Greetings from the land of the Pirates and pierogies, inclines and Iron City beer, Heinz Field and Heinz ketchup! We look forward to seeing you in the ‘Burgh for the 2006 DISC conference. It will be held at the Marriott Pittsburgh (City Center) from May 30th thru June 2nd. With true Pittsburgh hospitality, we invite you to come early and stay late. You will enjoy a small town atmosphere with the amenities of a city many times its size. Pittsburgh’s most distinguishing geographic feature is its three rivers. There are nearly 200 bridges in town. Its biggest asset is its people! Pittsburgh isn’t one city, but rather an amalgamation of 70+ neighborhoods, many with their own unique ethnic or cultural bent. Pittsburghers are really from Polish Hill and Squirrel Hill, Oakland and Arlington, Morningside and East Liberty.

Pittsburgh was founded in 1758. Its location where the rivers meet fueled the city’s growth. By the early 1900s, there were more millionaires in Pittsburgh than in any other US city except New York. Pittsburgh became the “Steel City”—but at an environmental price. The decline of the steel industry wreaked economic havoc on the area. However, Pittsburgh has now been a Pittsburgh with factories belching smoke thick enough to blot out the sun will be surprised to learn that a recent study ranked Pittsburgh among the cleanest cities in the US and the 17th cleanest city in the world. Health Magazine has listed it as one of the 10 healthiest places to live. The U.S. Green Building Council has ranked Pittsburgh as America’s “greenest” city. Bassmasters held their Classic fishing tournament here this year. Pittsburgh now is a leading technology center particular in the field of medical technology and robotics. Carnegie Mellon University leads the way with programs in software engineering, artificial intelligence and robotics. The NASA Robotics Engineering Consortium here developed the prototypes for the Mars Rover. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is a leader in organ transplants.

But Pittsburgh is not all work and no play. Pittsburghers love their sports teams. In the 70s, they brought the city four Super Bowl trophies, two World Series titles and two Stanley Cups. ESPN has ranked PNC Park as the #1 ballpark in Major League Baseball. Kennywood Park is an old time amusement park where you ride and ride—and then ride some more. Its “Thunderbolt” was ranked #1 on the list of the top 10 coasters in the world by the National Amusement Historical Association.

Pittsburgh‘s opera company is the nation’s 5th oldest. Our symphony is world renowned. The theaters in our Cultural District provide a wide variety of performances. Gene Kelly, Henry Mancini, George Benson, Lena Horne, Perry Como, Rachel Carson, Andy Warhol, Jeff Goldblum, and Dennis Miller are all Pittsburghers. KDKA was the country’s first commercial radio station. WQED, home to Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood, was the country’s first public television station.