For over 30 years, the Courses program has been a cornerstone of the SIGGRAPH conference. It allows experts to teach the fundamentals and share the latest research in computer graphics and interactive techniques with the entire community. At SIGGRAPH Asia 2012, hundreds of practitioners, developers, researchers, artists, and students will attend Courses to broaden and deepen their knowledge of their field, and to learn the secrets of new fields. Join them!

Courses usually fall into one of the following categories:

1. Introductory:

a) An introduction to a topic, suitable for attendees with little or no background in that area. These courses can range from basic topics through more advanced concepts. The important criterion for this type of course is that it should guide attendees through the material in a sensible way and not assume much prior knowledge in that specific topic. 

b) An introduction to an area that is related to computer graphics but is not considered "core" graphics. In this case, in addition to the points outlined above, the materials must clearly demonstrate how computer graphics researchers and professionals would benefit from the information in the course.

2. State-of-the-art: Best practices and state-of-the-art methodologies for computer graphics professionals. These are advanced courses presenting the best the field can offer to professionals in a specific sub-field.

3. New trends: Consolidation of a new and emerging research trend. This type of course can guide new researchers in the area and help facilitate transfers to practical applications.

4. Hands-on: A course that provides opportunities for attendees to learn by doing, through the industry's most-popular technologies. They are intended for a limited audience on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the Courses Committee before submitting to discuss your special requirements.

While we provide the basic guidelines for the different educational roles above, we believe that the presentation should be tailored to the specific topic and its relevance to the attendees. So, if you feel that your course does not fit the above options, please get in touch with the Courses Committee and we will be happy to provide suggestions and feedback.

Proposals for courses that have been presented at previous SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia conferences are welcome, but they must include a clear explanation of why the course should be repeated. Please refer to the FAQs for details.


SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 has special focuses on games, animated films, mobile devices, GPU computing, and other Asia-centric topics. We encourage submission of course proposals that deal with:

  • Real-time computer graphics for games
  • Offline computer graphics for animated films
  • Topics in rendering and/or simulation for games and animated films
  • Production pipelines of games and animated films
  • Games for mobile devices
  • Games and movies for the world market
  • General purpose processing on the GPU

SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 attendees are local and international, established industry professionals, students, professors, researchers, engineers, and/or producers. Their expectations are diverse, and we are looking for outstanding courses, at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, on ACM SIGGRAPH’s most popular and fundamental topics, including (but not limited to):

  • Computer animation
  • Visual effects techniques
  • Programming graphics hardware
  • Mathematics of three-dimensional geometry
  • Optical and materials physics
  • Simulating living creatures and natural phenomena
  • Scientific visualization
  • Computational photography and image processing
  • Production management and pipelines architecture
  • Computer vision
  • Virtual and augmented reality (interactive digital signage; wearable computing; practical, deployable augmented reality; ubiquitous mobile computing)
  • Visual analytics
  • And any other hot emerging topic that you want to get people excited about!


Courses are presented in two basic formats: tutorial (1.75 hours) and half-day (3.75 hours including a 15-minute break). SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 will accept a limited number of full-day Courses (seven hours including two 15-minute breaks and a longer break for lunch). We recommend one lecturer for a short course, two or three lecturers for a half-day course, and four or five presenters for a full-day course. Hands-on courses will likely be good candidates for full-day courses, although this is not a necessary requirement and depends on the material being covered.


The official language of SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 is English. All verbal presentations, slide presentations, and Course Notes are expected to be in English.

Michael Brown
Courses Chair
National University of Singapore

JiaJiaya Leo
Courses Co-Chair
The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Use the Courses Online Submission Form to submit your proposal before the submission deadline (7 June 2012, 23:59 UTC/GMT). All forms must be completed, and all materials must be successfully uploaded by that time. The submission deadline will be strictly enforced.

Make sure your proposal fits the Courses format and goals. Courses have a well-defined pedagogical goal and identify a specific, unified set of skills or knowledge that the course is intended to communicate on core or emerging topics that are interesting to the computer graphics and interactive techniques community.

If your proposal does not fulfill these criteria, it might be appropriate for another SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 program. To make sure that your proposal fits the Courses format and goals, please review the Courses program section above. All course proposals must be electronically submitted via the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Courses Submission Form. No other method of submission will be accepted or allowed. Fax, paper, or email submissions are not accepted.

Proposals include several parts, including an abstract, a complete course syllabus, a slate of qualified presenters, and a Course Notes sample. To review the complete list of requirements of the Online Submission Form, please see the FAQs.

We strongly encourage starting the submission form well before the deadline. Also, please do not wait until the last minute to upload your files. See Uploading Files for complete information.

Submission Process

Log in to the SIGGRAPH Information System, select "Begin a New Submission", and then select "Create" for the Courses Submission Form. Instructions there will guide you to successful completion. When you begin the form, your submission will be assigned a unique submission ID number that will identify your submission throughout the entire review and production process.

It is extremely important that you fill out the Online Submission Form as completely and compellingly as possible.

This is your single opportunity to convince the Courses reviewers that your course will be successful. If a simple submission form cannot be filled out completely, on time, and with clear forethought, the committee will assume that the much more difficult task of preparing the course and its notes will be impossible for the submitter. We cannot stress this point enough. The quality of your course submission is the only information the reviewers have to determine the quality of your course.

Submission and Authorization Agreement

All submitters must complete the Submission and Authorization Agreement before the submission deadline. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed or accepted.

You must review your permissions (part of your original online submission form) and complete the Submission and Authorization Agreement by entering an electronic signature before the submission deadline. You can already peruse and sign the agreement during the submission process. We strongly recommend this. If you do not complete your Submission and Authorization Agreement with an electronic signature, your work cannot be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012.

The Submission and Authorization Agreement is a legal document. It explains the uses SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 makes of presented material and requires you to acknowledge that you have permission to use this material. This may involve seeking clearance from your employer or from others who have loaned you material, such as videotapes and slides. The agreement helps prevent situations whereby SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 presentations include material without permission that might lead to complaints or even legal action. In addition, this agreement asks if ACM SIGGRAPH may use your materials for conference and organization promotional material in exchange for full author/artist credit information.

For a better understanding of the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Submission and Authorization Agreement, please review the Submission and Authorization Agreement Explanation.

Each course proposal is extensively reviewed by peers from the SIGGRAPH community. Course reviewers are chosen for their familiarity with the content of the course proposal and with the SIGGRAPH Courses program.

The Courses Committee

All submissions will be reviewed by the Courses Committee and community peers, under the direction of the Courses Chair. In their reviews, jurors consider factors such as:

  • Concept: How exceptional is the ideas, problems, solutions, aesthetics, etc. presented in this submission? How coherently does the submission convey its overall concept? Is the concept similar to existing ones, or does it stand out?
  • Novelty: How new and fresh is this work? Is it a new, ground-breaking approach to an old problem, or is it an existing approach with a slightly new twist? You must first demonstrate to the jury that your work is sufficiently different from existing approaches. Second, you should evaluate you work in the context of other approaches where appropriate: Is it faster? Easier to use? Does it give better results? Is it more accurate?
  • Interest: Will conference attendees want to attend this course? Will it inspire them? Are the results or approaches appealing to a broad audience? This is partly a measure of how broad the potential audience is and partly a measure of the overall clarity and novelty of the submission. A submission in a very niche area is more likely to be accepted if the results are exceptionally better than what exists already, or if the proposed solution might be applicable to other areas.
  • Quality, Craft, and Completeness: This is a measure of how well-written the proposal is and the quality of the supporting materials. The proposal must effectively communicate both the course and its presentation in enough detail and clarity that the jury can evaluate it.
  • Speaker Expertise and Ability to Cover the Topic: Ability to communicate ideas and to teach, as well as language skills, will be reviewed. So it is really important that you explain how you are going to convey your points: What is the tone of your course? What kind of learning material and techniques will you use to support you presentation?

The final submission score is based on a combination of these factors. For example, a submission that is high quality, has broad appeal, and contains something new is likely to be accepted, while a submission that is incremental, of interest to only a small number of people, and poorly written will probably be rejected.

Course organizers should be aware that the only information that the reviewers have to evaluate the quality of the potential Course is the course proposal. They will look carefully at the depth and care with which the proposal and the sample Course Notes have been prepared, and will consider that strongly in their recommendations.

Some main reasons courses are rejected:

  • Example notes or slides do not communicate key ideas in a clear and informative manner.
  • The materials focus on only a narrow subset of the approaches in a particular area. The course outline should provide a comprehensive overview of a specific area.
  • The material has been covered sufficiently in previous years, or the material is not of interest to a broad audience.

Course organizers should learn the results of the review process by late July 2012.

Once a Course is selected for the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 program, the course organizer must collect and prepare:

  • Copyright permissions or clearances on any restricted materials
  • Submission and Authorization Agreements from all speakers
  • A final set of electronic Course Notes
  • Digital supplementary materials (for example, sample code, datasets, documentation, demos, animations, etc.)
  • A final course timeline listing the topics and speakers in chronological order

All material must be suitable for publication.

Copyright Permissions

All materials presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 and published in SIGGRAPH publications must have appropriate permissions from any copyright holders or holders of other rights. It is crucial that presenters either own or receive the appropriate permissions before presentation. Work that you do for any other party, such as images created for a film, or research done for a corporate laboratory, may have restrictions on its use. It is the responsibility of the presenter to know what permissions may be necessary, and to obtain them. The Submission and Authorization Agreement is your certification to SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 that you have obtained all necessary permissions.

Course Notes

A full set of Course Notes, and all other supplemental material, must be prepared and submitted digitally to the SIGGRAPH Publications Chair in time for inclusion in the Full Conference DVD-ROM and other SIGGRAPH publications. This deadline is roughly two months before the conference, and full details will be supplied to the course organizers when they are notified of their selection. Creating good Course Notes is a time-consuming task, as it generally involves creating much more in-depth material than will actually be presented in person at the conference. See this example of good Course Notes. Course presenters should take this time commitment into account as they plan their schedule for the months before the conference.

Speaker Fee

Up to two presenters per full-day course, one presenter per half-day course, and one presenter per tutorial will receive a ‘Speaker Fee’ (not ‘Reimbursement’) of USD $1,000.

Deadlines and Extensions

What is the submission deadline?

The Courses proposal submission deadline is 7 June 2012, 23:59 UTC/GMT. This is 7:59 pm, 7 June in New York; 4:59 pm, 7 June in Los Angeles; and 7:59 am, 8 June in Singapore.  

Can I submit after the deadline?

No. The deadline is absolute. All submissions receive equal consideration up to the published deadline. Please respect other contributors and allow time for unforeseen circumstances in your submission, including (but not limited to) network connectivity, equipment failures, job impacts, life or family events, etc. These personal circumstances are outside of SIGGRAPH Asia 2012's direct control and cannot be accommodated fairly.

Why is this so absolute?

Primarily, the answer is fairness and equal opportunity for consideration. This respects the contribution process for all submissions. Secondly, the Courses deadlines were designed to maximize submission development and quality for all contributors, including those contributing to other SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 programs. Submission deadlines are set as late as possible, but they must also support quality in review, production, and delivery at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012.

Are partial or incomplete submissions considered?

Incomplete submissions are not guaranteed a review. Contributors are required to minimally meet all submission requirements by the published deadline. The Courses Committee will evaluate the merit of each completed proposal as it was submitted at the deadline even if it does not meet the author's personal quality objectives. Please allow enough time to meet your own quality goals.

How will SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 address network failures?

SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 is only responsible for the availability of the submission server. If the Courses Chair is notified of a hardware or service failure in the submission system, the Courses Chair will authorize an appropriate adjustment (and will prominently post notices at several locations). All other network failures between your location and the SIGGRAPH server will not affect the submission deadline. Please submit early to avoid connectivity-support problems or last-minute submission-server performance issues.


What do I have to prepare to complete the online submission form?

It is extremely important that you complete the Online Submission Form as completely and compellingly as possible. This is your single opportunity to convince the Courses reviewers that your course will be successful. If a simple submission form cannot be filled out completely, on time, and with clear forethought, the committee will assume that the much more difficult task of preparing the lectures and course notes will be impossible for the submitter. We cannot stress this point enough. The quality of your course submission is the only information the reviewers have to determine the quality of your course.

The form requests several items. The first 11 will be published in the SIGGRAPH Asia web site and Conference Program, and must conform to the editorial requirements of those publications. The last eight (from syllabus to the end) are for the jury to understand the content and presentation style of the proposed course, and will not be published.

  • Course title
  • Proposed length: Tutorial, half-day or full-day
  • Summary statement: A two- or three-sentence description (limit: 50 words or less) of the course suitable for pre-conference publicity. The description should reflect key topics, goals, and formats that distinguish this presentation and it should concisely highlight your course abstract. Publication deadlines preclude revision of this statement after the submission deadline.
  • Course abstract: A slightly longer description (limit: 300 words or less) of your course suitable for publication in the Conference Program. The abstract should include key topics, course objectives, presentation formats, and other important details of the course.
  • Level of difficulty: Beginning, intermediate, or advanced. This should be consistent with the course prerequisites below.
  • Intended audience: Who will most likely enjoy and benefit from this course? What will they learn?
  • Course prerequisites: A concise statement (limit: 50 words or less) that explicitly conveys to prospective attendees the type of background knowledge needed to understand the course presentation. Prerequisites might include specific mathematics knowledge, experience with graphics, particular application areas, etc.
  • Attendee equipment requirements: Do attendees need to bring their own laptops and/or download software in order to get the most out of the course? Do attendees need internet access during the course?
  • Course organizer information: Name, title, affiliation, and a short biography (100 words or less)
  • Additional course presenters: Name, title, affiliation, and a short biography (100 words or less) for each lecturer.
  • Course syllabus: This is the heart of the submission. It is a detailed course syllabus that outlines the subjects to be discussed in the course. It should give the precise time schedule (in minutes) for all sections within the course. Each section should specify the presenter, the topic, and any sub-section titles and content. Breaks (which occur at specific times for each format) should also be included in the schedule.
  • Course length reduction: For full-day or half-day courses, explain if your course could be flexibly redesigned into a shorter time frame. If yes, please tell us specifically how you might achieve this (specify which sections of the syllabus and/or lecturers would be cut or reduced in presentation time). If no, please explain why the presentation will seriously suffer if shortened. Format flexibility can sometimes improve chances for acceptance.
  • Course rationale: Has your course or any other similar course appeared at previous SIGGRAPH conferences or at any other conferences? If yes, when was it presented, and how does this proposal differ from what was taught before? How has it improved? Why should it be presented again at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012? If no, explain the importance of this course to SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 attendees.
  • Pedagogic intentions and methods: In a few sentences, elaborate on the methods and teaching material you are going to use to deliver your course.
  • Special presentation requirements: Explain requirements for hands-on demonstrations, special equipment, or unusual presentation techniques. This can include remote presentation for speakers who are unable to attend the conference in person. Unusual or ambitious requests will be considered based on their benefit to the conference and their effect on support costs.
  • Special notes requirements: Explain any requests to include supplementary materials such as textbooks, videos, slides, or commercial software with SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 published Course Notes. Materials that cannot be published digitally or require additional cost must be justified. Important: SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 does not pay for the cost of including supplementary materials with Course Notes.
  • Organizer contact information: Occasionally, we need to contact a course organizer shortly before, during, or following the jury meeting, so please provide information (including phone numbers) on how to contact the organizer between May and July 2012.
  • Course Notes sample: an outline of materials and a representative sample of the type of Course Notes that the organizer and presenters plan to provide upon acceptance. Ideally, each presenter should provide a brief sample excerpt. They should be clear and concise about what they are demonstrating. Reviewers use this sample to evaluate the expected quality of the course's learning materials for use during and after the conference. The sample is extremely important in the review of the proposed course. See below for more detailed guidance on Course Notes examples (annotated slides, papers, source code, animations, etc.) and their contribution to the review process.
  • Advance publicity image (optional): You are encouraged to provide an image that supports advance marketing of your course at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012. If provided with your submission, it will be considered for use in all advance promotions of the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Courses program. Image requirements include: The image must represent significant concepts, themes, or details of the course material. The image must avoid use of embedded logos, copyright, trademark, and commercial information where possible. The course organizer understands and agrees that download of the image grants permission for the image to be altered (cropped, scaled, rotated, or otherwise modified) for editorial purposes without prior notice. The image must be a TIFF file (uncompressed or using a standard loss-less compression algorithm) at least 1500 x 1200 pixel resolution (300-dpi). Image captions and credits must be provided in the online submission form.

How do tutorial, half-day, and full-day courses differ?

SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 supports three basic course formats:

  • Tutorial: 1.75 hours of syllabus, typically one presenter. Sessions may begin at various times and will contain no scheduled breaks.
  • Half-Day: 3.5 hours of syllabus, typically one or two presenters. These courses usually run for a total elapsed time of 3.75 hours in either the morning or afternoon and contain a single 15-minute break.
  • Full-Day: Seven hours of syllabus, typically two or more presenters. These courses run for an entire conference day with 15-minute breaks for morning and afternoon tea, and a (much longer) lunch break.

These lengths are fixed, and break schedules cannot be altered. Other than length, there are no significant differences in presentation style or requirements for the different course formats.

Why is it necessary to specify an intended audience? The average SIGGRAPH conference attendee should be sufficient detail, no?

No. The attendee population is actually widely variable. It includes different experience levels, different backgrounds, and different interests in technical and artistic topics. Your detailed audience identification aids proposal evaluation by the reviewers (to ensure that your course material is appropriate to the audience you wish to reach), by the Courses Committee (for program balancing), and for proper marketing to interested conference attendees.

My course was accepted by a previous SIGGRAPH conference. Doesn't that mean it is good enough for acceptance by SIGGRAPH Asia 2012?

Successful repeat proposals are usually well written due to prior experience. However, this does not guarantee acceptance. The merits of each proposal are weighed relative to all submissions within a given year. Selection factors such as content improvement, industry relevance and currency, past attendee feedback, past attendance patterns, course materials, and overall program balance will influence repeat session priorities. The rationale section of your proposal should provide clear, compelling reasons for repeating a course. Repeat proposals should also state how they have addressed any issues identified in previous attendee feedback.

We have taught our course before at SIGGRAPH or elsewhere. Should we submit this year?

Yes. If your proposal significantly improves upon your previous presentation, represents timely innovation, addresses a foundational subject in the field, is particularly relevant to the Asian region, or it is simply a well taught course on a popular topic, it will be seriously considered in building SIGGRAPH Asia 2012's balanced program. In the rationale section of your proposal, please detail all significant factors that should be considered during the jury process.

Does SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 tend to favor or avoid specific levels of material (beginner, intermediate, advanced)?

No. SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 will serve a wide international audience of many capabilities. The richest, most engaging courses are desired no matter what their level. This is your opportunity to address the community’s need with your expertise. The Courses Committee will offer the best-balanced program possible with available submissions and resources. This includes the need for a good mixture of beginning, intermediate, and advanced presentations.

We have a great idea for an untried course topic. Should we submit it?

Absolutely! SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 seeks innovation both in topic and presentation! New ideas that relate to some aspect of computer graphics and interactive techniques are most welcome for consideration. You should clearly state this relevance in the rationale section of your proposal.

Do you support anything other than Portable Document Format (PDF)? It is easier for me to provide files in (your file type here). Everyone can read those, right?

No, please submit in PDF format. Courses reviewers come from many backgrounds and use many operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.). PDF provides easy standardization (universal viewer support, graphics, embedded fonts, etc.) for both the reviewer and the proposer (for example, it preserves intentional formatting by the submitter). Even ASCII clear text is not "universal" due to carriage-return differences, column widths, lack of graphics, etc. SIGGRAPH Courses have the greatest reviewing success using the PDF format for consistent results.

What are good-quality Course Notes?

Think of Course Notes as being the textbook chapters that you summarize in your in-class presentation. Good-quality Course Notes are any combination of materials (text, images, video, source code, demos, etc.) that can assist people during your course and beyond the classroom. Copies of the slides, images, and videos used during the presentation are common, but by themselves are not enough. They should be annotated with additional detailed explanations of complex concepts, elaborations on related topics that could not fit into the time of the in-class presentations, mathematical derivations, etc.

Clear examples, tutorials, explanation of techniques, annotations from your experience, and program source code, for example, are always appreciated by the attendees. This material should help attendees accurately understand your presentation and build a useful context for application of what they have learned.

The sample Course Notes for the submission outline and demonstrate both the types of material and quality to be included with the conference documentation. The submission sample should be just that, a sample only, not the entire full-length Course Notes, but it should provide sufficient material for the reviewers to evaluate the anticipated quality of the final product. (See Program Background & Insights, below, for more information about the review process.) Here is a detailed sample of Course Notes with examples of recent submissions (2.1 MB PDF).

Our Course Notes are completely done. Should we put them all in the download area as part of our submission?

No. A representative sampling of the quality of your notes is all that is required. Complete sets can overwhelm and complicate the review process. It is better to show a subsection that demonstrates detail, annotation, and supplemental materials than provide the entire set. (See Program Background & Insights for more information about the review process.)

Our Course Notes from a prior offering of this course are going to be coming out as a book or are already available as a book. Do we need to discuss this in our submission?

Yes, please discuss whether you have permission from the publisher to include this material in your SlGGRAPH Asia 2012 Course Notes, and if not, what alternate form your Course Notes will take.

Are there printed Course Notes?

No, there are no printed Course Notes. Course Notes and all other supplemental materials will only be provided on the Full Conference DVD-ROM.

In addition to the Course Notes sample PDF, can I submit additional materials (audio, video, animations, etc.) with my submission?

While we only accept a sample PDF of the Course Notes to be submitted with your proposal, you're encouraged to include a list of additional materials with your proposal. If you have samples of materials available for consideration with your proposal, please provide a reference (for example, a URL) to their location.

We know your "real" email address. Is it okay to write you there?

No. Please use the Courses Committee Mailing List. This ensures that all members of our committee are properly copied on your messages. Our response quality will invariably be higher if you respect this convention.

Our company has a great new product that is of general interest to the SIGGRAPH community. Can we submit the product announcement as a course?

Please don't. SIGGRAPH's policy is that the educational programs are not to be used for proprietary content, such as product announcements, user-group meetings, or training on the use of specific products.

Courses that survey the use of a variety of similar products from the user's point of view can be successful if they carefully refrain from product endorsement. Vendors can use other forums, such as the Exhibition, Exhibitor Tech Talks, and normal self-organized user meetings and suites, to promote the use of their products.

Upon Acceptance

Our course was accepted. Now it is time to submit our Course Notes. Unfortunately, we have not had time to complete everything to the level of examples that we submitted during the review process. This will be okay, right?

No. We may have a serious problem. If the final course materials fail to meet or exceed the quality of the accepted proposal, the Courses Chair may decide to cancel your course.

I'm a course organizer who has one or more lecturers who have not completed their Course Notes. Your publication deadline is fast approaching. Can we have an extension?

No. Unfortunately, all deadlines for the Courses program (proposal, Course Notes, etc.) are closely tied to publication and production. They cannot be extended. In absolute worst-case scenarios, the Courses Chair may decide to cancel your course.

Program Background & Insights

What is the history of ACM SIGGRAPH Courses?

SIGGRAPH Courses have educated computer graphics professionals and enthusiasts for over 30 years. The conference has established a long tradition of workshops, tutorials, and courses throughout its history. During those years, the Courses program has grown in format, style, and content.

Today's formats include full-day, half-day, and tutorial (1.75 hour) presentation sessions. Recent presentations have expanded to include hands-on participatory content, intranet wireless interactive content, and special-venue presentations. Course materials have advanced from simple paper handouts to printed notebooks to sophisticated, media-rich digital materials.

SIGGRAPH Courses are exciting forums for learning and exchange at the conference. Courses offer in-depth examinations of a wide variety of topics in computer graphics and interactive techniques. They are also excellent magnets for individuals with matching interests. Time spent at course breaks, receptions, and even hallway conversations can sometimes reveal powerful opportunities for collaboration among attendees.

Can you tell me more about the review process?

The SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Courses Committee represents only a small fraction of the dedicated volunteers who help decide the Courses program. The process employs a network of qualified volunteers to review and professionally evaluate each conference submission.

Each submission is subjected to three or more reviews to ensure a balanced evaluation perspective. Reviewer expertise is assigned for best fit, and any conflicts of interest are identified before the review process begins. Once all submissions are organized and assigned, reviewers carefully read and evaluate the clarity and quality of the submission statements against numerous review criteria. More specifically, reviewers must evaluate proposal factors such as:

  • Relevance and organization of the topics
  • Recognition of and delivery of the audience's needs
  • Experience and effectiveness (and possibly diversity) of the presenter slate
  • Attention to submission details
  • Balance of length and depth in the syllabus
  • Any course history and related improvements over previous versions
  • Quality and richness of final course materials

Review feedback is examined by the entire Courses Committee and deliberated during the final selection process. Aberrations and opinion spikes are weighed appropriately so that fair consideration occurs during selection. Consensus, rather than single opinions, decides the final selections.

After hundreds of combined volunteer hours are devoted to deciding the conference program, the selection results are scheduled to determine resource conflicts. Shortly thereafter, the jury results are communicated, and review feedback is provided.

What makes a good proposal great?

Topics and proposals come in all shapes and sizes. Well-written proposals effectively communicate their ideas so that reviewers can assess the learning benefits to the course audience and community at large. Strong proposals clearly answer questions like:

  • Topic: How relevant is this course to computer graphics and interactive techniques? Does it introduce new or emerging ideas? Does it significantly advance a previous topic? Does it support fundamental needs of the field? Is it timely?
  • Organization: How are ideas and concepts organized? Does the syllabus lay out an effective teaching plan? Are important topics developed with adequate teaching detail and flow? What goals are fulfilled by the end of the session?
  • Speakers: Why are the speakers qualified to present their topics? What roles do they play? How will they contribute to the presentation (speaking, course materials, etc.)? If appropriate, do they represent a diversity of backgrounds and affiliations?
  • Audience: Do the proposers identify and understand the needs of their audience? Does the material match the appropriate learning level of the attendee? Do the marketing statements describing the course provide sufficient insight and generate excitement to help attract appropriate attendance?
  • Rationale: Why should this course be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012? If the course has been taught before, at SIGGRAPH or other conferences, how is this version different and improved from previous versions. Why should it be presented again? If this is similar to any other previous SIGGRAPH courses, explain how this course is different. Does this course expand upon them in new ways? If the course, and nothing like it, has been presented before, explain why the SIGGRAPH audience would be interested in this material. Is it new and state-of-the-art, or foundational in a way that will help students understand old ideas in new ways?
  • Course Notes and materials: Does the Course Notes sample provide sufficient detail to evaluate quality of information, flow, visual examples, etc.? If the notes include presentation slides, were they annotated with speaker explanatory notes to support post-conference review? Do they reach beyond the syllabus in detail? What type of additional support material was outlined (reference pages, source code, datasets, demos, etc.)?
  • Length and format: Does the presentation justify the length of the course and number of presenters? What are the advantages of the format proposed for the course? Shorter courses might be more likely to find a place in the limited courses schedule, but strong full-day proposals are still encouraged.
  • Flexibility: Does the course offer flexibility to present a shorter format? If yes, does the proposal clarify the trade-offs and losses due to the reduction? If no, does it justify the importance of the original format?

Conversely, some elements that weaken a proposal are:

  • Incomplete and missing answers: Was every required question answered? Were all the requisite review materials included?
  • Vague or unclear answers: Did you think carefully about the specific questions, and answer them clearly and unambiguously? Did you give sufficient detail?
  • Poorly prepared answers: Did you give yourself enough time to adequately answer all of the questions? Did the approaching deadline make you answer without enough thought?
  • Poor Course Notes: Preparing good Course Notes is the hardest part of presenting a good course at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012. Do your Course Notes stand up to the quality illustrated by the sample course notes?

Our proposal reviews were highly positive and outstanding, and we still didn't get accepted. Why is this?

Ideally, everyone would have a chance to present their best work at the conference. It would certainly make the selection process easier! Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The Courses Committee can't accept every good course proposal, for the simple reason that we generally lack rooms, resources, and schedule time. Instead, we strive to offer a balanced program in several dimensions, including mix of topics, mix of experience levels, mix of foundational courses and emerging-interest courses, and we want to prioritize courses that will appeal to the largest possible audience. Many great proposals do not make the cut simply because they don't fit into the bigger picture.

In addition to any weaknesses directly identified in review feedback (weak syllabus, weak course notes proposal, weak presentation slate, etc.), there are many other possible reasons for rejection:

  • Overlap with better proposals in a similar area.
  • Overlap with topics with wider anticipated attendance in a similar area.
  • Insufficient room resources to accommodate the proposed length.
  • The topic has been presented several times in the past, and new topics are being prioritized.
  • Did not show enough improvement over previous presentations.
  • Exceeded the available presentation resources.
  • Lacked strong or timely relevance.

We encourage course proposers to consider the review feedback carefully, and if it seems very positive and you still didn't get accepted, don't give up! Perhaps your course is just the thing that SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 needs to balance its program!

Anything else about SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Courses?

The SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Courses Committee appreciates the tremendous effort that each and every volunteer contributor makes in preparing and submitting work to the conference. You make a difference in the quality and experience of the annual conference.

No matter what the outcome, we look forward to meeting and thanking you personally at the conference. Best wishes for a great course submission!

7 June 2012 (23:59 UTC/GMT)
Submission deadline

July 2012
Jury reviews

August 2012
Acceptance notification

Late August 2012
Final Course Notes submission

28 November - 1 December 2012
SIGGRAPH Asia 2012