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vGHC 21 Tracks

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The 2021 Call for Participation (CFP) is Closed.

Our vGHC 21 tracks offer a wide range of topics for everyone.

Click on the track name to see a description and make sure to check out our session formats and their requirements before applying to speak.

Academic | Artificial Intelligence | Career | Computer Systems Engineering
Data ScienceEmerging Technology | Hardware | Human Computer Interaction
Mentoring Circles | Open Source | Poster Session | Product Management
Security/Privacy | Software Engineering | Tech for Women
Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality

Academic

Women in academia are in a unique environment and thus we face a unique set of challenges. The academic track provides an opportunity for people in academia to meet to discuss the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women in academia. It also provides a space to discuss how best to navigate academic life, promote institutional policy and cultural changes, and prepare for the future.

We invite all submissions related to academia including, 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, negotiation within an academic setting, etc.
  • Managing an academic career, from emerging to emerita: navigating various career paths (tenure track, non-tenure track, administrative track, etc.), work-life balance, mentoring students and junior colleagues, networking, getting research funding, publishing research results, finding and maintaining productive collaborations, leadership development, course development, managing large courses, developing a teaching style, finding service opportunities, life after tenure, etc.
  • Institutional support for a diverse workforce: effective policies for an inclusive environment, support for dual-career couples, flexible tenure and promotion policies, parental leave policies, part-time and shared positions, diverse recruitment and hiring strategies, etc.
  • Broadening participation in computing in higher education to engage a more diverse population: pedagogical interventions, culturally sensitive teaching, and research initiatives, outreach initiatives, recruitment and retention strategies, etc., as they pertain to students, faculty, staff, and administration.
  • Industry-led and/or academia-industry collaboration submissions that can be of interest to the academic community. Submissions must be focused on academia.

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

Valid Submission Formats (please read): PresentationsPanelsWorkshops, and Tech Meetups. Click the links for more information and for Starter Templates.

Artificial Intelligence

The AI Track provides a place for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest research results, novel tools, practical experiences, and technical challenges. As this is a technical track, we welcome presentations and workshops and do not encourage panel proposals. We welcome discussions on ethical considerations of your work; for example, see this paper presented at NeurIPS conference workshop for a discussion of its broader impact.

Submissions should have enough content for the program committee to fully evaluate your work: please consider this equivalent to a short paper submission for an academic conference (3-4 pages). We will auto-reject submissions that do not meet this criterion.

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

Research Topics in AI

  • Machine Learning (Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning, Active Learning, Model Interpretability, Transfer and Multitask Learning, etc.)
  • Computer vision
  • Natural Language Processing (machine translation, generation, dialogue systems, speech recognition, and synthesis)
  • Robotics and Autonomous systems
  • Constraint Satisfaction and Optimization, Heuristic Search
  • Information Retrieval
  • Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (Logic, Reasoning with Beliefs, Reasoning Under Uncertainty, Geometric and Spatial Reasoning)
  • Game Theory and AI
  • Planning, Routing, and Scheduling

AI Ethics

  • Impact of AI on society
  • Trustworthy machine learning (Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency)
  • FAIR data principles in AI (Findability, Accessibility, Interpretability, and Reusability)
  • Explainable AI
  • AI and Privacy
  • AI safety

AI Application Areas

  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • Finance and Commerce
  • Education and Social Sciences
  • Security and Privacy
  • Energy and Environment (e.g., smart cities)
  • Customer interaction (e.g., chatbots)
  • Gamification

Career Track

Women face a unique set of opportunities and challenges- both at a professional and personal level. The career track provides a platform for attendees to learn and discuss a wide variety of topics to help support each other and advance their careers. Proposals that present a unique perspective with clear takeaways will be preferred. Topics of interest for the career track include but are not limited to:

Trends in the Workplace 

  • Opportunities and challenges with remote work
  • Future of the workplace
  • Impact of remote work on physical and mental health
  • Pros and cons of the gig economy
  • Crucial and difficult conversations in the workplace

Returnship 

  • Reentering the workforce after a break
  • Successful returnship programs
  • Impact of Covid-19 on women’s employment
  • Achieving gender equality in the workplace in a post-Covid era
  • Impact of remote work on returnship

Senior Career Transition

  • Interviewing for a senior leadership position
  • Reaching the C-suite and what’s beyond it.
  • Navigating mergers and acquisitions
  • Traits of a successful leader
  • Senior career trajectories for different disciplines
  • Culturally conscious leadership
  • Building and sustaining highly successful teams

Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  • Leveraging intersectionality in the workplace
  • Conscious vs. unconscious bias
  • Pay equity in the workplace.
  • Parenting in tech — the up’s, down’s and everything in between
  • Motherhood in tech – the unique challenges and perspectives mothers bring.
  • Cultivating a sense of belonging at work
  • Becoming better allies

Computer Systems Engineering

The Computer Systems Engineering track includes architecture, design, deployment, and management of computing systems of varying scale across different applications. We seek high-quality submissions in the following three focus areas: 1. innovations in fundamental computing technologies such as storage, operating systems, etc., and their applications in automation, 2. networking technologies that form the backbone of distributed computing, and 3. emerging technologies in the field of cloud computing.

Systems and Automation

  • Memory and Storage systems: Caching, storage, compression, resource scheduling
  • Operating systems: Distributed, embedded, mobile
  • Fault-tolerant systems: Availability, reliability, resiliency
  • Industrial and home automation: Robotics, drones, smart sensors, and devices

Networks and Communication

  • Wireless networks: IoT networks, Sensor networks, 5G/6G, WiFi 6
  • Backbone and edge networks: Software Defined Networks(SDN), Content Delivery Networks(CDN), SD-WAN, Virtual Networks
  • Network services: VoIP, Real-time streaming, OTT/RCS messaging
  • Network security: Access control, Intrusion detection, VPN

Cloud Technologies

  • Infrastructure: Container, virtualization, IaaS, PaaS
  • Deployment & Management: Deployment, Telemetry/monitoring, and maintenance tools
  • Architectures: Multi-tenant systems, Hybrid cloud
  • Large scale resource management: Elastic compute, concurrency control

Data Science

In recent years, data has exploded, and the need to make sense of it and harness it towards practical applications is stronger than ever. Data science has emerged as the discipline to tackle this vast data, develop insights, and deliver intelligent solutions to optimize business performance as well as improve customer experiences.

As the discipline has been developing, the importance of sourcing and using data ethically and equitably has become a key area of focus for practitioners, further encouraged by privacy laws and considerations, so perspectives in that aspect of the field are highly encouraged.

We are looking for submissions in the following categories:

Data Engineering & Infrastructure

  • Data pipelines (e.g., from acquisition to prediction)
  • Heterogeneous data integration
  • Data management, including quality, and lineage
  • Infrastructure, cloud, and distributed applications
  • Model productionalization
  • Data scaling

Data Analysis & Modeling

  • Data analysis (e.g. statistical, in situ, real-time)
  • Streaming and other novel algorithms in support of data science
  • Cloud and distributed data analysis
  • Applied machine learning
  • Knowledge discovery and data mining
  • Search and recommendation
  • New interfaces and visualization

Novel Applications, Use Cases, and Lessons Learned

We encourage submissions focusing on novel applications, use cases, and lessons learned in any field, including but not limited to:

  • Social sciences and social media
  • Physical sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Medicine and health informatics
  • E-commerce, advertising
  • Technology (networks, privacy, and security, IoT)

Emerging Technology

Emerging technologies are breakthrough technologies that are likely to shape our lives in the near future. They are typically characterized by radical novelty, relatively fast growth, prominent impact, uncertainty, and ambiguity.

This track provides researchers and practitioners the opportunity to present and discuss the latest trends, technical innovations, research papers, and new applications related to emerging technologies such as quantum computing, autonomous things, and AI-accelerated scientific discovery. We welcome technical submissions, talks, workshops, tutorials, and demos that describe theoretical foundations, practical implementations, novel applications, and open-source efforts in emerging technologies. We also welcome submissions that discuss the intersection of these emerging technologies with existing fields such as AI, security, IoT, cloud computing, etc.

Autonomous Technology

Autonomous technology aims to enrich automated systems with sensors, AI, and analytical capabilities so they can make decisions independently based on the data they collect. In recent years, we have seen robots, drones, cars, everyday appliances, and other types of autonomous things perform tasks that would normally be performed by humans. Autonomous technology is being used in a wide range of industries spanning from agriculture to national security. We welcome submissions related but not limited to:

  • Autonomous technologies for COVID-19 patient care such as robot disinfecting, patient triaging, delivery of medication and food in hospital settings, vital signs monitoring, etc.
  • Scalability of autonomous technologies in the supply chain, online retail, and online fulfillment
  • Autonomous technologies in contactless deliveries such as drones, drives, and other robots
  • Remote monitoring for surveillance and maintenance in large industrial settings.
  • Applications of autonomous technologies to address climate change
  • The applications of autonomous technologies in remote work and remote education.
  • Impact of autonomous technology on human jobs and the future of work
  • Future of autonomous technology in regulated and unregulated industries
  • Social acceptance and the impact of autonomous technology on everyday productivity.
  • Case studies of the use of autonomous technology in agriculture, transportation, aviation, manufacturing, mining, healthcare, and retail domains
  • Security and Privacy implications of autonomous technology
  • Challenges in framing regulations for autonomous technology
  • Role of autonomous technology in solving global issues such as climate change

AI-accelerated Discovery & Science with a special focus on COVID-19 

AI is being used to accelerate scientific discovery in unprecedented ways. For example, in the area of drug discovery, the traditional drug discovery pipeline is time and cost-effective. It can take many years and cost billions of dollars for a new drug to be synthesized and to reach the market. This is not sustainable as we are living through virus outbreaks and epidemics such as COVID-19. We need much more rapid scientific discovery pipelines to help solve big humanitarian problems such as virtual outbreaks. We welcome submissions related but not limited to:

  • AI-led drug discovery and design for COVID-19
  • Applications of generative AI models and their applications to the automation for the discovery of molecules, drugs, new materials, etc.
  • Deep generative models and their applications in acceleration the scientific methodology and scientific simulations
  • Deep search techniques to learn from large scientific knowledge across many scientific domains
  • Neuro-symbolic AI approaches to reduce the need for human labeling and enable learning and reasoning using smaller data sets

Quantum Computing Related Topics

Quantum computing is computing using physical quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement. It is a radical shift in the way we perform information processing. Quantum computing is slowly coming out from theoretical concepts and finding its applications in the real world. We welcome submissions related but not limited to one of the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of quantum computing
  • Quantum sensors and quantum component technologies
  • Quantum technology opportunities in areas such as financial services, pharma, chemical, healthcare, automotive, defense, government, and R&D
  • Quantum impact on AI, machine learning, and blockchain
  • Algorithms for quantum computers
  • Quantum software stack and programming models
  • Quantum and Human-Computer Interactions
  • Quantum cryptography
  • Theoretical developments and experimental implementations of quantum information technology
  • Quantum programming platforms
  • Quantum simulation
  • Open source quantum computing frameworks

Other Topics

This track will also consider submissions in other emerging disciplines. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • AI and Ethics: inclusive, unbiased, and responsible AI
  • 5G technology and scalable large communications to enable remote learning, remote working, virtual interactions, online orders, entertainment, etc. This has become a game-changer especially as many daily activities have been largely disrupted with the pandemic and have moved to virtual settings on a global scale.
  • Efficient AI and future AI hardware accelerators such as approximate computing and Analog AI enabling efficient hardware-software co-design for a variety of deployment platforms: edge, embedded devices, and data centers.
  • Digital twins
  • Cryptocurrency and bitcoins and their emerging applications
  • Crypto-anchors
  • Computing and personalized medicine
  • Future applications of federated learning

Hardware

We are now at an age where hardware plays a pivotal role in how we as computer scientists build complete software systems, develop new algorithms, and deploy applications. Mobile devices, IoT, autonomous vehicles, and even most off-the-shelf computing systems now make use of accelerators such as GPUs or FPGAs, low-cost systems such as Arduinos, or custom hardware for computation.

This track provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest trends and research in the hardware of computing.  We welcome submissions in the broad category of hardware, including, but not limited to:

Makers

  • Open-source hardware trends and obstacles
  • Hardware 3D printing and other small-scale manufacturing innovations
  • Gateway Hardware for non-established users such as artists or underserved communities

Novel Uses of Emerging Technologies and Post Moore’s Law Technologies

  • New architectures and packaging: dark silicon, 3D stacking, and advanced packaging, etc.
  • New devices and materials: Spintronics, carbon nanotubes and graphene, etc.
  • Novel models of computation: Adiabatic/reversible computing, neuromorphic, quantum, analog
  • FPGAs and other programmable devices
  • Accelerators, including those for machine learning

Hardware Outside the CPU

  • Uses for MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems)
  • Unique Human Input Devices
  • Power-saving technologies, wireless charging, and battery innovations
  • Wearables for the masses — how to scale
  • Medical requirements influencing the development of wearable technology.

IoT and Challenges for Hardware at the Edge

  • IoT for our everyday lives: smart homes, wearable tech, healthcare
  • IoT for infrastructure: smart cities, connected transportation, autonomous cars, and drones.
  • Social, legal, governance, and ethical aspects of IoT
  • Trusted Hardware — Privacy built-in

Human Computer Interaction

The use of and interaction with computing technology have changed immensely over the past decade. With the changing needs and new environments where computing technology is used, the area of human-computer interaction (HCI) is also rapidly evolving. Currently, HCI research extends beyond its discipline origins of computer science, cognitive science, behavioral science, and design to include new platforms, interfaces, and interaction paradigms. Unique and interesting challenges and opportunities around the interaction between humans and the computing systems that surround them are rapidly emerging.

We are accepting submissions that discuss the latest trends, pioneering tools and procedures, practical experiences, and technical challenges on a wide range of topics mentioned below.

Accessibility and Inclusive Design

Inclusive design reinvents the relationship between technology and humans by adapting the means of information delivery and interaction to enhance the human experience. Most importantly, it levels the playing field so that all people – including those with visual, auditory, mobility challenges as well as the growing aging population, novice technology users, people with language, learning, and literacy constraints, or any individual facing situational challenges while using a system — have equal access to the information they need for work and life. With the global pandemic that continues to affect every aspect of our lives, the need for accessibility and inclusive design is imperative. In the current environment, access to computing resources and accessible and inclusive technology is a necessity. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Design approaches, techniques, and tools for inclusive design
  • Assistive technologies, aging-related research, and technology for kids
  • Web and internet accessibility for digital inclusion
  • Accessibility within organizations: good practices and experiences
  • Technology for neurodiverse population
  • Technology for work and life during the time of social distancing and remote work

Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD)

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become pervasive in the lives of people globally. Diverse users from varying socio-economic backgrounds across the world interact with and are impacted by the design of computing technologies as well as the use of big data, interventions, and platforms built on such technologies. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Technologies for remote education, work, and health for underdeveloped communities and population
  • Technologies for low- and middle-income regions and/or other resource-constrained settings
  • Design, application, and adoption of ICTs in underdeveloped communities and regions
  • Technologies for poverty alleviation, education, and sustainability

The “Human” Factors of Human Computer Interaction

A compelling product has a substantial thought-process behind every step of the user experience. Human factors such as ergonomics and cognitive psychology play a major role in the user experience as well as product growth. We are accepting submissions with concrete examples that discuss:

  • The human aspects of a compelling user experience
  • The emotional aspects of design
  • The influence of human-centered design on the core product metrics
  • Best practices with proven results around usability testing, concept-value testing, etc.

Interactive Media

Interactive Media is how we interact and extract value from various media types including but not limited to video, images, speech, text, etc. Effective interaction with media has powerful implications in every aspect of our lives and the current pandemic has made interactive media’s presence in our lives even more powerful. We welcome submissions related to the technology needed for Interactive Media, to applications it can enable, and how that impacts our experiences and lives!

Mentoring Circles

This interactive mentoring session lets attendees seek personalized advice regarding their career or academic endeavors, in small groups. Topics must be related to at least one of the following: career opportunities (e.g. how to become successful in a particular technical field), job search, tools for success at work, or academic paths. Your topic must also be intended for students/early career, mid-career, or both.

Open Source

The Open Source track welcomes submissions focusing on workshops and presentations designed to introduce new skills and deepen technical expertise in this area.  Speakers are encouraged to share their experiences on getting started with open source, evaluating when to adopt open source technology, and deeper dive into technical topics on specific open source technology. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Making a living with free software:  Workshops should help our audience understand what role free and open source software plays in the tech industry and IT/ICT; high-demand languages, tools, and platforms; how to work in virtual open source communities; where to find great jobs at any stage in your career, how to get started.
  • Developing a product while having an open source mindset.
  • Developer tools and platforms and methods: Automation, IDEs, Git, and GitHub. Agile, Security tools, and auditing your code. Bug-Tracking, documentation. Team building, giving back. Languages you may have missed in C.S. class: Python, PHP, Python, Ruby, Rust, and Golang to name some. Introductory or Intermediate workshops recommended.
  • Securing your Open Source Software: Some say that open source software is more secure since there are many pairs of eyes fixing issues. Some say it is just the opposite. From hackers to stealing, we invite workshops on how you take all precautions to secure your open source software.
  • Teaching Open Source: How to get OSS curriculum into the classroom; best practices, success stories and train wrecks to learn from, exemplary institutions, resources.
  • Fostering inclusivity: How you and your organization have fostered and supported an inclusive environment in open source to increase contributions from underrepresented groups. Today, Github reports that less than 6% of all open source maintainers are women.

Poster Session

Grace Hopper Celebration hosts a technical poster session, where participants from industry and academia alike share their latest research results. It is the perfect opportunity to present your research to GHC attendees and experts in your field. Designed to help you solicit constructive feedback, the poster session welcomes those who are actively pursuing a line of research, as well as those who are exploring an idea and are still developing their results into a completed paper. If you are a student, you can also choose to submit your poster to the ACM Student Research Competition.

Please consider the following:

  • Original research is a requirement for acceptance to the Poster Session. If your paper is an overview of the state-of-the-art, or if your research has been presented elsewhere, you should consider submitting it to a GHC technical session instead.
  • The Poster Session audience is very diverse; so are the reviewers. Give strong consideration to making your paper clear and understandable to people outside your field.
  • GHC is a technology conference. Your paper should emphasize the use of technology in your research and the ways in which technology made your research possible.
  • If you submit as an ACM SRC participant, there can only be one author of the poster.

Product Management

Product management (PM) is a critical component that drives the product vision, development, support, and ongoing improvement. Solving any problem irrespective of its size or severity involves transforming an idea into a product that ultimately adds value to the intended users. While approaches may vary, several strategic and executional aspects such as research, planning, communication, coordination serve as the foundation for product management.

This track provides an opportunity for current and future product leads, researchers, and practitioners to share their ideas, challenges, learnings, and cutting-edge approaches to all aspects of product management. We seek high-quality submissions on topics including but not limited to:

Product Management Fundamentals

  • Getting started with product management
  • Transitioning from a technical to a product role
  • Product management versus Product ownership
  • Strategic versus technical product management
  • Hardware versus software product management

Product Management Functions

  • Conceptualization (e.g., product vision, market research, requirements)
  • Design and development (e.g., processes, product life cycle, ecosystem, quality)
  • Launch (e.g., technical, commercial, and market considerations)
  • Product improvement (e.g., user experience, case studies, prioritization)

Product Management and Society

  • Ethical considerations of building products (e.g., solving versus exploiting customer problems)
  • The impact of products on our society
  • Inclusive product management

Security/Privacy

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

Data Anonymization and Privacy

  • International laws and regulations
  • Usability tradeoffs in security and privacy
  • Security and privacy in social networks
  • Tools and methods for Users to protect their Data Privacy and Security
  • At-will Data Sharing for Users

Security Attacks and Defenses

  • Cybercriminals and latest in cryptojacking/cryptomining attacks
  • Social engineering impacts
  • Intrusion and anomaly detection
  • 5G deployment and impact on security attacks
  • Supply Chain attacks

Security and Privacy Aspects of the Advanced CyberInfrastructure (CI)

  • Compliance, risk management, user training, and audit processes
  • Multi-factor authentication, authorization, and identity management frameworks and design
  • Infrastructure and information security
  • Security as a service

Data Security, Privacy, and AI

  • Impact of machine learning/AI
  • Using AI to aid assaults
  • Ransomware using machine learning
  • User behavior analysis and automation of threat detection

Software Engineering

Software increasingly underlies the technologies that permeate every aspect of our lives. Its ubiquity and inherent complexity emphasize the importance of adhering to responsible and well-defined practices. A widely experienced reality in 2020 is that technology and communication have become “mission-critical” for any business, a reality that opened many new software engineering trends.

We seek high-quality submissions on fitting within one of the focus areas described below.

Continuous Integration, Agile Methodologies, Testing, and Automation

From idea to methods to framework and tools, automation and quality assurance increases the value of any product. According to wired.com: “The Pandemic Is Propelling a New Wave of Automation”. 

Agile practices, short feedback loops, early delivery, and continual improvement are outstanding contributors to building higher quality software.

  • State-of-the-Art testing: E.g., Testing-as-a-Service, IoT testing, testing in DevOps, Crowdsourced testing, AI in testing.
  • Robotics and AI/ML in Automation
  • Agile Engineering Practices, Code reviews, Programing Styles
  • Quality of Code: Continuous Integration, Deployment, and Delivery

Digital transformation, DevOps, Programming Languages

Mckinsey.com states that we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks. Every business seeks to explore digital integration by leveraging social networks, process management, the evolution and trends of programming languages, or biomedical informatics. What new technologies keep you competitive in a work field where work-from-home flexibility became a standard and businesses pay more for redundancy?

As technology continues to fill every aspect of our lives deeper than before, we invite you to analyze matters of integrity and standards, as well as the ramifications digital transformation has on society.

  • Digital Transformation
  • Programming Languages (evolution and trends)
  • DevOps Tools, Automation, and Patterns
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Software Engineering Ethics and Policy

The cloud, large-scale software; Trends and future of software engineering 

With “change” being the one constant, we are all experiencing in the last couple of years, and with the next billions of users in progress to become active Internet users, designing scalable, resilient, stress-resistant software is compelling in architecting software. We seek submissions exploring the latest trends, pioneering practices and tools, research, and driving digital disruption and innovation in 2021 in fields like, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cloud Computing, Serverless, and Microservices, and how their faster adoption shapes software engineering today
  • Performance/Load/Stress Testing at Scale
  • Scaling DevOps Capabilities, Infrastructure as Code
  • Cultures and Leadership
  • Strategic automation, renewable energy expansion, and sustainability as a major innovation driver
  • Disruptive technologies and redefining the way we interact with machines.

Tech for Women

Innovation by women continued to attract attention through 2019 and 2020, with more companies founded by women reaching “unicorn” status – companies valued at one billion dollars – than any time in the past. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted working mothers and female entrepreneurs (in the USA alone, 4 x as many women left the workforce to take care of children as compared to men in September 2020). As such it is more important than ever to keep raising awareness of the ways in which much of our everyday lives and products surrounding us are designed with “coded patriarchy” – the assumption of a male default and exclusion of women and underrepresented perspectives in design, business, media, and technology.

Tech for Women track was launched in 2018 and has since expanded. In 2020, it brought together tech makers, policymakers, and philanthropists to highlight innovations and programs developed by women, for women. We are excited to make it even stronger in 2021 and celebrate the women at the forefront of driving change, through innovation, investment, organizing, and impact! We are looking for submissions focused on:

  • Impact-Focused and Mission-Driven Solutions: the use of tech to create solutions in economics, education, and communities hardest hit by the pandemic, climate change, or other systemic challenges through mission-driven companies, social enterprises, or B-corps.
  • FemTech and Inclusive Innovation: products, services, and projects that either explicitly focuses on women or are designed to account for the needs of women and other underserved groups in the areas of health, fitness, wearables, safety, networking, lifestyle, and more.
  • Investments and VC Funding: the rise of funding to women-led businesses and initiatives to address systemic barriers to advancement and parity.
  • Policy, Activism, and Philanthropy: the use of technology to spread awareness about the issues and create solutions for women and underserved populations including internet access, electricity, access to healthcare, communication tools, education, safety, women’s rights, and empowerment.
  • Media and Communities: conferences, media, and networking projects led by women for women to foster female leadership and help close the gender gap in technology and business.

Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality

Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) bring digital experiences that augment, replace or combine the real world with virtual worlds. An explosion of desktop, mobile, robotic, and body-worn platforms for VR/AR/MR that have emerged recently create experiences that enhance and transcend the physical world. The fast-growing field of VR/AR/MR builds upon advances in optics, computer vision, computer graphics, hardware, and artificial intelligence while leveraging design innovations, user experience research, human-computer interaction, game design, human factors, and ethnography. The multidisciplinary nature of VR/AR/MR allows for researchers and engineers from different backgrounds to work together in creating unique experiences that can benefit humanity.

We are calling for submissions that discuss technical advancements, social and ethical impact, VR/AR/MR hardware and software, ergonomics, design strategies, novel applications, user experience, and multidisciplinary topics relating to VR/AR/MR.

Applications/Case studies of VR/AR/MR

We are looking for submissions that explore concrete applications of VR/AR/MR, including but not limited to:

  • Adoption of VR/AR/MR in entertainment (gaming/sports), education, journalism, scientific exploration/visualization, retail (marketing, e-shopping), health, art, social media, smart home, and so on
  • Novel applications of VR/AR/MR in consumer and enterprise domains
  • Privacy and ethics of VR/AR/MR adoption
  • Social impact of VR/AR/MR and collaborative experiences.
  • Methodologies for discovering application areas for VR/AR/MR

Design and User Experience for VR/AR/MR

Creating an experience for smartphone-based AR has different interactions and considerations than a desktop-based virtual reality experience with full body and hand tracking. Topics for this track include, but are not limited to:

  • Design and UX approaches, methodologies, and tools to create VR/AR/MR experiences.
  • Industrial design and ergonomics of VR/AR/MR
  • Game design and content creation for VR/AR/MR
  • Multi-modal interaction that leverages sensing of hand, eye, head, voice, and haptics in VR/AR/MR systems
  • Accessibility for VR/AR/MR applications
  • Short-term and long-term health impacts of head-mounted displays and optical tracking technologies

Engineering Aspects of VR/AR/MR

VR/AR/MR brings new challenges to sensing, perception, and high-level understanding of the real world. This track calls for talks on these unique challenges and solutions such as:

  • Advances in Computer vision (CV) and deep learning pertaining to VR/AR/MR including visual sensing, perception, and understanding of the real world
  • Advances in Computer Graphics technologies pertaining to VR/AR/MR including content creation, rendering, etc.
  • Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) on VR/AR/MR
  • Advances in spatial audio, audio sensing, and perception technology, automatic speech/audio recognition for VR/AR/MR
  • Advances in haptic technology for VR/AR/MR
  • Advances in multimodal sensing for VR/AR/MR
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