This page notes things that may be different from your experience or expectations. This is the "Buffalo Structures", but we won't be anywhere near Buffalo. It is being held on the campus of the University at Buffalo, but we'll be almost a mile away from college buildings (see map). It is being held in Amherst, a large and powerful community with many highways running through it, but the name "Amherst" does not appear on any highway sign in the entire Buffalo area. Roads don't go where you think they should go---pay careful attention to signs and disappearing lanes especially on the routes toward the airport.
If you come by train, note that the main Buffalo train station is the one called "Depew", not the one called "Buffalo-Exchange St." (Amtrak is now clear about this, but your travel agent may not be. The Exchange St. "station" is a tiny shack underneath a highway---avoid it at night if you can.) The Depew station is 2 miles south of the airport---you can take a cab to a car-rental place at the airport, or take the cab all the way to your hotel for roughly a $20 fare.
If you come by bus (Greyhound and Trailways serve Buffalo) the downtown Buffalo bus station on Ellicott St. is fine---it is in a safe area in the main part of downtown. Unfortunately, on weekends there is no direct way to get to the hotel complex or the UB North Campus from there!---because the #44 bus does not run on weekends.
The thing to do is to walk 1-2 blocks west to Main Street and take our single subway line (called MetroRail) north to its terminus at the UB South Campus. (Here Main Street is a pedestrian district, and the subway is above ground and looks like a trolley car.) Then what you should do depends on where you're staying:
In any event, if you're "stuck" Sat. or Sun. before 3pm, call me at home, 837-8363.
If you've flown to Buffalo before, surprise! we have a new modern airport between the two now-closed terminals of the old airport. Same location, nicer, no more "which terminal?" hassle---but there is still a lot of construction in the surrounding lots. Everything you need---car rentals, courtesy phones for the free Hampton, Marriott, or University Inn airport shuttles---is compactly laid out in the baggage-claim area.
Travelers from Europe may find it hard to avoid a long stopover at their first US airport; 3-5 hours is not uncommon. If U.S. Customs is incredibly quick you may be able to catch an earlier flight, but any luggage that you've checked rather than carried will not. Flying to Toronto is a viable option, especially since the Niagara Airbus takes you from Toronto's international airport right to the Marriott in the Flint Rd. hotel complex.
Besides the Hampton and Marriott hotel restaurants, the Flint Rd. hotel complex includes Max Hart's Diner right near the Hampton Inn, and a mini-mall with pizza takeout and an Internet café. The Max Hart's kitchen is open until 11pm on Saturday nights, later if business is brisk. They have a 1950s retro theme and a fairly varied menu---chicken and pasta dinners besides the array of hamburgers and sandwiches. They also have a bar, and will also be a natural place to head after Wednesday night's Rump Session. They even make their own Buffalo Wings.
For the True Original Buffalo Wings, however, and good live jazz music, let me recommend the Anchor Bar (1047 Main Street, 886-8920, map) to anyone feeling up to driving downtown on Saturday June 13. The live jazz usually starts at 10pm on Saturdays (and Fridays). Driving directions from the hotels: Take Millersport Hwy. south to where it ends, flow south onto Bailey, and turn right at the first light onto Main St. After 4-5-or-so miles the road will make a notable curve to the left at Ferry St. Count off 9/10 of a mile from there, and you'll see a bright "Wendy's" sign on the left. The Anchor Bar is the next building on the left far corner, but its parking lot is before it, just behind the Wendy's lot. After 10:30pm it can get very crowded.
See Alan's recommendations for other ideas, plus my Buffalo-Niagara page has links to official tourism guides.
The Welcoming Barbecue on Sunday, June 14 will be 4-9 pm, rather than the "traditional" 7-10pm reception time. It will be on the Center For Tomorrow grounds---the site has a covered area and room to move inside in case of rain. For good weather we may be able to get volleyball and/or soccer equipment. Wine, beer, soft drinks, and some bar drinks will be served.
The Welcoming Barbecue is sponsored by the UB Computer Science Department. Chair Stuart Shapiro may attend and also speak on Monday morning if he returns from Italy in time.
In my presentation last year in Ulm I pitched the Buffalo area as a great family vacation destination, with not just Niagara Falls but much else within a one- or two-hour drive. To go with that, the Barbecue and the Falls Excursion are expressly welcome to families. To give families the freedom to decide what to do while they're here and remove any impediment to coming, I've taken the experimental step of making these two events free for family members + significant-others. We still need to have a good idea of numbers by May 29.
The Falls Excursion busses will depart at 2pm on Tue. June 16, and will take you to the "American Side" of the falls. The Amercian side often suffers in comparisons with the "Canadian Side", which fronts the famous Horseshoe straight-on, but the American side has the unique experience of walking around Goat Island,where you can see the Horseshoe from the side and walk right up against the top of the Bridal Veil falls. Goat Island is unspoiled by commercial clutter. Both sides have landings for the Maid-of-the-Mist boat, and the U.S. side has other attractions such as the "Cave of the Winds." Chances are you will get wet from mist---plan and dress accordingly.
I expect that many people will wish to see the Canadian side. For practical reasons, I could not plan to send a bus across the U.S.-Canadian border. However, I am making it feasible to see both sides by having one of the two busses depart at 9pm or so. (The other bus will depart at 6pm, giving time to change and go to a restaurant in Buffalo or Amherst for those who wish to do so. Each bus seats 64, and its' a 35-minute ride.) In contrast to the dearth of restaurants on the American side, the Canadian side has several good ones. To get there, you can take a 15-min. walk across the Rainbow Bridge or take a cab. If you think you might wish to cross into Canada, be sure to check visa information---e.g. the Czech Republic and Canada are having a tiff over treatment of Roma people.
The Falls Excursion is sponsored by the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Dean Joseph R. Tufariello will officially open the conference on Monday morning.
The Business Meeting on Wed. June 17 (6pm) will be a quasi-dinner, with Buffalo Wings and vegetarian pizza and salads planned, as well as beer and wine and soft drinks. This and the Canadian-side option on Tuesday night are two explanations of why we chose not to have a conference banquet this year; another is the next item.
There will be a Survivors' Party chez-moi (162 Maynard Drive: go south on Millersport; 6th light (and second after the 6-way Eggert/Longmeadow intersection) is Maynard; make a left and we are the 2nd house on the right, corner of Hendricks) in the late afternoon / early evening of Thursday June 18. More details later.
Lunches will be served on-site and are included in the registration fee. The menus include vegetarian choices.
The conference room is flat, but has long thin tables that provide for arm rests and note-taking. Its size is adjustable---the other side of the divider is the dining area. We are the only event at the site, except that another event will take place while we are at Niagara Falls, and we have full use of the grounds.
For discussions outside the main room, there is one "breakout room," and there are some tables in the covered patio area outside. The Internet access terminals will be in the breakout room, using ports usually intended for business people with laptops; I am trying to judge the tradeoff between number of terminals and crowding. The breakout room was used for a Buffalo-Boston-Amsterdam complexity workshop some years ago.
The brochure's compact "Reception/Registration" wording implies that the latter will be on Sunday---it will also be possible on Monday. I've actually not yet worked out the details yet---as part of the all-in-one package that handles your mail/fax/online registrations, we have a formal check-in service on Monday, but I may find that volunteers can do this job (which is probably simpler than business-conference registration) equally well either day.