Meeting Invites

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Information on Standard Meeting Invitations

This document has more detail on Mark's standard meeting invites. These usually tend to be rather terse and cryptic emails auto-generated by Outlook. Please accept apologies in advance for them and for the mechanical quality of the text below. They are just an attempt (probably pointless) to bring order and efficiency to the challenge of orchestrating the weekly routine of 30+ meetings and calls.


All meetings are in Bass 432A unless otherwise indicated -- e.g. by being calls or at a "Non-standard" location. Sometimes Bass 432 meetings end up in Bass 424 or in Gibbs. This will be indicated by a sign on the Bass 432 door.


Meetings generally have a SOFT-START (can be delayed by 15' to 30') and a SOFT-END. The meeting invite may specify an EXACT-START or EXACT-END in which case the meeting must start/end on time. Other timing keywords used:

  • [INTERRUPTED] means the meeting may be interrupted in the middle, often by a seminar or visitor.
  • [WINDOW] or [RANGE] means the meeting will take place within a time window
  • [DRAFT-QUERY-SEND-TIMES] indicates that this is just a "draft time" to get the scheduling started. Please send your availability around this time to refine the meeting.

When meeting times are updated, Mark's computer sends out new invites to all the attendees. Please make sure that you realize the most recent message (marked by the sending time of the invite) contains the most current meeting time -- superseding previous times.

Notes and Agenda

Sometimes at the top or bottom of the email message, some notes and qualifications are listed. An alternative meeting place, for example.

The agenda is as specified in the previous meeting--unless otherwise noted at the top. (The minutes and agenda from the last meeting are often available in the minutes mailing list). There might be more details on the agenda with some text blocks starting with "OVERALL-AGENDA" and "DETAILED AGENDA."


Basically, all the people invited are mandatory attendees. However, if someone's attendance is optional, it will be indicated with an "OPT" shorthand. People tagged with "REQ" are required to attend. Other possible tags include "|", as in "XX|XY", which indicates individual meetings with XX and XY, with both of them being available in this time slot. For standing lab meetings (e.g. "mtg-nets"), the core group is indicated by REQ. People should ask the lab staff (i.e. MF or MW) to add them to meeting mailing lists.


If you can make the meeting, confirm to Mark by email. If not, send him a list of your "bad" times for the next few days. He will try and accommodate you. This is particularly important for individual or small group meetings with the phrase "(w.ack)" (i.e. "with *ACK*nowledgement") in the subject.

Phone Calls

Some additional notes only applicable to phone calls.

  • On the invite, calls are usually indicated as a *cell-call*,*skype-call*, *conf-call*, and so forth.
  • You should usually assume (unless otherwise indicated) that phone calls are SOFT-START !
  • Useful information on calls is at
  • In general you should send a phone number or skype ID for Mark to call you at. However, you may also be able to reach him by direct calling. See . (Make sure your caller ID shows.)
  • If it's indicated, it might be a time "[RANGE]", rather than a specific time.
  • It would be good if you could be by your computer (and on the internet) at the time of the call.
  • For international calls, you might want to use the lab skype or jajah accounts .
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