The first IRAM ``MM Interferometry School'' was held at the IRAM headquarters from Sep.14 to Sep.18, 1998. More than 60 people applied, and the school was attended by about 45 participants, mostly from European countries, but also from much farther (e.g. Australia), and this despite date conflicts with other important meetings both in France and Germany.
The first day was devoted to tutorials on millimeter radioastronomy and interferometry. On the second day, after 2 lectures, everybody departed for a visit of the Plateau de Bure interferometer. Despite adverse meteorological conditions which had transformed the ``summer'' school into a ``winter'' school (high winds and low temperatures on the Plateau de Bure), the visit was enjoyed by the participants. This long day was concluded in a more relaxed atmosphere by a dinner at the ``Hotel de la Poste'', half-way between Plateau de Bure and Grenoble.
Lectures restarted on the Wednesday, including a real-time interactive demonstration of the calibration system on selected data. Thursday was devoted to imaging problems. During the Friday morning, examples of practical applications were presented.
The participants, through the voice of a few volunteers, expressed their views on the school. The visit to Plateau de Bure, despite the constraints which it imposed on the schedule, was said to be important. Participants also appreciated the interactive presentation of the calibration, and suggested that such a system would be interesting to present practical aspects of the imaging process. Following this suggestion, and although this was formally after the closure of the school, the Friday afternoon was used for real-time demonstrations of some aspects of the imaging process.
Strong wishes were also expressed for a printed version of the lectures. IRAM intends to prepare a WEB version of most (if possible all) lectures, with an expected date of release of November 15.
Given the success of this school, and in view of the on-going projects for next generation mm arrays (MMA, LSA, LSMA), repeating this experience appears as an important next step. We anticipate that another school would be held during year 2000, presumably in September. However, we could consider organizing another school in 1999 if we receive enough requests.
In case you are interested, please contact Mrs.Berjaud (firstname.lastname@example.org).