ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, will hold the annual ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2020) co-located with the ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC 2020) virtually from September 12-17. UbiComp/ISWC is the premier interdisciplinary venue for leading international researchers, designers, developers, and practitioners in the field to present and discuss novel results in all aspects of ubiquitous, pervasive and wearable computing. This includes the design, development, and deployment of ubiquitous and pervasive computing technologies and the understanding of human experiences and social impacts that these technologies facilitate.

The UbiComp/ISWC 2020 organizers have put together a broad multidisciplinary program, with research papers including  articles published by the Proceedings of ACM on Interactive, Mobile and Wearable Technologies (IMWUT), briefs and notes submitted to the International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC), and a range of other contributions to the field. This year’s program includes six keynote talks, 140 IMWUT and ISWC papers spread over 15 sessions and three parallel tracks, 49 posters and demos, six workshops, the Doctoral Symposium, and an ISWC Design Discussion.

“Our research community is keenly aware of what is going on in the world, and we have received many submissions that examine how mobile and pervasive computing might be used to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on society,” said UbiComp General Co-chair Nadir Weibel, UC San Diego. “We’ve also planned parts of our program to address this. For example, we have arranged for three keynote talks on COVID-19, featuring leading researchers working on the forefront of pandemic response. These talks will address how people are using pervasive and mobile computing to track the spread of the virus.”

Considering the impact of the pandemic on physical and mental health and social interactions, UbiComp/ISWC Program Chairs  have also invited three keynote speakers (Rana El Kaliouby, Affectiva; James Pennebaker, UT Austin; Phil Cohen, Monash University) who will speak on the topics of emotion AI, expressive writing, and dialogue systems. The opening keynotes by Kaliouby and Pennebaker will be followed by a discourse on emotion and expression. Virtual attendees will then have the opportunity to participate in an open discussion on how ubiquitous computing and wearable technologies can contribute to the research and development supporting health and wellbeing and social interaction post-pandemic.

“Although we will be virtual this year, we have put a great deal of effort in bringing the full conference experience to our attendees,” added UbiComp General Co-chair Kristof Van Laerhoven, University of Siegen. “Virtual attendees will be able to engage with the conference live and see all of the talks at the scheduled time, as well as attend the Q&A panels at the end of each session. We will be using the Whova app that will facilitate interaction across attendees and with the speakers throughout the conference. Whova will also allow you to revisit the talks and panels you missed after the fact, since everything will be available for asynchronous consumption right after the live sessions.”

“The social aspect of a conference is also extremely important, and we’ve organized incredible opportunities for virtual interaction, engagement and discussion,” said UbiComp General Co-chair Monica Tentori, CICESE. “For example, we’ve organized a interactive space for the Posters, Demos, and the Gadget Show and conference goers will be able to have coffee or a drink with friends, bump into old and new colleagues, experience the city of Cancun, Mexico  virtually, and much more.”

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