Find answers to common questions that may arise during the effort to prepare and submit a tutorial to the SC Conference. If your question is not addressed here, please contact us.



Topics of Interest


Q. What topics are of interest for SC Tutorials?

A. SC Tutorials are intended to cover a wide range of topics of interest to the HPC community. The Tutorials Committee encourages proposals for full-day (six hours) or half-day (three hours) tutorials with broad applicability and of interest to a large proportion of conference attendees. Proposals for the following areas (as well as others) are solicited:

  • Basic and introductory topics for expanding broader engagement
  • Applications and application frameworks
  • Algorithms, numerical methods, and libraries
  • Software engineering for portable performance and scalability
  • Parallel programming methods, models, languages, and environments
  • Software tools for accelerators (GPGPUs, FPGA, etc.)
  • Performance evaluation and/or optimization tools
  • Debugging and correctness tools
  • High performance I/O, storage, archive, and file systems
  • Big Data topics (e.g., large databases and data mining for HPC)
  • High performance networking technology
  • Scientific and information visualization
  • Large systems administration and/or resource management
  • Computer and network security
  • Fault-tolerance, reliability, maintainability, and adaptability
  • High performance computer architecture
  • Clusters and distributed systems
  • Embedded and/or reconfigurable systems
  • “Hot topics” of current interest to the HPC community


Preparing a Submission


Q. Where do I submit a tutorial proposal?

A. Tutorial proposals are submitted via the SC submissions website.


Q. How long are SC Tutorials?

A. Tutorials may be proposed for either a full-day (six hours) or a half-day (three hours) session.


Q. What if a topic of interest can be covered in less than three hours?

A. Tutorial sessions must last for the full three or six hours. Multiple related subjects may be combined into a single “themed” session for consideration.


Q. What is a hands-on tutorial?

A. Hands-on tutorials give attendees an opportunity to work through pre-prepared demos or exercises during the tutorial. A well-done hands-on tutorial can provide a much richer learning experience to attendees than a non-interactive, lecture-only tutorial. Hands-on submissions are highly encouraged.


Q. How should I format my tutorial proposal submission?

A. Each tutorial submission must present its course information through the SC submissions website, where a form will collect basic information (the tutorial’s title, length, presenter information, and keywords). A sample form is available at the submissions website. Further details about the proposal, such as goals, targeted audience, and outline, should be written in a PDF and uploaded as an attachment to the submission form. The format for the PDF is documented in the How to Submit section of the submissions website. Submitters are particularly encouraged to include a draft of their full tutorial presentation in the Sample of Visual Material section of the submission form.


Q. If accepted, what additional information will I need to provide?

A. If accepted, you will be asked to provide a number of additional materials. These include promotional videos, information required for honorarium and support, bio information for the online program, consent and release forms, and final presentation materials.


Q. Why do I need to sign a consent and release form?

A. Tutorials presentation materials will be hosted on a password-protected download site for registered Tutorials attendees, and a USB stick containing the presentation materials will be sold at the SC store (available for purchase by anyone, but at a reduced price to registered Tutorials attendees). Organizers must also explicitly agree to the release of their tutorial presentations for this purpose as part of the tutorial proposal submission. We will not produce hard copies of tutorial presentations.


Q. Is a promotional video required?

A. Promotional videos are not required, but they are encouraged! In order to maximize your honorarium and travel reimbursement support, you should submit a video (see Honoraria and Reimbursements below for details). Furthermore, promotional videos are a great way to advertise your proposal to potential attendees. Links to promotional videos will be posted on the SC18 website.


Q. When must the final presentation materials for accepted tutorials be submitted?

A. Final submission dates are usually two months prior to the conference. Actual dates will be specified at the time of tutorial acceptance.


Q. Can I make changes to my tutorial materials after I have submitted them?

A. Tutorial presenters are generally expected to use the material submitted, with no changes. Minor extensions may be granted to enable a presenter to include more timely material, or to comply with conditions beyond the presenter’s control (e.g., new decisions adopted by standards bodies). In such cases, the submitted material should be as close to a final version as possible, and clearly indicate where changes are anticipated.

Changes requested because a presenter had insufficient time to prepare and submit their materials cannot be accommodated.


Q. What are the expectations of tutorial presentations at the conference?

A. SC Tutorials are some of the most popular sessions at the conference, attracting several thousand participants. Tutorial abstracts must clearly present what lessons can be learned, and tutorial presenters are expected to deliver professional presentations and to treat tutorial attendees with respect. Each tutorial will be evaluated in detail by attendees after the session, and these evaluations will play a crucial role in the evaluation of future-year tutorial submissions.


About Being a Tutorial Presenter


Q. What is the difference between presenters, lead presenters, and assistants?

A. A “presenter” is a person who is eligible for some part of their tutorial’s honoraria, travel expense reimbursement, and/or complimentary registration.

A “lead presenter” is the presenter authorized to speak and make decisions for all of the tutorial’s presenters as recognized by the Tutorials Chair. The person who submits the tutorial materials is assumed to be the lead presenter.

An “assistant” is a person who assists with a tutorial but is not a designated presenter. Assistants are not eligible to attend the Tutorial Breakfast, or to receive honoraria or travel reimbursement. However, there is a limited number of complimentary registrations that can be made available for assistants.

Assistants are only available upon special request and require approval from the Tutorials Chair.


Q. How many presenters and assistants may each tutorial have?

A. Full-day tutorials may include up to six presenters and up to two assistants, while half-day tutorials may include up to three presenters and up to two assistants.


Q. Do presenters get complimentary access to the conference or to other tutorials?

A. Presenters receive a Tutorial Passport for the day of their session, so half-day presenters may attend other half-day tutorials on the same day. Otherwise, presenters must register for the conference and/or any tutorials they wish to attend.


Q. What else is required of tutorial presenters?

A. Tutorial presenters are expected to attend the Tutorial Breakfast on the day of their presentation. Final instructions are given and honoraria are disbursed at this breakfast. Presenters are expected to alert the Tutorials Chair if they are unable to attend.


Honoraria and Reimbursements


Q. Are presenters reimbursed for the cost of traveling to the conference?

A. Travel reimbursement is limited to airfare only, with a maximum of $600 per presenter ($1,000 for presenters traveling from outside of North America). Up to four presenters may claim airfare reimbursement for full-day tutorials, and up to two presenters for half-day tutorials.


Q. Do tutorial presenters receive honoraria?

A. SC Tutorials include “usual and customary” honoraria in recognition of the effort involved in presenting at the SC Conference. Half-day tutorial presenters receive honoraria totaling $1,400, and full-day tutorial presenters receive a sum of $2,800. The honorarium may be split among up to two presenters for half-day tutorials and between up to four presenters for full-day tutorials. If tutorial presenters submit promotional videos, then the honoraria are raised to $1,600 and $3,200, respectively. Honoraria not claimed at the conference (during one of the scheduled reimbursement times) will be considered forfeit. Full details, including other conditions, will be provided to presenters of accepted tutorials.


Q. Where can I find additional information about honoraria and support?

A. The SC Tutorials financial policy document will be made available soon.


Review Criteria and Conflict of Interest (COI)


Q: Is my tutorial peer-reviewed?

A: Yes. Tutorial proposals are reviewed by a committee of experts. Each proposal will have at least three reviewers.


Q: Is the peer-review process double-blind?

A: No. Reviewers have access to the names of tutorial submitters. While Tutorials Committee members are named on the SC18 Planning Committee page, the names of the individuals reviewing each proposal are not made available to the authors.


Q: What are the guidelines for conflicts of interest (COI)?

A: A potential conflict of interest occurs when a person is involved in making a decision that:

  1. Could result in that person, a close associate of that person, or that person’s company or institution receiving significant financial gain, such as a contract or grant.
  2. Could result in that person, or a close associate of that person, receiving significant professional recognition, such as an award or the selection of a paper, work, exhibit, or other type of submitted presentation.

Authors and Tutorials Committee members will be given the opportunity to list any potential COIs during the submissions and review processes, respectively. The Tutorials Committee Chair will make every effort to avoid assignments that have a potential COI.

According to the SC Conference you have a conflict of interest with:

  • Your PhD advisors, post-doctoral advisors, PhD students, and post-doctoral advisees forever;
  • Family relations by blood or marriage, or equivalent (e.g., a partner);
  • People with whom you collaborated in the past five years. Collaborators include: co-authors on an accepted/rejected/pending research paper; co-PIs on an accepted/pending grant; those who fund your research; researchers whom you fund; or researchers with whom you are actively collaborating;
  • Close personal friends or others with whom you believe a conflict of interest exists;
  • People who were employed by, or a student at, your primary institution(s) in the past five years, or people who are active candidates for employment at your primary institution(s).

Note that “service” collaborations, such as writing a DOE, NSF, or DARPA report, or serving on a program committee, or serving on the editorial board of a journal do not inherently create a COI.


Conference Infrastructure


Q: Are there coffee breaks during Tutorials?

A: Yes. Two 30-minute coffee breaks, at 10am and 3pm, are provided on Sunday and Monday.


Q: Is lunch included?

A: Yes, lunch is provided for attendees, presenters, and assistants with Tutorials registration on their badge.


Q: Is breakfast provided?

A: Breakfast is provided for presenters only on the day of their tutorial. In fact, tutorial presenters are expected to attend the Tutorial Breakfast on the day of their presentation. Final instructions are given and honoraria are disbursed at this breakfast. Presenters are expected to alert the Tutorials Chair if they are unable to attend.

Note that assistants and attendees are not eligible to attend the Tutorial Breakfast.


Q: What rooms and audio/video infrastructure are provided to each tutorial?

A: Tutorials are assigned either a classroom or theater room equipped with standard AV facilities (projector, microphone and podium, wireless lapel microphone or wireless handheld microphone, and projection screen).


Q: What if I need additional infrastructure (e.g., power, wired internet access)?

A. The Conference will provide SCinet wireless network access to all tutorial rooms, and may provide wired network and power to classroom-style seating for “hands-on” tutorials upon request. Tutorials requesting wired network and power must include a clear justification for the request in their proposal.


Q: Will a student volunteer be present to help out?

A: Yes. There will be a student volunteer present throughout your tutorial to help with AV and general infrastructure needs. Student volunteers will have means to directly contact the Tutorials Chair and AV support staff in case any issues arise.


Q: Can I record my tutorial?

A: No, this request cannot be accommodated within current conference policies and procedures.

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