Bebo’s Speaking Guidelines for 2019

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I really enjoy giving talks, teaching classes, and meeting new people and colleagues. However, the years are catching up on me and I have promised my family and friends that I would start cutting back.

Invitations are hard to refuse especially if they are from locations that I have never visited and/or from groups whose work excites and/or intrigues me. In addition, there are currently some topics that I find particularly compelling and about which I enjoy speaking. Nowadays those topics include:

  • Big data (e.g., analytics, applications)
  • Cryptocurrency (e.g., Bitcoin) and Blockchain technologies
  • Web History – with technical and personal perspectives
  • Future of E-Commerce
  • Future of Human-Computer Interaction
  • Web-based Education (e.g., social education, MOOCs)
  • Computational Science (e.g., virtual laboratories)

Other topics and my speaking history can be gleaned from Videos of some of these talks may also be available.

Therefore, I’ve set up some guidelines for anyone who may be interested in hearing me. These guidelines are flexible depending upon particular circumstances, but they may be of some use to potential inviters.

Fixed Guidelines

  • I will always have the expectation of receiving travel and accommodation costs. Since I am “quasi-retired” (though maintain emeritus status) this means that I have limited access to discretionary funds.
  • Depending upon the nature of the event and the hosting entity, I may or may not require speaking fees or an honorarium. More particulars about those guidelines are described below.
  • If an award or honorary degree is involved, then we will need to discuss specific arrangements.
  • Size of audience is of little interest to me. In the past I have spoken to groups numbering from the dozens to the thousands. To me, it is the group enthusiasm that counts.


  • For strictly commercial conferences, please refer to the description given at
  • I prefer conferences that are as open as possible. That doesn’t mean free, but certainly not the ones whose audiences are largely driven by their audience’s ability to pay exorbitant registration fees.
  • I am a sucker for academic conferences. While I coming to dislike travel more and more, I still love the academic environment and the opportunity to catch up with old colleagues and meet new/future colleagues/collaborators. If you think that I might be a fit at your conference, please send me an e-mail.
  • If the conference is affiliated with a research university or national laboratory, please let me know and we can probably work something out.

Academic Groups

  • If your university/group is affiliated with the ACM, this is a no-brainer. Put in a request to the ACM Distinguished Speaker Program ( If you are not affiliated with the ACM, you should be and I will help you become so.


  • I have to handle these requests on a case-by-case basis. For commercial requests, expect certain demands. For academic/government/student groups, I am far more willing to negotiate.
  • As with conferences, I have a special affinity for research/national laboratories given my long affiliation with SLAC. Please let me know your expectations.

Youth Groups/Non-Profits/Startups

  • I really enjoy speaking to youth groups especially those promoting STEM education and the involvement of young women in technologies and the sciences. Special arrangements will be allowed for such groups.
  • Like youth groups, working with non-profits is very stimulating to me. My son’s involvement with The Rainforest Connection ( has helped me to understand the educational requirements of non-profits.
  • Since a portion of my research and teaching involves E-Commerce technologies, working with startups has always been a win-win collaboration.

Reading through this you may get the impression that I am “trolling” for invitations. On the contrary, I am not. I am just trying to establish some guidelines by which I can manage the invitations that I frequently receive while retaining an eye on the future. It will also help me to plan around the annual travel that I am obliged to do and that which is optional.

Thanks for your understanding.