SC20 Is Everywhere We Are

Virtual Event FAQ

How to Submit

Upon Acceptance

Virtual Program

How to Submit


Birds of a Feather (BoF) are non-commercial and focus on community building through interactive presentations and discussions covering a wide variety of topics.

Successful BoF submissions will often involve any combination of presentations, audience discussion, roadmap discussions, question and answer periods, and community meet ups. Before submitting, consider whether your proposed session fits this description. Consider also whether there is another group of people who are likely to submit a similar BoF and whether you should merge your proposal with theirs.

Upon review of your BoF proposal, the BoF committee may suggest combining with other proposals.

Note that BoFs are not the appropriate venue for:

  • Vendors advertising their latest product release or feature (for this, consider the Exhibitor Forum);
  • Sessions consisting solely or mainly of presentations or discussion among a small group of experts (for this, submit a proposal for a panel); or
  • Project team meetings that are not focused on building community (e.g., by not allowing non-project team members in the discussion).

Preparing Your Submission

A BoF submission includes:

  • Session leader information;
  • Selection of a topic area that best fits your BoF (see below);
  • Abstract (100-word maximum);
  • Long description (500-word maximum) clearly stating goal(s), topic, relevance to the expected HPC audience, and the expected outcome; and
  • Session format information, including a description (150-word maximum) of how you plan to organize the BoF session.


  • Algorithms
  • Applications
  • Architectures & Networks
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Clouds & Distributed Computing
  • Data Analytics & Visualization
  • Education
  • Machine Learning and HPC
  • Meetings
  • Performance Measurement, Modeling, and Tools
  • Programming Systems
  • State of the Practice
  • Storage
  • System Software
  • Other

If none of the topic areas fit, please select “Other” on the submission form. Please select “Meetings” for society or SC meetings and TOP 500.

Session Format

While we do not prescribe how a BoF should be organized, BoFs should have a format that ensures high levels of audience interaction. Talks and presentations should be oriented toward provoking community discussion, rather than being purely informational. An example of a useful presentation in this sense is a roadmap update to open feedback on how to orient future efforts in an open-source software project.

Where to Submit

BoF proposals are submitted via the SC submissions website. View a sample form.

Review Criteria

A proposal must be submitted for all BoFs. Even if your BoF has been held at a previous SC conference, you must submit a new proposal to be reviewed and evaluated against the other submissions.

Selected BoF proposals are ranked in terms of their potential for community building, relevance to the expected audience, expected level of audience participation, and the timeliness of the topic. Other criteria may be considered as well. BoFs are expected to limit the inclusion of vendor-specific content.

Conflict of Interest

Please review the SC Conference Conflict of Interest guidelines before submitting your BoF proposal.


Please review the IEEE guidelines on identifying plagiarism.

Upon Acceptance


All BoF speakers, moderators, and session leaders must register for the conference and pay for a Technical Program registration.

BoF speakers, moderators, and session leaders do not receive honoraria or discounted admission to any conference sessions. By submitting a BoF proposal to SC, you are making a commitment to attend the conference and pay a registration fee upon acceptance of your submission.

Workshop and Tutorial registrations do not include Birds of a Feather access. See more information at Registration.

Finalizing Accepted BoFs

Upon acceptance of your BoF, the session leader must submit an updated abstract and biographical information for each session leader to the SC submissions website before September 15, 2020 to be included in the online SC Schedule.


BoF materials (i.e., title, abstract, presenter information) are made available in the SC20 Technical Program Archives upon submission of final BoF information to the SC submissions website before September 15, 2020.

Virtual Program


BoFs will be held in a single track at the following times (one per time slot):

  • Tuesday, November 17, 10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm, 4 pm
  • Wednesday, November 18, 10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm, 4 pm
  • Thursday, November 19, 10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm, 4 pm

Your BoF should be scheduled within this timeframe. If you have a potential scheduling conflict please let us know as early as possible. We will try to accommodate you, but we will not be able to accommodate all requests.

In order to ensure a quality experience for BoF organizers and attendees, we are limiting our selection of BoFs to only fifteen. BoFs will run concurrent with other papers, panels and presentations. Each BoF will start with a pre-recorded video, followed by a moderated discussion using the chat capability of the online conference system. BoF proposers are requested to describe how they will manage their session in the virtual conference environment. Also, proposers should identify how BOF materials will be made available to virtual participants.


Speakers/Presenters will receive instructions and more information on recording and uploading their videos and presentations well in advance of the conference.

Questions about BoF Submissions?
Contact Birds of a Feather

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