Guide for Organizers of MCDA/MCDM Summer Schools

I OBJECTIVES OF THE SUMMER SCHOOL

  1. The main objective of the School is to spread out knowledge of multicriteria decision aiding (MCDA) and multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) methodology among researchers and practitioners of future generations.
  2. The School should aim at giving a complete and up-to-date image of MCDA/MCDM problems, methods and software, with an emphasis on the most recent theoretic and practical research. This means that each research area of MCDA/MCDM should be represented in the corpus of knowledge transmitted to the students, and each of these areas should be presented to the students by the most competent lecturers.
  3. The School should be organized as a two-week long residential course in the Summer period.
  4. The School should facilitate contacts between young researchers of different countries, with different education and background (universities, research centres, industries, government offices).
  5. The School should give each participant the opportunity to discuss real specific problems with experts, to the great advantage of the former (practical application of theoretic research, encouragement towards a deeper study of MCDA/MCDM problems and methods, and towards the organization of special introductory courses to be held in their own firms) and of the latter (opportunities to check the practical possibilities of the MCDA/MCDM methods proposed, and useful pointers for future research).
  6. Apart from regular lectures, the School should include:
    • case studies solved by small groups of students supported by the lecturers,
    • free group discussions involving the students and the lecturers such discussions could answer some questions of general interest concerning MCDA/MCDM, like open and challenging problems, strong and weak points of available methods and software, the way of selecting a right method for a given problem,
    • a meeting with an experienced editor of a major journal publishing papers on MCDA/MCDM, in order to explain the publishing process to the students and to instruct them how to get published,
    • practical exercises with some available software tools,
    • evening lectures on a specific topic related to MCDA/MCDM are to be rather avoided, however, if necessary, no more than one extra evening lecture per week can be organized,
    • a social program for the weekend, where the group comes together and carries out some social activities.
  7. In order to ensure the widest diffusion of MCDA/MCDM, it is recommended to organize each edition of the School in different parts of the World.
  8. The program of the School should be set up by the Co-ordinating Committee (CC) composed of:
    • 3 representatives of the International Society of Multiple Criteria Decision Making,
    • 3 co-ordinators of the EURO Working Group on Multiple Criteria Decision Aiding,
    • 2 organizers of the present and past edition of the School.
  9. The School is to be organized every three years.

II MAIN STEPS AND IMPORTANT REMARKS

  1. 18 months to D-day
    • CC is searching for the organizer of the next edition of the School after the current one.
    • Organization of the first meeting of CC if there is no opportunity to meet in one place, organize the discussion via Internet. The organizer is expected to confirm the approximate dates of the next School. On the agenda are the first discussion of the program, the promotion channels to be used, sponsors, and other organizational issues.
    • Creation of the webpage of the School and agreement of the CC about the promotional material (leaflet, poster, website information), and about the set of documents to be provided for students. The students formal application should include a motivation statement and a CV, as well as a recommendation letter from a scientific advisor (if it exists).
    • The organizer applies for subsidy from EURO and Int. Soc. of MCDM.
  2. 12 months to D-day
    • The organizer confirms the exact place and dates of the School.
    • CC discusses the program and lecturers to be invited.
    • The organizer fixes the participation fee for students.
    • The call for students distributed through all available communication channels (EURO, INFORMS, newsletters of the EURO-WG on MCDA and of the Int. Soc. of MCDM).
    • Search for other sponsors (enterprises, banks, research and education funds, etc.).
  3. 9 months to D-day
    • Inviting the nominated lecturers in the priority order established by CC.
    • CC examines the bids for the next edition of the School and selects the organizer who is advised to participate in the current edition of the School.
  4. 6 months to D-day
    • Examination of the applications of students by the organizer helped by CC. If there are some funds available for helping students who cannot afford the full participation fee, the CC grants to some students a reduction of the participation fee.
    • About 50 selected students are invited to register and pay the participation fee. These students should prepare posters on their own research to be presented during the School.
    • The organizer sends logistic information about the School to students and lecturers.
    • Students asking for an invitation letter (e.g., to apply for a visa) can get it before the receipt of the payment.
    • The case studies, which will constitute the practical part of the School, are pro-posed by lecturers on demand of the organizer.
  5. 3 months to D-day
    • Students and lecturers get the proposed set of case studies to be considered during the School.
    • Detailed program of the School is posted on the web site of the School.
    • Lecturers are asked to prepare and send to the organizer handouts of their slides and some auxiliary material (papers, software).
    • On the side of the organizer, some capacity for last-minute-printing should be reserved.
  6. 1-3 month to D-day
    • The confirmation of students participation is monitored by the incoming payments, preferably earlier than 1 month before the School.
    • The organizer verifies if all lecturers and students who are supposed to come confirm their participation. In case of an impossibility to come, the organizer invites other lecturers and/or students in the order fixed by CC.
  7. D-day
    • Welcome of participants on Sunday, and start of the School on Monday morning.
    • It is recommended that the organizer of the next edition of the School participates in the present edition.
    • The organizer distributes questionnaires to students about their satisfaction, then analyzes them and interprets for CC.