that can be expected of an average graduate in chemistry or physics. The aim is to give the participants, especially those who have no or little practical experience with this particular method, the chance to learn about the respective method(s) "from the basics".
The tutors are selected by the organising committees upon three criteria:
PROJECT GROUP WORK For the project group work, small, mixed groups of typically 5 to 6 participants are formed and assigned an analytical problem of current interest that should be solved using one or several optical sensors. The organisers (try to) arrange mixed groups composed of people from different countries, laboratories and fields of expertise to promote discussion and exchange of ideas. The participants are requested to use the input from the tutorials (and the tutors - just ask them) and the special knowledge of each participant to find a feasible way to solve the problem. The solutions have to be presented at the last day of the course, involving at least two members of each team. The group voted best by all participants is then presented with the ASCOS award. The solutions should be scientifically sound and realistic, but if the teams find a nice, humorous way for the presentation, this just might give them the extra point(s) to win the ASCOS challenge.
Please remember: the workshop language is English, and everyone is requested to stick to that, in order not to exclude anybody in his / her group from the discussion.
This combination of theory and practical application in a project group work is rather unique and regarded by most participants as the one fact that makes ASCOS superior to conventional teaching courses. Due to the mixing of the team work groups, the participants have to teamwork with people they've probably never met before, deal with new ideas and actively discuss scientific ideas and concepts with others in English (don't be afraid of that - the others will probably be just as worried about their English as you about yours, and it's a great experience). Thus, the feared "grouping" of participants coming from one lab, as so often observed on international conferences, is effectively averted.