How to follow a top-tier Computer Science conference

Attending and presenting your work at a conference is one of the major highlights of the journey to becoming an independent researcher. Be it a national or an international venue, conferences allow you to present your work before a large audience.

The journey from a research project idea to paper acceptance and finally oral or poster presentation at a conference is long and arduous, accompanied by a steep learning curve.

So, the first step can be to follow top-tier conferences by going through the list of accepted papers, keynote talks, and tutorials. It has many advantages:

  1. It tells you the relevant topics of interest for the research community and future research directions; you can choose the topic you like
  2. Most of the resources are freely available and are thus accessible to you at no extra cost
  3. Great role models to copy from, for example, presentation skills, how to reply to questions from the audience regarding your paper or presentation

By the end of this article

We will know how to learn about the important topics and themes of discussion in the top-tier conferences in your domain. We will also cover how to read the conference website, particularly the “Call For Papers (CFP)” page.

Whatever I mention below is primarily based on my experience in Computer Science(CS) conferences. However, they are general enough to prove useful for other domains.

I had earlier covered the list of top computer science conferences month-wise in a separate blog for Machine Learning, Data Mining, Natural Language Processing, and Information Retrieval research domains.

1. Workshops and tutorials slides

I found these presentations an easy-to-understand resource for understanding the overall breadth of a field you are new to or an emerging field. I will try to provide a list of such resources, which I found mostly from Twitter :

  1. Tips and tricks for effective Ph.D. by Dr. Renata Borovica-Gajic
  2. Frontiers of Natural Language Processing by Sebastian Ruder, Herman Kamper, Panellists, Leaders in NLP, Everyone

2. Video lectures of oral presentations and Youtube are two primary resources

SlidesLive has a decent library of interesting conference talks (including some of the ICLR talks)

3. Conference Proceedings

Use DBLP and Google Scholar to get the proceedings of the conferences. It provides an overview of the primary themes and topics of discussion.

4. Working notes

After the conference is over, look out for student notes or some other attendee to the conference within a few days. A good habit is to follow the graduate students and faculty of reputed institutions on Twitter. Choosing people from the same domain as your research interest helps a lot.

  1. ICLR 2019 notes by David Abel

If you want to add anything interesting, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Related articles that may be of interest to you

You can get a comprehensive list of academic conferences in the field of AI and Machine Learning in another article written by me

If you are new to writing papers using Latex for academic conferences, you can visit the following articles:

  1. I cover how to setup up a Tex environment in your local machine (article link)
  2. Conference or journal paper template – individual files and how to use them (article link)
  3. How to correctly write references or perform cross-referencing while writing your paper (article link)

What is your take on this topic?