Announcing NeurIPS Meetups!

The Meetup Chairs, Anoush Najarian (Software Engineering Manager, MathWorks) and Nicolas Le Roux (Research Scientist, Google Brain), are excited to introduce you to NeurIPS meetups, a new initiative this year. NeurIPS meetups are intended to build a remote presence for NeurIPS.

What is a NeurIPS meetup?

A NeurIPS meetup is a local event hosted during the NeurIPS conference, leveraging conference videos, and live local content, with a duration ranging from a few hours to a full week, and bringing together either participants from a single institution (a company or a university) or the public. Meetups are governed by the NeurIPS Code of Conduct.

Why NeurIPS meetups?

There are many good reasons to bring the NeurIPS experience to local communities:

  • Reducing the need for air travel
  • Growing AI expertise around the world, including in underrepresented communities in tech, and fueling innovation responsibly
  • Creating opportunities for researchers and practitioners who cannot physically attend due to space, visa, funding, and time constraints

How can you get involved?

Today, we launched the Call for meetups. If you wish to organize a NeurIPS meetup, submit your proposal. If you have any questions, send us an email at neurips2019mcs@gmail.com.

What do we want NeurIPS meetups to be?

We’d love to encourage awesome events where hosts and participants do the following:

  • Leverage recordings and live videos of NeurIPS sessions
  • Host live sessions with local AI researchers and practitioners, including local authors of accepted NeurIPS papers who did not travel to the conference
  • Encourage a connection with collocated affinity groups, such as WiML (Women in Machine Learning) and BAI (Black in AI)
  • Take place around the same time as NeurIPS, adjusted for local time zone
  • Have freedom to adapt to local constraints

What is the model for NeurIPS meetups?

There are conferences like WIDS, Women in Data Science to which we’ve looked for inspiration: WIDS is run out of Stanford, and is presented through a network of local conferences hosted around the globe. One of the Meetup Chairs (Anoush) has found WIDS hosted by WPI, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to be of great value in nurturing the vibrant data science community in the Boston area. We’re designing NeurIPS meetups to include elements of the WIDS Ambassador program (e.g., signup form, a website to display all events, etc.) and adding new elements, (e.g., online collaboration).

What have we done so far?

We have spoken to Criteo and MathWorks AI enthusiasts in France, the US, UK, and India, all of whom are interested in hosting NeurIPS meetups. We are talking to many other partners around the globe…like you!

Check out a map listing all meetups. We’ll continue to update it as new meetups are approved.

Other initiatives

There’s more to remote participation than NeurIPS meetups. This year, we will also experiment with two additional initiatives, also governed by the NeurIPS Code of Conduct:

  • A chat server where anyone will be able to discuss papers from the conference, via text or audio
  • A livestream where NeurIPS authors will have 15 minutes to present their work to all NeurIPS meetups. This will make it easier to reach a large audience than is possible during a poster session. Authors will be able to register for one of the available spots in November.

We hope you’ll like these initiatives. If you have any comment, feel free to send us an email at neurips2019mcs@gmail.com.

Anoush and Nicolas

Neural Information Processing Systems Conference

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