In a way, this strong interest in astronomical software is not surprising, given the flood of new, high quality data being collected daily, and the rapid pace of advancements in the computer hardware and software industries. (Who had heard of the World Wide Web or NCSA Mosaic two years ago?) To help keep up with new trends in software as they relate to advances in astronomy, the ADASS conferences are organized around certain topics of current interest. The special topics for ADASS IV were Astronomical Data Modelling and Analysis, Design and Development of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs), Network Information Systems, and Parallel and Distributed Processing. This volume is organized into sections and subsections which reflect these categories, as well as sections on Archives and Databases, Image Restoration, Statistical Analysis, and Systems Software, for which there were many contributed papers.
There were 39 oral papers presented, as well as 93 poster papers and 17 computer demonstrations which were available throughout the meeting. This year's conference also included a number of BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions on special topics including GUIs, FITS, IRAF Site Management, and IDL. In addition there was an IRAF-STSDAS-PROS-EUVE status report and discussion on the afternoon of the last day of the meeting. This year's ADASS was followed by two related, tag-along meetings: an Electronic Preprint Distribution Systems, organized by Bob Hanisch, and an IRAF Developers' Workshop (held at Space Telescope Science Institute), organized by Dick Shaw.
The conference was sponsored by the Space Telescope Science Institute, the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Research Council of Canada, and the National Science Foundation. Corporate sponsors for the conference included Hughes STX, Sun Microsystems, Inc., Resource One, Sybase, Inc., Silicon Graphics, Inc., Open Concepts, Inc., Research Systems, Inc., and Digital Equipment Corporation. We are very grateful to both the sponsoring institutions and the corporate sponsors for their generous support.
A conference of this size cannot possibly succeed without the efforts and dedication of a large number of people; we are indebted to them all. The conference Program Organizing Committee was comprised of: Rudi Albrecht (Space Telescope--European Coordinating Facility), Roger Brissenden (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), Carol Christian (Center for EUV Astronomy, U.C. Berkeley), Tim Cornwell (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Dennis Crabtree (Canadian Astronomy Data Centre, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory), Daniel Durand (Canadian Astronomy Data Centre, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory), Bob Hanisch (Space Telescope Science Institute), F. Rick Harnden, Jr. (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), George Jacoby (National Optical Astronomy Observatories), Barry Madore (Infrared Processing and Analysis Center), Dick Shaw (Space Telescope Science Institute), Karen Strom (U. Massachusetts), and Doug Tody (National Optical Astronomy Observatories).
The Local Organizing Committee was chaired by Betty Stobie, who along with Bob Hanisch labored tirelessly to make ADASS IV a success. The LOC also benefitted from the eager and able support of: Angie Clarke, Jonathan Eisenhamer, Jeff Hayes, Phil Hodge, Zolt Levay, Harry Payne, Mary Alice Rose, Krista Rudloff, Dick Shaw, and Nelson Zarate from the Space Telescope Science Institute. The LOC was also joined by Eric Smith of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and Peter Teuben of U. Maryland. Special thanks are extended to Tom DiGiacinto, Phil Grant, Jamie Lipinski, and Otto Wassenius for their able assistance in arranging and setting up the large number of computer workstations and network connections for the software demonstrations that have become such an integral part of ADASS.
The proceedings of this conference are once again being made available on the World Wide Web thanks to the permission of the Editors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This experiment in electronic publishing has proven to be successful, in that a large number of last year's papers have been viewed and/or retrieved via the Web. Indeed, it would seem that the age of electronic publishing is fully upon us, for every paper, and all but eight illustrations, were submitted to us in electronic form. We eagerly await the (not too distant) time when all other science research publications will be ``on the Web'' as well.
Harry E. Payne
Space Telescope Science Institute
Jeffrey J. E. Hayes
Space Telescope Science Institute