The big annual applied category theory conference is coming! It’s the fourth one: the first three were at Leiden, Oxford and (virtually) MIT. This one will be online and also, with luck, in person—but don’t make your travel arrangements just yet:
• Fourth Annual International Conference on Applied Category Theory (ACT 2021), 12–16 July 2021, online and at the Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge.
It will take place shortly after the Applied Category Theory Adjoint School, which will—with luck—culminate in a meeting 5–9 July at the same location.
You can now submit a paper! As in a computer science conference, that’s how you get to give a talk. For more details, read on.
Applied category theory is a topic of interest for a growing community of researchers, interested in studying many different kinds of systems using category-theoretic tools. These systems are found across computer science, mathematics, and physics, as well as in social science, linguistics, cognition, and neuroscience. The background and experience of our members is as varied as the systems being studied. The goal of the Applied Category Theory conference series is to bring researchers
together, disseminate the latest results, and facilitate further development of the field.
We accept submissions of both original research papers, and work accepted/submitted/ published elsewhere. Accepted original research papers will be invited for publication in a proceedings volume. The keynote addresses will be drawn from the best accepted papers. The conference will include an industry showcase event.
We hope to run the conference as a hybrid event, with physical attendees present in Cambridge, and other participants taking part online. However, due to the state of the pandemic, the possibility of in-person attendance is not yet confirmed. Please do not book your travel or hotel accommodation yet.
Important dates (all in 2021)
• Submission of contributed papers: Monday 10 May
• Acceptance/rejection notification: Monday 7 June
• Adjoint school: Monday 5 July to Friday 9 July
• Main conference: Monday 12 July to Friday 16 July
The following two types of submissions are accepted:
• Proceedings Track. Original contributions of high-quality work consisting of an extended abstract, up to 12 pages, that provides evidence of results of genuine interest, and with enough detail to allow the program committee to assess the merits of the work. Submission of work-in-progress is encouraged, but it must be more substantial than a research proposal.
• Non-Proceedings Track. Descriptions of high-quality work submitted or published elsewhere will also be considered, provided the work is recent and relevant to the conference. The work may be of any length, but the program committee members may only look at the first 3 pages of the submission, so you should ensure that these pages contain sufficient evidence of the quality and rigour of your work.
Papers in the two tracks will be reviewed against the same standards of quality. Since ACT is an interdisciplinary conference, we use two tracks to accommodate the publishing conventions of different disciplines. For example, those from a Computer Science background may prefer the Proceedings Track, while those from a Mathematics, Physics or other background may prefer the Non-Proceedings Track. However, authors from any background are free to choose the track that they prefer, and submissions may be moved from the Proceedings Track to the Non-Proceedings Track at any time at the request of the authors.
Contributions must be submitted in PDF format. Submissions to the Proceedings Track must be prepared with LaTeX, using the EPTCS style files available at
The submission link will soon be available on the ACT2021 web page:
Chair: Kohei Kishida, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
The full program committee will be announced soon.
• Lukas Heidemann, University of Oxford
• Nick Hu, University of Oxford
• Ioannis Markakis, University of Cambridge
• Alex Rice, University of Cambridge
• Calin Tataru, University of Cambridge
• Jamie Vicary, University of Cambridge
• John Baez, University of California Riverside and Centre for Quantum
• Bob Coecke, Cambridge Quantum Computing
• David Spivak, Topos Institute