Clusters and Tracks

In 2016, we expect 15,000 attendees. To accommodate our continual growth, last year we introduced Clusters. Clusters are grouped tracks that cover similar topics. Tracks within a Cluster will be located near each other in the convention center so it is easier for you to navigate our schedule and the physical rooms.

Click on the track name to see a description of it.

Cluster Tracks
Products A to Z
Emerging Technology
Open Source
Organizational Transformation

Track Definitions

We are offering more tracks than ever at GHC 2016! We are accepting all submission types for the tracks below except for Posters, Student Opportunity Lab and the Professional Development Workshops which have their own specific submission type.  We are actively looking for and encourage you to submit intermediate and advanced level content.

Artificial Intelligence Track

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) track provides an exciting place for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest trends and research results, novel tools, practical experiences and technical challenges.  We are looking for technical submissions in the broad field of AI, including, but not limited to:

  • Knowledge representation and reasoning
  • Search
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Game theory
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Reasoning under uncertainty
  • Robotics
  • Computer Vision
  • Multi agent systems
  • AI applications.

Interdisciplinary papers or those on unexplored areas of AI are particularly encouraged.

Computer Systems Engineering

Our new track, Computer Systems Engineering, showcases the combination of computer science and hardware engineering to develop, test and evaluate products that require the integration of software and hardware design.

We are looking for technical submissions in the broad field of Computer Systems Engineering, including, but not limited to:

  • Design of integrated hardware and software solutions for technical problems
    • Software/Hardware co-design
  • Planning, developing, testing and supervising computer hardware and computer networks for the transmission of data and multimedia
  • Science of computation applied to building devices, components and systems
  • Impact of computer systems on society

Data Science Track

With the explosion of data generated and collected in recent years, the need to utilize and make sense of it has become paramount. Data science has emerged as a ‘new’ discipline, combining traditional data fields such as analytics, modeling and statistics, with newer areas such as machine learning, visual and in-situ analytics, knowledge interfaces and multi scale data integration. This technical track will look beyond the hype of the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century’ to examine the methodologies, techniques and tools developed/used to solve real-life problems. We will accept submissions on three data science sub-tracks:

  • Existing Methodologies, Tools & Techniques
  • Emerging Research, Methodologies, Tools & Techniques
  • Applications, Use Cases & Lessons Learned

The track is intended to cover the full spectrum of data science topics, including but not limited to:

  • Data management and scalability
  • Data integration and fusion
  • Data mining
  • Data analysis (e.g., statistical, in situ, real-time)
  • Cloud and distributed data analysis
  • Data user interfaces and visualization

Human Computer Interaction Track

Human-computer interaction (HCI) research is extending beyond its discipline origins of computer science, cognitive science, behavioral science and design to include new platforms, interfaces and interaction paradigms. New and interesting research challenges around the interface between humans, computers and their devices is rapidly emerging. We are accepting submissions that discuss the latest trends and research, pioneering tools and procedures, practical experiences and technical challenges on a wide range of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Visualization & Unique Display Sizes
  • Design Paradigms, Methods & Evaluation (e.g., Interaction design, Information architecture)
  • Learning Sciences
  • Accessibility & Needs of Unique User Types (e.g., Children, Disabled persons, Elderly)
  • Social & Online Communities
  • Health care (e.g., Health informatics and behavior manipulation)
  • Gesture & Touch interfaces

Security/Privacy Track

This technical track provides a symposium for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest trends and research, best of breed tools and procedures, practical experiences, and technical challenges in the field of security. We invite submissions in all areas, and specifically encourage submissions in:

  • Attacks and defenses of topics with broad interest and impact
  • Protections and exposure considerations around the use of sensitive data, both corporate and personal (PII)
  • Economics of security
  • Health or home security and privacy challenges
  • Mobile application security approaches and challenges
  • Threats and offensive technologies (e.g., Advanced Persistent Threats)

Products A to Z Track

Software development is just one step in the successful execution of a product. There are many other crucial functions required throughout the product lifecycle. This technical track will provide a forum for attendees in these fields to learn and interact on latest trends and research, technical challenges, innovations, cutting-edge tools, techniques, strategies and best practices. Sessions will focus on technical topics in this area, including but not limited to:

  • Product lifecycle processes and management
  • Requirements engineering – gathering, analysis and management
  • Product management
  • Project management, e.g., Agile
  • Testing, validation, maintenance and quality assurance
  • Usability Testing
  • Applications engineering and technical customer support
  • Technical documentation
  • Performance analysis and testing
  • Market study and deployment
  • Ecosystem development
  • Information and knowledge flow facilitation
  • Software migration (e.g., to new platforms)

Preference will be given to submissions that provide novel approaches or fresh perspectives. We are interested in challenges faced and novel approaches in the above roles in all types software, including, mobile, large-scale systems, Web systems and enterprise software.

Internet of Things (IoT)/ Wearable Tech Track

This technical track will focus on the growth of technology, devices and processes connected to the Internet, and how that impacts our society. We are specifically looking for submissions related to:

  • Wearable Computing – sensors, RFID, mobile computing devices, how data are collected/analyzed, wireless technologies
  • System design – computing, networking, storage architectures in support of IoT
  • IoT Applications and Services
    • Manufacturing Automation – how connection to the Internet impacts the global supply chain and logistics
    • Medicine and health care – virtual health care
    • Smart living – connected cities, smart homes, digitized economy, education, automotive
    • Environment – changes for sustainable and renewable resources – energy, food, agriculture, water supplies, waste reduction
    • Safety and Security – identifying, tucking and monitoring of objects and subjects
  • Potential Challenges – privacy, ethics, scalability, reliability

Organizational Transformation

The Organizational Transformation Track encourages submissions from diverse candidates and will give priority preference to the following:

  • Submissions that address diversity and inclusion programs specific to and by women of color and other underrepresented minorities
  • Industry case studies on retention and advancement programs with proven, measurable outcomes/data
  • Research studies from academic thought leaders that further enhance the understanding of why women leave technology and what changes are needed within organizations in order to retain and advance more women technologists
  • Studies from academic, nonprofit, community or industry thought leaders that address the unique challenges faced by women from underrepresented groups in technical roles
  • Case study presentations or highly interactive workshops (with a direct focus on organizational transformation topics) that have been used successfully with large groups (200+ people). Topics can include:
    • Leading & targeting change
    • Employee engagement
    • Organizational culture
    • Stakeholder analysis
    • Change implementation

In an effort to encourage growth at organizations, those who submit a paper, but are not accepted to speak at GHC 2016 will receive feedback on why we declined the submission. Please note that the Organizational Transformation track will not review sessions on K-12 education. Sessions cannot be used as a platform to sell products or services.

Software Engineering

The Software Engineering Track is a technical track looking for submissions that discuss the latest trends and research, pioneering tools and procedures, practical experiences, best practices and technical challenges in this space. The emphasis is on technical topics, including but not limited to:

  • Software Architecture and Design – Components, Interfaces, etc.
  • Software Usability Engineering
  • Software Development – Mobile, Enterprise, High Performance Computing, etc.
  • Software Configuration Management and Revision Control
  • Software Deployment – virtualization, containerization, etc.
  • Software Maintenance and Evolution – Refactoring, etc.
  • Formal methods; Verification and Validation; Fault Tolerance
  • Distributed Computing – Systems, Cloud, Software as a Service, etc.
  • Programming Languages – Domain-specific, polyglot frameworks/programming, etc.
  • Software Optimization – Performance, Power, etc.
  • Data-Intensive Software Engineering and Analytics
  • Networking – Software Defined, Content Centric, etc.

Gaming, Computer Graphics, and Animation Track

This track welcomes technical submissions on any topic in the broad area of computer graphics, gaming, and animation, including related areas such as:

  • Virtual and Augmented reality
  • Data and information visualization with a focus on visualization
  • Autonomous virtual agents
  • Entertainment technology
  • Serious games

Faculty: Professional Development/Leadership for Women in Academia Track

We encourage submissions to support diverse ideas for helping academic women succeed and advance in a global environment. The track will address topics that are relevant to all levels of professionals within higher education (e.g., Lecturer, Assistant Professor Associate Professor, Department Chair, Dean, etc.) from around the world. We invite submissions in, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Preparing for an academic career: choosing the right department/school (culture, fit, funding, teaching vs. research, etc.), managing dual-career job searches, interviewing, etc.
  • Managing an academic career, from emerging to emerita: Navigating various career paths (tenure track, administrative track, etc.), work-life balance, mentoring students and junior faculty, networking, getting research funding, publishing research results, finding and maintaining productive collaborations, life after tenure, leadership development, etc.
  • Institutional support for a diverse faculty: Effective policies for an inclusive environment, support for dual-career couples, flexible tenure and promotion policies, parental leave policies, part-time and shared positions, etc.

Faculty who wish to make full presentations of a technical nature are encouraged to submit their ideas in the technical tracks.

Professional Development Leadership Workshop

These workshops are one of our most popular sessions. They offer attendees the chance to receive resources they need to build leadership skills, overcome challenges and advance their technical careers. Each workshop hosts 600 to 700 people and lasts 2-3 hours.

We’re looking for submissions on career related topics including, but not limited to:

  • Communicating for Impact and Influence
  • Build Your Brand as an Emerging Leader or Technical Expert
  • How to Give Your First Lightning Talk


Women in technical roles at organizations face a unique set of opportunities and challenges in the workplace.  This track will provide forums for attendees to learn and interact on a wide variety of topics to help them advance in their careers. Career topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Career Management & Mastery:
    • Time management
    • How technical do you need to be when you move up?
    • Professional image & presence
    • Working in a male-dominated industry
    • Negotiation and conflict management
    • Happiness and career satisfaction
    • Challenges in a global workplace
    • Collaborations across disciplines and boundaries
    • Crucial conversations
  • Career Planning & Development:
    • Mentoring, Coaching & Sponsorship for Career Development
    • Networking
    • Managing upwards and sideways
    • Moving from tactical to strategic roles
    • Technical innovation & patents
    • Career paths for technical, business & management
    • Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship for Career Development
    • Technical Leadership vs Technical Management
  • Entrepreneur related topics:
    • Successful entrepreneurship skills
    • Startups vs. mid/large companies – the right fit for you.
    • What do you need to know about working at a Startup?
    • Developing your personal brand
    • Elevator Pitches
    • Disruptive thinking
    • Business Plan 101
    • Team Building
  • Other Futuristic ideas:
    • The future of the workplace – What does it look like?
    • What does it means to work in a virtual company?
    • The impact of social media in the workplace
    • People analytics

Student Opportunity Lab

The Student Opportunity Lab (SOL) is an interactive session where attendees can seek personalized advice. SOL is a wonderful opportunity to present more content in an interactive forum. The room will be set up with several round tables of 10. Speakers will stay stationary and discuss their topic. Attendees will rotate tables each 20 minutes. Our focus is on students and providing practical techniques/tools to help them achieve their career goals. Categories for submission are:

  • Careers In
    • Topics such as:
      • Day in the life of (software engineer, program manager, etc.), working in specific areas (cyber security, gaming, etc.)
      • We recommend collaborating with people in similar fields from various organizations to give students a balanced perspective
  • Skills
    • Topics include: how to get noticed and excel at technical interviews, resume critiques or do’s and don’ts, polishing your LinkedIn
  • Technical
    • Topics include: getting started with coding, getting started with data science, getting started with UX design
  • Extracurricular
    • Topics include: Open Source projects, participating in Hack-a-thons, internships – what’s right for you or navigating the landscape
    • Mentoring and other topics that enable students to get a leg up are encouraged

Open Source

Open source software has become mainstream with the widespread use of products such as Apache, Firefox, Linux and more. As open source becomes more widely used, there is an increasing interest in its development and its use. This technical track seeks submissions that discuss Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development. In particular, we are looking for submissions that enable more interactions between presenters and the audience. We’d like to see successful stories that encourage and teach participants how to use and deploy the best about FOSS. Possible topics include:

  • FOSS intellectual property, copyrights and licensing
  • Non-Governmental Organizations and FOSS
  • Incorporating FOSS within organization’s development lifecycle
  • Lessons from FOSS for conventional development
  • Successful stories about encouraging diversity in FOSS projects
  • FOSS and social & humanitarian issues
  • FOSS technologies, in particular how to use them or how to get started.
  • Adoption/ use / acceptance of FOSS
  • Dissemination / redistribution / crowdsourcing of FOSS systems
  • Expanding scientific research and technology development methods through openness
  • Adopting innovation in FOSS projects
  • Role of FOSS in ICT and sustainable development
  • Learning, knowledge sharing, collaboration, control or conflict in FOSS projects
  • FOSS usability, scalability, maintainability and other quality issues
  • Talk or workshop on specific FOSS technologies, such as version control.

GHC 2016 General Poster Session

GHC hosts one of the largest technical poster sessions. There are various categories of posters that are accepted. They include:

  • Technical Posters that are submitted to be part of the ACM Student Research Competition for Undergraduate and Graduate students.
  • Technical Posters that are submitted to be part of the General Poster Session.
  • Community, Outreach Posters that are submitted to be part of the General Poster Session.

The goal of the poster session is to provide an opportunity for an informal discussion of one’s research with conference attendees. It is an excellent way to convey ideas and results not yet developed into a full paper. You can submit work that has already been accepted at other conference venues.

For GHC 2016, we invite submissions in the following areas: technical computer science research, computer science education, and broadening participation in computer science. Due to the number of submissions received, we request you to submit only 1 poster per person for consideration.

Submissions are encouraged from Undergraduate and Graduate university students but will also be accepted from industry professionals and faculty members.

ACM Student Research Competition

Undergraduate or Graduate students submitting posters for GHC can opt to have their posters also considered for the ACM Student Research Competition (sponsored by Microsoft Research). Submissions for the research competition should describe the results of recently completed or ongoing computer science research conducted primarily by the individual student. In addition to being eligible for the standard GHC conference scholarships, selected contestants may receive partial support from ACM to cover part of the costs of attending the conference. All accepted conference material will be published in our online conference proceedings.  Topics must be Technical.