First Combined ACM SIGMM Strategic Workshop and Summer School in Stellenbosch, South Africa


Vincent Oria (New Jersey Institute Of Technology, USA)

Herman Engelbrecht (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

Nicu Sebe (University of Trento, Italy)

The first combined ACM SIGMM Strategic Workshop and Summer School will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in the beginning of July 2020.


First ACM Multimedia Strategic Workshop

The first Multimedia Strategic Workshop follows the successful series of workshops in areas such as information retrieval. The field of multimedia has continued to evolve and develop: collections of images, sounds and videos have become larger, computers have become more powerful, broadband and mobile Internet are widely supported, complex interactive searches can be done on personal computers or mobile devices, and soon. In addition, as large business enterprises find new ways to leverage the data they collect from users, the gap between the types of research conducted in industry and academics has widened, creating tensions over “repeatability” and “public data” in publications. These changes in environment and attitude mean that the time has come for the field to reassess its assumptions, goals, objectives and methodologies. The goal is to bring together researchers in the field to discuss long-term challenges and opportunities within the field. 

The participants of Multimedia Strategic Workshop will be active researchers in the field of Multimedia. The strategic workshop will give these researchers the opportunity to explore long-term issues in the multimedia field, to recognise the challenges on the horizon, to reach consensus on key issues and to describe them in the resulting report that will be made available to the multimedia research community. The report will stimulate debate, provide research directions to both researchers and graduate students, and also provide funding agencies with data that can be used coordinate the support for research.

The workshop will be held at the Wallenberg Research Centre at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). STIAS provides  provides venues and state-of-the art equipment for up to 300 conference guests at a time as well as breakaway rooms. 

The First ACM Multimedia Summer School on Multimedia

The motivation of the proposed summer school is to build on the success of the Deep Learning Indaba, but to focus on the application of machine learning to the field of Multimedia. We want delegates to be exposed to current research challenges in Multimedia. A secondary goal is to establish and grow the community of African researchers in the field of Multimedia; and to stimulate scientific research and collaboration between African researchers and the international community. The exact topics covered during the summer school will decided later together with the instructors but will reflect the current research trends in Multimedia.

The Strategic Workshop will be followed by the Summer School on Multimedia. Having the first summer school co-located with the Strategic Workshop will help to recruit the best possible instructors for the summer school. 

The Multimedia Summer School on Multimedia will be held at the Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University, which is one of South Africa’s major producers of top quality engineers. The faculty was established in 1944 and is housed in a large complex of buildings with modern facilities, including lectures halls and electronic classrooms.

Stellenbosch is a university town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. It’s surrounded by the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the mountainous nature reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg. The town’s oak-shaded streets are lined with cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Cape Dutch architecture gives a sense of South Africa’s Dutch colonial history, as do the Village Museum’s period houses and gardens.

For more information about both events, please refer to the events’ web site ( or contact the organizers:

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