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CVPR 2003: Information about Madison

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This year's conference will be held in Madison, Wisconsin.  Madison is a beautiful city situated on an isthmus between two spectacular lakes.  The population of the city is approximately 200,000 and Madison boasts excellent public transportation, superior public schools, diverse cultural events, extremely low unemployment, and numerous opportunities for recreation.  Madison is an exceptionally safe city which frequently earns recognition such as an "All American City" and "Best Place To Live in America" (Money Magazine, 1996).  Because of its extensive bike trail system, within the city and extending to surrounding areas, Madison is also ranked as one of the top ten bicycling cities in the U.S.  Students live in all parts of the city, although they are concentrated near the campus; more than one half of all graduate students live within one mile of the campus.  

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Mad City, as it is called by many residents, is the state capital and Capitol Square at the center of the isthmus is just one mile down State Street from the campus.  The Capitol Square is the focal point for many events in the city including summertime Wednesday evening "Concerts on the Square," a weekly Saturday morning farmers' market of nationally recognized diversity, an annual "Art Fair On The Square," and a "Paddle and Portage" canoe race from Lake Mendota on the north side of the isthmus, across the Capitol Square to the shores of Lake Monona.  State Street is a pedestrian mall that stretches from the capital square to the campus and contains numerous shops, bookstores, and restaurants.  To learn more about Madison's array of fine dining opportunities, please visit  Many parks and beaches are found within the city including the UW-Madison arboretum, founded by Aldo Leopold, which is a large research area of grassland,  prairie and wetland that offers hiking in the summer, spring and fall and excellent cross-country skiing in winter months.  Tyrol Basin and Devil's Head Ski areas in the Baraboo Hills north of Madison offer downhill skiing and snow boarding in the winter.  Madison is an easy 2 and 1/2 hour commute to Chicago and is 80 miles west of Milwaukee, with excellent air and bus links to each.

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The UW-Madison Campus sits on the southern shore of Lake Mendota and is regarded as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.  The intellectual intensity and excitement of the University are complemented by the spectacular campus setting.  An impressive array of architecturally diverse buildings gives way to a park-like atmosphere along the lakeshore, where a walking/jogging trail hugs the shoreline from the Memorial Union Terrace (the site of the Ph.D. parties) to Picnic Point at the western extreme of campus.  Concert and performances series at the Elvehjem Art Museum, named for the renowned biochemist Conrad Elvehjem, is acclaimed for its permanent and visiting collections.  Both indoor and outdoor recreational facilities allow students to pursue a wide range of sports and activities.  The Hoofers Outing Club, housed next to Memorial Union on Lake Mendota, is a favorite venue of both novice and experienced sailors and sail boarders.

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World-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Monona Terrace, the site for this year's CVPR conference.  It was nearly 60 years ago that Wright, a Wisconsin native, drew the original plans.  Between 1938 and 1958 Wright redrafted his designs and signed off on them just seven weeks before his death in 1959.  After years of debate, construction finally began in 1992, and the center opened in 1997.  For those of you intrigued by Frank Lloyd Wright, his celebrated Unitarian Meeting House is just a few minuets from the Monona Terrace, while Wright's home and studio, Taliesin, is located 45 minutes west of Madison in Spring Green.

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To learn more about the Monona Terrace story, please visit: or

The above information about Madison was originally compiled for SIGMOD/PODS 2002 and was provided courtesy of the SIGMOD/PODS 2003 conference organizers


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Page last modified on Thursday, June 05, 2003