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Talk & Poster Presentations

Specialized Tracks​

This year we are happy to announce two specialized tracks that run in parallel to the general conference track:

Data Visualization and Image Processing

Imagery is a key component of all science -- whether one uses it to visualize and communicate scientific findings or whether the images themselves reveal important details about an experiment. Image processing and data visualization are key tools for discovering and communicating insights with others at many levels. Python has a number of packages to generate and analyze figures and images. This special track is to discuss advances in data visualization and image processing and highlight innovations that have enhanced the data-sharing experience within and across disciplines and with the general public.


Scientific Applications of Machine Learning and Data Science


This track is focused on how theory, tools, and methods in data science and machine learning can be applied to scientific problems. This includes the application of new open source tools and techniques for machine learning and data science, as well as novel discoveries in all fields of science made through the application of new or existing tools and techniques. This track will bring together developers, practitioners, and scientists to discuss how these tools and methods can be applied to a variety of scientific problems. 


Domain-specific Mini-symposia

Introduced in 2012, mini-symposia are held to discuss scientific computing applied to a specific scientific domain/industry during a half afternoon after the general conference. Their goal is to promote industry specific libraries and tools, and gather people with similar interests for discussions.

Mini-symposia on the following topics will take place this year:

  • Physics and Astronomy

  • Biology and Neuroscience

  • Computational Social Science and Digital Humanities

  • Earth, Ocean, Geo, and Atmospheric Science

  • Maintainers Track

  • SciPy Tools

Call for Proposals has closed
Program Chairs:

Matt Haberland, CalPoly

Madicken Munk, University of Illinois

Important Talk & Poster Dates:

  • February 22, 2021:

    • Talk & Poster submission deadline

  • May, 2021

    • General conference speakers announced

  • May 28, 2021:

    • Proceedings first draft submissions due

  • July 14-16, 2021:

    • SciPy 2021 Virtual Conference

  • July 31, 2021:

    • SciPy 2021 final Proceedings published

Planning for your proposal submission?​




Proposals must be submitted by February 22, 2021. Here's what you'll need for a submission:

The Short Summary

The brief description which will appear in the online program and give attendees a basic sense of your talk. This should be around 100 words or less.

The Abstract

Your placement in the program will be based on reviews of your abstract. This should be a roughly 500 word outline of your presentation. This outline should concisely describe software of interest to the SciPy community, tools or techniques for more effective computing, or how scientific Python was applied to solve a research problem. A traditional background/motivation, methods, results, and conclusion structure is encouraged but not required. Links to project websites, source code repositories, figures, full papers, and evidence of public speaking ability are encouraged.

Tips for Submitting a Proposal

The SciPy Conference is in awe of the work that is being done in the community. We receive many interesting and thought-provoking proposals but we have a limited number of spaces. Please take a look at our tips below to improve your chances of having a talk or poster accepted by the conference. In the unfortunate event that your proposal is not accepted, please keep in mind that you are welcome to give a lightning talk, book a room for a Birds of a Feather discussion, or talk to the Program Committee about displaying your work as a poster in lieu of a talk.

  • Submit your proposal early.

  • In your abstract, be sure to include answers to some basic questions:

    • Who is the intended audience for your talk?

    • What, specifically, will attendees learn from your talk?

  • Ensure that your talk will be relevant to a broad range of people. If your talk is on a particular Python package or piece of software, it should useful to more than a niche group.

  • Include links to source code, articles, blog posts, or other writing that adds context to the presentation.

  • If you've given a talk, tutorial, or other presentation before, include that information as well as a link to slides or a video if they're available.

  • SciPy talks are generally 25 minutes with 2-3 minutes for questions. Please keep the length of time in mind as you structure your outline.

  • Your talk should not be a commercial for your company’s product. However, you are welcome to talk about how your company solved a problem, or notable open-source projects that may benefit attendees.

Many of these tips are adapted from the PyCon Proposal Resources. Thanks PSF!

How proposals are reviewed and selected​


For those of you new to the SciPy community, we wanted to demystify the process we use to select talks and posters. The talks, posters and tutorials go through a similar process consisting of open reviews (i.e., the identities of the submitter and the reviewers are public).  

Submissions are automatically assigned to reviewers with expertise in the domain specific topic. Each submission is reviewed by 3 reviewers and rated in the following categories: 

  • Would you recommend accepting this proposal (yes/no)?

  • Proposal rating? (numerical score 1 to 5)

  • How confident are you in your review? (numerical score 1 to 5)

  • Does this abstract concisely describe software of interest to the SciPy community, tools or techniques for more effective computing, or how scientific Python was applied to solve a research problem? (numerical score 1 to 5)

The submissions and their reviews are provided to the Track or Mini-Symposia Chair. The Program Committee Co-Chairs fill this role for the general track. The Chairs review the abstracts, scores and comments for all the submissions and make recommendations to the Program Committee Co-Chairs. The Program Committee Co-Chairs take the recommendations and build the initial SciPy schedule.


Those that submitted talks or posters that are selected are contacted by the Committee and they are asked to confirm their attendance at the SciPy Conference. The Program Committee works with the Mini-Symposia and Track chairs to identify a second tier of talks that will be added to the schedule in the event that some of the initial selections are not able to attend.


The Tutorial Co-Chairs review the scores and comments for all tutorials and build the schedule. They consider the scores as well as balancing the level of the tutorials (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and striving for a broad mix of topics.


If you have questions about the process, feel free to reach out to the Program Committee Co-Chairs at [email protected] 



The Proceedings Submission


Once your talk is accepted, presenters have the option to submit up to an 8 page paper by May 22nd for the SciPy2021 Proceedings. The paper should follow the same guidelines as the abstract/description but elaborate on the details to help thoroughly understand the material.


As in previous years, these papers will be reviewed using an open dialog that takes place on github - pull requests over in the proceedings repo

By submitting a paper to the SciPy Proceedings, you are consenting to having your paper published and assigned a DOI.

Even if you aren't going to write a paper, please consider volunteering to help review!


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