Marc’Aurelio Ranzato, NeurIPS 2021 General Chair and Terry Sejnowski, NeurIPS Board President
In a continued effort to ensure the health and well-being of its attendees, the annual NeurIPS conference will again be fully virtual for 2021. While the main program elements will remain the same as in 2020, we have made some important changes this year.
Events will be showcased only during weekdays. The conference will open on Monday December 6 with a full day of tutorials spanning a variety of topics. The main program will follow, beginning on Tuesday, December 7, and running through Friday, December 10. Encompassing multiple sessions, each day’s agenda starts with a keynote address, followed by oral and poster presentations. Further details will be available soon, as submissions are currently under revision. There will be a weekend break, with the conference resuming on Monday, December 13, for two full days of workshops focused on key topics. There will also be a wide array of other events, such as demonstrations and competitions, a new track on datasets and benchmarks, affinity group meetings, socials, and more.
The decision to move to a weekday-only schedule was a deliberate one to ensure our community has the needed time to rest, recoup, and reflect on the conference’s first week, and to spend quality time with friends and family. Unlike physical events where a weekend break would be impractical, the virtual format permits a more flexible, inclusive schedule. Based on last year’s successes, NeurIPS will be hosting events throughout the day to better facilitate interaction among attendees at convenient times, irrespective of their local time zone.
Also new this year is a complimentary job board. Designed to assist in forging key connections between organizations and applicants, it is being provided free-of-charge to institutions seeking candidates. Recognizing the difficulties associated with making new connections in the virtual setting and the challenges of simulating the in-person experience of meeting new people during lunch or in hallways, the job board aims to capture the essence of this important component of international meetings. Of particular importance to graduating students seeking positions, we hope both employers and prospective applicants will take full advantage of this opportunity.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that NeurIPS will be returning as an in-person event in 2022 at the New Orleans Conference Center. All talks will be streamed to make them accessible to anyone with internet access. In addition, remote meetups will take place around the world where those who are unable to attend can meet with others nearby. While we will retain some elements of our virtual gatherings, we are hopeful that conditions will have improved enough in 2022 that we can once again safely travel and gather together.