Important Dates
Tutorial proposal pre-registration:
September 9th
Tutorial proposal submission:
September 12th
Tutorial notification date:
October 7th

Tutorial types

Tutorials should address technical, policy, law, and / or social science aspects of ACM FAT* issues for a broad audience. We are soliciting three types of tutorials for 2020: hands-on tutorials, translation tutorials, and implications tutorials. We will give presenters 45 or 90 minutes for translation and implication tutorials, and 90 or 180 minutes for hands-on

Hands-on Tutorials

Hands-on tutorials should offer a broad audience the chance to experiment with new software packages designed to support ACM FAT* efforts. These tutorials should introduce the motivation for the tool, explain how the underlying technology works, and walk through a few example use cases of the presented software. We are also open to other, more experimental setups, if they are well justified.

Given our emphasis on accountability and transparency, tools used in the tutorials should be and should use open-source software (licensed under GPL, Apache 2.0, MIT, BSD etc.).

Presenters may assume that participants will bring their own laptop to the session.

This type of tutorial should be accessible to an audience beyond computer scientists but with a basic understanding of programming.

Translation Tutorials

We are interested in tutorials that aim to "translate" between disciplines; for instance, by explaining computer science concepts in a way that will be practically useful for lawyers, policy makers, social scientists and other practitioners, or by explaining legal, policy, or social science concepts in a way that will guide computer scientists in their future technical explorations.

These tutorials should be geared towards an interested, but beginning audience. Translation tutorials should situate the topic in the related literature and proceed to deeply explain that specific topic.

Implications Tutorials

Implications tutorials should cover known legal, policy, or socio-economic effects of unfair algorithmic systems, lack of interpretability of machine learning models, biases in the data, or other ACM FAT* related issues.

These tutorials should emphasize “real-world” implications with known examples. For instance, an implications tutorial may focus on specific case studies, walking the audience through the likely or known causes and effects of a particular ACM FAT* issue for specific individuals or communities.

We particularly encourage submissions by human rights / civil rights lawyers, policy advocates, civil society representatives, and others who work closely with individuals and communities affected by algorithmic systems and who can offer a more in-depth understanding of the processes around the use of these systems, including those for generating the datasets used by such systems.

Suggested List of Topics

Suggested topics for tutorials include, but are not limited to:

  • Introductions to key concepts from Critical Race and Digital Studies
  • Explanations of the major differences between regulatory approaches between the U.S., E.U., and other jurisdictions.
  • How researchers can engage with strategic litigation relating to issues of fairness, accountability and transparency in socio-technical systems.
  • Possible methods and limitations of inferring causality in social science, and their relation to prediction and fairness in machine learning
  • Computational methods for collecting and analysing data about socio-technical systems ‘in the wild’, such as web scraping.
  • Concepts of anti-discrimination and equality law: e.g. explaining differences between legal systems and sectors; histories of the development of key concepts through case law.
  • Concepts from economics, political science and law for assessing the degree of power exercised by technology firms through control over software, platforms, and protocols; e.g. market concentration in software services
  • Guidance for those employed within technology firms on how to challenge the development of unethical technologies through forms of organized resistance.
  • Accounts of the implications of deployment of socio-technical systems in geographical contexts other than North America and Europe, particularly where these challenge common assumptions of previous ACM FAT* research.

Note 1 (Financial support): a limited number of travel grants will be made available for organizers of tutorial sessions requiring financial support to attend the conference.

Note 2 (CRAFT call): In addition to the tutorials, this year ACM FAT* will also solicit proposals on CRAFT (Critical Reflections on Accountability Fairness and Transparency). The CRAFT Call invites panels, debates, workshops, unconferences, and other formats of contribution. Some proposals we receive under the CRAFT Call may be more appropriate as proposals for Tutorials, and vice-versa. In such cases, the Tutorial and CRAFT Co-Chairs may transfer such proposals to the other track, in consultation with proposal coordinator(s). In the event that a Tutorial decision suggests your proposal for CRAFT, you will have one week to confirm whether you accept this choice.

Application Process

To apply, please send a description of the proposed tutorial (maximum of 3 pages). The tutorial description must include:

  • The tutorial title. Titles should be in the format, "Hands-on Tutorial: title" or "Translation Tutorial: title" or “Implications Tutorial: title" depending on the type of tutorial being proposed.
  • The tutorial type. Select "Hands-on", "Translation", or "Implications".
  • The team. We encourage tutorials to be presented by one to three people, though more may be involved in its preparation. Given the duration of the tutorials, more than three presenters is likely to be too chaotic.
  • A description of the topic you plan to cover, including an impact statement that clearly articulates the main goals and outcomes of the tutorial. Note that this description will be given the highest weight during the selection, particularly for the translation and implications tutorials.
  • A short timeline description of how you plan to break down the material over 45, 90, or 180 minutes. Please also mention here the proposed length (45 or 90 mins for translation and implications tutorials, and 90 or 180 mins for hands-on tutorials), but keep in mind that we might conditionally accept a proposal and suggest a different duration.
  • Any critical citations.
  • In addition, proposals for hands-on tutorials may use an additional +1 page (up to a total of 4 pages) and must include include short code snippets, installation instructions, and pointers to existing sample datasets that the attendees may use. These instructions might be tested by the Tutorials PC members for selection purposes. Remember that the code should be open sourced, and that the tutorials should not be relying on proprietary software that others won’t have free access to.

Submissions must be in PDF format and should be formatted according to the 2017 ACM Master Article Template. Authors who are not familiar with ACM templates may simply submit their tutorial proposals for review in two-column format, with one inch margins, 9 point Times New Roman font.

Arrangements will be made for most tutorials to be recorded, and the videos will be posted online in our video channel. By default we will provide audio/video support including a projector, a laptop, speakers, a podium, a podium mic, lapel mic, and handheld mic. If your tutorial has additional needs, please include them in your submission.

Tutorial Co-Chairs

Please contact for any questions.