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NIPS 2015 Call for Post-Conference Workshops

Friday December 11 and Saturday December 12, 2015
Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montréal CANADA

Following the NIPS 2015 main conference, workshops on a variety of current topics will be held on Friday December 11 and Saturday December 12, 2015, in Montréal, Canada. We invite researchers interested in chairing one of these workshops to submit workshop proposals. The goal of the workshops is to provide an informal forum for researchers to discuss important research questions and challenges. Controversial issues, open problems, and comparisons of competing approaches are encouraged as workshop topics. There will be seven hours of workshop meetings per day, split into morning and afternoon sessions, with free time between the sessions for individual exchange.

Potential workshop topics range from Neuroscience to Bayesian Methods to Representation Learning to Kernels to Clustering, and include Application Areas such as Computational Biology, Speech, Vision or Social Networks, as well as any other topic relevant to an appreciable fraction of the NIPS community. Detailed descriptions of previous workshops may be found in last year's online schedule at:

Workshop schedules should encourage lively debates, stimulate the production of new ideas and the discussion of controversial issues. To this end, workshop proposals should be designed to attract a medium sized audience, and to cover a more precise research topic than the recently introduced NIPS Symposia (see Call for Symposia). Workshop proposals that focus on a subtopic of any of the accepted symposia (whose list is included below) are welcome.

Workshop organizers have several responsibilities, including: Coordinating workshop participation and content, as well as publicizing and providing the program for the workshop in a timely manner.

Submission Instructions

A account is required to submit the Workshops application. Please follow the URL below and check the required format for the application well before the proposal deadline. You can edit your application online right up until this deadline. We have funding to video record a limited number of workshops for later online viewing. Workshop proposals should state if they wish their workshop to be recorded.

Interested parties must submit a proposal by

Sat Jul 18, 2015 23:59 PM UTC.

Proposals should be submitted electronically at the following URL:

Preference will be given to workshops that reserve a significant portion of time for open discussion or panel discussion and to workshops with a greater fraction of confirmed speakers. Preference will also be given to workshops that encourage contributed content, as well as workshops whose organizers/speakers are both NIPS insiders and outsiders.

We suggest that organizers allocate sufficient time for questions, discussion, and breaks. Past experience suggests that workshops otherwise degrade into mini-conferences as talks begin to run over. Organizers should explicitly state the expected fraction of time for discussion & questions and the expected number of talks per day at the end of the proposal. We strongly recommend that each workshop include no more than 12 talks per day.

As we did last year, we plan to unify the NIPS workshop important dates across all of the workshops. Therefore, please consider using the following date guidelines for your workshop in order to provide program information in time for publication:

  • Workshop acceptance notification will be on August 15th, 2015
  • Your workshop should be publicized on or before August 22nd, 2015.
  • Internal submission deadline should be on or before October 10th, 2015.
  • Internal acceptance decisions should be mailed out on or before October 24th, 2015.
  • Submit finalized workshop organizers, abstract, and URL on or before October 31th, 2015.

NIPS does not provide travel funding for workshop speakers. In the past, some workshops have sought and received funding from external sources to bring in outside speakers. The organizers of each accepted workshop can name four individuals per day of the workshop to receive complimentary workshop registration.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions:

Borja Balle and Marco Cuturi
NIPS*2015 Workshops Chairs

List of Accepted Symposia

Deep Learning Symposium

Deep Learning algorithms attempt to discover good representations, at multiple levels of abstraction. Deep Learning is a topic of broad interest, both to researchers who develop new algorithms and theories, as well as to the rapidly growing number of practitioners who apply these algorithms to a wider range of applications, from vision and speech processing, to natural language understanding, neuroscience, health, etc. Major conferences in these fields often dedicate several sessions to this topic, attesting the widespread interest of our community in this area of research. There has been very rapid and impressive progress in this area in recent years, in terms of both algorithms and applications, but many challenges remain. This symposium aims at bringing together researchers in Deep Learning and related areas to discuss the new advances, the challenges we face, and to brainstorm about new solutions and directions.

Algorithms Among Us: the Societal Impacts of Machine Learning

Public interest in Machine Learning is mounting as the societal impacts of technologies derived from our community become evident. This symposium aims to turn the attention of ML researchers to the present and future consequences of our work, particularly in the areas of privacy, military robotics, employment and liability. These topics now deserve concerted attention to ensure the best interests of those both within and without ML: the community must engage with public discourse so as not to become the victim of it (as other fields have e.g. genetic engineering). The symposium will bring leaders within academic and industrial ML together with experts outside the field to debate the impacts of our algorithms and the possible responses we might adopt.

Brains, Minds, and Machines

The symposium for Brains, Minds and Machines is concerned with the integration of two central topics: the scientific understanding of intelligence and the ability to replicate intelligence in engineered systems. Understanding intelligence and the brain requires theories at different levels, ranging from the biophysics of single neurons to algorithms, computations, and a theory of learning. In this symposium, we aim to bring together researchers from machine learning and artificial intelligence, from neuroscience, and from cognitive science to present and discuss state-of-the art research that is focused on understanding intelligence on these different levels. Central questions of the symposium include how intelligence is grounded in computation, how these computations are implemented in neural systems, how intelligence can be described via unifying mathematical theories, and how we can build intelligent machines based on these principles. A particular focus of the symposium lies on how both models and algorithms can be guided by scientific concerns, incorporating constraints and findings from cognitive neuroscience, systems neuroscience, and cognitive development. We believe that these topics, spanning the fields of artificial intelligence, neuroscience and cognitive science, lie at the core of the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems and are of great interest to its general audience. Moreover, the accumulated knowledge and technology that is now in place has set the stage for rapid advances in these areas and in the creation of intelligent machines. We believe that this makes it an ideal time to hold this symposium at NIPS. The symposium is targeted at researchers at the interface of computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computational neuroscience, and robotics.