Enigma 2020 Call for Participation

Sponsored by USENIX, the Advanced Computing Systems Association.

Important Dates

  • Submissions due: Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)
    Monday, August 26, 2019, at 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) Deadline extended!
  • Notification to submitters: Wednesday, October 9, 2019
  • Program announced: November 2019

Conference Organizers

Enigma: Security and Privacy Ideas That Matter

Enigma centers on a single track of engaging talks covering a wide range of topics in security and privacy. Our goal is to clearly explain emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology, and to foster an intelligent and informed conversation within the community and the world. We view diversity as a key enabler for this goal and actively work to ensure that the Enigma community encourages and welcomes participation from all employment sectors, racial and ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, and genders.

Enigma is committed to fostering an open, collaborative, and respectful environment. Enigma and USENIX are also dedicated to open science and open conversations and will make all talk media freely available on the USENIX website.

Call for Speakers

We solicit proposals for original talks. All talks will be 20 minutes long followed by 10 minutes for Q&A. The program committee will select presentations that highlight big ideas related to current and emerging topics in security and privacy. Ideal talks provide technical or scientific depth combined with practical impact while still being accessible to a broad audience. Our program benefits from a diversity of topics and perspectives. We're interested in talks that cover new insights into popular topics, as well as emerging or more niche areas (e.g., web and network security, abuse, critical infrastructure, crypto usability, exploit development, consumer privacy), and intersections of computer security with other disciplines (e.g., biology, economics, social science, cognitive and neuro-sciences, etc.). We welcome both talks that share pragmatic advice and those that explain high-risk research. We also encourage talks that push the community to evolve, such as those focused on social issues related to security and privacy. You might find it helpful to reference previous years' programs (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) to get an idea of the diversity of topics and tone we seek at Enigma.

Enigma emphasizes presentation quality, so we are looking for great explainers: those who can describe complex topics and convey their excitement while maintaining the integrity of science and engineering.

To achieve a cohesive program and high-quality talks, the program committee will work with all speakers ahead of the conference via a series of practice sessions to help them craft and best tell their story within the larger context of the conference. In particular, by submitting an Enigma talk, speakers agree that—if selected—they will participate in three mandatory practice sessions with assigned Enigma PC members scheduled for the weeks of November 11, December 9, and January 13.

Submission Guidelines

To submit a talk, please prepare the following information and submit it to the Enigma 2020 Submission System.

Speaker Information

  • Speaker Name
  • Speaker Title and Company/Affiliation (if applicable)
  • Speaker Email Address
  • Speaker Bio
  • Link to a video of a previous talk (must not be on same topic; links to private/unlisted videos okay)
  • [OPTIONAL] Social networking handle(s)
  • [OPTIONAL] Homepage

In our experience, single-speaker talks tend to be higher quality. Because our focus is on talk quality, we are only accepting single-speaker submissions.

Presentation Information

  • Talk Title
  • Presentation Summary. Please include (1) the core idea, (2) why it matters, and (3) a brief summary of prior work either by yourself or in the field. We encourage participants to use the following format:
    • An abstract of the talk. We will use this to understand technical merit, and if selected, for promotional purposes.
    • A single main takeaway point for the talk
    • An outline for the talk
    • Approximate total length: 3 pages
    • Optional: Are you releasing code alongside your presentation (e.g., tool, library, exploit)? We will use this for context, but doing so is not required for acceptance.
  • Are you currently submitting this topic to any other conferences held prior to Enigma?
  • Has a version of this presentation been given or accepted to any other venue or conference? If so, explain how this submission is different from your prior work.

All accepted speakers will be assigned a shepherd from the program committee to help with presentation preparation. To be clear, we want you to talk about your work and your passion in your own way; our goal is to provide feedback to make sure the talk is as clear as possible. Speakers must participate in the process of giving practice talks.

We encourage you to review the following talks as references for exemplary Enigma talks:

The full set of Enigma 2019, Enigma 2018, Enigma 2017, and Enigma 2016 talks are available online for free per the USENIX open access policy.

Both presenters and organizers may withdraw or decline proposals for any reason, even after initial acceptance.

Speaker Benefits

Enigma provides the following benefits for the speakers of all accepted talks:

  • Registration to Enigma: We are happy to offer you complimentary conference registration for yourself. We will contact you with instructions about how to receive your complimentary speaker registration. When you arrive at Enigma, your speaker badge and thank-you gift will be available at Speaker Badge Pickup.
  • Speakers' Lounge: Enigma will include a Speakers' Lounge with space to test your AV setup and presentation, as well as network access and snacks and beverages. Access to the Lounge is limited to speakers.
  • Travel Support: USENIX is pleased to offer reimbursement for air travel to speakers who do not have employer support. We will also pay directly for your conference hotel room for the night before and of your talk if you lack employer support for that as well.
  • Honoraria: USENIX recognizes the time and effort you put into crafting an excellent talk and presenting it, and understands that every speaker has a different employment situation. Thus we offer honoraria in the amount of $500 to speakers who are permitted to accept such payments and would appreciate the gesture.
  • Talk Production Quality: Speakers will receive dedicated coaching and feedback from program committee members in preparation for their talks, and all talks will be professionally produced and video recorded at a high production value.
  • Copyright: You own the copyright to your work. USENIX does require that you consent, in advance of the conference, to release your slides and video to the general public.


Please contact enigma20chairs@usenix.org.

Proposals are due August 26, 2019